What does fun feel like?

Fun is carefree, laughing, singing, taking risks, dancing, letting your hair down.  As I get older, the opportunities for that sort of fun seem to diminish.  Not because of any lack of ability or motivation, just that, somehow, life gets in the way, and convention says those sort of fun things are for ‘the young folk’. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I spend most of my life doing things I enjoy; yoga, writing, photography, painting, gardening… but am I having ‘fun’ exactly?

I’m young.  Not everybody would agree of course, but despite my ageing 1950s edition container, Me, the Me inside, is still in her twenties.  And this twenty something still loves music, rollercoasters, climbing trees, zip-wiring, fast cars, boats, yep, I’m still an adrenaline junkie whenever I get the chance.  But these days, the best fun I have is when my family are all together, stitching each other up over a board game, or playing something daft on our old games console (cow racing being a favourite), or just basically, being silly. And that’s great, but it doesn’t happen often as my two daughters live at different ends of the country (well, one is in Wales, so not even technically in this country), and their shifts mean they are not often ‘off’ to visit their poor old parents at the same time.  We’ve even had to postpone Christmas some years.

However, this week, after months of waiting, Monday 3rd July finally arrived. Finally, finally, I was off to see one of my all time favourite bands.  I was like an excited kid and the evening couldn’t come quickly enough.

What can I say… GreenDay were magnificent, epic, awesome, incredible…

Every single person in the arena were on their feet, dancing, singing, and shouting for the whole two and half hour set.  They played new stuff and old favourites and it was just fabulous.

And me, yeah, oh did I let my hair down!  I danced and sang til I was hoarse. I chanted and cheered and waved my arms about.  The years dropped off and, transported by the music to a world of my own, I was exhilarated and felt young and free and alive and beautiful.  Never mind that I had a 30 year old daughter dancing next to me, we were the same. Me and the slightly scary young bloke on my left. The one with the piercings and tattoos, yeah, we were the same too. In fact, everyone in that arena, no matter what age, or inclination, or colour, or faith, or difference of any kind, were all the same.  Troubles forgotten in that hot, loud world, we were moving with an energy that could have powered the national grid for a year.  And we were all having the best fun… and yes BillieJoe, I ‘ad the time of my life! Thank you xxx

Getting out of the car park afterwards, now that was quite another matter altogether…!

 

 

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Beware the Werewolves

Posted in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.  This week’s them ‘Half-Light’. A photograph inspired by a lyric, poem or story…

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Though I love to see a full moon, and sometimes give it a howl, I am of course always on the lookout for rampant werewolves on full moon nights (look, I’ve seen Twilight, I know some of them might be ok, but I’m not taking any chances). Fortunately, this moon was so weird and bright that I would have seen them coming, and lets face it, I only need to have run inside and locked the door ’til daylight if one did manage to climb over the rose covered prickly fence into my garden from when this picture was taken. So hah! werewolves, go get you a chinese instead!

Of course, I’m referring to the song ‘Werewolves of London’ by Warren Zevon which surely has the finest first line of any song….e..ver…  ‘I saw a werewolf with a chinese menu in his hand…’  For those of you who haven’t come across it, enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Absolute beginners

Maybe not the first single you think of when you think of David Bowie, and maybe not one of his best, but we chose this as the first dance at our wedding thirty years ago, for both the sentiment and the mad dancing opportunities in the jazzy bits!

Most of the time I still feel like an absolute beginner in this life, so often think of the lyrics to remind me that I’m a lucky sort really.

David Bowie was only a few years older than me, and his loss so prematurely is another reminder that we should live life everyday as if there is no tomorrow!

Dear Mr Hunt

This is a very different kind of Music on Monday for you.  It’s a missive to our current Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt, from a group of junior doctors.

You may or may not know that Mr Hunt is currently trying to impose a new contract on junior doctors in England that will drastically make life worse for them and, despite his protestations to the contrary, mean they will be considerably worse off financially too.

The new contract which Mr Hunt would impose increases the doctors ‘normal’ working hours to include up to 10 p.m. (it is currently 7:00pm) and Saturdays.  Whilst promising a pay rise of 11% in one hand, he takes away the additional payment for those hours and, somewhat underhandedly, is abolishing the annual increments they are currently entitled to.

Mr Hunt seems to be forgetting a few things:

  • To qualify as doctors, young people spend five years at university accruing massive student loans, thanks to a government who keeps increasing fees. Most of them will spend the next 20 years paying those loans off. Even after all that training, their starting pay is as little as £23,000 and they rely on the unsocial hour payments to top that up to a living wage.  Not forgetting that many of them are at an age when they have young families to support on that too.
  • After uni they are required to complete a couple of foundation years, where they are expected to take on huge responsibilities – from day one they are working night shifts on their own.
  • From day one they work weekends and nights. They already provide a 24/7 service. Yes, that does include weekends and Christmas (We have to postpone our own Christmas to accommodate our daughter’s shift patterns).
  • To progress they need to take exams which cost up to £400 a pop.  To pass the exams they have to fork out for books and courses often costing in excess of £100 each.  Being a doctor is not a cheap option.
  • Being a doctor is a ‘lifelong learning’ career.The annual increments that they are currently entitled to recognise the experience gained over the previous year and the additional responsibilities that entails.
  • They are already massively understaffed and overworked.  Imposing this contract may see a huge migration of our wonderful talented young doctors to foreign parts, or alternative careers, where their dedication is appreciated.

