Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am anti-social…

The COVID bubble begins to burst!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-social or anything, but perversely I am sad that the restrictions for COVID19 are being lifted. I have been enjoying my State-sanctioned semi-solitude. I had a perfect mix of interactions with others and being allowed to retreat all worked out.

It’s a selfish stand, I know because I wasn’t all that disadvantaged by them.   I kept working through the whole time, was able to get out and exercise and had a steady stream of activities to keep me occupied. I was not affected by the great toilet paper shortage or scarcity of other items due to some uncanny coincidental forward planning. I didn’t have kids to home school.  I didn’t get sick. I had already planned a low key year. I did miss seeing my grandson and daughter, and that’s about it. One other big regret was not being able to attend my good friend’s funeral at the end of April.

At work, I was able to be proactive and not reactive. Every item on my daily to-do list was crossed off, and I left at a reasonable time. I didn’t have students to discipline. The parents I did talk to were appreciative and not berating me for dealing with their children.

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Plenty of iso-baking happened at my place!

Don’t get me wrong I’m not anti-social but with most of the teachers working from home, the constant stream of interruptions to solve other peoples’ problems dwindled to next to nothing. They return en masse this Monday, bringing their problems with them. (11/5/20)

A  rumbling low-level of anxiety is beginning to penetrate my calm as the invitations to “catch up now that we can” are starting. It’s not that I went out partying every weekend anyway but having to stay at home, HAVING to be cocooned because I was told to, gave me a legitimate reason to stay quiet and at peace.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that I don’t want to see people, but this time to be slow, deliberate and self-sufficient was tantalisingly comforting. The bluer than blue skies have already started to brown over as more and more people are going about their business.

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Bluer than blue!

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-social, but I have discovered that I am also not pro-social either. When I am with people, I feel on guard. Will I say something stupid? Will I accidentally offend someone? Does my hair look alright? What will they think of me? The internal monologue never ends. Sometimes it’s so noisy I forget to listen to the person in front of me. That voice has been so quiet these last two months. I guess it proves that even though I am friendly, loud, bossy, speak in front of a large crowd etc I am in essence a socially awkward introvert.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-social, but I could live in this bubble forever… I think…  As long as the bubble had a door. It might be different if I didn’t have the option to leave when I wanted.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I am antisocial, but I might re-gig my world a little so I can keep the calm for longer. Please don’t be offended.

 

….and Mum! Don’t worry, I am OK!! 🙂

 

The (Un)official Hugh Grant Film Festival

In the Age of Corona, we have all been in front of screens a lot more. Those of us who have screens to be in front of anyway. This story is about my (un)official Hugh Grant Movie Festival.


As part of my isolation journey, I finished watching a few Netflix series, namely Sex Education and The Stranger. I started Ozark as recommended by many of my friends, but was finding it difficult to get in to mainly because it was scaring the crap outta me! It was too suspenseful when I was already experiencing some ongoing low-level anxiety as it was. Browsing Netflix’s menu, I struck upon Notting Hill. I’ve seen it before a few times. I knew it was sweet and funny, and Hugh Grant provided some eye candy.  I thought, why not, an anxiety-free zone!

As the credits were rolling, I thought poor old Hugh!  He always plays the same character. The sort of bumbling, humble, sweet fellow who always gets his girl in the end after a confession of true love following some kind of misunderstanding.  The same every time. I had a look at the font of all knowledge (Wikipedia)  and discovered that he had several film credits to his name. More than forty stretching back to 1982!  Along with movies, he has made substantial contributions to TV.

True to my form, I set an isolation goal (another one, I know!!) to watch as many of his movies as possible and see if my observation of the depths of his typecasting was correct.

Where will I source the Hugh Grant omnibus?

I searched the interwebs for ways to view his movies.

  • Many are on Netflix and Prime Video which I already subscribe to. So tick!
  • Some are on Prime/Neflix but not in Australia. Booo!
  • Some I can get from my local library on DVD, but it is closed at the moment due to the Corona Virus.  Sigh!
  • A few more are on the streaming service called Kanopy which I can get free through the library. Yeah!
  • One of my local Op Shops was open, so I ducked in there. (Only six people allowed in the shop at a time – keep your distance – sanitise before and after!) and picked up six titles for $2 each. (50% off the marked price!)
  • His very early work from the 80s is still causing some issues which I hope YouTube might solve.

Hugh Grant

The results so far?

