I decided to take a break from the news and social media for a few days this week because it was starting to get me down. "Starting to get me down"? Maybe not, I'm sure it's been affecting all of us in some way or other for the past goodness knows how long, right? I guess sometimes you have to say to yourself "well there's nothing I can do about it is there" - by which I mean for me at the moment the appalling situation in Afghanistan. My heart breaks for those people - more especially the women and girls who are stuck there with a bunch of swaggering neanderthals and who will shortly be laying down their own version of the law and how these women will be "allowed" to live their lives! So I had to turn it off for a while!
That's not to say that we don't have our own problems closer to home, of course. I'm sure many of you see what's going on here in France and the passe sanitaire which will supposedly only be required until 15 November. Well if you believe that I've got a bridge in Paris I can sell you. The only way I can deal with that is basically keep myself to myself for the most part, which was when I realized the other day that other than going grocery shopping I haven't been out for weeks - well not counting seeing my kids. I haven't seen my friend in about six weeks, though I spoke to him today and thankfully he is starting to feel better. So we haven't been out walking and I think that might be part of the problem. I haven't been out walking and I realize how much I need some form of exercise for my sanity. Mind you, I reckon I always get a bit like this in summer in any case because I just can't function in the heat. Still, from what I've seen we had about 10 days of "summer" and our temperatures are already going back down to "autumn" levels, so maybe I'll take myself out walking this week and become all Pollyanna-ish again! I guess also having André move out might have had an impact because at least I had someone to talk to occasionally, even if he did spend a lot of the time in front of his computer. Jen asked me if I would watch the babe on Wednesday while they get the rest of André's stuff out of their garage, so that'll be something to look forward to. He's just started taking more and bigger bottles per day so as she reckons he's getting hungrier and needs more than just milk, she puréed courgettes yesterday and has started trying him with a couple of spoons of that. Judging by the turned up nose the jury's still out on that one (I told him to push for chocolate ice cream tomorrow), but he's eating it slowly anyway so it's a start!
Since I've been at home so much lately I'm also getting the full force of the bloody telemarketers. The other day I got seven calls on my home phone and I reckon they are all from two different companies because the only things that change each time are the last two digits on the number calling. I mostly just black list them on my phone but they obviously have more numbers available to them than I have fingers to hit the "black list" button. Still, I never answer them, just let them go to the answering machine and of course the big give away is that they never leave a message. I reckon at least one of them is from my mobile phone carrier because my contract with them expired in May and they are obviously desperate to get me to sign up again. I still haven't decided whether I will take up another two-year contract and maybe update my phone through them, or just go ahead and update my phone without signing back up. The jury's still out on that one too!
I did finally get my backside into gear though and sorted out a whole ton of bed linen to put in the charity bin - some of it still in the original packaging! It was all in good condition (I cut the "iffy" stuff up for rags) and I matched sheets with duvet covers and pillow cases but in all honesty, how many sets of linen do I need? Jen took one set that she liked and André took two others but all in all I threw out seven 30 litre trash bags of linen, one bag of clothes and I have two more bags of stuff that actually needs to be taken to the charity shop. I also picked out a few Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs books to put in the book exchange at the local supermarket, where I'm glad to say they've already been taken! I initially liked Patricia Cornwell very much but eventually decided there were only so many books I could read about "exhausted forensic pathologists" so put them in the "donate" bag without taking the time to check if I'd already read them. Next job has to be sorting all the pretty plant pots, vases and trinkets I've collected over the years. Sure they're pretty, but as Anne was saying (at New Happenings) if you haven't used an item in years, why hang on to it when someone else might get some pleasure out of it!
In other news, I follow a couple of vloggers on Youtube, one of whom I really like for his down-to-earth no-nonsense approach, mainly to the ever-more-evident benefits of Brexit (I'm being sarcastic) and while I don't agree with him on everything, I have to admit I enjoy listening to him slam Boris Johnson and this Conservative government for their complete lack of ability (or desire?) to govern. On that I agree with him completely. I heard someone (I think it was Michael Heseltine) once describe Johnson as "someone who looks to see which way the crowd is running, dashes to the front and shouts 'follow me lads'" and I think he's spot on! (The vlogger in question is Phil Moorhouse at A Different Bias, if you're interested)!
Another vlogger who is quite interesting (but I really don't like his delivery style) made a vlog this week about "a kipper" as he calls them - someone who voted for Brexit but who has been living in France on the quiet for years! While the guy had every right to live in France, after a period of 183 days of living in the country you are considered fiscally resident and yet so many of these Brits (mainly in Spain and France) never registered their cars in their E.U. countries and you can be pretty damn certain they claimed to be still living in the U.K. and never regularized their status here. Well he just found out that this one guy stated that he was "going back home" and when asked why it was because "he didn't want to lose his Britishness?????" (what, buck teeth and a face like a horse)? No the real reason would be because now that deadlines have passed for applying for residence permits (we three have ours thankfully), the local authorities will start chasing up these "temporary residents" in the British registered cars and coming after them for unpaid taxes. What's more, the vlogger also found out that the "kipper" had a council house in the U.K. (subsidized housing) which was paid for by the local council and he had a mate living in it and paying him £1,000/month in rent on the quiet, so he was getting the best of both worlds! That kind of thing makes me so mad so I guess you can see why I had to get off social media for a while!
Then we had the rather satisfying case of that other prat, Nigel Farage, finally getting somewhat of a comeuppance the other week. He's another politician who plays the "hail fellow, well met, friend of the people" but who, in my opinion, is just in it to line his pockets like so many of the others. Well he made a comment the other day that the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) were basically now just a taxi service helping refugees to cross the channel in rubber dinghies into Britain and they should be prosecuted! I can't quite remember but I think he actually mentioned introducing a draft law into Parliament to propose just that - prosecuting the RNLI and others in the same situation. On a side note, if the powers that be can't solve the refugee crisis then I'm sure I wouldn't know how to, but to expect the RNLI not to provide assistance to anyone in distress in the middle of the Channel is downright evil. The RNLI are my favourite charity, well respected and staffed totally by volunteers, but they are not a charity in the sense that they receive no funding from the British government because they want to have complete control over the way they operate. Well the uproar caused by Farage's comment was so great he ended up back-tracking as fast as his little legs could peddle, but someone set up a Go Fund Me in favour of the RNLI and it raised over £200,000 in one day! Way to go that person!
So thankfully I seem to be coming out of my funk for now and have yet again realized that the best way to keep a positive attitude in these rotten times is to keep plodding on with the exercise. And apparently Facebook seems to agree with me because I'm still getting the "sites that may interest you" which all seem to be about competitive cycling! I have no idea what kind of algorithm they use to suggest these sites - or maybe I'm getting a bit masculine looking in my old age, but I've just received one suggestion for a bodybuilding site called "Men's Physique - Posing and Flexing"!! Ha, maybe I'd better make an appointment to get my whiskers taken care of sooner rather than later!