Billy Chandler's blog
"Diary of a former Courtyard student:
How I'm coping with Covid-19"
September 21st to September 27th
"I don't know about you, but I'm feeling 22, tell me Taylor Swift, how is it feeling 22? To me it's no different to feeling 21, 23, 24 etc. Just by that one sentence I'm sure you can tell that it is my 22nd blog, and judging from the world especially this country right now, we are far from the last as whatever is left of normality begins to slowly fade with wearing masks more, curfew times that most people aren't going to pay attention to anyway, and Christmas and New Years plans changing, to be brutally honest we aren't getting out of this mess until a vaccine arrives, which will be, I don't know, I hate 2020, and I'm dreading 2021, this is blog 22, time for me to change the mood, hopefully.
It's Monday, that doesn't change the mood at all, that probably makes it worse, and to start my week I went to work, now that makes the mood much worse, because places might close down again with a potential second lockdown, I know I shouldn't be foreshadowing things but THE END IS NIGH THE END IS NIGH RUN AWAY THE END IS NIGH! So I went to work, with plenty of energy after an 8-9 hour sleep, and my shift was fine, I don't remember much from it except I did well, I was dozing off during the afternoon which I couldn't believe, and I didn't bring a coat, so I wore one of my workplace's coats, which helped when I was outside looking after the entrance, and then I looked after the exit, with no shade, and I was drenched in sweat, soaked from the shoulders to the lower back, wonderful. In the end it was a good shift, quiet, wasn't stressful in any way, plus I got to help a colleague on his day back which was nice, so yeah it was a good shift.
Now it's Tuesday, and it has it's similarities with Wednesday, you'll notice them in a bit, so with Tuesday, I just spent most of the day lying down, bored out of my mind, I did go to the gym for 45 minutes, did work on my arms, shoulders and legs which was good, and then I got home and felt bored again, had dinner later on, feeling better, and then I went for a walk around Angel, City Road and Barbican, so the evening was significantly better than the day itself.
This is Wednesday, and as I said it has its similarities with Tuesday, the difference was that after gym I spoke on the phone with Ms. Vidal for 20 minutes which was nice, and we spoke about me doing a masterclass so that should be fun, really looking forward to that. Met Mum after her shift to pick up a takeaway which was nice and then I went for another walk through St. Paul's and to the Bankside Pier, I remember heading to the Bankside Pier, leaning over the ledge by the Thames and staring at the buildings on the other side that stand under a foggy night sky, I got to admit I got emotional looking at it, I don't know what it was but it really got to me, I guess it's the realization that one day none of us will get to have views and images like that, because of death, or the apocalypse caused by a nuke, by how 2020 is going so far and what 2021 will potentially be like, I am expecting anything and everything. After this I walked home, not before I stopped in Tesco's and bought 3 Krispy Kremes, because if there is one thing that keeps me happy it's Krispy Kreme. That was Wednesday, if I had to compare the two, I definitely liked Wednesday more.
Oh look guys it's Thursday, I spent the day resting while I went to my drama class in the evening, another good class while I performed a good dramatic performance, and a good comedic performance, best of both worlds. Afterwards some of my classmates and I went to The Shakespeare's Head, same night the new 10pm curfew was introduced, and I believe the new guidelines involving masks too, and do you want my opinion? I hate it, I absolutely hate it, so we can go anywhere but we have to wear masks unless we're seated, plus bartenders have to come to us for table service, but what if the person seated passes the virus onto one of the bartenders, also what if someone, especially with the 10pm curfew, stays in a pub from 3pm, seated until curfew, that person could still pass on the virus, my brain just hurts talking about it, I was going to say you're better off closing pubs, but then how will the owners of those pubs cope? It's a mess, it is all such a mess, and the worst part is, WE DON'T EVEN KNOW WHEN IT'LL END, I know they said 6 months but chances are it could be longer, it's going to get worse from here. Oh yeah besides my ranting, did I do anything after The Shakespeare's Head? Nope, went home and that's it.
It's Friday, do you wanna get down on Friday? I would, but first let me go to work, so I went to work, and it was a decent day, much more busier than Monday, or it felt like it, and I did begin to get cranky during the last hour, I was thinking "WHY ARE YOU GOING TO A MUSEUM ON A FRIDAY IN THE LAST HOUR!? WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!" and getting people out was a pain too, it's like people know it's closing, and they just don't want to go for some reason, but in the end it was a fine shift. In the evening, I went down to The Old Star to meet some friends, including one, who I helped with his audition tape weeks ago, if you've been reading the blogs you'll know who I'm on about, as this was his last shift before starting drama school, it was a good night, and I got a burrito on the way home, because burritos are nice and are very underrated in this country in my honest opinion.
YAY IT'S SATURDAY, so Saturday was quite productive, went out with my mum to, I can't remember the name of the store near St. Paul's but I got new black chinos to wear for work, and then we went to Angel, got a coffee in Pret, had a look around in H&M, and got some food from M&S, and during the evening we looked after my youngest nephew, his parents were out for their anniversary so we had to look after him and that was good, him and I played Fall Guys for a bit which kept him busy, and yeah that was Saturday, a good day.
Finally it's Sunday, also a productive day, Mum and I went shopping again, we went to Iceland to get some food and then after that I went to Cex to get some games, Cex is pretty much heaven to any kind of gamer, you want your new games and consoles they're there, you want your vintage games and consoles they're there too at reasonable prices, can't recommend it enough; Mum and I got a bite to eat from Gregg's and then we went home. After a while at home I did feel quite bored, so I went out for a walk to kill some time before dinner, went for a walk near Exmouth Market, Angel and City Road. That was Sunday, nice way to end the week.
So that was my week, it was a pretty good week, personally I felt like it got better the later the week went on. Next week should be alright, going to be on the PlayStation more with my new games, working two days in a row, got the Masterclass on Friday, should be a good week. Thanks for reading and I'll see you next week."
September 14th to September 20th
What's 9 + 20? 21. Yeah I wanted to make a reference to that old meme, plus I didn't really have an idea for an intro. Welcome to blog number 21, the one before 19, the one after 20, and the number that represents a special time in every young adult's life, and well that's it really, that's 21. Can't really say anything else, spoke about being 21 a couple of blogs ago, at this point I may as well get on with the blog.
It's Monday, yay first day of the week, and I went to work; originally I was dreading working this week due to the weather, and work didn't get off to a great start. So I was located to the entrance for opening and closing, and I was told by a team leader to get the keys to the entrance, which took me by surprise because the last few weeks I was told by a different team leader to not worry about opening, didn't make sense, I know the opening and closing procedures changed recently but I didn't know I had to help. So I go down, request for the keys, card gets denied (zero hour contract workers had to ask to receive keys, I'm now a part time worker) so I've got to speak to one of the managers and get that sorted, I presumed I wasn't going to be given the keys so I turned around, went to go back to do my shift, get called back, got the keys. The rest of the day was fine, no problems, no worries, there was a moment when I was working outside, I just stood there, and looked around at the sight in front of my eyes, the grass around me, the number of trees with green leaves, one tree with a touch of brown; along with a slight breeze, I felt so calm and at peace I was just lost in the moment, definitely something I'm going to remember for a while. Good day overall.
Next up is Tuesday, back into work, they had me working on the first floor, which I didn't mind, some people needed to go downstairs in the lift, so I helped people with that, made me feel good. I found this to be an easy shift, only problem was, and this is going to take some explaining, so with the one way system, especially with the majority of the museum now open, if guests wanted to explore all of the museum that's open, they had to go straight to the second floor, well at one point two women with prams came up, and they only stopped on the first floor, now they could've read that the door was emergency use only, but instead, they went right through the door, and one of them asks me where is the way down, so, you go up the lift, stop on the floor you shouldn't be on unless you're on your way out and ask of member of staff on how to get down, I just couldn't react, so I just took the women with the prams to the lift and sent them down. At one point during the afternoon, I see this boy with a water bottle enter the gallery I was working in, and he seemed to be hovering around, not knowing what to look at or what to do, and went to go out the way he came in, I told him he has to follow the one way system, and took him to the exit, around 10 minutes after he leaves the gallery, a woman walks fast through the exit, I know she went the wrong way but I honestly didn't know how to react, after a minute she approaches me, and asks me if I've seen her son, I immediately thought of that boy, asked her if he had a water bottle, she said yes, I asked her to describe him to me as I took her to the gallery's exit and told her where she could go next, I briefly spoke to one of the managers about this and then reported it on the radio so anyone in the museum would know, and as soon as I do this, one of the managers comes in and tells me he has been found, which I would then report on the radio, very adventurous. Overall this was another good day with another good shift, now I'm done with work for the week, lovely.
Here's Wednesday, and on this day I went to Thorpe Park with a couple of friends, it was going to be interesting to see what it was like going to a theme park during a pandemic. We met at Angel, got on the tube to Waterloo, got McDonald's breakfast, and then got the train to Staines (brought back memories of when I went on that marketing job in November 2017, not pleasant memories), and then got the shuttle bus to Thorpe Park. Once we get there, we had to get our temperatures taken, bags searched and in we went; we get into The Dome where the entrances and exits all worked on a one way system, we got into the lockers where we put some of our stuff away, and away we went to enjoy our day. I went on most of the rides, with rides I can be very picky, I could easily go on one like Colossus which has a couple of loops but I won't go on Stealth which goes up to 205 feet and accelerates from 0 to 80 mph in 1.9 seconds, plus I went on that in 2013 which I did not enjoy at all. We all had to wear masks on the rides and I was wearing the mask that you've seen in a blog or two (it has teeth) and the thing with this mask is that it isn't tight enough, so occasionally on the rides my mask would come off my nose and mouth, especially on Colossus where I was trying to keep my mask on while going through numerous loops, also I can be excited, maybe too excited on some rides, one example being the Nemesis Inferno, before going down into the first loop I shouted out "GO ON LETS HAVE IT" before going down, the excitement really got ahead of me. We left Thorpe Park around the time it closed which was 5pm and we were waiting ages for the shuttle bus, didn't get on until the 3rd bus, which was a between 30 and 45 minute wait, and from there it was an easy trip home, didn't get home until before 8pm, so I was out for over 12 hours, great day.
Here we go with Thursday, met up with Jack and we then met up with an actress we've worked with a few times to do headshots, we all met at Angel Station and went to find a good place to shoot the pictures, we all ended up going back to my flat, the brick wall for the background worked very well for the photos, and it was all going well, another actress we knew came to have her's done, and then both of them (the actresses) persuaded me to get mine done, so I went upstairs, changed my shirt, went downstairs and had my photos taken, glad to say they looked good. Afterwards we went to The Angel Wetherspoons for a bite to eat and said bye to each other. Afterwards I went home for a little bit and went back out to The Angel Wetherspoons to meet a friend of mine, after that we went to the drama class which I thought was good, my mindset wasn't the best going into it but I thought I did well overall. Some of my classmates and I went to The Shakespeare's Head afterwards and that was it, that was Thursday, good day.
Then it was Friday, and I didn't really do anything, played on the PlayStation for a bit, did plenty of lying down, and I just felt physically and mentally tired, and the same went for Saturday and Sunday, didn't do much and just felt very tired.
And that was my week, not a bad week overall. I can't really think of a conclusion, but I do have to say after all this COVID news going on in the UK, and the possibility of a second lockdown, if we can do one lockdown, we can do another, no problemo. Have a good week guys, take care.
September 7th to September 13th
“20, 20 blogs, that’s 5 months worth of blogs, I have been doing this for 5 whole months, without missing a week, I don’t know how I’ve been doing this for this long, and I don’t even know how you lot keep coming back for a blog every week, but I appreciate each and everyone of you. With 20, I do think of my 20th birthday, what I remember of it, a few friends and I went for a meal at Banana Tree, afterwards we were meant to see Jason Bourne, and I tried getting the tickets I order a while ago printed at the cinema, nothing happened, went to the desk, one of the workers printed them off, and we went to go into the screen, and then we were told that these tickets were for July 30th, the day before, I even had to check my email, it said July 30th, I never make mistakes like that, couldn’t believe it, so one of my friends went home (he wasn’t feeling well), the rest of us had milkshakes at Ed’s Easy Diner, another friend went home (couldn’t be ask to wait for the next screening, can’t blame him), and then whoever was left and I went to see it, packed screen too, we were right near the front, decent day. Also with 20, not really anything else, except 2020, I don’t want to talk about it, I will not talk about it, we all know what this year has been like, therefore, I will not talk about it, except that we still have 3 and a half months left, and things could get worse, with cases on the rise, groups going from 30 to 6, wait, since when was groups of 30 a thing? Any way, on the bright side, some West End shows will be back in the next few months including Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which opens back up on November 4th with 6 performances in 4 days a week, did I say that in a way that makes sense? I hope so. I’m just trying to be optimistic and positive during these times, because that’s the best thing we can do, I can’t even picture a second lockdown, even if the government can afford to go through another lockdown, could you imagine being in lockdown during Christmas? Don’t get me started. Anyways guys, this is blog number 20, 5 months worth of blogs, let’s see what I got up to.
Kicking off with Monday with a chilled day, spent most of the day relaxing, went on the PlayStation for a bit, I did go to the gym, did a workout there using the Cross Trainer for 35 minutes, and that was it, and now I am prepared for the next two days of work.
Here’s Tuesday, and the first of two work dates this week, and how did it start? Not the best. So I get into work, go to the Mess Room of where my bubble is, and I find out from one of my team leaders that my rotation might’ve changed, the thing with a workplace like mine is that is that you have to expect the unexpected, and expect changes and announcements even at the last minute, it can be frustrating, but you have to accept it. So I was told to look into the other Mess Room to find out where I’d be, and I saw that I was going to be doing a rotation on the first floor, which just opened up in the museum, loosening up the restrictions on the museum, and of course keeping a one way system, the majority of the museum opened up and it did come off as risky to me, but if this was the only way to open up more of the museum with a one way system in it, then so be it. The shift was fine, despite the humid weather which had me sweating for the majority of the day, and I am one of the worst sweaters you’ll ever meet, even in winter; so yeah the shift was fine, until the ending, so the museum was closing in 10 minutes, and one thing you have to do is let people in the area you’re keeping an eye on know that the museum is closing and they need to make their way out soon, and nearly every person or group I came across in my area thought it was closing at 5pm, which it says when you type in the museum name on Google, the results will tell you the old hours from before lockdown, so it’s no ones fault it’s just a internet search engine providing people with the wrong information, and trying to get people to leave was a pain, I even had a mum looking for her adult daughter who was still in a gallery after who knows how long, and by the time every area on the first floor was clear, mine wasn’t, BECAUSE PEOPLE WEREN’T GOING! And even leaving our positions to go back downstairs, there was a toddler going into one of the museum’s shops wanting to buy something, and it was like “please, everyone, just leave, we all want to go home too,” it gets very irritating, and now the shift is done, the day is done, now we go home, and prepare for tomorrow.
It’s time for Wednesday, second of two days at work, and you want to know how I started? Similar to yesterday, so I looked into both of the Mess Rooms, my rotation didn’t change so I presumed I was going to be in that rotation, and then the briefing happened, so in the briefing we’re told our positions and anything regarding the museum like an event happening or the café being open until 5pm instead of 4pm, so in the briefing my position for my rotation, or where I was supposed to be was one of the first announced, and my name wasn’t said, and I thought “don’t tell me they’ve changed my position, only now,” and yep they did, I was quite annoyed seeing that it was just at that moment that I found out my position was changed, but as I said with the day prior, expect the unexpected. Now with this position I was involved, compared to yesterday where I was on a different floor keeping an eye or 4 or 5 different areas, on this day I was keeping an eye on 2 areas, now if this was the first shift after a hectic bank holiday weekend, I would’ve felt fine, but after a day where I was in 4 or 5 areas, this one dragged, because it’s the same 2 places every 40 minutes, plus on my rotation my lunch was very early which made the day feel longer, it just went on, and on, and on, and on. I finished the shift eventually and now I can go home and relax, oh no, I can’t, I have that interview with Soapbox Islington on Instagram, with a video and sound test on Zoom at 5:15pm, so I had to rush home, and get changed quick, and get the video and sound test over and done with, did it all on time while being hot, bothered, stressed and of course, very sweaty. Eventually I do the interview, and performed my monologue and it went so well, better than I thought it would, and I was very pleased with myself, my mum and brother were downstairs watching it on his phone, and seeing how happy my mum looked after finishing was so satisfying, now I can rest, finally.
Now it’s Thursday, and I spent most of the day chilling, playing on the PlayStation which got too much at one point because I ended up getting a splitting headache from being on there for too long, then I went to my drama class afterwards. For the drama class I did an improvisation that involves the themes anger and forgiveness, and the person I did it with actually knew my grandad, uncle, auntie and my dad from years ago, small world, especially in Islington, and it was a powerful improvisation, felt misty eyed afterwards, that’s what happens when you get into character sometimes, you can really feel their emotions. Did a movement piece after that which was quite funny, watched the others do their thing, and that was class, it was good. After that most of us went to The Shakespeare’s Head until it closed, got home around midnight.
It’s now Friday. So originally I didn’t have anything planned so I was going to have a nice relaxing day, played on the PlayStation for a bit, booked tickets for a friend and I to see Back To The Future The Musical in May, and that same friend texts me asking me to come to his pub, so now that’s my evening sorted. I head to The Old Star, sit at my table, another friend shows up, we chat, and our friend finishes his shift early and joins us, and it was a laugh, met some nice people, enjoyed chatting to some of the people that worked there, even met people that play music for the Queen so that was cool. Afterwards we went to McDonald’s, had a meal there, another friend met us there, and afterwards we went to my friend’s house (to avoid confusion, it was the one that worked at The Old Star) and we were chatting for ages, by the time I got home, it was around 4:15am, great night.
Here we go with Saturday, now I had plans this evening, yes, another busy evening, and one of my friends from my drama class was planning a blues themed evening, and with the government announcing groups going from 30 to 6, a get together like this would be the last for a while. This evening was really good, lovely to be around familiar and new faces, and a variety of talent including actors, musicians and singers, the night was supposed to end between 12am and 12:30am, and I thought that I’d probably get home between 1:15am and 1:30am, myself and some friends stayed for a while, sitting around a table inside just chatting away, didn’t leave until 3:15am, got into an Uber with a friend, got out at Essex Road, then got the bus home, got home just before 4am, great night.
Finally it’s Sunday, so Billy how are you going to end this week? Well Billy, I didn’t do much, was relaxing, played on the PlayStation for a bit, had a chat with one of my neighbours, went to the gym to do the Cross Trainer for 35 minutes, and that’s it really, that was my Sunday.
That was my week, decent week, plenty of being out of the house, giving myself plenty of rest, tons of socialising, yeah I’d definitely say it was a decent week. Next week should be interesting with the new rule about group gatherings, and I’m dreading work, I’m working Monday and Tuesday, hot weather, in my work uniform, help me, ASAP! Have a good week guys, take care. Also check out the link attached, it is my interview and monologue from this week, and a video I filmed just after writing this.”
August 31st to September 6th
“19, so this is 19, the one after 18, the one before 20, seeing that I turned 19 in 2017, which I spoke about already, there’s not much I can think of that I can talk about, there’s last year, 2019, 2019 was a pretty good year, completed my HNC in Performing Arts course, which I passed with a merit, went to Turkey, Amsterdam and Georgia in America, all were great, completed my confirmation course, then I finally got my current job after countless applications submitted, and yeah, there were some downs here and there, but overall 2019 was a good year, looking back, I should feel more grateful for 2019, especially with this pandemic going on. Anything else regarding the number 19? Well, for those reading that like wrestling, my favourite WrestleMania is WrestleMania 19, I remember watching that for the first time when I was a kid, got it on DVD for my 10th birthday, good times. What else? Can’t forget this one, I was 19 when I began attending the Anna Scher Theatre, can’t remember the date but it was one Friday in September 2015, I went to class after hearing about it, and the rest is history, how has it been 5 years already? That’s insane. Anything else regarding the number 19? I think that’s it, not bad Bill, not bad at all. This is Blog number 19, thank you all for coming here to read yet another blog, whoever stopped reading before this one, can’t blame them really, I mean it’s 19 blogs, it’s a lot to read; and those still reading, I don’t know how you all are doing it, but I feel grateful for it. Now let’s see how this week was.
