The Sterling Countdown

Generally nowadays, I try to catch the national news at least a few times in a week, just to find out whats going on, but I avoid the regional news that precedes it on ITV for good reason. Unfortunately, Wednesday, I collided with it. To be fair, I’ve seen some of the regional news programmes in the US, and fine, they arent a lot better, but seriously, I have no idea where they got the couple that present the evening show in Yorkshire, but in all honesty, they could probably do better by going to any Amateur Drama Group in the county, grab a pair of people, and they’d be better.

Anyway, the article I caught, that lowered my opinion of them even more came on Wednesday. It could have been done decently, the subject being the fact that the pound now goes a lot less distance in Europe than it used to. Nothing to do with raging costs in Europe, and entirely to do with Brexit.

They started out by pointing out that about 5 years ago, you got 1.50 Euro to the pound. Then they mentioned that before the referendum, it was still around 1.40 to the pound. But it was the next line that killed me, they actually said they were shocked that it collapsed to about 1.20 after the referendum result was announced. They then added that they couldnt understand why (despite all going on) that it was now worth nearer 1.10.

They then went on to show a film of a number of people from the region saying much the same thing, and complaining about the fact, and some even said that they were sure it would improve all the way back again when we left Europe (stop laughing), which is as likely as me winning Miss United Kingdom! It might, I suspect, with a decent deal improve again, but to expect 1.50 to the pound again, oh please!

In  truth, the thing that scares me is that people actually believe this, but anyway… Yes, I wish I’d stored some Euros/Dollars away, but ah well…

The video? Well its only just over 3 months away, supposedly, so I guess we’re in this?

Winning a million?

When the National Lottery started over here in 1994, I used to play a £1 ticket on each draw, even when it increased from 1 draw to 2 in a week. I started off doing the same numbers on each draw, but never had any joy, so eventually I changed it to just getting a lucky dip ticket, but even then I never got more than 3 numbers. Well, once, in Newbury, 2 of us shared tickets, and one of those got 4 numbers, and I think we won just over £100, wow!

Soon after I left there in 2001, I stopped doing the lottery altogether, and apart from a couple of times, when there’s been a big rollover, I havent bothered since! Well, now, strictly I’ve been in a syndicate at work (now in 3rd year), for which I’m a few pounds down over 2 years, but not lost very much. And since then, I havent bothered with any other tickets.

But yes, tomorrow is one of those special draws, where instead of the normal 1 million pound prize draw on the Euro millions draw, there are going to be 40 winners. Now given I’ve never won anything major in my life (and I’m nearly 61!), I think its fair to say that my chances of being one of those 40 would be negligible, if not less! But fine, the disabled old crock is still just wondering, if for the sake of £2.50, I could win a million (no, dont even suggest the Euro millions jackpot!), which would allow me to retire in comfort, a few years early, is it silly to consider buying a ticket? Yes, is the honest answer, but still, maybe just once, lol…?

So, if you dont get a blog on Sunday, then maybe I won the million, and I’ve headed for Algarve, to buy my little apartment in the sun, before Brexit? No, seriously, dont worry, you’ll get a blog on Sunday, I’m sure. But will I buy a ticket, hmm?

OK, video time. I know nothing about this group, just one of those random you tube searches on the word million, and this came up. Its 80’s, its not awful, and no, I’m not one of the women in the video, lol.

Never happy with the weather?

I know a lovely guy down Georgia (as in Atlanta) way, who regularly complains because he never gets to see snow in winter. Only the other day, he was complaining because the temperature there was in the mid 60’s, at a time when it was barely above freezing over here. I also know a lovely guy in LA who complains that its cold out there, and when I look, even in the chill of the night, its 10 degrees warmer than it is here in the morning! So yeah, he’d have something to complain about if he came over here in the winter, lol!

Yes, my friend in Georgia, I’ve jokingly offered to swap places with him, as my back is far less grumpy when the temperature is above 50. Well, generally it is, but I’m having a bad spell this weekend (to put it mildly), and though its not far off that mark, it feels like an axe has been thrown into my back, but anyway…

Unfortunately we cant just do a winter swap, some trivial item called Immigration rules, and all that, on both sides of the pond! I still hope to retire to somewhere that can fit my requirements post retirement, whenever that may be. Algarve is an obvious target (even more so after November) for me, though I’m not sure how easy that will still be, post Brexit, but fingers crossed. Unless someone (PLEASE!) wants to pay for me to move there before that happens, but otherwise…

But yes, dont ever complain to me about how hot it is where you live, and expect sympathy. An offer (if possible) to swap places, a whole different matter! So…?

