There’s a current trend of flying the flag by government ministers, in the background of video calls on news broadcasts (for example), and in the order to fly the Union Jack on official buildings.
My feeling is that it demonstrates a fragile and insecure patriotism, because it devalues the times when it’s currently used to celebrate achievements and special days. You can be patriotic without flying the flag every day.
Of course, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with flying the flag per se, the problem I (and many others) have is that the government appear to be doing it for political reasons. When the flag is used in this contrived way it will inevitably lead to division, because the purpose of a flag is to unite. It simply highlights the divisions that already exist within the Union.
Twitter (as always) has a perfect hashtag for what the government is doing, but I’m not going to share it here!
The album is rooted in experimentation and improvisation. It’s a highly percussive album which resists categorization, it could be described as genre-straddling.
While conventional instruments, such as pianos and drum sets, do appear, the album also features prominent use of non-musical found objects as percussion. Apple described the result as “percussion orchestras”. These industrial-like rhythms are contrasted against traditional melodies, and the upbeat songs often subvert traditional pop structures. (Wikipedia)
The album explores freedom from oppression, and its title comes from a line in the TV drama series The Fall. Apple has identified its core message as: “Fetch the f***ing bolt cutters and get yourself out of the situation you’re in”.
The album also discusses Apple’s complex relationships with other women and other personal experiences, including bullying and sexual assault. It has nevertheless been referred to as Apple’s most humorous album. (Wikipedia)
Many have found its exploration of confinement timely. It’s also been described as an instant classic and her best work to date. I’ve certainly enjoyed listening to it, mainly while walking our dog Toby.
You can see all my favourite 2020 albums by clicking here.
When I first got my Chromebook I downloaded loads of apps, but I’ve deleted many of them because you can do most things you want in the Google Chrome browser.
Amazon Prime Video and Netflix: Although you can watch movies and TV series in the browser, there are some apps that work better as apps and these are two that I do use. Other content providers are available.
Chrome Canvas: This is an excellent, and possibly little-known, drawing app that comes with the Chrome OS. Yes, you can use it in a browser on any operating system, but there are advantages of using the app on a Chromebook, not least the fact that the app defaults to full screen.
JotterPad: This is a wonderful distraction-free notepad app that I use on my smartphone and tablet as well as on my Chromebook. It’s free, but does have in-app purchases. Two of these are one-off payments to unlock extra features, but if you want to connect to a cloud services there’s a monthly payment. I’ve paid for the two one-off benefits, but haven’t bothered with the cloud integration as you can easily share the notes manually with other apps and services. There are many adjustments you via settings, so an altogether essential app for me.
Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder: This is a Chrome browser extension rather than an app, but I include it here because it’s useful on whichever device you use this browser. It does what it says on the tin with many different options.
Photoshop Express & Snapseed: Everyone knows about Photoshop, and so their app for Android devices is pretty much a must-have. Snapseed is not so well-known, but it’s a neat little photo editing app to have in your Android tool box. Take your pick, or install both.
VLC: This media player is simply essential on any device, make sure you have the app on your Chromebook.
ZArchiver: If you work with ZIP files this is an essential app.
Note: I hope this selection of Chromebook apps is useful to you, and remember the apps can be used on any Android device.
My two young girls (Matilda 3 and Pollyanna 2) absolutely love Peppa Pig, and I have to say it’s very good. This video clip is pure comedy gold and beautifully timed, a measured narrative with a perfectly delivered punch line. One that everyone can enjoy, we’ve all been there!
We live in an uncertain world, with many pressures in our day to day lives. The reality is that 1 in 4 of us will experience a mental health problem in any given year, so there has never been a better time to open up about the mental health challenges we face. The more conversations we have about mental health, the more myths we can bust and barriers we can break down, helping to end the isolation, shame and worthlessness that too many of us feel when experiencing a mental health problem.
Having had my own mental health issues in the past (although anxiety, stress and depression can still affect me) this is my heartfelt plea for everyone to open up and talk at more than just a superficial level.
The annual Time to Talk Day provides an opportunity for everyone to add to the wider conversation on social media, television and elsewhere. Here is an opportunity to reach out to others in meaningful ways and help address mental health stigma in society.