Starting with Monday, obviously and clearly, and it was Bank Holiday Monday, and I had a special one planned. To begin, my family and I went to Leicester Square, we had a drink in The Moon Under Water and after that we went for a meal in TGI Fridays, it was the last day for the Eat Out to Help Out scheme and it was a really good idea to go, in the end we all enjoyed our meals. Afterwards, I went straight from TGI Fridays, to Blue Posts in Soho where I met up with 4 of my friends, another 2 of our friends would join us later on; so in the end including myself there were 7 of us, and it was really nice seeing that some of us haven’t seen each other since lockdown started. We left Blue Posts between 9:30pm and 10pm to look for any other places that were open, and we were looking for ages, and there wasn’t any places open, and if there were, they were closing soon, this didn’t surprise me since this was a Monday. We then went our separate ways and by the time I got home it was just before midnight.
Here we go with Tuesday, and I began my day having a Google Meets Video Chat with Ms. Vidal, she was on her way to The Courtyard, first day back, can’t believe the summer holidays are already over, doesn’t feel that long ago that it was late July, we had a really nice chat as usual, spoke about work, her’s and mine, we even spoke about cars, never thought I’d have a chat to one of my teachers about cars, and spoke about other things too, and yeah, really nice chat. The rest of the day I didn’t do anything, I felt tired so I wanted to chill out, relax, and prepare for work tomorrow.
It’s Wednesday, and today I had a shift at work, didn’t have the best start to be honest. So I found out I was going to be keeping an eye on a location in the museum that was meant to be for a staff member in another bubble, I did ask a team leader about it, and he explained it, and it made a lot of sense, seeing that in the briefing to start the day the two bubbles would normally be together, it definitely made sense. Afterwards I would go on to unlock the rooms around the location I was looking after, and one of them was the kitchen, what kitchen? You mean a part of the cafe? But that’s not in my location, why is this my problem? And I looked around the location a few times to find this kitchen, couldn’t find it, presumed it was to do with the cafe, so I decided to leave it, and then my anxiety kicked in, I kept thinking about this kitchen, I kept thinking about how I made this mistake, and potentially annoying one if not more than one team member which I didn’t want to do, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, and then I thought, and this was over an hour into my shift, “there’s people in the cafe, and no one has approached me about the kitchen, so I should be fine right?” And then I calmed down, along with some deep breathing, a team member came over and asked if I wanted a 10 minute break, which helped too. Another hour passes, and I’ve actually asked a team member who was passing about the kitchen, he showed me where it was, and I just laugh, it was at a part in the location I was looking after that I went past twice, and I never knew it was there, I couldn’t help but to laugh, all of that overreacting for that, brilliant. At one point a team member and I swapped places for 20 minutes which made a nice change, and my line manager came over at one point and gave me a mask that was made by workers at the museum, and it was great, soft material, doesn’t feel tight anywhere, can breathe properly, absolutely great, it was a quiet day too, which made a nice change after that hectic bank holiday weekend, in the end, besides my anxiety at one point, it was a good shift. As some of you may know already, the Soapbox Instagram Stream got postponed by a week, so now I had a free evening, and how should I spend it? Well The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is showing at the VUE cinema in Islington, and I’ve already seen The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, so yeah why not? Booked my ticket, went straight to the cinema, ordered a Strawberry Milkshake, and got into the screen, and I found out, one hour after it ends, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 will play, in the same screen, so I booked my ticket just before Part 1 came on, and why not, both parts in one night, and I’ve got no work tomorrow, so why not? Once Part 1 ended, I went home, ate dinner, got changed, and went back out for Part 2, also, what did these two screenings have in common? I was the only one in there, and I was absolutely loving it, now, I know what some of you are thinking? Billy, you went to see Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1 and Part 2, why not the first? Well that’s because I watched it back in April or May when Lionsgate for one month, once a week would live stream a film of theirs on YouTube, The Hunger Games was one of them. I got home around midnight, lovely evening, and a good day overall.
Getting onto Thursday, and I spent the whole day resting, and then in the evening I went to drama class. Began class with a body warmup, and then did an improvisation based on one of the seven deadly sins, one person and I did one based on Sloth, and that was really good, better than I thought, the scene in my improvisation was my idea and I didn’t know how it was going to be executed but luckily it was good, just me self doubting which is pretty often; and then a movement afterwards that involved a pair or group of 3 greeting each other and that was good; and then we get onto an improvisation with a pair, two people would get called up, one gets told the opening line, and away we go, and this one was “I got a present for you,” for mine, I was given the line, and I chose the present to be the bible, why? Because why not, and it was going well, until a slip up I made, so basically my response to something my partner said wasn’t the right one, apparently I wasn’t listening, yet I didn’t see the problem, put it this way, a teacher and student are never going to see eye to eye all the time, and there will be occasional disagreements, and the teacher will sometimes say something correct that the student won’t understand, nothing wrong with that it just happens; did it again, apparently it was wrong again, I didn’t even know what I was doing, my temper is rising and I’m trying my best to hide it with the biggest smile I can make, and then start again, last chance, and I answered correctly, WOW IT TOOK TWO OR THREE STOPS BUT WE GOT THERE, NOW GET ME OFF THIS STAGE, and I got a laugh so I definitely pulled it off, but I didn’t feel completely satisfied. Here’s a thing with people involved in performing arts, one thing that everyone involved has in common, is that they’re their own worst enemy, not a cast member, not the director, not the people working behind the scenes, everyone is their own worst enemy, including me, I’m my own worst enemy, there are times where I make a mistake, and go “oh well, I know now and I’ll remember for next time,” and then most of the time I just beat myself up like “how could you get that wrong?” “How could you let that fly over your head?” “You got that right before and you got that wrong now? Just how?” “You’re an actor that’s passed an A Level and HNC course, how are you getting things wrong? The simplest things?!” And it’s that battle with my conscience that sometimes hurts, and something that I need to improve on big time. After class, myself and a friend were heading to The Shakespeare’s Head and I brought that improvisation up, and he said “Yeah I can tell you were getting frustrated,” and now that’s hit me, someone, and maybe more people could tell I was getting frustrated, and it’s no one's fault, it’s my own, I just have a really bad temper, hiding behind a forceful smile, and that’s another thing I need to control, I decided to not let those two things get me down as him and I spent an hour in The Shakespeare’s Head and called it a night.
It’s Friday, and it’s another shift at work, and it was a simple day, quiet, and it started off with a big what was that moment, basically the gates to the museum were unlocked, and were closed, and somewhere between 10:15am and 10:20am, the museum isn’t opening until 10:30am, and this woman has gone to the gate, and she’s only gone and opened it, trying to let herself in, so I had to stop her, let her know we’re not opening yet, she asks about the toilets, so I ask her if she has a ticket (because of track and tracking), she has one, and I let her know that she has to come back at 10:30am, and then she goes, unbelievable, the gate is closed, what does that tell you? It’s closed, you don’t just open it and try to let yourself in, I just can’t get over it, and then, I think you might know where this is going, the exit, the same thing, THERE’S A BIG PINK SIGN WITH BIG WHITE FONT, AND NEXT TO IT IS A SYMBOL OF A CROSS OVER A PERSON MEANING NO ENTRY, YOU DON’T GO IN, and yet people still try to go in, someone even read the sign, and still tried to go in, like why? Just why? I mean honestly it just makes me question people, in the end it was a decent shift, now I’m off for three days, brilliant. After this, I went to Harrow on the Hill, to this pub called Moon on the Hill, to meet a friend, same friend I met up with twice and the same one that hosted the Hawaiian Themed Party over a month ago, this place we met at took me an hour to get to, and a half an hour for her to get to from where she lives, I see this as a win, and it was great, a nice start to my few days off and a great laugh; after this we went to this place called The George, which is a pub that gets lively in the evening, like loud music and flashing lights, closest we’ll get to a club for a while, and that was great too, would love to go there another time; and after that we called it a night, I got home, got myself a takeaway, and fell asleep.
It’s now Saturday, started off with a nice walk in the morning, walked around Angel and near City Road, bumped into two family friends which was nice, got home, and dozed off on the sofa, woke up an hour later, dozed back off, woke up another hour later, dozed back off, woke up two hours later, looked at the time and it was 1:30pm, was I that tired? I couldn’t tell. I was chilling for the rest of the day, played on the PlayStation for a few hours, treated my family to Pizza Hut, and ending my night with a wrestling pay per view, that was my Saturday, nice and chilled.
Finally it’s Sunday, never thought we’d get here because I don’t know when to stop writing. Sunday I was just relaxing, I did go to the gym, finally this week, and I realised that I didn’t have much time left, got there at 3:35pm, it closes at 4pm, so I get there, do some work on my shoulders and chest, leave at 3:58pm, and then went for a jog for a few laps around my flat, so I made the best of something that was poorly timed, and after that I just relaxed, and that was Sunday, it was nice.
So yeah guys that was my week, very descriptive wasn’t it? Sometimes I write and I don’t know when to stop, sometimes I want to stop and I can’t make myself stop, it’s mad, there’s just so much in this head of mine that I feel like I got to express myself, I got to let it all out. I have nothing else to say except, thanks for reading, and I’ll see you for blog 20, the big two oh, 5 months worth of blogs, that’s incredible, see you all then, take care, have a good week, and oh yeah I need to mention, third time and hopefully third time lucky, follow @soapboxislington for their live stream on Wednesday at 6pm where you’ll see me and other talent showcase ourselves. Thanks for reading.”
August 24th - August 30th
“So this is blog 18, I kept thinking this was going to be blog 19 and would have no idea what to write about, but since this is 18 it’s going to give me more of what to write about. So from my previous blogs you could have an idea of what 18 was like when I was talking about the years 2014 and 2015, so for 18 I can talk about what I remember most about my 18th birthday, myself, four friends, and yes Jack was one of them, got into a hummer that drove us around London and dropped us off at the West End where we saw Jersey Boys at the Piccadilly Theatre, it was a fantastic show, and we all got the bus home, it was a wonderful night. Anything else regarding the number 18? Well it was nearly 5 years ago I saw my first rated 18 film in cinemas, Legend starring Tom Hardy as The Krays, my brother in law and I saw it opening night, good film. 2018. I can think of as well, which was mostly an up and down year seeing that I was still going on that downward spiral that went on until March, and spent the majority of the year looking for a job, who would’ve thought I would’ve gone back to education for the year, not me, but I’m very glad I did, it was also a really good year for cinema, and I began going to see West End shows and theatre shows in Dartford and Wimbledon frequently, I also went on trips to Edinburgh and Newcastle with some friends, so looking back 2018 wasn’t that bad, I’d say a 6, maybe even a 7 out of 10 as a year. Now let’s get to the week, it was an ok week, not much happened but what can you do? Some weeks are like that, now let’s get to it.
So here we go on Monday, so Billy how did you start this week? Well Billy I can answer that for you, nothing, yep nothing, just a nothing and relaxing day.
Now it’s Tuesday, now come on Bill, you must’ve done something, well yes Bill I did, now where do I start? So it was going towards the evening, and I was going to have a call with someone from Soapbox Islington regarding my appearance on the Instagram Live the following day, I realised that evening that I couldn’t appear since I had plans made, plans that were made nearly 2 weeks ago, and it took me 4 days to realise that these two would’ve collided with each other, I was disappointed in myself, not for not being able to appear due to plans, but for not realising it sooner; we still had a chat that night, on a Zoom call, took me forever to get onto the call, first time using Zoom, was ridiculously complicated, and the call went fine, and I should be on there this Wednesday, not sure what time yet but it’ll be between 6pm and 6:45pm. After this I went to go to the gym, but what I didn’t realise was that my gym had reduced hours on certain days and that it closed at 8pm, I noticed this at 8:30pm, and this had me scratching my head because the day prior it closed at 10pm, weird. Instead I went for a jog around my flat for half an hour, it was alright, I did feel a bit paranoid since it was raining before I went out and it was wet everywhere, but luckily I was fine.
And now it’s Wednesday, so Billy what did you do on this Wednesday? Well Billy it was a busy Wednesday, and this is what I did. I began by meeting my mum for lunch, she has been doing some training for her new job so we thought it’d be a good idea to meet during her lunch break, we had a drink and a bite to eat from Pret, and since I was early to my next plan, I decided to walk to where I needed to be, and that was the BFI IMAX at South Bank, and after getting there really early, I decided to take a walk around Waterloo, and at one point I was walking past Waterloo Station, and I felt something on the back of my head, so I went to take whatever it was off, and then once I made contact I felt a sting, and whatever this was, I threw it down and saw that it was a wasp, and I realised I got stung on the back of my head, I began to panic, I was sweating, my breathing was beginning to get rapid, I needed to calm down and think that maybe this sting was nothing. I met Jack outside the BFI IMAX, he took a photo and there was a lot of red around where I was stung, and I was feeling no side effects so I felt fine luckily, and then we went on to see Tenet, the first big blockbuster realised in cinemas since February or March, and it was a great film, would highly recommend it, but it is a lot to take in and requires a lot of thinking, still a great film nonetheless; it was great being back in the BFI IMAX too, first time I’ve been there since, I think December when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker came out. Afterwards Jack and I were filmed doing a talk for IMAX, which was a lot of fun and a good laugh, and we then went to get dinner at the Sports Bar & Grill at Waterloo Station, it was a good time too since the Eat Out to Help Out scheme was on, Jack and I had a nice meal, and Jack ordered this 1kg bucket of chicken wings, which from a far distance doesn’t look big, but when you see it up close, it’s huge, and there must’ve been at least 25 chicken wings in there, and did we finish it? You bet we did, because we love our food. That was Wednesday, personally my favourite day this week.
Going onto Thursday, and I went to the gym, did the cross trainer for around 35 minutes, it was a good workout, was well needed especially after my meal the night before. Later on I went to my drama class and that was fun, the improvisation I did was really good too. Afterwards we all went to the Shakespeare’s Head, that was also really good, it was a great night overall and I felt everyone who was in class felt the same way.
Now it’s Friday, and Friday was decent, I played on the PlayStation for a few hours, Nanny Lylie came up and I spoke to her for a bit, and I went to the gym again, another 35 minutes on the cross trainer, and that was my Friday, now to get ready to work on the weekend.
Here is Saturday, the beginning of bank holiday weekend, so how am I spending bank holiday weekend? I’m working, yep I’m working, can’t believe it myself, but remember, to play hard, you’ve got to work hard, no matter the day; because of bank holiday the Northern line wasn’t going, so I had to get the 43 to Bank Station, and then get onto the DLR, so my journey to work would be around 5 to 10 minutes longer, one mistake could cause me to be late, and what happened? I made a mistake, and I forgot my watch; now, I know what you’re thinking, why did you need your watch? Because I need it to keep track of the time, can’t get my phone out during a shift, it’s unprofessional and doesn’t make me look good as a worker, and I was mad, the one time I forget my watch for work it’s on bank holiday weekend, so I had to get off at Old Street, get the bus back to near home, and meet my mum to get my watch, and I was so mad, absolutely fuming, the only way I could get to work on time was if I got a taxi or an Uber, I order an Uber, the driver accepts only to cancel me, and then another driver accepts, and then thankfully I’m on my way to work, from how mad I was earlier, I could feel it’s side effects, my breathing was all over the place, I felt like I was going to pass out, from all the times I’ve been mad, this had never happened to me before, and it shocked me, I was able to get myself back together, just have to hope that never happens to me again. I get to work around 15 minutes before the start of my shift, and I get on with my day, it wasn’t bad, the rotation I was given gave me a really lunch break, made the rest of my day feel longer, no ones fault it was just the time. Once I got home, I went to meet a friend of mine, known him for 9 years and it was the first time I was seeing him in 3 years, and we went for a walk around the area with his dog, and it was nice, good catchup too.
Finally it’s Sunday, and I’m working again, and luckily I didn’t forget anything and my travel went fine, and Sunday’s tend to be the busiest day in my workplace, and yes it really was, all tickets sold out around 2 or 3 hours before the end of the day, even had lines of people waiting to go in with their booked tickets it was mad, and like last week, I believe I mentioned this in my blog last week, when I was outside the exit keeping an eye on things, I would have people try to go in past me when clearly next to the doors THERE ARE BIG PINK SIGNS SAYING NO ENTRY AND PEOPLE STILL TRY TO GO IN!!! Unbelievable, just can’t believe it, and once the day was done, I was glad to go home, and relax, knowing that I don’t have to be back in work until Wednesday, and seeing that it’s a weekday, it won’t be as hectic, and I ended my Sunday and my week watching a wrestling pay per view, nice way to end it.
That was my week, it was ok, and I don’t know what to say about my week besides that. Make sure to check out @soapboxislington on Instagram on Wednesday at 6pm to check out their live stream featuring myself and other talent, give them a follow too so you can get a notification of when they go live this Wednesday. Also, one more thing, and this is something that I really want to talk about; we all get invested in something to watch, whether it’s a film franchise, a tv series, or a soap opera, and we get invested with the characters, and sometimes we get so invested to where we eventually become fans of those that play our favourite characters, and we look forward to their other projects and anything they do next, Chadwick Boseman was one of those people to a lot of people including myself, and he passed away Friday 28th August after privately battling colon cancer for four years at the age of 43; I remember watching 42 in 2013, where Chadwick played Jackie Robinson, and I remember loving his performance, the following year I watched Get On Up where he played James Brown which was such a fantastic performance, and then a few months later it was announced that he was cast as Black Panther which I was so happy about, and was happy to see that more of the world will find out about who he was, he became one of the highlights of Captain America: Civil War, and then he would reprise the role in Black Panther in 2018 where it broke several box office records, made this huge cultural impact, and would also go on to win numerous awards including 3 Oscars, I was just so happy for him, that he was getting this recognition, he deserved it, and now I sit here typing this and I still can’t believe he is gone; the world lost someone truly special, a man who has been in the spotlight for 7 years and to see how much of an impact he left during that time is astonishing, and to find out that for the last 4 years that while he was living with colon cancer without anyone knowing he kept working day in and day out is so powerful and inspirational, the man was literally a real life superhero; seeing all the messages and posts about him all over social media, really made me realise how much he impacted people, men, women, children, he inspired everyone, and in death he is going to inspire more for years to come, in years more people will look back at his work, his life, his battle, and it will inspire those that will find out about him, the man has gone down as a legend, and he leaves behind a legacy that people will celebrate for years to come, rest in power Chadwick, thank you for everything.
“UPDATE, just found out Soapbox Live is actually on a break this week so I’ll be on next week instead.”
Have a good week guys, take care.
