Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Doors "Love Me Two Times/Texas Radio and the Big Beat"

Having spent today catching the rays on what has been a glorious day I have used this as a tenuous link to the recent death of another great Ray.... Manzarek. The Doors and are one of my favourite bands and as a moody and somewhat lost teenager they as well as other bands played a great part in the music to my growing up.

Yes, the surprise is that we finally have a glorious sunny day. I was out soaking up the sun as I walked the pooch, shopped, viewed some cars on the local car lots and then catching up on gardening. It no longer resembles a bomb site but is far from perfect. I also realised that my plan to have only a couple of tomato plants has resulted in about a dozen that are thriving. The cucumber succumbed to the bleak autumnal weather we have experienced over the last few weeks but the chillies look good. My daily battles with slugs and snails, despite attempting to garner the interest of the cats in them as potential food, is a thankless task but needs doing. I had planned on going to the Cleethorpes Folk and Cider Festival but I find I cannot tolerate much alcohol and I don't like drinking during the day. It's on again tomorrow and I may pop along there for the music particularly if the weather is as good as todays. I might also finally get to use my camera.

The news this week has shown a new low in human behaviour with the murder of a soldier in Woolwich by two scumbag losers. The media including twitter and farcebook has exploded and tensions are high with many people being polarised into opposing camps. Over a dozen attacks on mosques around the UK including one here in Grimsby have taken place. I take the view they are not terrorists but are certainly cowardly and evil useless excuses for human beings to do what they did to that poor man. Hopefully things will settle down but sadly I think this could be the start of a downward cycle of further attacks and retaliatory  aggression.
On the work front I have five weeks to go and then I will be retired. I have an interview for some bank nursing locally and I have also been asked by a manager if I will be interested in part time crisis work in Lincolnshire from September onwards. I have said yes to both and I will see what comes my way. I will need to work but 16 - 20 hours per week will be enough to keep body and soul together. It will also be proper nursing and will not involve any of the Mental Health Act / DoLS work I have been doing which pleases me. All in all I am feeling more positive and happier than I have been during the past several months. Time now to catch a few more rays as The Doors plays in the background and I follow up my interest in one particular vehicle I looked at today.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I tried to download a video from my mobile and it worked but... something wasn't quite right about the finished product. I will have to experiment further before I can successfully download a video that doesn't result in a dogs dinner. It's fun trying it out and I haven't yet tired of the navigation via google maps. I have decided I haven't been walking enough of late what with hours spent back at work and the interminable rain. So a combination of the phone map and a search for an onboard pedometer will be my next plaything. Instead of the guesstimates which I suspect are over optimistic when I take the pooch out for long walks I would like to check out the true figures.
I popped into my old work team yesterday between assessments and I was saddened to learn of further mis-management shenanigans. Covering 600 square miles with a reduced team isn't enough, they are considering reducing numbers further and moving team members to cover gaps in other services thirty miles away. I wickedly suggested a quiet word in the shell-like of the local GP's, the people now responsible for commissioning services who would take a very dim view of a reduction in local services. I think I may also pop in and chat with a few of the GP's as well because I am on my way out. I have already become "invisible" to a couple of managers now that it is common knowledge I am going. Interesting is one way to describe it...
The picture above is of Molly whom we have now worked out is approximately 16 years old. She may in fact be older but she is looking very old, tired and distinctly wobbly on her back legs these past few weeks. She lost large patches of fur last month but regular meals and supplements plus pampering has restored her somewhat tatty looking coat. We'll ensure her last days when the time does come are comfortable for her. It is sadly inevitable but we rescued her via Cats Protection and she has a good home here as do the other critters.
The next six weeks will see four long weekends as I have been told to use any outstanding leave due to me. Apart from accommodating colleagues in the team who have time off for their children during half term I have opted for Fridays off. That is the one day we are amply covered for AMHP's and I can happily avoid some of the Friday afternoon silliness when people make inappropriate referrals because they can "dump their problem" on us and head off for an early finish and wine. One of us is then left to deal with the situation which can take anything up to several hours to sort out. However, we are now fighting back with a naming and shaming of the regular offenders and bouncing responsibility back onto them. We'll see how that works out.
Time to let the felines back in so I'll say TTFN.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I thoroughly enjoy Sundays and today is no exception. From the early morning walk with the pooch, a leisurely breakfast and some gardening if the weather permits. I can then catch up on the weeks TV / radio I have missed. These are usually history / archaeology programmes plus anything else of interest such as the programme about the A303 I watched today. The latter has given me further ideas about camper van excursions to the southwest of England. I have to admit to being fascinated by enthusiasts hence I love these sort of programmes and the insights they give into ourselves and people in general. Mind you the following does immediately come to mind...

