Like many of you my TV viewing, well I say TV most of my viewing is on my phone, has increased during the pandemic.
I came across Lupin on Netflix and loved it. Since then I’ve pretty much only watched foreign language programmes. This has a couple of additional benefits.
When watching in bed with Josh asleep beside me I don’t miss anything with the volume down low.
I’m not as distracted by social media as you can’t afford to miss anything by looking away.
So is Bitter Daisies worth watching?
The Synopsis – Lt. Rosa Vargas is a rookie Civil Guard officer sent to a small town in Northern Spain to investigate a young girls disappearance. Preview
This is not a face paced thriller. The story unfolds slowly. In fact in the first few minutes of arriving in the town the local Civil Guard, Mauro, tries to get Rosa to close the investigation and return home.
She persists and a simple missing girl case turns into a hunt for a killer/killers responsible for multiple deaths.
We find out little about Rosa. Nothing about why she became a Civil Guard. No partner or ex that we know off. Save for taking medication for anxiety and a voicemail recording from her sister, nothing is revealed about her.
We do discover that her sister disappeared in the same town. During her investigation she comes across information that pertains to her sisters disappearance.
The lives of the locals are uncovered bit by bit. From the Garage worker that’s also a Satanist. The church volunteer who has a prostitute as a companion. Not least Mauro and his daughter who we discover knew the missing girl.
I was hooked. Each episode left more unanswered questions than it answered.
Come the final episode the clues that had been dropped carefully along the way clicked into place.
Maria Mera plays the part of Rosa to perfection. She assumes the role of a keen, young Civil Guard working her first big case impeccably. Focused solely on the investigation, even though in may cases she stumbles on clues rather than finding them through investigative means. Her rented apartment is sparse with no personal touches added. She even keeps a lost dog for company.
Mauro, Toni Salgado is a stereotypical law enforcement officer from a small town with little crime. More intent on keeping the peace and harmony than punishing offenders.
One of my favourite characters was Albere the local Civil Guard commander. He is the wise head. Offering advice to the young Guard whilst reminding her that they don’t have to help her.
This is definitely worth adding to your watch list.
I’ve just discovered that there is a second series, though as yet no release date on Netflix.
I’d often thought it was a woman’s thing. You know, how they get all emotional over the milestones. Especially the lasts.
You know the ones. My last child’s first day at pre school. My last child’s last day at pre school and so on and so forth.
Yet last night something strange happened. I’d given Josh his bedtime bottle and put him in his cot.
It’s one of those clip to the bed things so he’s right there beside me but not in the bed so no fear of my fat ass squashing him.
As I placed him gently into it I noticed, that, when he’s stretched out he is nearly the length of it. We’d known it wouldn’t be much longer and his full size cot is on order.
I was struck by a feeling of melancholy. Josh is the LAST baby of mine I’ll hold. His ass is the last one I’ll have to deal with poonamis from.
Don’t tell Jen Hogan but I’ve a feeling it’ll be me crying as he goes to pre school on his first day.
We’d not planned more after Little Miss. She was supposed to be the last. Then Dr’s had told us it was highly unlikely we’d conceive again due to issues with Mrs OMGs ovaries. As the saying goes.
I didn’t get this same feelings I’m experiencing now with her though. I was my normal, kids grow its what happens self.
I can only guess that the reason my state of mind has altered is because, shortly after Josh was born by section, they removed Mrs OMGs tubes. Meaning there really are going to be no more babies.
In the truest sense of the word he is my last. Every first he does will be the last. They might not have much impact at the time but all those little milestones from Buddy and Little Miss are there in my mind.
That shaky first step. The first, and thank god only, trip to A&E following an Ambulance with one of my kids in it. The first plaster cast for a broken bone. I remember them all.
Josh is nearly six calendar months old . He has his two front teeth, can perform an Olympic worthy roll onto his stomach but hasn’t yet managed to crawl. It’s coming though. Then. Before we known it he’ll be walking and talking.
Perhaps it’s just Lockdown that has me all melancholy. I’m sure it won’t be long till I’m back to my usual self.
I’ve oft been intrigued by how our mind works. Why some memories are seared forever into our minds yet others disappear as quickly as morning dreams.
There’s also the strange occurrence of how different people remember the exact same thing differently.
That however isn’t the focus of today’s post. Today I’m more intrigued with why subconsciously I appear to be afraid of aging.
