Saturday, 28 January 2012

He's driving me to distraction.....!

There's a saying that goes something like... 'When the cats away...' Well Kate's away in Belfast this weekend visiting her (very) elderly mom & it would appear as if the 'cat' in the literal sense of the word-(also known as) Charlie Coal is taking full advantage of the breakdown in 'normal' routine & boundaries which are normally set for him when Kate is about.
He's in & out of the house, is very vocal and constantly looking for food. I mean, he follows me about the house where ever I go. He ate his breakfast this morning, went out to play,but within 15 minutes returned and sat meekly beside his empty food dish smiling, staring at me as if saying " C'mon then, Paul, just a little smackeral if you please my man". It was jolly difficult to resist him, & so I gave in. Normally Kate would tell him to "get the hell out & not behave like a gannet." But the buggers got me where he wants me-I'm a sucker for his gustatory feline demands,
Given the opportunity, Charlie is a furry feline food processing unit. Today he's been strolling about the house like the lord of the damn manor! Periodically having a scratch, lounging where he shouldn't be lounging and  having something to say as he migrates from one room to another with grandeur befitting a peer of the realm.
I've just been graced with his presence for a brief moment in time.....long enough for him to cast a glance at me,  meow, then stroll out intimating that he wanted to once again wished to patrol the environs & go out to play.
I had been instructed by a cat...I HAD to obey.

You wait matey... The boss is back tomorrow.....lets see you try the "I'm the head-honcho around here" guise then!!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Oscars 2012

I have never been much of a film goer. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of films I have inspired to see . I am not one of those who like some friends who go religiously to the movies every other week.
Thus, I haven't got any interest at all in who or what wins an Oscar . However I do feel aggrieved that the lovely, sexy, Meryl Streep is up for an Oscar for her portrayal of that witch Margaret Thatcher.
Despite my libidinous feelings towards M/s Streep there is no way under God's heaven that I could allow myself to go & sit through a film which portrays the debacle that Thatcher presided over & was instrumental in engendering when she was Prime Minister of these Islands.
I still feel physically sick & I shudder to my marrow when I hear Thatcher speaking the Prayer of St Francis.
Sadly both for M/s Streep (though she don't give a shite) & for me, is that my wanton desires for her are a tad less potent.
 However, I would commend to you Amanda Redman (pictured to the right & below)The fact that these 2 ladies are both blond is coincidental I assure you people.

The lovely Amanda Redman



Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The hard sell,charities & cold callers at the door.

Kate and I donate to varies charities-not only when there's a crisis somewhere or other, or a street collection, but also by having a 'Direct Debit' from our bank whereby a fixed amount is taken out each month to the charity of our choosing.

Lately though I have to admit that I'm getting mighty pissed off with some of them.
What's happening is that most-(if not all of the Direct Debit charities) phone up initially at at time when they know you're home from work and at home. in-usually teatime.

First of all they thank you profusely for donating as you do to the particular charity then they attempt to persuade you to increase your donation. No matter how much you attempt to explain your own financial situation the person at the other end of the phone continues to harangue you until you either give in and increase your contribution of make some FIRM excuse and say "goodbye".
These calls really piss me off. Its begging by another name. If I wanted to increase my donation I'd do it . I don not want to be harangued by some faceless beggar on the phone who patronises me then begs for a few more quid.
Last night took the biscuit. Again around teatime-0about 630pm or so there was a knock at the front door. Opening it there was a young girl-she couldn't have left school more than 2 years ago I reckon. She thrust at me an ID badge and asked me to consider giving her money for, or taking out a Direct Debit mandate for 'Save the Children Fund'. Now SCF is one of the charities we give too, but guess what....she asked me to increase it!
More power to her-going from door to door doing this on a dark chilly January night but I can't help but think that she had to do this or else the Department of (un)employment would stop her benefit (bastards that they are).

Times in the UK are hard. That rat Cameron & all the other arse licking ex public school boy rats in his Cabinet along with his catamite side kick are pushing people to the brink with their ruthless policies. In order to make a living and in order to ensure that they continue to receive their unemployment benefit, people have to take any job. Thus I (along with others in our street) have had a succession of 'cold caller's selling everything from magazines to offers to change our phone supplier. Now I think that if I wanted to change, take out a sub' to a magazine whatever, I have enough about myself to go & organise this. So you can imagine how pissed off I feel when these lads come to my door. I do my best to be polite & not show my displeasure at their  (cos I'm aware that its an awful job & that they probably have to do it) but I have sent some of them away with  flea in their ear on a few occasions!!
I wish some Jehovah Witnesses would call!!- Remember those days??

Finally I'd link to bend your ears on Banks etc. No, I'm not going to rant about the bankers being the cause of all the present troubles in the world because we all know that to be the case,& I have spent many a rant postulating this belief.
BUT: each time \i go into my local Building Society to pay a bill the teller asks me when my house insurance is due? (come to that, when I renewed my car insurance over the phone they asked me the same question then!!) Of course I have that information ready at we all do...don't we?? Then they give out the sales pitch,telling me (you) how good their banks rates are. I feel like saying "Look love, fuck off! I have enough know how to look around for a good deal without you pressuring me to take out your organisations latest deal". I don't say this of course. 
They've been told to ask this. No doubt there's a faceless bastard of a manager lurking nearby listening to see if they ask the question. And, if they do manage to sell a deal then everyone (including the teller) get a bonus. But I loathe this hard sell technique.
These people & organisations have to make money, squeeze the man in the street for a bit more. Well I got a bit of news for the sellers......The man in the street ain't got any spare dough. So BACK OFF!!

