Saturday, December 30, 2006

Around Midnight...

First of four days off and I am in fine fettle. Great party last night with flowing red wine and lots of cheese...A Big Thank You to our hosts who won't deign to read this rubbish but the thought is there.
The damp muddy metalled road of 2006 is nearly at an end and the crossroads of 2007 waits expectantly. Will Bush choose the path of peace? Will Blair choose that lonely path to the forest clearing, an army revolver in his right hand and a half drunk glass of brandy in the other? Will 'reality' TV hit the road to oblivion?
I think we all know the answer...'Will they fuck!'
As for my personal path, a scalectrix which goes around in circles...head arse own and up are the salient words in this phrase. I am not making any public announcements regarding resolutions because I can then suffer the failures as well as any successes privately where resolutions are concerned. I shall be at a party when the midnight hour strikes and I'll have a glass of beer in hand. I'll remember previous New Years and I'll hope this one is better.














TTFN.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Just a quickie as I am showering, grabbing a bite to eat and off to do battle at ye olde 'New Year Quiz', we aim to lose in style.



















Artificial insemination Indian style carried its own risks.

TTFN.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Retro.








Happy Christmas!

How retro can one get....I received a record player for the vinyl albums and singles which have sat in a box for the past 15 years. I am delighted! Yazoo (Upstairs At Eric's) is currently playing and although the sound quality is not the best, I am indeed a happy bunny. No1 son is fascinated having never played vinyl discs before and I have had to explain how the discs are made and the sound comes out of the groove. I've had all sorts of singles playing, from 60's Bluebeat through 70's disco and electropop, plus some dreadful stuff (Chas 'n' Dave anyone?) which I found mouldering away amongst the goodies. Even an old 'Springfields' single from 1961.
Lots of old Bowie albums from the seventies; Split Enz; Cocteau Twins; Joe Jackson; Siouxie and the Banshees...I feel like a teenager again even if I do look like an old bugger.





What d'ya mean she's intense?













More red wine and a rosy hued trip down memory lane.
TTFN.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Canine retail..














I decided to walk the dog and shop for milk at Sainsbury's. The last time I tried the trick of 'shopping with my guide (seeing) dog' I was roundly told off and ejected from the store. My mistake was to put the shades on the dog. Shopping and walking the mutt do not go together. Tying her up outside the store involves a collar and body harness plus enough chains to excite a metalhead. She has got escapologists genes and I've had her racing around the supermarket in a high old state of excitement on a couple of occasions. Good game involving lots of hoomans. Tying her up and the yelping, howling and piteous whining begins as I walk away and it continues until my return. I have had to attach a sign to her before now stating she is well and has not been abandoned. I caught one bloke trying to untie her and his excuse was "I thought she'd been dumped". A swift 'fuck off or I'll bite you' soon sent him packing as I'd only been inside two minutes and I had seen him watching me tie her up. She would go off with any bloke, tart that she is.
My return usually involves her bouncing around whilst I struggle to extract her from the various chains and there is flying hair and drool everywhere. I've given up trying to look smart when I'm covered in dog hair.
Pampered...
TTFN.

p.s. Mince pies and a pale fino sherry by the tree tonight!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"Are we there Yet?"














Oops-a-daisy, excuse me but I have have a drink or several this afternoon. On an empty stomach as well which is naughty...four pints of Caledonian XPA, more than enough and now I am a happy chappy. All the shopping, wrapping , etc...completed and time to chill.
Orf to lie down.
TTFN.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Carparked...


















Xmas shopping done...I've never been in a Xmas traffic jam before, especially when we were still in the car park. Certain 'ahem', manouevres were engaged in so as to facilitate an early return home and avoid 30 minutes sitting at a roundabout. Thirty Hail Mary's for that then...Tomorrow I have a couple of items to buy for Mrs.C but I can do that at a leisurely pace. I can also pop into the pub for a wee libation as I have absolutely no intention of driving anywhere over the weekend. Then a few Xmas e-cards to friends and family...it'll save the forests man. OK, I forgot to post the cards abroad....again.
TTFN.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Nearly there...

