Strange collective nouns; a rushes of films; God’s Own Country

*This post contains spoilers for some films, especially God’s Own Country*

God's Own Country DVD

I recently saw, on Twitter that the collective noun (the name we give for a number of the same thing together) for pandas is “a cupboard”. So if you happen to be somewhere and see a lot of pandas roaming around you could say to someone that you’d seen a cupboard. Of course, unless they also know that there is such a thing as a cupboard of pandas, they won’t have a clue what you are talking about. Probably the most famous collective noun is “murder” – as in a murder of crows. Collective nouns can be quite strange.

That led me to wondering if there was a collective noun for films. It seems there isn’t. So I thought about “rushes”. This is the raw footage of films before editing and I thought that “a rushes of films” would fit the bill. And why was I thinking about this? Well, recently, I’ve been watching a lot of films with a gay theme. Of course, we have Brokeback Mountain to thank for this. And then there was Moonlight which won the Oscar. And this year, there’s Call Me By Your Name up for best picture.

I find gay-themed films so bloody depressing. Being gay is never really celebrated. Being gay, in films, seems to be destructive and heart-breaking. A gay person must go through a slight moment of happiness before it all comes crashing down. Or they suffer immeasurably simply by not being able to be themselves.

Call Me By Your Name is like this. It’s a “coming of age” film where a youngish kid learns that he’s gay and has an affair with an older guy who then goes and breaks his heart by going back to the USA and conforming by getting married to some woman. The young guy is left distraught. I mean to say, I know it was like this even 30 years ago, but this was not how it was for me, so it’s hard to relate to.

Then there’s 1:54, a French-Canadian film – again about coming of age but this also deals with bullying and death and none of the gay characters end up in a good position (since they all die).

Then, I am watching BPM (120 battements par minute), a french film about Act Up in Paris. You can see this isn’t going to end well for many of the protagonists since most of them have AIDS and are dying. Although, obviously, this is about the bravery of those who were fighting for better health care from the French government.

And in the meantime I watched God’s Own Country two times and, in fact, it was even better the second time around. It is, quite possibly, the best film ….. ever.

My “best film ever” has always been Brief Encounter, the David Lean film from 1945. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched this and now I cry even at the beginning, knowing what will happen at the end. But, basically, I am a romantic. A hopeless romantic. This idea of a handsome, strong prince who comes and sweeps you off your feet is what I always wanted. Now, quite possibly, God’s Own Country might take over as my favourite film. It’s a true romantic film. It is like a Cinderella for our times. Cinderella being a hard-working farmer who sees no hope and is rescued by a handsome Romanian who shows him what love, tenderness, relationships are like AND gives him ideas as to how to create a better farm. It’s beautiful and inspiring and, for once, the characters are not left in a bad place. This is the reality for me.

People have tried to compare it to Call Me By Your Name. CMBYN was a beautifully filmed film, gorgeous settings, great soundtrack and a gay storyline. GOC has all of that (even if the Yorkshire landscape is not really to my taste, it was filmed so as to make it stunning) but there is really no comparison. Although both cover a relationship that gets off to a tricky start and flourishes for a while and then seems to hit the rocks, GOC has a comeback at the end that gives the film it’s hope and happy ending – like in a “normal”, heterosexual film whereas CMBYN ends in a cliche – a “typical” gay film where no one is really happy. CMBYN is, correctly, described as a “coming of age” film. GOC is not. In GOC there is no “coming to terms with” being gay, rather it shows someone who has never known affection, thinking that gay sex is only a quickie in the toilets, learn that love and affection CAN be had and that both have some real meaning.

Some have compared it to Brokeback Mountain, saying it’s the British version of the same. And, yes, the relationship really starts whilst the two are in some desolate spot, stuck together in a harsh environment – but that’s it. That is a small part of the film, not the main part. Again, the ending of BM seems to imply that gay people can’t have proper relationships; that it’s all about sex and that, eventually, one of them “returns” to get married and have kids, forever hating the fact that he can’t be who he wants to be.

GOC is not this at all. These guys are quite happy being gay; they don’t want and nor are they pressured (by society; by family; by whoever) into giving up their gay side to become “normal”. Johnny is up for sex whenever the opportunity arises. Gheorghe is not really looking for that, having already had some meaningful relationship, he sees the possibility in Johnny for the real thing and a chance to create something together. Thank God – because Johnny is difficult as he doesn’t understand himself, his emotions, nor what is possible.

