Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Charlie the Cat

I love my little cat you know. He makes me smile, I shake my head sometimes wondering just what the hell he's thinking- (now don't any of you say that that cats are stupid cos they have, relatively speaking, a bigger brain than a dolphin & in research tests have shown that they have a longer memory than dogs)- & I think he has the right way of living-

-He finds the warmest place & dozes, muses as he watches the world go by, eats then goes for a nap, has a bit of fun with the odd rat (sometimes bring me a dead one as a gift), flirts with the street lady cats &, more power to him, stands no crap from any other tom who comes onto our back garden.

But for the moment his activities & style has be barred by approx' 10cm of snow. He did try & lick the icicle I put in front of him but he looked at me as if to say "you wot mate?" "Are you totally mad?" He refuses to go out except for a brief stroll around the estate & a pee first thing in the morning. When I return home after being out shopping, struggle out of the layers of clothes I'm wearing & finally remove my big boots, he looks at me as if I'm a sandwich short of a picnic.

So Chas' spends his days dozing, watching the cars slide up & down the street & listening to my Memphis Slim CD, or to Classic FM. Though he did leave the room when I put on Gorecki's symphony of Sorrowful Songs CD. ( I must ask the wife to interpret that bit of behaviour!)

As I type now he lies supine on the bean bag my friend John left me. Unconscious in sleep & attitude(s) to the stresses of the world next to the central heating radiator. Though I suspect he has a notion that the temperature outside is -8C.

So come on God, this weather ain't funny anymore. Its cold, wet & Charlie's style is cramped. And I want to make some Blackberry & Vanilla jam but am unable to get to the shed to retrieve my jam jars cos of the snow.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Christmas Presents

I had my first Christmas present today. Yes, I know it was early, but it came in a Christmas card & to be honest it was the kind of present I hate with a passion & can well do without.
Now, before you all shout "Bah Humbug!" or "Bloody Scrooge!" Let me tell you what the gift was:
It came attached to a Christmas card from a relative & it was..."The gift of light". What it is, is that this person has made a donation on my behalf to a charity that supposedly will provide a solar light to some poor family in the Third World somewhere thereby enabling them to get rid of a kerosene lamp. ( I am assuming that the person or family want to get rid of their prized kerosene lamp.)

To be honest ( & I do give to charity) this type of gift pisses me off big time.
It shows a complete lack of imagination, the person has assumed that I want to donate a 'gift of light' & it is , I believe, a lazy way of buying someone a present. And what guarantee is there, that the family will receive the donation & that its not just going to give some fat cat at the charity a bloody good Christmas this year?!
Last year the same person brought me a bloody goat!! Well, not me, but for some bugger in Somalia! God knows but the bloody animal is probably long dead by now!
I'd love a real goat-I'd milk it, make cheese, & use it to cut my back lawn as well as it providing a nice little earner for me by me hiring it out to cut the neighbours grass, & me selling the cheese & milk-brilliant!
But it was not to be.- Instead it went to Somalia. I never received a letter from it signed with a little x or better still an inky hoof print. Nothing. Bugger all. I never even knew its name, let alone whether it was a Billy or a Nanny Goat. For now then lets call it 'My Mogadishu goat'.

But to be serious, if I wanted to buy or give a goat, sheep or a solar light to someone in the Third World or down the street for that matter I'd bloody well go & do it! So stop donating on my behalf. I'll give to charity where, when & to whom I want, not when you think I should.

I have a free will you know, give something from & by yourself.

The Shortest Day.....

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive.

And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, revelling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us - listen!

All the long echoes, sing the same delight,

This Shortest Day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And now so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.


Monday, 20 December 2010

Recent experiences of working in the NHS

I returned to work part time recently-nothing too strenuous you understand. Two days weekly at a local rehab & recovery residence for those suffering from mental health problems who are preparing to once again live in the chaos we call call 'society'.

Bear in mind that I last worked in 'Secondary Care approx' 15 yrs ago-the time in between spent working for the NHS in 'Primary Care'.But what changes! And none as far as I can see are for the better.

The National Health Service has a new 'patient'...Its called paper work. This 'patient' demands that nurses have to devote the maxiumum of their time too under pain of being disciplined by their mangers & /or the 'system' if they do not, thus removing them from the Real Patient. Nursing staff are so tied up with the 'new patient that the majority of them spend their on duty time in the office thus the 'real patient' has little or no time spent in therapy. Psychiatric hospitals have once again become 'lunatic asylums' where staff only respond to crisis. Paper work is pill ed upon them by a top heavy system of managers who have no direct 'real patient contact' & have therefore no experience of what its like to suffer mental ill health.

Doors are locked on the wards. Thereby keeping 'informal' (or voluntary) patients prisoner. Patients are checked every hour or so & a register signed to ensure their whereabouts.

I have to say though that in my place of employment nursing staff are relaxed, caring, spend maximum time with the patient & therapy of sorts goes on.

Nor do I think that the above sorry state of affairs is unique to psychiatric hospitals. General hospital nurses have little or no time to carry out basic nursing care. The care for which my generation of nurses were trained to do-caring in the true & complete sense of the word. Patients unless they make them themselves a nuisance are for the main ignored & the elderly & infirm are left without food water etc-it being left at the end of the bed.

So this is health care in the 21st Century? It would appear so.

When I trained patients were called patients. Now the patient is called 'The Client'. Bollocks.

That for me, indicates & proves, that the title 'patient' has firmly been moved to the 'new patient'- the paper work. The CPA, Grist, & the myriad of other bits of paper who's names I refuse to allow into my dictionary of patient care. Neither will I call the patients 'the client'. I refuse. Hairdressers, prostitutes & British Rail have clients not nurses.

Heaven help us. Heaven help us.

Monday, 13 December 2010

The tat man

Those of you as old as (or perhaps a tiny bit younger) me will remember the 'Rag & Bone Man'. For those of you who don't he was a guy who used to arrive in your street in a battered van/small truck & shout out something like "Rages & old bones, Rags & old bones..." Then magically people would flock to where he'd parked the van clutching piles of old clothes. The majority of people were children who'd crowd around his van to see what cheap goodies he had on offer in return for their unwanted clothes.

OK, so once in a while I took clothes from the ironing basket or from the washing line but believe me it was worth me committing what I knew was a 'Mortal Sin'. Why so?? Well, in return for rags you you could get a balloon on a stick, a cheap plastic toy (that usually broke within 3 minutes) a balsa wood glider plane or... a goldfish in a plastic bag!!

Sadly the Rag & Bone Man is no more. However we have his modern day equivalent-The Tat man. He drives around twice daily either sounding a trumpet looking for any scrap metal-washing machines, fridges, old bikes, metal buckets etc etc. He then takes them to the scrap yard & gets cash for them.
The other day I successfully haggled for a new fridge/freezer & left the old one outside on the street waiting for the City Council (yes....) to remove it. BUT: withing 20 minutes the thing had gone!! Taken by the Tat Man!1 Wonderful!! This is what I call recycling par excellence!
Bring em on baby!!
I would like a balsa wood glider plane though....

Thursday, 9 December 2010


Leaving out some food for the birds this afternoon I heard the Chinook. Its unmistakable. A steady "thump, thump thump" sound in the distance. I stood still & bowed my head.
For the cry of the Chinook comes from the south west. From the direction of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital & it foretells the transport of young men maimed & shell shocked from Afghanistan to that Hospital where they, the healers, will attempt to put the young men back together.

Perhaps if we all stood still when we heard the cry of the Chinook & cried out NO! NO MORE! The Chinook might fly away & the killing might stop, the young men would be allowed to come home.

End the war now.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Youth & Age

MUCH did I rage when young,

Being by the world oppressed,

But now with flattering tongue

It speeds the parting guest.

William Butler Yeats

However, I'm still raging & moreover, ranting!