I’ve never been too bothered about what age I looked. Perhaps this was due to having a youthful appearance. Or just not acting my age!
The face is now wrinkled, and there are white hairs aplenty flecked through my hair. None of this bothers me.
I’ve not rushed out to buy Just for Men or invested in creams to eradicate the wrinkles.
Yet for some explicit reason I avoid wearing my glasses!
This perplexes me no end. As a young man I considered purchasing glasses with plain glass in them. I thought they would make me look more interesting and attractive to the ladies.
A few years ago the kids were due eye tests. Little Miss wasn’t keen on hers so I took advantage of a free test voucher and one done. They actually prescribed me glasses for driving and computer work.
Besides the odd time here and there for the main they sit gathering dust on top of the press.
Recently though I’ve noticed, mainly at night, that it’s a strain to see. So, reluctantly, I’ve taken to actually wearing them.
I don’t look a complete idiot and there is a noticeable improvement in my vision whilst wearing them. So I can only assume that my reluctance to wear them is caused by a subconscious desire to avoid the admission that I’m getting old.
It’s funny how some memories implant themselves in our consciousness more than others.
As a socially awkward young man I partook in many a night out binge drinking. Most of them have disappeared from my memory as quickly as the hangover.
The above tweet from TL Wright instantly reminded me of the first time I drank Rum, and there’s a bit of a story involved.
Having failed most of my GCSE’s I ended up going to Burford School as a boarder to retake them.
Boarding at Burford was a completely different experience to the Salesian School for emotionally disturbed boys I’d boarded at for the previous six years.
For a start it was mixed boarding. Sperate wings obviously! Also being a 6th former we had extra privleges. A smoking room for one! Another was being able to sign ourselves out to the pub!
So one Sunday night my friend Mark and I went to the teacher on duty and signed ourselves out to the Cotswold Arms.
Probably wearing too much Lynx Africa, and our Air Jordans we made the short walk to the pub.
On our arrival Mark said “What shall we drink?” My home was a strict one. NO underage drinking at all. Besides Beer, Gin and Tonic and Whiskey I’d not a notion what drinks there were.
“Ah I’m not fussed.” I replied.
“I’ll get the Rum you get the pints” he said So I had my first, and I’m pretty sure last, taste of Lambs Navy Rum.
Sat at a table we knocked back the rum. Holy Mother of God that stuff burns! Luckily the cheap lager doused the fire burning its way down my throat and into my stomach.
We proceeded to knock back rums with lagers to wash it down, until one visit to the bar we were informed there was no more Lambs. We had to settle for some inferior, less fiery brand!
Noticing the time we had a discussion about when we were supposed to be back at the boarding house. School nights differed to Friday and Saturday.
After much discussion, we were drunk after all, we decided it was probably 10.30. So we left the pub shortly after half ten and stumbled the short distance back.
Sadly, unlike sneaking into home drunk, upon returning to the boarding house you have be signed back in.
As we swayed down to the office we were met by the Head of Boarding.
“Into my office now you two” he barked. “You can go home, I’ll deal with this” he told the teacher who’d been waiting our return!
He then proceeded to remind us that we were underage, that we represented the school and that the teacher was late going home to his family as we had stayed out late. It was 10pm curfew on a Sunday!
At one point he asked us our ages and I recall mumbling 16 under my breath as a I swayed like a tree during a tropical storm, using every muscle and ligament in my legs to remain standing upright.
He finished by telling us we’d better be up for breakfast in the morning. It would seem I’ve never been a morning person having been late for breakfast a good few times.
The bollocking over we headed for our dorms. I made a stop off in the small kitchen that had a toaster, bread and a milk machine. Thinking that a glass of milk and some toast might help with the absorption of alcohol.
Toast eaten, milk drunk I headed off to my dorm. The minute I lay down the room started spinning and I felt sick.
Off to the loo I went. Didn’t get sick. Back to bed. Sods law isn’t it, the second I lay back down I knew I was going to be sick.
I knew well there wasn’t going to be time to get to the toilet so I dived at the sink in the corner of the room.
The contents of my stomach emptied I realised that there was something blocking the plughole! (Remember that toast.) Grabbing a toothbrush I jabbed it into the plug to clear the blockage. Rinsed the sink and my mouth and fell into bed.
