About This Blog

This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!

The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.

I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.


Friday, 31 December 2010

A Thought Clearing Exercise To End The Year.

In the past, after posting an article of which I was especially proud of, a wave of satisfaction would wash over me like a mini tsunami and I would allow myself the (brief) privilege of a being thrilled at the thought of someone actually reading and enjoying it.

But the bloggi-verse (I refuse to use the word 'blogosphere' because I didn't think of it first) seems to swallow my words just as fast as I can type them and, although they're still out there (somewhere), they are pretty much ignored.  There is a modicum of interest in my blog and it seems to have drawn in a small following, for which I am grateful, but they (my words) have failed to ignite the fires that would put me on the 'Bloggers Map', as it were.

I would have liked the response of my peers to have been somewhat better, but at the end of the day I write for myself ... as a mind clearing exercise ... and not purely for the entertainment of others so it isn't so bad.

Those bloggers (and friends) that follow my blog seem to be intelligent folks which pleases me greatly as I would hate to be read only by people who have to remove their bra's or socks in order to count to two!

So, a big thank you to the valiant few brave souls who follow my dribble.

As I will be working from 2.30 pm until midday on the 1st, I would like to wish everyone a

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


Damn!

I won't be back for a whole year!!!

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Age Or Geography

Here's an 'oldie' for you to get you through the day until my next brainwave

When do ´boobs´ become a ´ bosom´?

This question was touched upon be Terry Pratchett in "Monstrous Regiment", but I don't think he ever reached a satisfactory conclusion ... If he did, then I must have missed it.

Although technically and by definition, a bosom is always present, the term 'bosom' is never used by the younger generations. Have you ever heard some young bloke say "Look at the bosom on her!" or any girls saying "My bosom is bigger that hers!"?

No!

So when does a bosom become a bosom?

My own thoughts on this subject, as a connoisseur, are that it very much depends on the boobs/bosom in question and the method of support they receive, or not, as the case may be.
The 'bosom' could be effectively fought off for many years with the correct fitting bra, as Gok Wan has pointed out on many occasion's, but as he has said, only 1 in 10 women are correctly fitted for bra's..

As they get older most woman of brobdingnagian* proportions will suffer from the breast version of Tectonic drift, so the question of when boobs become a bosom could, I suppose, be answered by measuring the distance between nipple and belt buckle ... this would certainly explain why so many older women these days are wearing hipsters!

However, it may not be a simple case of geography that defines a bosom. It may only be a 'mind' thing where the mind-set changes your attitudes and opinions at a certain age or condition.

I am not in the least bit prejudiced against gravitationally challenged women, indeed men (I am one) could be described as "gravitationally disadvantaged campanologists" in later years as it is a well known fact that their 'bells' hang lower than their 'rope' with age.

No! What I would like to know is how do women know when it's time to change their terminology?

This is a tricky one to answer as there are bound to be a multitude of different views and opinions, but it might get you thinking about when and how we all change with age.

Here is a nice thought to finish with:-

People quite often say that they sound like their parents. If that is true, one day they will sound like their grandparents too!



*     look it up

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

There Is A 'Down Side' To Everything!

It doesn't matter what chaos ensues when the winter snows come; it doesn't matter how many people are inconvenienced or endangered by the conditions; it doesn't matter how cold it may get ...

... snow-scape's really are very beautiful scenes to witness.

A thick blanket of snow covering the trees and fields, roads and pavements, gardens and parks ... it really is a wonderful sight to behold.

But there is a down side.

Oh, it won't be noticed so much, if at all, by the majority of people.

Dog owners though are going to notice it a big way ... as I have just done.

The thaw has come to Cardiff and the snow, which once was so beautiful ... was once so dangerous ... has receded.

The 30 centimetre snow blanket that once covered our garden has now become a thin three-coloured patchwork of white, green and brown.

We have a garden measuring approximately 19 metres by 9 meters. It isn't what you might call huge, but it's big enough for us and our three dogs.

Yes, I did say 'brown'. Have another look, just a couple of lines back, if you aren't sure.

You see the 'down side' of snow for a dog owner is the mountain of doggy doo-doo that appears as if by magic on the remains of your winter ravaged lawn.

I discovered our 'down side' this morning as I decided (the wife told me to) scoop the doo-doo.

It took forty-five ( 45 ) minutes to complete and resulted in two ( 2 ) bags full of the dreaded ... well, you know what it is by now.  I won't rub your noses in it.

