Tag: 2019

2019 – My Video

I decided to make a video last year and am continuing to build on it each day. My start point was 31st October as this was when I got the software. Each day consists of anything from 1 to 3 seconds of video to mark what I was doing, even if it was a dull day and I did nothing, I had to take a video. I am looking forward to seeing 2020 when I finish it on 31st December.

Enjoy 86 seconds of my life over 62 days (1.387 seconds each day)

Christmas 2019

Christmas day was a nice quiet and astonishingly warm day, as can be seen with me in a tee shirt. We took the dogs out for a walk around the village Christmas morning, and as I was dressed as Santa being carried by an elf with the dogs wearing Christmas hats I had a lot of cars going passed beeping their horns and people waving, and lots of smiles on peoples faces.

It was quite a nice easy day, but I confess we ate far too much, but I guess most people do. The girls as always enjoyed the day, and once they opened one of their presents Mazikeen decided it was open season and kept helping herself to presents, she even passed ones over to Harper to open, who was very willing.

Each year I say that I will get a smaller turkey as it is only M, me and the girls, so we really do not need something that will feed 20 people, but when it comes to it, I just cannot help it and a big one is always bought.

We did our annual charity run, so went to the supermarket and bought a trolly full of food, personals and sweets (for the kids) and took them to the homeless shelter The Whitechapel Centre in Liverpool. I know that lots of people don’t realise that there are families that are homeless and that includes kids, so we bought 30 big tubes of sweets for them in the hope that they have something to enjoy. M sponsored a few Christmas boxes for Shelter which includes a bed for the night, Christmas dinner, warm clothes, personals (toiletries) and more. He also sponsored a dog for me, funny enough also called Harper. He lives at the Dogs Trust shelter in Liverpool, so we are going to visit him in the new year which will be nice.

All in all, it was a lovely Christmas. I hope you all had a nice day too.

Eurovision 2019

I’ll be honest, pop music is not my bag, but I do like to watch Eurovision each year as it is a good laugh, and every now and again there is a good song that year. Last night it was in Israel, and they put on a good show, that was until Madonna turned up and it went south faster than geese in winter. I am not a fan of hers, but I do appreciate she is an artist and a good one at that, and her field of work is extensive. To date I only like two of her songs, and no, one of them is not Vogue.

Being interviewed she seemed to lack her usual bravado, which I was surprised about, letting her guard down only once joking about the compare dumping his husband for her. Let’s face it, she loves the attention and adoration, it has made her career. Was the eye patch hiding surgery and did her lips look slightly unnatural, maybe after a cosmetic procedure? Then we witnessed the “performance”, which was quite frankly not on par with her usual gusto and ability to actually hit notes. Last night we watched a tired and out of tune performance. There could be many reasons why she sang off-key, was flat and very pitchy. But when all said and done, it was second rate and out of tune. I passed all my Royal School of Music exams, so am an authority of pitch and tone, both of which I lack LOL. Everyone has off days, even the legend Barbra Streisand has performed out of tune, and the ears do not lie.

However, Twitter seemed to be on fire with venomous gays screaming about how fantastic she was and anyone that dare say anything different then they would block them. I had mentioned that it was a pitchy and poor performance and BANG! the hate began with mentions of my throat being cut and being set of fire, followed by being quickly blocked by all the screaming queens, aka buttercups. I have very thick skin, almost rhinoceros-like, so this does not bother me. The only thing that started to hurt was the amount eye rolling I was doing causing repetitive strain injury LOL. One of the buttercups that blocked me and was doing a count of his “heroic blocking actions” is by this point starting to realise he was wrong and admitted that it was not her best performance (I have 2 twitter accounts so can see his timeline, also he has not blocked M). But his verbal attack on those of us who dared to publish the truth has quite frankly caused him to cut his nose off to spite his face. He advertised that he blocked people, then called them all the offensive names his tiny mind could muster, showing he has no backbone, lacks the understanding of free speech, or the intelligence to look outside his little bubble, not to mention getting his hearing tested. Oh, did I mention he is a 50-year-old man, very single and complains that no one wants to date him? Go figure that one out haha!

I thought Iceland’s song was really really bad. I love rock, metal and thrash, but even I thought it was an assault on the ears. Also, their political statement with the Palestine banner was in very poor taste. I had high hopes for Australia and Norway, alas that was dashed in the end. The UK as always came last, but at least he sang better than Madonna. At one point I thought Russia may just win, which would be a disaster as their human rights policy stinks. I think the highlight for me was the “Switch Song”. If you did not see it, then, let me show you.

Reading Challenge – April Update

19 books read so far, and now 10 books ahead of schedule in 17 weeks. Happy about the result so far. April’s books were…

This book is not for the faint hearted at all. I found the whole thing quite disturbing that human beings can be so cruel. Do not get me wrong, it was a good book, just disturbing.

In July 1965, teenagers Sylvia and Jenny Likens were left in the temporary care of Gertrude Baniszewski, a middle-aged single mother and her seven children. 

The Baniszewski household was overrun with children. There were few rules and ample freedom. Sadly, the environment created a dangerous hierarchy of social Darwinism where the strong preyed on the weak. 

What transpired in the following three months was both riveting and chilling. 

In October 1965, the body of Sylvia Likens was found in the basement of the Baniszewski home, where she had been imprisoned. She was starved, beaten, burned and had the words “I am a prostitute and proud of it” carved into her stomach. 

Gertrude Baniszewski oversaw and facilitated the torture and eventual murder of Sylvia Likens. While she played an active role in Sylvia’s death, the majority of the abuse was carried out by her children and other neighbourhood youths. 