You can maybe tell that I feel deeply angered by Mr Hunt’s cavalier attitude, and that may be coloured by my daughters both being junior doctors (though the one currently working in Wales will not be directly affected should these proposals be enforced).  But this is the tip of the iceberg. Our NHS is crumbling under the current government, who seem to have no insight into the realities of caring for the sick. I fear for it’s future, and without a caring attitude towards our doctors who will care for us?

You can find out more about the Junior Doctors Dispute here.

Anyway…. my thanks to these wonderful young ladies who have done a stirling job of putting their plight into song:

 

This one’s for my mum

Hi Mum!

Surprise!! I know you loyally read my blog even though sometimes you don’t understand it, and quite definitely ‘don’t like poetry’.  So when I came across this video this morning and knew that you’d love it, I thought I’d post it here just for you (and anyone else who might like it too of course).  The music might not be entirely to your taste, but it’s worth watching for the dancing and the incredible way all the clips are put together in perfect timing.

When I watched it, it took me back to Sunday afternoons watching Fred and Ginger, Gene Kelly, or Busby Berkeley movies on the sofa with you and nan. You always did love dancing.  I can remember, when I was very small, being told off for running about between peoples legs when you and dad took me along to one of your ballroom dancing classes, and as I got older, watching you being swept around the floor in a dazzling waltz on our annual visits to the holiday camp.

For a short while you sent me to dance classes.  I don’t remember why I couldn’t do ballet, I think I wasn’t the right shape or something, but I did a bit of tap and modern, well, until my sister refused to take me anymore because she was embarrased by my (alleged) naughtiness.

So, I’ve never been up to scratch with the dancy dancy. That’s not to say I don’t do it, blimey, I even admit to dancing about on my own on my ‘about’ page here!  But it’s probably just as well that no one is watching.

You and I both enjoy watching Strictly Come Dancing at this time of year, and I’d love to be on it. I bet in your day you could’ve beaten the pants off of any of them! Wouldn’t it be great to be all dressed up in those glittery frocks and being swished around the floor by a proper professional? Of course, this programme is the new and improved incarnation of ‘Come Dancing’ that we used to watch together years ago too.

Anyhoo, enough of the reminiscing, have a look at the video and enjoy. I hope it cheers you up as much as it did me this morning – but don’t try any of the moves, well, not unless you’re hanging on to your ‘trolley’ 😉

lots of love

k xx

Reasons to be Cheerful

Well, they were playing this on the radio this morning, and while I was dancing around my bedroom I thought about all the reasons I have to be cheerful on this sunny Monday.  Here is a selection. Not necessarily my top 20 but up there somewhere:

In no particular order…:

  1. my family is healthy
  2. It’s sunny even thought it’s August in England 😉 – we must be due for a storm…
  3. I went to bed later than I should so I’m still sleepy, but I was lucky enough to be able to get a good night’s rest in a comfortable bed with a soft pillow
  4. I had an invigorating shower with as much hot water as I cared to use
  5. Despite ‘never having anything to wear’ I do actually have a huge selection of clean clothes to choose from
  6. I still have my own teeth, and hair
  7. I can still dance – after a fashion 🙂
  8. none of the people I love smoke. This is something I am grateful for every single day (I have very strong opinions on smoking…don’t get me started!)
  9. I have a very daft dog
  10. I’ll be eating vegetables today that I have grown and picked myself
  11. If I didn’t have my own veggies to eat, I could go to the supermarket and buy as many as I like
  12. I have perfume to make me smell nice
  13. Even though I know and appreciate that there are terrible, horrible, disgraceful, unfathomably nasty things going on in the world, I can still listen to jolly music on the radio in the mornings.
  14. I am retired, though I don’t feel old enough to be
  15. I have nice feet, and shoes to put on them
  16. I know how to bake a cake and make wine….really, that’s all you need 🙂
  17. I haven’t seen a spider in my house for several days
  18. I can go out for a spin in Mavis, my new little red car, if I fancy it today
  19. I can count at least five different species of birds in my garden right now… as I type..
  20. I’ll get to have another session learning Japanese today

I’m wondering what your list might look like. I guess that one or two of your’s would match mine, but I’d love to hear what other’s you have. For inspiration here’s Ian Drury and the Blockheads for you:

Have a magical Monday x

Music on Monday!

Gosh, this Music on Monday is getting to be a bit of a habit. Well, what can I say… I just quite like fishing out some of my favourite bits and pieces to share with you. Today it’s The Civil Wars with ‘I had me a girl’.  I’ve got a couple of their albums and like most of their stuff, but this one always has me singing along with my air guitar in hand! I hope that you enjoy despite the fact there is no video 😦