I’m glad that’s over!

I’m glad Christmas is over. I know I say it every year but even in such strange circumstances as we find ourselves, I’m glad it’s done and dusted.

It was a little strange, a bit of a nothing experience really and the fact that it was a bright and sunny day again did nothing to engender a feeling of Christmas spirit on the day itself.

We had our walk, exchanged presents that we both knew we were getting and had a fairly ordinary roast dinner. It could have been a Sunday or an anniversary on any other day and only the festive lights and array of cards told a different story.

I remember starting 2020 with a glimmer of hope, a hope that this year some things might improve. By May time that glimmer had been extinguished and I refuse to raise my hopes that next year will be any different.

Gripped by a pandemic, house prices going even further beyond what our meagre wages will ever afford, getting older, adding other conditions to those we already suffer with and slowly falling apart because, as with so many others, the world seems a horrid place to be at the minute.

I’m tired. Bone weary. Half way through a three week break that feels stressful and tiring and dull and bothersome. Dreading the new year and work and the prospect of more for less and grand ambition at the expense of my sanity.

New Years resolution?. Revolution is what we need. Not armed rebellion but a growing movement that says we are all thoroughly fed up with the way this is all going. Not weird rants shrieking about government genocide or saving money by killing pensioners but realistic conversations about incompetence and rampant cronyism and how simply out of touch the government is.

And then there’s Brexit. A thin deal not worth its 2000 pages, a paper over the cracks deal that betrays fishermen and opens up all sorts of worrying issues as to where this lot are taking us. The very fact that a minister is apparently looking into bringing back the Death Penalty should have all right thinking people repulsed if this is where we are headed. A gloomy picture indeed.

So, on that note, happy new year! ..or as happy as you can make it. I wish you and yours a peaceful and prosperous and safe one.

Take care out there!

My favourite tv of 2020

An unusual blog post for me but hey, it might catch on (It won’t)

So, what have been the best things I’ve watched this year?. Well, mainly Netflix have landed me some gems but there are a couple of old favourites in this list as well…so, in no particular order..

1 Raised by Wolves.

Ridley Scott’s Sci-fi drama about children being raised by Android parents. With an amazing turn by Amanda Collin as ‘Mother’ and a fine supporting cast including Travis Fimmel of ‘Viking’s’ fame, it’s a stunningly shot series worth watching.

2 Alice in Borderland

This Netflix series is, I believe, Japanese in origin and follows three men thrust into a world where you have to play increasingly sinister games in order to survive. Violent, surprising, intriguing and only 8 episodes long, you won’t be bored with it.

3 Still Home

Another Netflix series, this (at times) gruesome series is Korean and follows a group of survivors in a block of apartments, trapped when the outside population, and some inside, turn into monsters. There are some genuinely emotional hits as well as characters you’ve come to like succumb to this condition.

4 Kingdom

Yes it’s Netflix again and it’s Korean again. A gruesome zombie series set in the 17th century?. That’s a guess. Full of action and left wide open for a third series. Here’s hoping.

5 Bosch

Amazon Primes fantastic police drama featuring Titus Welliver as the eponymous ‘hero’. Based on the books by Michael Connolly, it’s a well constructed tale of a driven cop, willing to bend the rules to get what he wants. Fine acting from Welliver, Jamie Hector and Lance Reddick amongst others.

6 The Repair Shop

Probably doesn’t need much introduction this but BBCs show which promotes the amazing talents of some of the country’s finest restorers is just marvellous television. Emotional, full of genuine amazement and gob smacking repairs, it’s worth an hour of anyone’s time. And yes it’s genuinely moved me to tears at times.

7 Scandinavian ‘police’ shows

Lumping a few together here. Bordertown, Cardinal, Wallander, Young Wallander to name but a few. Stunning photography, breathtaking landscapes, gritty tales full of intrigue and acting of the highest standard. It’s hard to think of a genre that I find more compelling and I’m not a fan of ‘cop’ shows. I never saw Wallander originally but Kenneth Branagh is superb in the title role.

8 The goes wrong show

Utterly brilliant and inspired. These ‘plays’ where everything goes wrong are an absolute joy. Deliciously clever, genuinely laugh out loud, the series was an undoubted highlight during a grim year.

And one flop…

Friday Night Dinner!

