The view from my window

The view from my window
The view from my window

Thursday, 30 April 2020

Captain Tom celebrates his 100th birthday!

The other day I finally realized that I couldn't think of a single good excuse to put off painting the kitchen any more so decided there was nothing for it but to just get on and do it. Now I don't mind the idea of painting as such but I absolutely hate having to move everything so that I can get into all the nooks and crannies. I tell ya, the temptation to just paint round that bottle of ketchup where it stood was extremely strong, but then that would mean I would have to keep buying the same brand for ever and a day. So in the end there was nothing for it but to just move stuff and get started. I've never been one to work all day like a navvy and get it all done in one go. I've always done a bit here and there and quit when I get fed up of it. My ex used to go nuts as he wanted everything over and done in one fell swoop but then when it was finished he would toddle off to sit in front of the TV while I still had to clean up and make dinner and so on, so now I always stop before I get to the point of being knackered. Anyway I started out painting the ceiling, then one of the walls the next day and so on. To be honest I did such a cack-handed job the first day it felt more like flinging paint at myself and hoping some of it would stick to the walls, but each day I've done a little more and tried not to make so much mess as it just means more cleaning up. I'm not totally sure of the colour though. I had wanted just plain white but this seems to have somewhat of a bluish-greyish tinge to it which looks a bit cold so I'm wondering what exactly the colour "blanc bec" really is in paint terms. Whatever, it's up there now and it's not going anywhere so I'll have to jazz it up a bit if I think it looks too cold. I realized pretty quickly that I don't like using a roller so went to the DIY store and bought a new paintbrush, but would you believe there were hardly any in stock!!! I guess everyone is using lock down to get some DIY done because the shelves were pretty bare. Then despite what it would seem to indicate on the paint pot, I realized last night that I might not have enough to get it all done, so today I played the daring young thing and drove into town for the second time in a week to get another pot of paint. And miracle of miracles they had the exact paint I needed - I got the last pot. Crikey, can you imagine if they didn't have any and I ended up left with one odd coloured wall!

Anyway since I was in town I decided to stop in at the health food shop again as my friend told me she had bought cottage cheese there the other day. Now cottage cheese is not exactly the in thing in France and most people have never heard of it, so it's not easy to find. But I got a couple of tubs of that and a bottle of kombucha and lo and behold, as I went to pay I saw that they were selling hand sanitizer at the cash register, so I got a bottle of that too. You know, I'm beginning to think that if I decided to have another shot at internet dating, just mentioning the fact that I can wield a paintbrush and have a bottle of hand sanitizer I think my stock would trade high, don't you!

As I drove out I looked at the price of petrol and man has it dropped - so far this lock down I reckon I'm getting six weeks to the gallon and counting. So tomorrow I'll go and check my heating fuel and get that ordered while they're virtually giving it away. Every little helps doesn't it. Then I got an email from the tax people to say that "your tax statement is online" and when I checked it it looks like my tax guy has already set up the automatic deduction with my calculations being bang on. I'm so pleased because as I've said before when you've given up a good job based on a set of calculations it would come as a helluva shock to find out you'd totally screwed up and were basically now broke. Phew!

I was watching TV the other night while still trying to get on with my jigsaw puzzle (never again) and I see that they've got a new series of Kirstie Allsopp's crafting programmes on, specifically designed around lock down I guess. I like Kirstie as she's very tongue-in-cheek, but you know how every Christmas you're going to have a totally "hand-crafted Christmas" and it never works out that way - well that's how I feel about this stuff. She's entertaining anyway, even if I never do get round to doing a complete d├ęcoupage project using an old map of France for the design, although that has actually given me a couple of ideas, truth be told!

Kirstie Allsopp
And finally, today is the 100th birthday of the amazing Captain Tom and the country celebrated with him. At last count his fund has raised over £31 million for the NHS and he has received 150,000 birthday cards from around the world. An eagle-eyed boffin at the Ministry of Defence noticed that he was missing a WWII medal that he was entitled to so they made a special presentation of that medal to him this morning, along with a beautiful cake, a message from the Queen and news that he has been made an honorary Colonel! But the icing on the cake was when the RAF did a fly past of a WWII hurricane and spitfire over his home! Absolutely stunning. I think in difficult times it's lovely for people to get behind a figurehead and he seems to have fulfilled that role. But more importantly, he seems such a humble and decent man and when, at the end of the interview he simply said "it'll be all right again soon you know, it always is", it was just so so special and heartwarming. Warms the cockles of your heart doesn't it!








20 comments:

  1. Isn't that lovely man just wonderful. He's certainly a credit to this country - its just a pity the NHS needs his £31million isn't it!!
    I watched Kirsty tonight too, she makes it all look so easy. It never is as easy as she implies! However I enjoy watching her.
    Painting seems to be the thing now. Its really taken over from toilet rolls I think! I discovered there were about a million shades of white when I went to get paint for our bedroom a few years ago now. I brought home several paint testers and discovered how varied white can be! I think painting is one of those jobs you look at and think that will only take me an hour to do, but you forget you've to take all the stuff off the wall and all that cutting in at the edges is a pain and time consuming. I also now buy cheap and cheerful brushes and throw them away rather than wash them, especially if I've used gloss paint. Emulsion I don't mind washing so much. I agree your stock is very high just now, but do you really want someone who wants you to be able to paint? Seriously, you need someone who 'gets someone in' to do things like that don't you?? lol.xx

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    1. Yes Kirstie does make it look easy. It's like the Nigella cookery shows where someone has weighed everything out beforehand and someone else does the washing up - not quite as easy as it looks. And no I don't want someone else in my life actually but I don't see being able to pay someone to do the little bit of work that is my kitchen, although goodness knows if my son could come over (unemployed for four weeks now) I could find plenty for him to do.