But the thing about this film is the subtlety. There is no difficult, long dialogue (although the Yorshire accent can be difficult.) This is a film told in pictures, in metaphors. This is reality, where a look tells you so much more than words can; salt takes on a different meaning; coating yourself in another’s hide can help you to be with someone (the little lamb finding a new mother/Johnny wearing Gheorghe’s jumper and realising that he needs Gheorghe too); the caravan is towed away meaning Gheorghe already lives in the house with Johnny (and Johnny’s Dad and Nan). A picture tells a thousand words but this film is hundreds* of pictures telling thousands of words. You will have to watch it several times to get it all.

But, basically, it’s boy meets boy, boy nearly fucks it all up, boy goes to get boy and they all live happily ever after, maybe.

But, quite honestly, it’s just the best thing I’ve seen. It covers the gay scene that I never experienced (the cruising, one-time sex) but am aware of and the one I have experienced 3 times (the long relationship bit). And, most gay people I’ve met long for that handsome prince to settle down with – this film gives hope to many who think it can never happen to them and that type of gay-themed film doesn’t come along that often – if it ever does.

So, this is more than worth a watch. It should be a must-see. For me it’s a reality that exists and the farming bits are as real as they could be. In fact, it didn’t seem like the actors were acting at all – and that always makes for a good film.

And, most importantly, it’s a really romantic film, beautifully filmed and the screenplay is second to none. As I say, now it is possibly my most favourite film ever! I can’t stop thinking about it and every evening I want to watch it again. For sure, this weekend I must watch it again.

* Hundreds of pictures telling thousands of words may be an slight exaggeration!

Was I mistaken?

Was I mistaken?

I haven’t posted much recently.

It’s not that there isn’t any need. It’s just that I can’t.

I’ve been going through a fairly shit time, to be honest. I have situations that are not really good and I am struggling to remain positive. Thank God for F – although he doesn’t really know what is happening – at least what is happening in my head – and maybe that’s just as well. Anyway, he’s got his own shit to worry about. The house in Carrara and the problems with the builders; work; and I suspect other shit that I know nothing about, since he rarely talks about things.

On a brighter note, I finally got to watch God’s Own Country. I’m now watching it a second time because I’m worried that it is not really as good as I thought it was. I was expecting it to be good; no, I was expecting it to be amazing and the problem is that, on first watching, it was. But then I got to thinking that, maybe, it was better than amazing because that’s what I wanted. So I’m halfway through watching it again, trying to be more critical. As a result, I’m picking up more things about it. I’ll let you know about how I really feel after I’ve finished watching it again.

Was I mistaken about the film? Maybe.
Was/am I mistaken about the other shit? Almost certainly not. But I’m trying to hang on in there. After all, in the big scheme of things, it’s not long now ….

Films – and the one I’ve really been waiting for

As usual, I’ve managed to watch the contenders for the best film at the Oscars, except for Phantom Thread.

For me, the outstanding films that are the ones that should win are Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and The Shape Of Water. The Post is a good, solid film; Dunkirk and Darkest Hour are, in my view, overrated but OK; Lady Bird is quite good but shouldn’t win; Get Out is rubbish – like a 1950’s horror-made-for-TV film: Call Me By Your Name is beautifully shot but the storyline is not all that, in fact, it was annoying (for me) that, in the end, the American guy went on to get married and have a “normal” life. At the time it was set, I’d already been living with M for a few years, so it doesn’t resonate with me at all.

But there’s a film that I’ve “heard” about (and ordered on DVD) that might, in theory, beat all of them, if the reviews from the public are anything to go by – God’s Own Country. I have been waiting to see this for months and I have high hopes. The reviews from ordinary cinema-goers have been more than ecstatic with people saying they’ve been going to see it more than once. It’s a “first” film by Francis Lee (first feature film) and it has got some rave reviews.

So, although it’s not up for an Oscar, it’s been the film I’ve most wanted to see. My worry is that it has been hyped so much and my expectations are so high, that I’ll be disappointed. I really hope not.

The recurring teddy bears

Recurring Teddy Bears

He had died, apparently.

His dad said something to me about “not wanting to bother me” or somesuch thing. I cried. It felt wrong that they hadn’t told me. I was upset, for sure.

Earlier, we’d been watching a film. It was a cross between a thriller and a horror movie.

