Saturday, February 26, 2011

I don't smoke and having given up cigarettes in 1985, I have no intention of smoking again. But Mrs C. does smoke, she enjoys it and over the past year she changed to roll yer own. I quite like the smell of rolling tobacco although I hate the smell of readymades, apart from Gauloises which were my preferred brand all those years ago. But the link below and following the Underdog plus the inevitable tax hike in the next budget gives me further horticultural ideas...

After all, stress relieving gardening, a craft hobby, cheap baccy for Mrs C. and fewer taxes towards the government. A good result all round. I shall have to discuss it with her although she won't eat any of the fruit and veg I grow preferring shop bought! There's a chance she may refuse to smoke home grown tobacco. I like the scent of pipe tobacco and cigars so I just need a maidens dusky or not so dusky thighs on which to roll home grown Cubans!

This site is more pertinent for the UK.
This has not been the best of weeks for the catto household. Tigger has injured one of her legs, so rest and tlc required. Molly dislocated one of her back legs which I reset much to the distress and horror of Mrs C and LE. She's now running around without any noticeable problems other than her usual dislike of the other cats. Finally, the debilitating cough I have had for ten weeks resulted in a prescription of antibiotics. If this doesn't work I will be called in for further tests.  I will be very happy just to have a good nights sleep without coughing and being able to perform the most basic of tasks without getting breathless.  A friend helpfully reminded me of the man who had a tree growing in one of his lungs! My money is on a run of the mill infection.

But the past week has opened our eyes to the con trick Cats Protection have pulled on us when we offered a home to Tigger and acquired Molly as well seven years ago. Both are a lot older than we have been led to believe. It doesn't make any difference to us because we would not get rid of them. Instead of being approximately  10 - 11 years old it is likely they are in their 'early teens' in cat years. Sleep and comfort are increasingly their preferred activities of choice. At eight years of age Mog remains a lively and, to the other cats, annoying youngster. Hopefully some warmish weather as winter ends and the garden will once again be their domain to loll around. Meanwhile I shall be out buying food for geriatric cats and a litter tray for Tigger as she recuperates. An afternoon of rugby awaits me and just to annoy any passing French people I shall shout Allez Angleterre! and Bourrez les Francais! very loudly as the game progresses.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A day for some spring cleaning, hoovering and dusting with Abba blasting out. The windows are wide open to blow the cobwebs away despite the grey drizzle but at 6 degrees celsius it does feel positively mild. There is enough dog hair for two jumpers and rather too much dust. I finally threw out some old shoes and the other day I burnt a load of old beer guides and assorted rubbish. No.1's drum kit will be heading for the charity shop for recycling at some point as well old clothes. I also disposed of a  black bag of ropey old novels to the charity shop. Mrs C. is having a lie down in a darkened room because she can't quite believe I have thrown stuff out. I do have a tendency to hoard stuff, especially books and clothes. But once a year I get rid of unnecessary clutter and spring's a good time for it all to go.there is still too much in the wardrobe so I guess this weekend the local Samaritans shop will be getting more clothing. The hoovering saw the usual frenzied feline rush for the exits although they have now returned to default positions: sleeping on, under or beside the radiators. I do sometimes wonder, am I odd in that I enjoy hoovering? Time for a cuppa and then to crack on.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Strolling around town during the last few weeks and I am struck by how many local winos (Plonkies is the local colloquiallism in these here parts)  there are and how people in general look tired and downtrodden. The long hard winter certainly accounts for the pale pasty faces but this area is certainly a noted high unemployment 'blackspot'. The cuts in public services haven't yet begun to bite but the impact of little work, higher prices and a bleak future for many is striking home. Stories of 300 applicants for a couple of jobs and short term insecure employment isn't helpful. Grimsby is a long way from the fleshpots of the big smoke and more than a world away from the supposed mother of all parliaments. There will be trouble ahead especially if there is a combination of a hot summer and growing resentment towards those in power. With cuts in  police numbers, increasing pressure on finances and pointless draconian laws alienating various and disparate groups in society it may just be one small thing that sets it all off. With the examples of Tunisia, Egypt and now other parts of the Arab world providing a template, the student protests over the past few months may prove to be the starter to the main course. Even my seventy year old mother is talking of joining protests! If ordinary people feel criminalised for smoking, drinking, walking on the cracks in the pavement or speaking their minds then the concept of criminality is diluted. Especially if the common perception of real criminals getting away with murder adds to the perception of unfairness then authority in all shapes and forms will be seen as the enemy. As I have said before, we are living in interesting times and multimedia such as twitter, facebook,etc... allows people to communicate and organise.