Thankfully this was one occasion my brain didn’t screw me over and woke me at 7am. I jumped up, went for a shower and was sat on my bed reading when the head of boarding came in to wake us.
“Morning Alan, see you at breakfast” he said.
That my friends is the first, but not last time I got so drunk I was sick. It was though the last time I ever did Rum shots.
My adopted Father is from Montana and grew up with the Rocky Mountains as his playground.
When I was 11 we made a trip Stateside to visit family, including for the first time Dad’s side out in Montana.
With Great excitement he pointed out the various mountains. In typical sulky child mode I responded with.
Great. Once you’ve seen one mountain you’ve seen them all!
At boarding school we frequently were taken on hiking trips. I’m guessing a 10 mile trudge over the Brecon Beacons works well at tiring a pack of emotionally disturbed teenage boys.
It does mean I’ve been at the summit of Ben Nevis, Pen Y Fan and Snowden. We never did the Lake District for some reason so Scafell Pike has yet to be done.
I’ve been skiing in the Italian Alps and Aviemore. Two very different experiences!
At the time I didn’t appreciate the natural beauty and wonder of these different Mountain ranges.
Now though, as an older, possibly wiser man, I’m fortunate that I can say I’ve seen them.
I’m even more blessed now to live right next to the Sleeve Bloom Mountains. I’m not one for trekking across the whole range, but I do enjoy a stroll up them with Little Miss every now and then.
I also get to see them every day. On the school run and when popping to the shops.
I’m guessing the point of this is. As parents it’s not our job to make our kids happy every minute of the day. Some days they will bitch and moan. Even more these days with Xboxes and PlayStation’s. Wifi and Social Media.
Hopefully though when they are older they too will appreciate those days I forced them to Don their wellies and trudge across the mountains with me.
I’m guessing my point here is. As parents we aren’t there to make our kids happy every minute of the day.
Some days they are going to sulk and moan because we have made them put on their wellies and warm coats to trudge across the mountains.
Hopefully though when they are older with kids of their own they too will appreciate the wonders of Nature that I dragged away from Tik Tok for.
This year has been one like no other! Even though, like the Summer of 69, it seemed to last forever, Christmas has snuck up on us.
For those living in England and many other European countries Lockdowns will be in place.
I’m sure many parents will shed a tear over the Christmas period, consumed with guilt that their kids won’t have the perfect Hallmark Christmas. I’ve a tale to tell that might help you a small bit.
I was about 8 years old and we’d moved into a rented house in Kidlington a few weeks before Christmas.
It was the first time I’d not shared a room with my Sister. The house was huge compared to the small Cotswold cottage we’d lived in previously. There was also a massive garden and tarmacked driveway.
To me Christmas day was the same as every other Christmas I’d experienced since being adopted. We got up saw what Santa had brought. I got a White and Blue Huffy Bike, with peddle back brakes. Then we sat down for breakfast. After breakfast we played with our new toys until it was time to get ready for Mass.
Dressed in our new Sunday best we went to Mass.
After being suitably reminded that Christmas was about more than presents we returned home to open the gifts that had lain wrapped under the tree for weeks. Placed there as they arrived in boxes from relatives in the States. Even my Dad was known to give them a shake and squeeze to try and work out what they contained.
Then like most households we had dinner and then watched The Queens Speech. My Mother coming from Louisiana meant that if Gone With the Wind was on the, that was the Christmas movie we watched.
Thankfully after this we were allowed to watch a populist movie. Miracle on 34th Street or the the like.
With sweets eaten and toys played with. It was time for bed.
For eight year old me it was a rather good Christmas. A new bike, Star Wars figures no doubt and chocolate. I’m pretty sure I went to bed happy.
Many years later I learned that Ma cried herself to sleep because we’d not had a proper Christmas dinner.
The cooker in the rented house wasn’t up to cooking a turkey and so dinner time had come and gone with no Turkey.
I don’t remember what we had instead.
So as we head into a Christmas that will be unlike any we’ve had before. Remember that once Santa comes and there is food and chocolate it’ll be ok.
It seems a lifetime ago now. I met Mrs OMG and her two boys. Since then 13 years have passed. Three more kids, countless house moves, holidays, bigger cars, dogs, birds and hamsters have come and gone.