Monday, 6 December 2010

November 6th 2010

As I usually do at this time of day I have lit the candles to say goodbye to the daylight & welcome the evening shadows. Its now 1547hrs & the sun is leaving me until (I hope!) it returns at 0803am tomorrow.
But today I have a feeling of melancholia hanging over me.
Its so cold at the moment everyone I've seen today is (sensibly) wrapped up in layers of clothes. Its impossible to distinguish between the sexes, the anonymity of each person is accentuated by the cold. Even fewer people spend time in idle chat for fear of either catching a chill or experiencing the biting cold permeating to their marrow. People seem 'neckless', their heads sunk deep into their shoulders. And now the sun begins to say goodbye again, leaving us with the biting cold, the frosty, icy pavements as a legacy.

Returning home from the shops today saw 2 police cars & a coroners office ambulance outside a house up the street. The house was occupied by a reclusive elderly lady who has avoided everyone for as long as I've lived in the street. She appeared to have suffered from a degree of Obsessional Compulsive Disorder (OCD) as I've seen the lady after closing her door (from the outside), stand & pull & push the door for a great number of times to check (presumably) that it was locked. I won't bore you with the psycho dynamics of her behaviour but the lady was clearly crippled by her affliction. But now she is dead.
No more will she check her door, no more will she be troubled by her compulsive anxiety. Her lonely demise & subsequent death was discovered by her neighbour who called the police not having sen the lady for some time. Its sad. Her house is now closed tight shut. The door unchecked. The rooms as cold as the lady herself in the city morgue.

What is her story? Is there anyone out there in in the cold who will miss her? Or will her memory be as cold as the weather, as the ice on the pavements near her front gate. Rest in Peace OCD lady, I'm sorry that is how I remember you. Nut tonight I will say a prayer for your soul.

My candles burn bright now. The sun is all but gone. The only light outside is from the luminous frost on the paths & roofs & the orange street lights.
The winter has come early this year, the memory of the summer seems an age ago. The last of the summer plants are now all dead & wilted. Its hard to accept that life outside is not completely dead but only dormant. Asleep, humming mutely, waiting to sing again when the sun returns.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The World Cup

So Russia are going to host the World Cup finals in 2018. So what!?!
To be honest I don't give a toss. However it seems that a larger percentage of the country are upset at England's failure to win the bid. So much so that a large number of people gathered in Birmingham city centre in temperatures more akin to those in Moscow waving flags, chanting & made up with St George flags.

God Almighty!! Have they nothing better to do with their time? Especially in the weather we're currently having? Then when the result of the ballot was known they burst into tears!!

So wtf!! Get a life people....if you have time on your pathetic hands then use it constructively-go & clear the snow outside your houses.

While I'm at it I wonder if someone would tell the petrol delivering companies that there are such things as 'snow chains'. These are chains (used to great effect in Scandinavia I understand) that are attached to the wheels of cars/trucks which increase grip in snowy conditions. If these were used I reckon then the likes of BP, Esso, Shell et al would be able (perhaps?) to deliver supplies of Petrol. So put 'em on & stop winging about the snow!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Yet another rant about Birmingahm City Council

Cycling past house number 134 on our street I observed a medium sized rat gingerly climbing into a sofa that had been dumped in the 'garden' of the above numbered rented property. The tenant's who apparently squat there don't seem to give a toss as the sofa along with a sodden mattress have been there for almost 2 months.

I was gonna shout Oi!! to the rat but I reflection I must have suspected that I'd get the same response from him/her as I would from the City Council when & if I attempted to report the mess & him/her to them. IE: Sweet bugger all.

Nevertheless, ever the foolhardy optimist I contacted the council-First mistake: It took at least 15 minutes to find the City Councils contact telephone number. It would have been easier, & faster I swear to contact Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran & tell him about the rubbish & ratty & get him to send a battalion of the Revolutionary Guard over to deal with him/& the dumped sofa than get those work shy bastards in the council to do something.

I was passed from one dept to another, until I did what I suspect the Council wanted me to do all along....give up. Which I'm ashamed to admit I did. Ratty et al can stay put at number 134.

However a couple of months ago I was late by about 3 weeks in sending my Council Tax payment off to the Council. I received a 'red letter' threatening me with court action & prosecution to the full letter of the law. The cheeky bastards.

Get your money grabbing Fascist backsides out there & clean up my city. No wonder Birmingham is the joke & laughing stock of the country with this level of service.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The English & the food experience.

Today we went as a family for a ritual that is I suspect peculiar to Roman Catholics the world over: The 'Blessing of the Graves'. You see, November is in Roman Catholic tradition,known as the month of the dead'-where we pray for & remember those loved ones who have died. We go to their grave(s) en masse & a priest comes along blesses the grave with Holy Water, says a few prayers & bobs yer uncle! (its called blind faith I think though you dear reader may have another name for it!)
Anyway, we as a family then, (also by tradition) go out for Sunday lunch somewhere or other. This year we went for a steak at a local steak bar/pub called the 'Covered Wagon'.

Now why is it that we English are served total shit dressed up as food? Why do we accept the food virtually 'thrown' at us by surly spotty face adolescents? Why do we endure an atmosphere that we would not allow animals to eat in?

Today I ordered a sirloin steak, salad, peppercorn sauce cooked 'rare'. Whilst waiting almost for the steak the place filled with smoke & an ear piecing siren filled the air. The waiter when asked if we should leave replied "Dunno mate, never heard that noise before" & walked off. The siren then went off periodically throughout the meal! No explanations nor apologies were offered nor sought by anyone!
After almost 50 minutes of waiting, asking for cutlery & condiments which were dropped on the table in little foil sachets, my steak arrived.
It was sadly inedible.
It was stringy, fatty & full of gristle. The one waiter in evidence kept a conscious (I suspect) distance away from out table. He eventually came to clear the other 2 diners empty plates & my 3/4 full plate, casually asked if our "meal was enjoyable". He appeared dumbfounded when I told him that my steak was inedible, & that I believed my salad was one of the most expensive I had ever eaten! He eventually agreed to speak to 'someone about my steak.
To cut a miserably long story short I received my money back with a mumbled apology.

Now my point(s) is this: We Brits appear to accept any level of service-it appears to be expected that we have poor, shoddy service. It seems that we accept any slop masquerading as 'food' & are prepared (albeit, historically) to eat this slop in any environment no matter how unpleasant it might be & not complain.
We Brits, (as my Irish granfather used to say) "would stand for the 3 card trick"
They take our money & give use shite in return. Food cooked without pride, care, love for the food or respect for the paying customer.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Lord Young

Please forgive me if I don't shed a tear. I heard today that Lord Young, who has never done a hard days work in his bourgeois life has been forced to resign. This was in response to him announcing that in general ".....people have never had it so good during the recession..."

Like he'd know wouldn't he the upper class toff. He'll still be living on hundreds of thousands of GBP per year even though he is supposed to be 'unemployed'. Tough shit matey my heart bleeds. Not.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Birthday wishes!!

Happy Birthday John, hope its a good one. Kate & I, (& I don't mean Middleton, though I have emailed her & suggested she does raise a glass) will toast you & your yours this evening!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Hurrah for William & Kate!!

So... the Euro is in crisis, the Irish Republic is in financial meltdown, there is famine in Africa, people are dying & being maimed daily in Afghanistan, the NHS & welfare state is under serious financial review, people are having their homes repossessed & are living in abject squalor-I could go on...BUT: The main topic of news on all BBC radio channels today was that HRH Prince William will marry Kate Middleton in 2011. Cameron says that this news is "unadulterated joy..."-Great choice of words Dave, when you consider the marital history of the other members of the Royal Family!! But I guess the wedding (funded by the humble taxpayer again no doubt) will bring about a distraction & enable you & your Government to continue tightening the financial screw on us even more.

Hurrah for William & Kate.... but to be honest, I don't give a tinkers cuss. I for one, will not be celebrating Kate's wonderful stroke of luck of marrying into a life of riches beyond her dreams.Nor the will I be toasting the 'happy couple'.

Royal twats. Bring on the republic.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Lest we forget....

Apparently, when World War 2 ended in August 1945, there was peace in the world for only 8 minutes before somewhere or other another conflict began somewhere in the world.

