Posts Tagged ‘cinema’

Now, that sounds like something from Gilbert and Sullivan doesn’t it? Well, I wish I felt as jolly as those operettas often are, performed as they often are in village hall amateur productions by people with community spirit stamped right through them like a stick of Blackpool rock.

I’ve just had to cancel tickets for tonight’s live stream performance (Shakespeare’s King Lear), beamed  from the National Theatre to our local independent cinema – something I’ve been looking forward to for weeks – because I don’t want to be a nuisance to the rest of the audience or get thrown out for causing a disruption.

Can you tell I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself? I’ve had a hacking cough for over a week. From where it came I have no idea but I lost my voice completely last Thursday, much to the delight of a few who shall remain nameless. As it wasn’t getting any better or showing any signs of going somewhere else, I capitulated and went to the doctor.

 “Haven’t seen you for a long time,”  he said.

Well no, you wouldn’t have because I’m never ill enough to bother you, I thought.

He started typing something into his laptop, half listened to my reason for being there in the first place, waved his stethoscope vaguely in my direction, typed a bit more and said, “there we are, a course of antibiotics. They might not work because I can’t tell if this is viral or bacterial.”

As you can imagine this didn’t inspire me with much confidence but as I was feeling too rough to argue (yes, I felt that bad), I thanked him for the three minutes of his time and on the way out paid the pharmacy a ludicrous amount for two items – the tablets and some foul tasting linctus in a brown glass bottle, looking suspiciously similar to the stuff I pour periodically down the drain to keep the water flowing.

Once home, I opened the packet of pills and the first thing I saw on the box was: “Please read the enclosed leaflet before taking this medicine.”

So I did.

There were reams of reasons not to take the blessed tablets – possible side effects, common side effects, less common side effects, other side effects; the list measured nineteen inches (I actually got the tape-measure out). I couldn’t believe it. I’d end up feeling worse than the reason for which I went to the doctor in the first place.

I swigged the linctus down and cast the tablets aside, determined to tough it out and not take them.

However, after yet another virtually sleepless night (cough, cough, cough),   I reluctantly began taking the wretched things (two a day and make sure you finish the course even if you start to feel better), and waited for the first sign of a side effect. Happy to report nothing of significance yet and I’m beginning to feel a bit better. But I might have done anyway.

I don’t like the idea of antibiotics, doled out with not so much as a hope you feel better soon. Why don’t our doctors have an alternative plan or is it all about money? Yes, I suppose it is. How many patients can they get through their practice in a session, prescribe them pills from whichever pharmaceutical lab is the flavour of the month or the one which provides the most funding?

Or maybe I’m just being cynical. Hey! That’s good! I must be feeling better.

Normal service resumes next week when hopefully I’ll be fighting fit and definitely antibiotic free.


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There is nothing better guaranteed to lift my mood and alleviate stress (other than my rediscovered ability to take a walk) than to watch a bit of junk TV. None of the worthwhile stuff that I probably should be watching – the news, documentaries, serious drama, – oh no – I mean the half-hour comedy shows that don’t pretend to educate: they just make us laugh. And that, as we know only too well, is the best medicine.

One show I make a point of trying to catch is Room 101. I like the concept. The title is taken from a place in  George Orwell’s novel 1984, where prisoners are subjected to their worst nightmare or phobia. Apparently Orwell named room 101 after a conference room at the BBC where he used to sit through endless tedious meetings. After some of our recent staff meetings, I know how he feels.

 On the TV show (which was originally a radio programme), guests are invited to consign three things that, in their opinion, should be forever banished. This is right up my street – humour mixed with a little light-hearted ranting. As you might imagine, should I ever become famous enough and get invited onto the show, I have my own list of items ready and waiting.

 As I’m a realist and that is never going to happen, I might as well share them with you now.

 The first item I’d banish was going to be the pesky mosquito, but then I thought that might upset some of the more ecologically balanced of you so I did a bit of research and discovered that they are vital to the food chain (unfortunately for me, who has started to itch just writing about them); their larvae providing nutrient-packed snacks for fish and other aquatic animals as well as their adult form being equally nutritious to birds, bats and spiders.

So I’ll leave the wildlife alone and concentrate on life’s minutiae.

First of all, I’d get rid of a certain type of junk mail. I’m not adverse to all of it – some has proved quite useful, especially during my papier-mâché phase – but the mail that irritates me the most and which goes straight through and gums up our home shredder, is that which contains those self-adhesive name and address labels that all charities seem hell bent on sending to all and sundry. I do not want hundreds of labels with my details printed next to the charity’s logo. I never use them. Nor do I want to buy endless raffle tickets or use the greetings cards and bookmark they so thoughtfully enclose. Why are these charities wasting all this money sending stuff out that I don’t want? I reckon I get at least one envelope filled with this rubbish every week. I feel sorry for our overloaded postman.

Secondly, there is nothing that maddens me more than looking forward to an evening at a London theatre, sitting in a seat costing not an inconsiderable sum, to discover that the CONSTANTLY NOSHING family has purchased the seats either in front or directly behind me.

The Constantly-Noshing’s usually arrive last and push their way along the row, dangling their plastic bags full of crackly wrapped confectionary over their arms, aiming to clout as many as possible of their fellow theatregoers over the head on the way. They then proceed (usually breathing heavily due to an abnormal burst of exercise), to noisily remove their outer garments and hang them over the seats in front, infringing any personal space one might have hoped to secure in an old Victorian theatre. While for most of us, the curtain going up heralds the start of the performance, to the Constantly-Noshing’s this is a signal to begin passing their substantial boxes of chocolates amongst them, making sure to take as long as possible to unwrap each sweet and then smooth each wrapper out before dropping it on the floor. Unless you are watching back to back performances of all Shakespeare’s Henry’s, the play is unlikely to outlast the Constantly-Noshing’s supply of unnecessary nourishment.

So my second item for my Room 101 would be the Constantly-Noshing family unless they would like to confine their activity to the multiplex cinema – our local is called the Odeon, which I refer to as the OOO – Odeon of Obesity – because you have to wade through a popcorn mountain and super-sized, clanking iced-filled plastic beakers to get anywhere near a screen. Now that I have discovered our little local independent cinema, which screens films I actually want to see, where the average age of the audience is probably ninety-five and where tea, coffee and tepid Chablis are on sale in an ante room during the interval, I’m happy to let the Constantly-Noshing’s and their mobile-phone wielding off-spring have the run (waddle) of the OOO.

3627378331[1]Lastly (well, not really, but as I’m only allowed three things, lastly for now), I’d have to ban unimaginative packaging, best illustrated at the moment by the pile-‘em-high, sell-‘em-for-a-fortune boxes of thin chocolate eggs that have been on sale in our supermarkets since New Year’s Eve.

These Easter eggs are nestling in boxes with the exact same design as the always available chocolate bars which provide more actual chocolate for your money.

It doesn’t take much to package something up prettily. I refuse to buy anything that is sold in a stack, preferring to seek out something like these little eggs (a local super market’s own brand – good on them) and shoving them in a nest made from the shredded remains of my junk mail.


Grrr… Well that’s enough of that. I’m off up the common.  What would you banish?


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