Friday, October 26, 2012

It's not long now to Halloween and our street was chock a block with miniature zombies, ghosts and other assorted creatures of the night. The local school had a Halloween disco hence the zombie invasion. It drove the dog nuts as she glowered out the window at the odd creatures running by in howling their heads off. As it is I booked a long weekend off because this is my favourite time of the year. The weather is now considerable colder, lots of fog, spooky stories and invigorating beers and whisky bought in to see me through. It is also Mrs C's birthday so we will have a celebratory meal and being sensible folk she has asked for sensible presents. But it is lovely to have some time off together especially since No.1 son is out working. Mrs.C hasn't seen much of either of us over this past week. I drew the short straw and I have been out providing the training to various care / nursing homes across the county. I enjoyed it but my voice was decidedly croaky by Thursday evening. In a couple of the homes I had to "project, Darlings" to be heard over the cacophony of call bells, chattering staff and residents intrigued by my presentation... "Does 'e do 'is turn yet? I likes a comic but I 'ope 'e's not as rude as Max Miller". I found that focusing upon the chatting staff soon ensures they pay attention whilst keeping shtum. I presented at one care home last year where a resident started singing, refused to leave or to stop... I gave up and joined in with her!
This weekend shall be spent on much needed R & R and hopefully a few ghost stories on the wireless.

Monday, October 15, 2012

I bit the bullet and I have booked two days annual leave so as to avoid going off sick. The back spasms are still there and the icing on the cake is the sore throat I woke up with this morning. So an hour tidying up loose ends from last week and paperwork emailed off before I ate too much home baked bread & collapsed in a suitably firm backed chair with my kindle. Two hours dozing in the chair only to wake up with various cats clustered on or about my person. For once they behaved themselves and slept quietly without a scrap breaking out.
I have avoided the news today because the saville effect is widening... It looks like any male DJ aged over 30 years employed by the BBC during the 1970's and '80's is now a suspect. Even John Peel... feet of clay, feet of clay. As for the smoke and mirrors of the Tories regarding the EU... It is very simple, give us the opportunity of a straightforward in / out referendum. I will nail my colours to the mast and declare my support for our immediate exit from the EU and we place our our reliance upon trade and other agreements which have worked for many years without surrendering lock, stock, barrel and our illusory democracy to the unelected EU cliques. Sadly, all three of the main parties are in thrall to the EU and one only has to look at the Kinnocks to understand why politicians are keen to keep the gravy train. The usual tired response consists of "Little Englanders", "wacist" or the electorate are deemed too naive / stupid / ignorant to understand why a federal Europe is required. If a proper referendum is held and the electorate vote to stay in by an overwhelming majority at least then we know where we stand. But weasally fork tongued snake oil selling politicos (can you tell I don't like them?) claiming to represent us and know better... no thank you. I'd rather trust my dogs judgement and she sniffs the bottoms of other dogs and eats unidentifiable things from the pavement.
So I have stuck to music and historical novels for entertainment today although I did enjoy part 1 of "Dracula" on BBC iplayer. It's autumn, the nights are drawing in and 'tis the season for ghost and horror stories. I have ordered some free books on the kindle: Sheridan le Fanu, M R James and E F Benson ghost stories from the Victorian era and early twentieth century for atmospheric supernatural tales. I have read them all before, several times over as a child and adult (I loved public lending libraries) but, like Sherlock Holmes, I can read these stories again and again. As I am on leave and purely for medicinal purposes, I think a nice Spanish brandy and a further dip into my kindle as I wrap up warm. I hope you are all well and make sure you stay indoors, wrap up warm and have a light on. You just never know what might be rattling at your door and windows... An EU official to stop you reusing jam jars for home made chutneys.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The weekend... time to chill, have a few beers and catch up on chores that have been eagerly anticipating your attention all week. The first part gets a big fat yes whilst the latter... meh. I have back pain which I put down to bad posture & too many hours stuck at the desk or sat in my car. So pain killers and moving slowly is the order of the day. I have no desire to go off sick from work so I may have to sacrifice a couple of annual leave days if it doesn't clear up and stay at home. That will cheer the dog up who is now nine years old and she is more possessive of me now as she grows older. This article got me thinking about her intelligence and how she interacts with the family, her pack. She is a lot brighter than the cats whom she ranks below in the household pecking order. As a pup she was quickly dissuaded by a well placed clawed paw that her attentions were not always welcomed. Once outside of the house and she becomes "top dog" as she chases her ball in the garden and scatters the cats in her wake. In human years I guess she is now in her late fifties and we have noticed she has problems with her back legs if she's been lying down for some time. She struggles to get up but once she is up and moving around she is ok. The ravages of age can't be escaped despite the adverts for miracle creams and the claims of doctors and other assorted quacks.

She still grabs the best spot in front of the gas fire and if it's a cold winter she'll definitely need it. Time to fill the hot water bottle for my back and more coffee.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Hoorah! I seem to have emerged at the end of a long dark tunnel.
Oddly enough I felt a "dark cloud" lifting today and I feel slightly more perkier.
It might sound like nonsense to some people but I do feel somewhat better and I feel ready to deal with the world. Mind you... looking at the media I just think...
"Shit! What a bloody shambles!".
I will concentrate on the little corner which I happen to occupy for now, the world...I'll tackle later.

No.1 son is employed.... Hallelujah! The job centre was as helpful as chainmail speedoes in the backstroke and we found the job via an advert on t'internet. He is now working in a local manufactory where fishy products are produced. He's happy and up and at' em at 5 a.m. and early to bed as he is suitably shattered after work. He'll be working late shifts next week but he is happy to be in employment. We are also suitably relieved and can now sit back and let him crack on with life.
I am awaiting my warrant as an AMHP and I am busy as ever. My poor little motor is overworked as she hammers up and down the A roads and motorways of the English East Midlands.  I have been beavering away and putting in the usual ten hour days. We had a welcome get together as a full team yesterday in a training session / update with a lawyer which was informative and entertaining. I have also apparently become an "Advanced Practitioner" and an expert in my field. By the gods, are they crazy? I had some last minute nerves and applied for another job as I panicked and thought "I can no longer do this...I'm a fraud". A helpful friend pointed out that I am good at my job and a relative of someone I assessed thanked me for my help and stated I was the first professional they had met who took the time and effort to listen to them and explain things. It made me feel good but also saddened me that they had to wait so long to receive help. But praise always beats the brickbats and ordure all too willingly thrown at us. So I have decided to gird my loins and shoulder my responsibilities as the last of a generation of public servants. After my generation the lights will go out and the dark ages will descend. I read the news about Greece, Spain and the Middle East... life will go on and it's good but the world has changed and most people do not realise it yet. I really must stop reading novels about the last days of the Roman Empire but the parallels are fascinating.
Time to away and Al green playing on Spotify, a cheeky Czech Pilsner to whet my whistle as tomorrow is a much needed paperwork day. If it ain't recorded it didn't happen and the rapidly increasing rush to payments by results means I'd better get it electronically recorded.