Ray Massey
9 min readJun 28, 2022


I Just Don’t Get It

But am I Bovvered ??

For a start, what’s with this whole Love Island thing? I do understand what its about but I really really don’t get it? What is there that’s interesting about a narcissistic, unrepresentative bunch of self absorbed twenty-something amateur adolescents wanting to wobble around in a ‘Who Luvs Ya Baby’ cattle market? Meandering aimlessly through a purpose designed Studio set where no one could agree just what this purposeful design was for, except that it was clearly made to be easily deconstructed.

They ‘live’ in this world whilst being controlled through a tightly managed Teenage consumer tinted Media lens. This is clearly all focused on shoveling them through some made up emotional issues, within a cardboard living environment on a made up sunshine island of unrealistically obscure sovereignty ?

Most of the group conversation is disappointingly uninformed and totters around mindless trivia — and its not even very well expressed at that. Whilst I don’t think I really really want them to engage in deep meaningful conversations about world issues. I would have liked to think that some reasonable or at least thoughtful conversation might arise. As an ex teacher in Adult Education, it makes me wonder what happened to their education. Or more properly, it makes me wonder why an Education did not happen for them.

Theirs is a world of Temporary Televisual Torpidity where, on most days, their largest amount of thought seems to be splattered away on ‘Does my; Bum/Hairpiece/Cod Piece/Extension/Pecs/Eyes/Nails/Boobs/Implants/Teeth’ look OK in this pose for the camera, while I pretend not to know it exists.

My Daughter watches the programme so I sincerely hope she isn’t permanently damaged by this inane portrayal of non real ‘real’ people trying to look like they are experiencing real emotions in a non real set up. Whenever she lets me know who she thinks is winning — I silently reply Winning What? This is not real existence, its not even a decent holiday.

So, in terms of ‘winning’ on this programme. Is this the Nadir of competitive attainment because it is simply assessed, on this TV set at least, by just by being better at portraying faithlessness or zephyr like emotions about someone else? Does this glorious state of Winningness only arise from whichever of them looks or sounds better on camera, when theatrically professing quite unlikely views about themselves or about the other victims/contestants they are confined with on this Island?

Still for myself, I know that The Daughter is quite intelligent so I continue to live in hope that she Will Survive.

Whilst I really can’t be doing with people who have ‘Enhanced this and that’ or have Botoxed bits and are now wearing some of someone else’s hair. I do however have a sneaking regard for the astounding level of Buffness shared amongst the Blokes.

AnAnuvverFing — Many thanks to Micky Flanagan for the revival of this pertinent example of concise London phraseology.

What about bloody Covid then? Have we still got a Pandemic or what ?

Initially, in 2019 we went into the On/Off world of quasi consecutive lockdowns and rather surprisingly discovered we had a shared sense of Stoicism. Which the very old readily remembered as being a prevailing social phenomena experienced whilst enduring the daily consequences of the Second World War.

Despite News media disclosures of Largesse; pimping and Favouritism across Big Business and Whitehall, the Government did actually get the vaccination materials and organised National delivery system in place with unexpected competence. Personally age discrimination meant that I got my shots by being included in the Third Tranche. And then everyone else was accommodated in fairly short order in the months after that. Repeat shots and age related boosters have since been provided through similar organisational and delivery skills utilising a large number of Volunteers.

As part of the volunteers bunch myself I was pleased to observe joined up planning and organisation with intentional practical cooperation between several individually revered National Bodies, with only a few tiffs. These Tiffs came mostly from early recruited Volunteers who assumed they had a Prefect like remit to order around all the other later recruited volunteers — this minor difficulty did not exist for long, well not in our bit of Essex anyway !

Of course there were the very vocal Vax Refuseniks and Covid Deniers accompanied by the dim, the dull, the purposefully awkward and the Lame of Brain. There was the “My oppositional views are important” chorus espoused by some folk who thought it was an egalitarian statement. Thankfully this came apart when confronted with the equally forceful reality of ”No they are Not” because in this instance ‘we’ need to work together and if ‘you’ are too important for that then ‘you’ can F**k off and die.

Around that time I was part of a zoom group conversation where it was suggested that anti-vaxxers were not a problem because in classical Darwinian terms they were enabling there own demise. Well yeah maybe — but not really quickly enough for me ! In the end it is a positive comment on our society that these dumb arse views were given any air time or column space at all.

Some months later the Blonde Bombshell finally told us that it was all over and there was no more need for restrictions on movements; visiting; gatherings; shopping; travel; singing; breathing out or Life in general. And, that there was now no more need to acknowledge 2 meters personal space around your Granny or to continue to wear masks in public.

However, although every day life is a now bit looser and we can now safely go into a pub or restaurant rather than have to sit outside and pretend we are not in chilly England. I am also very aware that lots of people still do wear masks when out of the house, especially in shops and other places likely to be crowded or to become so. All the supermarkets I go to still have ‘Don’t breathe on Me’ protective screens at the checkout as do many other outlets. In some places small shop counters have grown magically wider and deeper so that you can only just about see the person behind the counter — but this may just be an Essex business person’s thing about increasing your Anti Theft/Robbery precautions ?