Today we have Remembrance Sunday. The day when we recall, honour & give thanks for the sacrifice of those who died during wars that this country has/is engaged in. It was very moving listening to the service on national radio, more so when Kate my wife told me that in the local 'Poundland' store they announced that there would be a "2 minutes silence at 11 o'clock"

Sure enough there was. And the crowded store came to a halt at 11am. People stood still, stopped spending their pennies, jostling for their place in the queue & there was silence for the 2 minutes. All races & creeds in the shop at this time observed this silence. Moving.

However I believe that the finest way to remember the sacrifice that was made both in the past & now is to withdraw the troops from Afghanistan & end the bloodshed now.
"All we are saying is Give Peace a Chance...."

A victim of the system.... Gods sense of humour??

The system has beaten least this time. Last week I received a parking ticket for parking in a 'loading bay'. There was a minuscule sign on a lamp post denoting this & faded writing on the roadway also. I was displaying a 'Blue disabled badge' at the time but still got the ticket.
I appealed to the faceless Fascists in Birmingham City Council against the decision but my appeal was denied thus:

"BM65223541/Parking Section 13/11/2010 Mr P Woolley 104 Westfield Rd Kings Heath B14 7Su, Birmingham West Mids, Uk B14 7SU

Dear Mr Woolley Parking - Penalty Charge Notice Number BM65223541 Dated - 04/11/2010 Registration number - BK09NLR
Thank you for your enquiry concerning the Penalty Charge Notice detailed above. I have given careful consideration to the circumstances you have described but regret that there are not sufficient grounds for the Notice to be withdrawn.
The Penalty Charge Notice was issued to your vehicle as it was parked in a loading bay, which was clearly marked in accordance with Road Traffic legislation. I have noted your comments that you had a Disabled Badge on display in your vehicle.
You may still take advantage of the reduced charge of £35.00 if payment for the Penalty Charge Notice is received by the 04/12/2010, BUT the discounted rate is not available after this date and the full charge of £70.00 will be due if payment is not received in time. Cheques or Postal Orders should be made payable to ‘Birmingham City Council (Highways)’ and forwarded to Birmingham City Council, Environment & Culture Directorate PO Box 77 Birmingham B4 7WA, quoting the Penalty Charge Notice number."

The 'System has beaten me on this occasion but I will have my day over the faceless bureaucratic swine at the council.
Like I said...God has a sense of humour.....

Friday, 12 November 2010

Henryk Gorecki

Today another genius of the music world passed away. After a long illness the Polish Composer Henryk Gorecki passed away.
His most notable work was his 3rd symphony-'A symphony of sorrowful songs'.
I urge you to listen to this piece of music & I'm sure that you will be moved near to tears.

RIP Henryk.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Never, never trust a politician/Nick Clegg is a Judas

They embezzle, they send young people to their death, they speak hypocrisy, they condemn people to poverty & they lie. They lie to further their needs, to stay in power & to get rich.
The latest liar in the line of political liars is Cameron's 'puppet partner' in the coalition Nick Clegg.
Why?? Well he said quite clearly during his pre election promises that "would oppose any increase in university tuition fees" Guess what??? He & his party of Quislings have broken their promise & supported the Fascist Tories in their intention to increase tuition fees. The deceitful Bastard.

As a postscript: I see that the chief Fascist Cameron is touring China on our expense. He has the audacity to question & comment on China's record on human rights. How dare he?? His comments come the day after his mate & ally ex president of the USA George W Bush admitted & condoned the torture of 'water boarding' & other methods of torture in Iraq.
At the same time Cameron & the BBC (the mouthpiece of the Government) openly criticise China's treatment of the elderly. Take a look at the numbers of UK pensioners who live near or on the breadline Mr Cameron before you shout your mouth off.

I say again: end the pointless war in Afghanistan, bring the military home, stop spending & wasting money that could be spent at home, above all.....stop the killing Cameron!!

History repeating itself?

I heard on the Radio 4 news today an article about the plight of the Romani population in Hungary. Apparently they appear to be the victims of racial discrimination on a national scale.
They are, it appears, excluded from national schools, declined housing & are channeled into menial jobs. The situation is apparently worse in the east of the country. The Romani are apparently living in large (ghetto) shanty towns in the east of Hungary.
In France recently President Sarkozy went as far as returning Romany's back to Romania.
In the West those of the Islamic faith are viewed by many as potential 'enemies of the state'-we hear daily about "Islamic terrorists threatening both the UK & the United States."

I'm disturbed by all of this. It remands me of pre war National Socialist Germany. At that time in Germany minority groups were at best demonised, victimised, denied civil rights & at worst deported & eventually murdered. I hope that the latter is the extreme & that reason will awaken within our humanity, but I feel we should all be mindful of what is going on.

At this time in our nations history, where the economy fragile & financial cutbacks are being made the minority DO suffer, whether they be the poor or those who look different from the majority or believe different things.
Prime Minister Cameron is cutting massively Housing benefit. He calls those who are long term unemployed "work shy" & says that they should take on menial voluntary jobs to "help pay their way".
His choice of words I believe, inflames prejudice, splits communities & encourages bigotry. Those among us who are predisposed to paranoia will (& already have in my observation) jumped on the band wagon & openly speak in negative bigoted phraseology about asylum seekers, the old & the vulnerable.
The abyss between the 'Haves' & the Have-nots' is growing wider by the month & I believe Europe far from being a European Union is fast becoming a European Disunion.

"Those who forget the lessons of history is destined to repeat them..."

Sunday, 7 November 2010


I have a belief (yeah here we go I hear you sigh....) but hear me out please....

..... I believe that the Anti Christ of the this decade are admen & advertising. Everywhere I look, & if you look around you or keep your ears open, we are bombarded with advertisements. Billboards, advertisements that change every 10 seconds, almost every radio station-including BBC Radio Four (it encourages the listener to tune into future programmes), the TV, outside supermarkets, over the loudspeakers in supermarkets subliminal or otherwise & so it goes on.

I am totally pissed off with this intrusion into my life. I am sick & tired of being told that I need such & such. I do not need a colourful poster telling me that my life is deficient in 1 or more specific area-I'm aware it is, buts that for me to know & to chose to do something about if I so chose.

And then there's the smug, patronising bastards who knock the front door (usally when I'm having my tea) & ask if "I'm happy paying too much for my gas or electricity, & would I like to change to the supplier that they represent?" Well listen up bucko: If I wanted to change, I think I have the wit to go & find out which company offers the best deal & then change myself. Clear off!!!!

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Christmas & all that

I've seen it.
Its begun.
Its November 5th .
50 days to Christmas.
And its started.....I saw today a house with a stupid illuminated snowman & Father Christmas out side on the bay window of their house.
Holy Mother of God the world has gone mad!!!!

Friday, 5 November 2010

The 'system'

I reckon God's got a wicked sense of humour. He takes the piss out of us & our pathetic attempts at omnipotence. I thought that I was doing bloody great in securing a 'Blue Badge' disabled card for my car so that I could run my disabled mother about. That I had got just a little one over & out of the 'system'. Not to be though......
I can see it all now....God sitting up there with all those Holy men & women inc the newly 'Blessed' Cardinal John Henry Newman (of this parish) & he'/she's saying to them" look at him people.. smug get, I'll fix him....." And then having a little giggle.
So there I am using our 'Blue Badge' for the first time in Harborne High Street taking the old dear to her bank, parking behind a white van in what I believed to be a disabled bay.
But whats this??? As we return from the bank a bloody parking warden is taking a photo of my motor & telling me that I'm parked in a "'loading bay' & am not allowed to. Thus a minimum of a £35 fine is smacked on the windscreen.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Cameron has done something right!! But not totally...

Yes he has...I hate to admit it but David 'the public school, middle class twat' has done something I not only applaud, but I think he has done right.

Yesterday Cameron signed a defence agreement with our nearest European neighbours & fellow member of the EU-France. OK so its financially expedient to do so, so that both our countries can share the ridiculously spiraling cost of defence (against what & whom I ask??). But in signing this agreement Cameron has I believe, acknowledged that we, (the United Kingdom) are part of Europe & not part of the empire of the United States of America. Hurrah for that!!

