The Last Sunday Musings For April

Well it is May next week, and we finally got some sunnier and warmer weather by yesterday. Depite being one of the official driest months of April ever, it left us feeling cold enough to have to put the heating on by Thursday. Fingers crossed that May will be warmer, and stay dry too.

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May also marks three months since I applied to renew my driving licence, which in case anyone was wondering, has still not arrived.
(It’s not complusory for you to wonder, so don’t worry if you haven’t been)

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We finally got Ollie an appointment at the groomer, but not until the 12th of May. By then his claws will be rather too long, and he will be smelling like a musty old carpet.
At least his groomer recovered from her bout of Covid-19, which we were pleased to hear.

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Political news here continues to astound me. On Saturday, a Conservative MP was forced to resign after it was revealed he had been watching pornography on his phone during a parliamentary session in the House of Commons. His unbelievable confession was that he was trying to access a Tractor website, (he also has a farm, as if his MP salary is not enough) and inadvertantly typed in the URL for a popular porn site instead. But despite that ‘mistake’, he watched the porn anyway.

Twice. The second time during a meeting in a parliamentary office.

As well as the outrage that this buffoon thought so little of his role that he watched porn in parliament, I would like to know why he thought it would have been okay if he had been looking at new tractors instead. He is being paid over £84,000 ($106,000) a year to represent his voters, plus a huge expense account, subsidised food and alcohol, and energy bills paid.
It would be shameful, if the despicable man had any shame to start with.

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Gloomy news that Russia intends to have a general mobilisation of all reservists and conscripts, following the annual May ‘Victory Parade’ in Red Square. And Putin has cancer, so is going in for surgery. If it turns out he has nothing to live for, that could be very bad news for Europe.

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It is getting harder to stay chirpy, but I hope everyone has an enjoyable and peaceful Sunday.

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A Hole In The Blogging Community

As I was waking up on Chistmas morning, ready to make tea, and unwrap gifts, something happened that left a hole in our blogging community that will remain forever unfilled.

Three hundred miles to the north of Beetley, Mary Smith passed away peacefully, in Scotland.

Few bloggers can hope to leave behind the legacy that Mary has. An incredibly interesting life, lived to the full. Books and short stories that show us other cultures and lifestyles, as well as her love of the history of her home town of Dumfries.

Humour, wit, and warmth, even as she endured debilitating treatment for cancer and took us along with her on her final journey.

Mary was a blogger’s blogger. Engaging on posts, leaving comments, sharing on social media, always there to help and encourage anyone.

Rest in peace, dear Mary. Surrounded by the love of your family, and your many blogging friends.

Her family kindly let us know, posting the last ever post on her blog.

https://marysmithsplace.wordpress.com/2021/12/27/marysmithsplace-cancerdiary46-thelastpost/

Just Been Watching…(124)

Mum’s List (2016)

There have been many films made about a young parent dying from an incurable disease, and having to leave a spouse and children behind. Some are powerfully dramatic, others mawkishly sentimental. This British film is neither of those. It is simply excellent.

Based on the true story of a woman named Kate Greene, writer and director Niall Johnson has assembled a superb cast and dealt with the upsetting theme in a way that anyone can relate to. Diagnosed with incurable breast cancer that has spread to her bones, Kate realises that she will be leaving her childhood sweetheart and two young boys much earlier than she ever expected to. She compiles a list of things that they should always do, not only to remember her, but to stay together as a family and be able to move on with their lives after her death.

Emilia Fox is outstanding as Kate, ably supported by Rafe Spall (son of Timothy Spall) as the grief-stricken husband trying to come to terms with the devastating news. From the moment Kate receives the diagnosis, to the scenes showing the family doing the things from the list after her death, everything is completely believable, and delivered with in the most realistic and unsensational way possible. The supporting cast playing family, friends, and the two young sons are all up to the job too, leaving us with a picture of a family tragedy that also gives hope to those left behind.

This is a film that leaves you wrung-out emotionally, as you invest so heavily in the characters despite knowing the outcome, and that there will be no magic cure or good news at the end. Only the heardest-hearted viewers could fail to be deeply moved by the rollercoaster of emotions you feel watching this.

It is just a superb piece of film-making.

(British readers can see this on the BBC i-player. It was shown on BBC2)

Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

The Forgotten.

Remember before all we talked about was the Coronavirus? Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

I woke up thinking about a news report I watched on our local news. It featured a lady who had been due to have a life-saving cancer operation, back in March. They had predicted a very good outcome, one that might well give her another ten years of life. Ten more years with her family and friends, ten more years of doing whatever she could; reading, pursuing her hobbies, and enjoying her garden.

But the operation was cancelled, because of the pandemic and the demand for beds in hospitals. The lady understood. A worldwide-pandemic was something new, something huge, and she was just one woman in an obscure English vilage. If her operation had to be delayed, then so be it. Let them deal with the shocking number of cases of Covid-19, and she could have her operation a little bit later on.

Except she didn’t get that operation. And by the time she was eventually called back to see her hospital doctor last week, six months had passed since she had first been told an urgent operation woud save her life. The tumour she has is now inoperable. It has spread too far, and cannot be removed. They have offered her debilitating treatment to shrink the growth, but that will only give her a few more weeks, not those ten years.

Interviewed in her garden, she was upset, but not bitter. She had accepted her raw deal, in the knowledge that people might recover from Covid-19 and go on to live longer, fuller lives. Though she couldn’t help but comment on the fact that she was one of the ‘forgotten’. Cancer patients, heart patients, those crippled and immobilised by hips and knees requiring surgery. First delayed, then cancelled, eventually forgotten.

Nobody reads out their statistics at the government briefing.

Farewell to a great dog

Last week, I posted about a trip to Yarmouth, in 2011. My step-daughters’ dog Baxter was featured, and I remarked that he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Many of you expressed commiserations over that, so I thought I would bring you this sad news.

On Monday, he suffered a series of fits, and was taken to the prestigious Animal Hospital in Newmarket. Scans revealed no more could be done for him, and he was sadly put to sleep.
Both my step-daughters were distraught of course, and all of the extended family were greatly upset by the loss of our loyal and faithful family dog.

He had a happy life, and was well-loved.

Goodbye, Baxter. You will never be forgotten.