After yesterdays 'I can see the soles of your shoes' post, back to a more cheerful disposition today. It is after all the shortest day and the days will now get longer.






"I tells ya, I yam Father Christmas".











A good lunch out today with some of my work colleagues with much laughter and a great craic. Work has 'eased off' a little as we prepare for the Christmas demand, although we are hoping peace, good will and common sense are the order of the day/week/month. Mrs.C and I plan to complete our Christmas shopping tomorrow.


















Where can we hire an armoured trolley...it'll be needed.
TTFN.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Squeeze my lemon...












As an antidote to the gray fog currently sitting on Lincolnshire I offer something bright with scents redolent of summer and sunshine.
The fog however matches my current mood. I am unable to take up the OU course unless I pay money upfront and there has been a spate of 'incidents' at work (covers the legal niceties I think).
The former is a result of financial difficulties several years ago although I repaid the money I owed except for a forgotten amount of £13.00. After three house moves including a brief spell of homelessness in the space of four months, the small amount outstanding didn't come to my attention for a year. I paid it after I had enquired about courses two years ago but I am now apparently ineligible for the instalments method of paying.I'll try to plead my case again tomorrow.
The latter, well it is a better than evens chance that occasionally we will have patients kill themselves or meet with suspicious deaths. It still hits one when it happens and gives rise to some soul searching and a sense of failure. That I guess is inevitable given the nature of those drawn to nursing and the impossible demands of management/government that every aspect of the mental health of patients can be managed in tidy little fragrant boxes which are all correctly ticked proving that targets have been met. Sadly, having the ability to manage the fruit stall in Tesco's does not qualify as the best preparation to manage health professionals dealing with the darker aspects of life (madness,bodily fluids,etc...) let alone the anger, pain, despair or general untidiness of humanity. But they can hide within and take comfort from their bean counting and tick boxes...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Beam me up Scotty...

I've discovered this week that Mrs.C is a Trekkie.Over the past two weeks she has booked the Sci-Fi channel for the original Star Trek series.
"To boldly go where no one has gone before".
She genuinely enjoys the shows and I thought I was the Sci-Fi buff. No1 described the show as 'sad and lame...well dodgy special effects'. Tch...youth of today are spoiled with special effects. This was almost cutting edge in the sixties.













I'm hoping my degree in Klingon will get me a job at the Dept. of Transport...well, how else do you explain their policies. Although Nu Labours adoption of Ferengi social and economic policies is going a bit too far.
TTFN.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Are you game?

A lazy day with only a limited walk for the dog...my left knee is killing me. I've had to ask for police protection but I just know that one night when my guard is down, wham! It'll go for my throat and goodnight Vienna. So a quiet day in with plenty of tea, toast, music and a good book to read. A book that combines the dry dusty tomes of historical research with the dry dusty fields of actuality.





"We beat the might of the Roman Legions".
(Oops! Wrong Goths).











Mrs.C and I did go out for lunch and as I walked past 'Binns' I was drawn inexorably to the window display. Five minutes later after dealing with the delightful Sara (Management Trainee Programme on her badge after I misread it as MP) I was again outside the shop clutching it in my sweaty hands...Yes, I found a cribbage set. Mrs.C has spent ages looking for one and I thought I'll have to try the net. During the halcyon years of my teens whilst I studiously attended to my education we were encouraged to play sports, act and develop as all round human beings (difficult to achieve in an all boys school). But we also developed a passion for bridge and cribbage. Having a near enough addiction to backgammon, albeit on the internet, I occasionally play internet cribbage. With the board I can now play at my local; beer and boardgames.Wonderful! I'd better get some practice in and No.1 has developed a recent passion for card games so I'll teach him and get the practice in.
I'll have to go...someone at the door.
TTFN.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Tap tap tap














I noticed on my walk today the lack of litter, possibly as a result of the wind. The dock however is now the modern equivalent of an elephant's graveyard. There must be a dozen shopping trolleys which lemming like threw themselves to a watery grave. It can't possibly be the alternative explanation...fuckwits with too much time on their useless hands who threw them in. That's too mundane an explanation and I shall write to our esteemed MP Austin Allegro asking for my appointment as chair of the Committee to Research Alien Phenomena (the disappearance of shopping trolleys, other wheeled vehicles and small dogs).I've watched Torchwood and Dr.Who and I know these things happen because they're shown on the telly...