The case shocked the entire nation and would later be described as “The single worst crime perpetuated against an individual in Indiana’s history”


For my overseas readers, Leon and June are two people featured on Channel 4’s Gogglebox. It is an insane idea, but on Friday evenings at 9pm, we sit in front of the TV and watch ordinary people watch TV, listen to their reactions and general conversations. A little Orwellian, but very entertaining. Leon was a beloved member of the Gogglebox people who died at Christmas 2017. He and June were in our lounges each week, entertaining us with their madcap moment, Leon’s love of food and general opinion of everything that was going on in the world. Oh, he was also from Liverpool, so he endeared our hearts greatly with his scouse wit and his unfaltering love of June. When Leon passed away June decided to write about their lives as it was one of the things Leon said he would do.

As founding cast members of hit television show Gogglebox, Leon and June won the hearts of a nation with their warm humour and unending love for each other. When Leon sadly died at Christmas 2017, Gogglebox viewers were bereft, calling for a state funeral for our national treasure. In this touching memoir, she looks back at all of the laughter and love they have shared together; letting us in on the secrets to a truly happy marriage in this wonderful celebration of two lives well lived.

Together for 63 years, coming to terms with life without Leon has been a difficult process for June. But the many treasured memories of their marriage will never leave her. From when, aged 18, she first laid eyes on Leon at teacher training college in 1955; their journey to marry when their parents disapproved; happy recollections of 1960s Liverpool; to building a loving home and family together before finding fame as pensioners. Firm favourites of Gogglebox, they were loved for their gentle teasing, Leon’s cheeky gags and humorous rants, and June’s unerring patience and caring touch. 

Leon and June have experienced their fair share of highs and lows, but they always got through everything together. As Leon always said,

‘As long as June’s here, I’m all right.’


I had read the inside cover details of this book and just had to read it. The UK Government decides that all cars need to be autonomous and with that people no longer have full control. Chilling, especially since the current government had decided to outlaw diesel and petrol cars by 2030, so this is now only one step away from this book being fact rather than fiction.

Eight self-drive cars set on a collision course. Who lives, who dies? You decide.

The new gripping page-turning thriller from the bestselling author of THE ONE – soon to be a major Netflix series.

When someone hacks into the systems of eight self-drive cars, their passengers are set on a fatal collision course.

The passengers are: a TV star, a pregnant young woman, a disabled war hero, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife – and parents of two – who are travelling in separate vehicles and a suicidal man. Now the public have to judge who should survive but are the passengers all that they first seem?


I have always loved this book, so decided to read it again. I just find it a shame that all movies made from it are set in the USA, when it was originally set in Surry southwest of London.

They came from outer space — Mars, to be exact.

With deadly heat-rays and giant fighting machine they want to conquer Earth and keep humans as their slaves.

Nothing seems to stop them as they spread terror and death across the planet. It is the start of the most important war in Earth’s history.

And Earth will never be the same.


Being a country boy, having worked on farms, and love all things animal I decided to read about Julian’s life as a Vet. He is a partner at the original practice of James Herriot (real name James Alf Wight)

Star of Channel 5’s television series The Yorkshire Vet, Julian Norton has written a warm and evocative memoir of his life and the animals and people he has met along the way.

Just as happy calving a cow, treating a dog with cancer or tending to the overgrown teeth of a rabbit, Julian’s passion for his work shines through on every page.

From his first thoughts of becoming a vet through his training and the pressures and challenges faced by vets on call, through the terrible times of the BSE crisis in the 1990s and Foot and Mouth in 2001, dealing with unexpected exotic pets, and handling excitable humans, too, Julian has seen all sides of the veterinary world.

Sometimes sad, often funny and always warm and compassionate, his tales bring to life the world of the working vet and the highs and lows he faces daily.

Reading Challenge – Feb Update…

Since my last post of the books I had read so far, I have managed to finish another three in February, now a total of 9 read from my 30 challenge and am 4 ahead of schedule. It will be interesting to see what I finally finish with. This is the last three in February. Warlight so far has been the biggest disappointment, it felt as though the author, who I respect greatly, had lost his way. The story seemed disjointed and unremarkable. It is a shame really as I enjoyed The English Patient immensely.


Two years have passed since Danny Lynch saw the beast that would alter his life forever…

and now, a string of mysterious drownings has brought him to a new town by the ocean.

But there is more to the creature than Danny could ever have imagined.

And the secret to destroying it may rest in discovering the secrets of a colony that disappeared without a trace four-hundred years earlier.


The story of fourteen-year-old Nathaniel, and his older sister, Rachel. In 1945, just after World War II, they stay behind in London when their parents move to Singapore, leaving them in the care of a mysterious figure named The Moth. They suspect he might be a criminal, and they grow both more convinced and less concerned as they come to know his eccentric crew of friends: men and women joined by a shared history of unspecified service during the war, all of whom seem, in some way, determined now to protect, and educate (in rather unusual ways) Rachel and Nathaniel. But are they really what and who they claim to be? And what does it mean when the siblings’ mother returns after months of silence without their father, explaining nothing, excusing nothing? A dozen years later, Nathaniel begins to uncover all that he didn’t know and understand in that time, and it is this journey—through facts, recollection, and imagination.


To the spaceship Discovery, floating in the silent depths of space since David Bowman passed through the alien ‘Star Gate’, comes Heywood Floyd on a mission of recovery. What he finds near Jupiter is beyond the imaginings of any mere human.

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