Saturday, 14 January 2012

January sunset

The colours in the sky around sunset at this time of year never cease to touch & fill my heart with warmth. Tonight's was no exception, this sunset and the beauty given to us free by nature I snapped on my mobile phone from my back door this evening.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Interesting photograph

Tuesdays is my 'market day'.
 I either cycle or drive into the city centre of Birmingham to the outside market. The markets area lies in an old area of Birmingham where in the 16th Century Birmingham Manor House stood surrounded by a moat. Though the area of Digbeth dates back to 700AD. The Manor House has long, long since gone  & the once the moat was filled in c1817 a market was established. This area lies now between what is known as Smithfield & Digbeth.
Anyway. I go to the market weekly & get my vegetables etc- you get better quality & variety than at the supermarkets & frankly, at a cheaper price too.
Today as I strolled down a side street towards the market the watery winter sun was shining on my back shining on my back. To my right was a demolished pub but on my left was the old (not sure how old) Digbeth Police Station. But: In front I noticed the reflection of the Police Station on a glass fronted office block & I took the opportunity to snap it with my mobile. I like to share this photo with you and I have incidentally enclosed the frontage photo of the Police Station.

The Frontage of Digbeth police Station.

Monday, 9 January 2012

What gives....??

Charlie Coal has a problem. (And no wonder living in our house I hear you say!)
Whenever we happen to leave empty bag or box lying about the poor deranged feline leaps in to the cavity & sits there for an indeterminate length of time or until we actually tip him out.
Tonight was no exception:
After taking delivery of a new pair of winter boots, Esther left the empty box on the floor. Quick as a flash Charlie jumps into the box vacated by the boots! I took a quick snap of him, &,  as I type now he has curled his rotund feline form into the  (much too small) box & is asleep.
I enclose a picture for (hopefully) amusement!

Health & Safety law gone crazy

Take a look at this young man to your left. His name is Eric Carter.
The photo was taken in c1941 when Mr Carter, now aged 91 years, was a fighter pilot ace in The RAF flying Hurricane fighter planes over Russia.
Eric today went to a museum in Stoke on Trent & saw a Hurricane of the type he flew against the Luftwaffe throughout the Second World War. He asked if he might have a closer look, & perhaps sit in the machine for 'old times sake'.
Guess what??.... He was refused by the museum staff. They apparently cited the 'Health & safety Law to prevent him from doing so. They said that the paint on the plane ..."had traces of radioactivity in it and that the seat was unsafe...."

God help us & save us all from the 'Nannie State' that is the UK today.
Its a bloody good job that there was no Health & Safety legislation in 1941 otherwise Eric & hundreds of other brave young men like him would never have took to the air! As Eric said " Its a pity the Luftwaffe weren't so caring as the Health & Safety people!"
Health & Safety....protecting us from ourselves....

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My work

My work cause me to feel tired. Tired physically, mentally & emotionally. After working a shift (& I only work 2 days weekly!) I go home & fall asleep in the armchair seated in front of the blazing fire. Its a bugger, because I'm trying to read & have my music on in the background. Next thing I'm full of Zzzzz's for about 20 minutes.Then I awaken & feel esurient for a morsel of chocolate of Marmite sandwich.. On Friday evenings I find myself reflecting upon the days.
The stories I have heard, the emotions I have unconsciously taken on from the person I have sat with, & often I feel an overpowering sense of sadness & helplessness that I'm unable to exorcise the angst from the person. I guess though that none of the guys I work with would have any clue that I 'suffer' these torments at the end of the day, given that outside of the sessions with patients I'm clumsy, chatty, cracking jokes & occasionally losing the plot when the photocopier decides that it won't work for Woolley!
But yesterday my boss (whom I respect as a fellow nurse, manager & man (even though he does follow a 2nd rate football team!) informed me that my employment might end at the latest in mid March 2012. He added that it may also terminate earlier, on February 6th 2012. This is because the worker whom I'm 'covering' returns for maternity leave & that funding for my post runs out.
This news saddens me. I love the work. I love 'thinking on my feet', giving some therapy to the patients I see, I love the crac with the others in the team. And yes, I will miss the periods of projective identification that sometimes overwhelm me during my spells on duty.
 It will pain me to leave the people I've met, their histories & emotions that they have shared with me & the sheer pleasure I obtain from working with & being with professional nurses.

