Saturday, October 31, 2009 buses you wait for ages and then two posts come together!

It should have been a longer post but I wanted to get the shopping done which included hair colour and fake blood.I still have to pop out and buy Mrs C. a card & present for her birthday tomorrow. What does she want?...I have no idea. Sadly, it will be cheap and cheerful because she's still unemployed and No.1 son who attends college for two days a week can't find any work. Ho hum, I can't complain because I am still gainfully employed and kept extremely busy at both jobs. The good news is that finally my efforts may be about to pay off and the service manager was singing my praises the other day in connection with another possible secondment. The only downside to it is that it again involves a lot of travelling, another 100 mile round trip commute plus mileage as I perform community visits on top. It is another of these 'fire brigade' jobs where government and NHS policies combine to change services and oops! Where did that great big gaping hole appear with vulnerable clients plummeting through it? Meanwhile, underemployed clueless numpties have been promoted into positions for which they lack experience and commonsense. Amer, moi? Naturellement.* Mainly because I see standards slipping and patients left struggling because of clueless morons who do not comprehend how useless they really are. The job will be several months of plugging the gaps and inevitably dealing with the difficult patients whom other services avoid. The ones I inevitably like which says what a strange fellow I am. Sigh...I am a grumpy old sod tho' and perhaps this is the way of the world as one gets older. Anyhow, the post is not available until next year so I can concentrate on the here and now.
I am no nearer to deciding what present I should buy Mrs.C and perhaps I just need to take a stroll around the town centre. Joy unbounded...crowds and I have no idea what I am looking for. A recipe for disaster.

*Yes I know it should be 'amer je?', but we are talking Franglais here.

Happy Samhain!

We'll be mixing with the witches, vampires, ghosts and ghoulies tonight. Yep, fancy dress at the Tap. Who knows, as we are celebrating perhaps the odd spirit might drop in to sample the warmth and conviviality of the evening as the veil twixt this world and the next is at its thinnest. As long as they get a round in...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

One of my favourite songs and after the acoustic night at the Tap I feel in the mood for more beer and music. This is a man who has lived life to the full and squeezed it 'til there was no more juice left...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Courtesy of Dave Clemo's Blog I copied and pasted this article by Dr Taj Hargey (April 2009)...

This week I not only won a libel case in the High Court but a victory against religious fanaticism within Britain's Muslim community. Muslim Weekly, a conservative newspaper, had falsely accused me of belonging to a heterodox sect and therefore being a heretic. I was apparently less of a Muslim than the readers of that paper.

As the head of a progressive Muslim organisation in Britain that is dedicated to an enlightened, egalitarian and erudite Islam, I was victimised, like other forward-looking Muslims, by a campaign of classic McCarthyism. Just as Senator Joseph McCarthy ruined the lives of countless Americans during the 1950s when he and his committee smeared innocent people as communists, the Muslim hierarchy in Britain have used witchhunts to maintain their unquestioned theological power. Any Muslim freethinker is automatically branded as heretical or un-Islamic and excommunicated from the community - and debate is shut down.

I hope that my public vindication in the courts will embolden more progressives, dissenters and particularly thinking women to put their heads above the parapet and challenge the fundamentalist mullahs. Only then can we loosen the deadly grip of the self-appointed religious fraternity on what it is to be a Muslim in Britain.

Unfortunately, Islam in Britain has been taken over by the followers of a warped manifestation of the faith. The Muslim Council of Britain, the main Muslim newspapers and many of the big mosques are dominated by men who subscribe to a virulent and backward-looking brand of Islam that has been exported from the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

We need a reformation that saves Islam from foreign-inspired zealots. That reformation is already under way, with Muslims going back to the pristine teaching of the transcendent Koran, not taking on trust the hadith (a compilation of sayings of the Prophet Muhammad recorded some 250 years after his death by non-Arabs) or the corpus of medieval man-made Sharia (religious law). But because this reformation is still in its infancy, the reactionary clergy and its supporters is doing everything to strangle it.