Oh I so wanted a comedy on this list but the dearth of decent sit comes rumbles on. FND was my favourite of recent times and I have laughed out loud at several episodes but Series 6 was utterly dreadful. Gone were the familiar catchphrases and the quirky characters and situations to be replaced by formulaic writing and uninspired, going through the motions episodes. Such a let down after such highs!.

And there it is. I’m sure I’ve missed one or two and I’m not even sure I saw a couple of these this year but hey, it’s been a strange one.


I’m in there somewhere

This week I’m thinking about Christmas.

I’m being forced into it by five days, thus far, of my partner decorating trees and putting up an abundance of decorations of all colours and shapes, some even musical…and ghastly.

I’m being forced into contemplating the hideousness of Christmas Tv with more misery in the soaps and more repeats. Film premieres that I saw ten years ago and Mrs Brown’s Boys just because, well, let’s add to the hell and misery of the festive season!

These are the ‘stars’ I’m gazing at and in doing so I’m pondering if God really does have a sense of humour because either he really likes Mrs Brown …or he thinks it’s funny to inflict it on us.

I recall a time when you purchased the ‘Radio Times’ double edition and went through it, highlighting everything you wanted to watch over the festive period.

I did it this year for the first time in several years and my highlighter remained dry and unused.

I despair at the lack of originality on tv. ‘Call the midwife’ may be a fine and enjoyable programme to some but 90 minutes of it?..and Enders episodes of soaps that will no doubt involve adultery or murder or general unpleasantness all round. Cheery stuff in the cheeriest of years.

Of course my stargazing involves 200 channels that I can ignore because Sky are no better and whilst I enjoy ‘Elf’ and ‘The Santa Clause’ I have no wish to see them for the twentieth time on every channel, repeated ad infinitum. Where are the new, genuinely funny Christmas films that don’t involve sex or swearing or nauseating sloppiness but are just…fun?.

Perhaps I should admit to growing old and being out of touch…except I’m out of touch with everyone and each generation. I’m sorry, it’s just me and this time of year.

So enjoy your viewing. I hope you find something you like and hey, if it’s a certain Irish mam then do be it.

But for me, I think I’ll switch the Tv off and pop outside and look up at some real stars and hope and pray, in my own way, that next year is a better one for all of us.

White Horses

A stray horse,

Reared itself from the green and blue,

And laid itself at my feet.

I saw it fall and reached down,

But it slipped away,

Through my fingers.

I saw it run back,

Carried upon the current,

Swept back to foamy embrace,

Of its brethren.

Another ran in, leaping joyously,

Arching through thin air,

Bitter cold, no barrier to its surge,

I felt it’s tongue,

The sharp sting,

The icy tendril,

Lashing against bare skin,

Shivers sent, toe to head.

And more came,

Mad, frantic dash,

Racing one another,

To reach me first,

To knock me back upon the sand,

And pause,



White horses of the sea,

Visitors, tight maned and firm of tail,

Towards the beach,

And where I stand.


Ah I’m a slippery little devil!

Said I’d blog and I keep forgetting to rhettin* to do so, 8nfuriating fur me but hey, you migh5 be mightoumoleased!

Now, before you get your eyes tested, yes, I did write all that and no, I’m not losing it (been lost a veeeery long time) but this just illustrates how my mind and my fingers are on two very different wavelengths when it comes yo con here to …or even ‘to coherent writing!’

I know where I want to put m6 fingers but they then slip…or then they slip…onto another letter which becomes another word…and I don’t think it’s appreciated how difficult I a tualk6 find writing all this to be.

And there’s another one. I did write ‘actually’ actually!.

I find it intensely frustrating and it takes ages to go through what I write and correct th3 horrendous misspellings and numbers appearing where letters should be (I’m looking at you ‘the’) and paragraphs that have absolutely no meaning to me because I can’t tell what i5 is that I wrote in the first place! …and there’s ‘5’ creeping in to ‘it’!.

It’s horrible. Do 8nslow my brain or my fingers? …and there it is again…’I slow’ ..not…whatever the hell that is!. Is th3 …grrrr…problem with my mind or my digits…or both?.

Perhaos im inventing my own language instead of ehh sh because hey, let’s face it, that’s had its day.

Perhaps I’m inventing my own language instead of English..yeah, fingers and brain are waaay out of sync.

So, there you have it…again. My apologies for the Jack o& writing but…good grief…this is how it goes and so now you see it, warts and all…and yes that is ‘warts’ not walnuts and all…because that’s just nuts!

Will try and do better. Promise. Just don’t hate me if I do t. Don’t!