2020 – the year that nobody wants to look back at. Referring to perfect vision as 20/20 will forever carry a certain irony with it now. And let’s be honest, if you were to try and sum up the year with a word or phrase, there isn’t much that’s family-friendly that truly does it justice – other than dumpster fire perhaps, which I’ve seen a lot of people use very accurately.
Granted, 2021 hasn’t started off any better, but that’s because we’re still experiencing the fallout from the damage caused by its unruly predecessor. 2021 has its work cut out trying to repair that, and it will undoubtedly require the assistance of 2022 and beyond to achieve it. However, 2021 is giving us a lot of reason to be hopeful, so there is definitely light at the end of this long, dark tunnel we’ve all been stuck in.
Normally when I do these annual reviews, I just list things month by month. But as time itself shuddered to a halt and stopped making any sense in March, with all the remaining months rolling into one, I’m just going to summarise things in categories instead. That way you can skim through to the sections that interest you most if you don’t want to read everything. The items mentioned here, and many others, have all been discussed in my Favourites posts during the year, which you can read for a lot more detail.
So I hope you enjoy this post and, apart from the first section, I hope it reminds you of some of the more pleasant distractions from the last 12 months!
Continue reading “2020 Review”
Hello again. I hope you’re all doing ok – especially my friends and followers in the USA, all our thoughts are with you right now. Black Lives Matter and there are many ways to get involved and show your support, while those taking advantage of peaceful protests to cause destruction and misery have no respect for peace and equality. I sincerely hope that stability and civility is restored very soon. We should all be pulling together at all times, but it’s more important than ever during this pandemic.
Here in England, our lockdown has been eased in recent days, even though many scientists, including some of the government’s own advisors, feel too much is being done too soon. And if the experts are wary, then so am I, because I trust their judgement the most. So I’m going to continue staying locked down while we wait to see what happens, and until doctors and scientists can reassure us that it really is safer out there. It’s important for me because I live with my mother, who is elderly and blind, so the last thing I want is to bring the virus home and infect her, so that she ends up in hospital where I can’t visit her. So I’m staying indoors to keep her safe, that’s my priority.
And while I’m doing that, I’m still keeping myself entertained, which is taking my mind off the news very effectively as usual. So I hope this week’s post and video, which as always doesn’t contain anything sponsored or gifted, is a nice distraction for you too!
Continue reading “Lockdown Favourites – Week 10”
We’re now into the second month of lockdown, with many of us still adjusting to this temporary ‘new normal’. It still feels surreal, and puts everything in perspective, that a microscopic virus can temporarily shut down the entire planet in a matter of weeks. It’s a stark reminder of how powerful nature can be.
But we will get through it, and we are making good progress, very gradually. We just need to be very careful, and ensure that we continue to stick to the rules. The lockdown measures are working without a doubt, and now is not the time to be complacent and too hasty about lifting them. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. So I hope you’re continuing to keep safe and well. And again we must give the usual heartfelt thanks to all our NHS heroes, care staff and critical workers.
And now here’s my latest weekly recap, with a video as usual, of what’s been keeping me occupied recently. I haven’t been paid or gifted for anything mentioned here, and all opinions are my own as usual. So I hope you enjoy!
Continue reading “Lockdown Favourites – Week 5”
Well, what a year this has turned out to be, huh? Perhaps we should just rename it 2019B or 2019.5 and start 2020 again next January. It’s like we’ve had a faulty software update in the calendar that needs serious debugging and virus-checking before it’s rolled out again.
Obviously I’m not dismissing the tragic side of things by saying that. My heart goes out to everybody who has lost loved ones or been severely affected in some other way, and I sincerely hope you all stay safe and well as best you can. Please follow the guidelines on hygiene, distancing, isolation, etc, because it really will save many lives. It will take a few weeks at least before we start seeing the impact of such measures, but they will help, and we will get through this. Huge thanks to all our incredible health and care staff, as well as the many other people providing essential products and services.
Beyond this introduction, I have no desire or intent to write posts about the situation, as it’s not nice and there’s enough about it online already. However, I have created a Covid Resources page, where you’ll find many links for information, advice and support, plus many ways to stay connected and entertained at home, which I hope you find useful.
