Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wonderful. I have a few days off to relax as well as plans to tackle the mess that is the garden. I have also escaped the mess that passes for work. Too few experienced staff and the material has begun to unravel. Ho hum...It is also No.1 son's 16th birthday. He spends more time with his friends which is how it should be for teenagers. Not stuck with the crumbly parents. He is also busy applying for a variety of apprenticeships and summer jobs.
I don't envy him: at sixteen I could leave one job and find a new one the same day. I worked the summer of '77 selling fruit & veg from a stall near St. Paul's cathedral. Cue cockney patter and smart remarks for the tourists. Nowadays there are few opportunities for sixteen year olds but, with the gradual deterioration in official markets, perhaps some innovative thinking may create opportunities as society rediscovers itself. Highway man, arsonist for hire, any bankers you want bumped off...Seriously, perhaps localism is the way forward with grow your own veg for sale, local work projects. Especially as the world moves towards peak oil (or has it peaked already?) and the need for alternative transport and energy. Anyhow, here's a video using imagery culled from the between the wars during an earlier depression. Enjoy...


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Found this whilst trawling for music...


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Portfolio completed after minor but important rewrite and posted orf to the university. Thankfully done and dusted because towards the end it had become a chore. I posted it via recorded much mail does the post office lose a year?

Waiting with my ticket in the PO and surreptitiously watching the other must be giro day. I played spot the alky / druggie / sponger but sadly there were also people who looked like genuine hard luck cases. It's some of the elderly whom I feel sorry for, having to drag themselves up to the main PO because this shower of clowns and criminals closed down the local branches. The local branches may have lost money but I always believed there was a social contract between the public who voted and the government? Shows how wrong I can be. What price the social fabric in 21st century Britain?

Having put up a picture of the delightful Julia Sawalha as Dorcas here is another picture of two of my favourite characters. The understated acting which is a delight to watch and knocks spots off many of the Hollywooden actors.

Yes, I am a fan and I know it is a sanitised version of a bygone age that never really was. It beats 90% of the televisual shite that is broadcast. With the above and Time Team I prefer to be plonked in front of the box on a Sunday with a glass of excellent ale and be transported away from the everyday world. Almost as enjoyable as a good book and yes, I'll be looking out for the books by Flora Thompson upon which the series is based.
If they need a new character here is my suggestion for the local grave digger...


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

How times have changed.
As I got stuck in to my portfolio today I realised that the fresh faced youngster* who qualified as a nurse back in the days of yore had moved on apace. The course I am gainfully employed in comes more from a social work perspective but it also strikes at the heart of mental health work today. That is, capacity, informed consent to treatment, care and support, and all of the legal paraphernalia associated with it. It's odd though how to get on in this business called show mental health nursing I have to study at ever higher levels and I am further removed from the patient. Happily, the training will enable me to be chucked back in the deep end for lots of assessments and hungry lawyers to chew over. Cue song....

I will also be out of my comfort zone and dealing with dementia, severe learning disabilities and 'not quite suitable for any neat ticky box' cases from April for the following six months. If I think about all of the training and experience I have had over the past twenty plus years:not just the straight forward post grad. nursing courses, but also psychotherapy, addictions, social perspectives, solution focused brief therapy, CBT, counselling, etc...I do wonder where the nurse is and I realise it's at the centre of all of this. Strange to think I applied for training back in '85 because I couldn't find anything else that suited me and I still enjoy the job.
Sadly that is one thing the tosspot politicians just do not get. Committment to the job and a desire to behave and work in a professional manner whilst ensuring the patient is truly helped to get on with their life. Placing ever more hoops to jump through and an emphasis upon money whilst they featherbed their comfortable gold plated lives. No wonder secondhand car salesmen get more respect. But away from the gutter and back to nursing. Happily one of my former students has got her first job after struggling to find work since last autumn. It is only over the past 18 months that I have known newly qualified nurses really struggle to find jobs. There will be shortage of nurses within a few years because the baby boomers are all retiring. So nurses with thirty plus years experience will be heading for the sun and a well earned retirement. There are a lot of complaints about public service pensions: well when we worked for peanuts wiping arses, cleaning up abandoned elderly relatives including those who fought through the original depression and two world wars. When we worked nights struggling with psychotic young men whom the drug dealers had supplied with amphetamines and who were averse to a quiet cup of cocoa and a chat. When we sat in A&E with the young girl who had taken 50 paracetamol and cut her face to ribbons....Quid pro quo: we chose to do the shit jobs for poor wages and often in difficult conditions but the silver lining was a good pension. I feel sorry for the young 'uns (and not so young) who choose to go into nursing now. But if no decent pension, how much is a staff nurse worth? How much is a physio, doctor, OT, radiographer worth. You can lose the nuts to a car but if you lose someone's nuts in theatre? I'll stop now and climb off my soap box.

*Believe that and you'll believe Elvis is still alive and kicking.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I'm on call tonight and given the hectic day we have had I guess I'll be up and drinking this tonight alongside the uniformed night workers.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sadly I did no walking yesterday despite my intention to do so. Someone snuck in and kicked me in the soft dangly bits whilst I was sleeping and left me in pain with added nausea goodness. I am having to hobble about like yer man below...

Rest, painkillers and cups of tea are the order of the day. I also need to work on my portfolio but concentration is sadly lacking. I'd say 'Bollocks!' but that's the problem.
Have you seen what's on daytime TV? Haven't pensioners and the unemployed suffered enough without inflicting these third rate numpties upon them.

