Thursday, January 29, 2009

Whilst looking for suitable pictures to adorn my bad luck blog I came across this. Apologies to whomever I acquired it from because I can't remember. You're in my prayers whoever you are.

The course is progressing...I'm not sure in which direction but progress is being made. I am sure I'll morph into a social worker following this course and the secondment. I might then not be allowed to laugh at the unfortunates such as yer man above. Given that our pub has gone to the dark side and real ale is currently absent (a 'to let' side adorns it so fingers crossed), I popped along to Morrison's and bought a few beers in. The Green Hop was hoppy and a delight at 4.5 % abv: brewed by Titanic of Stoke-on-Trent. The second from which I am sipping now is an old Hop Back 'Summer Lightning'. What can I say: Gorgeous, wonderful, bitter and refreshing. Sluuuurp....
All this beer reminds me that I intend to homebrew again, having bumped into Wayne the other day and swapped ideas about brewing to beat the recession. I think I'll try a hoppy IPA style this time around and I will be daring. Real hops added to the wort to achieve the hoppiness I desire. This is part of my slowly evolving plan for when I "eventually retire" (given the recession I will still be working aged seventy!): brewing beer. Over the next few years I can practice at home and learn the craft / science of brewing beer. It's one amongst several ideas that have slowly evolved as I have gradually become disenchanted with the 'modern approaches' to nursing. Even if it does not move to the commercial level I can still enjoy the fruits of my labours. I'm even considering growing my own hops to experiment with, although given I have just bought in a variety of seeds ready for growing herbs, chillies, tomatoes and sweet peppers I may leave the hop growing to another time.

Time for another beer and some more Genesis....Belhaven 'Twisted Thistle IPA' at 5.3 %...greater bitterness than the first two. The bitterness lingers as well. I usually drink Marston's 'Old Empire' but this evening I thought I'd branch out. Difficult given the usual supermarket choices available and the closure of the beer shop in Cleethorpes. I have tried Brewdog's 'Punk IPA' which certainly pushed the boat out in terms of hops & bitterness for me. I gather there is an IPA hoppier than thou competition in the USA going on. Much as I do like IPA's, my preferences are to try a variety of beers, especially milds and ales.
Thankfully I am in college tomorrow because these three beers could leave me feeling a bit thick change there then.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

January 16th...I stated things had gotten off to a good start for 2009 but by saying this I might invite trouble. Yep, you guessed it, the gremlins arrived over the past weekend.

I can't go into too much detail regarding No.1 son except to say it has caused his mother and I lots of anxiety and much discussion with the school. The second problem may* involve me having to see my GP. I have injured my groin (Finbar Saunders moment) and I am currently hobbling about like an eighty year old. The irony is that I'm a nurse and I hate going to see my GP.
I'm a great believer in making your own luck and I can see reasons as to why the above events have happened and could have been avoided. Isn't hindsight a wonderful thing?

* Substitute 'will' for 'may' from Mrs.C's vocabulary.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

It's Burns Night and here I am without a wee dram, a haggis or the skirl of the pipes to my name.

He knew good honest food hence his address to the haggis as well as a sideswipe at those who were quick to ape the English and French. I'll buy a couple of haggis' in on payday. They'll be reduced in price then so another good Scots tradition upheld! Coming from Ulster on my mothers side I am sure the Ulster Scots traditions in diet, etc...crept in. Although I'm sure the only orange order my family held to was at the greengrocers for Spanish navels. As for a wee dram...again I'll have to wait for payday. One particular favourite of mine...

As for the pipes...I prefer Uilleann and Northumbrian pipes.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I mentioned yesterday my love of radio. Local BBC stations, BBC radios 2, 3, 4 and 7; internet folk radio;occasionally Compass FM. It tends to be the BBC stations because of inane advertising on the commercial stations. Music of all sorts:folk, jazz, rock, pop and classical. Talk shows and comedy plus football on radio 5 when sky has the viewing rights. I like radio because there is an expectation that the show provides the bare bones and I add the muscle, fat, nerves, blood vessels, etc via my imagination. If I am listening to Sherlock Holmes I imagine the characters, the gaslights, fog and the whole panoply of late Victorian london. The hound of the Baskervilles is a genuinely terrifying beast, all teeth and slather, not a Great Dane with luminous stage paint applied to it's chops. Comedy on the radio often expects you to 'fill in the gaps', some of which add to the visual humour supplied by the imagination. For me, radio engages me whilst TV can be viewed half heartedly. It entertains, educates, charms, confounds and angers me in turn.
I have favourites, some of which you are aware of from my frequent 'adverts'. Radio plays, history programmes, factual and politics, all attract my attention.

Latest DAB radio.

I have a radio
similar to this.

It is a standing joke amongst my family that every room in the house has a radio. Shower radio in the bathroom, wind up radio in the downstairs toilet, two or three DAB radios plus a couple of spare wind up radios for emergencies. As I write this I am listening to Jo Brand interview Barry Cryer and I will later listen to 'Guards! Guards!' by Sir Pterry Pratchett on BBCi.
Drink of choice: Cans of Hobgoblin.
Nibbles: Earlobes at the teeth of Swedish nymphs...we can all dream.

