Thursday, 23 February 2012

The bankers continue to bleed us.

I note today that The Royal Bank of Scotland today posted its latest financial report today and sad to say they continued to reflect a loss. The latest figure(s) say that in 2011 the bank lost £2billion pounds. To be fair this is less than the previous year.
This is the bank that is 82% owned by the British tax payer, & I reckon judging by this loss chief executive Stephen Hester ain't got any reason to crow about!
What sticks in my gullet is that despite this (still) massive loss he awards his investment bankers the grand total sum £800 million! How can he justify this amount in 'bonus' payout whilst the bank still makes a loss? Shouldn't this amount be ploughed back into the financial coffers of the bank that I part own??
Stephen Hester says that he believes that it is "...... important that we reward good people for making progress within the banks...."
C'mon Steve, take a reality check: 99% of the British public hasn't had a pay rise for a least 2 years, families in the major cities are having their family diet subsidised by charity run food banks, the % of elderly people suffering from malnutrition in the UK is rising, the unemployment figures are increasing monthly and you award your leeches a further pay bonus!!
Tell me Mr Hester, when your planet was destroyed, did any more of your kind make it to this trouble planet we call earth??

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A difficult time....

This is my first posting for what seems ages. I've been quite preoccupied recently. that's my excuse & I'm sticking to it!
This year I'm 60; my body though tells me that I feel about mid 50. However, psychologically & emotionally I feel at an age I am unable to recognise because I feel so battered & bruised.

I've been a psychiatric nurse since 1971. I've seen, (&  for the main part coped with) many many changes in the National Health Service. I've seen the way that we as nurse are supposed to deliver the care to our patient's change, due to Government & local care suppliers demands & financial cutbacks. But I have tried to be consistent in the care I give. I have,- like all nurses arrived for duty early and stayed over our finished time all for no extra financial gain. And if I'm honest no extra financial remuneration was expected.
I have arrived home many a night emotionally and sometimes physically bruised.. Dragged myself out of bed on a cold winter morning & somehow cycled to work. But on reflection I wouldn't change my time.

But yesterday I feel that I experienced an emotion attack form a quarter I never (but maybe should have?) expected.....From my Mom.
 I've posted previously of how mom 'gave me away' to my maternal grandmother as a 'replacement' for grannies deceased illegitimate son who was killed in the Birmingham Blitz of 1941.Its become apparent recently that mom (like ALL of us) is damaged due to many factors & issues in her life, & it has emerged that she grew from an early age to dislike her mom due to her mom's morality & the fact that her mom had her put into care as she had ? rheumatic fever et al.
Yesterday was the anniversary of my biological fathers death & my brother took her to his grave. En route he drove to her fathers & mom's joint grave before treating her to lunch. She was apparently unmoved by the visit to her parents grave(s).
My daughter & I arrived later at the graveyard after Stephen & mom had left. I said a couple of prayers & then cleaned up the weather stained gravestones before heading home for a hot mug of coffee.
Speaking to mom later, asking her if she'd had a nice day she was non committal. I told her that I washed her mom's & dad's stone whereupon she exploded verbally & shouted that SHE-my biological mother-" was NOT my mother & that she hadn't gave birth to me". Stunned, I questioned her & again she reiterated that she (June not my granny) was not my mother. I hurried as best I could a near polite goodbye & ended the call.
Minutes later, she called back, & said that she was "sorry", & didn't mean what she had said.
Now, I'm not stupid enough to think that my biological mom is not my biological mom ( is she??!), but mom's comment which was prompted by hurt & anger at my washing the gravestone tells me much about mom's feelings towards me. They have in fact confirmed them.
Hurtful & lonesome as they were the comments were in fact liberating in a way. I now have confirmation of where I stand in the maternal relationship.
Hours later however, she apparently told my brother distorted facts about past events in my families &  her relationship. AKA lies.
I'm torn between damage limitation & severing the maternal relationship or continuing the relationship in which I provide a degree of care for her. However in both scenarios there will be 'collateral damage to lots of people.
What to do???
On a cheerful note: As I type here seated at the kitchen table I see Robin's, Blue Tits, Chaffinches, Dunnock's & the occasional wren flying to the bird table feeding at the seeds I have put out for them. Its lovely. all this whilst John Prescott is on 'Desert Island Discs'. on BBC Radio 4. This too is a treat. I recommend that if any of you are interested you log into & log on to the Radio 4 link for 'listen again'. You'll not be too disappointed.