My back now hurts from all that scooping.

I though I'd been doing a fairly good job keeping the garden clear of the stuff; scooping regularly; but it seems I was out-foxed by the pesky pups.  They did a fine job of hiding their waste or at least timing the bulk of it to coincide with the heavy snow fall!

Who would have thought that three ( 3 ) doggy 'ani'* could produce such an amount of the stuff.

To ensure there is no repetition of this monumental load of stuff to be scooped, I am contemplating corking their little arse's.

But if anyone out there knows of a dog trainer that has had success in teaching dogs to use a loo, let me have his/her number ... puh-leeeeeeeeeeeez let me have the number!



* Probably isn't, but it would be nice if 'ani' was the plural of 'anus'.  Nice and catchy, don't you think?.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Listen To The F-Word

I can hear it!

Can you?

Listen!

A most definite reverberation ... a hum ... a grumble ... filtering through to my ears.

Give it a chance ... wait!

Got it?

It's almost hidden by the background static of our daily smattering of audio-smog.

Can you hear it now?

Yes!  It's the constant muttering of the post-Christmas survivors as they begin to assess the 'damage' of the festivities and the volume is rising as they all begin to make the same horrific discovery.

As they tear at their hair, they are all muttering one word ... the "F"-word.

People all over the globe are saying it right now and, if you are patient and can wait until their frustrations begins to bubble, you will also hear them saying the "D"-word, closely followed by the "C"-word and variety of other choice words too.

Hands up all those who don't know what I'm going on about?

Wow!  So many!

OK, hears the explanation.

F-word = Fat
D-word = Diet
C-word = Calories

How many pounds have you gained?  Are you a 'mutterer'?

Now is the time to formulate your New Year's resolution so, if you need it, try and squeeze in one that includes the "D"-word.

I will, but I know it won't work because of my chocolate addiction!

Monday, 27 December 2010

It Was Me!

I will hold my hands up and admit ... it was me what done it!

If your coffee was cold this morning and your toast was burnt, your other half is being a pain or the kids just won't behave ... blame me!

I accept full and total responsibility for everything that has gone wrong in your household on this day, Monday the 27th of December.

After the strain and stress of the last few days - organising and executing your Christmas festivities -  I reckon it's the least I can do to try and alleviate the pressure that you may find yourselves under. 

Going back to work today, as many of us must, is stressful enough so, go on! Blame everything on me!

Consider this offer as my late Christmas present to you all!

I wish you all a very relaxed post-Christmas period and hope your waistlines return to normal very,very soon.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

It's Over!

I am pleased to report that Christmas has been and gone ... and I survived!!!

Having been up since 5am and then going home (from work) to start all that cooking - pizzas, sausage rolls, bread buns, chocolate filled pastries, etc. - for our post Christmas lunch banquet, I was knackered!

Luckily though the 'bird' and 'accessories' were all to be prepared by the 'missus' so I was allowed a little bit of 'me' time ... in which I came down with a touch of 'man flu'!

Yes, I was coming down all the symptoms of flu ... aching joints, sniffles, wheezing cough, chest pains and a blinding headache ... and it all happened so quickly!

As much as I wanted to, I couldn't relax. So, despite the cold, I tool the pups to the park .

Don't worry! I was well wrapped up!

An hour into my walk with the dogs I received a phone call.


Julie:  I've just called my parents and Susan to ask what time they'll be arriving this afternoon.
Me:  When are they coming?
Julie:  1pm ... for lunch!
Me :  Oh!  Did we know they were coming for lunch?
Julie:  They say that they come to us every year Christmas lunch.
Me:  They do?
Julie:  That's what I was going to ask you.
Me:  I'm on my way home now.
Julie:  Will that stop them from coming?
Me:  Maybe not, but it will give me time to hide.


I hung up and headed home.

Back at the car park there was a confrontation between Sym (of whom I am the 'daddy') and a pretty brave squirrel. There was a stand-off, in which the squirrel clung head down to the trunk of a tree some three metres above Sym's head.

Sym, for his part, was going through his entire doggy repertoire ... barking, jumping, spinning, whining, growling and head side-to-siding ... in order to get it. But the squirrel, in what passes as the squirrel version of Dirty Harry impression ...


"Did he fire six nuts or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Oak Tree, the most powerful tree in the world, and could knock your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

... just stared at him.

I couldn't wait for this situation to resolve itself so I put Sym back on the leash then dragged him off to the car.

He was not impressed.

