Allelujah Film: Celebrating The NHS

Some movies come and go. I enjoy them and then forget about them soon afterwards. The new Allelujah film is all about the struggling National Health Service and highlights some important issues. There was no way I could easily forget such a moving piece if cinema.

With a magnificent cast, the trailer was sweet and had a few one liners in, easily hooking me in. More than anything, I knew I was going to see a warts and all movie celebrating the NHS.

What’s It All About?

In October 2021 I went to see a theatre show with Jennifer Saunders in. Richard Eyre directed Blithe Spirit and clearly enjoyed working with Jennifer as he placed her as the lead in this intriguing new film. Gathering together such mighty actors as Judi Dench, Russell Tovey, Dave Bradley and Derek Jacobi, he has constructed a story with a real heart.

Newcomer Bally Gill plays Doctor Valentine who oversees The Bethlehem nursing hospital where Jennifer’s Sister Gilpin runs a tight shift, managing the beds available and keeping spirits high. Her upcoming medal presentation for years of service happens at the same time that a local News TV show decide to film behind the scenes at the Beth.

To add to the mix, one of the current resident’s sons works in the Department of Health as an advisor. He (Russel Tovey) visits his father with a view to closing the place down. Can his father’s affection for the place turn his opinion?

In A Nutshell

I was half expecting it to be a comedy but it genuinely wasn’t. With heart-warming elements and a stellar cast, it told some gritty truths about the state of our failing National Health Service.

Judi Dench played a woman who used to work in a library and was too shy to appear on the documentary. Getting used to filming her thoughts on an iPad she played a significant part in uncovering an injustice. I had better not say any more for fear of spoilers.

Final Thoughts

In my opinion this was a realistic film which was celebrating the NHS but also providing warnings. It is an eye-opener for people who have not had to put an elderly relative in care. Making you think about the workload of doctors who are currently striking, it is able to hold up a mirror. I left with more questions than answers but I think that was its intention.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I hope that you will go and check out this beautiful film. Please consider following my little blog for more articles about books, TV shows, films and climate change.

Poorly With Covid – Poem

A year ago I got my first bout of Covid and I hated it. Weirdly, almost exactly a year later I contracted it again. I was hoping to say it was less impactful the second time around but in truth it totally wiped me out. Here is my brief poem about this irony, entitled ‘Poorly With Covid.’

Last March I was poorly with Covid,

I gradually pushed it away.

Last week it sneaked up upon me,

With a cough and a sneaze on Friday.

Last time you made me feel awful,

Like a horrible flu you consumed.

This week you wiped me out altogether,

And the horrible headaches resumed.

I am surprised it was so bad this time round,

Though my last jab was in 2021.

Mind you, I don’t know what’s expected,

It was never gonna be that much fun.

So, yes, Covid still has a presence,

It’s spreading again in the spring.

But give me a break until next March at least

Or they’ll be calling me THE COVID KING.


Final Thoughts

This was slightly different to my usual style as I don’t normally write such long lines when I rhyme. I just woke up and wrote it but hopefully it made sense. There is something cathartic about writing a poem straight out, without overthinking it or endless editing. That is the way that I prefer to write.

Thank you for taking the time to read my short poem about Covid. Please check out my World Without Ice Poem. Perhaps also follow my blog for future similar content.

Magnifying Glasses For Reading Books

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As a book blogger, I come across a lot of people who lose their reading mojo for one reason or another. My mum was even saying to me that reading is tricky without a good lamp nearby or a sunlit window over your shoulder. However, one of the things that causes the most hurdles for us readers as we get a little bit older (I am 45 by the way) is eye strain caused by having to focus on small print. So, in this article I am going to discuss using magnifying glasses for reading books.

Things That Make Reading A Struggle

In a previous article I wrote Why is reading so important? which sums up just how valuable regular reading can be. The trouble is that some of the hurdles to reading are physical ones. For example, not being able to read the text because it is too small or blurry.

Here are a few things that make enjoying a good book harder:

– a scratched kindle reader or iPad/ phone screen

– poor print quality or crinkled pages

– insufficient lighting of the room

– time of day (some are night owls but others find it hard to stay awake and read at night)

– eye strain (sometimes because of eye condition and also because many people use visual display equipment all day so when they come to read their eyes are already tired)

– disruptive or noisy environments (either at home, work or on public transport)

A Possible Solution

If reading itself is becoming a strain and you have already checked your vision and looked into wearing glasses, then consider this. A magnifying glass for reading is the perfect solution for people with eye strain.

I have only come across these devices recently but my friend tells me they are brilliant. Instead of little circular magnifiers, as pictured below, they are large rectangular glass structures which can also have additional features.

I know this is what springs to mind when I say magnifying glasses for reading.

The magnifier linked here is an example of one which includes built in LED lights. As a result it helps with lighting the book as well as expanding the size of the visible print.

Another such example of a book magnifier is linked below. This time it is more like a traditional handheld one. It is affordable and easy to transport as it bends into a key ring holder type cover. You can use this to follow the text line for line, if you prefer.

In A Nutshell

There are many ways to deal with reading barriers. Some of them are easy changes to the environment in which you open your books. Others require making the printed text more visible. It is here that weary eyes can be defeated by using magnifying glasses. They are especially useful if you do a lot of reading at work and your eyes would benefit from a little support when reading as a hobby.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article about improving the reading process. Please share your own thoughts on this in the comments section and consider following my little blog.