There had been a teddy bear which something embroidered into it. I asked F what it had been on the teddy. He told me it was an “M” (or was it “em”?) When it had been seen, everyone’s eyes went pink, including the teddy bear’s!

Some kids were playing in their room. It reminded me of Peter Pan. Four kids of different ages, jumping on the beds as if on trampolines. It could have been on stage. It may have been on stage – the camera angle being from below and to the front of them – as if outside the room – there was no wall or it was as if the wall wasn’t there being the front of the stage.

Their mother called them for tea. They ran off. The teddy bear was on the floor, near the nightstand, in front of the nightstand and had a sting of pearls around it or, at least, a necklace with beads. It was dark in that particular corner. A hand reached out from under the bedside table and pulled the teddy bear back underneath, breaking the necklace and, so scattering the beads/pearls over the floor. They rolled around noisily.

I got up to go to the bathroom. I asked F if, in fact, I had asked him this question. He said “No.” It had been a dream that I was awake and half-watching the film whereas, in fact, I was asleep and, most probably, fitting the dream to the sounds of the film.

And, then, later. When he died.

And I don’t quite remember whether it was afterwards (after I had got up to go to the bathroom again) or during the dream that I had had the keys to the flat given to me because that was what he had wanted. And I remember the special teddy bear I had bought him years ago – a limited, numbered edition, with wire-rim spectacles and a rolled up certificate. It had been sitting on the small, child’s chair in the hallway. And I didn’t even, at the time, have any reason to look and less to remember and, yet, I did and had remembered.

And was it during the dream or after I had woken that I was torn between wanting to be the beneficiary of the will and wanting to wash my hands of everything because being a beneficiary was also being responsible for all the shit he had left behind.

In any event, I was upset and I cried more than once (but that was definitely in the dream.)

And, for certain, when I was awake, I didn’t want it to happen – to have happened. For all sorts of reasons.

And, I wonder, when will I be able to shake him (and the problems and issues he brings) out of my life?

I don’t know if I really did wake so many times to go to the bathroom or I dreamt it. These were just two of the dreams I had last night. There were others but I don’t remember them.

Nina Forever – a fucked up fairy tale

So, as you may know, I’m just a little keen on Kickstarter.

The latest thing to be released, that I helped to fund, is Nina Forever.

I helped to fund about 1 second of the film. Doesn’t sound much, does it? But it’s something and the resulting film, going by the trailer, looks really excellent.

It’s just been showing at SXSW in Austin, Texas.

One hopes it will be released and available very soon and I, for one, am very excited about getting to see it, I hope, very soon.

Very, very, VERY excited :-)

And, here is the trailer. I hope you like it.

Twitter focus change

As time goes on, I’m finding Twitter much more enjoyable than Facebook.

But I’ve noticed a change – or, maybe, it’s something to do with how I’m interacting on Twitter – I’m not sure.

People have followed me in the past and I’ve looked at their profiles and not bothered to follow back. After all, I’m not really what you could call a “serious” Twitter user. I’m not really interested in numbers of followers or, that much, in who follows me. I don’t normally tweet very much, just doing the occasional retweets.

But then I started promoting Altern-i-life, the musical film that I helped to fund through Kickstarter. An I was tweeting and retweeting several times per day. And I saw that I was getting more notice and that more people were following me. And I decided to change the way I interacted by automatically following back. Then, after a little while I would see some had unfollowed me (so I would unfollow them since they weren’t that interesting) or my feed would be filled with rubbish or things that I didn’t like, so I would unfollow them first.

But, what I have noticed is some people are using Twitter as a way to promote something they’ve done. I first noticed it with Matt Haig who wrote The Humans. He, unselfconsciously, promoted himself by retweeting short (Twitter) reviews from people who had read the book. It seemed an interesting book, so I bought it. As you may know, I prefer a “real” book, made with paper and this was one of them. It became my favourite book of 2014. I absolutely loved it. So much so that I bought 2 copies (one in Italian) for Best Mate and F as presents and encouraged someone else to buy it.

As a result of that, maybe, I’ve been followed by other authors, each one promoting their book. Some are self-published and others not. And I’ve also been followed by musicians (singer-songwriters), some of whom have “given” me downloads of their stuff. So far, no one has had the impact of Matt Haig (so much so that I will definitely be buying his new book, out very soon) but I’m sure that, somewhere along the way, I’m going to find some more interesting stuff and something like “The Humans” (either song or book) that I will go “Wow!”

But, this was not what I thought Twitter was about, so, for me, it’s an interesting change of focus.

