Square Eyes

After a day spent staring at a screen as I start on my tax return, an unispiring experience where I am shocked at how little I earn, this evening I have turned to the slighter larger screen in the corner of the sitting room. It’s been mainly Channel 4; the news, the Paralympics, The Last Leg, shortly the Paralympics again and I’ll be watching until Ellie Simmonds races just after 11.30. But I had a bit of a break on ITV remembering how much I loved Cold Feet all those years ago, and finding that this return series is again reeling me in.

I didn’t watch the first episode last week. Call me a coward, but I didn’t want all those wonderful memories spoiled by a crass revival. However the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive, so tonight I decided to give it a whirl. It is rather wonderful to find that your memories are not rose-tinted, that the writing is tight and the performances warm and convincing. Hermione Wotsit (not her real name, but I can’t think of it at the minute) is great as the buttoned up Karen, now estranged from her husband David, played by Robert Bathhurst as an overgrown prep schoolboy who functions well in high finance but badly everywhere else. Born into a different class he’d could have been Arthur Daley. Widowed Adam has a new much younger wife, who despite the misgivings of his old friends turns out to be a good sort. Pete is crumbling into depression, struggling to make a living and working as a cabby and a carer. His client is a crabby James Bolam, obviously enjoying himself in his role. At the rate I am acquiring TV programmes I want to watch, going to Australia is going to be a bit of a wrench. Continue reading


Bingeing on Rio

The time difference is a bit of a problem, but last night and tonight I am having a bit of a binge on the Paralympics at Rio 2016. I didn’t see enough of the Olympics, though I managed some of the cycling and the athletics and was stunned that Jess Ennis Hill’s silver was reported as a failure. Gimme a break. She was amazing. Did you see that final sprint?

Still, the Olympics are just the warm up act for the Paralympics where amazing is standard, gobsmacking is every day. I saw the new golden girl of swimming Ellie Robinson come out looking like ET in an oversized coat, owning the start line and winning gold in her first race while the crowd went wild. Tonight she’s up against the other golden Ellie, Ellie Simmonds whose performance at London 2012 inspired Ellie R to take up swimming. Ellie S is only 21, but Ellie R at 15 makes her seem almost old. Ellie Simmonds is inspirational. There is definitely a career for her when she ceases competitive swimming. She was in a television programme recently, learning to dive in the ocean. It was a surprise to learn that she had a fear of open water, a fear she overcame and achieved her childhood dream to swim with dolphins. She is such a warm person, radiates integrity and positivity. No wonder she is is so respected and admired by paralympians and others the world over.

Channel 4’s coverage is outstanding, it celebrates but also has fun. Try this.

Hannah Cockroft is racing tonight too. I shall be on the edge of my seat. I need some words other than amazing, but I am amazed. Ali Jawad could make me watch weightlifting, though possibly only if he is competing. Johnny Peacock has done it again, and when David Weir races this week I shall be holding my breath. All these athletes are articulate, funny, the sort of people you want to meet, people you look up too. Depressingly at the same time as we watch the Paralympics, seeing mind-boggling achievements, people defying what should be physical disabilities that limit their ambition and setting standards that cast all of us into their shadow, non-sporting disabled people in our communities are often attacked, bullied, demonised. The government takes away their benefits and makes lives that are already challenging that much harder. Using public transport is fraught with difficulties; often because of careless attitudes by staff who deem the journeys of the disabled as less important than those of able bodied travellers. The Paralympics helps educate society about what disability means and to see the people behind the disability. At least that’s what one hopes.

I can’t find the trailer where they mix footage with animations, where Johnny Peacock trails peacock feathers, Hannah Cockroft whips up a tornado and David Weir turns into werewolf, but I did manage to get this one.

So enjoy, and join me on a binge at Rio.

Monday Afloat

Fabulous sunset tonight at the marina, the last rays of the sun showing a perfect blue sky streaked with pink. I was at the end of MasterB’s lead and camera less, so I witnessed but did not record it. After a hot afternoon, the evening temperatures have dropped low enough for me to close the windows and think about putting in a jumper. Hils I was out small creatures were flying close by me. It was dusk and they were moving fast so I couldn’t see them clearly, but I think they may be bats. MasterB sat still on the grass staring intently at something I could not see for a quarter of an hour before I decided to end his sortie. But before you feel too sorry for him, we had by that time been outside for forty minutes.

I had hoped he’d have a pee, and my hopes were raised when he investigated the soft earth, but it was only to sniff, he waited until he was back on board to empty a bladder that was obviously very full. No worries about crystals and cystitis tonight.

The egg lady Janet had a little chat when I bought her last boxes. I needed change so I was more than pleased when she came out of the house. She opened up the honesty box attached to the gate and counted out a pile of coins, explaining that the proceeds from egg sales all go to support charity. That made me even more pleased that I had some egg boxes to give to her. Continue reading


Before I left for work this morning I emptied, cleaned and replenished the litter tray twice. MasterB had had a pee sometime in the night, so I bagged that up before breakfast, washed my hands and made my coffee and toast.

While I showered, MasterB joined me in the bathroom and evacuated his bowels. I opened the window wider and wondered if this was an experience familiar to Mark Twain, Albert Camus or other famous cat lovers. I don’t recall any scenes in L’Étranger where the protagonist interrupts his introspection to bag up cat poo.

There are moments when I feel my life lacks glamour.

I also wrote a little list for myself, cryptic reminders for things I want to get done over the next few days; bathroom shelf, bolt, catfood – sachets and biscuits, invoice TG, bottles and jars, bolt and drill. I examined the tomatoes but didn’t photograph them. That had to wait until this evening.

They are doing well, and the flowers give promise of more to come. One of the coantiners has four plants supported by a wigwam of canes. This was working well until I went to Ireland. I suspect underwatering dried out the compost and the cans became wobbly. Now the tomato plants show a distressing tendancy to fall over at any provocation. I have just rescued an orphaned green tomato untimely ripped from its moorings by one of these falls.

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