Friday, 26 February 2010

I remember when...

I recall years ago as a young student & later staff nurse we worked the 'long day shift'. How it worked was like this: You'd go on duty at 1:30pm on a Friday afternoon. Work through 'til 8pm. You then begin Saturday mornings shift at 7am & finish at 8pm, the same hours you'd work on Sunday. On Monday however you'd begin your shift at 7am & go off duty at approx 2:00pm dependant how long the 'handover' took.
My point is this: After a sometimes gruelling Saturday 13hour shift you go to your room in the nurses home have a wash, get changed & either go to the staff social club then on to a party or get the bus into town & end up at Rebecca's night club (or maybe even Barbarella's. Having little or no recollection on how you got back home you'd have another drink then fall asleep on the snooker table in the male nurses home common room. It didn't matter a toss that your room complete with its comfortable bed was only some 20feet away from the common room, the snooker table had a strange appeal & calling! (I neglected to mention that lunch was taken in the social club.)
You'd then get up at approximately 6:45am grab your white coat from your room and stumble onto the ward to begin your next 13 hour shift with a hot cup of tea.
The same routine would be repeated on Sunday night but you'd stay local & more than likely sleep in your own bed but you'd be pissed.
Now though, O dear God. I stay up til 15 minutes past midnight & I completely buggered the next day! I can hardly keep my eyes open let alone maintain a decent therapeutic train of thought to see patients!
God, I am getting old & past it! And I have to go out drinking tonight to! Where has all the old staying power gone to?!!

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Not a superpower anymore....

The headline photo in the local free supplement edition of the local reactionary Tory rag that was pushed through my door this morning displayed a photo of 3 people who were residents of Main House the only national residential unit for people with Personality Disorder. It showed then holding each other apparently crying. The headlines told that the 3 had apparently following a drunken binge attempted suicide in response to being discharged.The unit being forced to close now that the PCT's have pulled the financial plug.
Now regardless of your feelings about those members of our society who have a personality disorder, (& its my belief that we ALL have a PD of some degree, it being on a sliding scale of severity) this seems yet another example of the weakest ,most vulnerable members of society being scapegoated to by the government in its attempts to save money to spend on other ventures. Its either the mentally ill, children's, or services for the elderly that suffer the cuts.

So where is the money going?? Why, look no further than Afghanistan. The UK was taken into a war in Iraq & currently Afghanistan buy HRH Blair despite 1,000,000 people protesting in London against the war. We were taken into war by Blair who was the 'lap dog' of Bush, a war that history has proven cannot be won. Today we heard of 2 more deaths tomorrow how many more.
We are wasting money in an unwinable war. We are NO longer a 'world superpower', we cannot afford as a nation to pay for a war, any war. The mistake the nation is making is that we believe we are a superpower.
So whats to be done?? Well, history has also proven that if you want to draw a line under a conflict with terrorists the only way is to negotiate, to talk.

So I'm left wondering how many more cuts to public services will be made to fund the delusion that we are a world superpower? The nation is living above its means.The bottom of the bottomless pit is clearly visible, & Afghanistan is a war that is 'fought' but not in my name.

On his blindness

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg'd with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
"Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?"
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: "God doth not need
Either man's work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o'er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait."

John Milton

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

A 'taste' of things to come??

Today marked the first of my last days annual leave from my full time time employment. Memorable....I reflect upon past days off spent on annual leave, holidays spent lazing about, spent in the cottage in Ireland with the kids when they were growing up and holidays spent at home because funds were tight.
Tomorrow though Kate & I are going to spend the day in the old market town of Ledbury in Herefordshire. We've been there before, its olde worlde with lots of good quality charity shops! We'll hopefully have a baguette with some locally made cheese whilst sitting in a bus shelter watching the world go by. Weather permitting it'll be grand!