I still follow the people that I know IRL, those that are funny or give me information that I want to know about and, a very few, with whom I disagree with their politics or thoughts but who are interesting enough to keep me hooked. But now I have a load of people on my timeline that also have something to “sell”. If they are engaging enough, I keep following them anyway, even if I’m not that impressed with their product. After all, you never know!

Breakneck speed …..

As we hurtle, at breakneck speed towards the “time to go back to work” and the “time it gets to be effing cold”, I thought I’d get you up to date ……

Most years, I wish for snow at Christmas. It never happens, of course. Maybe we have some snow before Christmas but that’s gone by Christmas Eve. But, just once, it would be lovely to have snow and for everywhere to look like it does on the Christmas cards.

However, this year, I didn’t wish for snow because, for the first time ever, I would be travelling on Christmas Eve and the road/motorway I would be travelling on would be through mountains – so I definitely didn’t want snow. I didn’t even want rain, to be honest.

So, secretly wishing I wasn’t travelling but, rather, staying home, I travelled. There was little traffic and I was down there by the afternoon.

F had put the heating on for a full day but opening the door, it was like a sauna. My glasses steamed up immediately. The house has a damp problem. A big damp problem and the heat, instead of drying it out, just created a steamy atmosphere. I opened windows, hoping it wouldn’t be so bad.

To be honest, I was a little bit worried for the dogs. I’m not sure that the humid/damp atmosphere would be good for them but there really wasn’t anything I could do.

That night, we went to his cousins for something to eat. I was bloody starving as I hadn’t eaten anything all day. I had planned to have something for lunch but our cleaner was in so I didn’t and she only left at the time that I was leaving so no chance to grab something quick. I ate like a bloody horse – so much so that this was the butt of jokes over the next few days.

We slept at the house. We switched the heating off and it got very cold and damp during the night.

The next day, Christmas Day, we went round to his parents’ place to say hi. PaC, to me, didn’t look worse than the summer except he was slower and seemed resigned, almost as if he had had enough.

Then we went to the restaurant for our Christmas lunch. Christmas lunch with the extended family (not F’s but the cousin’s). It was OK but once I caught myself thinking that I may have preferred to be in Milan, on my own. Still, it was nice and I was included. F drove back and was going to drop me off at the house and then go his parents but had a headache and asked if we could go to his parents’ first and then I take the car to the house. I was to have a bath, take the dogs out and call him. I didn’t call him because it meant he could stay with PaC and I didn’t want to disturb that. Eventually, around 9, he called me. He had been sleeping and had a bad cold (which he had had before Christmas but now it was worse.) We agreed that, with his cold, it would be stupid for him to come over to the damp house to sleep and so he stayed here and I stayed at the house with the dogs. I left the heating on low all night.

To be honest, without him being there, it made it possibly the worst Christmas I’ve ever had. At least the one Christmas I had been on my own, many years ago, I had the comforts of home. Here I had no computer, no films and not even a TV! It was really dreadful.

The next day, we were to meet at his sister’s to have lunch. When we got there I said, as I decided previously that morning, that I would go home after lunch. I mean, what was the point of staying if I wasn’t even going to have the nights with him? He was happier with that too as it meant he wouldn’t have to worry about me. And, so, I came home and happier to be here. F said that it didn’t feel like Christmas and for me, it was worse, it was a crappy “weekend”.

But it’s done and over now. New Year’s Eve was the usual dinner with (mostly) self-invited guests. We put on a wonderful spread with help from FfI and her friend, H. We finished at 4 a.m. I think it was successful.

And now, tomorrow, is F’s birthday. The special thing which I helped to fund via Kickstarter has not arrived in time, so it will have to be a birthday present to come later. In the meantime, I’ve bought an Italian copy of The Humans by Matt Haig, my favourite book of 2014, a DVD and one of those cards with the year he was born.

Tomorrow, as well, because we didn’t have our usual Boxing Day lunch with P and A, we shall have that, to celebrate his birthday. Then there’s a dinner party for A, my friend, and his girlfriend on Monday, then Tuesday is the “take the tree down” and him getting ready for London and Wednesday is all back to the usual grind.

And, apart from the day before New Year’s Eve, when he was a complete bastard (but I’m trying to be so patient with him given the circumstances) it’s all been either OK or, in the last few days, quite lovely. We now have TV and so we’ve been spending some time watching films and stuff in the lounge, which has been nice.

