We have arrived at the next point on the roadmap then and the rules have again been relaxed in regards to who we can see and the places we can go. Everything seems to either be a roadmap or a traffic light as the United Kingdom starts to reopen after the latest and possibly longest of the three lockdowns. As I generally live in my own world anyway I have not actually found it that tough, I appreciate I am very lucky in that respect. It has been an opportunity to reflect on things and think about what I want to achieve moving forward. Happily it is still world domination!
I am taking the approach of easing myself back into things gently and I have not been to any hospitality style venues as yet. I am planning to catch up with some friends soon most likely at one of our houses. Part of that is I am actually quite busy at the minute and have a set routine that no longer has any pub time built in. I think it is fair for people to start going out and doing things in their own time when they feel comfortable doing so. If you want to take advantage of the new freedom now great, if not no drama, return to it when you feel you are ready to.
I have actually ordered one of the Lateral Flow Covid Test kits. They are free and you test yourself twice a week to make sure you are not carrying the virus even if you do not have any of the symptoms. As I am going to be coming into contact with more people it makes sense to me anyway to be able to protect the people close to me and give myself and them peace of mind when I see them. One thing I will say though is that every time you take the test it is still an ordeal. It does not get any easier or less intrusive the more you do it. But I still think it is worth it personally.
I had my second Covid Vaccination about a week ago now. I am team Astra Zeneca. I had no real side effects other than a bit of a sore arm for a day where the needle went in and I did feel slightly more tired than normal for a couple of days, a small price to pay for something that should give you protection from a virus that could kill you. I am an asthmatic and have Coeliac Disease that puts me in the high risk category, which is why I got both my jabs so soon. I am not as old as you think I am. Tony Hadley also had his second jab at the same place as me on the same day. It was quite the showbiz day down there by all accounts.
I have had a bit of a health related service over the last couple of weeks. As well as becoming fully vaccinated against Covid I had a hospital appointment to have my ears looked at. I have this issue with them which means they get quite clogged up on a regular basis. Normally I have this simple procedure every six months but due the pandemic I had two appointments cancelled meaning it was nearly eighteen months since they had been dealt with.
The build up means I have trouble hearing so I either cannot hear people so they think I am ignoring them or my television is so loud it makes the whole of the house shake. It does sometimes cause a bit of Tinnitus for a short period of time to. The way it is dealt with is by using a tiny vacuum cleaner device that sucks all the debris out. It has a little camera on the end, which is attached to a big screen so the nurse can see where she is working. As I am squeamish I do not watch it as I am happy to rely on the health professional’s skill in this area.
It does make a huge difference when I have it done. I can hear so much more clearly and it does improve my balance, which also sufferers with the more stuffed up my ears get. It looks like they are back on track with this service so I will not have to wait so long next time thankfully. I have been having this done regularly now for the last five years. It is actually quite relaxing when it is being done. It does make a bit of a buzzing noise so it does feel a little bit like there is a friendly Bee in your ear. I can confirm though the ears are once again in tip top condition. (Who said that?)
The next part of my body to be looked at was my teeth. I was very overdue a check up and luckily my Dentist had started doing them again. I managed to book an appointment but the way it was done was obviously a bit different this time. The form that you usually fill out in the reception area needed to be completed online prior to my arrival. Then when I was outside the surgery I had to sign in online and wait across the street to be called in when they were ready for me, while trying not to look too suspicious. I wish I had dressed as a spy with a big brown jacket and dark glasses but sadly I didn’t.
After a short wait a hand appeared round the door and welcomed me in. I had to go straight into the dentist’s chair. It was weirdly nice to see her again and have a chat. My teeth were fine no need for any fillings or worse, which is always good. She did take some X-rays which were more uncomfortable than I remember. The only issue I have is receding gums I presume they must share the same genes as my hair. There is not much that can be done for them other than me not trying to brush so hard. That feels like it goes against everything that I was a taught as a kid. It was the final part of my body MOT although I have a feeling my eyes will need looking at again soon.
The other weekend I watched yet another film. That has been one of the big things for me during this last year. I think I have seen more films during the last twelve months than I have in the last ten years. The latest one was a continuation of my mission to catch up with the back catalogue of Quentin Tarantino. I seem to get on alright with his movies. I think he might have an attention span as bad as mine by the way his films tend to jump around a bit. As well as tell the story of about four different characters. Then of course there are the set pieces he does and the often quotable lines that they include.