I love the sun obviously, which is a corny reason for tonights video. This is one of Clara Johnson’s earlier outings as a chorus girl, though its more walking in an amazing outfit, than actual dance. If I’m right, she’s the last one before the horse rider appears near the end. To be fair, any number of these girls can be seen in tons of musical numbers, not just her!

2019, the avenue I might be being taken to

OK, if anyone can spot the (almost) line of lyrics, I’m impressed. Well, there are a couple who might get it, but otherwise?

In truth, 2019 is probably the least pre-planned year that I’ve had in a very long time. Lets face it, the May holiday is not only usually planned by now, its either booked, or just about to be booked. This year, not a clue what I’m doing! And though September has got some tentative plans, in the sense that both Kate and I have agreed, both health permitting, that we will get together ‘somewhere’ at that point. Its fair to say that it will in all likelihood be either, Oklahoma, or New England, but beyond that…? No, no commitments!

The one thing that is sure, is that before either of those, there will be 2 trips to Blackpool. First one in just over 3 weeks time, which will be the pre-publicity event for the Film Festival in March, on my Birthday weekend. This time, the latter is already planned as a longer stay, from Thursday, to Monday, as I can do work, and enjoy myself for the whole weekend. Numerous anniversaries that week, and a theme of Hollywood glamour, which should all be a lot of fun. Seems quite likely I will get to have a ‘Clara Johnson’ moment on the Friday of that weekend, for which I might now be a little old, but will be a dream come true. But more on that at the end.

Other than those, most of the known events for the year are of the less cheery kind. Firstly, and most obviously, is the state of my body. How long the back is going to last, even on a 4 day week, even with TLC (including that heavenly flotation/sensory deprivation tank), I have no idea! There is also the fact that I now have big issues with 1 wrist, and I have a hunch the other might only be biding its moment, and…? Given that now, with my wrist damage, that I’d have issues preparing, and cooking a proper meal, on top of everything else, I have been told I ought to at least try for PIP (disability related) benefit payments, because lets face it, my mobility, in a stamina sense is also becoming a bigger issue by the month. I’m sort of determined I will get to March (for obvious reasons), but in a serious sense, what used to be a stroll to work is now getting a challenge at the end. Oh fine, it is a challenge, but anyway… If you want a resolution (ghastly things), that had probably better be mine!

Yes, any politician offering to reduce the retirement age for women can have my vote, lol! 61, I’d be thrilled, 62, or 63 I could see as a target, but beyond that, not sure its going to happen? No, I know, not going to happen in reality, but would help me so much.

OK, Brexit, lets try and be diplomatic. Especially given the government are seemingly terrified of having a vote on their escape plan, rolls eyes. I could give my view on the ‘threat’ from the government that if they dont win, Brexit wont happen, and say that not everyone would be sorry if that came to place. Its not what the voters were promised at the referendum (we found that out within a few days), so is it any wonder that hardly anyone, on either side of the fence wants to vote for it? Fine, I voted Remain, but besides all that…

Alright, lets get to cricket. This summer will see the first ever test match between England, and Ireland at Lords, a pretty historic moment for we Irish cricket supporters. Yes, I’d probably have got an Irish passport at the last renewal in truth, but my Irish ancestry is 1 generation too far back for that. Even more I’d love to do that now, as so many others are seemingly doing. Nothing to do with the Brexit chaos of course. And if you believe that…?

Oh fine, you want some silly wishes for the year, I guess? Things I’d love to happen, but are only likely in my dreams?

Lets start off with the obvious one, which actually gives me more issues than work? Yes, travel. What I wouldnt give for a cute flying saucer/space shuttle, if a passing alien reads this, to whisk me to work, without strain, oh please! There are some ‘Just Eat’ adverts on TV over here, where the motorbike delivery people have bikes that fly, wouldnt say no to one of them, either!