Back at home I found that measures had been implemented to increase the amount of veggies that would accompany the 'bird', thus making our Christmas lunch stretch to accommodate an additional three guests.

Julie had cut all the veg in half and had swapped the large dinner plates for the smaller ones! Clever!!!

Anyway, presents where swapped, "thank you's" exchanges. Lunch was devoured and the afternoon was spent chatting and playing silly games. Then like magic the table was re-loaded with ham and turkey slices, pickles, cheese, pizzas, sausage rolls and an assortment of other finger foods and we all began to eat again.

Totally stuffed, the 'outlaws' decided that enough was enough and it was time to go home.

After many hugs, "thank you's", and "drive carefully's" , they departed and we tidied away the debris then flopped in front of the TV to watch Shrek Forever After: The Final Chapter.

Then it was bedtime!

Dog's were sent out to pee and poo; cat's were put out for the night; doors were locked.

I was last upstairs!

Now, do you remember that I mentioned the 'man flu' thing? Well, by this time I was really suffering.

I couldn't sleep so I ended up back in front of the TV in the living room armed with a Lemsip and box of tissues.

At 3.30am, I went to bed and succumbed to sleep.

By 8am I was up to feed the doggies!

I am still feeling like sh*t, but at least the horrors of Christmas day are behind me!

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day

I spent my Christmas Eve from midday onwards working and I only arrived home at 7.15am this morning (the 25th).

No one was up when I arrived so I fed the dogs and gave them all a Christmas cwtch.  Then I started making sausage rolls, bread buns and chocolate filled pastries (it is now 9.15am).

I've been a busy boy!

I will shortly be going out with the dogs for a long walk to get them tired out before the 'festivities' begin.

Cooking duties, as always, are now firmly in Julies hands but I will find myself back in the kitchen later in the day when our guests arrived (the Outlaws!).

I hope you all have a wonderful day and that you find everything you wished for under your tree.  

MERRY CHRISTMAS

and

don't think you've seen the last of me!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Dribbling; Middle Ground Warriors

I don't consider myself to be a'loser' but, on the other hand, I am still a long way short of being a 'winner'.

There seems to be a 'middle ground' in which 'comfortability' has to be worked hard for, and 'hard-done-by-ability' is always only the thickness of a hair away. and I seem to have landed in it!

Should you be one of those occupying this 'gap' with me, you will be well aware that rewards are few and far between and those that you do get are often are those of your own making.

Keeping afloat, to many, is it's own reward but for others, the reward could be anything from a bar of chocolate to a monthly trip to a good restaurant.

Luck is not something people in this category have great experience of.

I don't mean that they (we) don't count ourselves as being lucky ... we are ... in our own little ways, even  though we may never be lotto winners or heirs to vast fortunes, we get along just fine.

We cope.

And we keep smiling even though at times the urge to disembowel someone is strong ... very, very strong.

In case you haven't guessed, this is one of those times when random ramblings dribble like the spittle in the corner of Jack Nicholson's mouth (You know! When he played that crazy janitor in that film ... what ever it was called).

Christmas Spirit is not something I am full of today, but I can assure you, I am not in the mood to go around taking an axe to peoples doors ... yet!

So where was I?

Oh, yes!

I, like many others, am  stuck in the 'middle ground' between being a 'winner' or a 'loser'!

It's a bit like being stuck in a revolving door ... you go round and round, but at least you don't break a leg doing it!
 
So to all my fellow 'middle grounders' I would just like to say ...

keep your chins up and have a very merry Christmas!


and remember ...


Nil illegitimi Carborundum!

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Nativity 2.0

Enjoy!

Just A Little Space Filler Until I Have More Time



If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence of your attempt.

When all else fails, read the directions.

He who laughs last probably doesn't understand the joke.

Never hit a guy with glasses. Always use your fists.

Happiness can't buy money.

True friends always stab you in the chest.

There is more to life than increasing its speed.

A coward is a hero with a wife, kids and a mortgage.

Teamwork is essential, it gives them someone else to blame.

Conscience: What hurts when everything else feels so good.

Help stamp out, eliminate and abolish redundancy!

You're schizophrenic? Gee, that makes four of us.

Why is the word 'Abbreviation' so long?

Error. Keyboard not found. Press any key to continue...

A day without sunshine is like ... night.

Floggings will continue until morale improves.

It's not an optical illusion, it just looks like one.

An elephant is a mouse built to government specifications.

What if there were no hypothetical situations?

