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Live footage of the year 2020 as it goes on…


The dumpster fire that is the year 2020 so far

I have been spending quite a lot of time in lockdown being a bit of a twitcher in the garden. In a Bill Oddie style I mean, but without the beard or the depressive bi-polar disorder (although hmmmm now that you mention it?).
The local birdlife have been getting a bit lively round here. I saw a red kite soaring above the neighbourhood last week, happy as you like. No shits given (probably just as well given the size of him!).  Many a time I have been swinging in the hammock of a morning (easy now!) listening to the local avian fraternity. I am pretty sure they are plotting to take over the world like something from an Alfred Hitchcock movie.  We’ll all come out of lockdown and those of us who don’t crumble to dust after 9 weeks of hiding indoors with the blinds down or succumb to the first cough or sneeze after weeks of embalming themselves in bleach, will just get pecked to death by a murder of marauding crows.


There is definitely one bird less in the forthcoming avian uprising though. I had been watching a little sparrow the last few days. It was getting braver and braver, getting closer to me in the hammock and playing chicken on the lawn while the cats were sunbathing. Well, the other day its luck ran out.  We found Alan Lickman chowing down on it in the middle of the lawn. Feathers eaten and the lot.  Just 2 small feathers left and something that looked like a bowel or rubbery intestine of some kind.


Farewell my tiny friend.  I did try and warn you.

Meanwhile, on our walk in the local woodland last night, I spotted a carrier bag at the side of the lane. One should always check such things for discarded kittens, puppies or severed human body parts – but what we found was 3 red onions, a sealed packet of smoked mackerel and a pot of something that may have been cockles, or possibly some kind of blended human entrails.

Bman had to be dissuaded from claiming the mackerel and onions as his own.

Finders keepers and all that. I made him leave it where it was. 

We also raked about a bit in a purportedly haunted tunnel, inexplicably marked with numbers in chalk on the walls.   Might go again of a night with some tech to listen for phantom feet running through the stream.


Anyway, enjoy your weekends. It is Friday you know.  For those of us not able to go back to work yet, this is your day of the week check.  

Ciao tutti








Stay Alert. Do things. (Insert further vagueness here)

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I’ve waited until after 7pm tonight to write another post as I wanted to be able to mention our glorious leader’s address to the nation from earlier tonight.

If I had a clearer idea of what he actually said, I’d be in a better position to comment.

In the meantime, I’m thinking of sketching out a road map of a to-do list. Once I have had further meetings with other people with no real idea, and then maybe we’ll think about possibly doing something… but all that will be conditional of course.  Conditional on the collective common sense and thoughtfulness of the general UK public of course.


We’re fucked!

But you know. We’ll inexplicably spaff (to use a Bojo turn of phrase) money to alter the red-lettered Stay Home slogan to a lovely soothing shade of green saying Stay Alert.  Alert?  Fuck me! I’ve been ready to Eric Cantona kick anyone who looks even remotely like coming too close to me or my family for the last 8 weeks. How much more alert do you want me to be?  We won’t give Scotland and Wales a heads up on that slogan change either. Just let them see it on Twitter in the morning.  They’ll be fine about that.
Oh and If you can’t work from home then you should go to work now. Unless you can’t of course, in which case you should still stay at home. But from Wednesday everyone will be allowed to take “more, if not unlimited exercise”.  So is it more? Or is it unlimited?  There’s quite the difference.

Enough with the mixed messages Doris.  If the referendum taught us anything, it was that the British public need to be in absolute full command of the facts before being allowed to make any form of decision.



In other news, Bman decided to attempt to re-create the okonomiyaki for dinner that we saw Paul Hollywood making on his Eating Japan show last week. It was alright considering we don’t have a griddle and half of the ingredients were missing (and I didn’t want the meat element in it anyway).  Sunday dinner improv lockdown style.
Think after last week’s Pieminister recipe Courgette and Chickpea Pie that I made, the Childerbeast will surely welcome the return of the actual Sunday Dinner with happy faces and cutlery at the ready.  Bman has just watched Ed Stafford’s naked and alone programme (presumably to study and get tips for when society eventually breaks down completely). Geezer caught and cooked a skunk! Childerbeast will be begging him to make Japanese cabbage and noodle pancakes again if he tries to re-create that one!

Bon appetit

You are as, as always, a moist antelope.

Stay safe. Stay alert. Rouge your knees. Roll your stockings down.

And all that jazz.





Can we play a different game now please?

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I didn’t end up joining in with the shed rave on Friday. I took to my bed at 3pm to sleep, got up when Bman had made tea, looked at it (chips and beans) and immediately felt ill and retreated back to bed where I remained for the rest of the night.

