Avenue Q was good

Trekkie Monster has a good understanding of how global markets work

This is just going to be a brief blog post. What with all that has been going on, see this post on caring for that, this week has been a long slog. And I’ve still got the weekend to survive.

Like the title says, Avenue Q was good. It was the first time Paul had seen a live production that wasn’t a panto in some dodgy pub, and he enjoyed his Christmas present that he was finally able to experience on Tuesday at the Hall for Cornwall in Truro.

What was scary about this musical though, was how much of it reflected my experiences of being a graduate with a degree in English with Media Studies. While there are similarities, I did have more real world work experience than the character of Princeton when I graduated from university. The reason I had a hard time getting a job in Cornwall, as I see it, was more down to a bizarre form of educational snobbery amongst the county’s retail sector compared to anything else.

Anyway, this is a damn good musical. We had fun. We ate ice cream during the interval (Thorntons Triple Chocolate). And we’re thinking about buying the soundtrack, which is always a good sign.

When caring gets tough

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Caring for a loved one is difficult enough normally, when you consider the disability/disabilities and/or long term illness(es) that are the reason why you care for them in the first place. It is very tough.

When that loved one gets ill with a cold or another illness, then their pre-existing conditions turn a simple illness into an endurance test on top of a long running marathon. Despite Paul and mine’s best efforts, Gran has caught the cold we have been suffering from since last Thursday.

Normally she can’t do a fantastic amount for herself, but this cold has made things 10 times worse. Being a freelancer means that I can’t afford to take time off work to be around all the time. Frustratingly it has taken most of this week for my parents, who live around the corner, to realise how bad things are with Gran whilst she has this cold.

They have started to help out more today, but this week has been very long and frustrating. Considering that my parents complained a lot when I didn’t have work, especially my Mum (who hasn’t had a job in over six years, because she gave up work when she had my youngest Brother), it really does annoy me when they don’t support me enough when I am working.

It also annoys me that my family seems to forget that I had to get through my most of my BA and all of my MA whilst caring for Gran. Caring for someone when on a full time course is its own form of endurance test.

A few weeks ago, a relative asked if Paul and I paid Gran any rent, I told them no. They tried to argue that we should, I ignored them and moved on, because I wanted to scream at them, “Would you pay rent to your landlord if you had to wipe their ass, clean up their piss or sick? Even if it isn’t everyday. No? I thought as much, so shut the fuck up!” I really, really wanted to scream that at them, but we were at an Aunt’s 60th birthday party and so I acted as cool as I could manage.

Could we afford to pay Gran rent? Paul and I don’t earn enough to afford the rental prices in our local area anyway, plus council tax, electric and water. So yeah… family…

Would you join my tribe?

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In a manner of speaking of course. It’s just… I find David Cameron’s desire, and that of the Conservatives at large (it seems), to see public services provided by private entities or charities as a rather crap move.

There’s the usual lies (I’m too young to remember this directly) that seem very familiar to the last round of Tory led privatisation hyperbole. And it has left me thinking (like other people) what will the point in our government be if it and local authorities are no longer directly in charge of, or responsible for, services for the public.

I think there are two things  that I fear about privatisation: excessive cost and lack of accountability. As especially seen by the PFI mess for “public” buildings.

But I want to take this whole situation to its extreme: if the government wants to wash its hands of the responsibility of providing for the people, we should tell them to get stuffed. Then we should stop paying them taxes, reclaim “the land” (privately owned land is still the state’s somewhere down the line), form tribes and start providing for ourselves again…

Yep, that’s my dosed up, cold addled mind talking. But being in absolute control of every aspect of my life does have a certain draw, to me. And you all don’t have to help me form a new tribe, but let me know if you want to.

If the Conservatives want privatisation, real privatisation, then maybe they should forget having anyone to rule over. I don’t want to be in their tribe.

Now would my tribe use AV to make all the important decisions? Well, when one’s choices are between a giant douche, a turd sandwich or athletes foot it does help to rate the level of unpleasantness of your options, from least to worst.

1. Giant Douche
2. Athletes Foot
3. Turd Sandwich
(In case you were wondering.)

Frozen Memories

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A tear threatened to escape whilst I went about looking for some Quorn mince to put in the veggie chilli I was cooking yesterday evening. All because of that bag of frozen runner beans you see here.

These are probably the last runner beans that my late Great Uncle Geoffrey grew in Grandad Joe’s back garden. This month it’s three years since Uncle Geoffrey died. Later this year it will be five years since Grandad died.

Even though Grandad was in a care home for several years before he passed away, Uncle Geoffrey would visit Grandad in the home. He’d also visit Gran  (who I now care for) at my grandparents’ house and, at the same time, care for the greenhouse and vegetable patch that his brother had cared for in better times of health.

Grandad had, for much of his life, been a market gardener. He’d also kept pigs for meat to sell. The pigs, I think, are what sent him to the pit of manic depression that he would continually battle (along with cancer) until the end of his days. It wasn’t the pigs themselves that caused the break but, I am led to understand, having a whole shed of them slaughtered when they caught some disease.

Out of his brothers I have had the chance to know, I suspect that Geoffrey was the only one who ever fully understood Grandad. And he’d been a mechanic most of his life.

The gardening Grandad did, (once my Grandparents moved from their small holding they had lived in for roughly 40 years), was to keep him occupied and happy. He even entered some of his produce in local summer fetes and sometimes won best in category.

I think Geoffrey kept the garden to keep his brother happy, whether alive, manic or dead. And to say “Hello” to Gran.

Geoffrey would bring his dog Ben, and later Duke, to keep Gran and him company as he laboured in the garden from late spring to late summer. Gran would bring out mugs of tea for Geoffrey, rich tea biscuits for the dog.

The tomatoes from the greenhouse were something I never cared for (I have a long running dislike of raw tomatoes). But those runner beans…

Steamed and served with a small knob of butter with them on the plate to accompany the meat and two veg meals that Gran is fond of – better than anything bought in a supermarket.

I couldn’t bring myself to throw the beans out. They’re all I have left in this world of an Uncle that I wish I’d had the chance to know better.

Such is the fate of those born to “older” families.

Could we have some actual local news please

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I am surprised by the peachy picture of Truro’s retail environment painted in this article. Especially when you consider that the premises In2 Connections and Flowers previously occupied is still empty.

In fact within a hundred metres, or so, of its former place of business, there are at least four empty business units. Oh, and a women’s clothing shop busy about the business of closing down on the day this edition of the West Briton went on sale.

And this is without considering the many other units in Truro that are currently empty.

In the future, could your reporters stick to reality just a tad more? Please?

Yeah that was the e-mail I sent in reply to the article pictured above, which was in my local weekly paper, the West Briton, last week.

Why am I posting it here? Because I doubt it’ll be printed. Or it might be heavily edited.