August 17th to August 23rd
“17, here we are, what I didn’t mention last week was that it’s now been 4 months since I began this blog, 4 months, how it all flies by, and here I am still doing this, and how much long is this going to go on for? I have no idea. 17 though, it is blowing my mind the more I think about it, when I think 17 I think of when I was 17, my first year in The Courtyard, meeting Ms. Vidal and all the other staff members there, beginning my A Levels, became an Uncle for the 4th time, and I had some good cinema trips here and there, 17 wasn’t bad. I then think of 2017, coming off of 2016 and how fantastic that was for me, 2017 had a lot to live up to, and did it live up to 2016? No, not even close; to start I finished my apprenticeship at Sadler’s Wells, and I was scared, being back to where I was over a year prior, having to do job searching all over again, I presumed it wasn’t going to be as bad seeing that I’ve now got an apprenticeship and a Business Administration Level 2 qualification on my CV, but nope, it was still tough, even went on this job trial, I saw it was marketing and went for it, not the marketing I thought, the trial day took me to Staines of all places, and the team I was with was trying to get people to sign with EE, now I don’t know why EE would have people in the middle of Staines trying to get people to sign up but here we are, in the cold, I also had to do a lot of writing, didn’t get back to Islington until much later than expected, I had to memorise and answer even more questions, they told me I got the job, and I nearly missed Academy Award Nominee James Newton Howard at Royal Albert Hall because of it, did the induction day, realised that I would only make money if I made a sale, and the job requiring me to be there 6 days a week, I just quit, waste of my time, WASTE OF MY TIME! I would get a job by the end of the year, it wasn’t a bad job, had a familiar face there working with me, a colleague I had a bit of a soft spot for, good opportunities, but I wasn’t needed for work as much as I wanted to be, so that’s a story that goes past 2017 and a story for another time. I turned 21, had a surprise party which was great, only nitpick I really had is that not everyone I knew turned up, but oh well, in life you can’t always get what you want, also if you saw my face when I saw everyone in the room, it was absolutely priceless. I was featured in a documentary based on my flat, and that was a lot of fun to do. I got into a professional production, based on a play I was in the year prior at The Anna Scher Theatre, got funded successfully through a Kickstarter, sold out all six nights at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden, smashed it every single performance, and I would do it all over again, you perform, you celebrate afterwards, wake up the next day and do it all over again, had a good amount of people turn up for me, even had my headteacher turn up for me, shoutout to Ms. Shepherd I hope you’re well, it was all great. After the show’s run ended, getting back to that normal life wasn’t going well, I remember the first class back and I’m like “we’re back? That’s it? What now?” And deep down I don’t think I ever recovered from that; and then I felt like I went into this downward spiral, I won’t get too into it but most of it wasn’t to do with the show ending but other things too, this time in my life was quite possibly the worst 5 months of my life, there were good things that happened during that time including going to Georgia in the States, my youngest niece being born, getting that job I was talking about earlier, the Christmas holidays, and as good as all those were, it was never enough to get me out of that black hole I was in, however just like all dark times in our lives, they end, I look back and wonder “how did that last 5 months?” In the end I’m just glad I got through it and got a bit stronger from it. Anything else to do with 17? In 2009 I saw 17 Again with a friend of mine, the only thing I remember was that I was too loud speaking to my friend in a mostly empty screen, don’t know how, ask the woman rows and rows down that told me to be quiet. Thanks again for dropping in to read this week’s blog guys, I know this was another long intro but normally I have a lot on my mind and I like to let it out, especially seeing that it’s 5:35am as I’m writing this and everyone is asleep, so here I am. As those who read last week’s blog, you know this one will be different, especially since last weeks one I ended a bit early due to me having plans Sunday evening, so here we go, about to begin my week, let’s go.
We begin Sunday evening, that’s a refreshing start, and I’ve just finished writing the blog, so I decide to chill, wait for my phone to charge, and then make my way to South Woodford to see my friends, straight forward right? Well no. If you live in the UK especially London, you would know how bad the rain was that evening, I honestly thought an earthquake was happening it was unbelievably loud. After a while, my phone was 100%, and the rain was as bad as it was earlier, it was so bad that I couldn’t get public transport, I ordered an Uber, an Uber finally comes, I get into the Uber, only for the driver to say that he can’t travel that far, so he accepts the trip, makes his way to mine, let’s me into his car, only to then realise that the journey is too far for him, what a waste of time; eventually another Uber driver came, and dropped me off in South Woodford. So the two of us, and another friend of us who was there, we normally call ourselves The Rat Pack, The Rat Pack back together, first time since March, it was a great night and it flew by, went to bed at 3:30am, those 5 hours went so quick.
And now it’s Monday, I wake up in the morning, and my mate who lives in South Woodford and his mum drops my friend and I off at South Woodford Station, where I meet my mum and a friend of my mum’s who picked me up from the station, and dropped me off at theirs. My Mum and I were there for a few hours, and my mum’s friend’s daughters and granddaughters were there too so that was really nice, I remember last year my parents and I attended a wedding and during the reception we spent some of that time looking after one of the granddaughters, good times. After 2 or 3 hours, my mum’s friend drops us off at Woodford Station where my Mum and I made our way home. After getting home, having a nap and having dinner, I decide to go to the gym for the first time since lockdown started, I didn’t know what to expect, I was quite nervous, but there’s a first time for everything, this moment was going to happen eventually, here goes nothing. The gym was running on a one way system which was straightforward, and each locker had 2 metres between them so it was quite hard to find an empty locker, and then I go inside, to find where to do my workout, everything is spaced out by 2 metres and everyone I saw in the gym had one thing in common, none of them was wearing a mask, and I was the only one wearing one, it was very awkward, very uncomfortable too, I just did a workout on the Cross Trainer on level 10, was on there for between 35 and 40 minutes and went home, and that was my Monday, now I prepare to go back to work.
Tuesday, it’s the big day, my first shift back at work, was I nervous? You bet I was. How nervous? The sweaty nervous. I didn’t know what to expect, what to do, but eventually I was able to settle in and have a proper understanding of what to do and do it well. The difference was that the hours are reduced to 6 hours, like a school day, a part of the museum was open, instead of anyone entering and exiting anywhere it will have one entrance and one exit, and because of the test and trace system, people have to book tickets online before they enter the museum. Besides my brain getting fuzzy during the last hour of my shift, it was a decent day back, and now I have an understanding of what to do and what’s going on, it should be easy days going forward.
Next up it’s Wednesday, and today it’s my second of two shifts at work this week. I was more physically and mentally prepared compared to the previous day and personally I thought as a worker I performed better in this shift, though I do have to admit, when I was at the exit, on opposite sides of the door, there are signs clearly displayed saying that there’s no entry to the museum, and people try and go inside, from the exit, THE SIGNS ARE RIGHT THERE, YOU READ THE SIGNS! Unbelievable. During the evening I decided take a trip to the cinema, the VUE up Angel, and I watched The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched this film, but in total this was the 4th time I was seeing it in the cinema, 3rd in this particular cinema, and I had the whole screen to myself, a screen with between 100 and 200 seats, and I was the only one in it, it was overwhelming I absolutely loved it, and it was a great way to end my day, got home just before midnight.
Here is Thursday, and this week this was my favourite day, and you’ll see why in a bit. So for a little while now Ms. Vidal and I were discussing meeting up, and we didn’t know what was going to happen because I was busy, she was busy, and the weather kept constantly changing, and while I was waiting for the film to come on the night prior, Ms. Vidal emails me about meeting up the next day, and just like that, my Thursday was made. So I arrive at Regent’s Park, believe it or not it was the first time I’ve ever been to Regent’s Park, I can’t believe it myself; so we meet at The Regent’s, and her son was with her too, I’ve seen her son on a couple of Google Meets Video Calls, and seeing him in front of me was just surreal, it brought me back to July 2016, Ms. Vidal tells me she is pregnant and I was just so happy for her, it also brought me back to November 2016, the day Ms. Vidal was going to go on leave, I go to The Courtyard to see her, and I remember seeing her baby bump and I let out a massive gasp, I still laugh at myself looking back on it, and now we fast forward to present day, and here they both are, and here he is, life is incredible and full of wonders. We began by sitting at The Regent’s, having a coffee and a chat, got to know her son more, and we began talking about dinosaurs, and that was really nice. We then went for a walk around Regent’s Park while her son rod his scooter, he said my name at one point and my heart just melted, felt the biggest smile grow on my face. I still couldn’t get over how I’ve never been to Regent’s Park before, it’s so beautiful and it’s only 15 or 20 minutes on the bus from where I live. Eventually we went our separate ways, and said bye, and I just couldn’t believe it, nearly 7 years ago she started teaching me in The Courtyard, nearly 7 years later we’re meeting up, with her son, in Regent’s Park, unbelievable, this was without a shadow of a doubt my highlight of the week. Once I got home, I had lunch, was chilling in my bedroom, heard noise on my balcony, went out and saw it was one of my neighbours chilling out there, it’s a shared balcony don’t worry, and we spoke about her family, my family, and she said she’d be back in a bit, did she come back? Nah, she didn’t, and I just sat out there, on my own, in the sun, and Naturally by Gilbert O’Sullivan began playing in my head. I was supposed to go to my drama class later but I decided to give it a miss, felt tired from the sun today, and I didn’t have a good sleep the night prior, so I gave the class a miss, they can miss me for one week no worries, and that was Thursday, good day overall.
We now head to Friday, and I met up with a friend at his workplace, which is a pub called The Old Star which is next to St. James Park Station, and once he finished his shift, we had a few drinks, and I even met someone that he works with, who every week hosts a talent showcase on Instagram Live, and guess who’ll be on there Wednesday, yep your boy is showing off his talent and answering questions for 15 minutes, will put details at the end. My friend and I left The Old Star between 10:45pm and 11pm, we got McDonalds and then got the tube home, had a lovely time.
Oh look it’s Saturday, so I was planning to do something for Saturday, either going for a walk or go to the gym, but plans changed, I found out my youngest nephew was going to be staying with us for a few hours since his parents are going to be out so we had to look after him, I played with him on the PlayStation for a bit and for the most part he was good as gold, I did my uncle duties well, and I ended my night watching a wrestling pay per view, that was my Saturday, decent.
Now we have reached Sunday, began Sunday with meeting Jack for lunch, we went to this place at Chapel Market called N1 Grill, and it was alright, had to ask for a drink 3 times but the food was good so that was really the main thing, we got ice cream afterwards from an ice cream van nearby and that was good too. Afterwards I went home for around 2 hours, and my mum and I went to see a friend of her’s, I don’t recall if it was her birthday, or before her birthday, or after her birthday but it was to do with her birthday, and it was nice seeing faces I haven’t seen since before lockdown and catching up, and then we went and sat in the garden outside, and here I was, drink in hand, while everyone on my side was either on their phones or just staring into space and I was sitting there like “THIS IS REALLY GOOD SOCIALISING GUYS, KEEP IT GOING YOU’RE ALL DOING GREAT,” I mean I didn’t say anything but it did bother me, mum and I went home not long after that, and I ended my night watching another wrestling pay per view.
That was my week, I believe this one has the chance of being up there with being one of my longest blogs. I liked this week, because it was different, and I saw plenty of familiar faces that I haven’t seen since before lockdown, I did my first shifts back at work, met up with Ms. Vidal and her son, it was a really good week in general. Thank you all for reading again. I was supposed to take part in the Instagram Live on Wednesday 26th August for Soapbox Islington at 6pm, but I just realised that I have plans that were made a week and a half ago that collide with the Instagram Live so that means that I unfortunately have to drop out. However I do encourage those that are reading this to check out @soapboxislington on Instagram and go on their Instagram Live at 6pm to check out and support the talent performing. Thanks again guys, see you next week”
August 10th - August 16th
“It’s number 16, what can I think of with the number 16? Well I remember when my friends and I were younger and we treated the age 16 as if it was a big massive deal, one more step closer to 18, being able to do more things, nearly an adult, but looking back, the age 16 didn’t really mean much, it felt like a big deal at the time, but not now, it’s a bigger deal being 24, one year away from my mid 20s, I remember being in Year 11 as a 16 year old, being the oldest student in the school, obviously a role model to the younger students, and increasingly became less motivated as the year went on, these are the most important grades of your life they said, these won’t do much for me I said, then I ended up with mediocre GCSE results, perfect BTEC results, and then I went on to pass every other course I went on to do, A Level, HNC, Functional Skills and even a Business Administration course, and a few jobs, I think I’ve done alright in the last 7 years. Then I think of 2016, looking back, the best year of my life, finally got into work by starting a Digital & Marketing Apprenticeship at Sadler’s Wells, which also meant I had to go back to education to do a Business Administration Level 2 course at Lewisham Southwark College, also I was doing a lot of my own things like going to concerts and attending the BFI London Film Festival for the first time, turned the big 20, I went to Orlando, Florida with my family and my American family, and my social life was better than ever, looking at it, it was quite possibly the happiest I’ve been as an adult, it shows that nothing lasts forever, and the crazy thing is, while I was this happy and having all these good things going on, the road to Brexit happening started, Trump won the election, and the world lost the likes of Muhammad Ali, Prince, Gene Wilder, David Bowie, Carrie Fisher, Alan Rickman, Sir Ken Adam, Frank Sinatra Jr, Garry Shandling, Kris Travis, Billy Paul, Theresa Saldana, Harry Rabinowitz, the white oak tree from The Shawshank Redemption, Marni Nixon, Gaspar Saladino, Kenny Baker, Curtis Hanson, Rod Temperton, Michael Massee, Kevin Meaney, Leonard Cohen, Florence Henderson and many, many more; I even remember especially during the second half of 2016 that people were saying it was like the worst year ever and I was the one guy that said “well it could be worse,” and then 2020 happened, and we’ve still got 4 months of it left, and potentially a second wave, life is wonderful isn’t it, full of sunshine, lollipops and rainbows. This is blog number 16, and a different one too, I’ll say why at the end.
To start things off on Monday, I just took myself for a little trip to Mile End, just for a change of scenery, didn’t last too long because the heat was unbearable, and that was it, that was Monday, it was decent.
Onto Tuesday now, well that was quick, and it was my mum’s birthday, her and dad just got back from their little getaway, gave my mum her card and present, and also made her a nice coffee, I made sure there was plenty of chocolate and sugar, just how she likes it. In the evening I met up with Jack, and him and I took a trip to the Cineworld at the O2 to see Jurassic Park, Jack and I absolutely love the film, and for both of us it has a big impact on our childhoods, it was the first time Jack and I were seeing a film at the cinema together since we took my nephews to see Sonic The Hedgehog at the Vue at Angel back in February. we saw Jurassic Park in this format called 4DX, now 4DX is where you watch the film and feel practical effects around you including motion seats, wind, strobe lights, simulated snow and scents, and it was a fun experience, the seats got quite bumpy and my head was back against the seat so my head was going all over the place, felt like I got beat up, I actually would recommend it believe it or not, but if the seats getting bumpy gets too much for your head, just lean forward, don’t be like me and feel an aching on the back of your head for the next two or three hours.
Heading to Wednesday, my youngest nephew, my Mum and I made Red Velvet cookies out of the Gookie Dough that I still had which was really nice. Afterwards some family members came down to see my mum with her birthday being the day prior, my older brother, his partner and my two youngest nieces came down, as did my eldest sister, my brother in law and my youngest nephew, and all of us just sat outside chatting, it was really nice.
Going onto Thursday, and I went to my drama class, it was a really good class, I performed a monologue which was about a young musician who doesn’t have a good relationship with his dad, and the one time he goes to his dad, his dad wants nothing to do with him, I performed it well and everyone really liked it, I also did a comedic improvisation with a friend of mine in the class which was good too. Afterwards some of us went to The Harlequin, and then The Shakespeare’s Head and then myself and a friend, same one I did the improvisation with, went to Slim Jim’s, I called it a night after that and got home before 1am.
Here we are on Friday, and what did I do on Friday? Nothing really, some days you just don’t have the energy to do anything and this was one of those days, and sometimes it’s best to just stay at home and do nothing.
OH LOOK ITS SATURDAY, and what did I do on this day? I met up with a friend of mine, the same friend I was with last Saturday, and the same one I helped with his audition tape two weeks ago, and I was helping him with another audition tape, it was for the same role, but it was like the next stage in the audition process, just more lines and directions to memorise, and it went really well, was very happy with how it worked out, now we play the waiting game. Afterwards we went to The Finsbury for a bit which was a laugh.
Finally it’s Sunday, and I went for a walk around Angel, Upper Street, near Holloway Road and Essex Road, and that’s it for now.
Wait, what do you mean that’s it for now!? It’s because I’m going to see my friend in South Woodford and spend the night, and then I’m seeing family friends in Woodford the following day so I thought it would be best to write it now, it makes a change, and it’s different, and different is good sometimes. Next week will be interesting, will be doing my first two shifts back at work and seeing familiar faces, and I’ll see you lot then, I know it wasn’t the most busy week but not every week is going to be the same, and I hope you enjoyed my write up for what it was, see you all next week, take care.”
August 3rd- August 9th
“So here we are on 15, when I think of 15 I think of when I was 13 and I would sneak into rated 15 films in the cinema because I looked older than I did at the time, thinking about it I look at least 5 years older than I do now. 15 also makes me think of 2015, a very rocky year for me, began the year with a mental breakdown, something that I won’t get into right now, I then went on to perform in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street as Beadle Bamford for two nights at St. Mary Magdalene Academy, 250 people per night, I finished my time at The Courtyard and St. Mary Magdalene Academy and passed all of the subjects I took, my Uncle Jimmy passed away, I tried to audition for a year long course at the Young Actors Theatre which flopped miserably, I did begin to attend classes at the Anna Scher Theatre which was the start of acting jobs, a lot of learning and a lot of lifelong friends, I also tried applying for jobs to no success and began attending the Job Centre which I hated every single minute of. Films were a big part of 2015 for me, and even helped me through the hardest of days, I took my youngest nephew to the cinema for the first time to see The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water where he was as good as gold, Furious 7 where we all said goodbye to Paul Walker, I won tickets to a preview screening of Avengers: Age of Ultron which I got through ShowFilmFirst which interesting fact, I was told about by Ms. Vidal, amazing what you can find out and what that can lead to from people you know, Mad Max: Fury Road which I think I saw more than any other movie that year and one of very few movies I’ve watched twice in a day, Inside Out which just like nearly every Disney movie got me emotional, Jurassic World which I saw after attending an event where family and friends got together to toast to and celebrate the memory of Uncle Jimmy, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation which I saw on my birthday with some of my best friends at the BFI IMAX, The Visit in which Jack and I attended a preview screening of two months before its release where my reaction got recorded and put onto one of its TV spots, which you’ll see below this blog, Hotel Transylvania 2 where I took my youngest nephew to see it and we bumped into my eldest niece and eldest nephew in the same screening with their dad, Spectre where Jack and I dressed in tuxedos to see the movie and I still felt jet lagged from flying home from Georgia that same day, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 which I won tickets for from OK Magazine to see at its London Premiere and it was one of the best nights of my life, Star Wars: The Force Awakens which I saw after a very bad appointment at the Job Centre, and it really cheered me up, and so many other films that I have memories of, 2015 was absolutely stacked. Another good memory I have of 2015 was surprising one of my best friends with tickets to a wrestling show at Wembley Arena which was a fantastic night. Overall 2015 was a very mixed bag of a year, and a year I felt where I don’t think 2015 itself knew what it wanted to be. I also think of the age 15, the year of me being 15, though it had good memories and moments here and there, there were bad too, my Grandad Ronnie passed away, my relationship of 2 years ended, and my Nanny Jane passed away, all of this in a space of 8 months, it was rough, times I’d rather not look back on, but I look at them as moments I became stronger from. I only just realised how much I’ve written, and I haven’t even gotten to the beginning of my week yet, HEY BILL YOU’VE WRITTEN ENOUGH WHAT ABOUT YOUR WEEK?! BE PATIENT SUNSHINE I’M GETTING TO IT!!!! Anyway, enough with me arguing with myself, here is my week for blog 15.
