It’s done! Tattoo Number Five! You can sing this to the tune of Mambo Number Five if you want. I’m not sure how that would work but it might be possible…
Ahem. Welcome back to the Meerkat Muse!
I mentioned in my previous Muse that the 15th of April was the 10th anniversary of my beloved Nan’s passing. My Nan was a loving woman, a formidable woman who survived the Blitz during World War II and who raised two children to have character and principles. She experienced pain in her life but she did not let it shape her. I love my Nan, and I miss her so very much, even now. I am so grateful that she got to meet my daughter, and the picture of my daughter in my Nan’s arms is one of the most cherished photos I have.
Life is fleeting and precious. Recently an old school friend of mine lost their mother very suddenly, which has served as a reminder to treat every moment as something valuable. We do not know what is around the corner, so we should enjoy life while we can.
We are coming up on two months of war in Ukraine, which is no doubt two months longer than Russia believed their ‘special operation’ would take. Russian forces are alleged to have committed war crimes, and evidence is mounting that they have. Rockets are striking train stations where evacuees wait to escape. Hospitals have ben bombed. Millions of people have been displaced. Meanwhile there are still people who push this ‘both sides are bad’ narrative, which is almost as bad as suggesting this war is Ukraine’s or NATO’s fault. This war is about Putin’s imperialism, and all the consequences should be on his shoulders.
I continue to fear that we’ll reach a tipping point, where other countries get involved more directly. The consequences of that would be dire, yet what’s happening in Ukraine right now is dire, and how will it end? I don’t know. There are rumours of chemical weapons being used – in small quantities, but that’s irrelevant – which is a major escalation.
Both PM Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak are to be fined. The Met Police investigation into Partygate has concluded the pair (among many other Tories) were present at illegal parties during covid lockdowns. Johnson had originally waffled on about not realising the rules, but ignorance – if there was actually any ignorance (which I doubt – Johnson is a liar) is no excuse. Both he and Sunak (who has inflated the cost of living whilst pandering to bankers and the wealthy – typical Tory) should resign. Whether they do or not…
There was a time when the smug arrogance of certain bloggers (made worse by how they continue to be misleading and incorrect) would have prompted a response to their material, but what is the point? Some people are utterly stuck in their ways and, even in the face of facts and logic, they will cling to their views like a psychological crutch. Life is too short to dwell on wilful ignorance.
My family has recently seen an explosion of interest in fursuits. I’ll freely say that they’ve always looked fun. They are usually bright, colourful and playful (though they can be macabre too – the Five Nights at Freddy’s games are ample demonstration of this), and they represent impressive levels of craftsmanship. The thing is, they are incredibly expensive, especially if you want a full-body fursuit. We’re talking prices that range from hundreds to thousands of pounds. Granted, they’re not always that pricey, but it may take a while to fulfil our ambitions.
Fursuits are intertwined with furries and fursonas. There are plenty of misconceptions and misrepresentations about furries (largely thanks to the media and TV shows getting things wildly wrong). That’s not to say that the furry fandom doesn’t have sordid elements (like most fandoms), but people are quick to judge and slow to understand.
Is it me, or do they look monstrous?
Yes, I was having a bad hair day (though every day is a bad hair day for me). Yes, I still have that shirt. Anyway, on the subject of being quick to judge… well, this video has received many comments by… shall we say the ‘devout’? They speak of zombie dreams as being a sign of the end times and the return of Jesus. The latest commentator even went as far as to suggest he’s predicted a zombie uprising, based on a study and observation of world events that led to other predictions proving successful. He hasn’t provided proof, though he has spoken at length of satanic symbolism.
The thing is, try hard enough and you’ll see conspiracies and symbolism in everything. Human beings want everything to have meaning and everything to be connected. We strive to see patterns wherever we go. That doesn’t mean they actually exist.
This experience ties into another social media ‘chat’, this time regarding the typical fundamentalist Christian attitude towards the LGBT community. I hope for the day when religious fundies realise their beliefs do not trump the rights of others.
Insane Phone Days
Phone calls are a part of most jobs. Even in retail and showroom sales phone calls are a key part of the role. Some days the phone does not stop. It can drive us mad, for where I work the store is part of the national sales line system. This means anyone dialling the number on the website could conceivably come through to our store, regardless of who they’re trying to reach. This can be extremely annoying, as it was the other Monday.
It’s one thing to field calls that directly relate to your store and your orders. It’s quite another to be dealing with enquiries meant for head office, or for other stores (customers will ring the sales line believing it’s the number for their local store). We also get calls that are nothing to do with the company or even the industry. I can design a bathroom for you, but I cannot assist with buying a new car, or renting a room or a flat.
I can’t wait to come off the sales line.
The Clash of the Titans
On the 10th of April my beloved Liverpool faced fierce title rivals Manchester City. One point separated the two teams, so the feeling was that the winner would have the advantage as the season draws to a close. Since 2018 the two clubs have played 145 Premier League matches and in that time one point is all that’s parted them. At Anfield the sides played out a 2-2 draw. At City’s Etihad Stadium, could Liverpool snatch a result and move top of the standings?
The short answer is no. City were largely the better side, and twice led, however a tenacious Liverpool side twice levelled to claim a 2-2 draw. City continue to lead by a point in this nail-biting season. Both teams are fully capable of winning all their remaining matches. Both teams will play each other in the FA Cup Semi-Final. Both teams are still fighting for European glory. This is not over yet, not by a long shot.
Bear with Me
Bears came up in a recent dream. To be precise, a single bear, that stalked me down the street, without ever quite breaking out into a run. I have no idea why.
The other dream is even stranger, and like the bear dream, there is no real prompt for it. I was walking to work every day, but walking past what seemed to be a mental institution. I kept stopping and going in, and I think I wanted to hand over a necklace or something… then a coach pulled up that was carrying patients, and the insides of the coach were extremely luxurious. I have zero idea what that was all about.
I’m finding myself contemplating an aggressive course of action with a long-term troll who has spent years attacking me on the Coalition site. I’m tired of my arguments and points being mangled beyond recognition by someone who is wilfully, deliberately ignorant. Their dishonesty is also a form of cowardice, and they’ve displayed this in other ways too. Unfortunately for them, I know their identity and I know their address, so I could make their life a lot more difficult (and given they’ve previously threatened to do me harm, what mercy do they deserve?). However I do not want to stoop to their level. They might be a dishonest belligerent coward, but that doesn’t mean I have to behave in a similar manner.
We all have choices in how we treat others. Have I failed from time to time? Yes. I’m not perfect, and nor am I proud of those occasions. We should always try to be better, and we have to acknowledge we will come up short, but that doesn’t mean the effort isn’t worth it.
With sunny skies and love for my Nan in my heart, Easter Sunday proved to be an enjoyable occasion. First, my parents came to visit and along with my wife and daughter we went to the local leisure park to meet some film and TV characters…
After spending a couple of hours at this colourful event, we went to dinner at a local pub, which always does good food and drink:
This seems like a good point to end this Muse – on a high! Take care of yourselves, and tell your loved ones you love them.