Friday, January 23, 2009

....and relax.
Eight day stretch with the last two at the university as I train for the new post. Lots of driving and my arse is numb. Plus delightful weather just to spice up the journeys. At work, unfortunately, the floodgates have also opened as the bills, the recession, relationship breakdowns and house repossessions lead to the 'inevitable' for some people. We're only just three weeks into the new year!

I'll not say too much about work or the recession because there are other blogs, far better than mine, which cover those subjects.
It's odd having training from a social work perspective. I don't have to wear the obligatory corduroy suit & sandals, nor do I have to subscribe to the Grauniad...yet. I do listen to Radio 4 but I draw the line at the archers...dreadful tripe. Three days off now and I intend to do as little as possible, although having no money does limit my options this weekend. Some beach walking with the mutt and I'll bring the camera along with me. Maybe I'll scrape up enough for a proper pint in Willy's.

Friday, January 16, 2009

A big hurrah indeed with a vanilla ice and two 99's! No.1 has his laptop up and running again so the PC is available for timewasting educational purposes (Human body 101). The recovery disc for his laptop arrived three days earlier than expected...excellent service.

So normal service can be resumed.
Other good news is that the training for the new job is at Masters level and will count towards a Masters degree. I can also choose my own base so working from a local base to save on travel and fuel costs will be great. After the disappointments of three failed job interviews and having no money to study at the OU, this year has started well and hopefully it will continue in the same vein. Mrs.C may also be back in employment next week thanks to a kind and helpful Cornish Pixie. No.1 got good results for some of his GCSE's....I'll stop now in case the bad luck gremlins step in to screw things up. It's a rollover tomorrow...hmmmm.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Pottering around town with Mrs C. over the past two days and we observed the naughtiness monitors in action. We watched as they took the details of two litter bugs. Given the amount of crap thrown away by people without any consideration for others I had little sympathy for the two miscreants. But it did start up a discussion as to whether the wardens would allow you to pick up the litter and bin it with a warning to behave in the future; Or whether the fine would be an immediate one. The latter produces more revenue for the council or am I just being too cynical?
I have even less sympathy for the twats who allow their dogs to crap on the pavements.
I have spent my two days off dog walking and doing sweet fanny adams. No study deadlines, no preparation for job interviews, no whingeing and having to deal with other peoples problems. Navel contemplation and trying to spot low flying UFO's at risk of hitting wind turbines. Wonderful. Back to the daily grind tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I cannot resist....enjoy.

I heard this today and I just had to download it here...a song from my past and I just loved her voice and the soundscapes the Cocteau Twins painted.

Today I said goodbye to a colleague at work, one whom I have worked with thro' thick, thin and shit/fan scenarios over the past four years. She left stating 'musical differences' with other members of the team and although we will keep in touch I miss her. It does not get easier to say goodbye as you get older.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Success! I got the job: six months full time secondment and a promotion. In old fashioned terms I will be a 'matron'. It was a bit of a surprise because I was expecting a part time role. So trebles all round as they say in Private money so it'll be tea instead. As for the job, it will involve assessments and legal stuff, so a change of environment and clinical role. Only six months but great experience, looks good on the CV and it will possibly open some doors to other possibilities. I wasn't even aware of the job until Tuesday when my boss dropped it in my lap and suggested this might be for me. Happily he was spot on so that's a beer I owe him.
That tea's got my name on it so TTFN.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A new experience this evening....I attended a fashion show. Hot lights, phat phunky music and happenin' people. Yep! My son's school had a prom fashion show and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I had considered various ways to avoid staying for the show but No.1 wanted me to stay and I surprised myself. I enjoyed it and left with a smile on my face. A room full of teenagers and frocks wasn't so bad after all. Maybe there is hope for a crusty old curmudgeon like me after all.
The past weeks absence has been down to work and lots of on-calls. Hence I feel extremely tired and lacking enthusiasm for much beyond trash TV and sleeping. I also have an interview tomorrow for a secondment which, if I am successful I shall blog about. But I'm shagged out and off to bed.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

So that's the new year...

Happy New Year!
I celebrated it in a middle-aged stylee...I was in bed by 12.30 am after having imbibed of the fruits of the earth (barley & hops)and watched Hootenany. I gave up on that and watched some of Cyrano de Bergerac with one of my few movie heroes Gerard Depardieu playing the lead role. Sadly, the arms of morpheus and the four excellent ales I had drove me to bed. It really is a case of having been there and done that as far as New Years Eve is concerned. From celebrating in Trafalgar Square to brief encounters with enigmatic attractive strangers, generally fuelled by alcohol. Fancy dress parties to working night shifts on acute care wards. I now prefer quiet NYE in because the night is really not that different from any other. It's not cynicism but reality that informs my belief. The best way to spend the night is some good ales, wines and whiskies with a few good friends, music and conversation.
Having said that I hope your wishes come true and the disappointments of the coming year are few and minor ones.