Since then I have indeed been on (I pinched this phrase) ‘an emotional coronacoaster’.  Up one moment – dancing around in the shed amongst the lasers. Down the next – taking to the sanctuary of my duvet. Then on the non-descript flat part of this crazy ride, where you catch your breath and try to take stock before the next super-fast high or belly churning drop.

“we’re all in the same boat” is a phrase I keep hearing. In fact, I have used it myself, early doors in this situation. We’re not though, are we?  I saw something on Fb that said we are all in the same storm. That is a much better turn of phrase.  Same shitstorm different boats.  Some people are cruising (literally in some cases, trapped aboard floating germ boxes on the high seas).  Some are on fancy yachts like a Duran Duran video from the 1980s. I, however, feel a bit like we are in a 2 man inflatable kayak (that I wouldn’t let Bman buy from Aldi last year). Except there are 4 of us and it’s starting to deflate.


It’s fine. Everything is fine.

Yet I appreciate that some people are worse off still. Smaller boats. Or on a door like Rose & Jack in Titanic. Or spiderman armbands, or no flotation devices whatsoever.  Yes. We are most definitely all NOT in the same boat. Some are paddling a bit more manically while others punt along leisurely, in fact, why not have a fucking party in your garden and get pissed like this is one big jolly boys holiday.

I have to say I feel a bit like the last 6 months have been like that scene in ‘Clash of the Titans’where the gods are playing with Perseus, setting him up for his life.


Let’s see how this lot deal with what I can throw at them

Except in this version they are playing a messed up game of Exploding Kittens (if you know, you know):- probably on bloody Zoom as well.  “Aphrodite, we can see you but can’t hear you. Press the button. No the other button!”. 


“I have 2 cattermelon cards – Right, let’s suspend this asshole from his job”

“I have a Taco Cat” – let’s see how long he can keep that shit from his missus

“But I have a Diffuse card – I’ll make sure he has been on full pay while suspended”

“Ahah, I have a Nope card – we’ll get him sacked just before Christmas”

“Another Diffuse card – let’s have his wonderful friends raise some cash for him online”

“Boom. Hairy Potato Cat card – we’ll reduce him to his lowest ebb in years”

“Nope card – back at you – let’s give him a job with an airline”

“Nice move. Let’s all go have a brew and a sandwich before we resume play”

“Shuffle cards – all pick a new card”

“Boom! Attack card – I see your return to normality and raise you a global pandemic”

“Fuck me Zeus you are such a cunt! Anyway, I have a full hand of Rainbow Ralphing Cats so I will have the lovely new Chancellor sort out monetary respite for all – happy days.”

“Double Attack, let’s give this lad’s mother a stroke and kill off his uncle with cancer  in the same week”

“WTF is wrong with you Zeus?”

“Diffuse – it’s not much but let them play the ‘at least we all have our health’ card in an attempt to find a positive.

“Exploding Kitten Motherfucker! That financial help shit – yeah well it’s not actually for everybody. Especially not them.  He hasn’t worked at the new job long enough to qualify and let’s chuck in a rejection for eligibility for the self-employment grant that she thought she was going to get and see how they deal with that”

“We’re not playing anymore Zeus – you’re an asshole. Fuck you man, we’re playing Bananagrams instead”

“They’re fine look, she’s all togged up in the garden her wedding dress.”


Miss Haversham times

“You know that that behaviour isn’t normal right? 

“It’s fine. Everything is fine”

“Fuck off Zeus – you’re a dick!”


Meanwhile, Bman has travelled to Hull today for his uncle’s funeral. I have asked him to try and not say the word Eulogy as he kept getting it wrong.  This morning he said “Yule log” “Hippodrome” and “Epidural” I have suggested that if he does need to use the word at all, he should say “Speech” instead just be on the safe side.

I on the other hand am watching ancient episodes of Eastenders where everyone is slimmer and still has hair. I’ve been uploading the CV I knocked together at 3am this morning to various job search websites. Looking for work I am unqualified to do in workplaces that are closed or have furloughing staff because you know?  You can’t go to work unless you can go to work, in which case you should to to work, unless of course you can’t.

FML and try to keep smiling.

Stay safe. Wash your hands. Clap for carers. We’re all in this together etc etc blah blah blah.



Have a belting Beltane

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It’s May Day MoFos.  Traditionally a time for morris and maypole dancing and pagan ritual.  I offered to attach some tights to the top of the washing line pole so the young witchy one could dance about and weave some May Day magic.  She said she was alright though.
The days are long gone for me of getting up early to wash my face in the first dew of dawn in order to remain as beautiful as the day.


Look at me. Nothing more to be done!

Happy Beltane bitches!