Clearly, with my health issues, I’d love a full body upgrade. Chrome robot look would be heaven, but a more human looking fembot body would probably be more advisable. If so, if it can come looking about 20, with pre programmed dancing skills, I’d love that.

Oh, and fine, I’d love that sensory deprivation tank to really mess with my mind, as well as heal my body. Brainwashed, or mind controlled, while in that pod, oh please!

Lastly, a sugar daddy, or mummy (I’m bi, lets face it) to put this ‘Broadway Baby’ in her own apartment, somewhere warm/hot all year round, would love that. But fine, who would want an old lady like me for that, lol?

Right, lets get to the video. That Friday night in March, in Blackpool. One of the show moments is a local dance team, performing from 42nd Street. (At least) 2 of us are hoping to at least make cameo performances on that sequence. Will be the closest I ever get to replicating Clara Johnson without that new body, for sure! No, I’m certain I wont be this good, but some of this might be involved, so…

 

Retirement home, on the beach?

OK, fine, they think its all over, well it pretty much is now, lol. No, I’m not talking about the current government, though that might yet prove to be apt. But being strictly politically neutral on UK matters…well…? No, seriously, I mean my little break in the sun.

Of course, the sixty four million dollar question is, has the break in the sun done my back any good? Well, I’ve been taking less pills than usual, so I guess thats a good sign, but how long the effects will really last when I get back to the UK, who knows? I certainly havent missed not hearing all about the chaos at home over Brexit, and other stuff, for sure.

Yesterday, I headed to Vila Real De Santo Antonio as planned, and had a look around. In a sense, its more my sort of town than Faro would be, more peaceful, laid back, and dare I say it, old fashioned? Sadly I didnt get to Spain, as I reached the ferry terminal after town, and lunch, to see it pulling out for Ayamonte, across the river, in a different country, and given the next one wasnt for another hour in the off season, I didnt wait. That would have put me on the 2.30 ferry across, so earliest back at 4.00, and then needing to get back to Monte Gordo, all would have got a bit late for me. Maybe another time, maybe not, who knows?

Today, as I have done most days (gentle exercise, which is good) I took my stroll down along the front, and down part of the boardwalk, over the beach. I did some shopping, a little bit more than I’d planned, but nothing too dramatic. Oh, I got one of those coats, seems they had a zip up version as well for same price, so deal done! So I guess at some point soon I’ll need to go into work looking like a 30’s film star, lol. No, its silly really, I dont need a winter coat, but… Yes, I found the PIN for my credit card, but then found they only took cash, no cards, aargh!

I must admit, if, as I hope, I can retire somewhere with all year round warmth, then Monte Gordo has done a pretty good publicity job this week. I know its off season, but its quieter than the more popular end of the Algarve, its pleasantly warm, even in mid November (70 today), and cost of living is definitely lower than the UK too. But whether I will be in a position to make it happen, who knows? Will it even be possible once we’ve left the EU to move out here easily? Rolls eyes… Who me, a remain vote, well, you might think that, but I couldnt possibly say! 😛

Last amusing note, before I close for this holiday. There is a spa at the hotel I’m staying at. I did notice on their website that the spa does those body wrap things, and I’ve always fancied that. Go into my cocoon as the ugly caterpillar, come out the beautiful butterfly, yeah, I wish! So today, with budget sorted, I went to see how much it was. Yes, as I expected, way above what I had left, 80 Euros, for admittedly 80 minutes of pure pampering heaven. So, a fair price, but… To be honest, it was pretty much all above my budget, but I guess a 4 star hotel with spa (I’d say closer to 3, but anyway…), thats probably going to be the case. The thing was, they had a special offer for a hot stone massage, at 49 Euros. for 50 minutes of pampering, which I could just about scrape together. But anyway, being practical, I checked on Google, and it said not advised for people with Osteoporosis issues, so I ended up passing. Probably would have been fine, but better safe than sorry with boring old me!

It was funny tonight at dinner, I got asked why I was drinking Coke, when everybody else was drinking wine, so I explained about the painkillers, and all that. Again I wonder if thats just me being extra cautious, as I know people taking those pills, and drinking booze, and being fine, but…I am being boring, lol!

Tonights video is a song that might have passed most people by, especially as its now 33 years old! The late, great, Kirsty MacColl for your delight