Today though dear reader, I have spent the day painting the back kitchen-(photo to follow when the jobs completed!)and cooking. The cooking was caused me tho recall my friend John Middleton's last days spent in England. He parted with lots of his personal possessions & I was honoured to be given some of them. Today I used the rolling pin that he gave me. Its a simple thing but that piece of round wood was used by John to feed his family & today I did the same. I made a meat & potato pie topped with shortcrust pastry. Enclosed is a photo of said pie. Thank you John it was lovely!

I rounded off the day with a making some roasted red pepper and tomato soup-its as red as our newly painted kitchen wall! To go with it I made a wholemeal crusty loaf-tomorrows dinner sorted I think!
Now to the moan(s) of the day: I was looking at the plane fares to Adelaide & I found that to fly there would cost £749! How in Gods name do they justify that amount? Are the passengers served the choicest wines and truffles served by a selection of sexy Aussie ladies who will perform any sexual act/fantasy for & with you throughout the journey as well as tucking you up with a nice fairy story. My arse they do! It would have been a delight to see John and Charlotte but I really don't think I'm able to afford it this year & I don't want to go into debt at the moment. Kate retires in 2015 & we plan to sell the cottage when/if the market improves so.... that might provide a source of cash.
Finally; theres a big hue & cry about the standard(s)of care provided at a hospital in Staffordshire. As usual the nursing staff bare the brunt of the blame. However management are cited as being "...obsessed by targets & cost cutting..." I tell you now readers who aren't familiar with the workings of the NHS...all NHS hospitals are run along the same lines. I have been told that I must see a distressed, depressed patient for 50minutes & offer them only 6 sessions max'. Targets?? I think so. I have been told by a NHS 'manager' that the "service is a corporate business". Patient care appears to be secondary. Thank God I'm getting out!
At this point I will not mention bullying with in the NHS

OK.With that final moan I'm off to bed. Good night.



The rain is raining all around,
It falls on field and tree,
It rains on the umbrellas here,
And on the ships at sea.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, 22 February 2010

The state of play...

So here I am: Just over a month to leaving full time employment and to be honest I'm looking forward to leaving the bullshit that caring for people has become.
The mangers who supposedly manage the system, have by the fact that daily they change their minds on how the system/organisation is to run; I will not miss. I will miss some of my colleagues (but not the one who's voice goes through me & talks it appears just for the sake of hearing her own voice, telling each member of the team the same story over & over in the space of 10-15 minutes!
I will miss the networking. Most of all I will miss the patients. And I will miss the feeling that after seeing a patient that I have 'given them a mind'. Perhaps dismantled some fences that had been constructed thus preventing them from enjoying an improved quality of life.

I had a bottle of vodka brought me by a patient last week, whilst today I had a packet of biscuits, a bag of crisps & a bar of Cadbury's chocolate brought me. A little bit random but gifts nevertheless.
These things I shall miss. Not the gifts I hope you understand.

MY BT Internet at home has a"line fault" according to 'Ram' the nice fellow in Calcutta I spoke to today in my efforts to sort it out, so I am tying this on a computer at one of the surgeries I go to. God knows how long the "line fault" will take to repair, but it explains alot really. The Internet at home has been off & on for some days now & last night it decided to give up the ghost all together.
I have the last of my annual eave days to take over the next few days & plan to drive into the country with Kate for a spot of countryside viewing, shopping & enjoying each others company.

I think that I have landed myself with a part time job when I finally do retire: Its 3 days weekly-hopefully Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday at Newbridge House in the depot & venepuncture clinic. I have accepted the offer made to me, & hope to begin on Tuesday May 4th. Hopefully...

God I am a pessimist. I worry awfully about money-that we won't have enough, worry that this job won't come off etc etc. All this worry despite being reassured by those that matter.But one thing I do know: I know that I won't be able to afford to visit John In Australia. The lump sum won't stretch that far taking into account Claire's' wedding & havimng to pay off a sizeable chunk of the bloody mortgage.
This is a pain in the arse. I'd have loved to have gone but such is life.
Gotta go now my 4o'clock is waiting to be seen.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

An interesting bit of research...