Dyslexics of the world untie!

Honesty is the best policy. But insanity is a better defence.

I never repeat myself! I've told you before!.

Forgive your enemies, but remember their names.


(borrowed from http://www.kaila.pl )

Monday, 20 December 2010

Rowdy, Comanche's And The Cartwright's At 7am!

Rowdy Yates and few cow pokes were holed up in a shack with a rag-tag bunch of other folks that were taking cover from a Comanche attack.

Most of the 'folks' didn't seem to have anything to say, so I reckoned that they were the ones that would get killed before the 'talkers' were saved.

I was right!

Why am I telling you this?

Well, unusual for me at this time in the morning (07.00) I am watching TCM.  I would much rather be out there working and earning my daily crust, but my only charge of the morning called to cancel as he was too afraid to go out in the wintry conditions.

Fair enough, I thought, and ceased my frantic efforts to position my wife's car so that I could jump-start mine.

Having been out in the frozen Whitchurch wasteland, I was too cold to be tired, therefore going back to bed seemed like the wrong thing to do.

So, seeing as my one call for this morning was cancelled, what should I fill my morning with?

I contemplated letting the dogs take me for a slide through the snow and ice ... I thought about clearing the drive of all that white stuff ...  I even considered reading a book.

In the end though, I discovered Rowdy Yates and the 'boys' on TCM having a fight with some Comanche's over a few wild horses.  It wasn't great drama by any standards and it was hard to believe that Clint Eastwood made his name from the show, but at least it kept me company as I read through the blogs of my peers.

Bonanza is on now.

Not one of those "Dan-diddle-dan-diddle-dan-diddle-dan-da-dah-dah!" ones with the burning map and the happy Cartwright's cantering their trusty steeds towards the camera at the beginning.  It was one of the early ones.

Oh NO!  Hoss has just been shot in the back!!!

Oh dear!

When I started to type it was my intention to tell you about the time I sneezed a pea out of my nose but, in the light of Hoss Cartwright lying there near dead'n'all ... well, it no longer seems appropriate.


He'll reckon he'll survive ...  they just used a look-a-like in the later "Dan-diddle-dan-diddle-dan-diddle-dan-da-dah-dah!" episodes.

I'm sorry ... but I'm too upset to carry on!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Why Is It Cool To Be Cold?

I can't remember how many times I said "Awwwww! Mum!!!" as a youngster when my mother wrapped me up from head to toes in warm winter woollens, duffel-coat, scarf and gloves against the cold of the winter weather.

Many a day I would sneak out to play in the snow rather than endure the rigmarole of being packed into clothing that would prevent my legs and arms from bending.

And many a thick ear I received for daring to ignore mum's manta of "I know best".

These days though, youngsters go one stage further, opting to put their trust in their indestructible youthfulness rather than in motherly advice.

The modern 'party etiquette' seems to demand that in winter under-dressing is the only acceptable way to enjoy yourself.


(In Northumberland, this is a norm)

I see the young women of Cardiff struggling through snow in high heels, mini skirts and short-sleeved blouses or T-shirts.  Never a pair of Wellington boots. Never a pair of trousers.  And NEVER the dreaded coat!

It just isn't cool!

And cool is what it's all about these days.

Imagine what wearing a coat would do for you reputation or what your friends would say if you turned up to the bar/club with your Wellington's on.

I think they would have to sit at a table all on their own ... if they let you go in at all!

The men are no different, except that they don't wear mini's or high heels.  I have seen obviously mentally challenged men running around wearing Hawaiian shirts and Bermuda shorts claiming, as the goose bumps multiply over their arms and legs, that the cold is something only wimps suffer from.

As I understand it, women are trying to out 'sexy' each other and the man are just trying to prove how 'hard' they are.

Well, I think I will stick to my coat with the quilted lining, woolly hat and wind-stopper gloves!

The Misery Of A Short-legged Man

After my post of yesterday it began to snow again!

We have now had an estimated 30+ cm and even the women in 4X4s are staying at home.

I was out on an over night call and have only just made it home!

The reference made in the title of this post is, of course, to myself.

My upper body is convinced that it is 6'4" tall and behaves accordingly but, unfortunately, my legs believe that they belong to a Munchkin and destroy the overall picture of Herculean manliness.

Being let down in the area of physical development by my titchy little legs is not pleasant!

Believe me, with the snow as deep as it is, I have really come to know the true meaning of 'Snowballs'!