To begin on Monday, obviously, if you’ve read my previous blog you all know that I was going back to work to do training and shifts. I entered the museum and I felt like I never left, it was as if lockdown never happened and I was just there for a shift days prior, it was so odd, a colleague of mine that was there that day described it as going back to school. For our training this day we went through the one way system in the National Maritime Museum and the Queen’s House, the National Maritime Museum one way system is one that’s quite easy to remember, while the Queen’s House one way system is a bit more complex. We were also told about changes that were being made and were even given updated work dates, I looked at mine, released a sigh of relief and saw that I wasn’t working this weekend, WOO GET ALL YOU CAN GET BECAUSE WE’RE CELEBRATING!!! Also I was given a name badge and a house key just like a part time or full time worker, so I could use the key to get onto the museum sites whenever I wanted to, it felt incredible, knowing that they believed in me and trusted me to have something like that, and felt good knowing that I didn’t need to go to security to ask for a house key anymore. We also found out our work bubbles, and my bubble is one of the bubbles working in the National Maritime Museum which I was more than happy with. That was my first day back, good day, now to prepare for the next.
Tuesday was the second out of four days of training, and the training on this day was at the Royal Observatory, which is up high on a hill, and takes what feels like an eternity to get up there, once you’ve gone up the hill you are nearly out of stamina and sweating, but you do get quite possibly the best view in London so that makes up for it. We all took a walkthrough of the one way system and what to do if the fire alarm went off. We spent the majority of the time outdoors so, most of the time outdoors, on top of a hill, on a sunny day, do you know what this means? Me getting a colour, it’s only gone and happened again. This was a good day too, was a lot to take in but luckily I’ve got papers from work to go through to help me memorise everything.
Heading to Wednesday, day three out of four of our training, and originally this was meant to be on the first day but the person in charge this day was on annual leave Monday. So we all sat in a circle, and spoke about how we were during lockdown, what we did, how we felt at the start, and it felt really good to talk about it and hearing everyone else; I opened up about how anxious I was at first, how I coped at the start, and I also spoke about the blog and how it got it’s own article in the Islington Gazette. We were all given welcome back papers to look through and with a good amount of information, especially with what to do if anyone of us had symptoms of COVID. This was a good day too, a different day, and was nice to see more familiar faces.
Now onto Thursday, the last day of training, had to put my uniform on for the first time since March, felt weird but it also felt good, but the weather did make the uniform feel stuffy. We began sitting on desks and listening to a few people from the office talking about everything regarding the museums, opening and closing times, rotations, the one way system, ticket purchases, what we should do during our lunch breaks and a lot of other stuff, it was a lot to take in, but good information to hear about nonetheless. After the lunch break I got with some of the work colleagues in my bubble and went through the one way system, for some of them it was their first time going through it, and that was it, that was the last day of training, and now I have a week and a half to prepare for my first shift back. During the evening I went to my drama class, I felt I did better this time, not as good as I’d want to be but definitely better. Most of us including myself went to The Shakespeare’s Head afterwards and it felt really nice to be chatting, and having a laugh in the beer garden under the summer night sky. I booked for 4 people including myself a table at this bar on Upper Street called Slim Jim’s for 11:15pm, on the way there was 5 of us and once we arrived, I spoke to the bouncer saying I put down 4 instead of 5, the bouncer talks to the boss, one minute later, he comes back, and tells us to come in, perfect. We were there for around 3 hours, and I didn’t get home until 2:45am, and fell asleep an hour later, it was a good night.
Friday, woke up at 10am thanks to my alarm, but did I need to wake up? Basically I was supposed to have a Google Meets video call with Ms. Vidal which was scheduled at 11am, this was a mistake of Ms. Vidal’s, she sent the invitation to my Google Calendar just last night not realising it was 11am, but a few days ago she said we’ll talk at 1pm, and this is the funny part, I completely forgot about the 1pm part so I ended up waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, and waiting, I sat there for an hour waiting, the things I do for the people in my life, and I emailed Ms. Vidal, she emailed me back, I emailed her back, she emailed me back, and next we’re doing a video chat while she’s on the bike, she’s great at multitasking, we spoke for around 20 minutes, and it was a fun chat, full of laughs and giggles, lovely way to start my day. After this I met up with a good friend of mine who I was in the same classroom with back in secondary school, we were at The White Swan for around 3 hours or so, it was really nice, we was meant to meet up back in March but this was a day before lockdown kicked in and changed everything so it was really nice we met up on this day. He’s actually the only classmate I still keep regular contact with, think of it this way, one is better than none.
Now it’s Saturday, and just to get this out of the way, I’m so glad I wasn’t working this weekend in this weather, it would’ve killed me. Began Saturday with both of my youngest nieces coming up, along with my older brother and his partner, my Nanny Lylie came up too and her, my mum and I had glasses of Pimm’s. Later on I went to The Camden Head to meet up with five good friends of mine, one of them I was with last Thursday to help with his audition tape, one I saw just three or four weeks ago at the birthday party, and the other three I haven’t seen since before lockdown started so it was really nice to be with each other again, a great laugh.
Finally it’s Sunday and on this day I met up with Jack for the first time in a few weeks, and we went to Charing Cross to this pub called The Sherlock Holmes, because Jack likes Sherlock Holmes, yeah that’s the reason. We had a nice meal there and then went for a walk around Leicester Square, and that was it, that was my Sunday.
That was my week, a very eventful and very busy week. It was really good to be back at work and really good to see faces I haven’t seen since before lockdown began. I look forward to next week, seeing that I’m not working next week it does shakeup the week a bit. I hope you enjoyed this week’s blog, I know I went on for a bit with the intro and I know it was different but I do hope you all enjoyed it. Before I go I want to say, please think of those who have been affected by the explosions that took place in Beirut, Lebanon last week. Thanks again everyone, I’ll see you next week.”
The Visit- watch my reaction at 00:04
July 27th - August 2nd
“This is 14, already, wow, pretty big number, and my 14th blog already, this is a very special one, a part of it is because of the number, but most of it is my last writing as 23 years old, and the rest of it my first as 24 years old, and my last blog before I go back to work, here I am, sitting by my laptop with a near finished bottle of Moretti, thinking of my life since lockdown began, how much has happened since then, and now life is the closest to being back to normal, with a few things still needing to come back. Now I look forward to writing this blog because it was a busy week, a very good week, one of my favourites since lockdown started, and let’s get to it.
Monday was my least busiest day of the week, had a Google Meets Video Call with Ms. Vidal, first time in nearly 3 weeks and it was lovely as usual, always nice to chat to Ms. Vidal, got to see her son as well which was nice, her phone cut out due to her battery running out, but we were about to finish the conversation then anyway, besides the anticlimactic ending it was another wonderful chat. A part of my chat with Ms. Vidal, I just sat back and relaxed the entire day, sometimes you need days like that.
Now onto Tuesday, and Tuesday was good, it was the first time I went to the cinema since if I remember correctly, February, Jack and I took my nephews to see Sonic The Hedgehog at the VUE up Angel which was a lot of fun. On this day I went to the Everyman Cinema at King’s Cross to see The Matrix, yep I’m a massive film buff but I’ve never seen The Matrix. I first got to the cinema and it was a part of this massive office building which featured floors upon floors of offices and a posh pizza restaurant, I went to the Everyman Cinema Bar where I ordered myself a Raspberry Candy Fizz which is Raspberry Liqueur, Prosecco and Candy Floss, I felt the need to treat myself, took my seat and the seat was like a sofa single seat, very soft and cozy with a pillow, got around half an hour worth of trailers, made me cringe seeing nearly all the trailers being outdated, imagine a world without COVID and we got all these films out on time. Watching a film on the big screen felt surreal, didn’t feel real at all, and the film itself, so awesome, came out 21 years ago and was years ahead of its time. Once I left the cinema and got home I felt this incredible buzz, the feeling of more normality in my life and finally seeing a film in the cinema, whether it’s an old or new film, I was just glad to be back in a cinema screen.
Heading to Wednesday, and on this day I decided to take a walk, walked up Angel, Upper Street, Essex Road, got near Hackney, and then I went to the West End, and stopped at Her Majesty’s Theatre where The Phantom of the Opera would normally play, I’m sure you all heard at that time that they were going to stop all productions of Phantom of the Opera because of how affected it got during this pandemic, and being there, with a few camera men too, it was just sad to see, a musical, been in the West End for 34 years and just like that, it’s gone, and it’s one of the more well known, loved and expensive musicals, one of the greatest of all time, if people had to decide what musicals would be on the Mount Rushmore of Musical Theatre, most people would put Phantom of the Opera on there, and seeing how it got affected, imagine what shows could be next; though I did see a day or two later that Phantom of the Opera was looking to return with a brand new physical production so that’s really good, and when West End theatres are back, I will definitely be booking a ticket to The Phantom of the Opera. After the walk I went to see Auntie Susie and Uncle Trevor, first time I’ve been up their house since March when lockdown was about to start, had a nice chat with Uncle Trevor, collected some spaghetti for my mum and headed home, also I got colour on my face and head from the sun, I didn’t realise how warm it was and here I was with colour on my face and head, my pale skin, easy for me to get caught by the sun.
Here we are on Thursday, the last day before my birthday, last day being 23, and to start this day, I met up with a friend of mine for the first time since lockdown started to help him with his audition tape, we had a nice catchup, a good laugh and the audition tape went really well, each time we did a new take, a new idea came to mind, a reminder that the two of us are a really good team, afterwards we had lunch and went our separate ways at Finsbury Park, very nice start to the day. In the evening was my first drama class since March, and this was a special class, my teacher decided to bring some of his younger students to the class and we mixed in with them, the improvisation I did wasn’t bad, could’ve been better, on my part, a bit rusty acting again, will improve over time. Afterwards was the beginning of my birthday celebrations, a lot of us went for drinks at The Shakespeare’s Head and it was really nice, sat outdoors in the beer garden and had a great laugh. Afterwards 4 of us including myself went to look for another place to go to, went to Slim Jim’s, all booked out, then went to All For One, all booked out too, and we decided to call it a night, by the time I got home it was past midnight, and I turned 24 years old.
Now it’s Friday, and it’s officially my birthday on what is so far the hottest day of the year, officially 24, feels weird, will take some getting used to. Got some gifts including some new shirts, new Reebok trainers, quite a bit of money, £60 worth of Cineworld vouchers and the coincidence was that Cineworld opened all of their cinemas on my birthday so expect me to make some trips over the next few weeks, new set of pyjamas, 4 bath bombs from Lush, and I believe that’s it from what I can remember. For my birthday I didn’t really fancy doing anything big especially during a pandemic, my youngest nieces and my older brother’s partner came up, my older brother would eventually come down during his lunch break, my eldest sister and my youngest nephew came to see me as well before they left to play golf in Essex, at one point an old face video called me, she was the film maker behind the documentary I was in, I Am Eleven, and I had a nice catchup with her and met a friend of her’s; my Nanny Lylie would come down and the both of us and my mum had a few glasses of Pimm’s, two of my neighbours came to see me as well, and my other neighbour cooked me a massive bowl of rice, her special recipe which I looked forward to having. For dinner my younger brother and I got Five Guys, the burger I had was absolutely ridiculous, it was a Bacon Cheeseburger with, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Pickles, Green Peppers, Ketchup and BBQ sauce, I had all that with regular Five Guys Style Fries, and a Milkshake, and I can’t believe I’m about to say this, this Milkshake had Strawberry, Coffee and Oreo Cookie Pieces, as you can tell I have a ridiculous appetite but I never complain about it because I absolutely love it. Later on my brother in law popped up to see me and my parents and I watched 7500 on Amazon Prime, which was a decent film, and that was my birthday, and it was lovely, couldn’t imagined it being any better than it was.
Now it’s Saturday, and this was a big day, it was the FA Cup Finals with Arsenal taking on quite possibly their greatest rival Chelsea, will Chelsea claim the trophy? Will Arsenal break their own record with most FA Cup wins? An Arsenal and Chelsea match is like a game of Heads and Tails, you don’t know what side of the coin you’ll get, I’m not the biggest football expert or fan, but if Arsenal are actually in the finals of something, I’m watching it. I took a trip down to South Woodford to a friend’s house, the same friend I met with before we made our way to the Hawaiian Themed Party over a week ago, and also there was his mum, his sister, his sister’s boyfriend, and a good friend of his, so including myself there was around six of us all supporting Arsenal. The game was something that you couldn’t make up, like something out of a movie, Chelsea dominates in the first 10 to 15 minutes including a goal, and then after that Arsenal takes control scoring a goal of their own while Chelsea got a couple of yellow cards, they’re getting nervous and tired; and the second half comes and their best player gets injured, then Arsenal scores another goal, then one of Chelsea’s players gets a red card, and their own captain who was only on the pitch for 10-15 minutes gets injured and then the final whistle blows, we did it, we won, there was a good chance we could’ve lost but we did it, we actually won, we went outside with the Arsenal flag and sang to one of the neighbours, who has since Arsenal went 2-1 taken his Chelsea flags down, “WHERE’S YOUR FLAG GONE, WHERE’S YOUR FLAG GONE, WHERE’S YOUR FLAG GONE CHELSEA” the neighbour gives the finger and closes the window, brilliant. Afterwards we put a barbecue on that had chicken, burgers, hotdogs, pita bread and chicken korma kebab, after this we all called it a night as I made my bed on the sofa, put The Green Mile and because how tired I was, I fell asleep 10 minutes into the film. Overall it was a lovely way to end my birthday celebration that began on Thursday evening and ended on this evening.
Finally we’re on Sunday, I had a decent sleep, and I had a few cups of tea while I played with Pepper, the French Bulldog of the family who fell asleep on my lap at one point, and chatted away with my friend’s mum, after this my friend and his mum dropped me off at Wanstead Station where I got the tube home, I got home, had lunch, had a nap for two hours, woke up, had dinner, had a bath and that was it, that was my Sunday.
That was my week, as I said at the start, one of my favourite weeks since lockdown started, this was one of my favourite to write about too. I now prepare for the busiest week since lockdown started, from Monday to Thursday I will be training at my workplace, meeting a friend from secondary school on Friday, and then doing shifts at work on Saturday and Sunday, the best part of this is that you all will get an insight on my job and how I work, and what working during a pandemic is like. Am I nervous? A bit. Am I dreading how busy I’m going to be? Kind of. This is good though, more normality in my life, more time outside my house, a step forward into the normal life, as you’re reading this I’m either doing my training or I’ve just finished my first day, you already know what my entire week is going to consist of, but that’s what makes next week so interesting, instead of wondering what I’m going to do, you all know what I’m about to do, I’ll see you all then, take care.”
July 20th to July 26th
“So this is blog number 13, I remember being 13 in Year 8 which was a real mixed bag, I was 13 when I got into my first and only relationship which during the next year was also a mixed bag, my eldest niece is going to be 13 in a month and a bit which blows my mind, my younger brother got an IPad on his 13th birthday, as a kid I took a huge interest in the Friday the 13th films, 13 reminds me of the year 2013 which was a fantastic year for films, and an interesting year for me, finished my time at Stormont House School which came with mediocre results for both my GCSEs and BTECs, and then I started at The Courtyard, which also was the beginning of studying Performing Arts, so what you’re seeing with this blog, my time and conversations with Ms. Vidal, what you know about my time here and anything to do with acting or related to the performing arts, it all started here, and it’s led me here nearly 7 years later writing this blog. I know you must think that this is a random intro and I don’t blame you, but let’s just say that the number 13 does remind me of a lot of things. This is blog number 13, let’s get into it.
Kicking it off with Monday and my mum, youngest nephew and I went to see my Auntie Susie, with how nice the weather was we stood in the middle part of her flat which has a lot of grass and a couple of benches and it was really nice, my cousin, her partner, my cousins’ children, and their neighbours were there too, some of us had McDonalds for lunch and my younger brother came down to see us after just getting home from staying at the caravan with some friends of his, it was all really nice. Afterwards my younger brother, mum, myself, youngest nephew and my cousins’ children went back to mine, and we had my cousins’ children there for around an hour or so. I also did a total of 80 pushups on this day, not all in one but I would do something like 10, and then 20 around half an hour later, it was quite inconsistent but still, it was 80 pushups and I felt really proud of myself.
For Tuesday, it was like a continuation of Monday, and not because it was the next day but my youngest nephew and cousins’ children came up just like yesterday, it’s because my older sister and cousin’s partner work in the same school and they had to go in to clean up, so we had the pleasure of looking after the kids, and they were all as good as gold, they even had their own gaming area set up in my parents’ bedroom, my nephew and the eldest of my cousins’ kids was on the PlayStation 4 while the youngest of my cousins’ kids was on the Nintendo Switch, we all then had KFC for lunch and that was it, very good day, and always a pleasure to look after them. A few hours after that, I decided to go for a jog,sometime during the previous week I wore socks too short for my shoes, and the material of my shoes rubbed up against the back of my feet and damaged the skin a bit, it didn’t really affect me in any way just felt a bit itchy, so I only went and made the same mistake, and I went on to jog through Angel, Upper Street and near Holloway, I stopped after the pain on the back of my feet got too much, and realised I still had to go back home, I didn’t have my wallet on me so I couldn’t get the bus, I had my phone so I could’ve got myself an Uber but seeing that I didn’t have my mask would the Uber driver let me in? So I tip toed all the way home, finally got home and saw a bit of blood on the back of my socks and a bit inside the shoes, looks like I won’t be jogging for a bit.
So for Wednesday it was something that I believe I mentioned in some of the previous blogs, and this something was the Hawaiian Themed Party, it was here, it was happening, and it felt surreal, originally it was meant to be this Saturday but the weather was predicted to be bad so the party was pushed forward, and I’ll get to Saturday’s weather later on. To begin I went to the park with my youngest nieces, my youngest nephew, my mum and my older brother’s partner which was nice and it’s always good to do my uncle duties. I then met one of my friends outside The Angel pub where we had a pint and a shot each, and after that we went to Angel Station to get on the Northern Line, got off at Euston, then took the Overground to Hatch End where from there we walked for 10 minutes to the party; it was really good, seeing old and new faces, just sitting out in the sun, drinking and chatting with music playing in the background, I’m honestly surprised I didn’t get burnt seeing that my skin burns so easily, some of the people at the party including the hostess I was supposed to be going to Ayia Napa with, but of course that didn’t happen, but if this was the closest we could get to Ayia Napa, I’d take it! I was chatting to one of my friend’s there and she said for a laugh that I was her temporary boyfriend, I would’ve preferred long term but you can’t always get what you want, another person at the party got sick so I helped looking after that person, at one point I took my shoes and socks off and just stood in the pool, with a can of Strongbow in my hand in my own little world, don’t know why it happened but there you go. Later on, my mate that I traveled to the party with and I watched Liverpool raise their Premier League trophy as we sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, I am an Arsenal supporter but there’s that tiny part of me that supports Liverpool for my mum; once everyone started packing away, that same mate and I sat outside on our own and sang Frank Sinatra songs out loud, these songs were Come Fly with Me, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and Theme From New York, New York; we were 20 seconds away from finishing until the hostess’ mum came out to tell us off, she couldn’t let us finish those last 20 seconds, shame. Some of us slept in the living room and I got to play with Milo for a bit who was a very good boy, spent the majority of the day in his cage and he really behaved himself, he was lying down on my lap at one point, I absolutely adore him; by the time we all fell asleep it was past 2am; at one point around 4am I woke up and went to the spare bedroom and spent the rest of the night sleeping there.
Here’s Thursday, woke up with a blocked nose and dehydration, it’s either that or a splitting headache, I’ll take the former any day. I went downstairs to see those who stayed over, they were watching a film on Netflix, the film was called Ouija, the less said about the film the better, made me wish I drank more the night before so I could’ve slept through the whole thing. Afterwards the mate I travelled with yesterday and I left the house and made our way home, we went our separate ways at Euston Station, he got the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus, as I got the Northern Line back to Angel; after getting off the tube I got myself two bacon and egg sandwiches and got home, ate them and had a nap. A few hours later I made an interesting discovery, basically do you remember the drama teacher I mentioned 3 or 4 blogs ago that told me he was going to start doing classes again? Well on this day was his birthday, on he did a Facebook post about his birthday lunch, or was it dinner? I don’t know, anyway, he ended the post with “now I’m off to my classes” something like that, and that had me scratching my head, and I remembered him saying he would email me about the classes, so I’ve checked my emails and around 2 and a half to 3 weeks ago he did email me about when classes were coming back, I must’ve missed the email or actually saw it and forgot about it, so I accidentally missed 3 classes, just had to laugh about it; so I had a good idea, seeing that most people go to the Shakespeare’s Head after class, I thought to get there before class ends and surprise everyone, so I get there around 8:45pm, wait around with a pint in my hand for between 15 and 20 minutes, and then some of the class came in, they saw me and everyone got excited, it’s nice to see everyone happy; it was a lovely evening, and got home around 11:45pm.
