All posts by Jacob

Just trying to be a friendly face in this world. Hoping this blog will be a good influence on me and anyone else who looks at it.

Don’t Count Your Chickens Yet

I have been working at chemist’s for a couple of years. It’s alright. 2020 was insane, but we were not the worst effected. We have had customers giving us their opinion on the pandemic for the past ten months. This should give you an idea of the different opinions – and we have to be polite no matter what the customer says to us:

  • first they said it was deliberate, that a nefarious government engineered the virus and unleashed it to gain the upper on other countries.
  • then they said the virus is not real, that it’s a hoax
  • then they were glad that schools closed because they were terrified for their kids
  • then they were saying that kids should be at school because they are suffering at home
  • then we have queues out the door of customers asking for face masks (we couldn’t get them at the time, but the government were saying back then they were not necessary
  • then face masks were mandatory and they were saying that facemasks violated their human rights
  • then they were saying we desperately need a vaccine to get us out of this mess
  • then they start saying that they don’t trust the vaccine and they think there is a microchip inside it

People are cute man. We have had the weirdest situations and scenes with customers yelling at each other “Back off buster, stay two metres away from me,” or storming into the store pushing each other out of the way to grab as much alcohol gel as they could,

Chicks, Easter Chick, Easter, Yellow

So the latest thing is the attitude towards the vaccine. I keep on hearing people say they can’t wait for everyone to have the vaccine so we can all go back to normal. I don’t want to tell them – “normal” has gone. We are hoping they will be able to start lifting some of the restrictions in the next few months. But normal won’t be around for a long time. Packed arenas, conventions (someone seriously needs to tell the US that), festivals, marathons – there are so many parts of what used to be normal that just won’t be safe for a long time.

We are hoping that soon, we can visit the Aunties without worrying. We are hoping for some normality to come back. But we cannot go back to being packed like sardines on a train for a long time. Even once the vaccination is rolled out, there is a lot that needs to have changed. Safety is going to be different from now on. It has to take into account a mutant strains, that the vaccines are not 100% effective and that some people don’t want it.

Even if you have had the vaccine, we are still going to need to be careful for a long time to come.

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Afterglow

So last week, I saw Ed Sheeran is about as popular as he has ever been. So because we have been asked to pick a song that beings with M or A, I am going with the latest Ed Sheeran track “Afterglow”.

Nice easy music for a relaxing Sunday. Enjoy!

Song Credits: David Hodges, Edward Christopher Sheeran and Fred

Stop the clocks, it’s amazing
You should see the way the light dances off your hair
A million colours of hazel, golden and red
Saturday morning is fading
The sun’s reflected by the coffee in your hand
My eyes are caught in your gaze all over again

We were love drunk, waiting on a miracle
Trying to find ourselves in the winter snow
So alone in love like the world had disappeared
Oh, I won’t be silent and I won’t let go
I will hold on tighter ’til the afterglow
And we’ll burn so bright ’til the darkness softly clears

Oh, I will hold on to the afterglow
Oh, I will hold on to the afterglow

The weather outside’s changing
The leaves are buried under six inches of white
The radio is playing, Iron & Wine
This is a new dimension
This is a level where we’re losing track of time
I’m holding nothing against it, except you and I

We were love drunk, waiting on a miracle
Trying to find ourselves in the winter snow
So alone in love like the world had disappeared
Oh, I won’t be silent and I won’t let go
I will hold on tighter ’til the afterglow
And we’ll burn so bright ’til the darkness softly clears

Oh, I will hold on to the afterglow
Oh, I will hold on to the afterglow
Oh, I will hold on to the afterglow

Plans For The Weekend?

I was getting my things the other night just before I left work and my boss said to me, “Thanks for all your hard work, you’ve been great.” She doesn’t often take time out to say that. But I have done overtime this week to cover for other people who were self-isolating.

She then asked me a question I never know how to answer at the moment, “What are you plans for the weekend?” IS THAT A TRICK QUESTION?

We’re in a national lockdown. One in thirty people here have coronavirus. Who makes plans?

RETHINKING RUNNING

In a burst of enthusiasm for the new year, I had a go at early morning runs all of last week. Yeah – it’s not gonna happen.

Missing sports – basketball and football. Missing going out clubbing. Missing the gym. Oh well – is it what it is. I have weights I use at home and I’m trying to walk at least the basic 10,000 steps a day. I just don’t wanna feel like a vegetable.

What are you doing to stay in shape and keep fit during these lockdowns?

THURSDAY VERSE

“If, then, you are bringing your gift to the altar and there you remember that your brother has something against you,  leave your gift there in front of the altar, and go away. First make your peace with your brother, and then come back and offer your gift.

– MATTHEW 5:23,24

Making peace, restoring relations, restoring enmity to friendship is essential to having a good relationship with God. If we don’t work a having peace with our brothers, our worship may not be acceptable to God, our Father.

It’s not all about our personal salvation. Firstly and most important is the sanctification of God’s name. He has been slandered and been accused of not having our best interests at heart. God wants his children to get along together. He sees us praying and he sees our brother praying. So he wants his people to be like family.

If we are more concerned with our own vindication than making peace with our brother, what does our Father above of us? At the end of the day, He wants all to be united and at peace.

If there is a genuine reason we make have a cause for complaint against a brother, we approach our brother in private and try to resolve the issue in the spirit of peace.

God is training his people, educating them to form the basis of the new world under his Kingdom rulership.

My Word For 2021

ENDURANCE

Endurance is not just surviving, and it’s not just existing. Endurance is about the way we react to hardship.