Most if not all the thorny problems of faith that British Muslims face today - whether it is apostasy, blasphemy, jihad, women's oppression, homosexuality, religious intolerance or the democratic deficit in and outside the community - can be traced either to fabricated hadith or the masculine-biased Sharia.

Although the Koran repeatedly declares that God's revelation is conclusive and sufficient guidance for Muslims and that there is no need for any supplementary legal authority in Islam, the traditional Muslim clergy defies this explicit divine assurance. They falsely convince their flock that they cannot be true believers without the hadith. They falsely assert that this source of Islam is at the heart of being a real Muslim. Most Muslims have been told that the hadith are the sacred authentic words of the Prophet, but the plethora of fictitious and forged hadith proves otherwise.

Granted, there may be some useful guidance in the thousands upon thousands of hadith but they need to pass a rigorous double test. First, they cannot contradict the Koran and, second, they must not defy reason and logic. Unfortunately, most Muslims have been programmed to regard hadith as sacrosanct teachings that cannot be challenged. This holds all Muslims hostage to the antiquated prejudices or distortions of the narrators and recorders of the prophetic traditions.

The rampant oppression of women in Muslim society does not stem from the Koran but is chiefly the product of misogynistic hadith. For example, a famous “authentic” hadith declares that there will be a preponderance of women in Hell. But the facts here on earth suggest otherwise - male criminality far exceeds that of females.

These anti-Koranic perspectives will continue to predominate in the British Muslim community as it becomes more directly tied to ultra-conservative and extremist sects - such as the Wahhabi, Deobandi, Jamati Islami and the Tabligh Jamaat. These ideological radicals propagate a highly toxic caricature of Islam. They regard creed and culture as indistinguishable, refusing to grasp that Islam is a global religion, not a faith that is linked to one particular people or place.

Although Muslims have their own specific territorial cultural traditions, there is no such thing as an Islamic culture. Therefore the modern trend among British Muslims blindly to emulate Arab ethnic dress or grow beards or for women to wear the Wahhabi-sanctioned niqab or face masks has nothing to do with the Koran but everything to do with the primitive tribal mores and sexist practices of Arabia.

The relentless importation of Wahhabi-influenced theology and tradition into the body politic of the Muslim community is mainly the result of two factors. First, the Saudis control Mecca and Medina, the centres of Islam. This gives the Wahhabi Saudis both a spurious legitimacy and a captive market to peddle their sectarian poison.

Second, with their petrodollars the Saudis can afford to export the most horrendous brand of Islam around the globe. Here in Britain, conservative mosques and madrassas receive funding from the despotic Saudis and in turn extol their nefarious interpretation of Islam.

It is essential therefore that all thinking Muslims resist this foreign theological imposition and create a British Islam that is not only faithful to the original uplifting teachings of the faith but one that is natural to and at home in modern British society.

Dr Taj Hargey is the chair of the Muslim Educational Centre of Oxford and the Imam of the Summertown Islamic Congregation in Oxford.

It's important to realise there is a 'broad mosque' of views within Islam and the fire and brimstone Muslims who call for the death of everyone who disagrees with their extremely narrow view of the world is akin to the similar Christian fire and brimstone extremists. They share the same desire to punish all those unbelievers who refuse to subscribe to their viewpoints. I'm happy to remain a lapsed Catholic who doggedly pursues a secular path throughout life and would like that path to continue without the interference of anyone of an authoritarian bent who uses religion as an excuse to try to do so. Or in the case of persil griffiths who uses the excuse of fuckwittery to try and interfere with it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I guess it is no coincidence that this was published following the QT debate with Persil 'Whiter than white' Griffin. The article made me laugh and is extremely informative as well, especially following the links re. Professor Lenski. Godwin's law will be liberally (no pun intended) applied all over the internet with extremely broad brushes.
I have no intention of writing about Persil Griffin because you can read about it at length on several thousand sites and I have little desire to inflict his truly awful racist views upon the occasional reader who wanders on here by mistake. Sadly, amongst many of the topics ignored by the BBC/panel is that of immigration and how people are genuinely concerned that this continues. It plays right into the hands of extremists such as the BNP and Islamists. For many people such as myself who prefer the middle ground I can only forsee increasing extemism and people having to choose sides unless the next government tackles this issue. I guess by even suggesting immigration needs to be scaled down by at least 75 % I shall be demonised as a racist. Sadly, Labour, the BBC, etc...resort to shouting racist at people who aren't racist and question the 'wisdom' of increasingly allowing people who do not have the necessary skills, language or desire to engage with the mainstream culture to enter the UK. I really do fear the next few years and the Chinese proverb about living in interesting times frequently comes to mind. I see mental health nurses are needed in British Columbia, Canada and perhaps it is time to seriously consider a move.