I now have a hot water bottle defrosting my crown jewels.

And you thought you had it bad!!!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrgh! Was That A Snowflake?

Accompanied by Susan Boyle I drove through the snow of Cardiff, and it was just as well her calming voice was there for me.

I was in the mood to commit mass murder.

I wanted to kill all those dopey women in 4X4's that insisted on driving at a steady 5 miles per hour on relatively clear roads!

Why do the vehicles best equipped to cope with snow drive the slowest?

Because dopey men buy them for their dopey wives to do the school run, that's why!

When snow began to fall again, I was only half way home.  It was 9am and I'd been on the streets since 6.30am.  I needed some coffee!

I like to believe that I am an experienced driver very capable of driving safely in all conditions ... including snow!

Yes!  I have my own trumpet and I DO blow it!!!

When I set out for my first call, traffic was very, very light, giving me the impression that for most people staying in bed was the name of the game.  By 9am everyone and their grandma's were trying to cross Cardiff and traffic was crawling.

That's when I had my first urge to kill.

Thank you Susan Boyle!

I swallowed my anger at inabilities of others to cope with the snow and, as I listened to "I Had A Dream", began to realise just why the British are the laughing stock of  Europe!  We (the British in general ... not me) panic en masse at the first sight of a snowflake.

OK, so some areas ARE having a bad time weather-wise, but come on!  The snow around Cardiff isn't anywhere near what they have!

I would have loved to pepper this post with graphic expletives, but I'm too much of a nice guy for that!

I just wanted to moan a little!

And I've just had a cup of coffee!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Impromptu Entertainment On Hell's Highway

It was bad!

Badder than it has been for a long time.

It was badder than bad!

It was the City of Cardiff's early morning traffic at it's best.

It took us over an hour to crawl through the inappropriately called 'rush hour' traffic on Monday.  It was my usual Monday morning twelve mile run (term used very loosely) from Barry into the city to take a client to his place of work.

The regular lead-footed drivers appeared to have taken the day off, handing over their road rage causing duties to those of a more sedate - or sedated - nature.

At the traffic lights at the rear of HMP Cardiff, where the sandstone wall seemed to be festively decorated with tinsel adorned barbed wire, there was a long queue of cars, trucks and buses.  Idling engines were pouring out a wonderful,  heady mixture of petrol and diesel fumes, which penetrated vehicles even with all windows and vents closed.

I could see the pedestrian lights (or Fred Astair-ian lights as I know call them) changing from red to green and back again.  This happened several times, which meant that although I couldn't see properly, that we had also had a green light .... but nothing had moved!

Had someone's car broken down?  Had there been a accident?

No!

When, after what seemed like a lifetime of dangerously high bladder pressure, things began to move, the reason for our delay became very apparent.

The traffic light further on, at the next major junction (crossing Newport Rd.) was out of order, thus making it difficult for people to cross.

Chaos ensued as motorised vehicles of all shapes and sizes tried to occupy minuscule gaps in the flow of traffic crossing the junction, much to the annoyance of those that didn't want to give way.

Levity, however, was injected into our frustrating wait as a gentleman of Caribbean origin, sporting the tallest woolly beanie hat  that I have ever seen (which no doubt contained that tallest dreadlocks in history) began entertaining the waiting motorists with an impromptu tap-dance across the 'Fred Astair-ian' (now you know why!) crossing and in-between cars.  His friend, also seemingly of Caribbean extract, started to waltz with an imaginary partner up and down the rows of vehicles.

Horns were honked!

People laughed!

Some even got out of their vehicles for a better view.

I just wanted to pee!

After a while the dancers, exhausted from their efforts, they gave up and continued there journey on foot into town.

Shortly afterwards, traffic began to roll once more.

You will be pleased to hear that ...
... there was no unpleasantness in my vehicle
... that I did make to to my destination (cursing everyone on the way) and ...
... was able to relieve myself in the proper and appropriate manner.

After that though, I desperately  need a jumbo-Latte!

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Oh, I Really Am Trying To Enjoying The Festive Season ...

... but I need a drink!

I always need a drink on a Sunday!  

The very thought of another working week about to start makes me want to have several drinks ... one at a time or all together ... I don't mind!

It's the driving, you see.  It's depressing!

Of late, I have only been working Monday to Friday ... a weekend spent working is, for the moment, something other people do ... but over that five day period I have been driving well  in excess of 300 miles.

I know that 300 miles in itself is not that far but, you have to consider that as I drive, the conversations that I engage in (with clients) rarely achieve standards higher than .... 

