A week of wonder, but those automated calls still get to you.

Last week I found myself with a week off, a nice perfect week of doing nothing but relaxing and chilling. Sadly but to no surprise the weather couldn’t decide what it was doing. One day sun, next day rain, then sun. Should be used to it by now given that it always seems to be the way. Anyway, I finally got to see Avengers Assemble: Age of Ultron, a really good film I thought and if you haven’t seen it, you really must go and catch. One thing you should do is stay right to the end of the credits.

It wasnt just the main film. The trailers included Mad Max, Ant-Man, and some others. It seems that I am likely to be making several visits to the cinema over the next few weeks and more than likely the next few months. Ah well, why not. I’ve still got the Spooks:The Greater Good film to catch. I so have to go see that at the cinema. It would have been good to see another series, but I wonder if they might make another couple of films. I could deal with that as an alternative.

Managed to finally complete season three of House of Cards. A fantastic series based on the Michael Dobbs books.Whilst the original series evolved around the three books: The House of Cards, To Play the King and The Final Cut, the American set version takes the original series and expands it into the American political scene and under the same title. In the US version you see a character called Frank Underwood, portrayed by the fantastic Kevin Spacey, who after being looked over for a government role, aims with his wife Clare, to plot revenge and god forbid if anything gets in his way. In the UK version it featured the brilliant Ian Richardson as the infamous Francis Urquhart, one of the most scheming and underhanded characters to appear on tv. I also intend to buy the books as I imagine there will be much more to the character of Francis Urquhart. A fourth series of House of Cards has been commissioned and will be aired in 2016, which is the presidential election year, something to spice up the political tastebuds I feel.

It was birthday weekend as my sister celebrated her birthday on one day and a good friend of mine on the Sunday.If there is one thing that a visit to my sisters will bring, it is the endless bound of energy of my fantastic niece and nephew. Peter Pan and Captain Hook were the order of the day as they jumped, screamed and pretended to be in Neverland. It’s certainly never a dull moment with those two around.

Sunday was a visit to my good friend Gemma, who was celebrating her birthday, Much tea, cake (both purchased and made by the excellent Sasha) and laughs were to be had. The delightful young Misty being the entertainment for part of the  afternoon.

Visits to banks don’t always bring good results but apart from almost leaving my card in the bank, my trip was a fruitful one. Safe to say that it means I will finally be able to say good riddance to Vanquis, you wont be missed.

After much thought, well two minutes chatting to an online customer advisor, I decided to stay with o2. It was back to the good old sim only deal, this time  a minimum of twelve months. For £18, I would get 4 gb of 4g data, unlimited texts and calls plus a £4 loyalty credit thrown in for good measure. I also opted to change my number, I had become fed up with the regular blocking of PPI/write off your debts/you were involved in an accident so you maybe entitled to compensation. Peace at last you say, oh sodding no. Within three hours of changing my number, I get one of those bloody automated calls. The bastards get you because its unknown number, but you can’t leave it unless its someone trying to get hold of you from an internal line. Thankfully that has been the only one so far and I hope that stays the way for quite a long time.

The mental health battle continues and a review on the week just gone has seen my medication increased and referred for one to one counselling. I hope that this will keep the good ship full steam ahead.

My good friend David Stone is doing his bit for Thanet’s local coffee shops and eating establishments, not necessarily for that reason, but one of Davey’s ideas is for readers of his blog and others, to search for a lucky artefact attached to underneath a table. I imagine this will bring many a person sitting and feeling underneath the table or to the unsuspected soul. a rather uncomfortable look. For more information along with other wonderful and entertaining posts, go to www,blokecalleddave.co.uk

One final thing is down at Bernie’s Chocolate Bar Margate High Street, lovers of photography and those who like a good hot chocolate, can find Andrew Steven’s first photographic exhibition. It is on until 9th June so there is plenty of time to get down and have a look and enjoy what Bernie’s Chocolate Bar has to offer.

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Hollyoaks – A show bleaker than Eastenders?

It’s always been the staple observation that Eastenders is both the most miserable and unrealistic tv show. Well now I can reveal that Hollyoaks is more dreary, unrealistic and unbelievable than the BBC soap. In Eastenders at Christmas time it was notably popular to kill someone off. Rarely a happy story. I guess we should have not expected too much following the first episode seeing the discovery of a dead character…the first of many stiffs to make an appearance.

With all the car related incidents that seem to happen around Albert Square, why has the local council not installed some speed humps or other road safety awareness scheme. Anywhere else by now would have done so. The apparent murder rate in Albert Square was worked out as one in 454! In fact 24 murders since its beginnings in 1985. Quite a stat it would seem, but the police seem neither concerned or worried about such issues. You think this is bad? I haven’t touched on Hollyoaks yet.

With the Lucy Beale story going on I guess 2015 isn’t going to buck the trend of seeing happiness on the streets of Walford. In fact I would be surprised to even see a happy story in the last seven months of 2015. Don’t bank on any happiness over the Christmas period. There will no doubt be death and gloom.

So to Hollyoaks the Channel 4 soap, which could so easily be the north west version of Eastenders. I watched this when it first started and at the time it was entertaining, then I lost interest. Having watched some episodes recently, I can say that I haven’t really missed much apart from its move towards unbelievably crazy stories. I wont mention any story lines in case anyone who reads this, is a viewer and hasn’t caught up yet.

Since the show began there have been 46 murders and an average of 2.42 murders a year.and it equates to 11 murders per 1000 people. It in fact is so bad that the real life crime capital of the world (San Pedro Sula, north west Honduras) only has a murder rate of 1.69. Surely who would want to move to such a place. The people of San Pedro Sula must be relieved that they would never have to visit the village of Hollyoaks in Chester.

Of course the positive things that the shows should be commended for is the touching of subjects that affect many people’s every day lives. It is interesting and good to see that actress Nikki Sanderson will be attending an a conference on domestic violence and giving a talk. Her character was involved in a domestic abuse storyline. Whilst we may mock the bleakness of soaps it is in the dealing with tough story lines, that viewers affected maybe able to seek help if they are finding themselves in a certain situation or others may recognise issues and get help for others.