Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat?

It was definitely a treat; every time I think about it I start laughing again.

We have a poster in the window of our front door, saying “No trick or treat, please do not disturb”, so when the door knocked shortly after 6pm I thought “I wonder who that is? We’re not expecting anybody”. Mr Man jumped up to answer the door and was greeted by two young children with their faces painted. “Trick or treat?” I heard them say. “Can’t you read?” asked Mr Man, in his usual grumpy fashion, pointing to the poster. “No” they replied in unison, shaking their heads innocently. Mr Man didn’t really know what to say to that. He just said “No thank you” and came in laughing.

What a treat.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

I'm tired and grouchy

Today was another stressful day following a restless night. I didn’t sleep well, so I was not in the best of moods anyway, and I needed to take a trip into town, which meant facing the two areas of life guaranteed to cause me the maximum amount of stress – driving and shopping.

The stress started when I stopped at a junction joining a busy road in town. I didn’t actually need to join the busy lane of traffic but needed to pass through it to get to the lane on the other side. Someone waved me out, so raising my hand to say “thanks” I pulled out, but after waving me out he made absolutely no attempt to slow down whatsoever and nearly ran into the side of me. I was a bit shaken by this, and confused. If he was just waving his arms about while talking to his passenger he needs to be a bit more careful about using hand gestures while driving.

I went into that well known shop again that sells magazines and books, to buy a couple of magazines for Mr Man. As usual one of the magazines was missing the DVD on the front and as usual it was the last issue on the shelf, so I wasn’t very impressed with that. The girl behind the counter suggested that maybe it didn’t come with a DVD until I pointed out that the cover of the magazine states that it does. They're absolutely hopeless in that shop, but unfortunately it's the only one like it in our town. Amazingly they had the November issue of the other magazine, which I was expecting to be “out of date” by now. Maybe it’s for November next year; I’ll have to check the date.

The town centre was unbelievably busy, but I expect every weekend will be busy now in the run up to Christmas. Shopping at Christmas time is a whole other experience entirely, which I’m sure I will blog about in greater detail nearer the time, but already I’m finding the shops that usually sell sensible and useful items are now stocking their shelves with isle upon isle of Christmas decorations and wrapping paper. All I wanted was one lousy plant pot. How many variations of Santa could a person possibly need?

Going back to the crowds, how Mr Man coped yesterday I have no idea because everyone was really stressing me today. When I came out of a lift I was faced by a wall of people moving in towards me; I thought they would at least have the brains to let the lift empty out before trying to squeeze even more people inside. Everything about my whole shopping experience was irritating and stressful with noise and people walking straight across me. I made a point of not apologising to people today, not that I want to be deliberately rude or impolite, but I’m fed up with always being the one to apologise when people walk into me. I even got poked in the bum with the corner of this lads calendar while I was waiting in a queue. The only person that didn’t get on my nerves today was the friendly bloke who sells the Big Issue.

I just really hope I get a good nights sleep tonight. I’m so tired. I don’t want to be woken up tomorrow unless the house is on fire (unlikely - see previous post) or someone has died (and then they won't care or even know if I choose to ignore their death and stay in bed).

Friday, October 27, 2006

Relight my fire

A disco hit sung originally by Dan Hartman in 1979 featuring Loleatta Holloway, but best known as sung by British boy band “Take That” and Lulu in 1993. Dan Hartman died in 1994 from brain cancer.

As it’s our anniversary, and the weather has turned decidedly wintry, I thought I’d light our open fire tonight for a cosy romantic evening in. To make the job cleaner, quicker, and easier, I sometimes buy these “Home Fire Logs” which come wrapped in paper, and you simply place the whole thing on the grate and light the paper at each end. Sounds very “clean, quick, and easy” doesn’t it? Except the paper kept going out. So I placed a lit “fire lighter” at each end, which are supposed to be used to aid lighting a more conventional log or coal fire – and those bloomin’ things went out as well! Mr Man made a very valid point that “it makes you wonder how on earth home fires start, when you can’t even start one deliberately!”

It's just as well "I've got my love to keep me warm"*

*Written by Irving Berlin and sung by just about everybody, including Billie Holiday. Probably first performed about 1937.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Wot no blog?

"Wot no..." A popular expression used in graffiti in the 1980’s but originally from World War II, usually accompanied by a drawing of a cartoon character known as "Kilroy" or "Chad", peering over a wall.

I’m actually extremely tired at the moment. For the last few years I’ve noticed that I get very run down at this time of year. Maybe I always have, I’m not sure, but the first time I noticed it was in 2003.

I’ve been putting myself under pressure to keep blogging, but I don’t react very well to pressure, especially when I’m tired; I just get stressed and teary. It’s not writers block – I have plenty of ideas – but I’m just too tired to express them. It’s so frustrating.

I will get back to this, I’m just not sure when. It’s just such a shame that I’m feeling like this so early on in my blogging “career”; I don’t want people to think I’m just another “flash in the pan”.

