Friday 28 January 2022

More of what I watched

Continuing with what I watched recently. There was one film that I had wanted to see ever since I had first seen the trailer: 'The House with a Clock in its Walls'. Starring Jack Black and Cate Blanchett, it is basically a children's film, but that has never stopped me before. A young orphan named Lewis Barnavelt aids his magical uncle in locating a clock with the power to bring about the end of the world. I particularly liked the interaction between Jack Black as the uncle and Cate Blanchett as the friend, as they bickered and called each other names. Overall though I thought it was okay, but not much more.

I watched two films on Amazon recently with the same premise: time loop. The first one was 'Palm Springs', the second was 'The Map of Tiny Perfect Things'. 1. Stuck in a time loop, two wedding guests develop a budding romance while living the same day over and over again. This was very much an adult version. And it required more than just being a good person to get out of the time loop again. 2. Two teens get stuck in a time loop and make a map to try and get out of it again. This was more of a teenage version and for some reason a bit more fun to watch. Definitely more relatable. 

I had recorded 'Ready Player One' a while ago and watched it the other day. When the creator of a virtual reality called the OASIS dies, he makes a posthumous challenge to all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune and control of his world. It is set in the future and the main protagonists are all teens, but I liked it very much and in fact watched it twice in two days!

'Wonderstruck' was a film in two parts. It tells the tale of two children separated by fifty years. In 1927, Rose searches for the (silent movie) actress whose life she chronicles in her scrapbook; in 1977, Ben runs away from home to find his father. The visualisation of both stories was fantastic. The 1927 bits were shown with music only, no spoken word and were for me the best of the film. I loved the ending as well, as it really made the stories come together. 

The last film I will share today was 'The 5th Wave'. Another film starring teens. Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth in ruin. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. The film was left quite open ended as it was based on the first of a series of books. I think I would watch a sequel, but only if it were a close ended one. But I did quite like this one.

Tuesday 25 January 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-04

Goodmorning, it is time for Tuesday's Travels again. And this photo here is part of the Liver Building in Liverpool, England. Several of you knew that and points go to Fun60, Hilary, Yamini and Gera. 
My story? I have been to Liverpool twice. The first time I only saw Beatles related things and the second time was with the University of Utrecht. Unfortunately the morning I had off and I could see a bit of Liverpool, was also the morning my camera decided to quit on me (empty batteries) and I didn't carry any spares. So I have very few photos. Oh, for all the non-Brits: Liver in the building is pronounced like diver. 

On to this week's challenge. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week. Good luck! 

Monday 24 January 2022

What I have watched recently

Over the past few weeks and months I have been watching plenty of films on television. In the run up to Christmas it was mostly Christmas films, some of them good, some of them utterly forgettable. But I also watched other stuff. One of those I saw was 'A Dog's Purpose' and its follow-up 'A Dog's Journey'. Both lovable films with the main 'man' being Bailey the Dog as he lives his (occasionally her) life as a dog to different people, yet all the time coming back to the same person (the character played by Dennis Quaid) or his granddaughter (played by Kathryn Prescott). 

Another animal film I watched was 'Cats'. Based on the work by TS Eliot, it was turned into a musical years ago by Andrew Lloyd Webber and a while ago they made it into a film. It got really bad reviews, but I loved it. I really did. I thought the sets were gorgeous, the actors were good and I was pleasantly surprised by the whole thing. 

Staying with an animal theme, I recently saw 'Finch' on Apple TV. There are only three real actors in the whole film: Tom Hanks who plays the main character Finch, Caleb Landry Jones who plays Jeff and Seamus who plays Goodyear. It is an apocalyptic film in that it takes place after some 'wipe out humanity' event which is never specified and Finch is suffering from radiation sickness. He has to look after his dog though and for that purpose he builds a robot, which will have to look after Goodyear the dog after he cannot any longer. There are a few other voice characters and sight characters, but these three carried the whole film. I have always liked Tom Hanks and here he proves it again. This film could easily shine at the Oscars!

No animals for the next film: 'Mum's List'. But plenty of tissues were needed for this film based on a true story. Rafe Spall plays Singe and Emilia Fox plays his wife Kate. Following the death of Kate, it shows hos Singe and their two sons cope and deal with that. Flashbacks show how the two met, what they went through and how and why Kate ended up with a list to follow. Rafe Spall was great as a bewildered and scared father, he made the story very real.

The last film I want to give attention to this time around is 'Kalte Füsse' (Cold Feet). It is a German film and even though it wasn't a tear jerker or thought provoking, it did give me an hour and a half of enjoyment. When Denis breaks into the Austrian winter cottage of rich business man Raimund he gets mistaken for the new nurse by Raimund's granddaughter Charlotte. In order not to get busted Denis decides to play along. It is quite slapsticky and crude in places, but I do on occasion love that kind of humour. 