OMG IT’S FRIDAY! So yeah it’s now Friday, and my Nanny Lylie came up for a chat and a coffee which was very nice. I also got an email regarding my workplace and job position, got my dates for training and shifts after that, looks like my contract got extended to January 2021 which is great and the days I can’t complain about, maybe the week back, training from Monday to Thursday and then doing shifts on the weekend, it’s going to be tiring. Later on I took myself down to The Shakespeare’s Head for a drink, it was alright but it’s not the same as those Thursday nights.
Then it was Saturday, and my mum and I looked after my second to youngest niece Poppy for a couple of hours and she was as good as gold, my older brother, his partner and my youngest niece came down for a hour afterwards which was nice too. In the evening I went for a walk, walked around Angel, Essex Road, City Road and Old Street, and just before I got to Old Street it started to rain, and I got drenched, as drenched as I would be on a water ride at a theme park, could you imagine if the party wasn’t moved forward and was still on Saturday? The weather would’ve ruined everything, so I got home absolutely soaked from the rain.
Finally on Sunday it was the first nothing day in 3 or 4 weeks, I think. My older sister came in for a bit since her house was getting something done to it, can’t remember what it was, and at one point one of our neighbours came in for a coffee, and yeah that was Sunday.
So that was blog number 13, good week, some old faces and new faces, reunions, good times, positive vibes all around. The next blog is going to be interesting, Monday to Thursday will be the last paragraphs as 23 years old, while Friday to Sunday will be the first paragraphs as 24 years old, which makes this blog my last whole blog as a 23 year old, the end of an era right here. The next blog will also be my last before I go back to work so that should be very interesting, I’ll see you all then, have a great week.”
July 13th to July 19th
“This I believe is 12, blog number 12, so that means I’ve been doing this for 3 months, wow, a quarter of a year I have spent doing these blogs and I’m still doing it now, it’s crazy how fast time goes, and this is just an example, and seeing the world when this all started to the world now is like night and day, and you lot still want to read it, you are all full of surprises but I am grateful for it. Now let’s get onto my week.
Monday, my parents and I woke up early to go to Chichester, before we went we said bye to one of our neighbours, a mother and a boy we got to know during this time are going back home to China, and the child we all fell in love with, he called me Uncle Bill, my brother Uncle Frankie, my dad Grandad Gary and my mum Nanny Tina, he also loves Fireman Sam and Peppa Pig which always has him staying at ours watching it on our telly, and for a 2 year old he is so smart, speaking both Chinese and English, saying big words too, he has such a bright future ahead of him, I had a cuddle with him, mum started tearing up, so did dad, his mum started tearing up too, goodbyes are just horrible aren’t they, you know that you’ve made friends for life and you’ll keep in touch, but you don’t know if you’ll see them again but you hope you do, goodbyes never get easier, I was so glad to have met them during this time. We then drove down to Chichester, picked up some shopping for any food, drinks or snacks to have in our lodge and then we made our way to the holiday park where our lodge was. Once we checked in we sat out on the decking of the clubhouse and had a drink, the setting was perfect with the sun shining and us seated by a lake. After that we went to our lodge and began unpacking, then I began seeing messages from my work colleagues, work colleagues who just like me, are zero hour contract workers, and some of them received emails, saying they’ve been let go, or let go for now, and I was confused by this because I would’ve never expected to see zero hour contract workers to be let go during these times, and then I received an email, and it was a contract, a contract which would have me working two fixed days, overtime available as and when needed from August to October, I knew I was wanted for this as I was having conversations about it beforehand but seeing that contract in my email, it was such a relief, if they let me go, that would’ve broke me, seriously; it was one of those scenarios where I had to sit back, close my eyes, take a deep breath and count my blessings, because that could’ve been me being one of the people getting let go. After that we went out for dinner, I chose the place and it was part of the deal between my mum and I, you choose it you’re paying for it, quite the bargain if I say so myself, and it was a Mexican themed restaurant called Muchos Nachos, it looked like an old fashioned pub but filled with Mexican culture inside and out, and there was two big reasons why we went there, one was because of the buy one get one free deal on Mondays, and the other was the ribs, and my family and I love ribs it’s well documented how much my family and I love ribs; and then we found out the online menu was outdated and the ribs aren’t a part of the menu anymore, WONDERFUL! The food was lovely and filling nonetheless and the service was great, plus the portions for the mains were much bigger than I expected I couldn’t finish them, and my mum said the burger was the best burger she’s ever had, so this one burger in Muchos Nachos in Chichester is better than a burger in McDonalds, Burger King, Five Guys, Wetherspoons, TGI Fridays, Wendy’s, Garfunkel’s and any other place in the world that does burgers, I mean I didn’t have the burger so I can’t say so but that’s quite the statement, and paying for a meal that my family enjoyed really made me feel good, brought me joy, and that was our day, nice start to our holiday.
Tuesday next, of course, and my parents and I took a drive down to Haling Island, which believe or not, you can get a little view of Portsmouth from, and there was a little track for a train that’s mostly used on a few days a week and school holidays which was cool to see, and we then took a walk down to a funfair which on the outside looked small but on the inside looked massive, and is great for the kids; originally my older brother, his partner and his two daughters (also my two youngest nieces) were meant to come down but my brother couldn’t get the time off work so they couldn’t come, and I kept constantly saying at everything that was there, even the donuts we had I kept saying “imagining the kids here, they would’ve loved it, could’ve been here the whole day.” Then we found this pub which I believe was called The Ship Inn which is a nice pub near the sea where the three of us had a drink, and we then went to Harvester which was an idea of mine because we just want our ribs, is it that hard to ask for? One Harvester we went to had to cancel our booking because their oven broke, we then had to drive to another one which couldn’t take anymore bookings due to the number of tables they had to have during these times, and there was no way we were going to drive back down to near or at Portsmouth after all that so we went back to the holiday park where we had a nice filling meal in the clubhouse; after that we were all feeling tired so we decided to head back to our lodge and call it an early night.
We’re on Wednesday now because where else can we go, and today started off with another idea of mine, going into town, we all didn’t know what to expect but it turned out to be around an hour and a half or two walking around and exploring, the town centre was stacked with stores of well known brands that we knew about and others, and Greggs, can’t forget Greggs, as soon as I saw Greggs I walked right in, no saying what I was doing or anything just walked in, and came out with a piece of Pepperoni Pizza and a drink, we also had coffee at a nice nearby cafe, I also went into Lush and got two bath bombs, and got myself some Funko Pop vinyls figures from The Entertainer. After that we went back to the lodge to relax for a few hours and then we went back for another attempt at Harvester, was there going to be a problem with the oven? Would our booking be cancelled in anyway? We then arrived, expecting anything to happen and we got in, and we got our ribs, WE FINALLY GOT THEM, DESTINY HAS ARRIVED, THE PROPHECY HAS BEEN FULFILLED, TODAY IS A GOOD DAY!!!!! I do have to admit that first getting in there and sitting down did feel bittersweet, we were at a good restaurant with good food but the last time I was at a Harvester it was August 2014, myself, my mum and my Uncle Jimmy went to one after he moved to Brighton, and this was before he passed away nearly a year later, so I was thinking of him quite a bit when we were there. While eating, and this day somehow gets better, I hear my dad say something, I can’t clearly remember what it was but it was either “AH!” or “NO!” And my mum and I look up to see my older brother, his partner and my two nieces right next to us, they’ve only gone and surprised us, and my brother revealed that he was able to take Thursday off so they were going to be staying the night with us, so this was wonderful. After this we went back to the clubhouse for a bit where my brother and mum played some bingo, we all had a drink or two and then went back to the lodge to have a late night snack and call it a night, easy to say that Wednesday was my favourite day of the holiday.
Here we are on Thursday, began with myself, my dad, my brother’s partner, and my two nieces going out to feed the geese, there’s around 50 or 60 geese staying at the holiday park and all they do is walk around and eat whatever they can find, and it got to the point where I had all the geese following me, and then chase me, it was an experience which I believe is the best way to put it. After that myself, my brother and my dad took a drive to Tesco’s to buy some bits, do I remember what they were? Nope. Do I know why we went to get some bits? Nope. Just me being Third Wheel Bill. Later on myself and my brother took my nieces to the swimming pool, we had to book a time slot and get our temperatures tested which I didn’t mind, and it was nice to finally have a swim in a pool on a hot sunny day, it wasn’t Ayia Napa or Turkey but I’d take it, we were in there for an hour and obviously I caught the sun, I always have the idea of a nice day being that I probably don’t need sun cream, and then it turns out I should’ve got it, make that mistake every time. After that we went back to the lodge to chill for a bit, making an order and collecting KFC, while my mum put a Sainsbury’s pizza in the oven so we had a pick and mix, it was really nice. A while after that my brother, his partner and my nieces left and made their way home, and it was just my parents and I again, and we were already tired so we spent the rest of our time relaxing until it was time to sleep.
Then it was Friday and we just got up, had a cup of tea, brushed our teeth, got dressed and went home. After we got home, I signed and sent off my new contract for work and then went to meet Jack, it was the last time I saw him before he went to his dad’s and he’s staying at his dad’s for a couple of weeks, so he treated the both of us to a kebab meal from German Doner Kebab since he won’t be there for my birthday, we ate our meals at the park opposite Sadler’s Wells, and I decided to treat Jack and I to drinks at a pub nearby, I always have the logic of if someone treats me, I should treat them back, it just makes sense, and we got our table, treated him and I to a shot and a drink and we called it a day, nice last meet-up for a while. Once I got home I began looking after my nephew since his parents (my sister and brother in law) went out, and we made cookies with my mum out of cookie dough I ordered online, Gookie Dough, I highly recommend it, it’s cookie dough that you can do anything with, you can eat it raw, you can microwave it, you can bake it, absolutely anything, and the cookies were lovely, Triple Chocolate Fudge flavoured. After that him and I sat upstairs, watched a film together, and then he played Fortnite while I kept an eye on him. Overall it was a lovely day.
Now it’s Saturday, and I began by playing on the PlayStation for a bit, and then I went to see my neighbours, it was their son’s fifth birthday, and at one point I took my nephew down to a bouncy castle that was set up, and I ate plenty of food, especially the Goat Curry YUM, and it got to the point where, I didn’t know what else to do, I couldn’t talk to the people at the party I knew because they were either all occupied doing their own thing or they were somewhere, and I was just there, Third Wheel Bill strikes again, I just decided to go back home, I then ended my night watching a wrestling pay per view so that was a nice way to end my day.
Finally it’s Sunday, cor I bet you’re all glad, you’re finally near the end of my endless writing, I never thought we’d get here. I went down to Hatch End to see the same friend I saw last Sunday. It was the first time I used the tube since lockdown started and I didn’t know what to expect, I took the Northern Line to Euston which was the most relaxed I ever felt on the Northern Line, with all the space and seats available, I was loving it; I then took the Overground to Hatch End and walked 4 minutes to the pub on my right hand side. We had a few drinks and a nice chat, and we then went to her house where I met her mum, aunt and her dog Milo, oh Milo, where do I start, he’s a small smart handsome good boy, three months old and he is just so good at that young, and loves being picked up for cuddles, he’s like a baby except he can run on all fours. We all sat in the garden and had a few drinks, I even held Milo as he slept in my arms for around half an hour, he really is like a baby. My friend’s mum ended up cooking us dinner which was lovely, had a chat for another hour, and my friend’s aunt dropped me off at the station, didn’t get home until past midnight and ended my night watching another wrestling pay per view. Since then I’ve been looking back on this day, mostly because of Milo, but also because my friend’s mum said to me at one point “you look like someone who has plenty of stories,” which is incredibly true, give me a word or topic and I can give you a story regarding that word or topic, or you can just read my blogs on here, there’s 12 of them and depending on what happens with the world, there’ll be plenty more where that came from.
That was my week, another good week with positive feelings and moments. I was talking to Ms. Vidal through email last week and she said this could be my last one seeing that everyone is breaking up from school now, but seeing that I’ve got loads of people outside of The Courtyard reading the blog every week, I’ll be more than happy to continue it, it constantly gives me something to look forward to and plus we don’t know how long this will last, it could end, and then we could get another spike, oh no, and then a second wave, OH NO, and then you could be getting months more with me, OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH NNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But let’s hope for the best. Next week should be good too, as I’m writing this Monday is already sorted, Tuesday should be good, the Hawaiian themed party got moved to Wednesday due to weather and the rest of the week is a mystery, see you then guys, have a great week.”
July 6th -12th July
“So this is blog number 11, interesting fact with the number 11, I was in a documentary called I Am Eleven which is a documentary about 11 year olds, and year 11 was probably the most annoying school year of my life, my oldest nephew is turning 11 soon, it’s been nearly 11 years since I got into my first and believe it or not only relationship, what do all these have in common? The number 11, does this make sense? I don’t think so. Why did I put all of this down? I have no idea. To begin, this was a productive week, had something to do every day, every day felt different, I have to say this week was a very good week and one of the quickest since this pandemic got big in this country, Monday honestly felt like yesterday, so let’s get to it, should be fun, it’s 3:30am, I need to be up in the morning to go to Chichester, my sleeping pattern is nonexistent, my happiness is for some reason at an all time high and I’m a good boy.
Let’s start with Monday because who on earth would start on Tuesday. Monday was a very relaxed day, and the only thing I really did on this day was go for a walk, what made this walk different than the others was that this was in the evening and I took a different route. I walked past Barbican, and then past St. Paul’s, then across the Millennium Bridge to Bankside; I also took a little walk across the Bankside Beach which I would only recommend if you wore hard shoes, it’s all full of stones. My favourite part of this was seeing how the sunset looked over St. Paul’s Cathedral, it was majestic. Overall this was a lovely walk, though I wouldn’t recommend listening to anything scary while you’re walking alone at night, at the time I thought it was a good idea to listen to nuclear attack warnings, now why did I do that? I have no idea, I guess it was the crave for an adrenaline rush, and the worst part about listening to things like that is that you’d imagine yourself in that scenario and what you would do, honestly it is scary to think about, but seeing how 2020 has been so far I wouldn’t be surprised if we got one for absolutely no reason, remember when people said 2016 was the worst year ever? Good times.
Next is Tuesday, obviously, and I met up with Jack. We decided to go to a cafe up Chapel Market, that’s so weird to say, we went to a cafe, we actually went to a cafe, what is going on? We stood at the doorway for a few seconds, requested for a table for two, sat down, had our menus given to us, placed our order, received our order, ate it, paid for it, and that’s that, I really did appreciate how well the cafe handled things, we even had to add sauces and salt to our order which I was absolutely fine with, plus it’s more safer, also if you see in the picture below I have a big appetite, and I love my food. After this Jack and I went for a walk up to Essex Road and that was it, lovely meet up. In the evening I spent half an hour working out with the dumbbells, it was a good workout. Also I found out on this day that Elton John postponed his UK tour dates by a year so my mates and I have gone from waiting 5 months for it, to 1 year and 4 months, 2020 has been a right muppet.
We move onto Wednesday, and I went for a walk, I got to be honest I don’t remember where I went, I presume it was the usual locations. During the evening I actually did this yoga exercise routine that helps you either sleep or feel sleepy, it’s only 7 minutes and it’s very relaxing, after doing it I felt like dozing off on the floor, with no pillows, no covers, just me on a wooden floor, if you want to feel tired I highly recommend it, link is below.
Next is Thursday, clearly, and you know how we start our Thursdays, a Google Meets Video Call with Ms. Vidal, can’t start Thursdays any better than that, and it was one of my favourite chats that we’ve had since we started doing the video calls, we were talking about old memories, old faces, saying nice things about each other, it was a very wholesome conversation, and Ms. Vidal, she has this energy about her that’s wonderfully contagious and you just can’t get enough of it, I said that to her in the conversation, everything I say won’t be enough to describe how incredible she is. Afterwards I decided to go for a jog, I was actually up all night and I struggled getting to sleep so I thought a jog would help; on this jog I bumped into one of my old managers from one of my previous jobs and we had a nice little catchup, I then bumped into a very good family friend who I haven’t seen in months, my brother was very close to her eldest son back in school and I’ve always had a close bond with her youngest son, and it was really nice to see another familiar face, and we spoke for what must’ve been 10 minutes, and it was a lovely 10 minutes, she’s one of my favourite people to talk to and this conversation was a very fine example. Went home to have a few hours of sleep, and then, and it became one thing after another; to begin I was supposed to be seeing my cousin the following day but that had to be cancelled because she had to cover a work colleague that wasn’t feeling well, it’s a shame but these things happen, got a really nice write up planned for her too eventually, she’s one of the reasons why I am who I am today, and she has been an inspiration to me; so after this my mum and I went to get McDonalds, she said the one in City Road began accepting takeaways, so she placed the order on the McDonalds app on her phone, we left the house to make our way there, and the question to me remained, did they actually accept takeaways? Of course they didn’t, still only drive through, and I then realised that the walk there and back home was 15 to 20 minutes of my life that I was never going to get back, thanks Mum; so afterwards, yep it gets worse, she places the order on UberEats, we receive the order, and guess what, I didn’t get my Strawberry Milkshake, I ended up with a Coca Cola instead, yeah I love my milkshakes, receiving a Coca Cola instead broke me as a human being. Wow what a great way to end Thursday, still a decent day though.
It’s Friday now, and seeing that I now had no plans, I decided to drop off some stuff to Jack, it was a tripod and a dolly track, it’s film stuff basically, so before this pandemic really kicked in Jack and I were in the middle of a filmed production I’ve written and we would normally keep the tripod and dolly track in my bedroom to save him constantly taking it back to his and then up to mine; I went in his house for the first time in months and had a nice chat with his mum, afterwards we went into his garden to set up the dolly track, the tripod and his new camera to test it all out, since this pandemic started he has been constantly getting new equipment for his upcoming projects, he hasn’t been messing about and I couldn’t blame him; setting everything up really brought me back to when we were always on set, and we would set everything up together, feels like so long ago but this was a really nice throwback. Once I got home my Nanny Lylie came over, we all had coffee and had a lovely chat and laugh. I also found out on this day that I’ll be going back to work in early August, a few days after my birthday so I’m really looking forward to that, this was a really good day.
We now head to Saturday, started it off with 40 Squats, lovely jubbly. Then I went to see a friend of mine, who I mentioned 3 or 4 weeks ago, met her through one of my drama classes, and her neighbour came over; I saw them again for her neighbour’s birthday, had plenty of drinks, lots of food, the chicken and ribs were amazing by the way, and also some of our friends from the Anna Scher’s class came up too, which was lovely because I haven’t seen some of them since February or March, and looking at some of the photos taken, wow we’re all very attractive people. Overall it was a lovely time, was so nice to see these familiar faces, and new ones too.