We have all encountered enthusiasts and it was one of these such folk that put me off attending Camra meetings many years ago. He suffered from Upminster syndrome, that is he presented as several stages beyond Barking and his enthusiasm, to my much younger eyes, veered towards the unhinged. However, back to leisurely Sundays...
Having had to work Sundays during my nursing career and particularly the hated Sunday late shifts, I have grown to appreciate my Sundays off. No gardening today as the rain is here and I have no inclination to drive anywhere or the money to go to exciting places. Hence, bad weather = catch up Sunday. Having said that, the sunshine would see me sitting in the garden with a cold drink and a good book as I listened to the drone of bees, lawn mowers, children playing and the scent of barbecued meats drifting over the fence with laughter and conversations. The important thing is that the day remains leisurely. Up until I was seventeen years old I attended church and Sunday school until I acted on my belief that it was bullshit and stopped going. Although I remain fascinated with the history, architecture, rituals and personalities involved with various churches I certainly wouldn't attend something I have no belief in. After retirement the question that pops up will be: Will every day feel like a Sunday? I may no longer enjoy the uniqueness of the day although hopefully with other days given over to work and other activities I can still get to enjoy leisurely Sundays. It makes me wonder, how do you spend your Sundays?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I beg to differ...
I have taken the leap into the 21st century and I now have a new all singing and dancing mobile phone. My sad Dad basic model had started to misbehave so after much umming and erring I finally took the plunge. A new shiny Samsung Galaxy S3 mini and I could not be more delighted. The sat nav facility helped me navigate my way around Leicester the other day, internet access, music, phone of course, etc... I still have a childlike wonder at new technology and compare what we have now with what was available as a teenager; Phone boxes, pen and paper. For my son and his generation this is taken for granted but I am still amazed and delighted by it all. Even the childish delight in using a favourite song as a ringtone shows how easily pleased I am.
I have been back at work for two weeks now and my boss has finally realised the toll work has taken on my health. I have been eased back into the job with assessments only as I have now refused to do any of the training work. The latter is enjoyable but when competing interfering managers with their own agendas come barging in and create unnecessary problems, that was the final straw for me. I finish on July 1st and will have some time off although I have already had enquiries about doing some work nearer home. I intend to carry on working but primarily in nursing, a return to my job of old in many ways but fewer hours and as little mileage as possible. What I have discovered is that knowing I am going I feel free to relax, concentrate on the face to face work with patients and enjoy the work; Liberated in fact. I have also discovered another two colleagues of my generation have retired as well. They had had enough of the bullying, manipulative and devious culture with change for the sake of any change promoted as "progress". It is frightening to look at the cuts in services, the whittling away of staff and resources on the frontline whilst managers and the administration structure continue to expand. I will have interesting stories for the future about my time as a nurse in the NHS. Sadly, although the NHS needed a thorough root and branch pruning it now exists in name only. For those who still do not understand what has happened to the NHS one only needs to look at current dental services or veterinary services for your pets. Insurance schemes, cash/credit cards or for the poor a basic service (Blue Cross). Before anyone bashes the Tories, Blair and the other "tory-lite" acolytes of new labour are also responsible for this sad situation. Hopefully we may have a health service model similar to those in France and Germany although the worry is that we'll go down the US route. A mixed health economy of insurance and state / private providers may be the best model to emerge from all of this. Anyhow, I will step off the soap box as I have chores to attend to. For those folks kind enough to enquire after my health I am better and thank you for your words of kindness and support. Post retirement I intend to look at some voluntary work to repay my knowledge and experience back into society. With Seany's prompting I believe it's also time to start donating blood again. I used to do the latter many years ago but I got out of the habit.