Perhaps one of the most interesting and colorful words in the English language is the word "fuck". It is the one magical word, which, just by its sound, can describe pain, pleasure, love and hate. In language, "fuck" falls into many grammatical categories. It can be used as a verb, both transitive (John fucked Mary) and intransitive (Mary was fucked by John). It can be an active verb (John really gives a fuck) or a passive verb (Mary really doesn't give a fuck); or an adverb (Mary is fucking interested in John), and as a noun (Mary is a terrific fuck). It can be used as an adjective (Mary is fucking beautiful). As you can see, there are very few words with the versatility of "fuck".

Besides its sexual connotations, this incredible word can be used to describe many situations:

Greetings How the fuck are you?
Fraud I got fucked by the car dealer.
Dismay Oh, fuck it!
Trouble Well, I guess I'm fucked now.
Aggression Fuck you.
Disgust Fuck me.
Confusion What the fuck...?
Difficulty I don't understand this fucking business.
Despair Fucked again.
Incompetence He fucks up everything.
Displeasure What the fuck is going on here?
Lost Where the fuck are we?
Disbelief Unfuckingbelieveable.
Retaliation Up your fucking ass.
Telling time I have to work till 5 o-fucking-clock.

It can be used in an anatomical description -- "He's a fucking asshole."
It can be used to tell time -- "It's five fucking thirty."
It can be used in business -- "How did I wind up with this fucking job?"
It can be maternal -- as in "Motherfucker".
It can be political -- "Fuck George Bush."

And, never forget General Custer's last words: "Where did all them fucking Indians come from?"

Or the Mayor of Hiroshima: "What the fuck was that?"

And last, but not least, the immortal words of the Captain of the Titanic: "Where is all this fucking water coming from?"

The mind fairly boggles at the many creative uses of the word. How can anyone be offended when you say fuck?

Use it frequently in your daily speech; it adds to your prestige.


“I have made noise enough in the world already, perhaps too much, and am now getting old, and want retirement”

Napoleon Bonaparte quotes (French General, Politician and Emperor (1804-14). 1769-1821)
A poem at the end of the day
Cannot have the hope
Of a morning poem.

A poem at the end of the day
Has to have weariness in it
And sadness
And fear.

The night is coming
But no one knows what the night will be.

A poem at the end of the day
Does not know if it will ever see the morning.

It has fear in it
And I would not write it,
Were it not
The end of the day now.


More snow!

Its twelve months almost exactly to the snowed on February 18th 2009, & here we are again more of the bloody white stuff! I'm sick of it but I tell you what, with only 27 working days left in fulltime employment I am NOT too stressed whether or not I go to the dungeon first thing in the morning Sod it!
I think that I've landed myself a part time job when I finally leave (did I mention that I was going to retire??)-I've negotiated three days working in the depot & venpuncture clinic. Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday. That suits me, its only a band 5 but that's ok. I'm hoping to start in early May but first I have to retrain as a 'blood letter'.

I went out for a curry with an old colleague the other day. He was very reassuring about all this retirement stuff. I don't (at least for the present!) feel so apprehensive & maudlin about the prospect of giving up full time work.In fact work is starting to bore the life out of me. I get there & just don't want to be there. I like the people, talking to them-colleagues & patients but all the associated crap is now so tiresome. I just want to do the basic minimum

I've been thinking....When the General Election is finally announced that I'll put £1 on Labour to win. I've had a bit of a rethink about Gordon Brown. I reckon that he is a man of morals, & maybe he hasn't made too bad a job of getting us back on a level footing, after all it was those wanker bankers & their greed that got us into the financial mess we're in. But,I hear you say, "Brown was too weak to rein the bastards in". True. But c'mon...for a quid? Its a worthwhile bet I think.
I think now that I'm gonna go up to the attic windows, scoop up some snow, make snowballs & throw 'em at the parked cars! The thud they make when they hit the roof is fantastic! "Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional" as the saying goes.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Just what the hell is going on???

This,if you are able to tolerate it dear reader is a rant on three subjects which at the moment cause my teeth to itch. So if you feel able to put up with it, or want a laugh ( & I have no objection if you do)please read on....