Little blogging of late because I appear to have hit a hiatus, both at work, financially and in my personal life. It might be SAD although I prefer to think I am just a miserable bugger who is a tad fed up in the run down an increasingly slippery slope towards my half century. This can go one of two ways: Flat cap, terrier of indeterminate breed and develop a boring hobby which I then drone on about at length to anybody and everybody. Or, I panic, dye my hair blonde, buy fashionable clothes, work out at the gym, eat healthy foods, buy a red fuck off convertible sports car and acquire a young blonde nymphet as I deny any possible evidence of my true age. I think I will go the third route which consists of my bumbling along as usual and accepting the reality I see in the mirror. Some gentle exercise may be necessary: how much does a pint weigh and how many times can I bend that elbow?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

I may have posted this before, perhaps not. Whatever, I am drunk and I like this , so here ya go. Enjoy...

Then there is this...

It beats watching shite x-strictly dancing factotums on ice with a Brucey bonus.


Friday, October 16, 2009

After two early nights I feel slightly more refreshed and able to face the world. This plus a couple of bottles of excellent porter last night appears to have done the trick.
It has also been a week of being on the receiving end of angry relatives who expressed their concerns regarding the NHS, other services and the world in general. Many of these things drift into the weak outer orbit of our service i.e. We are a small part of the NHS, admittedly the dank hidden nettle overgrown corner behind the compost bin in the garden of the mansion that is the NHS. I guess 'crisis' covers concerns about the local council's removal of roadsigns, a father's worries about his daughter's inability to access a local dentist and a woman's anger at how a psychiatrist spoke to her twenty years ago. It's all grist to the mill I guess. To put it into perspective on clear nights I can sit in the garden with a cup of tea and look at the stars. Pick out The Plough, Ursa Major, Orion's Belt, etc...knowing that they were there when humanity used flint as cutting edge technology and they looked up at the stars, cold and sparkling bright against the black depths. They'll still be there when I am dust and bones in the ground and my name has long been forgotten. Sometimes the small things don't matter and it's time to forgive and move on. It's a busy frantic world awash with craziness and sometimes sitting still and silent gets forgotten about. Enough philosophising, the dog watching me earnestly in the hope I will take her out for a lengthy walk...her wish is my command.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I must be out of practice because I have just completed a week's solid work and it never seemed to stop; that was for both of my jobs with the two seeming to barge into each other at one point. What's interesting is that the six months 'away' seems to have left me a little chilled and more relaxed now that I am back doing the crisis work. Not much has changed with deliberate self harm, alcohol, homelessness and relationship problems all contributing to the mix. But today I felt absolutely shattered and in need of my days off.

What else is new....some moron has broken one of my wing mirrors. So not new merely a theme on an old familiar tune. Mrs C is no nearer to finding work and No.1 son is trying to find a part time job. With nearly 6k people out of work locally I'm not sure he will meet with much success because he's only 16. Even Mcdonald's can afford to pick & choose staff and they will play safe with over eighteen's. Applications have gone in for temporary Christmas jobs so he may strike lucky there.
However, I have three days off and gardening and sleep are my plans for them.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

We have the fag end of a war in Iraq 'playing out', a full blown war in Afghanistan and sabre rattling towards Iran and the government decide to do this. I keep expecting Brian Rix to pop out of the wardrobe clutching a pair of parliamentary pink knickers and with his trousers around his ankles. You really could not make this up. I was not in favour of either war because both were unnecessary but if the troops are there then we should be supporting them. That 'we' includes the shower of hypocritical shits in government who seem determined to play lip service with the USA by fighting the war on the cheap.Surely MP's can do the honourable thing: form a company and go out there in the front line if they want war. The queues to receive the first coffin of an MP killed in action will be ten deep and miles long to pay their 'respects'. Open top landrovers, '70's safari suits and pointy sticks as weapons to equip this specialised honourable company. Pot noodles and tizer as rations: 'The Royal Regiment of the Disreputables'.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

I just had to bring this to your attention...

