How Your Travel Choices Help the Planet

I have been wanting to read something like this for ages. Aeroplanes are brilliant but they also create an awful lot of pollution which sits in the upper atmosphere adding to global warming. Please check out this very factual article.

I have been travelling by trains and sea for the past seven years and it takes a little effort but is so enjoyable and eventually will be a far cleaner way to journey. We just need all of our electricity to be from renewable energy sources.

Alison and I have been spending time looking at different areas of our lives where we can take personal action and help the planet. The recent  681 …

How Your Travel Choices Help the Planet

Help! – TV Review

A friend of mine told me about this TV drama movie starring the brilliant Jodie Comer of ‘Killing Eve’ fame. All I knew was that it was about a Care Home during the pandemic but with her involved I thought it would probably be very good. She has a trusted record for really getting into character and this topic was close to my heart as I used to work through weekends and holidays in a Care Home.

‘Help!’ is the story of a woman looking for a job and managing to get one working for a Care Home. She was a natural with the residents, who happened to include Tony, a character with dementia played by Stephen Graham (White House Farm).

A gripping drama based on reality, with fictional characters. Help movie review.

Jodie said in an interview that she was looking for a chance to work with Stephen and they were both really pleased to be able to keep their Liverpudlian accents whilst in these roles. Stephen’s character had early onset dementia and so was often confused about whether or not his mother was alive. He spent lots of time trying to escape the Home and get back to the home he used to share with her. Meanwhile, covid was starting to show up on the news and Care Homes started scrabbling around for basic protection. This showed how creative care workers had to be as there was a widespread shortage of PPE. Wearing builders’ masks and bin bags, carers had to do their best to carry on looking after residents without safety measures to prevent them from catching this awful bug.

Jodie’s character had a difficult family and really needed this job but didn’t expect to find herself working alone one evening. Her boss was at home ill and her other colleague didn’t show up for the night shift. Struggling to manage a Covid patient, she roped Tony in to help her.

Some close camera work followed her emotional rollercoaster as she did her best to try and get an ambulance and continuously had NHS 111 on speakerphone in her pocket while she looked after residents, desperate for assistance. Her family had preferred that she didn’t work in care but it was clear that this was where she belonged.

Covering the crisis in care very realistically, this TV drama is 98 minutes long and very powerful. It reminds us how Covid patients in hospitals were offloaded onto Care Homes and left to transmit the disease in a setting where there was little defence. Residents were not allowed to have visitors and some relatives came to speak to them through the windows. The dire situation was worsened as staff became ill and staff shortages increased many times over.

Jodie and Stephen did a great job of portraying characters who provided an insight into this very recent, very troubling period. You may be used to Jodie Comer doing accents, but this time she used her own. Not only did I feel the acting was magnificent but it also made me feel so sad that so many families had to go through such traumatic times.

For more TV suggestions check out this blog post. If you liked my Help movie 2021 review please consider following my blog for more about books, TV and the environment.

A Healthy Body – At Home

(Disclaimer – This post contains affiliate links. If you use them to buy a product I get a small amount, at no cost to the consumer.)

Over summer I have been keeping as fit as I can whilst also juggling blogging, writing, home improvement and a holiday. Just as I have for the last year, I tend to do most of my fitness sessions at home.

Before lockdowns I was a regular spinner, usually joining a spin cycle class twice a week and often going for a jog too. During the pandemic I worked from home a bit and was reluctant to jog due to my discomfort about being out and about at a time when we knew very little about this new virus.

My solution- online classes

So I started to do online fitness sessions, initially on YouTube and then using a website which was free during lockdowns. My main focus was cardio and so I initially did a few dance and aerobic routines, which I enjoyed. I also practised using my 4kg and 8kg kettle bells. My mum bought me these a few years ago and they had mostly sat in the corner. However, once I started to swing the bells and use them for arm strength I really noticed how much they made my muscles ache and helped me to keep my belly fat down.

Here are a few things you can do with a kettle bell. I am not a qualified fitness trainer, so for detailed directions consult a professional or watch a YouTube video by a qualified trainer.

– The famous kettle bell swings (with the emphasis on moving your hips, clenching your buttocks as you swing)

– Upright rows (holding the kettle with both hands and lifting up so your elbows stick out at right angles, level with your shoulders)

– Squats (either with your legs together, shoulder width apart or in sumo squat position)

– Presses – lifting the kettle bell up and down above your chest while reclining on your back.

Kettle bells have become my favourite fitness tools and are very easy to incorporate into movements and routines. Some trainers offer free videos on their Instagrams and then have more available courses for a fee. You can learn a few simple movements and really enjoy using this equipment safely at home, so long as you keep it out of the reach of children and pets.

My two favourite kettle bells.

As a writer/ blogger I need to keep active and don’t want to have to spend ages travelling to and from gyms. Therefore home fitness has become my workout of choice. I totally recommend buying an affordable kettle bell such as the one mentioned in the link above. If you feel ready to use a slightly heavier one then the following link is for an 8kg bell. I tend to use that for double arm lifting and the smaller one for single arm work.

Thank you for reading this post which is different to my usual articles, but I believe it is useful to share and promote the ways we keep our bodies and minds healthy. Perhaps consider following my blog for more such content in future.