I haven't been blogging much of late because it has been a busy and difficult time at work. Much has happened and is happening which I can't currently write about. It does presage the gradual dismantlement of the nhs as we know it which will bring joy to some, horror to others and, sadly, indifference to many. But things do change and politicians do so love to be seen as progenitors of change even when everyone else recognises it as meddling. On a local level I would like to believe it is for the best but even I don't duck for flying pigs. On a brighter note despite the last couple of cold days there are signs of spring on its way. Snowdrops in abundance and increasingly noticeable birdsong although a couple of bloody Magpies are chasing the small birds away from the food we put out for them. I would release the cats but they would go after the Robin and Bluetits although I believe they'd have a better chance of catching some of those extremely fat wood pigeons who frequent the bird table. I have also gravitated towards the gardening sections of shops and I am foolishly once again looking at one of those plastic greenhouses. The last two were wrecked by windy weather with one of them flying over the fence with a cat trapped inside. Some creative thinking and heavy weights may be required. Growing marij tobacco tomatoes, chillis, hops, etc... will keep me somewhat sane during these insane times.  I must away as that curry won't cook itself.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There is a new mouser / ratter at no.10
I'm off out to count my cats to see if one stripey animal is missing.
I'm sure there isn't a feline tax.

Monday, February 07, 2011

It's a mite windy out thar... so much so the mutt suffered flappy ear syndrome during her walk, which freaks her out. Stopping to check out the noises following her and jumping whenever something clatters and bangs. However, excess energy run off from 'chase the stick' (hours of fun!) and a brief chase of some local wildfowl has done the trick. She's sprawled out on the floor fast asleep whilst I enjoy freshly ground and brewed New Guinea coffee. Why New Guinea? It was reduced in price and I hadn't drunk it before. The fair trade label undoubtedly ticked boxes but the price was right for me. The coffee grinder I bought some years ago was an excellent investment and it reminds me of the coffee shop I walked past as a nipper. The smell of roasted coffee beans and the large machine that ground them always fascinated me. I came late to real coffee and I now view it as one of the perks (excuse the lame pun) during days off. Freshly brewed coffee, chortle at the news on 't net and some excellent music playing. With all the bad news it seems appropriate to play the blues and who better to explain it.


Sad loss of a wonderful musician and at a relatively young age.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

A lot has happened over the past week with the revolution in Egypt taking centre stage as yet another domino tumbles in the Middle East. Mrs C has been glued to the TV whilst I have followed events online and on twitter. Good to see the media bringing in the usual 'experts' with opinions springing from every orifice plus the mealy mouthed poiticians spouting crap.  Everyone has an opinion when the reality is that we haven't got a clue where this is going to go or which country will fall next. Having travelled around the Middle East and having fond memories of Cairo I can only watch and pray it goes well for the ordinary people. Otherwise I have no idea how things will turn out but I guess, like many others, I am fearful it will go horribly wrong. 

I now have a week off work having received the news that I will not be released for AMHP training. I am secretly pleased because I feel extremely uncomfortable with such powers. I would truly feel like an agent of the state which is far removed from my reasons for becoming a nurse in the first place. The week off allows me time to consider how to respond to the balls up  where a senior manager states they made the decision six weeks ago but did not inform me of their decision until the day after my interview which I passed with flying colours.  However, I am happy for them to believe (we have clashed in the past) they have dealt me some sort of career blow when I have achieved the result I want and I am happy for things to continue as they are for the next six months. The Trust is culling more senior staff and services are being pared back. The next six months will show a very different landscape to the current one. I may be part of a completely different team or even made redundant. Newly qualified staff are cheap, amenable and malleable as opposed to horny skinned old dinosaurs like me despite our experience and knowledge.  For now, I intend to enjoy this week off with rugby, beer, walks and perhaps another beer, with no thought of work and the nonsense going on. I bought myself the latest edition of Classic Rock with a 'free' copy of another Prog CD and a rose bush for the garden. The rose bush is a 'Queen Elizabeth' and has been duly planted with dire threats to the mutt if she goes anywhere near it.  So tea and suitably loud music to entertain me this afternoon before I watch France v Scotland play rugby. I can shout for either side and enjoy the game, especially after England's win against Wales yesterday (sorry Suzie).