Tag: RobinHood

It’s Coming Home

Been up to much since last issue? I’d imagine you have, unless you’ve been stuck at home poorly. As I write it’s the evening of July 19th, inaccurately dubbed ‘Freedom Day’ by some elements of the press – but oddly enough there’s an element of truth in that libertarian soubriquet for me, as today was the final day of my and my daughter’s sixteen day period of self-isolation – we’ve had Covid.

I thought I’d done pretty well to avoid it and was *extremely* happy when I had both of my vaccinations but just over a couple of weeks ago I received an email from my daughter’s school saying they believed she (and her class) had been in contact with someone who had tested positive. Ten days couldn’t be that bad, I figured – we’d done longer in earlier lockdowns. Maybe we were getting blasé about it, even.

But a few days into our new quarantine Scarlett complained of a nasty head and stomach ache; just to be sure I gave her a Lateral Flow Test and there it was, a positive. I did one for myself and was relieved to find it negative but booked us both in for a PCR test the next morning at the University Walk-in site. It was a doddle, thankfully – and Scarlett’s symptoms, such as they were, had already vanished by the time we’d been ‘done’ and told to expect the results in two days.

That afternoon though I began to feel pretty rough and by the next morning I didn’t need the result that arrived on my phone, less than 24 hours after taking the PCR test.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m the first to admit that blokes are generally *dreadful* when poorly (unless I’m just judging you all by my feeble standards, in which case I apologise unreservedly), but it really was bad. I’ve had proper influenza once before and that was horrendous, and this was right up there with it – literally going from sweating like a polar bear in a sauna (No idea, not seen it, it just sounded like a descriptive turn-of-phrase) to proper teeth-chattering cold, with goosebumps and nothing in between.

Scarlett, now full of energy and with not a symptom in the world was wonderful, covering and then uncovering me as my latest temperature episode kicked in and generally fussing me wonderfully. Of course the worst bit for her was us both having to start eleven days self-isolation again on top of the time we’d already done; this time I could almost hear the heavy ‘clang’ of the prison door as it swung shut.

It. Was. Horrendous.

The temperature changes, the acute muscle-pain, headaches, the cough and shallow breathing, the vomiting (thankfully very short-lived) – I got all the symptoms except for the diarrhea (and I’m glad I didn’t, that combined with coughing…eeuuwww!)

Normally I’m fine at being ill. Just give me a bed, Radio 4 and a bit of sympathy and I’m good (especially with a diet of Tunnock’s caramel wafers and pineapple juice) but add in a bored seven-year old who is absolutely fine who’s asking “Daddy, do you want to see what I can do/sing/draw/dance/create in Minecraft?” every five minutes and the next few days became a grumpy purgatory for us both in which I tried to sleep and Scarlett didn’t…

And yet, after what seemed like an eternity (but was about five days) I felt able to move again, wracked by guilt at having dismissed her so often but glad to be alive; I daren’t think how poorly I’d have been had I not had both vaccinations…

So I guess we’ll see how well ‘Freedom Day’ goes for us here in Beeston but please don’t be fooled into thinking the ‘mild ‘flu like symptoms’ you may suffer if you catch it are actually ‘mild’ in themselves. I still can’t smell or taste anything, but that was the least of my worries.

So no trite joke at the end this time, just a heartfelt ‘look after yourselves’. Please.

TP

What A Relief!

Hello, good citizen of Beeston, how are you this lovely spring day?

Very well, thank you – the sun is shining, the Crown has been refurbished and… hang on a minute, you don’t normally start your turgid ramblings with an individual greeting, what’s going on?

Ah. Bother, you noticed. Weeeell… this column is a bit different. It tackles some… er… odd subject matter. I just thought I’d warn you. Don’t read it out loud, m’kay? Especially in the pub.

As some of you may know, my lovely wife Sal is really quite poorly with a scary and incurable breast cancer which has spread to her bones, liver and brain. She’s coping with it reasonably well though, for the most part she’s in good spirits and we have our beautiful three year old daughter to keep us laughing which helps a lot. Moreover, thanks to the enormous generosity of a considerable number of very lovely people we recently had our garage converted into a downstairs bedroom for her as (just after we got married last September) Sal lost the use of her legs and partially because of this is unfortunately now quite often in considerable pain.

I’d promised her and her best friend Lou a spa break before Sal’s diagnosis nearly two years ago as who wouldn’t enjoy a champagne filled weekend of pampering, relaxation and massage? Because of her condition though it appears almost impossible now as there don’t appear to be many hotel/spa resorts that will treat clients with advanced cancer (insurance issues I guess). So I thought I’d see if there was anyone locally who could help, not only for Sal and her pain but also for me as I do a lot of lifting these days and Sal keeps insisting, probably very sensibly, that I need to look after myself as well as her.

So I went online and Googled ‘Beeston Massage’.

Wow.

Wow? Why ‘Wow’?