I heard again today that the Government plans to continue with its ludicrous plan to make people continue to work to at least 65yrs age. I believe too that the Brylcreme Fascist (Cameron) has a notion to force people to work past that age!
Now to me this 'policy' seems the most ill thought out 'plan' since Winston Churchill said "I know, lets land some ANZAC soldiers on a beach called Gallipoli...." What I wonder is this: Have these public school, middle class toffs given a thought to what state people will be in by the time they reach 65 years of age & beyond? I think not. Leastwise I believe they don't give a toss.

Now tonight as I was surfing the net, (as I do) there was yet another programme on the TV about Katie (slapper) Price. That 'woman' in my opinion epitomises everything I loathe about celebrities. She broadcasts to the nation that she has broken up with her partner, returns to the UK & is mobbed by the gutter press. She then complains bitterly! Give me strength!! She in common with 90% of celebrities, is physically false, emotionally shallow & greedy beyond belief. At best she should be shot or better still drowned in a vat of fake tan!

Finally I feel vindicated. Kraft Foods have kept to their usual pattern of business: Within three weeks of taking over Cadbury's they have closed a branch of the company in Bristol thereby making approximately 400 people unemployed. No doubt the shareholders who netted a handsome profit by voting for the takeover responded with a shrug of their capitalist shoulders whilst Gordon Brown stood by indifferent to the plight of those who voted his party (NOT HIM) into office.

And so its goodnight from me.

"It is not a word"

"It Is Not a Word"

It is not a word spoken,
Few words are said;
Nor even a look of the eyes
Nor a bend of the head,

But only a hush of the heart
That has too much to keep,
Only memories waking
That sleep so light a sleep.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness- for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Edgar Allan Poe

Saturday, 6 February 2010

This cheers me up, puts things into proportion...

Just remember that you're standing on a planet that's evolving
And revolving at nine hundred miles an hour,
That's orbiting at nineteen miles a second, so it's reckoned,
A sun that is the source of all our power.
The sun and you and me and all the stars that we can see
Are moving at a million miles a day
In an outer spiral arm, at forty thousand miles an hour,
Of the galaxy we call the 'Milky Way'.
Our galaxy itself contains a hundred billion stars.
It's a hundred thousand light years side to side.
It bulges in the middle, sixteen thousand light years thick,
But out by us, it's just three thousand light years wide.
We're thirty thousand light years from galactic central point.
We go 'round every two hundred million years,
And our galaxy is only one of millions of billions
In this amazing and expanding universe.

The universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding
In all of the directions it can whizz
As fast as it can go, at the speed of light, you know,
Twelve million miles a minute, and that's the fastest speed there is.
So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere up in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!

Thursday, 4 February 2010


I have felt periodically near to tears today especially this evening. I can let none see me nor feel that I can share the emotion(s) with anyone close to me.
I am scared. Scared because in just over one month I will cease to be in full time employment. After almost forty years as a nurse I am to retire & I'm not entirely sure that I am ready to look & recognise myself.
I have for years avoided doing so, have avoided looking by burying myself, sheltering behind my profession & my humour Now that persona will shortly be surrendered. The uncertainty of how I will actually feel scares me. I need a cuddle but cannot tell those close the reason why. Yet I know I am not alone-I reflect upon the thousands of people in the world who have lost their jobs, their livelihoods & they won't be receiving a pension. I am very fortunate I realise that.
God I must sound shallow, pathetic & having a veneer for a personality. But I feel alone. Feel scared & apprehensive of my future

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


These solitary hills have always been dear to me.
Seated here, this sweet hedge, which blocks the distant horizon opening inner silences and interminable distances.
I plunge in thought to where my heart, frightened, pulls back.
Like the wind which I hear tossing the trembling plants which surround me, a voice from the inner depths of spirit shakes the certitudes of thought.
Eternity breaks through time, past and present intermingle in her image.
In the inner shadows I lose myself,
drowning in the sea-depths of timeless love.