From Wednesday, he’ll be in London for over a week and I’ll be struggling to get back into the swim of things.

And, so, I hope you all have a great 2015. Wishing you all a very happy New Year.

Bastard weekend. And the tree.

It’s been a strange weekend.

First, on Saturday morning, we went to buy a tree. We chose one and had it delivered. It fitted perfectly.

I left him to it. I did ask if he wanted help but he said no. The strange thing is that we can do certain things together but for other things, we just don’t rub along. In this way he reminds me of my father, for whom I could never do anything right; I was never ready with the correct tool or correct thing; it was boring because I wasn’t actually allowed to “do” anything. With F, this is much the same. So, as last year, I left him to it.

But, obviously, that wasn’t quite right either.

After some time, I heard a load of expletives and so I went to look. Apparently the adapter, for the lights, was broken and, worse, he couldn’t get the broken one out of the socket. I started to suggest something but, as usual, he talks over me so I shut up. Then we have the usual “go on then …. say what you were going to say …”

I made a suggestion. I went to get the screwdriver. I asked if I should do it. He, grumpily, moved out of the way and, within 2 seconds I had removed it.

Of course, we didn’t have another. I offered to go and find one.

Now, here’s the thing about Italian plugs and sockets. They can be very different. Some plugs have two pins and some three (in a line, not like the UK) and sometimes the pins are “fat” and sometimes “skinny”. The fat ones seem to be on the larger electrical items (fridges, cookers, washing machines, etc.)

So, we needed and adapter with thin pins which allowed both thin pinned plugs and fat pinned plugs to be connected – like the broken one.

Off I went, carrying the broken one because I needed to find the same type. I went to three supermarkets and managed to find one which only allowed thin pinned plugs to be connected. Then I went to one of the Chinese shops and found one which did allow fat pins to be connected – but one of the fat pinned sockets was with a special “round” extension that didn’t allow all fat pinned plugs to be connected.

It was no good.

I said I would take the dogs out and have a look on the way.

I found another Chinese shop and got another adapter which was possibly going to work. Then I found a hardware store. The guy gave me an adapter – like the first one I bought, only for thin pinned plugs. i explained that I needed it for both types. He told me they didn’t make them any more (which explained why I couldn’t find them) and gave me a single converter for thin to thick pins. I said OK then I have both and plug the converter into the adapter. He said this was wrong/bad/something similar – but sold them to me anyway.

Obviously, this worked. And we only have the lights on when we’re there, so it’s OK.

The tree looks lovely.

The Xmas tree, F and the dogs

That night he had the shop Christmas meal.

The next day, after breakfast, I did some cleaning things. He said he wanted to reorganise the kitchen cupboards “because I can’t find anything.” He had mentioned this the day before and suggested something to which I had said OK. This time, he opened one cupboard and queried why some pans were at the top of the cupboard and some in the drawer. I explained (I thought) that I’d already tried that but, because the drawers were not fixed to the wall, the extra pans made the whole thing to heavy and it fell forward when you opened the drawer.

But, it seems that to his ears I was saying that I didn’t like the idea! Or, at least that’s what I guess.

Then he started on a rant about how everything is always done the way I want it. I said that it wasn’t true but he stops listening when he’s “on one.” So I shut up. Then I get how all English people are the same and just stay quiet followed closely by how selfish I am which is followed by how everything has to be done as I like which is followed by how the washing is always done when I want. The logic of all this escapes me. I laugh, for what else should I do? This is insane. Obviously, the laugh was in frustration but, possibly, the worst thing I could do.

So that was that.

I continue my polishing of the silver and doing the washing. We didn’t speak for the rest of the day. I watched a film; he watched a film. He went out.

He came back. “I’ve bought you some cakes. Well, obviously, they’re not all for you.” I thank him. I put them in the kitchen.

I ask, a little later, if he wants something to eat. He doesn’t. I take a shower and ask, again, if he’s sure. He says no, he’s still full from last night. I make myself some pasta, eat it and have one of the cakes. I go to the bedroom and thank him.

All other “conversation” is me telling him what I’m doing. Which is only when necessary. I try not to be angry but it’s hard. His argument still makes absolutely no sense to me. It has no merit or logic! I absolutely did not say that stuff had to be in a certain place, I just said that making the drawer too heavy meant that it would fall over when you opened it! I just don’t get it and realise that, in so many ways, we are so different. But, as I say, once he starts, there’s simply no speaking to him. I tire of it and I don’t want it. If I hadn’t been in the middle of cleaning the silver, I think I would have gone out. Next time, I probably will.