Clearly this is going to change what I’m able to do and post about for a while. So in this post and video I want to wrap up my recent museum and theatre visits, as well as disability related updates and TV favourites, for both February and March. That way, I can move forward with a clean slate as I settle into a temporary new routine.
All of which means there’s a fair amount to cover here, making it a good distraction from everything that’s going on. I haven’t been sponsored or gifted by anyone to mention them, and all opinions are my own. So I hope you enjoy!
Continue reading “February & March 2020 Favourites”
2019 was a bit of a rollercoaster year for me, but it worked out well overall. I was very busy and active for the first half, then there was a dip during the summer with various things that came up all at once, before the final few months that gave me a chance to recharge and get back to normal, while also throwing in one or two surprises.
So as is traditional, I thought I’d quickly go back over the year, to recap on the many things that happened. Click on the headings for each month to see the Favourites post in each case, while there are links to more detailed review posts throughout the text as well. I hope you enjoy looking back at it all with me.
Continue reading “2019 Review”
Time for one more quick scam email warning for this year, as I’ve just had one claiming that a transaction was made by someone other than myself on my Apple account. Again, the signs of fakery are easy enough to spot, but when people are spending lots of money this time of year, it’s a timely warning to be vigilant.
Continue reading “Scam Email – Apple Purchase”
I seem to have gone from one extreme to another lately. After a relatively relaxed October, November has been really busy, and in a good way. I appeared on TV and radio to raise awareness of digital accessibility, promoted audio description at a trade exhibition, learnt a great deal about Ancient Greece, explored London’s illuminated bridges, highlighted more scam emails, bought some new Blu-rays and music, and enjoyed various things on TV.
So there’s plenty to cover this month, and I hope you enjoy this post and video summary of it all. As always, I haven’t received any gifts or payments by anyone mentioned in this post, and all opinions are my own.
Continue reading “November 2019 Favourites”
Millions of people own Apple devices, so it’s inevitable that scammers will try to take advantage of that. I mentioned an iTunes scam last year, but even more common and dangerous are scams that try to access your iCloud account, and I’ve received one such email this week. It’s not the first and it won’t be the last.
Of course, Apple will never send out emails claiming your account information is incorrect. They also won’t use pop-up ads, phone calls or text messages of this nature either, which some scammers are also trying to do. So never give your details to anyone who contacts you out of the blue claiming there are issues with your iCloud account, and don’t click on any links they provide either.
If you are ever worried about your iCloud account’s security, change your Apple ID password immediately and contact Apple Support via their official website if you need further help. If you’ve given out any banking details, tell your bank as well. You should also report these emails to Apple by following the instructions on their Suspicious Emails page. I’ve included advice from Apple at the end of this post too, in case you think your Apple ID has been compromised.
So let’s get on to the email. As usual, it has clear giveaways as to how fake it is. If you’ve followed my scam posts before (and I notice they do get viewed very regularly), none of this will be new to you. But a reminder’s always good.
Continue reading “Scam Email – Apple iCloud”
I’ve been getting a fair number of emails claiming to be from Netflix recently, telling me I have a problem with my account. It’s also blatantly obvious that they’re fake, so I’m not responding to them. But as the scammers are clearly desperate for attention, I’m only too happy to do a post highlighting their messages. Especially as they’re using a few sneaky little tactics to try and bypass spam filters and trick the human eye.
Continue reading “Scam Emails – Netflix Billing Problems”
It’s time for another of my occasional series of scam warnings. And seeing as I’ve had 4 emails for this particular scam this week, it’s clear these criminals are desperate for attention. Indeed, Googling the message, I can find examples going back to January 2019 that others have received. The fact that it’s been going on for a while suggests that people might be falling for it, making it worth repeat attempts, which is a worry.
These people are basically pretending to be the Royal Mail, with the claim that a parcel couldn’t be delivered that you need to pay a charge for. They’re then asking you to click on a link, which is clearly dodgy, and I have no idea what lies behind it as I’m not going to click on it. But I’ll explain the emails that I’ve received so you’re aware.
Continue reading “Scam Emails – Royal Mail Delivery”