"George!"

"Yes?"

"Y'all right, George?"

"I'm all right!  How are you?"

"Dunno.  Gonna see my friend tomorrow."

"Which friend?"

"Dunno".

Pause for short blast of Meat Loaf, even though Billy Joel is currently entertaining us via CD.

"George!"

"Yes?"

"Y'all right, George?"
   
And so it goes.

Scintillating stuff, isn't it!

And winter doesn't help either.  Everything is always so dark and dreary!  And what with Christmas just around the corner ... well, it's such a depressing time of year, isn't it?

And if someone else wishes me 'Happy Holidays' instead of 'Merry Christmas', then I think I'll go mad ... after I slap 'em around the head a bit first.

Don't mind me ... I'll be fine ... by summer!

Now, 'scuse me while I go and wage war on that bottle of Glenfiddich in the drinks cabinet.


Friday, 10 December 2010

Quick Word: The Student Pain

The recent violent demonstrations have left me cold to the students of this country and their plight.

And, when all is said and done, very few of them will ever pay back their student loans anyway.

Those students convicted of any sort of violence or destruction of property should be immediately excluded from whichever university they attend.  Lock 'em up and throw away the key.

And the press doesn't help!  The way they report it, the police are to blame for EVERYTHING! Either they didn't do enough, they did too much or they were the instigators of the violence.  They can't win whatever they do, but some of them still end up in hospital!

The sad thing is that some of these ba$tards are going to end up running this country or it's industries!

(My views are a little extreme perhaps, but I'm sick to death of all  their whining and whinging)

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Soldiers Poem

This isn't one of mine, but I thought it deserved an airing.

It has been claimed as being the work of both
 an American and a British soldier,
so authorship is unclear.




TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE, 
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE 
MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE. 

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY 
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE, 
AND TO SEE JUST WHO 
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE. 

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, 
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE, 
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, 
NOT EVEN A TREE. 

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, 
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND, 
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES 
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS. 

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, 
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS, 
A SOBER THOUGHT 
CAME THROUGH MY MIND. 

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, 
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY, 
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, 
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY. 

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, 
SILENT, ALONE, 
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR 
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME. 

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, 
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER, 
NOT HOW I PICTURED 
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER. 

WAS THIS THE HERO 
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ? 
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, 
THE FLOOR FOR A BED? 

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES 
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT, 
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS 
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT. 

SOON ROUND THE WORLD, 
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY, 
AND GROWN UPS WOULD CELEBRATE 
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY. 

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM 
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR, 
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, 
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE. 

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER 
HOW MANY LAY ALONE, 
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE 
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME. 

THE VERY THOUGHT 
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE, 
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES 
AND STARTED TO CRY. 

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED 
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE, 
"SANTA DON'T CRY, 
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE; 

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, 
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE, 
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, 
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS." 

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER 
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP, 
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, 
I CONTINUED TO WEEP. 

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, 
SO SILENT AND STILL 
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED 
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL. 

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE 
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT, 
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOUR 
SO WILLING TO FIGHT. 

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, 
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE, 
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, 
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE." 

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, 
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT. 
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, 
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."


Thanks to Julie Williams for sharing it

I Hate Them All

I hate it when a 'gadget' tries to tell me how old I am!

The Nintendo bloody DS and Dr. Washikaki, or whatever he's called, insists that I have a mental age of 31 when I know for a fact that my mental clock stopped when I was 17!

It will always be 17!

17 ... the age I was when I joined the army and, in the eyes of my peers, became an adult.

Just last week, over a cup of coffee with a clients parents, the subject of teenagers came up. We discussed the way teenagers these days seem to be protected, molly-coddled and guided and we compared them to the 'teenagers' we used to be.

Things were were so different back in the seventies ... you became 17 years old and you were expected to go out into the world and earn your keep.

We were told 'You don't get anything for nothing', 'You make your bed and you lie in it' and 'You have to learn to fight your own battles'.  We were, quite literally, thrown at the World and told to cope with it!

In today's world, parents seem to be clinging to their off-springs, and their off-springs respond by asking for more and more. Keeping their independence and responsibilities firmly at bay for as long as possible.

I will make no bones about it ... I hate (most) teenagers with a passion!

Call it jealousy if you wish, but I hate the way they hang on to their parents acting helpless, and how they fail to learn from their experiences.  They have a 'something for nothing' attitude and believe that they 'deserve' everything on a plate and sugar coated.