Last night I had a few libations at the local 'Open Mike' night at the local. The standard of musicianship and presentation was very high, with lots of blues and folky style music played. It's over a year since I last attended one of these as work and/or lack of money have hampered my efforts to attend and there has been a great improvement. Watching last night and tapping my feet to the music made me realize that for musicians to 'make it' in the charts, etc...a hell of a lot of luck plays a big part. The right gig at the right time; a demo tape going to the right person at the right time; the right...you get the picture.Hence the reason why good bands or musicians don't always make it or take years to do so whilst shite bands do. Quality of music doesn't always count as the charts over the last fifty years have so often proved.I'll have to try and ensure I have every second Tuesday off each month.
TTFN.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Busily doing nothin'...














A much needed day off today and I have just finished a looong walk with the monster who is sprawled at my feet as I write this. She appears suitably knackered but would do it all again if I got her lead out. A perfect day for a walk, bright, breezy and chilly necessitating brisk walking otherwise the meaning of 'brass monkeys' becomes clear if I stop for more than a minute.I took the camera along for a few shots although the pooch recognises the sound of the camera and races back for each shot...primadonna.
I've now finished the introduction course for psychotherapy and I am on the waiting list to join a Balint group next year. A further 12 - 18 months of that and hopefully I'll be accepted for intermediate training for two years...then the next move is five years advanced training. It could add up to nine/ten years in total to qualify as a psychodynamic psychotherapist and that's only if I am accepted for the training. Only right given that this really is 'messing about' in peoples minds and is likely to be traumatic at times. Phew...I'll take it a step at a time and at least I can concentrate on finishing my OU degree over the next two years.
Enough of the serious stuff...I might win the lottery and buy myself a goat farm in Brittany where I can set up a small brewery. Cheese and real ale, I'd be an honest artisan and be in touch with my celtic roots.














It still doesn't feel like Christmas apart from the annoying TV adverts but I am looking forward to it. I am working Christmas day and fingers crossed that everyone has better things to do than have a crisis. But before that I still have to buy Mrs.C's present and try hard to not forget it which I did one year. To compound my idiocy I gave her £20.00 which I then had to borrow the next day for work! You can guess what happened next...
TTFN.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Swinging...









Mrs.C pointed out yesterday whilst shopping "Del,you are a bag swinger".
No, not gratuitous abuse, but a comment on my tendency to swing bags of shopping as I meander along. She made me carry the fragile contents (pressies) in two carrier bags and she maintained a safe distance as the bruises on her calves from previous shopping trips bear witness to my bag swinging tendencies. How our household ever manages to secure eggs or bottles of wine I just don't know. Is the world divided into bag swingers and non-bag swingers? Could Blair be a bag swinger or is Cherie the offender at no. 10? Does Britney swing her bags whilst out and about commando fashion? My other main offence is my unerring ability to kill crockery. Plates do not last long in the Catto household. Hence Mrs.C's sharp intake of breath as I examined some plates at a local store.









So a first rate ability to kill crockery combined with a wonderful instinctual ability to walk into things makes me wary of entering shops selling china. Would I have this problem in Beijing?
TTFN.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Civic images...

I set out for Sleaford in the dark, assailed by howling winds and the monsoon. I very nearly met my maker overtaking a lorry on the way there.Cue clenched sphincter moment. Just arrived back via Lincoln and bright sunshine! I am sure I saw daffodils on the way home. I now carry suncream and a raincoat in the car with options to borrow a sled and some huskies from a friend.
I looked up images of Sleaford and I was directed to the following images...














and...















