All Quiet on the Western Front (2022 film)
Today is Saturday October 29, 2022. Kia ora!
Today we visited the lovely Artspace Gallery and shop on the Petone Esplanade. JD had seen a painting by Alan Collins that he particularly liked, and he proposed to give it to a relation for her birthday. We had a lovely look around and ended up purchasing several gifts.
Afterwards I wanted to have lunch somewhere (as JD had suggested), given that we had little at home in the way of supplies. It was really busy, and raining too, so people couldn’t sit outside. We found a carpark near Caffiend, one of my favourite cafés, but after walking there we found not only were there no tables free, there was a queue of people waiting to order. We got back in the car and drove to Station Village in Lower Hutt – quite a large complex. The Italian restaurant was closed, and the only other place to eat was a pub. We went inside, but it was dark and gloomy, had very loud music playing, and only high seats without proper tables and chairs. I objected, so we wound our way through to the Dowse Museum in Lower Hutt. The lovely restaurant by the Town Hall was full; there were two events there; the café at the Dowse Museum was full too, so we wandered over to the pub – The Crooked Elm. That actually worked out pretty well – we could sit at a proper table, and the food was pretty good; they were very busy, but the service wasn’t at all bad either.
Last night we watched the new film All Quiet on the Western Front (based on the famous novel by Erich Maria Remarque) on Netflix. While it was profoundly disturbing, I found it to be a very good film. No doubt it’ll be reviewed on one or more of the podcasts I listen to, but for now, I’m quite prepared to think it was an impressively good movie.
I was very interested in who actually signed the Armistice at Armentiѐres in France. I googled it, and all the information did not tell me who signed on behalf of the Germans, or the British, for that matter. Of course, we all know what happened barely twenty years later. What a sad story. I’m still waiting for the book Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark about the start of World War One. I have this book on reserve – have had for months.
The three main things that the news told me today is that US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was attacked by a home invader; Nancy Pelosi was away at the time so her assigned protective detail was with her, not at her home in San Francisco; he has had to have surgery for a skull fracture. When the police arrived, they found a hammer being held by Paul Pelosi and the invader; Paul Pelosi was then attacked by the assailant who had grabbed the hammer. This incident has shocked many people. Dreadful, disgusting and frightening threats have been made, but this kind of physical attack is taking threats to another level; it’s also more direct and personal than leaving a bomb of some description or a mass shooting, shocking as these incidents are.
Evidently the assailant, an illegal immigrant (for what that’s worth), called “Where’s Nancy?”, intended to kneecap her, and then attack other politicians.
The second thing is that Elon Musk has bought Twitter, and has fired several people. What will he do next? Will Trump be back on? For some reason, Musk has indicated support for Putin’s moves to takeover Ukraine and Xi’s intention to take over Taiwan.
The third thing, which I heard on James O’Brien’s LBC, is that new PM Sunak has sacked Alok Sharma, the President of COP 26 held in Glasgow, from his post as a minister. Last time Sharma, Boris Johnson (at his wife’s urging) and Queen Elizabeth II attended! I cannot yet find confirmation of this news.
It’s now Wednesday November 2nd.
On Sunday morning I went to church, and then we headed north to Napier. I was regularly doing RAT tests for Covid 19, since friend of mine had contracted it. She told me she first had symptoms on the previous Sunday. I had spent some time with her the previous Thursday, so I hoped desperately that I would not be re-infected. JD and I had our second booster shots last Wednesday afternoon; we both had sore arms after our jabs, and some Covid 19 symptoms, so I begged off going to singing on Thursday.
On Thursday evening JD and I attended an early evening event where we had a light tea and listened to a very interesting talk. Sadly, I learnt on Sunday that an older woman, whom I’d introduced to JD, had come down with Covid 19. Oh dear.
Nevertheless, we went to Napier, somewhat nervous. We stopped at Otaki for a light lunch; we enjoyed the still new Transmission Gully road, which is ever inching forward. It will go beyond Otaki, but not to Levin, at this stage, it seems.
In Napier we went to Portofino for dinner. There was hardly anyone there. On Monday morning my daughter had a doctor’s appointment in Greenmeadows. Their only requirement was for everyone to wear a mask! They had a lovely big waiting area, in a complex with a pharmacy and physiotherapy, and a large parking area. I was allowed in, no questions asked!
My daughter was just amazing: she allowed the doctor to listen to her heart, feel her tummy, and even examine her! She wouldn’t have the blood pressure cuff on, however! Still, I felt happy that we knew a lot more than previously about her health.
After this success, we had morning tea together, and then dropped her at her craft/art studio at Hōhepa’s beautiful Clive site. Unlike previously, she was quite happy to go there.
Afterwards, JD and I spoke to several people there, and I checked out the lovely shop, before heading into Napier to buy a newspaper and have lunch. That evening we took our daughter to dinner at one of the pubs in Ahuriri. Although a thunderstorm had been forecast, it was fine and warm. I wished I had brought summer dresses after all!
