Why I’m obsessed by Stranger Things!

As someone who’s notoriously difficult to please, it has come as a big surprise to everyone who knows me, (including he-who-jokes-he’s-given-up-trying-to-make-me-happy), that I not only love Netflix’s Stranger Things…I’m absolutely obsessed with it.

In fact, so engrossed and consumed am I by this show, (which was recommended to me by my 15-year-old granddaughter who’s the spitting image of Sadie Sink, the young actress who plays heroine Max), making time in my schedule to watch much-anticipated season four dominated my entire week.

Sure, what’s not to love about a show which blends horror and drama (even if it’s teen-based)! Mind you, I do love the characters’ ever-growing adolescent friendships and crushes, and, as someone who values loyalty in a person, I also adore their dedication and devotion to each other.

In case you’ve yet to watch it readers, Stranger Things also features demons living in a parallel universe, (demogorgans in the upside down), a struggling single parent, perfectly portrayed by Winona Ryder, and importantly, the sexy, solid, chief-of-police Hopper, played by David Harbour. Dear God, what is it with me and men in uniforms?

Oh, I nearly forgot, it also has oodles of ‘80s pop culture, nostalgia and charm; something which has not just provided me with an avenue that leads to pure escapism, it has also brought me and my beautiful granddaughter even closer, as we both admire Kate Bush. Like all fans of this nostalgia-infused series, we both appreciate the killer soundtrack, most especially Bush’s ‘Running up that Hill (A Deal with God)’, which my granddaughter, who is so cool, actually owns on vinyl.

Being able to discuss this series (and Heartstoppers, which I’m about to begin), has not just proved to be fun for both of us, it has also provided me with another role in my granddaughter’s life…that of being her pal.  In fact, Ellarose can now see me as someone who was once her own age; someone who wore shoulder pads, leg warmers, had a flicky-fluffy Farah Fawcett hairdo, and who believed that partying like it’s 1999 seemed waaaay too far away!

Yep, by enjoying shows like Stranger Things and singing ‘80s music together, my beautiful granddaughter can visualise Nana, not as the aul wan who taught her nursery rhymes, corrected her grammar (I’ve apologised for that), and brought her away for weekends, but as a teen who watched David Hasselhoff chatting to his car! Knight Rider…Michael Knight and KITT, (Knight Industries Two Thousand)? Oh forget it, ask your granny! Roll on next month’s finale!

 

Being spooned by a stranger gives me the ‘ick’!

An item promoting what I’d call the strangely popular trend of ‘cuddle puddling’ on Ireland AM last Tuesday sky-rocketed my ick-o-metre into overdrive! Don’t get me wrong; I’m fine when it comes to being spontaneously picked up and cuddled by he-who-gives-me-big-bear-hugs, and I adore being hugged by my beautiful daughters and granddaughters, and of course, there’s no better feeling in this world (for me), than that of being hugged, licked, and cuddled by my dogs. Yes readers, there’s nothing in this life that I adore more than lying down on the floor and engaging  in a good old, stress-reducing snuggle-sesh with my fur babies.

However, outside of that circle, those who wish to hug me should approach me at their peril because I simply will not tolerate being held so close, nay crushed in a vice-like grip, I feel I’m in danger of being held hostage; or worse, breathed upon by another person.

Therefore, as the whole idea of being spooned by a stranger makes me want to throw up, I will never, ever, attend any event being promoted for those who’re ‘seeking a different form of intimacy’. Why? Because for me, these ‘cuddle puddles’, or ‘cuddle clubs’ would be akin to being held captive in the ninth circle of flaming hell!

And no, I’m not passing judgement on anyone who does enjoy frequenting these ‘fully clothed’ gatherings  in a bid to experience a ‘collective love in one space’, for the simple reason I’m certain that, following the severe restrictions and lockdowns, many people are desperate for a hug from another human being. For these lonely souls, I’m sure a ‘friendly cuddle party’ like the one being held in Dublin this weekend will prove to be both comforting and reassuring, oh, and, given the tickets start at €30, it’s also guaranteed to place a sizeable hole in their wallets! Enjoy.

 

I’m proud to be an LGBTQ+ ally!

It’s official; Pride is back and, following a two-year absence, (due to the pandemic), this year parades are going to be bigger, better and bolder than ever before, with the wonderful LGBTQ+ community going all out in a bid to host events and parties across the country.  And, as there are much-adored and cherished members of my family and friends who are part of this community, I for one cannot wait to celebrate with them this weekend.

Deeply rooted in the difficult history of a group of people who have – due to the actions of small-minded morons – been forced to contend with decades of toxic prejudice for no other reason than they wished, (like everyone), to be respected and accepted for who they are, these parades are hugely significant.

Therefore, if, like me, you wish to celebrate diversity, visibility and importantly, equality, and become an ally for your loved ones who identify as LGBTQ+, then, I’d urge you to please, please, use these parades as a platform to show them your love, your support and your advocacy.

I like to get into the spirit of the entire month of June by proudly flying my Pride flag in my garden, and, alongside my family, by wearing my selection of matching Pride t-shirts; (I’ve even bought my baby granddaughter Pride t-shirts). I do this because I believe it’s important to embrace the joy of love and of being loved, of self-expression and self-awareness. Oh, and I don’t just do this during Pride month, I like to push for a better and more positive life for this amazing community all year round. Why? Because in order to show how much I value my loved ones, I believe in talking-the-talk as well as walking-the-walk; that means, anyone delivering homophobic or derogatory language within earshot of me at any time, will be getting a large piece of my mind and a lecture in manners! Just sayin’.