OK so we have an aircraft carrier upon which we cannot afford to buy the aircraft to put upon it (words escape me!!), but lets rejoice for the moment...we are European & not totally glued by a Velcro strip to the arse of Uncle Sam.

Having said that our European Parliament members have gone a tad too far on one level: They have said that prisoners serving a jail sentence ought to have & have got to be given the "right to vote in elections". Now people where I'm coming from is this: I believe that with rights come responsibilities. Those serving prison terms have clearly demonstrated by their actions that they don't give a damn for neither their rights nor the rights of their fellow citizens. So therefore they should forfeit the right to vote for the time that they remain incarcerated in prison.

I think that Brussels has lost the plot on this one.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

I'm sick of 'em!!

Everywhere I seem to go these days, every time the postman calls, each time I open my e-mails there are requests asking & attemptiung to persduade me to take out a Life Insurance policy.

In the Post Office today the fella behind the counter asked me if I was "over 50" & have I considered taking out a "life Insurance policy that will provide enough funds to cover funeral costs & leave some cash for those left behind"

The Cheeky bastard!

I regret that I wasn't quick enough with a witty reply to his initial question nor did I say that the those left "behind me" can go & bugger off & work for their money the same as I had to. Quite honestly I don't give a flying fuck what happens to me when I'm cold & dead.

However that's not true: I'd like a burial in a cardboard coffin in a woodland. I don't want to be cremated. Yet the kids say that they don't like that idea as they want to come & lay flowers etc on my 'plot'.

I'm sorry but I'm straying from the jist of my rant. And its this: Why do people appear to believe that I want to spend my cash on a Life Insurance policy? If I wanted to take out a policy then I believe I have enough intelligence (only just) to organise one. (incidentally, its the same with the utility companies...they knock my front door & ask me "if I'm happy with my energy supplier & would I like to change supplier?" My reply is short & to the point...Its that If I wanted too then I'd go & organise the change myself )

Mind your own bloody business!!

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Already (almost!) November...

I have been reflecting today on the year so far. Yes. I'm aware that the year has 2 months to go but so much has happened in mine & my families lives this year.....
....Claire got married,
Christoper finally moved out of the family home,
Esther finally grew up & is financially independent.
Kathleen achieved her MA.
We finally paid off the mortgage
I retired from work,
I went to France with Claire & her school & made some beautiful friends.
I have made new friends in the locality.
And the years is not done yet!!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The sense of Mikhail Gorbachev

I hear today on the radio news that the former Secretary of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev has told the Americans that "it was impossible for coalition forces to secure victory"in the war in Afghanistan.

This man should know. For it was he who pulled out the Soviet forces from Afghanistan in 1989 after a decade of slaughter ( though he didn't have Silvester Stallone in his army!! )

But to be very serious, I believe that the coalition forces led by the worlds policeman America, closely followed by the deluded, sacrificial government of the United Kingdom et al should pay heed to his advice & pull out their armies Afghanistan.

Having said that I do believe that we owe a debt to the people of Afghanistan for not only occupying their country but also for helping (very ably assisted by the fanatical, murderous Taliban) wreck the already fragile infra-structure of the place. Therefore the coalition has an obligation to attempt to rebuild the place with the assistance & permission of the native Afghans.

10 days in France

My tiredness has now been filed into the library of fatigue under the catalogue of 'pleasurable though knackering experiences' that is housed somewhere between aching muscles & thank God its over!

Last weekend I returned from 10 lovely day in the Norman town on of Vernon (France). I went along as a 'helper'(& God knows I believed that they must be desperate to enroll me as a helper!) with my daughters school in York. In total there were 29 adolescents, 2 teachers &

I many undertook many activities, experienced clusters of emotions & ate wonderful food as well as swallowing some spectacular tasting drink(s).

The children behaved as 'adolescents' do, though in saying that their behaviour was more than appropriate for their ages & was generally socially acceptable. I went to Euro Disney which more than lived up to my personal belief that it lies somewhere between the nearest thing on earth to Purgatory & a shrine to the Goddess Hedone & Hedonism. The best thing about the place as far as I'm concerned is/was the way out of the place! But the kids loved it so that's fine.

During my time in Vernon I stayed with a French family who lived in a house that quite frankly I would die for. The house, its style, decoration, furnishings & more especially its atmosphere were sublime & a joy to my eyes & my heart.

Pascal & Marie opened their home to me, they tolerated my poor French spoken with a Brummie accent & allowed me to unwind after a long day of shepherding the children around the sights & cities of France. I had a fantastic time & as I type her my tummy reflects & rumbles upon the taste of the numerous cheeses that were laid upon Pascals' table for our delight. Then there was the treat of Pascal's gift of the Cognac. Sadly I have not the vocabulary to express the gustatory delight of allowing the Cognac of 1943 vintage to trickle slowly down my uncultured gullet & then it mingling with the fish, soup & cheese(s) lying in repose in my belly. But I implore you people, to let your minds wander & attempt to imagine if you would please the feelings of this experience....

Thank you Pascal & Marie for the myriad of experiences, tastes & feelings you shared with me.

I think that though the days were punishing the evenings were an ecstasy in so many ways.

And my knowledge of French?? Its improved a little I think...I now can order the drink I want in a cafe/bar & ask for the nearest exit route from Euro Disney!

I am more of a Francophile than ever. I am at one with the passion of the French personality & nature as opposed to the traditional Anglo-Saxon reserve. I will go back to Vernon & I sincerly hope to meet with my hosts again.

What a time...what a time....

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Solomon Burke R.I.P.

I heard today that the musical genius Solomon Burke has passed away. What a man! Amongst his other talents he sired 21 children & 90 grandchildren. At at one point weighed in at 30 stones in weight!!
'Everybody needs somebody' he penned & sang, indeed we do Solomon , indeed we do....

RIP Solomon, your legend lives on in your music.


Saturday, 9 October 2010

Relatives?? God, my teeth itch!!!

Sorry, thanks but
I didn’t create

Your World

And I really don’t care
(To be) included

In it.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Cameron you're a twat!!

You all are aware people of my feelings on the British (& NATO forces) involvement in both the Iraq & Afghan war(s). In a very brief nutshell: My belief is we have no right to be there, its a waste of lives & of money we can ill afford, & that as history has shown we'll have to pull out eventually as war in that country is 'unwinable'.
That be as it may. Today it has been announced by Cameron & his crowd of fellow twats that they intend to help those personnel who returning from Iraq & Afghanistan, are found to be suffering from PTSD.

And what is the 'caring' twat going to do?? He's gonna establish a "helpline" for those personnel returning who have PTSD &/or have "mental health problems..." Moreover he announced at the same time a "significant increase in the number of trained mental health professionals who can help these suffers of PTSD".

So now then people.....When I heard this for a brief second i imagined thousands of Mental Health Workers devoted & specialised in the treatment of PTSD. But only for a very brief moment. Before the news item continued I said to myself "no way, there won't be that many staff.....
....Sure enough... the news item quoted the figure of staff who will be "dedicated to help..." 30. (Thirty).
Wise up Cameron, that's going to make a sizable dent in the numbers of suffers of PTSD ain't it? you twat!!
The man has no idea.....

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

RIP Sir Norman.

Today I feel we should morn, (as I'm sure the people of Albania are also morning) the death of Sir Norman Wisdom who has died at the age of 95yrs.
The man was a master of pathos & though the comedy lines were often repeated in all his movies they were still funny.

Goodnight Sir Norman, I'm sure Mr Grimsdyke is waiting for you!

Monday, 4 October 2010

I love where I live!!

Some years ago-it was at my eldest daughters graduation from Birmingham University in fact-the guy who awarded the degrees made his usual waffle speech about how "honoured (he) was to be allowed to present the degrees etc etc. In his speech he continued to describe Kings Heath & Moseley as 'Left Bank'.
Now that stuck with me, & now & again I come across things, situations & people in these environs that cause me to reflect upon that cliche & make me smile & feel glad to live in Birmingham 14.
Today was no exception.....Whilst listening to the glorious Rooks crawing in Highbury park at the bottom of the Garden & at the same time allowing my eyes to feast upon the different shades of yellow & gold that the leaves are turning, I head what sounded like an Alpine Horn coming from the direction of the park!