Dianne Abbott & racism

Of all the 'isms' the one which I abhor, which I believe is steeped in ignorance, superstition and above, all fear, is racism. The evil creed of racism has recently reared its malevolent head across a broad front in British society. From football, to the recent court case regarding the murder of the late Steven Lawrence, racism has made the headlines & proven itself to be alive & festering in 21st century Britain.
The latest manifestation of the evilness of racism came 2 days ago when Labour Member of Parliament Diana Abbott made an outburst on 'Twitter' when she said that "White people love playing divide & rule. We should not play their game".
I like Diane Abbott. I believe she would make a fantastic leader of the Labour party. She is intelligent, assertive, & committed. The Labour Party needs a leader who will stand up & be counted, a leader from an ethnic minority & its about time Labour had a female leader. So imagine my dismay when I head her retort this week!
On the one hand I think she has a valid point, & one of the reasons I support Diane is that she says what she thinks (& believes?). But these comments frankly cause me to feel a little disquiet. Better if she had said that "Some white people..." Rather than be so global. And I wonder too, what action  the (weak) Labour leader Ed Miliband have undertaken if a none black or Asian Member had made these comments? Hmmm...
Wherever it comes from racism is abominable & must not be permitted.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

A Lovely poem I'd like to share

My Heart is Heavy.

My heart is heavy with many a song
Like ripe fruit bearing down the tree
But I can never give you one-
My songs do not belong to me

Yet in the evening, in the dusk
When moths go to and fro,
In the grey hour if the fruit has fallen,
Take one, none will know.

Sara Teesdale

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Margaret Thatcher.....and Christmas 2011.

I came upon this photograph in a Christmas edition of The Daily Mail. Now, there is no way under God's heaven that I would ever buy such a right wing reactionary rag, but it was brought into my house by my eldest daughter-(where have I gone wrong?) "its for the puzzles daddy" she bleated in a mitigating whimper! So it was that Lord Rothermere's rag rested in our back kitchen for 2 or 3 days over the 21st Century's Yuletide vulgarisms.
Anyhow: The accompanying story read that Lady Thatcher was left alone, abandoned & lonely over Christmas when her two (adult) children were in Barbados & away skiing respectively. Doesn't my heart bleed for her. (not).
Obviously her kids have no relationship nor any connection with her, because during their formative years she was off buggering up the UK, creating mayhem across the globe & destroying the UK Trade Union system.
So Thatcher was left in the care of the other woman in the photo' over Christmas & the right wing rag made the most of it...."the Iron Lady alone at Christmas" or something like that it said.
Good enough for her after what & how she did to the UK miners during the long torturous of her premiership.She sent thousands into destitution & poverty by her totalitarian policies. Destroyed whole communities, extirpated families, created thousands of disconsolate spirits & brought about the death of many by her abominable polices & attitudes.
Moreover, perhaps she should have spent Christmas in a similar position & state to some of those I just mentioned-she should have a meagre Christmas dinner, sat in unheated house, with no future assured and be lonely. I shed not a tear for that woman.And I never will.

Thankfully, Christmas is over

Phew! its over! Christmas I mean. And I wonder how many of you out there share that view?
Christmas, that period of the year of enforced joviality, the time of high unexpressed emotions that all too frequently turn into high expressed emotions! This unfortunately was the case in the Woolley house this year thank to my mother.
My mother, due I think to her Ego & Super Ego defence mechanisms bring diminished 'thanks' to her 84years has recently been most unpleasant in her (formerly held in check to some degree) manipulative  but sad  not her lies. Her Narcissistic personality disorder has in short come to the fore.
For many years we have noticed that she has lied and displayed some unpleasant behaviour in her relationships within the family, but tended to dismiss it has eccentric but over Christmas her behaviour & lies reached a crescendo & couldn't be tolerated any longer.
She came to use on Christmas Eve. Had supper & then we drove her to Midnight Mass. Returning home, we had a glass of wine, put a hot water bottle in her bed & we all retired (not all to her bed I must add!) Christmas day we all ate a cooked 'Ulster Fry' breakfast  (thank you Kate), went to the local pub for a snifter, returning home after 1 hr We then all opened our presents t when Chris & his partner Rebecca came round for lunch. The rest of the day was spent relaxing by the stove.
All went to bed comfortable at around 10pm. The following day saw us cook breakfast for mom before me driving her the 8miles to my brothers for the the day.
That's when the shit hit the fan! She told my brother & his in laws that she had been sent to her room, told not to come down  whilst we had a riotous party downstairs! I wish!
My brother & his wife told me this story independently, we challenged mom who... denied it initially, then said that my brother tells lies, then she said that she said it fir a joke! Now she's asking for "forgiveness" (he word) At times she changes her story & says that she "doesn't remember saying anything, then says that my brother "shouldn't tell tales..."
Her latest caper has upset the whole family, they reflect & thought that they had given her a nice family Christmas but...apparently not.
This is that latest in a life time of capers that mom has pulled over the years,& sadly, a picture is beginning to emerge to my (formerly estranged) brother and me of what our mother was/is really like.
The good thing about this is that now my brother & me have become closer. We have met up twice now in the last month-more than in the precious 10years!
I forgive my mom. I find it difficult to to forget. Perhaps because I'm still trying to digest the incidents of the past involving her,my dad, brother & me. I do know that my responses to her henceforth will be more
 measured, almost clinical in there nature.
And you know....You can chose your friends, but you can't chose your family.