Wednesday, June 29, 2016

                           Is it safe to come out yet?

"Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown" is the mantra for our political leaders in the UK following the referendum result and the resignation of Cameron. Corbyn is also having a wee problem in the PLP. We remain part of the EU until somebody with a degree of responsibility invokes Article 50 and the haggling begins. Meanwhile, a few protests, an increase in reports of racism and social media exploding with rage has ensued. I have to admit, I walked around Lincoln and Grimsby following the result, I heard Polish, Russian and Romanian being spoken but no one batted an eyelid. Everyone got on with their respective business and apart from the bicycling shouty sweary man making a brief appearance which is normal for Grimsby, the day appeared to be no different from any other. The racists, fuckwits and other assorted idiots need to climb back into their box and the media need to research and back up reported incidents. The media also need to tone things down because they are throwing fuel on this fire. As for social media... please do not believe twatter and farcebook are a true reflection of what is happening in the UK today. I have already had one follower accuse leavers of destroying Europe and being imperialist racists. I voted leave for reasons of sovereignty, democracy and accountability but they held me personally to blame for everything going wrong. I guess we now need to get on with the job in hand but only once the politicians get their act together and provide leadership so as to invoke article 50 and the process can begin. C'est la vie! ( "It's like goldy and bronzy but made of iron"). 


Friday, June 17, 2016

I saw an article on line which mentioned the above book and I knew I immediately had to buy a copy. It has now arrived and I shall be dipping into it over the next week. Friern Hospital, previously known as Colney Hatch Hospital, was the place where I started my nurse training back in 1985. We half jokingly referred to it as 'The Stone Mother' because it became home to so many people over the 140 years of its existence. When I started there I nursed people on the 'geriatric' wards who had been admitted sixty plus years earlier and had spent their lives there. Reading the old records from pre-world war 1 and the twenties was certainly an eye opener. I recall one patient whom I shall call Q was admitted in 1919. She was a teenager and was admitted for being a petulant and truculent girl with loose morals and her parents had her admitted into hospital. From my recall of the notes, Q had spent time hanging around with soldiers and going to dance halls. At the time of reading the notes I was astonished and thinking of her today, I am again filled with immense sadness and anger that a young girl was robbed of her life because of society values at that time. Q stays in my memory because she was in her eighties, full of life and mischief and she delighted in the company of young students, particularly the men. The above link to Barbara Taylor interests me because we may have crossed paths although I did not work on ward 16 but my friends did. Ward 16 had a bad reputation as a tough and often violent ward to work on. I spent my last year of training based at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead but I was often back at Friern for class work, occasional shifts on other wards and to use the cheap staff club / bar.

 The second link is something that matters to me and one I bang on about at work. The lack of social and community support for people with severe and enduring mental illness, the cuts to services and reliance upon cheap, 'quick fix' therapies plus the increasing desire to pathologise normal human emotional responses and behaviours as mental illness. Where I currently work interesting things are afoot to once again reconfigure service provision to provide a better quality service but my gut feeling is that this is driven by a lack of  money and resources. I shall wait and see.

In other related news, the Open University is offering a post graduate course that has got me excited. I have made enquiries about accessing the course and I am giving thought to financing the three years to study for the MSc. I am particularly interested in anxiety, psychosis and recovery so this provides a vehicle for studying, doing some research and adds further letters to scrabble after my name! It impresses employers and other agencies when bunged on one's CV. I have come to accept that I will be working part-time for the next several years to put food on the table, pay for courses and because it is in my DNA. I'll be 56 this year and I still feel young and a need to be in employment plus keeping my brain actively employed.  I shall, in the meantime, await the OU's response to my query. Otherwise, no gardening as the incessant rains have turned it into a quagmire and I am avoiding social and mainstream media again after the murder of the MP and the various fuck nuggets using her death as capital for their respective beliefs. Society is changing and in ways we don't yet understand or expect, so intelligent people calling others names, particularly workers or the less educated, is not the way to garner votes or support. Meanwhile, I'm off to dig my bunker and stockpile for the apocalypse predicted following the referendum. They've not mentioned asteroids or zombies yet but we do still have a week to go!


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Yay! I've been to the dentist... but I return there in two weeks time!
Looking for a suitable picture and the various industrial tools might be off putting for the occasional visitor who wandered in here by mistake. I can still smell burning tooth after the experience which is a tad disconcerting. Lukewarm coffee and some soothing music required...