Sunday 23 January 2022

Wednesday 19 January 2022

Another challenge

Last year I had a challenge: waling 790 km in total. At least. Due to the move and the knee deciding not to blay pall aytmore sometime around October, I did not make it. Not even by squinting. I was noweher near. I did get into cycling sometime in November at least, so did not stop mivng about. Well, not until the hand was hacked into and the outside cycling also flell away.

Not only did the moeving about more or less grind to a hald several times, the wiehtt I had worked so hard to get down, also slowly started creepuing up again. And then stopped creeping and stuarted running and jumping. Which meant that by the time January 1st rolled around, I had gained back nearly all I had lost. Yikes!

Now I have talked about the Conqueror Challenges before and am very happy with them. I am currently in the process of (indoor) cycling the Ring Road of Iceland and am making good progress, after I had to claw it back from over 200 km behind. (now about 150 km ahead) I am hopeful I can finishe htat challenge sometime in Februrary or eraly March. 

They do also have a annual challenge, which they name ofter the year and this year's challenge is 2022. It can be anything you choose, be it the distance thyou plan on running or walking or cycling or swimming or whatever this year. You can also have other gowals and people use it for a dayly help to stay sober, get off the couch, brush their hair, and wieth lss. Weight loss. 

I have decided that this year it is going to be weight loss for me. I have lost 16 kilograms in the past in about six months, so trying for 25 kilograms for the year should be feasible. So far I am on track. If i reach the goal partly through the year, I can adjust the goal upward (I canalso adjust downward, but to met hat isnot an option. ) And at the end a medal shoudl be coming my way, showing that I can do it!

Another goal this year is gettin back to walking. For that I need to loose weight as well, as my knee is suffering from all the xtra weitght. In the mean time I will ycyle , either at home or outside and I hope that once my wrist ois okay agai, I will get to go swimming again. I know I wol never do a tiratho triathlon again, but to be able to at least walk, would be great. 

In short: 25 kilograms weight loss; get back to walking atg some point; get swimming. My 2022 Challenge!

Tuesday 18 January 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-03

This bridge seemed to be quite well known to some of you as it is of course the Pont du Gard near Nîmes in France. It used to be on the first set of five euro notes as well, not sure if it is still on there now, haven't had a note in my hand for so long! Full points to Yamini and Harm. A quarter point to Janice.
My story? During the trip in the Provence years ago, I was allowed to come on a canoeing trip with the youngsters. They stuck me in the boat with the smallest girl possible, who was very likely overjoyed to be sat in the canoe with me instead of her friends(!). This photo was actually taken from the water (River Gardon).

On to this week's challenge. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week!

By the by: a small rectification needs to be made as well: Hilary also gets a point for the Edmonton Mall. My point will be taking down again (sigh). It won't change the final outcome of last year, but she is definitely a force to be reckoned with!

Monday 17 January 2022

Stung and splinted

This will stay in the cupboard for a while longer
A week and ahalf ago now , I got the nasty injection in my hand and as soon as the injection pain was gone, the other pain started to go as well. Mind you, there were still movement s that would cause discompfort to a great degree and I used my old CTS splint at night to keep my wrist from bending too much.

Then last week I got to see a hand therapist. She loked, asked and then continued to make a splint. A bit of heated plastic was moulded around my hand and then go cut to size. Fasternes were attached and I was told I had to wear it for at least three weeks. I am allowed to take if off occasianlyy, but I have to wear it when using the hand. 

So far it has been okay to wear. Better at least than the other one, which allwed much more movement of the hand itself and did not incorportate that thumb. It also causes some problems, mainly with food making and other fernickity household chores like folding laundry. 

The plan is now: werar the splint for at least three weeks and then ahave an other pappointment with the theratpist. Then I have to start using it less and less, providing the pain is gone. She thoguht it was promising the hand was laready quite painless now, so had good hpes for a full recoery. 

In the mean time I cannot drive yet, as incsurance will blame me if anything ehppanes. (good grief, typing with ps;ingt is hard). On the plus side: the Olympicas will start soon and I will have all the opprotuninty to watch the lot. On the negatve side: plast ic surgery (and heand therapy) are not coveried and have to pbe paid for by me, at least until I reach my annuwal allowance, which ast this rate ig coming fast. Mind you, the first ops were last year and then the new year started. putiing my allowance back to the zero.

Anyway. So far so good and before I know it the hand will be fine again. But, no moving anywhere anytime soon!