Movie Role Source
Notting Hill (1999) Yep – typecast as William Thacker Netflix
Did you hear about the Morgans (2009) Yep – typecast as Paul Morgan Netflix
Sirens (1994) Interesting! Australian production and a bit of very soft porn. Very young Elle McPherson who gets her clothes off a lot, Sam Neil who stays dressed and Portia de Rossi who is naked for much of the time too! But yes still a bit typecast but not so much! Prime Video
The Englishman who went up a hill and came down a mountain(1995) Yep -very much so! As geologist/surveyor Reginald Anson Prime Video
Music And Lyrics (2007) Yep! Aging has been pop star finds love! Prime Video
Our Sons (1991) Made for TV. NO!! Not typecast. Plays a rather angry-with-the-world-gay guy whose partner is dying from AIDS. He plays the son of Julie Andrews and speaks with an American accent Prime Video
Mickey Blue Eyes (1999) Yes! Typecast as a would-be mobster Michael Felgate. If you recognise most of the cast it’s because many of them later appeared in the Sopranos! DVD from the Op shop
Two Weeks Notice (2002) Yep as Sandra Bullock’s English love interest – George Wade DVD from the Op shop
Paddington 2 (2017) No! He plays a baddy! An aging thespian has been! Is this another typecast genre arising as Hugh gets older? Netflix
Sense and Sensibility (1995) Well yes and no…He is not bumbling but he is humble. Given the script sticks to Jane Austen’s original story – it’s not really up to him, but he plays the love interest again, there is a misunderstanding again, and he gets his girl in the end! DVD from the Op shop
Bridget Jones Diary (2001) No. He is not bumbling or humble. He plays the Playboy cad. So while he tries to lure Bridget into a relationship, in the end, he does not get the girl. (Well not Bridget – every other girl but not her!) DVD from the Op shop
Bridget Jones – The Age of Reason (2004) No. A reprise of his character above, slightly but not totally reformed. He is still a cad and he still does not get the girl. DVD from the Op shop
Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) Yes. According to Wikipedia, this is the pivotal movie that cast him into this typecast role and the start of his Hollywood career. On another note, Andie MacDowell’s character is very mono-faceted. I think if the movie was made now it would be very different. He essentially falls in love with her because she looks good. Her character and dialogue are very wooden. DVD from the Op shop
The Man from U.N.C.L.E (2015) Hugh plays Waverley. An MI5 agent. Not typecast! Does not have a girl to get! Rented via Apple TV
About a Boy (2002) He’s not humble and bumbling but after a misunderstanding, he does get his girl (plus a whole network of friends). So partially stereotyped. Rented via Apple TV

That’s ALL I have watched so far.  I have copies of/ access to

  • Love Actually (again!) on Netflix/Prime
  • Florence Foster Jenkins (2016)
  • Cloud Atlas from the Library when it’s open
  • The Remains of the Day – Library
  • The Lady and the Highwayman (TV) Library.
  • I can rent a couple of more titles such as The Gentleman (2019) and The Rewrite (2014), from Apple TV

Once I have finished these, the real searching will begin as all the low fruit will have been picked!

If you know where I can see them in Australia let me know. There are many more titles on the US version of Prime and Netflix, but I don’t have access to those.

(Hugh even talks bout the typecasting himself in this interview with HQ.)


Edit: 29/4/20

My original reason for starting the (unofficial) Hugh Grant Film Festival was to prevent me from aimlessly searching Netflix and Prime for something to watch in the upcoming weeks of Corona isolation. It meant I could just concentrate on one thing and reduce decision fatigue. I wrote the post over several weeks.  As of yesterday, quarantine and lockdown restrictions are beginning to be lifted in NSW.  We can now visit family. While welcomed in one respect, the tone of the low-voiced mumbling in my workplace is fearful. Is it too soon? Will there be a second wave? We can only wait and see.

To-do list or ta-da list?

A to-do list is helpful, right?

Have you got a really long to-do list of all the things you should be doing in this Age of Corona? Now you are not commuting every day because you’re working from home or your place of work has closed down, you’ve got heaps more time! Right? You might have more time because you are not going out to the movies or drinks with friends and EVERYTHING in your calendar has been cancelled? Right? You should be using this time productively, right?

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No events! The P&C meeting was cancelled too!

Is this to-do list making you feel guilty as you sit in front of the TV and watch one more episode of the latest binge-worthy show? Just one more and THEN I‘ll go to bed! Promise!

I started off ISO with this big to-do list. It ran to three A5 pages. I wrote it before the lockdown started in an effort to avoid getting to the end of this and thinking “oh darn that’s right! I should have done….XYZ.” XYZ being whatever the really important thing that I could have been doing but didn’t get done! I also have to keep in mind my overarching year-long plan – the Year of Zero.

The list became a yoke across my shoulders. A burden to bear. One that didn’t allow for the contingencies and emergencies of daily life. It didn’t allow for the weather. It didn’t allow for my mood.

From to-do to ta-da!

So I put that list aside for reference and created a new one. I have simplified and broadened it considerably. Now my list has only four things on it. It is flexible, adaptable and infinitely adjustable.

Here is my daily to-do list:

  1. Learn something.
  2. Create something.
  3. Organise something.
  4. Move everything! (as in exercise)

So for instance today,

  1. What did I learn? I watched a lecture about sustainability and learnt that if we returned to a 1970’s level of consumption (of goods and energy), we could work 80% less.  The 1970s wasn’t too bad, we just didn’t have as much STUFF. The lecture does not suggest we return to 1970s technology (or fashion!) just the level of stuff we accumulate. It’s the first of 12 in a series from The Great Courses which I accessed for free through Kanopy. Kanopy is a video streaming service which I get for free with my library membership. Lots of public libraries offer it. Check to see if yours does.
  2. What did I create? Well, this post for my Sunday Post series for a start! I also finished off some of the tea cosies I started the other day.
  3. What did I organise? I am working on a document called “Death Admin” which has information for my family if/when I die. This was triggered by a podcast  (The Pineapple Project) I listened to recently.  I am getting together the information and documents I need for that.
  4. Did I move? Yes! Before breakfast, I did a 30-minute online exercise class which has been provided by my (closed) gym. Later today I will do a Zoom session with my sister, the personal trainer. While I was watching the lecture in Point 1 above I stood up and stepped from side to side and did squats and all sorts of in-place moves so I wasn’t sitting on my bum for another 30 minutes!

My to-do list is now a ta-da list! I can shrink or expand the items to suit the day, the mood and the life that gets in the way!

Smoke and mirrors maybe, but it’s making a difference to how I feel!