On the blogging front I have removed several blogs from my favourites. I like reading political blogs and although my politics tends to be slightly left of centre (think pink tinge with matching accessories), some of the funniest blogs are the right leaning commentators. However, the lunatic right wing appears to have escaped from maximum security and infected many, leading to foaming at the mouth, biting ankles and howling at the moon. They also are quite depressingly unimaginative and serve up boring drivel. Their usual line is it's the fault of immigrants/Scottish politicos/ the EU/ unrealistic CSI plots/ the state/ brown people/ the BBC/ ad nauseum...Sadly, many left leaning blogs are so precious and humourless in their desire to prove their anti-everythingist credentials that they have moved beyond parody. I'll continue to read the Grauniad Cif and one or two sensible political blogs (i.e. in touch with the real world) but it's back to the funnies for me.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

I am mostly out walking today....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I feel unclean, therefore to make up for Cliffs dittie here are a couple of excellent vids to cleanse the aural palette. Enjoy...

I was a big Siouxsie & the Banshees fan and The Jam...

Hooray! The exam is done and thoroughly dusted with a whopping score of 100%. We did argue about 'dumbing down' as it was extremely easy but, given the amount of work put into passing the exam, as well as the potential loss of an excellent job opportunity I would have been surprised if I had failed. I now have to write up a case study and reflective piece for my portfolio over the next two weeks to qualify. Happily I can plan my next two weeks and cobble together something that satisfies everyone.

I travelled to Lincoln today in bright sunshine with the first thoughts of spring a real possibility. Travelling home this afternoon in a snowstorm brought home the reality that it is still winter and not yet time to cast a clout. I may have to use alternate transport this weekend...


Sunday, February 08, 2009

A combination of....


resulted in an early

The Maulden's Black Adder at 5.3 % is not a session beer so after a couple we moved on to Pedigree as we watched England beat Italy. However, I don't think Wales have too much to worry about. Discovering Wetherspoon's has Sky sports TV and is showing the rugby, plus cheap and well kept real ale. The Black Adder was £1.79 and the Pedigree £1.59 a pint. If you're really strapped which I might well be next Saturday there is Greene King IPA at 99p a pint. I may have found my new local after all...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Whilst aht & abaht I bumped into an old mucker yesterday. A bit of a surprise because following his well deserved retirement last year I thought he was sunning himself somewhere in the Med. He still plans to do that but he has to get his boat ready having recently sailed it up from the south coast. I remember him chatting at times about his retirement plans to sail around various warmer climes, drink the grape and play music. So discussing it yesterday left me somewhat envious as he is following his dream and making it a reality. Below is a picture of his boat Zigzu.

Mrs.C wasn't too interested but she spotted the gleam in my eye and the thoughtful air I'd acquired during a lunchtime pint of Batemans Dark Mild at the local 'Spoons. I now know according to Mrs.C that boats go into the 'no box' along with camper vans and cottages in Brittany (France but with Celtic roots!) and Galway. No romance in her soul....translates as too sensible to fall for my ridiculous ideas. But the above is proof that people do follow their dreams through to fruition and there is hope for us all.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Well I never!
Looking through some facebook groups and I came across a photograph of a group receiving a talk whilst standing near the Sea of Galilee. The reader was very familiar. I didn't expect to find a photo of myself from 25 years ago.

What struck me is how young everyone looks and how I now feel very old. I am going to lie down in a darkened room.

n.b. Radio 2 Listen Again: Elbow gig - fantastic.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I popped along to see my GP today.I possibly have a femoral hernia although further tests are being requested.Not quite the full blown assimilation within the Borg collective but surgery is one option. I have plumped for the non-surgical approach for now of diet, rest and avoid weight lifting competitions. I have been prescribed a 'treatment' at Slimming World and I have twelve sessions courtesy of the NHS to start me off. The thought of surgery and avoiding it is certainly a big incentive. I'll attend my first session next week. Oddly enough it is not surgery itself that frightens me, although the thought is certainly extremely scary. It is being anaesthetised and being under the control of others. I might wake up and discover my brain transplanted into a dog or a Simon Cowell clone. Having said that, tonight I will have a couple of beers as I plan my healthy living shopping list. How many calories in beef dripping? That's a natural product, isn't it?
On the winter weather front, I left the surgery and immediately I was presented with a dilemma. An older woman had slipped over on the ice and I offered her friend help to get her up. Only I couldn't as the possibility of surgery would become a strong probability if I helped to lift her up. Happily I only had to guide and reassure her as she insisted on getting herself up. Slippery ice and the elderly do not usually make for happy endings.
The other irony is the Xmas exercise bike which I bought so as to get fit and I am now unable to use it. I can still walk the dog (slowly!) although I have comments regarding the whereabouts of my horse. Back to the soft cushions and rest.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Some snow but of a 'polystyrene' quality as reported by No.1 daughter LE.

Pooch happy but not enough snow for snowballs.
However, I checked on the MSN weather report and over the next couple of nights we are looking at -8 well as more snow. Mrs.C has hunted out her snowboots and skis to get her to work at some ungodly hour each morning.

Just checking you are paying attention.
A week off and I'm on my hols!

That's my remaining street cred destroyed for all time.

Yes, I have a full week of sunshine, beaches, pina coladas and looking at the sun kissed thighs of sunbathing nude Scandinavian women here on Costa Del Grimsby. I am quite pleased I don't have to travel anywhere in this weather. Mrs C. spoke with two friends who were heading off to Scarborough this morning for a weeks holiday. I hope they've packed huskies and sleds on the coach because they may well need them. Why have I chosen this week off I hear you ask? I need to use my leave up and I have a shed load of studying to do. Which is why I am doing this instead of studying.

Bad weather dahn sarf!

Back to the studies....