Sunday, June 12, 2016

I have finally bitten the bullet and traded in the old Suzuki for a younger model. After encountering the roadworks at the Barnetby roundabout just off the A180 during the hottest day of the year thus far with a traffic lights failure and enjoying the essence de diesel fumes I decided I needed a better car, a modern car. One that didn't rattle and I could hear the radio through fully functioning speakers. One that also had air conditioning, always a plus for hot days sat in traffic admiring the HGV's.  I spent the next two days researching on-line and yesterday I popped into the local motor emporium to look at one particular motor that caught my eye. One test drive, much haggling and I left with a new motor and part-exchanged the old girl. The Suzuki had given sterling service for the past eight years but at the venerable age of twelve she was gradually falling to pieces, like an aged relative at the christening who is too fond of the gin and apt to sing rude songs which expands the vocabulary of the younger relatives.
I opted for a seven year old Mazda 3 Sport in a sensible black apparel with a 2 litre engine and a wonderful sound system. Even No.1 was impressed calling me the oldest boy racer in town. It ticks the boxes for me: comfy seats, air conditioning, good sound system and able to carry me in reasonable comfort particularly for some of the longer journeys I have planned over the next couple of years as well as being reasonable around town for work. Mrs C likes it although she loved the ease of access in the Suzuki and admitted to missing the old car. One concern is having to transport Muttley anywhere (Vet!) but I can cover the back seats / floor and she can step straight in. It was fascinating negotiating with salesmen but I eventually haggled the price down and got a free one years warranty plus a trade-in on the old car. When we have a dry day and possibly some sunshine I will post some photos.
With the dent in my savings I will probably have to increase my work to three days a week for the next few months but I don't mind that. It's quite nice to go in, do my job and finish for the day without getting involved in the politics or managerial shenanigans. Time to test out fitting an excitable dog into the car.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

Deep joy... I have injured my arm and apparently it is again Golfer's elbow.

I injured my right arm several years ago at work when I pushed a box to one side and felt something snap in my forearm. It has niggled me on and off since then but usually rest, ice packs and ibuprofen help. Unfortunately I let the pooch jump out of the car at the vets yesterday and when her legs gave way I realised she can no longer get in and out unaided. Hence I had to lift her into the car and at 30 kilos she is a hefty beast which is when I felt the pain in my arm, just inside my elbow and reaching down to my wrist. Cue ice pack, ibuprofen and I am having to rest it. I don't play golf but repetitive activities such as using the computer may now be the culprit. Hopefully this is merely a temporary handicap but I can't safely drive or use the computer which is a bugger when it comes to work. The reason for the deep joy is that alongside this injury my old 'friend' plantar fasciitis has also returned in my left heel. It appears I am gradually falling apart as I get older and my recent return to walking has exacerbated this.  I don't get paid if I am off sick so hopefully a few days rest will alleviate it and I can get back to the part-time grindstone.

It does reinforce the need for both the mutt and I to lose weight! Her steroids have been reduced and she is a happier mutt all round albeit going deaf and sleeping more. Poor old thing. Otherwise my world has taken on a sinister aspect. I do so love my puns... The vets waiting room was full of elderly dogs, half of them being carried and expressing their unhappiness at being there although they were all small dogs. I could always consider this...

Perhaps not! Although I am trawling through ebay for a suitable dog ramp into the car but I think she can walk into the car and settle in the passenger seat well for her next veterinary visit. As using the computer isn't helping my arm and my left handed typing is extremely slow I shall finish this entry.


Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Pinch, punch, first of the month and no returns!

It is June the first and flaming it ain't. Howling winds, rain and cold. I have returned from the dentist and had to wrap up in a winter coat. Warble gloaming is not adhering to the computer models the climate experts have been producing in their ivory towers. The various plants I have lovingly set out in the garden have been flattened by winds and a variety of aerial objects or have given up the ghost for lack of sunlight. As for the dentist, having lost two fillings and discovering a bridge was loose I had little choice but to book myself in. I must remember to avoid appointments during school holidays because the precocious little madam who decided to clamber over me and ignore her ineffectual mother is not something I wish to repeat. The room was full of noisy ankle biters... it was like that scene from Father Ted with Father Jack encountering the "Hairy Japanese Bastards". Normally I don't mind kids but not in the dentist's waiting room when the anxiety meter is ratcheting upwards. Happily, today was a check up and the real work begins in two weeks time. I will be venturing out again later and taking the mutt to the vet so more waiting room drama with the possibility of encountering proper 'hairy Japanese bastards'!