The next day we had a lie-in, before heading into town for a newspaper, morning tea (Adoro Café’s delicious mini-donuts filled with lemon-flavoured custard). After this I went shopping at Farmers, where I bought a skirt, blouse and t-shirt, also some hose and some underwear. After this JD and I checked out the lovely antique shop on Tennyson St. We had lunch at the Café on Clive Square – a salad sandwich for me, and we shared a thin rolled pancake filled with cream.
That evening we got takeaway pizzas and desserts to have back at our motel. Although it was quite hot, there was a cool breeze coming off the sea, so we did not sit on the balcony, as we had done in February. It was nice, but the odour of pizza does linger! That night it was really hot; in shutting out the noise, one shuts out any breeze or cool air.
Today we drove back to Wellington. We stopped at Woodville for lunch: our favourite café has been upgraded; we chose omelettes, and they were good, and the café was popular, but a woman sitting near JD had a vicious cough. I took a RAT test for Covid 19 every day we were in Napier, and they were all negative, thankfully; sadly, there’s a lot of Covid 19 in Hawkes Bay, although you hardly see any masks. I wore a mask quite often, and felt stupid for doing so. I did not sleep very well up there, but Tuesday was a good day, nonetheless.
In other news, Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul was injured by a man who broke into their house; since then, the political rhetoric has been truly awful, and few regrets have been expressed by non-Democrats. Elon Musk has become the “Chief Twit”, and it doesn’t seem to be working out that well for him. In the UK, Boris Johnson is planning to go to the climate conference in Egypt, throwing 10 Downing Street into confusion: should Sunak go after all? Does Boris represent the British government? I am listening to the British Scandal podcast about Johnson, and it reminds me of how amoral he is. In every decision, he’s represented as worrying about what will further his personal objectives of attaining power as prime minister, and holding onto it.
Like Trump, his view is a purely cynical one: what will benefit him politically, rather than what will be good for his country.
In South Korea, in Halloween celebrations 153 people were killed in a crush. In India, a swing bridge, which had been repaired, collapsed, killing 134 people. In Somalia, two car bombs went off, killing 100 people. In Brazil, Lula has defeated sitting president Jair Bolsonaro in a recent election; Bolsonaro has not conceded yet. In the US, the tension leading up to the midterm elections is palpable.
In China, the zero-Covid policy is still being pursued. There are still millions of people being locked down, including at Wuhan, where the virus started. At the Disney Resort in Shanghai, some visitors were not allowed to leave after a case of covid 19 infection was detected there.
Hōhepa is arranging another family weekend, which will coincide with our daughter’s birthday, so that’s nice. I hope it can go ahead, and that Covid 19 isn’t too bad. For our last trips, at the beginning of February and the end of June, we visited just before the coming next waves of Covid 19. We do so want it to be behind us.
I booked accommodation for this trip. It’s generally scarce in Napier, so you don’t want to miss out. I booked through Wotif, and chose to pay later, not right away. The summary assured me they’d sent me an email to confirm. Email was being a bit strange on my phone; the promised email did not come through. I turned on my computer to check: it wasn’t there either. I had a case earlier this year where I thought I had booked, but didn’t get the confirmation email; it turns out that I hadn’t booked, but the motel had a cancellation for 2 nights (I had booked 3, so I thought). I rang the motel the next morning, and they confirmed that yes, a reservation had been made, and they would sent an email to confirm it. Well, I thought to check the spam folder in my phone, and guess what, there was the confirmation email. Grrr!
It’s now Friday November 4th.
Last night we watched another episode of Ridley on Eden, starring Adrian Dunbar. It’s a rather good series.
Today someone from Access came to do some housework; after that we went shopping. It’s been fine today.
Yesterday I went to singing in Khandallah; there were 18 people there; several were away. Apparently there’s been a super-spreader event attended by many who have come down with Covid 19. It’s all around us. The amount of Covid in the wastewater indicates that there are far more cases of infection than are formally reported. Still, it seems the health system, while overloaded, is not in “crisis”. I’m still doing a RAT test every morning; thankfully, they’re all negative. I don’t feel as though I have Covid 19, although I do get headaches. I still cough sometimes, but it occurs to me that my chesty cough and cold are almost completely gone.
Everyone is waiting to see whether the Chief Twit’s purchase of Twitter will make it or destroy it. He’s raised the idea of levying a monthly payment of verified users; that hasn’t gone down at all well. He’s rumoured to be sacking a great many employees: how will he do “content moderation”? Apparently he’s changed his nickname, no loner wanting to be known as the Chief Twit. I can’t say I blame him, but that title will surely stick.
The COP climate summit is about to start in Egypt. Rishi Sunak, British PM, has now said that he will go, after all. There is a lot of grizzling about Suella Braverman and the treatment of immigrants at a holding centre in Kent.
What else is happening? In Ukraine, Ukrainian forces are continuing to do rather well, whereas Russian forces shell large cities and have taken out the power in Kyiv. The brutality continues. Slava Ukraini! Ngā mihi nui.