>I survived

> Yesterday wasn’t so bad. I got to Meadowhall just as it was opening so the crowds hadn’t even started yet. I had my list clutched tightly and I stuck to it rigidly. The centre opened at 9am, I was away by 11:00am, back on my train at 11:21am, on my bus at 12:02pm, and home by 12:30pm. I’d just sat down with a cup of tea when the phone call came in from the garage – my car was ready.

Off I tootled to get my car and I was back by 1:15pm, the roads were really clear so I thought I may as well go and get my groceries. I headed off to Tesco in Wath, and couldn’t find a single place to park. So I went in the other direction instead to Hemsworth, where there were loads of places to park. I did my shopping, came out just as Armageddon was clearly starting, and was home with everything done by 4pm.

On Monday I watched Changeling and was ever so slightly disappointed. It wasn’t quite as harrowing as I thought it would be. It was a good enough film and Angelina Jolie played her part admirably – okay, so she is a bit twig-like, but this was the 1920s. I know it’s based on a true story too, but for me there were too many loose ends, and I don’t just mean the main storyline as that one would be expected, I think. I just wanted to know what happened to Arthur and Stanford and who were the other boys, things like that. But it’s a good film and reminded me a bit of The Nun’s Story, starring Audrey Hepburn.

Last night I settled down in front of one of my all time favourite films, Airplane (another where I think they should have just left it without a sequel). It was easy to watch as I couldn’t be bothered much to move, but I can now predict every single pun, joke, punchline. The only things I forgot were the man in the taxi and Lloyd Bridges on the ceiling.

I’m only in for half a day today, and I’ve decided to take tomorrow off. I’d like a couple of days without having to drive anywhere or do anything. I’ve checked the roads, and will continue to check them, for my drive down to Leicestershire, and maybe Solihull if my parents haven’t made the trip, on Christmas Day. There’s a gig I could have gone to on Boxing Day, but I’ve decided to take Boxing Day off too.

I’ve sent off invitations for bloggers to rejoin us on Slimming Buddies. This is now only open to blog authors, so if you’d like an invite and would like to join us, please let me know. You can send me an email via my profile page rather than paste your email addresses in the comments section. I’m also going to set a few blog posts to post automatically over the next few days after tomorrow.

This video shows another 3 soldiers “coming home” early for Christmas in boxes. They were aged 29, 24 and 18 – the 18 year old had only been sent out to Afghanistan 2 weeks before he died. He was sent to his death.

While we watched the pictures, news filtered through of another soldier killed, this time during so-called friendly fire. So, if we’re not sending them to their death, we’re killing them ourselves, or the people we are training to kill are killing them for us – all this before the enemy even gets a pop. You can see the Telegraph news story here, where this picture came from.

How many 18 year olds do you know, have you known, or do you know of? Would you like to see them come back from a fortnight abroad like this? I know these men and women are doing their jobs, but if it were up to me I think I’d slap an age limit on armed combat service like this, maybe 21 or 25, or even while their own families are growing up. Hah, that would limit who they could send, but I still stick to my mantra: bring them home.

Today’s Christmas picture came from here.