Cut & paste it into your search thingummy (technical term).
The "no booze/titty haters" article left tea all over my monitor as did the "Naked Brown coaxed off the Trafalgar Square plinth".

Mrs C and I popped into the local job centre this morning. Unsurprisingly it was very busy with two security guards and lots of people milling around the place as the tannoy called out various names. We used one of the many terminals after eventually finding one that both worked and printed off the jobs she picked out. Under local jobs we observed the following places: London, Croydon and Sheffield...local...ish if you are Canadian and your corner shop is 150 miles up the road. But she found a couple of properly local part time cleaning jobs and plans to apply along with the 400 or so others who are chasing the same jobs.The job centre itself was open plan in various shades of green and pastel apart from the security guards in blue who wouldn't frighten our cat Molly and she's afraid of nearly everything. As I said to Mrs C. whilst we wended our way home "Is it too late to move to New Zealand?" I guess we'll have to rely upon word of mouth and local ads for any jobs for her.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

A well deserved beer tonight because the last three days have been very busy. As I predicted the workload has increased and I was the only person available for the assessments. 7 a.m. starts and home by 6 p.m. as the referrals poured in. For the next two days I am off and there is no one available! Not my problem and after the way management have treated us they can fuck off as I enjoy my two days off. Back to the crisis work at the weekend: A nurse new to crisis work, a student and me returning from six months away will be manning the trenches. Welcome home! Best to hit the ground running I guess...

However, two days off and no plans apart from accompanying Mrs C. to the job centre, some chores to attend to and a chance to put my feet up and catch up on sleep because I need it.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

What can I say....

After an excellent evening of good company, fine beer (Spitfire) and great music courtesy of Second Nature, I have set spotify to play them fellas below...

Have a look at their MySpace if you want to know more as they played Gary Moore, Pink Floyd, eagles, etc... last night and left the crowd wanting more.
Having spent the past hour walking and entertaining the mutt I am suitably knackered. Muttley is soaking wet and wanting more as she is full of energy. The endless fascination of fetch the stick especially if it involves water never fails to amaze me. She is now middle-aged in human years yet still skips and prances around like a puppy. She eats well, gets lots of exercise and is spoilt rotten. I give her better care than I do for myself!
As for the week ahead...a return to work including my first working weekend for six months. The money's welcome but the shock after working 9-5, Mon-Friday will take some adjusting to. I'll appreciate my weekends off even more as well as hopefully making better use of them. However, the sun is shining and I'll save the PC and spotify for later as I want to enjoy the remnants of this Indian summer.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Panic on the streets of Grimsby...well, in our household at least. The interspatialnettospheremajiggamabob stopped working. We (N0.1 son) eventually realised it was the router which had died. It was an ex-router, defunct, no more, shuffled off this mortal coil but it was neither Norwegian or blue. As the readies are in short supply the replacement was another one of the same until I can buy an N wireless router next year (faster all round). The Panic? No.1 son could not use his laptop although the desktop PC worked fine off the modem and cue the horror of arguments for the computer. £30.00 well spent and the new router is also not Norwegian or blue...

Sad techiephile that I am I spent too much time drooling over various routers at Maplins, Argos and Tes(weruletheworld)co as well the other IT goodies they have on offer.
Still on my 'hols' but I spent some time today working to avoid others arranging my working day on Monday. Mrs C. attends the clinic for her results from the latest set of biopsies ("The cat's done a biopsy in my beret") and I want to accompany her. A couple of people initially not happy with this but tough shit: family come first as Mrs C. is irreplaceable and work can truly be so much bollocks when compared to real life. Fingers crossed and I hope the three legged rabbits can forgive me.