Meanwhile, Our local Pharmacy, Care Homes, Dentists, Hospitals, Chiropodists and GP Surgery’s are just a few of the places that still insist all visitors wear masks. And, if that’s not different enough — then take a look at the seating arrangements on the latest TV Interview programmes and panel shows. They still have ‘Keep your Covid ridden breath away from Me’ safety screens — although they are more difficult to spot now so I guess they are using a better class of Acrylic. In addition, many of the studio sets have grown exponentially and the contestants seating arrangements are clearly demonstrating that the recognisable 2 to 3 metre personal safety Anti Covid spreading zone, still definitely exists in the minds of the Studio Directors.

Today, Professor Van Tam, who has long been the Government face of Covid, has announced he is not now wearing a mask regularly when he is out. And, our National Covid infection rates are rising in response to a couple of new strains. Hey Ho.

AnAnuvverFingToo (this phrase is definitely mine).

You may well have guessed that as a Grumpy Old Man I am not going to be happy when confronted with unreasonableness in people; in social systems; in technology and in life generally. I am grown up enough to both understand and put up with a need for some sort of externally imposed Social Organisation in going safely about my daily life. And obviously I understand the usefulness of regulatory procedures that can help facilitate everyone’s opportunity to get access to things and services we want. I am British for Gods sake so there is nothing new you can tell me about queuing, its in my blood !!

However, my local GP Surgery seems to be moving access to itself into a twilight world of what looks like post pandemic knee jerk reaction ‘reorganisational’ need. The Surgery is open and their services are still being advertised and promoted as per Government guidelines, but when I try to book an appointment over the phone it seems these are now only available for electronic booking through the Openly Unfriendly Online Surgery Portal.

Now lets be clear here, I am a happy user of general IT office software. I can compose; amend and save word documents; add images and photos; create spreadsheets and enter data; use PowerPoint; send emails; texts and cope fairly well with most of the other functions on my Apple iPhone. Although I readily admit to hiring in The Daughter as an enabler whenever I need to find its ‘Switch screen to Landscape’ button. And, she has had to show me how to do that “flick up the screens you have been in to delete them” action — otherwise I would have clagged it all up; had no memory left and no idea why this was happening.

I naively asked how she knew to do this and received the sort of smiling condescendingly threatening look in response, that her future wives/husbands/partners need to be aware of. Because it feels like it could mean — You Dork, if you annoy me like that once more then you/me/and or whatever we are — are finished. I think she gets this Bolshy stuff from me so I can happily sit back and take pride in her upbringing.

I try to ‘register’ as a patient online in order to use this whizzy new service. It does not recognise me. I respond quite reasonably and remind it that it is the same system that regularly sends me electronic email updates on my medications and confirmatory phone texts whenever it wants to. No dice — it still does not accept my existence. I do the ‘other’ IT thing of running away from the website, then re entering and pretending I am a new person. This time it responds with information and instructions. I must present myself at reception with photo ID proof of my very being.

I go to the surgery, I forget my mask, they take pity and give me one but only after offering the similar ‘Dork’ look I got from my Daughter previously. I present my photo ID and they agree I am who I am, so that’s settled then — Aah well no its not. I will be sent further logging in details and these will appear in my email inbox within 24 Hrs. I suggest it would be helpful if they provided me with that info now — after all its on their screen and they could just print it off — Aah no.

They suggest that would be some sort of security breach if they do this. That’s clearly bullshit and I know that they don’t know why they are saying it — its just what they have been (badly) taught — so I give them my version of the haughty condescending look — it does not work so I smile and run away.

Later that day there are 5 new emails on my screen from the Surgery Portal. I have an ‘Admin Log in Permission’ an ‘Online Services Passphrase’ an ‘Online Services User Name’ an ‘Online Services Account ID’ and an ‘Online Services Password’. I open each one and look for instructions — no Dice. I go on the Surgery Portal and look for instructions — no Dice. I risk being ‘click bait’ and hit the ‘Patient log in’ button — it asks for my Account Number. I punch this in, it asks me for my Passphrase, I punch this in.

The Portal freezes — I worry that it was me that did this? I phone reception and they tell me this has happened before and would I like to book an appointment over the phone — I say yes and make the booking whilst trying to give them the you are a Dork Condescending look too. I know this does not work over the phone but it makes me feel better.

Deja Vu — no, but Carl Jung would have recognised this a fine example of Synchronicity.

Previous Blog Update — Jubilee.

News is breaking that our Proto King Charlie was complicit in accepting clandestine bundles of cash from Qatari Sheikhs whilst having a fine time on his many visits to their country. His own WokeSpokePoshPeoplesPrFolk are spinning this as it being culturally normal for an Arab country to make charitable donations in this way by stuffing paper bags with cash and then handing them over in private. So it was all OK because its for a Royal Charity anyway.

No It Isn’t OK just because its being passed off as for ‘Charidee’ — how Patronisingly Victorian can you get ? What Pompous Planet are they on ? Its ‘Bloody Dodgy Behaviour’ in any culture, its like something from the Kray Twins era, its Del Boy gone seriously bad. It smacks of money laundering — now get yer Posh Peoples PR chops spinning around that !

This makes Charlie as stoopid as his feckless Brother — who would a thought it?

The last person who passed bundles of money in this way Geoffrey Archer — and look where that got him. Oh yeah, he got a Knighthood !

So HooDaFekCares?

Be Well.



Ray Massey

Intelligent, sensitive, humorous writer — new to this stuff. Offering life comments and observations from a Grumpy Old Man.