The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Planned Destruction …
November 1, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Apple, Brand, Comment, Corona Virus, Death, Home

How the hell is it the 1st November?

It’s amazing that everyone saw 2020 as a year of insanity, but frankly, 2021 has more than lived up to the same billing.

Sure, we now have a vaccine.

Sure, the World is opening up.

But people are still dying and – if you’re in NZ – you have experienced another long lockdown, which makes you feel like it’s still pandemonium out there.

Add in the fact we were living in England at this point last year and now we’re in New Zealand … in a new house, with new cars and a new job, and you’ll understand why in many ways, 2021 has been equally – if not more so – crazy for us.

Talking of crazy …

A few weeks ago, Jill’s iPhone woke us up.

However this time it wasn’t by the alarm.

But with the smell of burning.

Have a look at this …

Yep, it basically caught fire.

No idea how or why, but it did.

Fortunately we woke up before it could get worse.

But nothing says ‘broken’ like an Apple logo in red.

Amazingly it still works.

OK, so some of the buttons are hard to see – and press – but generally it’s good. Well, I say good, if you ignore the huge burn mark on the screen.

Weirdly, someone I know had their iPad do exactly the same thing the day before … the day after Apple announced their new iPhones and iPads to the World.

Now I don’t want to start any conspiracy theories, but an iPhone that explodes for no reason is a pretty good reason to buy a new one.

Which is exactly what we have done.

My god, Apple are devious bastards.

And I – or should I say Jill – are proof a strong brand can make you do idiotic things.



Talked Through Disaster …

Once upon a time, it felt like there were a lot of movies where a passenger on a plane had to step up and take control because all the pilots had fallen ill.

It would always feature a member of the flight crew discovering the Captain and co-pilot were sick or unconscious, followed by a nervous public announcement asking: “Is there a pilot on board?”

Eventually someone – typically an Alpha male type of man – would step up and the movie would then focus on the story of them being talked through how to land the plane … which they’d do without a loss of life and everyone, especially the glamorous female flight crew member, would fall in love with them.

Sometimes these movies were comedies – Airplane for example – sometimes something more serious, but that was the general premise of all of them.

Now there have been stories where this situation happened, or at least in terms of a passenger having to help land the plane annnnnnnd – as we learnt on the Netflix Fyre Festival documentary – you can learn to fly a plane through Microsoft Flight Simulator … but frankly, the idea of being thrown into a situation you have never been in before, with hundreds of lives at stake and a time limit for success to be executed is something that must be pretty much everyone’s worst nightmare.

Why am I saying this?

Well because I saw the lowest rent version of this situation recently.

Or, said another way, the ‘training wheels’ version of this situation.

This.

Yep, that’s a ‘be talked through your own haircut’.

Be TALKED through.

Not video. Phone.

Hahahahahahahaha.

And then they charge you $14 for it.

What if you have a complicated haircut?

What if you need it colouring and can’t tell if it’s right?

What if you end up spending hours talking them through the cut?

OK … OK … so it’s someone taking the piss, but as funny as it is, there may be people who would actually pay for this.

No seriously.

Not simply because of the state pandemic hairstyles got in – though obviously I wouldn’t know this – but because we shouldn’t forget, there’s restaurants out there who charge you a full restaurant price to cook your own steak on the BBQ.

I’ll never work out why some people think that is a good night out.

Sure you don’t have to wash up, but you do have to pay a lot of cash for something you could have done – for much cheaper – at home.

So you heard it here first. Next pandemic lockdown, invest in the phone haircut business. They will be the future … or they may end up as a z-grade horror movie on Channel 5.



Love Is Lazy …

I found this photo recently.

It’s a few years old, when we lived in London … but there’s something about it that just warms my heart.

Not just because it features my son – though that helps – but because it in a period of pandemic chaos, it shows how love can make everything OK.

Covid had just taken hold.

We were all confined to home.

No one was offering any clarity.

People were dying at unprecedented numbers.

And Otis desperately needed his hair washing.

However …

… he was also playing a video game he absolutely didn’t want to stop playing so – because his world had been turned completely upside down – his wonderful, kind, considerate Mum found a way for him to keep playing while she could do some hair washing.

Obviously it is an utterly ridiculous way to do things, but it’s my ridiculous.

A moment of twisted normality at a time where nothing felt normal whatsoever.

And while I appreciate this is an utterly indulgent photograph, I love the way he seems oblivious to his surroundings. His little legs stretched out to the tip of his toes. And a kitchen that has been rapidly turned into a school, a playroom and a hairdressers all at the same time.

While we were painfully aware of the privileged position we were in – from having an income to having a teeny garden to escape in – the fear of COVID was starting to take a hold which is why, as I look at that photo today, I realise how much my ridiculously beautifully family let me feel we were strong together at a point where everything was feeling like it was falling apart.



Would You Travel Through Time And Space To Go Back To Where You Came From/
August 18, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: Attitude & Aptitude, Comment, Context, Corona Virus, England, Health, New Zealand

Yesterday, my life consisted of the 2 movies above.

Why?

Because despite moving 12,000 miles to NZ to get away from covid, we found only ourselves back where we started.

In lockdown.

OK, it’s only for 7 days [for now] … but the feeling of it happening was so familiar.

The gathering of your work stuff.

The dark humour between colleagues tinged with truth.

The sense of things closing in and taking over beyond your control.

You’d think having had well over a year of lockdown, I’d be OK with it, but it still felt uncomfortable, even though I am fortunate to have already had one of my vaccinations.

But there was one big difference between yesterday and March, Friday 13th, 2020.

And that was the way the Government handled it.

Where in the UK we had chaos and confusion … here we had incredibly valuable detail, clarity and calmness.

In addition, the schools not only sent out an immediate message that detailed how online lessons would be handled, the note also said the following:

Given how badly the UK government handled providing parents the tools to teach from home – not to mention the additional pressure they placed on parents to keep up with the curriculums – it was amazing to see them acknowledge the importance of providing reassurance rather than just demand adherence.

It’s a weird time, even if it’s just for a week, but the way it has been handled is light years away from what we experienced not that long ago.

Not only that, the fact the patient and doctor identified and reported their case immediately – and this was followed up with not just track and trace info, but down to individual locations and destinations – is also another reason to be hopeful that if anyone can deal with this situation effectively, it’s NZ.

We’ll see. But regardless of the outcome, thank you to the patient, the doctor, the government and the people of NZ.

If it wasn’t certain before, I can categorically say Jacinda is miles better than Boris.



The Fine Line Between Gratitude And Taking The Piss …
August 9, 2021, 8:00 am
Filed under: A Bit Of Inspiration, Attitude & Aptitude, Corona Virus

If they wanted to be entirely accurate, the sign should have read: Thank You Boris.

Happy Monday. [The posts go downhill from here]