Now I've heard this before from the park but never paid too much attention to it but this time I jumped on my bike & headed in the direction of the wonderful sound.

Some 3 minutes later I saw him..... In Highbury Park-A guy of about 60 odd years old sitting on a small folding deck chair blowing into this bloody Alpine horn! And what a splendid sound he made to! He actually could play this thing I was unable to recognise any of the tunes but it was tremendous stuff!
The sun was shining, the colours of the leaves tumbling down to the rain glistening grass, & free Alpine music. I love Kings Heath.

Last weekend.....

We went to (another) family wedding at the weekend.

I meet some very interesting & lovely people who curiously enough weren't family. I say "curiously" because these people ( & from what I gather have, or are currently viewed with a degree of scepticism &/or derision!) were not family members!
Now keeping hold of my opinion, ask yourself people, just what does it say about me. That I found these people (guests) interesting & lovely??!!

Moreover, I wonder then, what is the general opinion of me??!!
However do I worry or care?? Well in the cold light of a Sunday morning in Jury's Inn I did, but not now.
Rather, I rejoice that I might be viewed as 'different', odd & bizarre. (By the way I love my green bow tie with small red alligators on, & it went with my red socks!! & Kate looked stunning, sexy & unique in her black dress, bright green tights & matching Parisian styled neck scarf.)

I'm sure that the world does need at some level, the boring, small minded provincial conventional people of the world. But for now, let us all embrace the 'different' people of the world.

I like this one.....

Faces In The Street
They lie, the men who tell us in a loud decisive tone
That want is here a stranger, and that misery's unknown;
For where the nearest suburb and the city proper meet
My window-sill is level with the faces in the street -
- Drifting past, drifting past,
To the beat of weary feet -
While I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.
And cause I have to sorrow, in a land so young and fair,
To see upon those faces stamped the marks of Want and Care;
I look in vain for traces of the fresh and fair and sweet
In sallow, sunken faces that are drifting through the street -
Drifting on, drifting on,
To the scrape of restless feet;
I can sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.
In hours before the dawning dims the starlight in the sky
The wan and weary faces first begin to trickle by,
Increasing as the moments hurry on with morning feet,
Till like a pallid river flow the faces in the street --
Flowing in, flowing in,
To the beat of hurried feet --
Ah! I sorrow for the owners of those faces in the street.
The human river dwindles when 'tis past the hour of eight,
Its waves go flowing faster in the fear of being late;
But slowly drag the moments, whilst beneath the dust and heat
The city grinds the owners of the faces in the street --
Grinding body, grinding soul,
Yielding scarce enough to eat --
Oh! I sorrow for the owners of the faces in the street.
And then the only faces till the sun is sinking down
Are those of outside toilers and the idlers of the town,
Save here and there a face that seems a stranger in the street,
Tells of the city's unemployed upon his weary beat --
Drifting round, drifting round,
To the tread of listless feet --
Ah! My heart aches for the owner of that sad face in the street.
And when the hours on lagging feet have slowly dragged away,
And sickly yellow gaslights rise to mock the going day,
Then flowing past my window like a tide in its retreat,
Again I see the pallid stream of faces in the street --
Ebbing out, ebbing out,
To the drag of tired feet,
While my heart is aching dumbly for the faces in the street.
And now all blurred and smirched with vice the day's sad pages end,
For while the short `large hours' toward the longer `small hours' trend,
With smiles that mock the wearer, and with words that half entreat,
Delilah pleads for custom at the corner of the street --
Sinking down, sinking down,
Battered wreck by tempests beat --
A dreadful, thankless trade is hers, that Woman of the Street.
But, ah! to dreader things than these our fair young city comes,
For in its heart are growing thick the filthy dens and slums,
Where human forms shall rot away in sties for swine unmeet,
And ghostly faces shall be seen unfit for any street --
Rotting out, rotting out,
For the lack of air and meat --
In dens of vice and horror that are hidden from the street.
I wonder would the apathy of wealthy men endure
Were all their windows level with the faces of the Poor?
Ah! Mammon's slaves, your knees shall knock, your hearts in terror beat,
When God demands a reason for the sorrows of the street,
The wrong things and the bad things
And the sad things that we meet In the filthy lane and alley, and the cruel, heartless street.
I left the dreadful corner where the steps are never still,
And sought another window overlooking gorge and hill;
But when the night came dreary with the driving rain and sleet,
They haunted me -- the shadows of those faces in the street,
Flitting by, flitting by,
Flitting by with noiseless feet,
And with cheeks but little paler than the real ones in the street.
Once I cried: `Oh, God Almighty! if Thy might doth still endure,
Now show me in a vision for the wrongs of Earth a cure.'
And, lo! with shops all shuttered I beheld a city's street,
And in the warning distance heard the tramp of many feet,
Coming near, coming near,
To a drum's dull distant beat,
And soon I saw the army that was marching down the street.
Then, like a swollen river that has broken bank and wall,
The human flood came pouring with the red flags over all,
And kindled eyes all blazing bright with revolution's heat,
And flashing swords reflecting rigid faces in the street.
Pouring on, pouring on,
To a drum's loud threatening beat,
And the war-hymns and the cheering of the people in the street.
And so it must be while the world goes rolling round its course,
The warning pen shall write in vain, the warning voice grow hoarse,
But not until a city feels Red Revolution's feet
Shall its sad people miss awhile the terrors of the street --
The dreadful everlasting strife
For scarcely clothes and meat
In that pent track of living death -- the city's cruel street.
Henry Lawson

Friday, 1 October 2010

I want to rant again!!!......Sod it I'm gonna!!!

Today I hope you'll all give me grace to rant about a couple (at least) of things.
Well it all began last night & it was all my own fault to be honest.....I watched BBC's 'Question Time'. Fatal. For me, the family & no doubt the neighbours. Because I ALWAYS end up roaring & arguing the toss with the TV more specifically, the members of the panel who are usually Members of Parliament.
Well, last nights last nights panel was made up of 1 Tory twat MP, a Tory historian (who was a typical right wing middle class Fascist bastard!) Simon Hughes-one of those formerly reasonable Liberal MP's who sold his soul to the Conservatives & the very sensible Dianne Abbot, who appears to represent the type of Socialism that the Labour Pary used to have & hold.
God I let rip at that programme. Well what can you expect from the Right Wing BBC? They think that the UK ends at Watford.

Today the fucking binmen.... They 'took' the recyclable rubbish away today & to be honest why the fuck they bother I don't know! There is more left on the road & pavements than before the bastards came around! I had to stop my car whilst driving along the street & remove 2 recycle boxes that the lazy bastards had thrown into the middle of the road after they had emptied the contents into the garbage truck. Its not fucking rocket science to be able to throw the stuff in the back of the truck is it? Nor can it be that hard to place the container back outside the house from which it came. The bastards.

Now the weather. Its shite. Pissing down of rain water everywhere. The poor bloody cat came in & the bloody water was dripping from the poor bastards fur! He looks at me with a look that seems to say "I know you're responsible for this you lanky bastard!! Piss off cat!!!

That's enough for now. But wait.... I gotta go over to Belfast for a wedding this weekend & I ain't looking forward to it that much to be honest I have a sister in law who makes my fucking teeth itch & she may be there. But what the fuck? Bollocks to her.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Now you know why I make my own bread....

"The maker of Hovis has been fined after a dead mouse was found in one of its loaves.
Shocked father Stephen Forse spotted the mouse in a loaf he was using to make sandwiches for his children.
Mr Forse bought the bread from Tesco Online and had already used some of it when he noticed "a dark-coloured object embedded in the corner of three or four slices".
The 41-year-old father from Kidlington in Oxfordshire first though it was a section of unmixed dough but quickly realised his mistake.
"As I looked closer, I saw that the object had fur on it," he said.
The situation was made even worse when an environmental health officer, who had called to gather evidence, found that the mouse was without a tail.
"Her comments made me feel ill once again as there was no indication as to where the tail was," said Mr Forse.
"Had it fallen off prior to the bread being wrapped or had any of my family eaten it with another slice of bread on a previous day?"
Manufacturer Premier Foods was fined £5,500 and ordered to pay £11,109.47 in costs at Oxford Crown Court for failing to maintain acceptable standards at their site in Mitcham, south London."
A spokesman for Premier Foods said: "We apologise profusely for the distress caused as a result of this isolated incident."