I read some other blogs though and I’ve noticed that some of those bloggers don’t update all that regularly, but when they do their posts are good quality reading, so hopefully I can do the same.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Remember you're a Womble...

A song by The Wombles, a childrens TV program that started in 1973. "Womble" is sometimes used as slang for an old person. Also "A user who has great difficulty in communicating their requirements" - Dictionary.com (Which sounds like me)

I’ve had a couple of people ask me now “When are you going to post again?” But the truth is “life” keeps interrupting my blogging habits. I decided I must make a serious effort tonight though, after seeing that a friend of mine is managing to find time for her own blog now, despite having 5 kids at home, decorating, and being a student at the same time. People like her really put me to shame; I only have Mr Man and myself to look after but I still don’t know where all the time goes. She is the queen of multi-tasking though. She is the only person I know who can actively participate in a conversation whilst typing at the same time. Blimey, I can’t even hold a conversation while I’m making a hot drink.

Just lately it seems that any multi-tasking skills of mine have long gone, and even my single-tasking skills are diminishing rapidly. To put it mildly I’ve been feeling a tad… well, brain dead really. As mentioned in my last post I have had moments with “sudden onset dyslexia” and when I’m driving I find that I am having moments with sudden onset “I don’t know how to drive anymore” syndrome. “I’m sorry for my terrible driving tonight” I’ll say to Mr Man. He’s very understanding and patient with me though, and will just calmly reply with “Well, you have made some rather unusual gear changes”.

The other night I didn’t realise I had served up cold chicken with our hot potatoes, vegetables, and gravy until I started eating it – I just completely forgot to heat it up (and yes, I was having a conversation whilst cooking). And last night I teased a couple of friends of mine whose partners have both gone on holiday (one male and one female), saying “Maybe they’ve run away together”, and it wasn’t until halfway through the night when I was laying in bed, I finally remembered that the two friends who have gone away are brother and sister!

If this is old age setting in I’m done for; it’s all down hill from here. Still, at least I'm not as stupid as this person.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mind your P's and Q's

To "Mind your P's and Q's" means to "Remember to say please and thank you".

I never have a problem with laughing at myself, and let’s face it, there are plenty of opportunities. Over time I’ll probably end up relating many stories of stupid things I did when I was younger, but for now, here’s a classic from this afternoon.

My husband and I were trying to work out how many pounds in weight were in X amount of stones so that we could then convert it roughly into kilo’s. So I said to him “What’s 112 and 112?” “224” he said. “So what’s half of that then?”

(I’m not even going to explain the joke, because if you don’t get it, then you’re as stupid as me.)

Also I seemed to suffer from a case of “sudden onset dyslexia” this afternoon, when I kept writing “p” backwards so that it looked like a “q”. I even tried to correct it, but just ended up writing a “q” again. Mr Man said I ought to mind my “P’s and Q’s”... groan.

And add to that the fact that I just cooked some sausages in the George Foreman grill, but forgot to put the drip tray underneath, so there is now hot fat all over the kitchen work top – I think I’m having one of those days.

I'm supposed to be going out this evening, but I'm thinking it might be safer for everyone if I just stayed home.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The three wise monkeys

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.

Thank you to Tom Reynolds, for once again keeping us informed about another blog which has been forced to stop due to pressure from the “powers that be”. Unfortunately this time I have not been able to read this blog myself so I am unable to comment on it personally. However, it is more than a little disturbing when people are unable to write truthfully about their experiences “behind the scenes” of services that we as the public rely on so heavily.

This takes me back to when my husband was in hospital. The way we were treated by hospital staff was absolutely appalling. We particularly had problems with the temporary consultant on the ward at the time and even some of the nurses were aghast at his treatment of some of his patients. These ones encouraged me to go ahead with my complaint but said they were “unable” to complain about him themselves and that I shouldn’t quote anything they had said. They wouldn’t tell me why but after what I had witnessed during my meeting with the “powers that be” (namely the Medical Director), and the subsequent result (namely the whole thing being swept very neatly under the proverbial carpet), it has become clear to me that these ones were also unable to truthfully voice what they had witnessed through fear of losing their jobs.

It appears to me that if you are employed in any way by the NHS, then speaking out against anyone (particularly of higher rank) or anything within that service is strictly prohibited. You are to remain loyal at all times, and protect the infallible identity of our Great National Health Service.

Of course I am not employed by the "Great National Health Service", so I can say what ever I like – and I will*. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for a lot of the services that we receive, and often the people within these services work extremely hard for little appreciation, but I am disgusted that these same people within this service are forced to keep quiet about things that are just wrong. Although my experiences are from the “outside”, I will freely post about them, and yes, I will quote what other healthcare professionals have said to me, as it is unlikely now that their identity would be discovered.

*You can read my experiences of dealing with the Mental Health Services in my other blog.