We’re back! What’s been goin’ on over the last couple of weeks?
It’s Local Election Day!
On the 4th of May, voters in the UK took to the polls in local elections. These don’t usually have a seismic impact on the political landscape, but they can be an opportunity for the people to send a message to the political establishment. 8,000 council seats were up for grabs; who would emerge in a good place from it all?
What amazes me is that even after 13 years of terrible governance, people still vote Tory. The Tories are trying their hardest to blame the nation’s problems on anyone but themselves, despite having had more than a decade to ‘level up’ the country. The Tories lost numerous seats in the elections, but how much of their defeat is down to their incompetence, as opposed to a positive impression of Labour…. time will judge.
Nothing to do with the clock (I said clock), but rather, a film, being, um, filmed, not very far away from where I live! I saw an emergency services vehicle parked down the road, and assumed it was there for, well, an emergency, but it turns out there’s a film crew, and they’re filming a movie for a straight-to-TV release. I have no idea if we’re talking crime drama, police comedy, or something unrelated. I guess we need to watch this space?
After months of planning, the historic Coronation of King Charles III took place on the 6th of May. I didn’t see it. For starters I was at work, so my opportunity to watch it was limited. Secondly, I wasn’t that interested anyway. We’re talking about a guy getting a piece of elaborate jewellery placed on his head, that somehow signifies his great importance (all thanks to an accident of birth), and to top it all off, £100 million of taxpayer’s money has been spent on this pompous ceremony for someone who has no actual, meaningful power!
To make matters worse, the option to peacefully protest all of this has been denied to us. As Beetley Pete pointed out on the day, protesters from the anti-royal group Republic were arrested and their placards confiscated. Given that support for the monarchy stands at 55% (as per Pete’s post), is it really wise to silence protesters on this very subject?!
What’s worse is how, as a nation, we allow protesters to be silenced. I cannot condone violence, but when the French go on strike or protest, they leave no stone unturned. Here, we are sleep-walking into oblivion.
A pending Prompt post will reveal a lot more of the context behind this dream, but the other night I dreamt that I was walking past the store, when I noticed someone forcing their way in to browse. That’s right, they broke in purely to have a look around. I intervened, asked them to leave, and they refused. More and more people started entering the store, and they all refused to leave. Some were getting quite threatening. Eventually, after bit of pushing and shoving, the sprinklers went off, and the police turned up. We don’t actually have sprinklers, but in the dream the store was wrecked from water damage.
To offer the short version of what no doubt inspired this dream, there was a very angry guy threatening to create a huge scene over a refund, all because he’s an unreasonable idiot. The Prompt (titled ‘The Angry Goat’) will explain more…
The Faint Hope
The 22/23 football season has been painful for me. My beloved Liverpool FC have been off the pace, so much so that qualification for Champions League football looked in serious doubt. Now, with a handful of games to go, the possibility is alive. It’s a slender chance, and it’s largely out of our hands, but if the Reds can win their remaining games, and other results go our way, it could yet rescue a miserable season. The question is whether I dare to dream…
The Night Out
It is a rare occasion where the work crew is available to all go out of an evening, but we managed it recently. The plan was for pizza, which we ended up with, but beforehand we stopped at a local bowling alley, and made use of the arcade there. We played a few rounds of air hockey (I did not win), played a Halo arcade game (which was quite enjoyable), a Mario Kart arcade game (I was winning until the final corner, dammit!), and had a couple of drinks at a nearby pub, before venturing to get food. Food for me included chicken wings, dough balls (which are always yum), and a calzone. A spicy sausage calzone.
It was verrrry nice, and I dare say it might be an option if we go back to the same place. I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the next work do brings us.
The ARGH Moment
Barely a week after getting a new phone, my daughter left it on the bus.
I can’t be too mad. As a kid I once lost a wallet full of cash (well, maybe £20, but to a kid that’s a lot). Still, this sort of thing is, to put it mildly, stressful.
Rightly or wrongly, we live our lives through our phones, and kids of my daughter’s generation use them to great effect for fun and games with one another. They will chat, share jokes, and socialise via their devices, and putting that particular genie back in the bottle is impossible. Losing it is a bit like losing a limb, so my daughter was quite grumpy, and as I am the one paying for it, I was quite grumpy too. To make matters worse, she had an old phone, and that had also gone missing! I contacted my service provider and placed a stop on her SIM, so that way no one could misuse it (it appeared that she’d left her phone on a bus).