For fucks sake!!!!

Johnstan's the butchers

Today I, & not without some trepidation, decided to buy some offal. Given the choice of supermarkets locally I decided to support my local & only butcher....Johnstan's.
Normally when one goes into the shop it is almost impossible to come out not only with what one went into purchase,but cfome out having brought at least half dozen other items of meat or fish, such are the persuasive talents of Stan the owner & master butcher of the place.
However today I went in brought 1lb of pigs liver & managed to come out without buying anything else! This dispite Stan (the man) strongly suggesting that I should buy some "tasty back bacon to compliment the liver...." Not content with me declining his advice/suggestion he went on to suggest that I buy some of his "home made Chilli & Garlic sausages"
Now came the difficult bit...he had some of the aforementioned sausages already cooked & gave me a sample, & bloody good they were too! Nevertheless I exercised restraint & assertivly declied his suggestion.
My friend in Oz John Middleton, will fully understand what I'm talking about, as he has numerous times run the gauntlet of Johnstans' sales methods.
He is a damn fine butcher though, & today his pigs hearts did look appealing....however the trick is I've discovered, not to let Stan catch you looking at anything else in the shop whilst you wait for your purchase to be weighed up.

And the offal?? Delicious......
Thanks Stan

Monday, 27 September 2010


I'm sure that you will recall people a few weeks ago when I reported that Kate had finally completed & submitted her thesis as part of her MA in psycho-dynamic counselling.

Well today, I can happily report that she has had it marked & graded & has passed!

The year(s) of stress & lonesomeness experienced by all the family (including Kate) have been worth it. Kate has now achieved her Master of Arts......Congratulations & very well done Kate!

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Be quiet and listen to the silence.
The endless void that swallows noise,
Don't be frightened by the blackness,
Welcome it with open arms.

Be silent and listen to the quiet.
The still torcher of deafening proportions.
Try not to tremble in the echo of nothing.

Don't break down in the forever death.
The lasting time of being alone.
Without even your thoughts to comfort you.

Don't cry my love,
I'll hold you in the stillness.
Against the nothing,
we have everything.



Out & about today I noticed (& I may have been mistaken on this people) that the 'old' Birmingham suburb of 'Lee Bank' has been renamed 'Atwood Green'. In order to facilitate this the City Council have demolished most of the old 1960-70's tower block & replaced them with breeze block matchboxes. At first glance they look clean, there are large areas of green & the residents appear happy.
However..... At the Midland Arts Centre -(now there is a design motivated by mammon & is 1 of the ugliest public 'art' centres I have ever come across)-there is an exhibition of photographs of the residents of 'Atwood Green' going about their daily business. Lovely, really nice. The photos show what Birmingham is good at, what we here in Birmingham have I believe, achieved even better than London & for what we should be proud of.
Namely we Birmingham have achieved with the minimum of fuss, disruption & (at least on the surface anyway!) ill feeling from Brummies an atmosphere of racial & cultural co-existence & co-operation. I saw photos of black, tanned, Asian, oriental & white Brummies. All looking happy, living with each other.

But 1 thing that I believe that Birmingham hasn't achieved yet is the mixing of classes, Looking around the city & having lived in a few different suburbs of this fair & once proud city I have observed that there are different classes in each of its suburbs. In Birmingham's defence though I believe this to be the case in most of the UK (including Northern Ireland). Though not in my experience in the Irish Republic.
In Birmingham for example those of 'higher class' tend to live in Solihull (well some parts of that right wing suburb) those of a lower class live in Northfied or Kingstanding-though further up the road from Kingstanding ( & slightly 'posher' is GreatBarr).

This none cross mixing of classes is so typical fucking English I believe, I don't think it occurs on the Continent where surgeons often live cheek by jowl with cleaners, teachers & car engineers.

Just an observation people...I hope you understand.....But there again I don't give a flying fuck if you don't!

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

I think so....

The man who is not dead still has a chance. LEBANESE PROVERB

Christmas???/ Northerners

Only a couple of rants today people.
You may know or not know but I am currently an 'Aldi boy' by that I mean that currently I do the weekly shop generally at Aldi's. I do so because its cheaper than the big 2 0r 3 other supermarkets, generally the quality is very good & there Sainsburys et al. You would be surprised at the type of people that shop there: I came across a couple loading their shopping into the back of their (I presume!) top of the range Lexus 4x4 jeep, I've come across Birmingham University lecturers, at last month I saw the BBC Midlands Today weather girl buying wine at the Aldi in Selly Oak!! (I'd like to get my hands on her isobars I can tell you!!).
Now, where am I going with this?? I'll tell, whilst paying for my purchase of Mozzarella cheese, I saw that Aldi were selling.... Advent Calenders!!
What the fuck is this?? Its just about the season of Autumn, not even October & the bloody shops (& I use the pleural) are selling Christmas goods. Its the consumer world gone mad. The money grabbing bastards & you know what?....I saw one woman pick 1 up & look at it!! I despair at the world that I have retired into I really do.

The other rant I wish to bore you with is this: The sad twat that I am I caught an episode of 'Coronation Street' last night. To be honest I couldn't make much sense of what was happening, I did recognise Ken Barlow, however, I noticed that without exception, those that work (& indeed those that don't) go to the 'Rovers' pub at lunch time have a couple of pints & a hotpot & then return to work none the worse the ware for drinking in the middle of the day.

My conclusions is this: Either Northerners are a race set apart from us the rest of the country & thus are able to drink copious amounts of alcohol at lunch time without falling asleep mid afternoon as the rest of the population in my observation, appear to do.
Or, the cast (& ? those north of Derby)are not drinking 'real' beer, wine, G&T's etc etc especially at lunch time.
Its all bollocks though. I think I'll stick to watching 'Snog, Marry, Avoid' in future!! And that will be the subject of another rant in the future I'm sure.....

Remove formatting from selection

Monday, 20 September 2010

El Papa aka The pope.... & his visit to Birmingham

We in Birmingham we recently 'honoured' by a visit from the Pope-Benedict the XV1. Did I along with the other 60k Roman Catholics from around the UK go to see him when he visited Birmingham yesterday?? Did I fuck.
At Mass on Saturday we were told (the priest was almost manic in his exultation at the MANS visitation) that those intending to go & see the MAN should be waiting outside the Parish Church at 5:30 am!! Madness!! I only get up at that time to go for a piss!!

Once there access was strictly by limited ticket only & the MAN was shielded from the vulgar gaze of those none Catholic sinners(?) by a solid steel 12foot high fence.

I would like to ask the Church hierarchy if (as far as we are aware)when Jesus Christ gathered the thousand odd people who attended the Sermon on the Mount did he arrange for the Jewish local government (whatever) to erect a similar construction? I fancy not.

Then we have the Fascist police in London arrest 6 street cleaners (of Arab origin I understand) under suspicion of plotting to assassinate the Pope. It had to happen didn't it? & those arrested would have to be either be Arabs, Muslims or of Irish origin. Incidental the 6 were released later without charge. (of course).

Finally we have the head Fascist Twat Cameron wave the Pope off at Birmingham airport. Shite.

You may have gathered by now that I have no interest in the Pope's visit neither am I a fan of the Pope. I believe him to be out of touch with grass roots Catholics & people in general (esp the youth & the 'Third World') & fixed in beliefs which appear to be centered in the late 19th Century. I believe him to be also homophobic. I have not gone into the whole business of the Church's child abuse scandal.

I do believe that Cardinal John Henry Newman was & is a Holy & wise man. His wisdom & writings are worthy of study. We would do well to note & remember one quote of his when he said that "Respectability should be a cardinal sin" very true John Henry, how very true...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

And finally.....


the odd weding photo....