I realise that the cakes were some kind of peace offering but it’s just not good enough.

And, then again, I try to be somewhat sympathetic. After all, the thing with PaC and his aunt dying earlier ……..

I have a feeling that, this morning, he may have re-done all the kitchen cupboards anyway. We shall see.

In the meantime, life goes on. I don’t feel like going down to Carrara now. I want to say to him that I won’t go. And, then again, I think, perhaps, how miserable he feels and, so, I won’t say anything, of course.

Order is important ……. ish

“How should we put the DVDs?”

This is not a stupid question. I’ve probably got about 400 and he has at least a couple of hundred. First, they will take up some space and secondly, if we are to find a film, we need to be able to get it without searching for hours!

“I don’t mind,” I say.

“You’ve got yours in alphabetical order,” he adds, “whilst mine are in a different order.”

“I have all the Romy ones together, for example. Or I have them in order of the director.”

“But I don’t really know the directors, that’s why mine are in alphabetical order,” I say.

When I want a film, I tend to go for the title of the film. I rarely remember the director’s name (with a few exceptions). “Perhaps we could have them in alphabetical order but then put the ones for Romy under “R”,” I suggest.

He pulls a bit of a face.

“But the others I have are in a different order,” he counters.

I laugh. After all, to be honest, we don’t watch DVDs so often these days – but maybe we will when we have a TV in the lounge?

“OK, you do it how you want,” laughing as I say this.

After all, this is how it will be, whatever I think!

Giving a whistle

As I mentioned, nearly everything is good, wonderful or fantastic!

The last half of the year has been rather good, in most ways.

I saw Best Mate for her 40th birthday; we went to a lovely wedding in London and slipped in a few hours of sightseeing too (well more of visiting the Isabella Blow – Fashion Galore exhibition at Somerset House and a tiny bit of shopping); we went to see a lovely flat (although I don’t think it’s quite right for us and nor did F); Christmas is coming and I got a new car.

I did all my Christmas cards (will post tomorrow), got most Christmas presents (except the main one for F which I’m getting during the weekend before Christmas plus, maybe, a few other small things), F’s birthday is sorted (depending on the Christmas post) and F will be cleaning the house whilst I’m away.

Yeah, OK, the going away thing is not so good. I will be away fours days (more or less), including the whole of this weekend. :-(

It’s for work, not pleasure and the timing is, well, not brilliant – other than, when I come back, the house will be clean. Apart from, maybe, the kitchen. F wants to do that when I’m there, otherwise, nothing will be thrown out and he’s a bit of a “thrower-outer” whereas I’m a bit of a hoarder, even with foodstuffs.

The menu is almost set both for Christmas Day and Boxing Day (when we shall have guests, as last year) and, at the rate New Year is going and the self-inviting that people seem to do, we may have a house full and be doing a buffet dinner rather than a sit down dinner! But that’s OK. It’s nice that people want to join us for New Year. The important thing is that we’re with the dogs (because of the fireworks).

For Boxing Day we shall have Roast Pork, some Christmas pudding made by Best Mate, some nice English cheese and a very nice bottle of port that I bought when I was over for Best Mate’s birthday! Plus, because we’re in Italy, lasagne, brodo with pasta, salumi (for which I have a mostarda made with tomotoes), panettone and a ton of wine. Mmmmmm.

We went to see a film on Sunday night (in Italian so I didn’t get a lot of the dialogue – and it was very dialogue-heavy – Venus in Furs). On the way back, as we strolled across Corso Buenos Aries, F remarked how he “didn’t feel Christmassy”. I pointed out that he said the same thing about the same time last year. He explained it was because Milan was so miserable. I said that the lights on CBA looked really lovely. He said that it wasn’t like London. I pointed out that, for me, there were the lights of Hereford or Hay-on-Wye and so, the lights here, in Milan, ARE wonderful although I agreed that London’s were better.

Anyway, I never feel really Christmassy until I’ve finished work for the holidays. Before that, it’s always such a rush to do everything in time – both at work and home.

Anyway, I AM looking forward to Christmas, being at home, with F and the dogs and feeling “safe” as I always do at home.

Got some nice Christmas films to watch as well :-)

So, things are, generally, pretty good!

And, anyway, should anything be bad, you can always do as the song says and give a little whistle.