Many times the topic of marriage has reared its head. Thankfully her ex was a bit of an arse and besides not wanting to see his kids didn’t want to divorce.
13 years later and he’s suddenly decided to start responding to divorce paperwork. In fact he’s decided to agree to a divorce.
Now obviously for Mrs OMG this is great news. She can legally go back to her maiden name, and all the other benefits of being a divorcee.
It also means she’s free to remarry if the right chap comes along. It seems she’s already picked her next victim husband. ME!
Now I’m not really against the whole marriage thing. I do think that these over the top mega bucks weddings are a waste of money and just an attempt to show off.
If you asked me what my ideal wedding would be, it would be just us, the kids, couple of waiters as witnesses somewhere hot and sunny.
I’m lucky in one respect. As a divorcee she can’t marry in the Catholic Church so I don’t have to suffer a priest blathering on.
We can though do the civil service thing with the whole meal, speeches and dancing lark.
That involves people. I’ve actually only attended two weddings in my lifetime. One as a 17 year old and the other with a 2 year old Little Miss in tow. So practically the whole service was spent ensuring she didn’t break a neck whilst messing about in the car park.
I’ve seen enough movies to know that traditionally the Bride’s guests sit one side and the groom’s the other.
This could be an issue. Save one brother I don’t speak to any of my birth family here in Ireland. My Sister has health issues and probably wouldn’t be able to travel from the US, and my adoptive parents are well into the twilight of their life and wouldn’t be able to travel.
This leaves you lot as the sole representatives I could muster to fill my seats. A motley crew of Parent Bloggers, Tweeters and Insta stars.
Can you imagine a wedding where the groom hasn’t met most of his guests in person until that day? Well stay tuned it’s likely to happen, and watch your DMs as you may get an invite.
That does mean my plans of disappearing to the bedroom to mind Josh will have to be put on hold. It’s one thing abandoning your wife and her family, quite another a group of people only there because of you!
Ever since restrictions started being lifted talk has been about when the pubs will open.
I’d happily never set foot in a pub again. I do understand that some people enjoy a drink and being social. Obviously pubs also contribute a fair whack to the economy and the Revenues coffers.
Yet there has been no talk about partners being allowed to attend neo natal scans, onto the labour ward for longer than just the birth and then onto the Maternity ward afterwards.
I’m a Father to five and Dad to three of them. Two were born in the halcyon days before Covid 19 changed the way everything happens. Josh arrived in the midst of the pandemic.
Now I’ll be the first to admit that I’m probably not much use in the labour ward. Other than a, sometimes, reassuring voice and a hand to hold.
We still, 12 years later, have a friendly disagreement about whether I was actually there for Buddy’s birth. Decide for yourself here.
Little Miss was a different story. I was there for the whole thing. All nine plus hours of it!
I was there for every scan and every visit to the Maternity ward when things didn’t appear right. My rendition of Let It Go from behind the curtain as she got a sweep on Little Miss is one memorable appointment.
Mrs OMG was five months pregnant in March when Ireland was put on restrictions. Like everyone else we didn’t expect it to last so long.
There were a few scans. Including an anomaly scan that I wasn’t allowed in for. I’ll admit the closer to the due date we got the more worried I was that I wouldn’t be allowed in at all.
Josh was breech and showing no signs of turning at all. The staff at out patients appointments were also very blasé when pressed for information about me being present for the birth.
We actually found out the day before that I would have to drop her at the hospital at 7.30 am and then wait for a phone call. After the birth I then had to go home till Mam and baby were discharged!
In the grand scheme of things I didn’t have it too bad. Yes I sat in the car for four hours, but I had my phone and Twitter friends to keep me company.
Mrs OMG was being prepped for surgery alone! Yes I got to be there for the actual birth but having a baby is so much more than the 30 minutes a C-section takes.
Yes it was hard for me at home with 4 kids for two days whilst Mrs OMG was on the ward. She however was there alone. In pain, hundreds of stitches and a newborn to look after. With no prospect of a break when I came to visit.
As they pushed Mrs OMG and Josh out the recovery room. I walked beside her bed. As soon as we were out in the main hall. I had to turn left and go down the stairs, whilst Mam and Baby went up to Maternity in the lift!
48 hours after Josh was born I got the call to go collect him and Mrs OMG from the hospital.
If it’s safe to go to the pub for a drink then it’s safe for partners to be there for the whole birth!