After my wife checked with the bus depot, and asked around, and I ordered a new SIM, I resumed my working day. As the day drew to a close, I had a call from my wife. At the conclusion of the call, I concluded that my daughter is a complete donut.
Her phones (yes, plural, both the old one and new one) were in her inside blazer pocket! Unbelievably, she didn’t feel the phone ring, and was blissfully unaware of them. Upon getting home and taking her blazer off, my daughter discovered them, and my wife called me to let me know. Cue contacting the provider to unblock the SIM.
It was a huge load of stress that I didn’t need, and all for nothing! Kids eh?
I was bringing my daughter home from school, walking through town on a wet Thursday afternoon, when a guy approached us. My defences went up. This guy seemed harmless enough; he said he was homeless, and needed money to get train fare to another town. I offered him my loose change, but he suggested going to a cashpoint to change up some notes.
If he already had some cash, what was he playing at? I wasn’t remotely comfortable with doing that, especially with my daughter in tow, so I made my excuses, and we left.
It could all be entirely innocent, and I want to believe the best in people, but had I gone to a cashpoint, what would have stopped the guy from trying to distract me to get my PIN details, or perhaps even steal my card? Might he have threatened my daughter in some way? I don’t believe so, but I won’t take chances with her safety.
Granted, the first example isn’t ‘wild’, for it’s from my bathroom ceiling!
The second example was spotted whilst heading home from my daughter’s school:
They were quite calm, considering they were near a busy road and lots of schoolkids. They sat there, minding their own business, until some smaller kids came by, and in a state of excitement (nothing nasty, just noisy), they perturbed the ducks, who slowly waddled off.
This bring to mind memories of when ducks used to arrive in my parents’ back garden. They would waddle up to the door, and we’d feed them bread, which kept them coming back!
I had two dreams the other night (the first of which was rudely interrupted by the cat mewling to go out). The first dream might have had something to do with Doctor Who, and there was a wizard or guardian of a sacred sword, that a guy called Arthur then went and claimed, and it turned out he was the heir to the bloodline of King Arthur himself, which was why he could claim the sword. In a plot twist, this guy was black, so any gammons reading my mind would have been outraged that my subconscious portrayed King Arthur’s heir as black. I for one, could not care less.
The second dream featured a dearly-departed aunt of mine, who has sadly been gone for nearly fourteen years now. I think the occasion was Christmas, though I am not sure, but we were gathered in my parents’ house, in the living room, all chatting as we once did. Then my dad, myself, and someone who I think was meant to be an uncle, went off on a car ride, looking for, of all things, cannabis! To be clear, I have never smoked even a cigarette, let alone anything stronger, and have no desire to, but in the dream, we drove to a cannabis store (it even had some sort of catchy weed-based name). We had to prove our shoes didn’t have secret compartments in them (eh?), and then wandered inside, only the interior of this store looked more like a living room! The owner talked about what we wanted whilst I ate a slice of cake, and then I woke up.
Tears of the Kingdom
I am a happy meerkat, for I have been able to play the epic new Zelda game Tears of the Kingdom, and after just a few days I am hopelessly in love. The first entry in my game diary is live, and I cannot wait to share my adventure with you all!
Upcoming Book Talk
Recently, via the good people at Jumpmaster Press, I was afforded the opportunity to do a podcast interview with one Bryan Nowak. Bryan is also an author, and I’m reading The Bagorian Chronicles as we speak. it’s an entertaining read! My interview with him goes live in June, I will be sure to link to it for you all to listen 🙂
The podcast thing got me thinking as to whether I could interview some of my meerkat followers, though I’d need some idea of subject matter first!
We all hate Mondays (well, we don’t, but that’s the traditionally expression). It’s the start of the working week, unless like me you work in retail, but even if you do work in retail, Mondays can feel particularly annoying, and the most recent Monday was certainly that. Phone calls, fiddly, annoying issues to deal with, more irritations coming up from emails and calls… and it all just felt really, really annoying.
We all have ‘those days’. Days where anything and everything gets under our skin and winds us up. Still, the day after brought something pretty special…
I had deliberated and procrastinated at some length over my next tattoo, but after an eternity I had finally settled upon something. It tapped into my great love for one of sci-fi’s biggest sagas.
It won’t surprise any of you ‘kats to learn that I am already planning for tattoo number seven. I’m seriously considering Bowser.
With that, it is time to bring this Muse to a close. I do believe the next one will be in June (I think). Until then!