My girlfriend and I watched “Inglourious Basterds”. It was originally released in 2009 so I am still a bit behind with the latest releases. It stars Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz and Diane Kruger. It is set during the Second World War and it is pretty gory so I spent a lot of it with my hands over my face or looking away from the screen. There are elements of truth about it combined with complete fantasy brutal in places but still gripping and exciting. It maintained my interest all the way through, which is no mean feat! I enjoyed it, if that is the right word for a film about this subject. It was thought provoking and a sad reminder of what humans are capable of doing to each other.
I have mentioned before that I have had some involvement in quiz show development for television. Some of which have made it on to our screens and many of which sadly have not. It is tough trying to basically find new ways of reinventing the wheel as a quiz where you ask questions is pretty much the same however you dress it up with quirks. Recently I watched a bit of the new Channel 4 quiz show with Tom Allen called “Quizness”. Firstly I feel I need to say that I like Tom and think he is great but the actual idea behind the programme was not for me. I found it tough to get in to.
I am a big quiz fan and enjoy answering the questions while playing along at home. I sadly lost interest in this one during the first round. It might be quite a fun quiz to play but it is really hard and confusing to watch in my opinion. Many people will like it and that is fine and good. I happen not to which is also fine. We cannot all like the same things and we are all entitled to our own opinions. But this one was not really for me!
I had a Zoom chat recently with one of the producers of a potential new television show. They are looking to film a pilot episode of it and wanted to see if I might like to be involved. It seems like a fun idea so I said I would be happy go along and take part. I cannot say any more about it at this stage as it is still in the development process but they explained the concept to me and I think it could well have a place on one of the big main TV channels. I am still waiting for confirmation of the filming date but I will let you know more when I am able to.
The Premier League football season ends tomorrow. It has obviously been a strange competition this year. Only a handful of games have had any fans in attendance with most of the matches having been played behind closed doors. Manchester City I think fully deserved the title. They have been the best team by a mile. It has been an odd season for my team Tottenham Hotspur.
We started off really well with some great results and playing attacking football. We were at the top of the league in December. Then we started dropping points and playing a more defensive style of football. We went out of the Europa League and dropped away from the top four. At which point we sacked our manager Jose Mourinho. We then lost the League Cup final to Manchester City.
We really flattered to deceive I feel. Even though a lot of Spurs fans seem to disagree I think we have a very strong squad. One that I felt should have been strong enough to claim a Champions League place. The issues were I think behind the scenes and for whatever reason the manager was not getting the best out of everyone. It looks as if Harry Kane will still finish as the League’s top scorer which is a great achievement for a fantastic player playing in a very inconsistent side.
There have been some reports this week that Harry wants to leave the club at the end of the season. If there is some truth in this I must say I cannot really blame him. He is in his prime and wants to be able to compete for silverware. No Spurs fan would begrudge him that. I mean he has been a great servant to us. However he does seem like an actual fan of the club. He could possibly become the clubs all time top scorer in the next three seasons. I wonder if he might be with us still in August. I hope so but will understand if he is not.
I have renewed my season ticket for next season. Obviously I do not know if that means I will be able to go to every home game. That will depend on any capacity restrictions that might be in place still. One thing I do know is that I will go there and support which ever eleven players have been selected to play, the same way I always have done in the past. Win, lose or draw as long as they have tried their best and worked hard during the match I will clap them off the pitch.
A lot of supporters seem to think their side should win every game and the players should be perfect every week. They are human and this is the real world so that is not possible. The expectations that some fans seem to have now are unbelievable and will only lead to them being upset and disappointed. Live for the moment, believe in the players and the club, enjoy the good times and deal with the bad times. I will be as optimistic as ever that we will win something next year. Come on you Spurs!
It was the final edition of “Quigger’s Plays Pop” last Tuesday night. The forty-fourth episode of my little online Pop Quiz that I started during the first lockdown as a bit of fun to try to entertain and cheer people up. It then returned for lockdown two for a few weeks before I brought it back one more time for the latest and longest lockdown. Ten months of music based fun can still be found on my Facebook page.
It was great fun but I am pleased it has come to an end as that means people can go out and socialise with real people once again. When the country fully reopens properly I do plan on hiring a venue and doing an actual real life version of it. Where I can do the quiz and then we can all have a drink together afterwards. Here is the final Quigger’s Plays Pop in case you missed it. https://www.facebook.com/796795590/videos/10165049508260591/
A quick reminder that you can listen to me every Saturday afternoon between 2pm – 4pm on Radio Ninesprings https://www.radioninesprings.co.uk/
Have fun and we will catch up again soon. Stay safe! Cheers Neil.