Endurance is not complaining and criticising the people who are making decisions to protect us and try to keep us in a job at the same time. A person who endures manifests courage, steadfastness, and patience. 

One reference work explained endurance as “the spirit which can bear things, not simply with resignation, but with blazing hope…the quality which keeps a man on his feet with his face to the wind.

We all want to enjoy life the way we used to – but we have to face that we are in a time of trouble – now is not the time to crumble – it is the time to endure, with blazing hope fuelling our endurance.

TUESDAY NEWS

I struggled with the news during 2020, and probably before that. So I have decided that during 2021, I want to look for more good news, positive stories that restore my confidence in people.

So this week, one of the best news articles I read online was that of a police officer in the USA. This is the BBC report if you want to read it yourself…

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-55522825

…but the bullet points are that when two women were caught shoplifting, a police officer named Matt Lima was called to arrest them. The women explained they wanted to provide festive food for their families but were suffering adverse economic conditions.

What did the cop do? He used his own money to buy them gift cards worth $250. The story was a gem in a miserable week. But it was the last line that brought a smile to me. He is quoted as saying that he just wanted to put himself in that family’s shoes and show a little bit of empathy.

There has been a lot of criticism of the police officers for mistreating people – but Officer Matt Lima gets the GOOD COP award this week.

2021

Am I looking ahead to 2021? I have to think about that. I will say this – the pandemic caught a lot of us by surprise. Many of us have not known any challenges on such a scale that schools and shops all over the country would just have no choice but to shut down for months – gyms, clubs, pubs, seeing the Aunties – all came to a close.

But looking ahead to 2021, I think we might be a bit more prepared. There is a lot still ahead. I don’t think it’s all going to go smoothly, but at least we are more prepared for that. We have got used to having to change our plans because the rules keep changing. Most of us have figured out Zoom now.

I think we’ve all worked out what we cannot do in a pandemic or any other crisis – we can’t turn into couch potatoes. We can’t sit on the front door step and cry into Instagram because we are having a meltdown. We can’t let the younger brother go to some rave he’s been invited to in Essex. We can’t let the Aunties keep inviting the grandkids over for jollof or bun cake.

Some weird err – stuff – happened last year. People were weird man. One thing that I learnt during 2020 is that I have influence. The little brother listens to me. The Aunties listen to me. I can make a difference. I don’t think I appreciated that so much before this year. I have a voice and I can use it for good.

As well as having a voice, I also have a blog now. I can use that to make a difference. It can be whatever I want it to be. But that is a responsibility. I want it to be something good.

Life’s challenging enough – so in 2021, I want to contribute more.

Wicked Wednesday

Poker Face

I can see a bunch of people getting involved in this music event “Song Lyric Sunday”, so I am gonna give it a try. We have to pick a song that picks with P or G. I’m going for “Poker Face”. This is Lady Gaga doing her thing.

The song is written by Nadir Khayat and Stefani Germanotta – aka Lady Ga Ga. It sold over 14 million copies the year of release making it one of the best sellers in the music industry – period. I always thought she was like a mix between Madonna and Bette Midler that had got lost in some fancy dress store. I think the best thing she has done is ditched the face paint and gone natural for her big film part and for the whole let’s support each other through covid. She organised the big concert of 2020.

So now I have started looking through her back catalogue and she is nuts. Anyway – she has sold a lot of records and seems to like being the pantomime performer. But I like her more natural side – just sitting in front of a piano and bellowing does it for me.

Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah
Mum mum mum mah

I wanna hold ’em like they do in Texas, please
Fold ’em, let ’em, hit me, raise it, baby, stay with me (I love it)
Love game intuition play the cards with Spades to start
And after he’s been hooked I’ll play the one that’s on his heart

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh
I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh,
I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got

[Chorus:]
Can’t read my,
Can’t read my
No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)
Can’t read my
Can’t read my
No he can’t read my poker face
(she’s got me like nobody)

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)

I wanna roll with him a hard pair we will be
A little gambling is fun when you’re with me (I love it)
Russian Roulette is not the same without a gun
And baby when it’s love if it’s not rough it isn’t fun, fun

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh
I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh-oh-e-oh-oh-oh,
I’ll get him hot, show him what I’ve got

[Chorus]

P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
(Mum mum mum mah)
(Mum mum mum mah)

I won’t tell you that I love you
Kiss or hug you
Cause I’m bluffin’ with my muffin
I’m not lying, I’m just stunnin’ with my love-glue-gunning
Just like a chick in the casino
Take your bank before I pay you out
I promise this, promise this
Check this hand cause I’m marvelous

[Chorus 3x]

[3x]
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)
P-p-p-poker face, p-p-poker face
(Mum mum mum mah)

Finding The Right One

So I read when I was a teenager that finding “the right one” is like trying out shoes. They might all look fine, but then you slide your feet in and walk around and ouch! You know after a while if they are going to cause you issues – if they are gonna pinch or cramp your style.

When I read that concept, I thought “you can’t say finding the right girl is like shopping for shoes”. It seemed a bit harsh to me. But I do take the point that you should take your time to find the right one, get to know them and be honest about what kind of person you want to spend your life with.

One of the Aunties said to me the other day that in hard times you get to see more about what someone is made of – man or woman. Her advice was not to be into some fair weather princess who freaks when she chips a nail. She said when times are hard you see if someone is resourceful and whether they have faith.

One of these days I’m gonna find me someone to call my girl – just gotta get me together before I do. I have a lot to work on before I find the right one. Otherwise they might not think I am the right one for them. Do you know what I’m saying?