I woke up like this…and yes that is the sofa


My initial thought this morning as I returned from the arms of Morpheus was,“Fecks sake! Not morning again”
Have entertained myself so far today by watching
The Golden Girls (well played Channel 5, well played). Then I recorded the next instalment of reading The Borrowers for my nieces to send via WhatsApp.  I had thought to maybe get togged up in the old mermaid gear and read them The Little Mermaid. But then I remembered that Disney flowered it up for the movie.  In the original story in my childhood fairy tale book, she dies in the end.  They all bloody die in those stories! Or get turned into animals permanently, or locked in the cellar by the wicked stepmother or eaten by wolves.  So I opted for The Borrowers.  Nothing terrifying at all about the possibility that tiny people are wandering about your bedroom after dark, pinching your hair slides.


Last night me and Bman opted to go out for th’Clap, leaving the Childerbeast to represent on the doorstep while we went for a walk.  We bumped into our friends and neighbours The Allens & their dogs, so had a pleasant safe socially distanced outdoor health walk isolation exertion situation.  I had my brolly with me in case it rained, or I needed to poke anyone back into the 2m safety zone.


Observe our outdoor social distancing

Meanwhile, it is Friday. Feel free to tune in to what has been billed apparently as a ‘night of joy and sophistication with The Brewers’.  Essentially that means Bman on his decks again while occasionally the Childerbeast and I wander into the shed and ham it up for the livestream.

Tops Off. Rave on.  (Well, maybe not tops off)




No sound or video necessary for this one

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It’s week 6, possibly 7, of UK lockdown.

If this was the summer holidays it would now be September and time to go back to school with enthusiastic motivation and optimism. Crisp clean uniform and brand new sharpened pencils. That sort of thing.  But no. It’s still only April and yes, we are still confined to barracks.

I don’t mind the quarantine TBH. It has to be done. For the greater good and all that. However, the last two days have been colder and drizzly, which is not nearly as much fun as when it’s warm enough to sit outside. Hopefully, that will change as the days wear on. 

Not gonna lie though. Despite outward appearances that I have been having an awesome time, sitting around drinking shooters and having an awesome time with my awesome self. Dancing around in the laser shed on a Friday pretending to be Yolandi while Bman tinkles on the ones and twos… I do actually think all this is pretty shite. But we do what we have to do to keep busy. It’s all smoke and mirrors though. (A fair bit of smoke as it goes on Friday in that shed. Bman’s had to order more smoke machine solution!)



The following words or phrases – before the start of March, not really having been in anyone’s vocabulary –  are bandied about willy nilly in the media all the time now and I hate them all:- I hate a lot more things right now than I am letting on about.

  • Furloughed
  • Self Isolation
  • Social Distancing
  • The Clap

Before all this, a Lockdown to me meant Zak and the GAC on Really TV, getting shut inside some empty building somewhere with a bunch of paranormal investigation tech.  Now, it means staying in, forcing yourself to get up every day. Playing Bananagrams or Scrabble with a reluctant family, Netflix bingeing and trying not to overeat.

I try to stay positive so the Childerbeast don’t freak out or slump into depression but really, I hate the cheery influx of Zoom or Google Teams type adverts on TV. I hate that the One Show and Have I Got News For You and all that are now just heads on screens like Max Headroom. Their news just a succession of amusing video clips of the World trying to keep itself entertained at home. One massive global episode of Taskmaster, as people jump through hoops, bathe in the kitchen sink and perform collaborative karaoke or dance routines.  I was amused and entertained initially at the Put Your Bins Out In Your Ballgown international phenomenon. Now I’m bored. as I’m sure are many of the other people who may have peaked too soon and now run out of outfits or ridiculous things to do and post online. And for the love of god, sort your camera angles out people. Or at the very least trim the old nasal hair


This is what everyone looks like now.  Are you Zoom ready?

My nieces have resorted to building a new friend from sticks, a carrier bag and a balloon. Her name is Frida and my sister says she is their new home school teacher now because she has had enough of subordinating conjunctions and improper fractions.

 I might build one myself, Weird Science style, and see if I get the male equivalent of Kelly le Brock to appear. Although the way 2020 is panning out so far I’ll probably end up summoning the resurrected form of Fred West or Peter Sutcliffe or something.  Would be just my luck.

I’ll let you know how it goes.



It’s Thursday, AKA “Are you out for t’clap? Day’

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Day 5006895 in the Big Brother house.  It’s not of course. We’re only on week 5, not month 5. Calm down y’all. stop cutting your hair into Tiger King mullets or tattooing yourselves prison style. And for fooks sake stop doing your grocery shopping in your dressing gown at 4pm. It’s too early in the game to give up just yet. Yes you! I saw you. 4 different women on Tuesday in big th’Asda at Pudsey. If anything, you should be making more effort and dressing up like that Put Your Bins Out in Your Ballgown Fb page.

Me and the youngest did venture to B&M last Thursday. We had to form an orderly, socially distanced (but not accurately measured I noticed) 2m apart before we could get in.  Surely the actual end of days if you have to queue to get into B&M because you’re looking for an ‘essential’ paddling pool and cake making ingredients.