I have been to Sleaford several times and it is a lovely little place. But I think someone in the tourist office there needs to post some better images to the net immediately. American tourists looking for that 'quaint Lincolnshire experience' (not involving sheep) will click on images of Sleaford and find...?
The other images involved a tourist guide in Serbo-Croat and pictures of a bus and the railway station. I think someone had a bad childhood there and these images reflect that experience.
I typed in images of Grimsby and pictures of attractive young women, flowers and sweet scents appeared*...although I didn't know who Roger Grimsby was (I do now). I daren't tell you what I found when I typed in Scunthorpe!
TTFN.

*You'll go and check now, won't you!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Feathered friends...














Today we made a teepee, wore feathers in our hair and we created the tree of life. Yes, we had our team building day almost two years to the day since we first started.













All in all it was a fun day where some serious team issues were partly addressed and we ate a damn fine lunch. First proper thankyou for all our hard work I have had in the NHS in several years, unless you count free pens and mousemats from the drug companies as well as the backache which is obligatory for all nurses long in the tooth. I say that serious issues were partly addressed because our main problem is leaving for another job in the new year...cue warm glow of satisfaction.Hence the main problem will be resolved.
Apart from the enjoyable team building, and before you Daily Maul readers whinge,I worked very late last night and was back at work for 07.30 prior to the fun and games, I have had to pinch myself today. Eighteen days to Chrimbo and it was like a mild spring day. My mother was out mowing her lawn this morning! Where is the frost? Why the snow no show? Is it global warming or part of the natural cycle of change?
I blame the lack of belief in Father Christmas and this is the punishment for that lack of belief. I'll be having Christmas dinner on Mablethorpe beach at this rate of change, emulating the Aussies with a barbie on the beach. So if we all believe we might well have a white Christmas.So I'll be putting out the traditional mince pie and the glass of port I know Santa enjoys so well. There's always crumbs and an empty glass each Christmas morning.
TTFN.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Normal...



Normal service resumed!










I can post photos as well as my inane burblings.To be honest, I have been too busy to blog. What with Christmas shopping, work, broken washing machines and more Christmasy things to attend to, I've not bothered.

We discussed the meaning of Christmas at work yesterday following an agreement to not give each other cards. We are giving sweets and biscuits instead but I've promised to buy some fruit in. I suggested that this being the darkest time of year, cold, invariably wet and miserable, the celebration was about life, light, warmth and family and friends. So whether one is a signed up Christian, agnostic, pagan or whatever, it is a celebration. So...lights please, fire for warmth and get that bird spitroasted...failing that, put the turkey in the oven. I do like the 'Dickensian' image of Christmas, with brightly lit windows and hot chestnuts for sale at braziers in snow covered streets. Without the children up chimneys and the poverty of course, but the imagery is quite powerful. Our tree is up and a few decorations are around the living room with presents already under the tree. The turkey has lurked in the freezer for the past seven or so weeks and food orders placed a few weeks ago. Chocolate advent calenders are open at the fifth day. Five gold rings today or in the popular parlance...'Five red vindaloo rings..'. I admit I made that one up, but you can just see Keith Allen singing a Christmas version of 'Vindaloo' and that line could be in it. However, the twelve days should only begin twelve days before Christmas day ...13th December I think. Six geese with bird flu next...

I'm off to work.

TTFN.

Friday, December 01, 2006

PC woes...





Is it safe to blog now?











Three cheers for the PC doctor who performed his magic following No1 opening the PC version of anthrax. Result = "Fuck...where's it all gorn?" Despite rebooting and air/sea rescue, a surprisingly blank screen. £15.00 in his skyrocket and incantations muttered plus a sacrifice to the small god of pc's (www.sacrificeurgoatere.com), it works.
To the cousin of one of No1's friends who sent the virus...can you feel that pin in your genitalia yet? I'm going to leave the doll on a hot radiator now.


Having no access to the internet for a few days made me realise....I can't live without it. For blogging, news, talking to friends, studies and generally scratching around, I've found it was like the absence of an old friend. Even just keeping an eye out for interesting things...



TTFN.