Now it’s Sunday, every week’s grand finale, how did I spend the last day of the week, with another familiar face, it keeps getting better and better. We only made plans the previous morning and here we were seeing each other for the first time since February or March. We met at The White Swan at Highbury and must’ve spent around 5 or 6 hours there, we had a few drinks, looking back at it, it definitely wasn’t a few, we had plenty to eat, and we had a right laugh. We met through the HNC in Performing Arts course nearly two years ago, she joined the course a few weeks after I did and since then we’ve gotten really close, gone to plenty of pubs and clubs, had a couple of parties, shot a comedic sketch, gone to the Notting Hill Carnival together, and we were supposed to be in Ayia Napa together with a few of our friends two months ago, which didn’t happen because of what’s going on in the world, and she’s the host of the Hawaiian themed party that I mentioned in a previous blog which I can’t wait for; she’s one of the best friends I’ve made in the course and I’m just so glad to have met her. This was a wonderful way to end the week.
This was a great week, one of my favourites during this time, and one of my favourites to write about. It is nice to see things slowly go back to normal, more places are opening at the end of the month so hopefully that’ll be alright, I watched a wresting show this week that took place in Japan, it was really nice to see people in attendance, nice to see some normality in another part of the world. The next blog will be a much different one, from Monday to Friday I will be in Chichester with my mum and dad so it’s going to be nice to get away for a bit, change of scenery and I’ll see you all then, and don’t forget guys, keep safe, we’ve made progress but we’re not done yet, let’s keep on being safe and clean and we’ll get there eventually.”
Billy's recommendation to a nice workout that’ll help with sleeping, please click on the link to watch it.
June 29th - 5th July
“So here we are, the big number, the two digits, that number every kid looks forward to in age, a number used as a decade, we have arrived to blog number 10, how did we get here? I have no idea, maybe 10 weeks of patience, waiting, frustration, sadness, optimism, skepticism and an article in the Islington Gazette, quite the ride if I say so myself, so what happened to me this week? Especially with the likes of restaurants and pubs opening, let’s get to it.
Started off this week, which is Monday if some of you don’t know, and Jack and I met up and got lunch at Chipotle, first time either of us have had it and we were both satisfied, besides the pigeons nearby, which was very distracting; I also saw his mum for the first time in around 4 or 5 months, spoke about how we’ve been coping with lockdown, through this small conversation I realised how use I’ve gotten to lockdown, how I’ve gotten use to having little to nothing planned, and nearly all of my hobbies and interests stopped during the time, I never thought I’d ever get use to it, but somehow I have, that’s a lot to sink it. Jack and I afterwards went for a walk and had a nice chat, overall it was a really good meet-up. Afterwards I decided to take a walk, went from his around Essex Road, to around Upper Street, to near Liverpool Road, to Angel. While on my way home, I bumped into one of my drama teachers which was a great surprise, we had a lovely chat and hopefully class will be looking to open in the next few weeks which is going to be something to really look forward to, miss my classes on Thursday evenings and drinks at The Shakespeares Head afterwards. To end my Monday myself and two of my friends had a video chat on Houseparty, which was a laugh, what I couldn’t believe is that we were talking all night and it just flew by, looking forward to the Hawaiian themed party in a few weeks. So that was my Monday, one of the most productive days I had all week.
Onto Tuesday, and I just went for a jog, decided to do some exercising, went jogging through Upper Street, Essex Road, Barbican and Old Street, I didn’t jog the entire time because it just wouldn’t end well for me, but it was well needed and I felt good afterwards.
Next up is Wednesday, of course it is, and I just went for a walk, bad weather for it too which wasn’t very nice, went around Angel, Upper Street, Exmouth Market, Farringdon and Holborn, thought to keep the exercise up but without overdoing it. Also on this day I found out that my workplace will be opening in the next few weeks, happy days ahead and I can’t wait. Mum and I together booked tickets to see 1917 at the new Odeon at Upper Street in two weeks, can’t wait to go back to the cinema, I’m going to be there nonstop. Also I had a face mask delivered today, would obviously keep me safe but will also help with social distancing.
Now we head to Thursday, you all know what this means, it’s a Google Meets video chat with Ms. Vidal, YAY YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT, and it was another nice chat, and it was her birthday, 35 but looking 25, great stuff, and I now realise that when we first met, I was 17 and she was 28, nearly 7 years ago, where does it go, wow, blows my mind. Later on I went for a jog, around the same locations as Tuesday, get the exercise in.
Looks like we are on Friday, and the only thing I did Friday was that I spent half an hour working out using the dumbbells, in my brother and I’s room under our bunk bed we have a dumbbell set which we don’t use often, and it felt good to use it, plus it made a change to the recent exercising I was doing. Also on this day, I can’t forget, the Islington Gazette article about me was published in the paper, felt so weird seeing myself and Ms. Vidal in the paper, in an article that took up half a page, and the buzz from the previous weekend continued, it’s all still sinking in, and knowing that I’m giving people hope, it feels really good, and this day was another reminder of it, and the project coming up is going to help even more people and give even more people hope, crazy how someone like me can do that, well I guess miracles can happen.
Here we are on Saturday, the most anticipated Saturday of the year, forget Halloween and Boxing Day which are both are Saturdays this year, this is the biggest Saturday of the year, IT’S SUPER SATURDAY!!!!! Started it off with my dad and I going to the hairdressers, but of course we had to make a stop at the betting shop first, 15 to 20 minutes of my life I’m never getting back, and then we went to the hairdressers, got my haircut, my beard tidied up and I came out looking and feeling good and fresh, shame about the beard and hair though, 3 and a half months of time, patience and progress gone in 20 minutes. I went home for a nap and then afterwards went to The Corner Bar, formally known as the The Bull’s Head, and met my dad and his mates in there, it felt so weird being back inside a pub, was a lot to take it, but it was good to be back, even if there is a glass in the middle of the table for protection though there is a metre distance between one side and the other on this table, logic; I had a few drinks and I called it a day, it felt surreal to be back, it didn’t feel real, but it also felt good, I think you get the point, I felt good this week. Today was also an end to the series I’ve been watching, I finished watching Breaking Bad which is weird to say, I actually finished a 5 season show, so what now? There’s the spinoff Better Call Saul, if you need a good lawyer, you better call Saul, a mate of mine has been wanting me to watch the second season of Cobra Kai for over a year which I kept forgetting about, and my brother in law wants me to watch Game of Thrones, for now I’m going to watch El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie, need to see how Jesse ends up in the end; mum and I watched and finished Season 2 of Save Me, now we play the waiting game of if Lennie James moves forward with a third season. Also my dad came home 2 or so hours after me, barely ate dinner, fell asleep and didn’t remember much when he woke up the next day, just had to throw that in there, HI DAD! Also did I exercise on this day? You bet I did, 30 sit-ups and 30 pushups like a good boy.
Now it’s Sunday, and I spent the day chilling and went for a jog in the evening, jogged around Exmouth Market, Farringdon and Barbican, also at one point I went past a pub, and another time past a restaurant, I forgot that pubs and restaurants were open, it felt weird seeing people inside but it also felt good.
That was my week, a little repetitive but it was good overall. Before I go I have to say again, I won’t make it as long as the last one but thank you to those with their continued messages of support and congrats from last week it really means a lot, and another to those I don’t know who are reading the blog every week. Also, and I do want to say this because of this pandemic, we don’t know what’s going to happen next, let’s be honest, either more things are going to be going back to normal or we’ll be getting a second wave and going back into lockdown, or we could be getting a second wave and continue life as if nothing is going on like the United States, you seen what’s been going on with COVID-19 over there? It’s like an ongoing blazing fire while everyone else stands there with a smile and a single tear drop; honestly I’m expecting anything at this point, if we eventually do get a second wave and do go into lockdown again, then let’s make the most of what we’re doing now, and we’ve handled lockdown before we could do it again with ease, if we don’t then I’m glad that we’re one step forward with normality and another step towards things being back to normal. Let’s continue to keep safe, keep wearing masks and gloves and keep clean, it’s not over yet, so let’s keep making that progress towards the end, towards the day where there are no more cases and no more deaths, let’s keep it up, we’ve got this far, let’s go further, I’ll see you all next week.”
June 22nd- 28th June
“Believe it or not I almost forgot I even had to do a blog, I can’t believe it myself, my 9th entry into this series and I almost forgot to do one, unbelievable. As of right now it is 5:30am, I’ve been up all night, and here I am writing this blog and hoping to do a good write up before I only get a few hours sleep, meeting Jack in the afternoon so that should be nice, meeting a friend, having something to eat, and then I can go home and have a few more hours of sleep, I see this as an absolute win. Besides a couple of things, especially Saturday, I’m sure some of you already know, this week wasn’t the busiest, there’s a good chance that out of all 9 weeks I’ve been doing this blog that this was probably my least busiest week; I spent 80 to 90 percent of my time indoors or around my estate, anyways here we go, here’s my week.
Monday, we’ve all got to start off anything with something big right? That’s not always the case as I did nothing on this day, off to a good start, although I did get invited to a Hawaiian themed party my friend is hosting next month so that’s exciting. let’s follow this up with Tuesday.
Here’s Tuesday, did I do something Tuesday? Nope. Nothing, two days of doing nothing, this is a very fine start ain’t it ladies and gentleman, jolly good show.
So now it’s Wednesday, and oh wow, I actually did something, and the crowd goes wild, or mild depending on how you feel. On this day I met up with Jack, you remember Jack? I’m sure you do, if you don’t, you do now. We met at Upper Street, got Five Guys for lunch, first time I had Five Guys in around a year and a half. We went to a park nearby, a quiet park, don’t want a bunch of people watching us eat especially in this weather. We ate it, and it was amazing, I would go into it but I’d be talking about a burger more than anything in this blog. Afterwards we went to another park near his house, both had a drink and continued talking, kind of a struggle to keep up because of the warmth of the sun. Afterwards we said bye, I walk home, arrive home, and I could’ve crashed onto a mattress I was exhausted, plus my skin is very pale so I could feel on my face that I definitely caught the sun, I was out for nearly 2 hours and just like that, caught the sun.
Here comes Thursday, and I started off the day chatting to Ms. Vidal over the phone, perfect way to start the day if I say so myself, nearly 7 years ago we first meet at The Courtyard on my first day shaking each other’s hands, the last lesson that day was with her too, nearly 7 years later we’re having a chat and a laugh over the phone, blows my mind, we spoke about what we’ve been up to, anything we’ve watched that we would recommend, family, the usual stuff, the good stuff; she also spoke to me more about what’s coming up, this project, that’s all I’m going to say for now, in case it’s too soon to reveal anything, it did have me scratching my head, looking back I feel it’s because of how I process information, like if there’s something I need to know or something I need to do, I need to know all of it right away, and know everything I need to do, not one thing, and then I do the thing and then get told to do another thing because it’s like “woah what’s this about?” That’s a part of my Autism, a little something you’ve all just learned about me; I’ll give you an example of this, I’ll go back two years ago around this time, I got on a train from Milton Keynes after watching a wrestling show, I was supposed to see a friend who was hosting a bbq, she called it a night early because she wasn’t feeling well, so another friend who I had plans with that same night, I told him I could meet him now, he tells me to get to Manor House Station, so I get off at Euston Station, then I go to Manor House Station from there, call him and tell him I’m there, he then tells me to get onto the 341 to get off at this stop and head into a place where another friend was working, and this annoyed me because I’ve done this, now you want me to do this, I was even under the assumption that one of my friends was going to meet me outside the station, luckily, since it was the first time they’ve all seen me since I went on holiday, they all embraced me with big hugs, so I let my annoyance slide, remember that people, if I’m annoyed give me a big hug that should do the trick. Back to present day, after the phone call I spent the next hour outside my door, getting some air, it was cooler outside than inside which is mad how that works, after that I went back inside, and had a nap for a few hours. After waking up, I spent two and a half hours on my balcony, not the one I mentioned a couple of weeks ago by the living room, this one was right by my brother and I’s bedroom, a shared balcony with my neighbours, quite exciting ain’t it? So I went onto the balcony, had a little chat with one of my neighbour’s before she went back to continue her work, well that’s what she said when she went to speak to another one of our neighbours, ok then; it did feel nice, being out on that balcony, by myself, with a few drinks by my side, in the sun, it was much cooler on the balcony than it was outside and even inside my house, I could’ve spent the rest of my day out there.
Now we’re onto Friday, I’m sure we’ll all be excited for a Friday but we’re in a pandemic so that’s killjoy. My Nanny Lylie came over, the both of us, my mum and my sister sat outside with glasses of Pimm’s and had a nice chat, it was a good two or three hours, can’t remember how long it was but it doesn’t matter, it was good.
Here we are on Saturday, Saturday started big, I really do mean big, I get an email from Ms. Vidal, and she sends me a link, now she spoke to me about this last week, which I didn’t mention, and here it was, it was an article, about me, and this blog, in the Islington Gazette, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and reading, it was me, it was Ms. Vidal, it was this, and now more people are going to know about it, and I can help more people, it was mind blowing. I shared the article on my Facebook and my Instagram, the numbers coming up and how frequently my phone was going off was a rare sight, something that I rarely see, numbers I rarely see, it actually hit me, that I helped people, and still do, I’ve inspired people, me; I’m just your everyday young man on the spectrum and I’ve helped and inspired people, I even had one friend open up about himself being on the spectrum, which neither I or the friends we had knew about, and that hit me too, and made me think “I’ve helped people open up, I’ve made an impact, what’s going on?” It’s something that I couldn’t believe, and regarding the project I mentioned earlier, it all made me realise that if I can inspire, help and encourage people to open up, imagine how many more I can do these things for, and this project will give me the chance to do that; I do have callings in life, goals I want to achieve, a full time career as an actor, good luck to me because the competition is tough, a husband which at this point in my life is looking impossible because my love life is terrible, ask all the women in my life I don’t have a chance, I also would love to be a father which is even more impossible, the kid or kids can have any gene they want just not my hair, any gene of mine but my hair; and then there’s me helping, inspiring and impacting people like I’ve done with this blog and the article, if I can help, inspire and impact these people and more, and it can always make me feel this good, then I have no problem about this being another goal in my life. Next on this Saturday, wait you thought this Saturday was over? Yeah me too but there’s a bit more. I went for a walk to South Bank, last time I went it was a week or two before I started this blog, the weather was lovely but it all looked like a ghost town, on this day it was the opposite, the weather was dull but there were people about, it’s just really nice to see some normality around.
Finally it was Sunday, and how did I end the week? With nothing, yep nothing, after all that nothing, don’t expect anything here.
So that was my week, besides the stuff I’ve done, I’ve continued watching Breaking Bad, over half way through the fifth and final season, nearly there and it’s all kicking off, I’ve began watching Save Me again, this time on a dvd boxset I ordered, because my mum thought it looked really good, and she loves Suranne Jones, already finished the first season so I’m looking forward to seeing my mum’s reaction to the second season; my dad has been watching too, kind of, he’s either dozing off, or focusing on his bets, or asking questions to things that have already happened, well done dad keep it up. That’s been it really, can’t think of anything else, wanted to continue reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes but I kept forgetting, will make sure to read some this week, want to continue exercising too but I keep either forgetting or I’m occupied with something else. It’s going to be an interesting week especially July 4th, hairdressers, pubs, restaurants, anything else I can’t think of opening, I don’t remember the last time I’ve looked forward to a Saturday so much, I’m already looking forward to writing about it in my next blog. Before I finish, I want to say, especially to those that have been reading the blogs so far, and have seen the article about it, I want to say thank you again for your support and your kind words, it really means a lot, it is hard to express how I feel but if I had to use words it’ll be thankful, wholesome, grateful, and it’s another reminder to me of all the people in my life, friends, family, teachers, people that know me because of people that they know or anyone else, I am so lucky to have all of you, I need to keep reminder myself of that even in the worst of times, and to those I don’t know, I am so lucky to have you as a reader and for you to know me through this, I don’t know how many more of these there will be before everything is back to normal, but this journey so far has been fun and I’m looking forward to seeing where this journey takes us next. Thank you for reading, have a great week, especially this weekend and I’ll see you in the next one, the big number 10.”
If you haven't read the article yet on Islington Gazette, click on the link below:
June 15th- 19th June
“Blog 8, I believe it is 8, if it is, then I’ve been doing these blogs for 2 months straight, unbelievable, it all just flies by, and here we are, now, for this blog, it’s not the most eventful, I didn’t have the most busy week, though I’ve still been watching Breaking Bad and currently towards the end of Season 4 as I’m writing this, a certain topic did come up this week that I will speak about towards the end, even the least serious person can talk serious.
Monday, of course, and I went for a walk for around 2 and a half hours, going around Angel, Upper Street, Essex Road, Old Street and near Liverpool Road, went out around 4:30pm and got home just after 7pm.
Tuesday happened, and that’s it, Tuesday happened, I don’t know what else to say besides that.
We get to Wednesday, most busiest day I had this week, I met up with my mate from the last two weeks, the same one I met to have something to eat and a chat, and to save confusion I may as well use his name, and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind, Jack, his name’s Jack, so Jack and I met at Angel and went to CHIK’N which I believe is new, like very new, I don’t even recall seeing it until lockdown started. So anyways him and I got that to eat, found a park nearby to eat it, sadly because of the weather we were eating in the rain and we couldn’t find any shelter nearby, besides that the food was nice, and they call themselves the best fried chicken restaurant in London, I can understand that argument. After that we took a walk to Essex Road where he lives and said bye. After that I walked down to King Square, where a wake was being held for a footballer and a friend to some of my family members, his name was James John Woolston, I don’t recall meeting him but I have heard very good things, and I wanted to come down and pay my respects; it was nice seeing family members that I haven’t seen in months, and family friends I haven’t seen in months too, it was a nice few hours, and a good turn out for a good man. I was thinking about death a lot during this half of the week, I don’t know why, I was thinking about those in and around my life and those outside of it that have gone, I thought of my mum’s best friend who we lost over a year ago who I thought of a lot on this day, I recall seeing her daughter who I told looks and sounds just like her, I thought of an actress who I had a good working relationship with in the classes we attended that passed away a few weeks before Christmas, I thought of a friend of mine who was loved dearly by myself and our friends who we all found out passed away, and I thought about the families who all lost loved ones the last 3 months. With death, it’s a reminder that we don’t get to choose our time, in a way death it’s what gives life meaning, we all know deep down that our days are numbered, our time is short, which is why we have to do as much as we can in that time, and I’ll always make sure to remember that.
So before we get to Thursday here’s what happened towards the end of Wednesday and through the early hours of Thursday. So I get home, crash, completely miss dinner, and didn’t wake up until midnight feeling rough, with a splitting headache, if you’re an adult you’ve probably guessed what this feeling is and how you could get it, and I spent the evening lying down, no sleep whatsoever the entire night. Now we get to Thursday, and it began with another Google Meets video call with Ms. Vidal, she wanted me to accompany her on her way to work, and seeing that I am a gentleman and absolutely love the women in my life, I thought why not, and then you realise that she’s speed walking her way from Regent’s Park to where she works which is right near Holloway and here I am, up all night because I got a headache which I easily could’ve prevented, just sitting there, great comparison. It was a nice conversation, a good and well needed laugh too, she makes me smile and laugh, every time. After the conversation she emailed me some good news, which I won’t spoil, yet, you’ll know it and it’s here. Also she sent me some documents regarding Autism, I can’t say what these documents will be for, or I don’t think I can say, I won’t say just to be safe, and then I saw how long some of these documents are, and realised that deep down, I’m still a student, I can never escape my past.
Anyways let’s move on to Friday for something wholesome as my Nanny Lylie came up, which was really nice, always lovely to see family you don’t see as much as you used to. Later on I went for a walk, went down to a lot of the same locations as Monday, except Old Street, did walk through Exmouth Market though, left the house at 5:15pm and didn’t get home until 7:30pm.
Now we get to Saturday, remember when Saturday was the one day to truly do anything we wanted to do and go to bed at anytime because we’d all either have school or work to go to on other days, or we had to go to bed at an appropriate time on a day off, yeah me too, now it’s nearly everyday and after a while I don’t like it. I just spent the day on the PlayStation and that was it, I also did 6 Rounds of 10 Push-ups so I got my exercise in.