Erm… look, I’m not hopelessly naïve, nor do I imagine Beeston is a haven of purity, decency and light (after all, our town topped the list of ‘Places People Have Extra-marital Affairs’ a couple of years ago) but one of the first links I found was to a site that reviews the… ahem… professional services of ‘Ladies of Transactional Affection’, so to speak.

Come again?

Very funny. Imagine a ‘TripAdvisor for Personal Services’ with a very in-depth and detailed review of the ‘goings on’ at the (now already closed) new massage parlour on Regent Street, as well as a many other locations. It was, to quote Star Trek’s Mr Spock, “Fascinating”. I read sections of the reviews out to Sal, her Mum and a group of friends when they were round and we were all laughing fit to burst (which was actually great therapy in itself).

I find that hard to swallow…

Stop that now. Anyway, it just got me thinking about the ‘darker’ side of Beeston, what goes on behind closed doors and how much of a good or bad thing it was. As I said, I’m not that naïve to think it doesn’t happen everywhere and Beeston is surely no exception – so I’m not sure why the Broadgate establishment only lasted a few weeks before closing…

Maybe they’ll wait fifteen minutes and try again?  

You’re just being silly now. But as I said, maybe Beeston is packed full of naughtiness – or is demand drooping (sorry, dropping)? Was the closure due to local pressure, lack of demand or not paying the right business rates? Might it simply be that Beeston is no longer the illicit nookie capital of the UK, (and if not should we be pleased or disappointed)?

No idea, I’m going to the pub for a stiff one.

Oh suit yourself, I can tell you’re not taking this seriously. The really sad thing is Sal and I still haven’t found somewhere who can provide a nice, soothing and entirely respectable massage.

Oh, that’s a real shame. I do so love a happy ending…. 

Tim Pollard

Beestonia The Movie

Filmed during the tram works a few years ago, we took our cameras out to look at a town in transition. We also ran into a couple of famous residents, who we conned persuaded to take part. Grab some popcorn (not a big bag, it’s only 20 odd minutes long) and enjoy…

A Genuine Beestonian Accent

Our resident Robin Hood talks propah…

Over the years Sal and I have had a lot of weird things happen to us: watching the birth of our daughter become the top story on the BBC news website; being mentioned in a question on a national TV quiz show and recently discovering someone had written us into a play where the ‘real’ Robin and Marian appear in modern day Nottingham and bump into us, meaning we are genuinely characters in someone else’s play (which on reflection may explain a lot).

Performance-wise I have done a few other things over the years; some TV work, music videos and even a proper play (for most of which I had to stay hidden under a huge pile of empty beer cans, pizza boxes and other detritus so I could ‘amusingly’ emerge halfway through proclaiming ‘Great party, man’ which didn’t require quality acting skills so much as the ability to stay awake). And several years ago I was also hired to dress as a vicar and act out a marriage service for a couple of people who wanted it to be filmed; I still have no idea at all what that was about.

I’ve also been in a couple of movies – not huge, big budget epics or lavish musicals but more what you’d call ‘very low budget horror movies’, the splendidly titled ‘Dracula’s Orgy of the Damned’ and ‘Werewolf Massacre at Hell’s Gate’ written, directed and produced by my old friend James Baack in and around his home in Chicago (and even now available on DVD from Amazon in the US).

A few years ago James asked me if I’d like to appear in his films to narrate/introduce as ‘Lord Victor Fleming’, a collector of arcane and mysterious stories. Wearing evening dress and having dressed our living room look as much like a 19th century gentleman’s club as possible Sally filmed me setting the scene for the film (“The story you are about to see is a tale of terror that will freeze your very soul” etc.) including some filming at Wollaton Hall to imply it was Victor Fleming’s ancestral home. We both enjoyed the experience greatly and were delighted to get copies of the final, finished film(s) several months later.

And then reviews of the movies began turning up online, and oddly the one thing all the reviews had in common were comments on the narrator’s ‘fake English accent’, which amused us all greatly. I can maybe see why American reviewers watching a film mainly shot in America with American actors might assume my accent was fake (and to be fair my ‘posh’ voice may not be entirely consistent anyway) but when I jokingly replied to one such reviewer on the Amazon US site recently,  pointing out I was genuinely English in what I hoped was an amusingly and vaguely sarcastic way, the Nottingham Post got involved and ran a story ‘Robin Hood slammed for ‘fake English accent’’, and that really was weird.

Although it was quite fun, albeit presumably on a slow news day, it also got me thinking. Much like Russell Crowe I know I’ve never spoken in a ‘Nottingham accent’ but I’m not sure what my accent is. I’m sure I do have some Nottingham influence but I don’t think it’s very strong (I’m sure growing up listening to a lot of Radio 4 has affected it much more) but that led me to further wonder – is there  ‘Beeston accent’? I don’t think there is, but is that due to the excellent cosmopolitan makeup of the town, with so many varying languages, people and cultures all mixing together?  Are there any particular words or phrases that we can claim as our own? Because if I’m going to be castigated for having a fake English accent I’d like to console myself with knowing I have a genuine Beestonian one…

Tim Pollard

Nottingham’s Official Robin Hood