Photos taken during & after the wedding of our Claire in Dingle August 2010....

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Closer to home....

Now this takes the absolute fucking biscuit......

On the radio news yesterday (not your shite for brains Radio 1 or the moronic BRMB crap, but on the 'Today' programme on Radio 4.
A fella in (?) Harringey,London has been told that he faces prosecution for 'making' his 5 yr old child walk some 20 yards to a bus stop to catch the bus to school. Now this is the 'nanny state' gone completely ape shite mad in my opinion, health & safety lunacy & just about typical of southern mentality!

But...I can happily report good people that the stupid bastards at Harringey have withdrawn the threat saying that if they were to continue with the prosecution they would have to proceed under the 'Child Protection' laws & they have decided that the cost ( & no doubt the thought of being laughed out of court!) would have been prohibitive.


Saturday, 11 September 2010

It says it all.....

In 1996, 10,907 Americans were taken to hospital with injuries caused by buckets.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

no title....

We wear the mask that grins and lies,

It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,--

This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,

And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A rant directed towards B'ham City Council & central government.

Generally speaking my neighbours are lovely people, they really are. However sometimes they make me shake my head in disbelief at their blindness, their stupidity & cause me to wonder what fucking planet they are on.

Yesterday two of my neighbours told me that they are applying to Birmingham City Council for a grant that exists to tart up your front gardens. This fund apparently provides hanging baskets & garden plants. Bloody hell!! The same neighbour has let two hanging baskets his mom made him die (in fact I watered them daily up until I went to Ireland & he has 3 dead sunflowers still standing in his front garden since 2009! Decorating his frontage are traffic cones, a 'Road Closed' sign that has been there since July 2010 & bits of broken pallets his mates leaves him for his open fire.
Today, the news on Radio 4 announced that the government is thinking of making severe cutbacks to library services. They are contemplating closing libraries to save money. There is even a suggestion to open libraries in pubs & supermarkets! Where in the sweet fuck of creation is this Fascist government taking us?? What are they thinking off? On the one hand for example, they want to reduce alcohol consumption & cut binge drinking, so they increase alcohol taxes, then on the other hand they want to install bookshelves next to beer pumps. "A pint of Guinness, a lager & lime, a packet of dry roasted nuts, Oh, & can I have a shuffti at the latest Sebastian Faulks novel please(?)" Bollocks.

Then we have the City Council giving money to lazy bastards who can't be arsed to do a bit of weeding in their garden or fork out a few bob for a couple of border plants, let alone clean up the shit outside their front window. Bugger this garden grant-get someone to clean up the rubbish & litter on my street & KEEP KINGS HEATH LIBRARY OPEN!!

Jesus this country is crazy, better still I think I'm crazy for putting up with the crap I receive from the government, the City Council, my neighbours & my relations & children.
Its about time I responded to these people in the manner of the 'grumpy old man' that I am & told them all to "FUCK OFF!!"

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

The last time......

This weekend saw the end of an era. God what a momentous year its been so far, & what with my old moms failing health there could be more momentous events waiting to unfold.

At the weekend end my eldest daughter-Claire come down from Tadcaster to stay with us. We had a lovely time. However, the time was tinged with the some sadness as it was the last time that Claire will visit her family home under the named 'Claire Woolley'. On August 14th in Dingle Co Kerry Claire will become Mrs Maloney. Nevertheless less we rejoiced in some style-there was even a fight (for old times sake!) between Claire & her younger sister Esther! We said goodbye to Claire at New Street station on Sunday evening as Miss Woolley waiting for her train to York.

Goodbye Claire Woolley.
Hello Claire Maloney.
Whatever your name is Claire, you will always be my little girl.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Thank God.....

I'm near the end of my tether, but the end is in sight..... I think my friend John Spithead will will understand me here when i say that for the last 12 months I have lost my wife...You see she has been doing this bloody Masters degree & has spent every available hour glued to this machine typing her blood assignment either in the kitchen, front room or....the bedroom.
OK so I'm feeling sorry for myself but its like being widowed I guess. However shes almost finished the fucking thing--Hooray!!! I shall have her back!!

Mind you the weather has been kind so I've been out on my bike & met & made lots of interesting people who have become my friends. The local retro clothes shop-'Top Banana' is a haven of interesting people & the shops owner/manger-Kevin is both welcoming & wonderful company. (today I met a delicious 40 something lady who shared a cuppa & chat with us)

Sexual fantasies aside Katie is back (almost) & I am pleased that she is. The memories eastern front sends a shudder running through me deep into my marrow.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

(Cameron) & a stupid ignorant.....

I see that our Eton educated schoolboy prime minister Cameron thinks that the United States were in the Second World War in 1940. He apparently said whilst touring the States that Britain was "..the junior partner in the relationship with the United States in 1940"
Now I failed my 11 plus, (that explains everything I hear you say) but I do know that the States didn't come into WW2 until 1941 when Japan & Nazi Germany declared war on on the USA following Japans bombing of Pearl harbour.Though the States did supply some war materials notably some very old destroyers in return for naval bases in the West Indies-'Lend Lease'.

Cameron, you're not only a naive twat, you're a stupid,ignorant naive twat who has added insult to injury to the generation who gave their tomorrows for us to have our today.

Cameron, you're a naive twat.......

That Eton educated twat David Cameron announced that he intend to bring back a form of 'National Service' for young people. This will involve them taking part in community projects such as caring for the elderly, gardening, street cleaning etc etc. All for no pay, rather its for the "good of society as a whole & for their maturity".
What a prat. So not only do we have every police force in the country not taking on any new recruits because of a freeze on funds, instead prospective recruits have been told they can become 'Special Constables'-having the same powers as regular police constables BUT not receiving any pay!! Policing on the cheap.
Not only do the young not have any employment opportunities they are expected to work for nothing, for the love of life & for life experience. Yes..... I see thousands flocking to sign on for the scheme.....

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


So the west has given the world a date when they'll pull out of that troubled bloodstained land. However, not only have they told the world but they have told their enemy-i.e. the Taliban.
Now forgive me if I appear stupid, & I know absolutely naff all about military tactics, but I'd have thought that rule number 1 of military engagement is that you NEVER tell your enemy what your plans are!! So why have we told the Taliban that our plan is to pull out of their country by 2015??!!
In effect though what we have admitted too is that we like the Soviets before us & the ourselves in the late 19th Century, found war in Afghanistan 'unwinable'. A waste of money, resources & most importantly of life. The lives of young men, women & children from both sides. A waste of huge amounts of money which the west cannot afford.
No matter how many grand words we use, that country will continue to be ruled by corrupt warlords, who at this moment are syphoning millions of dollars/pounds (GBP) of our money into their own coffers whilst their own people starve & live in sub-human conditions.That we will never change.

To date its taken the lives of approximately 329 young men to arrive at the decision to pull out in 2015. You politicians should hang your heads in shame at the misery to the families of people in this country, the USA & in Afghanistan.

I say again...he who ignores the lessons of history is destined to repeat them. We have chosen to do this.
But what, would someone please tell me... what are we trying to do in Afghanistan??
I could go on about the sheer folly & waste of life but whats the point??

Troops out now!!!!

Saturday, 17 July 2010

The BBC licence fee

The Fascists who recently announced that they were going to reduce the working man (few remaining that there is) to a life of even further impoverishment today announced that they plan to reduce the outrageous BBC licence fee. This they say, is in keeping with the general cutbacks they are making in the economy. Fair enough. I believe that the current licence fee is nothing short of theft. The sheer crap that BBC broadcasts isn't worth a tinkers cuss. The only beacon of light shining forth is Radio Four(4) & occasionally Radio Three (3). Saying that the amount of repeats Radio 4 broadcasts appears to be on the increase, & I think the 'comedy shows' it puts out now are total shite.

