What’s On UK: Just Lending a Hand or Two

As We Come Out of Lockdown Can we be Sure That Those Most in Need Are Getting the Best?

Like everybody else during the lockdown, and when I wasn’t at work, I spent quite a bit of time watching programmes on TV. Basically, anything that could maintain my interest for more than fifteen minutes, well let’s face it, as with many other people, there was not exactly a huge amount of anything else that I could do was there.

For continued reading…


Just Something on my Mind…

Something that only a couple of years ago we openly criticised we now praise in the time of nation-wide lock-down. 


Well we’re over a month into a nation-wide lock-down and we are now turning to both the internet and Skype in order to stay in touch with each other. However, what I find completely ironic is that it only seemed to be a couple of years ago that we were criticising others for spending so much time on the web. And let’s face it how many of us were having a go at our nearest and dearest for Skyping someone and why they couldn’t just get off their backside and meet them in person.
Yet here is now where the irony now lies. We are in a nation-wide lock-down, we cannot go out unless it is for work reasons (that being if we can’t work from home), getting medical supplies, buying food or for exercise.
Now, of course, a great many of us are turning to the internet. However, this time we are using it to learn new skills, watch videos and other forms of entertainment as well as use it to keep up to date with both local and national goings on.
Something that we once took for granted is now becoming something of a series life-lines in helping get through our daily lives. But then again when we are all having to stay in our homes what else can you do, if anything?
Well in this past week alone I’ve been going on YouTube and checking out random videos, listening to music (on YouTube of course, sadly I haven’t got an account with Spotify or Apple but it’s probably time I got myself one), chatting with mates on social media and doing Skype calls with the family. The very latter I openly admit I thought was quite nice considering that I was half expecting something along the lines of sibling rivalry typo arguments, though nothing of the sort actually happened.
Well since we have all had to stay inside, I’ve been on the web numerous times to checking out many tips on arts and crafts. And what can I say, I’m a keen artist though I’ve got to say I have seen several things to keep me occupied for the next time I pick up my paintbrushes and canvases. I have been tempted to check out videos that teach you how to do calligraphy but I think I’ll wait till I cross that one (depends on how wildly my artistic creativity flows)
I think it is safe to say that we are all using the internet to learn new skills, either for enhancing job prospects, looking for new jobs, or just general interest. How about learning a new language like French, Korean, Spanish or German perhaps?
Earlier on this week I learnt about people who were taking to skype for virtual dating, and I have to say that if you’d have mentioned this to me sometime last year, I’d have probably told you to get a life. But no, it’s something that people have been doing in order to meet up with new people without actually meeting them in person. Basically, it’s a skype call but you’re using it to have date, however I did have to ask and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one; what happens when the lock-down’s finished and we can finally meet each other face to face, what happens then? Does the chemistry remain or just fizzle out?
And yet this is something that we are doing to maintain contact whilst we cannot physically make contact in person. I’m not knocking it but I’m just saying what happens then afterwards.
I mean as good as it sounds, and no doubt appeals to some to enjoy meeting up with new people I’d rather stick to chatting with people who I actually know. Hence why I will be sticking to Skype, also it’s a form of communication that I am already familiar with.
Failing that there are always things like Facebook that can help me fill some kind of void. Yet, in fact, I have found that to be quite useful as over the past few weeks, give or take a day or two (or more) it has helped me stay in touch with my friends to no end.
This is one of the better sides of the internet as, like many others, it has helped me to keep up to date with friends and family, celebrate birthdays and just general chit chat.

Just Something on my Mind…


The whole world may very well be in the grip of a Pandemic but isn’t the fearmongering by the media making things worse?


So, as the days and weeks roll on the number of the infected does to, as does the death rate of those who are sadly dying from the virus. However, this has got me asking something; what’s causing more worried with anxiety, the Coronavirus as it’s spreading or the panic that’s been generated by various news and media outlets?

Whilst many people are going to say that it’s the virus, I am just going to answer with an answer that I believe is more realistic; the various new and media outlets. As with every passing day all we seem to be hearing is how many more people seem to be coming down with the virus, and along with that, how many sadly die from it.

Going back many years ago now to the Swine-flu epidemic in 2009 which seemed to be getting everyone down, apart from the recession obviously. But let’s face it that for some it did temporarily distract people from the financial doom and gloom if not for a while.

But let’s cast our minds back to how the media and news outlets behaved shall we, how they reported it. Everytime looked at various reports on the newsfeeds they would always be something saying how some unfortunate soul had contracted it or how some other unfortunate soul had died from it.

One of the only things that went through my mind was why we weren’t getting any updates who were recovering. I mean let’s be realistic, it would’ve done more for public confidence to know that people were getting better. Yes, by all means you should be washing your hands whenever you blow your nose but surly it would’ve occurred to someone that news of recovery rates were better.

I remember back in my previous job when the Ebola virus was making the headlines every day I was at work and I’d been using sanitiser to clean my hands. I had just been blowing my nose. Now what annoyed me was how the odd customer I served make some ridiculous remake that I was spreading the bug. I just reminded them to get real and by telling them how it really spread; interaction of bodily fluids like saliva or blood and not by sneezing or coughing. What I found the most annoying though was that how so many people just seemed to be getting caught up in the whole paranoia of it all.

If you think about it properly, I mean we’ve had the Swine-flu epidemic back in 2009, there was the Zika-virus in 2016 around the same time as the Olympic Games in Brazil (the one that caused defects in unborn babies). Now the Swine-flu only stuck around for a few months and the Zika-virus was around for the same amount of time. Incidentally you only got it if you were bitten by a mosquito. Oddly enough the only thing that I found a bit weird was how some men were getting their sperm frozen in case it affected their fertility if they got infected.

Whether that ever actually happened or not I don’t actually know and ironically the media chose not to go all crazy over it like they did with the virus.

But this is what I am saying though, I mean yes, it’s bad when you catch a virus that causes respiratory problems but it’s probably no different when you get a cold. Everybody can suffer from it differently.

I caught chest infection twice, a different type of bug completely, but it did cause me some respiratory issues but at no point did I ever go ‘oh my god I’m going to die’. Mainly cos I knew other people who had it before me and that they recovered and I knew that I was also going to get over it as well.

Whenever I hear newsfeed updates about the Coronavirus what I am always asking is why they never seem to give us any updates on those have it and how their recoveries are going. For one thing that’s going to do more wonders for public confidence that being told to wash your hands and carry a small bottle of sanitiser wherever you go.

I know it would for me and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one thinking it as well

In The Spotlight: Alicia Keys – Time Machine

The new single from American singer Alicia Keys. Time Machine hails as welcome return for Alicia and sounds altogether different from her material since the days of You Don’t Know My Name, Fallin and Empire State of Mind that hailed her as an R&B star. Though Girl on Fire did see a somewhat noticeable shift in her music. Her new single has a rhythmic back beat that goes on like bump, bump, bump, bump. In a way it’s almost like a pre-hook. As always Alicia’s voice just completely nails it and is smooth, soft and melodic but without overdoing it. Whenever she sings you know that she is going to hit the high note, and with minimal effort.

It’s during the chorus when she sings Go out of your mind (Out of your mind) that she really goes into her own and reminds you why she’s the amazing artist that she is. What I like about this song though imparticular is that it sounds like a change in musical direction, for example Underdog did signify some change but Time Machine takes it further. Almost as if she’s being just that little bit more daring each time till she ends up somewhere new.

The video that accompanies the song shows her at an arcade/roller-skating rink and shows Alicia hanging around with a group of people singing. Every few moments she looks straight into the camera and sing. It’s quite good, check it out.