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  2. I'm so glad Captain Tom is having his bit of glory!

    White paint will pick up hues from surrounding colors, so your new floor might actually be making it look darker. Also, light can effect how white it looks depending upon the type of bulbs you're using. Ceilings will look grey on occasion.

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    1. I knew I could rely on you for advice. And you're right about the lights, they do make it look greyer but it's not nearly as bad once it's dry actually and my stuff is put away. Either way I'm stuck with it aren't I.

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  3. I love to paint and have done every room in our house,m except the office and 2 of the bathrooms. But I have ideas for the office .....

    Capt. Tom is one of the few good stories we have these days and what he did and the way people responded was nothing short of beautiful!

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    1. I don't actually like all this DIY stuff but it has to be done. For the big stuff I'm going to pay someone. And to think I actually bought a sledgehammer because I was "going to fix my balcony" - it took 2 weeks and heavy duty equipment and had to be completely rebuilt!!! And Capt. Tom is a lovely story and he does seem to be a lovely man. A voice of reason in troubled times.

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  4. What a precious old gent!
    And what an amazing woman you are to paint the kitchen. You know- it's not unheard of to have one wall a different color. One of my life mottos is- don't be afraid of color!

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    1. Oh I love colour - I have it everywhere, but the thought of having one streak down the middle of the wall a different colour because I ran out of paint just didn't do it for me somehow!

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  5. Capt. Tom is my new hero! I love him doing laps with his rollator.
    Thank you for the Kirstie Allsopp reference. I am watching her handmade Christmas one as I type this!

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    1. Kirstie's nice, very down-to-earth, but if you make any of her stuff you must post a picture!

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  6. It's winderful to read about Captain Tom. Seems everyone in the world is in awe. I bet the kitchen is just right. I can't imagine anything cold in your decor.

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    1. Now I'm almost finished and putting stuff back (and the paint is dry) it's not looking so bad. If I still don't like it I'll have to see what I can about it later but certainly not for now. And yep Capt. Tom is my new hero!

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  7. Capt Tom is a shining example to all those greedy celebs and wealthy business owners out there. Be more like him! Love crafting programs, I'm in awe how clever some people are. Kirsty however, always comes across as a bull in a china shop. It's probably watching a left handed person that makes whatever she's doing look awkward.

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    1. You're exactly right - Kirstie does come over like a bull in a china shop, but I think I like her because she's kinda normal. Not stick thin and made up to the eyeballs and seemingly very down to earth. And while I'm sure many celebs do donate to charity those who flaunt their wealth so ostentatiously are disgusting. Just think how much one small charity could do with just £100,000 - which is just a drop in the ocean to so many celebs.

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  8. I love painting walls, I think it’s a kind of therapy and I even stocked up on paint, brushes and rollers the week before lockdown looked imminent. Please, therefore, can somebody explain why I’m now contemplating a blog entry on procrastination and why I seem determined to do every trivial task I can think of rather than getting stuck in? So hats off to you for doing so. Oh and yes, I love Captain Tom too, although I felt sorry for his postman when I saw the number of cards!

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    1. I have no idea why you're putting it off if you actually enjoy it - weird isn't it. I don't mind painting, it's just all the clean-up that's a pain in the butt. Bear in mind I was intending to do this painting before they laid my new floor in November so I've not exactly been flying off the starting blocks!

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  9. Tom is a wonderful fellow, isn't he? I am so glad so many donated to his cause. You really are such a great and funny writer, I know you have a lot of time on your hands now (other than painting lol). Maybe consider writing a book?

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    1. They say in times of trouble look for the helpers and Capt. Tom has stood up to be that helper. He's a sweetheart. And as for writing a book, nah, I don't have it in me, but I want to get my blog bound as a book for my boys at some point, although I'm not sure if/when that will ever happen!

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  10. I didn't used to like Kirstie, but that was before I really understood her and her sense of humour. I think she's terrific! I'm not crafty minded so wouldn't attempt her crafty ideas, but I do enjoy watching her create. For a genuine Lady, she's super down to earth.

    I donated to Captain Tom's fund and love his humble acceptance of things. What a gent! I want to donate to EVERYTHING of course, but simply can't, unfortunately. So very, very many worthy, necessary and vital charities struggling right now. It's sad. But we're all doing the best we can, which is all we can do.

    One thing I DO know: I don't want to go back to work! :(

    Stay well and stay positive - your blog posts are brilliant! xx

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    1. I keep checking out your blog wondering how your running is going. You'll have to give us an update. And yes for all her "poshness" I think Kirstie is very down to earth too. And I know what you mean about charities. I have a list of about seven that will be the first to get big chunks of money when I win the lottery. Until then, I have to keep it to smaller amounts and local charities. Wouldn't it be nice to have millions to give away though!

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