When I was young, going to university was a dream many had, but few achieved. Further education of any kind was possible, but candidate lists were long and, in some cases, the qualifications were not recognised.

But I digress ...

All I wanted to say was that in my mind I am still only that fresh faced teenager that left home at 17 to join the army.

I will probably never grow up ... I will be 17 forever.

Hell!

It's almost Christmas ... someone has to display a little bit of the 'Scrooge' mentality.

It might as well be me!

Humbug to you all!!!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Christmas: How It Is And Always Will Be!

It's that time of year and we've spent our hard earned cash,
on cards and presents and a good Christmas bash.
We'll all get presents that will force us to smile,
and the gift that you wanted will be missed by mile.
There'll be books, chocolate underwear and socks,
just the usual gifts but no great shocks.
Then food galore will be dumped on the table,
and we'll gorge ourselves till we're no longer able.
There will be burps and farts and occasional snore,
until all we ate settles then we go back for more.
We'll sit around the TV and watch the Queen's speech,
and get the usual guest that hangs on like a leech.
When the evening comes there's more food to eat,
at least for those that can still find their feet.
For the sherry has flowed and beer has been drunked*,
for the oldies some tea in which biscuits are dunked.
We'll all sing some hits of a bygone era,
and remember those absent, like my cousin Vera.
Then off the guests go to their own little homes,
waddling merrily like drunken garden gnomes.
The washing up and the mess that they made,
unwashed and untouched in the dining room stayed.
Then it's off to bed feeling ever so stuffed,
my amorous advances ignored and rebuffed!


* artistic license 
  

Brown Trouser Time As Cyndi Lauper Serenades

Everything was frosty white.

Tree's glistened, as did the road, with the frost of a minus ten degree Tuesday morning.

It was 07.30 and I was on the A48 on my way from Roath, Cardiff towards Barry and my first call.

As I drove Cyndi Lauper was keeping me company with her version of 'I Drove All Night'. I knew all the words so I croaked along with her in perfect harmony ... I think.

Little did I know that within minutes I would be almost killed!

Just before a junction, the driver in front of me slowed down to a crawl after he lost the back end of his car on a patch of black ice, so I slowed down in anticipation of the same thing happening to me.

As I entered the junction I got the shock of my life as I watched a large flat-bed truck with a JCB digger on the back begin to slide into the junction towards me.

It was a close thing!

My wheels began to spin as I tried to accelerate out of his way, so I tried to brake, but slid further into the crossing.

Luckily the truck came to a halt two or three yards from my vehicle and I carried over the junction and escaped without anything worse than a sudden cold sweat and an urgent need for clean underwear.

I stopped at the kerb and got out.

Some of my best expletives were fired off towards the truck driver and, I must confess, I expressed a number of thoughts regarding abilities and as to how his future should look.

I really wanted to kill the man .... until he climbed out of his cab.

He must have been 6' 6" tall if he was an inch and built like the proverbial brick shit-house .... I'm 5' 7" in shoes and built more like a sponge pudding.

Hastily changing tack, I ascertained that he was OK then cleared off.

I may be built like a pudding, but I'm a good-looking pudding and wanted to stay that way!

The rest of my day was uneventful but, in my mind, I kept returning to one thought ... what would have happened if the truck hadn't stopped?

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Growing Up In Instalments 1963-1969

Obviously, I don't remember being born.

I can't tell you that I heard a popping sound; that I was engulfed in a sudden, brilliant light; that I remember that first slap on my rump by a child abuser in a green gown and mask.

I can't tell you any of that.

In fact, my earliest memory is that of being left in the capable hands of Mrs Peggy Puntin (headmistress) at the doors of Newbiggin by-the-Sea Infant School.  My parents had pinned a 'disclaimer' onto my duffel coat, in the hope that they would not be blamed for any colourful language that might escape my lips.

I was 4 years old and I hated being in school.

My parents always told me that if I was ever separated from them whilst shopping, than I should look for a policeman, as I could ALWAYS ask a policeman for help. In my first week in school I managed to make two 999 phone calls from the school office, claiming on both occasions that the 'people' there wouldn't  let me go home to my parents.

In those days I had to wear short trousers and braces ... in all weathers ... and I never forgave my parents for it.
Those short trousers are the reason that my legs are so stumpy now!
Like Koi, they only grew as much as their environment allowed!