Finally we’re on Sunday, I bet you’re all glad, and it was Father’s Day, and some of my siblings, their partners and spouses, and their kids came in to see my dad, and it was really nice having us all together.
And that was it, that was my week, but with my words and sentences I reckon I made the most of it. Now, time to get serious, I know I got serious earlier but here we are. Mentally I’ve been significantly better than I’ve been the last two or so weeks, and I thought I was doing well, until the 2nd half of this week came. Now as some of you may know, I love wrestling, it’s been one of my biggest interests for years, the characters, the story telling, the commentary, the fans, the moments, it’s like performing arts in a way, and myself and everyone else involved in or around or are a fan of wrestling saw the rise of a movement this week called #SpeakingOut, and this movement involved women and men coming out about their stories, experiences and accusations about people, mostly men in and around the industry, wrestlers, referees, commentators, interviewers, anyone behind the scenes, even fans; what hit me hard with this was that some of those accused are wrestlers I’ve seen up close, in venues like York Hall, Electric Ballroom and Alexandra Palace, some I’ve actually met, and the stories I heard and saw are shocking, heartbreaking, disappointing, and stories I don’t want to get into on here, I want to keep this as family friendly and appropriate as possible, but this is a reminder that not every work place is as good or as professional as people would think, and that there are people in and around our lives whether it’s friends, family, work colleagues, classmates, or people we know of that have something hiding behind a mask, skeletons hiding in their closets. All I hope for from this is that the industry itself becomes better and safer to be for all those involved. That’s this week’s blog guys, hope you enjoyed it and I’ll see you all next time. Take care.”
June 8th- 12th June
“What number is this 7? Is this blog number 7? I believe it is, if there’s one thing this pandemic has done to me it’s affected how my head processes anything to do with numbers, or maths, yeah best to say maths. We’re getting close to being 3 months into this lockdown, can we even call it a lockdown anymore? Honestly I have no idea, everything just has me so confused, my head hurts, I should lie down, but I have to write this blog, but it’s nearly quarter to 5 in the morning, THERE’S SO MUCH AND TOO MUCH!! The pandemic has affected us all in different ways and this is a very fine example, as fine as the wine I have indoors, wait I don’t even have wine, I don’t know, should I just get on with the blog? I say I should get on with the blog.
Monday, started off the week by shopping with my mum, got some good stuff, and that was it, expected more? Oh well at least I did something, moving on.
Tuesday, let’s see what happened on Tuesday, I met up with someone? WOW I NEVER SAW THAT COMING! So you know the friend I mentioned in the last blog that I met up with, went to the chicken shop, had a chat in the park, all that jazz, well we met up again on this day, I’m sure you didn’t see that coming, or maybe you did, who knows. So we met at Angel, and then we went to La Divina, got our pizzas, and sat in the park, on two benches, ate them and had a chat, interesting fact, we shot a short film in that same park over a year ago which was to help raise awareness for Autism, the link will be in the end of the blog. After this we took a walk to Essex Road, we got Tottenham Cakes from the bakery there, and that was it, plenty of calories consumed on this fine day.
We head to Wednesday now, and I went up to see another friend of mine at her house, we haven’t seen each other in well over 3 months, and we first met each other at the Anna Scher Theatre in 2015 and have been very close since, and have worked with each other on numerous occasions, including a project I’ve written that we were filming before lockdown came into play. We had a good catchup, ate some lunch, and one of her neighbours who is a good friend of ours came in too. It was all lovely, a good laugh and a really good day; with this day, and the day before, I felt a buzz, and a sense of hope, that normality is getting extremely close, we’re getting there, not long now hopefully.
Here we are on Thursday, and Ms. Vidal and I had another nice chat on Google Meets, always love our chats, and I love listening to her too, she could read me the entire Bible and I’ll just sit there and listen. She did ask me a few questions, won’t say what they are, but let’s just say that it’s going to help my CV and the only way I’m going from here is up, lovely stuff and well needed optimism for the future.
Friday now, HEY GUYS AND GIRLS WHO ARE 18 OR OVER READING THIS, HOW YOU DOING!?!? Do you guys remember those Fridays where you’re finished with everything for the week, you’re buzzing, and once you get home from college, university or work, you eat your dinner, you have your shower, you do your hair, put on something nice and meet your friends at the pub or club, from there you have a laugh, you meet some people, you probably find a love interest who 9 times out of 10 you end up forgetting about the next day and chances are you end up carrying one of your mates home, good times am I right? I remember those Fridays, they’re such a long way away. So Billy, how did you spend this Friday? Well I looked after my niece, little Poppy, 5 year old Poppy who loves us all dearly and also drives us all up the wall, which is how she ended up with us for the day, I didn’t mind obviously, one thing I love being besides an actor is an uncle, I’m an uncle to 5 and I’m already wondering when number 6 will come because I love babies. It was really nice, and it was clear that even at her age, she still loves her cuddles with her Uncle Bill Bill; another interesting fact, she was the one that gave me the nickname Bill Bill, and after she called me Bill Bill most people in my life followed, my mum, my brothers, my youngest nephew, my friends, my teachers, my coworkers, at this point you may as well put Bill Bill on my tombstone, or my urn depending on what my kids decide to do with me, GOOD OL’ BILLY WITH THIS DARK SENSE OF HUMOUR YOU LOVE IT! I mean you’ve got to, you have to.
Now it’s Saturday, REMEMBER WHEN SATURDAY MEANT SOMETHING INSTEAD OF FEELING LIKE THE SAME DAY EVERYDAY!?!? Moving on, this pandemic has affected me as a human being. So Saturday I just decided to go for a walk, I was quite surprised with how hot I felt; I took a walk to Angel, Upper Street, Essex Road, City Road, Old Street and Exmouth Market, it was a decent walk, got me out of the house and helped me get some exercise done, my family and I got McDonald’s for the first time since it closed in March, it was absolutely amazing.
Finally it’s Sunday, I bet you’re all glad, you’ve made it to the end, it’s nearly done, here’s your medal and your milkshake; and what did I do on this Sunday? Not much really, I mean did you expect me to meet with a mob of gangsters like the Krays and arrange our takeover of the nearest borough? Nope but a man can dream, a bit of reading, a bit of Netflix, looking after one of my neighbour’s children for an hour after he let himself in and ending it all with a wrestling pay per view, so yeah, that was my Sunday, it was alright.
So that was my week, now here’s an update on how I am after how personal I got with my previous blog. I am feeling better than I did last week, not perfect but definitely on the road there, I’ve had some chats with my mum, some time alone, still trying to spend less time on social media to try and stay away from any negative vibes, same with the news unless someone in the house decides to have it on you know who you are whoever is reading this; I’ve even had a little cry, which does help, you’ve got to get it out somehow, and crying does the trick most of the time, don’t let anyone tell you that crying is for babies or it’s immature, because crying helps heal some of if not all of the pain that you have, and it’s never good to keep it all in, because it’ll hurt, sometimes too much, so that’s this blog’s lesson for you lot. My self esteem isn’t affecting me like it was last week, it’s like a switch, sometimes it will sometimes it doesn’t it’s very irritating. I’ve continued reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, believe it or not, Thursday night I read up to page 60, and Friday night I read up to page 73; I’m still watching Breaking Bad, currently on Season 3, it just keeps getting better, what a show; and I’m using garlic, because according to Ms. Vidal garlic helps with your hair, so that’s an experiment I’m trying for the time being. I hope you all didn’t mind my use of sarcasm and that little touch of dark humour, I’ve had a bit too much sugar in the last 24 hours so I’m bouncing all over the place, typing this blog has helped me calm down. Take care of each other, look out for each other, tell your loved ones friends or family you love them, because right now these are scary, sad, troubled and unpredictable times, and we don’t know what the endgame will be or when it’ll come, and it’s right now that we need to be there for each and support each other no matter what. See you in my next blog guys, hope you all enjoyed it, and check out the link attached along with a video I made after finishing this blog. See you next time."
June 1st - 7th June
“Another blog, here we are, I believe it’s blog number 6, I don’t even know anymore, my head is all over the place, especially after this week. There was something to do everyday, something happening, could it be described as eventful? Maybe. I am going to get personal at one point, possibly the most personal I have been with the blogs so far. Lets get to it.
Monday is obviously the first day of the week, unless you say Sunday is the first day of the week, fair argument for both reasons, but for Monday my Mum and I went down to see my Auntie Susie, there’s a part in the middle of the flats where she lives where there’s a lot of grass, benches around, a lot of space, great for everyone, and we sat out there under the hot sun. My cousin, her partner and their son came out which was nice to see, and my sister, brother in law and nephew came over which was a nice surprise, and we all got to meet a lot of my auntie’s neighbours, all lovely people, it was a really good day, easily one of if not the best day of this week.
Now I know what you’re thinking, Monday was most likely the best day, so the rest of the blog will probably not be as good, now come on guys, this is only the third paragraph. Next was Tuesday, and my mum and I met my mum’s friend who we saw, I believe in the 4th blog, I’m losing track of of all of these numbers, and we sat in her garden and had a chat, it was nice.
We now head to Wednesday, and for the first time since this pandemic started I have met up with a friend, we go back 11 years, to Stormont House School, and we’ve done a lot since then, I’ve been back in education twice and completing an apprenticeship while he went on to graduate from university, and now we collaborate on filmed projects under his direction, we’ve come a very long way, and I look forward to what we’ll do next. We met outside his local chicken shop, went to a nearby park, ate what we got and had a laugh for the next hour, it was lovely, I really missed what we use to do together, and we needed it this day and this time together.
Thursday now, and I had a Google Meets Video Call with Ms. Vidal, didn’t have one last week since it was half term, and it was lovely, and for about 30 or 35 minutes we had a really good catch up and spoke about numerous topics. Afterwards I went for a walk, and walked down to Holloway, since leaving City and Islington last year I rarely went to Holloway, and once I went down there I walked to where the building I use to study at was, and I just stood there, staring at it, how has it been nearly a year since I left? Coincidently, a year ago, we were rehearsing for our show, which was set in America in the 1920s and 30s, and based off numerous acting pieces written by some of the greatest theatre writers, and also contained various topics including racism, and you look a year later at what’s going on in America, and how I’m back at where I was studying at that moment, it’s quite symbolic, or is it poetic? I don’t know it’s one of those words, maybe both.
Friday now, remember when Friday was the day of the week where we finish school, college, university or work, and you are buzzing that you’re done for the week and ready for whatever Friday evening, or the weekend or both have in stored, is that the right saying? I don’t know I’m tired, but remember that feeling? I do too, good times, now I will proceed to grieve into the nearest pillow. On this day I just went for a walk, ended up walking to Angel, Highbury & Islington, Essex Road and Barbican, and if you’re interested I got the Ruby Flamingo Frappuccino from Starbucks, very nice.
Next was Saturday, and my older brother, his partner, and my two nieces came to see us which was a great surprise, and my Nan came up as well, another great surprise, two surprises in one day, what a bargain! In the evening I had a Houseparty video chat with a mate of mine, and it was a laugh, and we spoke until around 4am, which was much later than we both expected, but nevertheless it was a lot of fun.
Finally we are at Sunday, and I went for another walk, a really long one, maybe my longest one, there has been a lot on my mind this week no matter what I did this week, and walking it off has always been the best option for me to do, I walked to Angel, then I made my way to Hoxton, and then I went to Shoreditch, and ended up across London Bridge, left the house around 1:15pm, didn’t get home until before 6pm, if I didn’t have dinner, I probably would’ve spent the rest of the day walking, only problem was that I’d have to find my way home from who knows where.
So that was my week, when it comes to being busy I definitely was busy, definitely did something everyday, and there was something to look forward to nearly everyday, now this is where we get personal. This week has been a struggle for me mentally, and I’ve been trying to stay away from everything happening in the world as much as I could. This week, on Friday, was five years since my Uncle Jim passed away, which is something that still plays heavily on my mind especially that day, but I’ve been doing walks like he would do so I’m sure he would’ve loved to have seen me do what he would usually do. I’ve been spending less time on social media than usual, social media is powerful in many ways, right ways and wrong, and I’ve been seeing so much anger, rage, frustration, debates, arguments, judgement, any other negative word I can think of I’ve seen it, nearly any post, any story, any tweet, and this isn’t an offence to anyone because we all have a right to feel these negative thoughts and emotions during this time, and if you’re using social media as a way to express your feelings and help get it all out then that’s fine, you do you and I do me, the problem is that posts like that can be contagious, one angry post will begin to affect my mood, and then another, and another, and another, I’m seeing nothing else, or a tweet which has a ton of retweets and likes stating a fact or opinion that can easily put on a debate and frustrate a ton of people, with replies from people that come across the tweet or the person posting the tweet themselves and both can come across as very ignorant and arrogant but the way they’re worded, it’s just never nice to see and I was seeing a lot of these, it just got to the point where it became an overload; so I took a step back, and only came on social media if I got a message, or a notification; every now and then I’d come across some posts, especially memes, give some likes and that’d be it, there were even two days this week where I weren’t on social media at all, and I’d only really use my phone to play games or go on Netflix, been watching Breaking Bad, loving it so far. Group chats don’t help either, no offence lads and lassies, hope you’re all well and I miss you all and I want to hug everyone when everything is back to normal. Then away from the handheld devices and social media we have the television, with the news channels, and then the newspaper, we’re going classic and old school here ladies and gentlemen, but this one has still got it; you’ve just woke up from a nice 8 hour sleep, you feel fresh, you feel good, positive start, then you go downstairs, head right into the kitchen to make a coffee, and someone has only gone and left the newspaper by the kettle revealing a headline that makes you feel like absolutely rubbish, yeah thanks I really needed this, this definitely helped!! So I’ve been trying to stay away from the world as much as I can, which is easier said than done because there’s only so much I can handle before I do or say something that I’ll end up regretting right away. My self-esteem has been lower than usual too, especially with how I look, I would get into it but then we’d be here forever.
I know I went on and on, and I know there are more important things in the world to worry about then me talking about my feelings, but I want to use this platform, especially for those like me or younger than me, or those studying at The Courtyard to know that this 23 year old young man, on the spectrum can feel this way at times, and it’s ok, not every day is going to be good, not every week is going to be good, even a month, and in time things will get better, sometimes it takes long but we all get there eventually. Take care of yourselves, look after each other, be kind to one another, and most importantly, stay safe, I’ll see you in next weeks blog.”
May 25th - May 31st
"Not the busiest week this week, I think out of all the blogs I’ve done so far this was the least eventful and least busiest week I’m writing so I’m going to tell you what’s happened, and do a special write up at the end. Let’s go:
Monday came, woke up tired and miserable, another Monday another moody start, and it was Bank Holiday Monday, another bittersweet feeling because my friends and I were supposed to be going home from Ayia Napa that evening, what could’ve been, what should’ve been, it’s a shame, don’t know what else I could say. My Mum and I sat outside, Nanny Lylie came up to see us, it was nice, and I read more of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, read up to Page 30. During the evening I decided to take a walk, walked up to Exmouth Market, Angel, near Compton Street, Highbury & Islington and Essex Road, you can see some of the images I took below, the walk was the best part of my day, needed to get out, needed some time to myself, and it was well needed.
Tuesday came, nothing, yep nothing, and if something did happen I definitely don’t remember it. Moving on.
Wednesday came, and after finding out a pub near me was open for takeaway drinks, I went there, got three drinks, took them home and shared them with my brother, the coldness on my fingers, the froth around my lips, it was incredible, a great start to the day, as for the third drink I completely forgot that the taste of the drink would go dead by the time Dad would come home from work, so I had it, by his approval, you can see the image of me with the empty cup below, don’t mind how I look, I didn’t brush my hair and I have this thing where every now and then in a photo I decide to have one eye more open than the other, don’t know why, it is what it is. Evening came and I did a Houseparty video chat with two friends of mine, these two friends of mine had their ups and downs the last 7 or so months, so to have them together and have a laugh was lovely, broke the ice for the two of them, the chat lasted until 4:30am, perfect time to sleep, perfect way to end Wednesday.
For Thursday I just played on the PlayStation for most of the day, and my family and I did the clap for the NHS, which apparently is the last time, don’t know why, so we’ve been doing the clap for the NHS for around two months, imagine for the next two or three months we’re still stuck in lockdown, so the clap for the NHS would get cancelled for nothing? I don’t know, it is what it is.
Then we reached Friday, just sat outside my door and read more of The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, made it up to Page 45, I think you can tell at this point that I’m a slow reader, and not the best reader, or the most motivated reader, by the time this whole pandemic is done I probably wouldn’t have finished the book.
Then there was Saturday, just sat outside my door for a few hours, and that was it, that was Saturday, let’s head to Sunday.
Finally we get to Sunday, began bittersweet knowing that my family and I would’ve been going to Antalya in Turkey, imagine that, a pandemic happens and both of your holidays get cancelled, absolutely lovely am I right? This day, my family and I, my sister, my brother in law and their son, all went to the park to meet my older brother, his family and his partner’s family, we all kept to the guidelines while having a laugh and keeping an eye on the kids in our families, and I found out another family member, my older brother, actually likes my beard, take that mum.
So that was my week, some good, some meh, not the most eventful but not the worst week. Now before I get onto this special write up I have a recommendation for you all to watch. I began watching this show last weekend, finished it on Friday, and it’s a show called Save Me, the second season called Save Me Too, written by and starring Lennie James, which a lot of people would know him from Line of Duty and The Walking Dead, and also starring Suranne Jones, known for, well a lot of stuff, Coronation Street, Unforgiven, Doctor Foster and a whole bunch of other stuff; the show is terrific, with brilliant writing, great characters, and twists and turns along the way. If you have Sky Atlantic, NOW TV, or know some website online to watch shows and movies, or if you’re willing to spend a bit of money on Amazon Prime or on a DVD or Bly Ray set, watch it, and if you know me personally, message me and let me know what you think, it’s two seasons worth of storytelling constantly leaving you wanting more.
Now my special write up, firstly, scroll down and you’ll see a photo I took, and if you see the background it’s fire, and my face is me smiling and my eyes saying a completely different story, so I’m saying I’m fine, when I’m not, and I’m sure that’s a lot of people in the world right now, two and a half months into lockdown, not knowing what’s going to happen next, people are beginning to get frustrated, people are beginning to not care about the guidelines perfect example being that one beach in South End and other things, you can even say that’s the summary of this year so far, we looked like we were heading into World War 3 at the start, then there were the wildfires in Australia, then COVID-19 started spreading rapidly, anything else, it’s been insane, we’re not even halfway through the year and people have had enough of 2020 and want to go into 2021 already. Then we had what happened to George Floyd, which was absolutely disgusting, and then the protests began, and then the riots which resulted in people getting hurt, a few injuries, a few deaths, buildings getting burnt, some people stealing stuff, and now the protests are happening in the UK, Berlin and other countries, the fact that this is all happening during a pandemic where we have to stick to guidelines as much as we can to get back to normal is even worse, there’s a lot of anger, rage, frustration, fear, I can just go on, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a spike in cases and deaths related to COVID-19 over the next few weeks, it’s all horrible. This whole year so far, and everything that’s happened so far is like a movie, except you cannot get the craziest writer in Hollywood to write something like this, it’s insane. To everyone reading this, I’m not the best person to approach for help or advice or anything like that, but please, stay safe, be careful, take care of each other, be kind to one another, and hang in there, because in this time we need to be here for each other, all of us.
Hope you’ve enjoy my recent blogs and I’ll see you for my next one, back for the weekly uploads, take care.”