I now want to comment on that total wanker Jonathan Ross. I hear this week that he has broadcast his last 'show' on the BBC. Do I give a flying fuck? Do I hell as like!!
The man is a a prime example of wankership. He is a vastly overpaid, untalented piece of shit. There is no way under God's heaven that he was worth the million pounds (or more if my fading memory serves me correctly)per year he was paid. Good riddance you scruffy workshy bastard! I for one WILL NOT be wasting my time watching you ponce around on commercial television. Twat!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Bloody good for me(?)

The latest object of my elderly lust is Lorraine (the cleavage) Kelly. It was she some months ago I saw on the telly advocating the health benefits of pumpkin seeds &, as I was in love with her, at least carnally, I took what she said as gospel & begun to eat the aforementioned seeds daily on my (Aldi) wheatbix. Have I felt any health benefits?? Some, I have to admit but I will not disclose these here & now.
However, thanks to the busty Ms Kelly eating pumpkin seeds has necessitated me travelling to see the not so busty Mr Bentley (BDS B'ham) in Hamstead Heath (Birmingham, not bloody London) as today I chipped a tooth biting on a seed. Bastard!

Although madly in lustful love with the delightful Ms Kelly, I do blame her for my tongue grating on the jagged tooth, & I think she should consider soothing my slightly swollen tongue by allowing me to run my tongue along the perimeter her naked ample bosom.

Sadly I fear that will never happen, but I will go on eating pumpkin seeds & lusting after Ms Kelly.
I ask myself though.....what ever did I see in Charlie Dimmock all those years ago?? Awful.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Its a bastard...

It really is... I've been thinking, which.I hear you mutter is always a dangerous thing for me to do, of the way things are at he moment.
Wherever I go, wherever I look most things I hear are instructional, warning me (& you) against this or that. I was at the local train station the other day & I saw a sign telling me not to stand to close to the edge or I "might get sucked off". Well, I tell you I stood there for a good 10 minutes & no one came along to suck me off. I'm told that I have to wear a life jacket on the plane, to wear a set belt on the plane & when in the car-fuck off!! What if I don't want to? what if I want to die at sea or get catapulted head first through the car windscreen? Its my bastard choice! To make matters worse the cops will charge me if I don't wear a set belt in my car & then....if I don't put the bloody belt on the bloody car makes a loud 'bleeping' sound til I do! Jesus, Mary & Joseph!!!

Boy racers tearing about the roads, probably without insurance, cutting people up, jumping the orderly traffic queue but do they get pulled over?? O no...The decent mature driver gets pulled over because he may have one stop light not working.Unjust or what??!!

I'll wear a cycling helmet when I want to wear one not because RoSPA says its the safest thing to do. Bloody nanny state. Feck off & leave me alone.

Saturday, 26 June 2010


I am prepared to meet my Maker.
Whether my Maker is prepared for the great ordeal of meeting me is another matter.
Sir Winston Churchill, on the eve of his 75th birthday


I have noticed that since quiting work that not only do I have a little more time, but I also have more space within my thoughts for matters other than work.
Whilst working my time was occupied with matters relating to work, I had little space for which other matters could enter my life & thoughts. I had little time (nor energy) to allow muses, things of beauty or reflections to creep into my life.
However I now have this time. I am able to see the artistic potential of even the most mundane objects in life, I watched with intrigue a garden spider repairing her web & the industrious bees working their way around the crop of Foxgloves in the garden.

I reflected too upon the lack of Spirituality within the Roman Catholic Church-the Church I was baptised in.Every moment in the service is filled with noise of some description. There is no opportunity to 'be'.NO gaps within the noise to allow the spirit to settle (or to stir up!)within the heart. And I think I know why this space is denied: I believe that were people allowed this space, a time to reflect, to be silent for even a short time then God only knows what might happen!! People might not come back to the church again. They might, talk to one another, they might be spontaneous.
To have space or a period of silence flies in the face of the autocratic church rulers want. They rule, make policies, portray God as a uniform being-one size fits all. To have space or silence in the Holy Mass would allow the Spirit of God (whatever you perceive him or her to be)to enter the individual on an individual level. This,, to the autocratic church leaders/rulers would terrify them & anarchy would ensue. Bring it on!!!
For the sake of this space I now go to Mass on a Monday or Tuesday when there is the odd opportunity for silent reflection.

Sick and tired....

Of all the things in this beautiful world that irritate me, make my teeth itch, cause me to feel really cross & actually provoke me to what has been called anarchistic responses are other people.
Specifically, people who attempt to 'control' & organise my day, my actions & especially those who attempt to tell me/control my beliefs & ideologies. This loathing I have also extends to those who regard the manner in which I live & my style of living as somehow inferior to theirs. They then have the damn gall to voice their biased opinions to me. Bastards.

I will not accept a directive that I must go somewhere, be somewhere etc at a certain time.
I will not accept obediently that I must conform with such & such policy just because the majority say that its right & proper to do so, & because the policy has been decided on my behalf by a body who did not ask my opinion in the first place. I am thinking now of the Nursing & Midwifery Council to whom I pay £65 odd per year for the privilege of being allowed to work as a nurse.

Rules, rules & more rules. Arrogant people believing themselves to be right, perfect, that their manner of living their life in their style is wonderful & that mine is shite & imperfect. Go to hell!!

I'll tell you what though...passive resistance is good & fine up to a point. Then I become the rebel, the anarchist & I refuse to play the game. Rather, I declare war & go on the offensive in my attempts to deal with these gobshites. And I have reached that point now...

And another thing... whats with the bloody flies?? buzzing around the house, dirty vermin. Get the hell away from me!

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

I rest my case #

So there I was in a local coffee bar enjoying an afternoon coffee with an attractive lady I used to work with, when the young Fascist waiter with whom I am (unfortunately as it happens) acquainted with comes over to pass the time of day with us.
I know him to be a Conservative voter through & through, he is a university graduate who tells me that he cannot get a "better job" & has previously blamed the Labour Government for his employment plight.
Asking me about the budget, I tell him that I thought it draconian, that the Lib-Dems had yet again betrayed the electorate by going back on their election pledge not to raise VAT by sanctioning the increase up to 20% and that Public Service workers have once again had to suffer a pay freeze whilst the bankers who got us into this current financial mess continue to draw enormous financial bonuses.

This misguided bourgeois prat replies that it was not the bankers fault that we are in the financial mess, its the workings mans fault. He supported his belief by continuing to say that we were the ones who went to the banks to ask for loan for cars, houses holidays etc.
But I ask, what about the issue that the bankers continue to award themselves fat cash bonuses? To which he he says that it was "perk of their business".

Turning away I say to myself that this misguided young man deserves to work all hours God sends for a minimum wage as a waiter in a coffee bar dispite the fact he has some degree or other. I hope that his parents are proud of him & that one day he wont end waiting for hours to be cared for on a ward by one of the nurses whose pay has been frozen by his Fascist Government.

He didn't get a tip.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Thank you Mr Larkin....

Philip Larkin - This Be The Verse

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Sadly, I believe Mr Larkin to be correct. I wonder though just how much I have fecked up my 3 kids?! Thing is though,as parents we're not issued with a handbook guide on how not to feck them up.
We do our best though, as long as we love them & teach them to love & respect others then I believe we're on the right track.

It explains a lot folks....

Its taken me almost 58 years to arrive at the conclusion I am about to share with you people, and, to be honest it helps me understand a great deal about myself & MY behaviour.
This is the conclusion then: Over the last few weeks as I have become increasingly involved in my mothers daily care, she has become increasingly dependant upon my input & help in sorting out her everyday tasks.
When left to her own devices however she has managed to sort out the most mundane & on occasion complex tasks. The more that I have done the more she demands of me.
I believe now that my mother has a dependant personality disorder. This might seem heartless, but, reflecting upon her early childhood experiences (the details of which I will withhold)I can understand why she is like how she is.

Her behaviour causes me great emotional stress, frustration & at times anger. My professional experience reminds me that my feelings & responses are exactly the same as the responses I encountered caring for patients with a personality disorder whilst working as a community psychiatric nurse. (feelings & emotions common to all nurses caring for PD's.)

I am now engaged in the process of attempted to establish exactly what personality disorder type I am!?!! I am willing to listen to the opinions of others...especially my former CPN colleague John on this one!