Sunday 16 January 2022

Tuesday 11 January 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-02

Several of you knew the answer to this one, which was of course Manneken Pis in Brussels (or the little Weeing Boy). Points go to Fun60, Gera, Gerrit, Harm and Hilary. Half points go to Gattina and Janice for not mentioning the where. Sorry.
My story? On a holiday in Belgium and Luxembourg many moons ago, we visited Brussels and wanted to see this little statue. He is not always nude though, because as Gattina said: there is a whole museum of clothes for him and he is dressed up regularly (okay, extra quarter point to her). Unfortunately when we were there, he was wearing his birthday suit. I will have to visit the museum one day to see some of his outfits.

On to this week's challenge. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer next week.

Monday 10 January 2022

Oh goody

Me and my mum getting silly
Last week I had written a whole post about what I had been up to during the last few weeks of 2021. I couldn't put any photos in however and there was something else impossible, so I decided to publish and go back to it. All that remained was the title! Nothing else. As it had hurt badly already, I gave it up as a bad job and haven't looked at my computer until now.

Space saving for all my films
As you may recall my sister arrived finally (it was the sixth attempt) and she stayed with me almost the entire time. Plenty of plans were made: hairdresser, family visits, theater, going places. We managed to get to the hairdresser just in time as only a few days later the country went in lockdown again. *sigh*

'Sjoelen' on New Year's Eve. I lost.
For Christmas we did go see my brother and his family and New Year's Eve was spent at my parents, together with some friends. Other than that no family (apart from our parents) or friends, no shopping trip, no going places. The latter might still have been an option, but the gammy knee was not cooperating. 

Decorating cookies
Instead we watched Christmas films, read, watched some more television, baked, cooked and watched a bit more television. She spent three weeks here, before returning home again last week. Hopefully she will be able to come over again in May. I am counting down the days.

Since the start of 2022, I visited several health thingies. The first one was to get my booster jab. This one didn't hurt at all (unlike my second vaccination, where some numpty just aimed and thrust), but that was short lived. Later in the evening, the area did start to get very sore and by the next day I was feeling a bit worse for wear: a bit nauseous, a bit queasy, a bit shivery. Nothing really bad, but noticeable nonetheless.

'Gourmet' dinner'
Then two days later I made my way to the plastic surgeon again. Despite the wound healing a treat, it is still a bit red and swollen. It was not that however that saw me see the surgeon instead of them tackling my left hand (which had been the original plan). I had had severe pain in my thumb/wrist prior to the operation and it returned the minute the anastacia (you know my problem) wore off. Had the operation gone wrong?

Stout jelly, trifle, chocolate mousse and key lime cheesecake
In short? No. I got treated for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and that was successful. The trouble with the thumb is related, even similar, but different. It is the De Quervain Syndrome and it's painful. Especially as you use your thumb for just about everything! It can be caused by so many things, including manual work like housework, knitting and a host of other things. The main trigger was most likely the recent move.

There are (like with CTS) three main ways to combat it: rest, corticosteroid injection or surgery. The first would mean not being able to use the hand at all and hopefully it will get better over time: many many months. The second would involve a nasty injection right into the most painful area and let that do its work together with hand therapy and a custom made splint. The third option is when nothing else helps, but contrary to the CTS operation, it is a bit more dangerous due to the location.

There was a ban on fireworks. Hahahaha!
Rest was not really an option as it would take too long. The third was not really given as an option, so the second it was. And I can tell you it was a very nasty injection. I even kicked the doctor, for which I never even apologised. It took a while for the pain of the injection had gone (several hours) and then I was pain free. Not for that long though, the pain did come back, although I think it's not as bad. At the end of this week I will see a hand therapist and get a splint, until then I try and wear my old wrist splint to keep movement to a minimum. 

So, that has happened recently. I will try to get back to my computer a bit more regular now, but as the hand is still not quite cooperating, it is not the easiest. 

Tuesday 4 January 2022

Tuesday's Travels 22-01

Two weeks ago already I posted what turned out to be the last travel photo of 2021 and several of you did get the answer right. It was of course Covent Garden in London, England and points go to Gera, Hilary and Fun60. This means that last year's results are as follows:
Yamini wins with 22.5 points. Second is Gera with 16.5. Fun60 ends up in third place with 11.5. Fourth and fifth are Hilary (9.65) and Millie and Walter (9.25). Harm ends up in sixth place with 7.75 points. And finally Debby got 4 points and ends up in seventh place. Several others have contributed and have 2.5 points or less. I hope you will all have more luck this year.

On to this year's first challenge then. Where is this? Have you ever been? Tell us your story. Answer as usual next week.

Sunday 2 January 2022

Photo on Sunday 2022-1

Happy 2022 everyone!