May 18th - May 24th
"Want to know how I started this week off, want to know how Monday went, well it was nothing, woo hoo, couldn’t have started it any better; and I had two concerts booked for July, one for James Blunt and another for James Morrison and Will Young, both concerts at Kew Gardens and both have been postponed until next summer, so that’s all of my summer plans cancelled, absolutely buzzing. Also on this day, if it wasn’t for this pandemic affecting everything, I would’ve been in Ayia Napa in Cyprus with a few of my friends; we had a villa booked and was supposed to be there for a week. I was excited for this because it would’ve been my first time going out of the country with this group of friends, the majority of them I met during my HNC course in City and Islington nearly 2 years ago; it was in a city and country I’ve never been to before, and one of my friends who has family that live over there knows where to go and what to do, all sorted; and the pandemic isn’t too bad in Cyprus either, though if our flights weren’t cancelled, and we found a flight to get there, what if a lot of where we would’ve wanted to go to or try to do was closed, and what if we would’ve had to be quarantined for two weeks there, or when we would get back home, so looking at it that way, it was a blessing in disguise, and the cancellation of this holiday is one example of why I need to make 2021 the biggest year of my life.
Next was Tuesday, Tuesday was a nothing day, though what both Tuesday and Monday actually had in common was that I went into both days tired and miserable, perfectly set the tone. During the early hours of Wednesday morning; it was between 2 and 3 in the morning, and I heard loud voices, so unusual during this time, it isn’t even a weekend, it’s during a pandemic, who would want to do something this time of the week when everything is closed, I go outside on my balcony and I see a group of women, must’ve been 6 of them, walking down the road outside my estate, all in skin tight dresses and high heels, a sight I’d never thought to see during this time in life, maybe they were coming home from a house party, or maybe somewhere someone has set up an underground club that only certain names know about, you never know, got to make money somehow. Around 15 minutes later, I felt stuffy, so I went back out onto my balcony, I looked towards the sky, that I can begin to see a bit of light blue in, sunrise was going to come soon, I felt a light breeze and could hear the fish tank from the family that lives below, then I closed my eyes, and in my mind I found myself in Ayia Napa, after a long night, I remain the only one awake, everyone is asleep, and I find myself with my feet in the pool at our villa, as I look at the Cyprus sky, what could’ve been, what should’ve been; then I snap back to reality, realising that I was in a fantasy in my mind, so I go back inside. An hour passed and I am taken by surprise at the sound of someone screaming, sounded like a woman, around my age or younger, she sounded like she was having a go at someone, did we really need this during this time of the week, during this time, during this crazy period in our lives, after a bit two men come out of my flat chatting to each other regarding the noise, and after a while police turn up to talk to the men, and they point to where the shouting was coming from and that was that, what an odd night.
Wednesday day comes, wake up tired and miserable once again, what’s new, however during the evening I did a Houseparty video chat with the friends I was supposed to go Ayia Napa with, and it was a laugh, it was fun, but also bittersweet knowing instead at this time we could’ve been there, at a club, enjoying another night, what could’ve been, what should’ve been.
Thursday, for the day and what I will say after regarding the early hours of Friday morning was the most I had going on this week; to begin Thursday I sat outside my door in the sun, reading my new book The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, the book is actually the 4th Hunger Games book, set over 60 years before the events of the first book, and I love The Hunger Games films and books so of course I was very excited to read it, due to time, I only read around 12 pages, but those 12 pages gave me a lot of information, and the next 500 something pages is destined to give me much more, afterwards I had my weekly chat with Ms. Vidal on Google Meets, another lovely chat which was around, 35, 40 minutes, don’t exactly remember the number but it was around that, and I got to meet her son Diego, very lovely boy; then my family and I, and some of our neighbours went next door, my closest neighbours’ youngest son was celebrating his 15th birthday and we all thought to celebrate it together, while keeping to the guidelines of course, it really was lovely, plenty of food, plenty of laughs, we all did the clap for the NHS together too which felt more wholesome since we were with each other, didn’t go back into my house until past 11pm, it was a wonderful day, one of the most normal feeling days in the last two months. We then fast forward to the early hours of Friday morning, and this was around 5:30am, I hear noises, shouting, laughing, just 2 days after what happened during those early hours, and it was a group of, I’d say between 6 and 8 people from what I remember, by the way they all looked and acted, they were definitely younger than me, one of them takes a bin man’s stick, starts hitting things with it, can’t recall what she hit, couldn’t see, another takes two baskets from the corner shop on the ground floor of my estate, don’t know why someone would do that, eventually their noise and stupidity wakes up everyone else in my house, and you could hear them around where the lifts are in the estate, there are gates all over the estate, except the lifts, if you get there, you get access to everywhere in the estate, who knows what else they could’ve done, a few police cars go past, and we see some of the group walk up the road, some must’ve gone home, and we see two police officers too, and the group, which has now decreased to 4, begin mocking them, by doing jumping jacks and jogging on the spot, because, you can’t be out unless it’s for exercise, so you decide to meet friends, get drunk or take illegal substance or both, wake up the entire estate, get told off by the police and just take the mick right in front of them, I don’t know how that’s funny, then they chat, quietly believe it or not, a bottle smashes, and eventually they all go their separate ways, finally. Then an hour later, hearing another disturbance, I recognise the voice, you’ve got to be joking, I couldn’t tell if it was one person or the group, but that one person or the group had the ego, and the decency to come back, even after being confronted by the police, and I actually recognised one of their voices from the early hours of Wednesday morning and I could’ve sworn that that was the same girl that was shouting on Wednesday, so whatever happened this morning I doubt we would see the last of her, eventually someone that lives below me has had enough, and she comes out with her dog, which I believe is a Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and next thing I know I hear barking, shouting, it’s just a joke at this point, and an example of how 2 months in, this pandemic is making everyone lose their minds, and in my opinion we’re not even half way through, it’s only getting worse from here; it all stops, finally, and we could sleep, and I can only await what happens next.
Friday was a nothing day besides the evening, had a Houseparty video chat with a friend of mine, spoke for around 4 hours, it was lovely, a laugh, what we need right now, and we spoke about future plans, including holidays.
Saturday came and my mum and I went to see one of her best friends, they knew each other through my younger brother and her son, they played football on the same team, I used a bus for the first time during this pandemic, wore gloves and a mask just to be safe, mask covered half of my eyesight so I’m sure I wore it right. During the night I ordered a wrestling PPV, AEW Double or Nothing, and it was a lot of fun, a lot of wrestling, memorable moments, title changes, they even had Iron Mike Tyson there to present a new championship, and the main event, had two teams, 5 against 5, battling in a match called The Stadium Stampede, set in an empty TIAA Bank Field, home of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and it was ridiculously fun, and for 40 whole minutes I forgot about the world and the situation we were all in, before this had also been a tough time for everyone involved in and a big fan of wrestling, during the week before this show one wrestler, Shad Gaspard, died at sea in California, him and his son got caught in a strong rip current on the beach, lifeguards came and he told them to save his son, they saved his son, he disappears underwater and his body was found ashore 3 days later, aged 39; and another wrestler, Hana Kimura, who wrestled over in Japan took her own life at the age of 22 after a series of hate comments; so before this show there was a dark cloud around wrestling and it’s entire community, and this show and this match in particular gave us some well needed light; the price alone was worth that one match, we needed entertainment like this during this time, escapism, and that match and the show brought me and everyone who watched the show that, just pure joy.
Sunday came, last day of the week, and I decided to go for a walk, get my exercise in, and took a walk to King’s Cross and Angel, and also got myself Starbucks on the way home, Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino, you know there’s a little bit of hope when Starbucks is open.
That was my week, not the most eventful week but definitely the most descriptive, if you’ve read this one first, I look forward to seeing you read the next one, if you read this one second, then hope you enjoyed both of them, and I’ll be back with the one blog a week from next week.”
18th May 2020
“Here we are, third week, it was nice seeing the feedback I got for my previous blog, especially what people said about my Nanny Jane, it was both heartwarming and flattering, thank you all for that. For this blog, don’t expect much in this, not much really happened this week, however there are moments that really do stick out, for both good and bad, let’s go.
Nothing happened Monday and Tuesday, great start, absolutely wonderful. On Wednesday, started off on not a high note, at all, for Christmas I got my Dad tickets for him and I to see Westlife at Wembley Stadium on August 22nd, and because of this pandemic I kept wondering what they were going to do with the concert, and I found out that day that it got postponed by a year, so now instead of 3 months, we have to wait a year and 3 months for it, I laughed, but at the same time I felt annoyance, like a hammer hammering a nail into my head, and it was a sign of me beginning to think that for the first time, we won’t actually have a proper summer, give it 2 or 3 weeks and I’ll begin thinking that we won’t even have a proper rest of 2020; afterwards my mum and I dropped off some shopping to my Auntie Susie and on the way home we got a present and card for Paul, who is the husband of my mum’s best friend, on this day was his birthday, and luckily we bumped into one of Paul’s daughters, who we passed the present and card on to, did we have luck or what; then I had a chat with Ms. Vidal on Google Meets, what else can I say, I absolutely love talking to her, at one point during our conversation we spoke about superheroes due to my Marvel mug, and she mentioned that I should mention it in my blog; superheroes are a way of escapism, who they are as characters, their powers, their worlds, the people around them including friends, family, allies and of course their enemies, whether it’s in the comics, the shows or the films they bring us in their world and help us escape from ours, a perfect example of this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so far 23 films all connected with each other, I always looked forward to each instalment, and seeing each film, with their characters, was always like seeing an old friend; with superheroes one question does pop up with everyone, if you’d have a superpower what would it be, and I would always be between these two, flight and invisibility, flight because why not, you’re flying, simple, if I had that power the first thing I would do is fly to the nearest island, country, or even a city that isn’t affected by the pandemic, the other is invisibility, because you’re invisible, obviously, and what I’d do with that is go into anyone’s house every night and keep finding ways to wake people up, make them think their houses are haunted; in a world that we’re living in today with these circumstances, we need superheroes more than ever, someone with a big brain like a Tony Stark, Bruce Wayne, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Reed Richards or a Shuri to create a vaccine quicker and help get us all out of it sooner, but that’s not our reality, that’s an alternate reality, like a different timeline or universe; but we’re lucky to still have the people we have working, doing their jobs in these circumstances for us, they’re our superheroes, never forget that. On Thursday it was my brother’s birthday, 21 years old, and the present I got him was a video message from James Buckley, best known for playing Jay in The Inbetweeners, and my brother loved it, for the rest of the day family members, friends and neighbours came down to see him, of course we all kept our 2m distance, it was just really nice to see some familiar faces during these times, we celebrated his birthday the best way we could during these times. On Friday, I spent most of the day on the PlayStation, and then I went down to my Auntie Susie to drop off a bit of my brother’s birthday cake, I got to see my Uncle Trevor in the doorway, first time I’ve seen him in two months, which was a lovely surprise, had a nice little chat and that was it, now I can only anticipate the day I’m able to go into their house for some of my Auntie Susie’s amazing cooking, I also spent the evening with a friend of mine and friends of his, and his sister, and his sister’s partner, on HouseParty, all doing a quiz, it was all last minute, I was anticipating him and I to have a catch-up, and then I find out an hour before that there’ll be a quiz, so I prepared 10 questions based on films, music and wrestling, and then once I got onto the HouseParty app I see another 7 or 8 people are on there too, so that was a surprise but I wasn’t complaining, the more the merrier, I won two of the rounds, not sure if anyone else did, and then the girls were one team asking questions, and then the boys were one team asking questions, and then I had no idea what was going on, but in the end it was a really nice evening, good way to end a Friday. On Saturday, I spent most of the day on the PlayStation, and I had a catch-up with a friend on HouseParty to end the evening which was really nice, spoke about possibly going to L.A. once this pandemic is done, I want to be the earliest flight hotel I can find. Finally, on Sunday I went for a walk, ended up walking through Oxford Circus and Carnaby, some parts of Oxford Circus were busy because of the amount of vehicles that were around, and some parts were so quiet, which was so strange because Oxford Circus is normally one of the busiest parts of London, I walked near Hamleys, a store I have very fond memories of from when I was younger, and I saw it all empty around it, all shut off, it didn’t look right, it got worse once I reached Carnaby, the place was near enough deserted, so quiet, you could hear a loud phone conversation from 2 minutes away, and with the “Stay Alert, Control The Virus, Save Lives” signs all around, it all felt very apocalyptic, quite haunting, the image of the sign by Oxford Circus Station has glued a place of its own in my mind.
That was Week 3, to me, it was just another week, thankfully it’s going quick, and we’re already over half way through May, just get me to June and show me more signs of hope, because after this week, I need some.”
11th May 2020
“It was amazing seeing the feedback I got for my blog last week, messages and comments from friends, families, people I’ve worked with, people I know that live in different countries, so surreal. Knowing that I can help people with this, inspire people with this, can let people know that we’re all in the same boat with this, inspires me to do more, and motivates me to keep going, and I’m also glad that I’m doing something productive in a time where it’s hard to have the drive to do something, anything, I can’t be bothered to work out, learn something new, read, it’s tough, but at least I have this. For those that read my first blog last week, thank you all so much, I honestly didn’t know how everyone would’ve thought of it, but I’m so glad that it got the love and the kindness it received. Not every week will be as descriptive or interesting as the other, not every week will be a laugh, not every week will be a tearjerker, every week will be different and I think that’s the best part of this blog, every week is something different, a different story, a new stage living in this pandemic, and I look forward to taking you all with me. Now let’s get on with the blog for the second week.
Monday was more interesting than the Monday before, before dinner I went for a walk, went down to Exmouth Market, near Farringdon, Barbican, and Old Street; the one moment that stuck with me from that walk was when I took a walk through Fortune Street Park, I used to go to that park often when I was younger, mostly with my mum and my Nanny Jane, who passed away 8 years ago, once she was gone we barely walked to that park, or even past it; at one point I stopped, and I looked at the trees, and through it was the sun shinning with a sunset setting, and I stared at this sight for what must’ve been minutes, I took a picture and looked back at this moment all week, on one hand it was a way of telling me “there is light at the end of this tunnel” and on the other hand, it was as if my Nanny Jane was watching me, which makes a lot of sense since she use to live just around the corner from Fortune Street Park, maybe it was both, I don’t know, whatever it was, it was a moment that I haven’t gone a day without thinking about, and a moment I will remember even after this pandemic is done. For Tuesday, I only went to my aunt’s house to pick up chicken, and that was it, yeah, on to the next one. For Wednesday, do you remember last week when I mentioned my brother on the PlayStation, well surprise surprise, I was on it that day, and I was on it all day, made for a change, something different. For Thursday, since the weather was lovely, my family and I sat outside our door in the sun, along with my sister, brother in law and nephew, where we kept the 2m distance, and it was nice, and was well needed after the mostly poor weather from last week, for half an hour of that day, I had another Google Meets call with Ms Vidal, another lovely conversation with a lovely teacher, I could just speak to her all day, in the evening, instead of our weekly “Chicken Lickin’” I treated my family to Pizza Hut, first time I treated my family to a takeaway, felt pleased with myself, and also loved that though I treated my family, I could get what I want, I mean of course I could, it’s my money, the benefits of being an adult; I also went onto The Courtyard’s website, and checked out the careers section, and a page titled “Develop your employability skills,” Ms. Vidal wanted me to give it a read, see what I thought, and I did, and I feel the information on the page would definitely help students of The Courtyard, especially those doing their exams and are preparing to go to college or university, the page contained linked to online sessions, apprenticeships, skills festivals and career advice sessions, these are the most important years of these kids’ lives, and potentially anything on that page would help them in a big way. For Friday, it was VE Day, so my family and I, sister, brother in law, nephew, and my neighbours, and my Nanny Lylie, sat outside in the sun, keeping the 2m distance, and playing songs that used to be played during World War II, incredible how good those songs are all those years later. For Saturday, which was the best and most normal day this week, everyone who was out Friday and other neighbours, all had a BBQ, and keeping the 2m distance, it’s mad how much you can still do with people, even with the 2m distance, it was a lovely day, and a wonderful reminder that we’re all in this together no matter what, my brother and I stayed until the end, which was past 11pm, and I ended the evening sorting my brother’s 21st birthday present out, his birthday is on the 14th, turning 21. For Sunday, I just stayed in, spent most of the day laying down, and my family and I watched Boris’ speech, the closest my family and I will ever get to being political, we’re the least political family you’ll ever meet, as for the speech, yeah, could’ve spent 5 minutes reading about it online instead of watching it for 15 or 20 minute to be honest; I also showed my mum and dad what I got my brother for his birthday, they loved it, I know he will too, I won’t spoil it on here, I’ll let you all know what it is next week.
So that was the second week, each day was different, each day had something to remember, so yeah overall a decent week, let’s see what week 3 brings.”
By Billy Chandler
4th May 2020
“It’s going to be challenging doing something like this, because some days nothing happens, some days something does, and I’m forgetting which day is which, it’s pretty messy, and when it comes to writing sentences I can write 10 words and then spend the next 10 minutes daydreaming, what am I having for dinner? What film will the family and I put on tonight? Will my brother actually get off the PlayStation? What part of the house is my mum going to paint? When is the missus coming over? Then I realise I don’t have a missus and that I’m single and lonely. So yeah, as you can tell already a lot goes through my head and I do plenty of thinking. So yeah, here goes nothing, my first blog of the week, let’s see if I can make a mostly not so much week in a pandemic seem interesting.
Monday, nothing happened, brilliant stuff. Tuesday, something did happen, WOW I KNOW RIGHT, I actually had a Google Meets call with Ms. Vidal, it’s amazing to think that from 2013 - 2015 she taught me and now almost 5 years after I left here we are having a chat on Google Meets, she’s seen me on my darkest days, my brightest days, and she’s one of those teachers that I could talk to about anything and talk to all day, she’s incredible, we had a lovely chat for around 45 minutes, and put it this way, it was the best 45 minutes of the day, and was also when I found out about doing this blog. Then came Wednesday, and I had a surprise knock on the door from my two nieces, first time I saw them in weeks and if you saw me I was jumping around excitedly like a dog and they were loving it, and for the next 10 minutes we all had a good catchup with my older brother and my sister in law, who are my nieces’ parents, obviously, while also keeping an eye on the nieces, it was lovely, 10 minutes of normality, and it helps make the rest of the day easier. Thursday came and from what I noticed in recent weeks, everything feels quicker once Thursday comes, and there’s a weekly routine, I meet my dad by his workplace, we collect our order from the chicken shop nearby, which we call “Chicken Lickin’” go home, eat it, and then do the 8pm clap for the NHS, while seeing everyone in my estate clap I couldn’t help but to think “imagine if one week the entire estate begins playing Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana,” like one door will be playing the guitar, another will be playing the bass, another playing the drums, and another doing the vocals, a man can dream. Then came Friday, and my mum and I did some shopping up Angel, I normally get my own stuff and it would normally be more than it should be, but mum always finds way to fit it all in the fridge and freezer. Saturday came, and nothing was expected or planned, I woke up and realised “ah it’s one of those days” so I decide to go for a walk, get my exercise, and get out of the house, I walked through the West End and walked up to Buckingham Palace, as nice as it was to walk to the West End, there was a sadness that I felt, see the streets emptier than they should be and seeing all the theatres look lifeless hit me hard, and the realisation of how many people that work at theatres like front of house, bar, backstage, musicians, actors and everyone else involved not doing any kind of work right now, it may be a tough industry but imagine the industry where everything stops and none of these people are working, and then I went home, and had a nap. Finally there was Sunday, and it was my nephew’s birthday, 9 years old, he, my brother in law and sister only live across the landing, my brother, sister in law and nieces also came up, and their nan too, we all kept our 2m distance while also having a laugh and keeping an eye on the kids, it was wonderful, and hours later I had a chat on the phone with a good friend of mine for a good hour and a half, at the end of this day, I felt Sunday was the most normal day I experienced all week.
So that’s my first week, emotionally it was one of the more easier weeks, now we await a new week, with more questions, hopefully more answers, and maybe a shot of hope would be great, it should be interesting.”
By Billy Chandler