Thanks for reading my ravings...(as opposed to my rantings!).

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Winter has finally arrived!!

Although the temperature has now warmed up from -4C this morning in Birmingham to  a current 0C, with this increase in temperature the God of  Winter has graced the environs around these parts with her mantilla of snow.
Its been falling silently but relentlessly since 1303(GMT)  & now, at 2115 (GMT), the snowflakes in their beauty continue to parachute down from the heavens.
Like the kid that I still am,I've been out throwing snowballs from the loft bedroom window & listening to them "boom" as they land with a dull thud on the roofs of the parked cars outside my house.
Remember people...."growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional"-that's' one of my motto's & beliefs & I'm sticking to it!!
However to give you a taste of what the snow looks like (if you need an example!) in Birmingham B14, I took a photo a short time ago for you glance at & shiver...
Stay warm people wherever you are...or if you're in your summer, stay chilled, have a beer, & think of us poor sods in the Northern Hemisphere!.

Friday, 3 February 2012

Still have all my fingers....

The temperature outside at the moment is -3C. Charlie Coal moans like the devil each time he returns from a wander about his estate and each morning the residents of the street can be seen scraping the frost off their car windscreens whilst exhaling clouds of breath that puts one in mind of dragons about to launch themselves into the air.

Kepping warm is both a trial and fun to be honest., we all dress ourselves in layers of clothes so that we look like the 'Michelin Man' from the old tyre advertisements!. Woolley though is working hard to generate heat. Both by action & in my attempts to provide heat for the occupants of the homestead.. The wood-burning/multi fuel stove is going full blast on a daily basis. Charlie Coal lies comatose before the stove worshipping the warmth brought to him by
 the god cast iron stove!
BUT: in order to provide fuel for the all consuming stove I have to either buy fossil fuel, buy logs or...recycle wooden pallets. And that dear reader is what the above photo is all about.. I've never been keen to throw things away. One of my philosophy's is,"..,," might come in useful one day...". Thus I have a shed full of junk, old nails, screws, 3/4 empty tins of paint etc etc. So the stove was yet a further opportunity for me to go out & collect/recycle (junk). I, along with my neighbour Jim (the man whos mobile phone got washed down in the shared sewer-see an earlier post) keep our eyes peeled for burnable wooden pallets that we can saw & chop up. C'mon people...its free fuel!!!
 Sawing with a bow saw might be fine manly work, the stuff that wild he men of the Canadian Rockies do stripped naked to the waist whilst drinking neat 'red eye' whiskey, but I'm a flabby city boy from Birmingham whilst Jim is a real ale loving fella from East Belfast. So we're not really made for the blisters, sweat & skin lacerations that sawing & chopping sends our ways.
Sooooo...Woolley brought an electric chain saw!!   Now I'm renown for being clumsy,. I trip up, bump into things (other cars whilst driving for example) & generally am noted for being an accident waiting to happen. Thus, you can imagine the reaction of the family when I announced that it was my intention to buy the chain saw. They grimaced, exhaled loudly & pleaded with me not to do it. To compromise I said that I'd not keep it in our shed, not use it 'unsupervised', in fact, not use it too often even when 'supervised'.
And that, is what the photo is all about. The job done Jim & I felt rightly proud of the 4 wooden pallets we'd sawed up in a fraction of the time it would have taken had we used the bow saws. Damn it, we hardly broke a sweat. But still, there was great effort in sweeping up the sawdust that we had to rest & have a glass of ale post sawing!! And I still have all my fingers!!
So if you have a woodburning stove...recycle...& buy a chainsaw!!