Friday was my niece’s birthday so we had a socially distanced Zoom birthday party with 3 different cakes. Not sure it will make up for her cancelled roller disco party with her friends and I’m sure the WhatsApp video we sent her of us singing Happy Birthday and me badly playing along on the descant recorder, will haunt her dreams for months.  Was like something from Psychoville.


Bman did his DJing from the shed again on Friday night and aims to do the same tomorrow.  Maybe he can top last weeks viewing figures and make into the 20s. Maybe this week we can avoid getting locked in by the offspring, who ‘accidentally’ put the latch on so we couldn’t get out and had to ring for them to come and let us out! 


Thus far we haven’t had any family rows, which is frankly amazing. The Childerbeast are even making attempts to participate in some online school work.  They must be bored!
My paddling pool arrived from Amazon at the weekend (I didn’t like the ones they had in B&M) so I fired that up yesterday and even got the youngest involved. She makes a much more glamourous mermaid than her mother – but so she should. She’s 15 and I am a 48-year-old woman with no business dressing as a fish.  The elder child was not on board with the idea of fishing herself up and joining in. We did at least get her to join in with our daily game of Bananagrams later though.  All hail the Bananagrams – saviour of the family lockdown.

Yes. Our entertainment expectations have lowered somewhat over the last 4 or 5 weeks.  Bman popping up and down at the window like a meerkat (more than usual) anytime anybody goes past.  Stood with his hands behind his back, giving me a running commentary:-
“Who are these Marys here?  They’re up to no good” or “What’s this bellend up to?”  “Where did she get that bread from? That’s not the bread they sell down at the shop.”  Then
“Hey, this lad has been out once already today!”  “Who’s this one here in sunglasses? He said Hello to me the other day but I don’t know who he is but he looks like Karl Largerfield”
“Look, Linda’s dog already did a shit, they’ll have to carry that round now on their walk – that’s not a good start is it?”

….and so on…


Who needs TV eh?  Speaking of – On Sunday we introduced the youngest to the televisual delights of the 1970s and we watched ‘Sunday Night At The London Palladium’ on Talking Pictures TV. Had to explain the concept of the loon suit to her as she wondered what the hell it was that The Drifters were wearing. There was also some questionable banter between host Ted (321) Rogers and French crooner Sasha Distel that involved the word ‘poof’ at least a dozen times.  She must have been mildly impressed because on Monday she asked if “that weird show is on again tonight?”  I said, “No because it’s called Sunday night at the London Palladium for a reason”.  She’ll have to wait.




That time Fred West juggled hoops at the London Palladium

If lockdown continues and nothing new is being filmed I reckon this kind of crap will end up the main channels before long rather than hidden away on the more random Freeview channels.  We can enjoy the UnPc delights of things like ‘Mind Your Language’ or ‘Love Thy Neighbour’ as we eat our Fray Bentos pies and our bananas and custard. Proper 70s style. 

Keep your ass on the sofa sinners and stay in but stay in touch.

Ciao Bella Xx


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Day #35698 of Lockdown.

Well, it isn’t, but sometimes it feels that way.

I’m fluctuating between days where my mental state feels like this…


…to days like Monday (I think it was Monday anyway) where it was more like this…

blair witch

…and I didn’t get out of bed until 4pm because I didn’t want to participate in anything other than to have a bit of tea and then I went back to my pit at 7:30pm.


Today, thankfully was more like a Kermit day.  I heard from quite a few people on messenger and Whatsapp. So that made me feel less of a loser.
I was sat in the garden enjoying my book in a deck chair when I heard a man shouting.  It was a gypsy scrapper at my back gate, looking like an extra from The Tiger King. He wanted to know if I had any old iron he could have. I replied in the negative and he went on his way, but not before he had wolf-whistled, 1970s style, to himself as he shambled toothlessly away down my rear passage.

Nice to know I’ve still got it.


I had a visage-a-visage isolation conversation (adhering to social distancing rules of course) at the end of my drive with my friend from over the road. And also a chat through the car window (again from a safe distance) with my other friend.  We talked about whether it was normal to think that you might accidentally fall over into a pile of dog muck with your mouth open. Or trip on a country walk & get snagged on some barbed wire and then starve to death. You know, just the usual normal type of conversations you have with your friends.


I also played swingball and Jenga with Wilson. He was better at Jenga and beat me at that.  He couldn’t keep up with me on the hula hoop though.



Who knows what will occur tomorrow? There’s loose talk of a walk to B&M for essential items like the ever-elusive yeast or maybe even a paddling pool.

Friday, Bman is livestreaming another DJ set from the shed. I have threatened to podium dance atop the haunted chair this week. Tune in on Fb and enjoy the show.

Stay sane out there MoFos and try not to die Xx