Junior school followed and I remember many a time spent hiding on the roof of the boys toilets so that I could avoid the dreaded handicraft lesson which almost always had us embroidering table place mats.  It never seemed to occur to our teachers that boys and embroidery are not a good mix!

This was also the place where I discovered my singing voice, as choir membership was compulsory.  Our music teacher, Miss Stimpson, said I had such a good voice that I should sing all those high, screechy parts in all of our choir's performances.

From the age of 7 I played a major part in our school concerts.

But in December of 1969, my dreams of stardom, and of becoming bigger than the Beatles, came to an extremely embarrassing end.

It was at the school Christmas Nativity play and concert.  The youngsters had just done their Mary, Josef and Jesus thing and the choir was now centre stage for our rendition of The 12 Days Of Christmas.

The choir was to sing "On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me  ...."  and I, as our squeakiest singer, would sing a prolonged, and high pitched "5 Gold Rings".

I successfully managed it 6 or 7 times before disaster struck!

On my next attempt at an ear-piercing "5 Gold Rings" my voice, in response to developing nuts, broke.  Accompanied by the laughter of over two hundred parents and teachers and a burning sensation in my face, I croaked my way through the remainder of the performance, but had already decided that at that point that I would  never, ever sing in public again.

And I never have!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Cold Weather And The Light Speed Snot

Tissues are essential when you go out in the freezing cold to walk the dogs.

I mean, I have a moustache and, believe it or not, there is nothing worse than a 'tasche' full  of snot.

Oh yes, you can sniff your way around the park, each sniff requiring more effort than the last and seemingly drawing less and less back into the snot sanctuary, otherwise known as your nose.

The trouble with sniffing ... I mean, the danger of sniffing ... well, it's micro-fractures to the inside of you skull, isn't it!

If you are a sniffer, then you will have experience of at least one, if not more, of those high velocity, quick release, double density snots.

You know the ones!

They are the ones that with every sniff move inside the nostril but only just enough to cause a modicum of irritation, not enough to release them from their anchorage.

Then, when you have given up all hope of ridding yourself of the unwelcome nasal guest, the 'quick release' is activated as you try to sniff your top lip free of dribble.

There is an audible 'THWUCK' as it releases, followed a fraction of a second later by a very quiet 'TOK' as the snot, travelling by this time at the very high speed, seems to make contact with the inside of the base of you skull. The micro-fracture!

OK!  So the irritation is gone, but you are then faced with that awful feeling as you realise that the snot has nowhere to go but down.

There is a gulp, a grimace and, perhaps, then a few seconds of nausea, as you try to come to terms with the latest addition to your diet.

They say "Shit happens" but, my friends, so does the 'bullet' snot!

Any sniffer will tell you  ... it really is worth checking your pockets for tissues before you go out in the cold!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Jesus Is Watching You


A burglar broke into a house one night. He shined his flashlight around, looking for valuables when a voice in the dark said, 
'Jesus knows you're here.'

He nearly jumped out of his skin, clicked his flashlight off, and froze.

When he heard nothing more, after a bit, he shook his head and 
continued.


Just as he pulled the stereo out so he could disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he heard
 
'Jesus is watching you.'

Freaked out, he shined his light around frantically, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam came to rest on a parrot.

'Did 
you say that?' he hissed at the parrot.

'Yep', the parrot confessed, then squawked, 'I'm just trying to warn you that he is watching you.'

The burglar relaxed. 'Warn me, 
huh? Who in the world are you ?'

'Moses,' 
replied the bird.
'Moses?' the burglar laughed.
'What kind of people would name a bird Moses?'

'The kind of people that would name a 
Rottweiler Jesus.'
(thanks to Julie Williams for sending me that one)

'Free Time In Flatulence Heaven' or 'Back With The Wind'

I find myself with some unexpected time on my hands.  Well, I say 'unexpected', but what I mean is that I was supposed to have this time off, but what with the 'extra calls' I referred to yesterday, I didn't think I'd get it.

But I did.

So, I find myself once again blogging.

I have three dogs lying at my feet and there is a curious odour permeating 'my space'.

I have been listening to curious 'phut' and 'sssfffffffffftt' sounds which I am sure has a lot to do with the pong currently engulfing me.  The three dogs are, or at least appear to be, oblivious to it and continue to snore.

I should really pack up my laptop and move to a safer location but, damn it, I was here first and my backside has taken ages to warm up this sofa cushion!

Oh!  That was a big 'PHUT'!

Sym, my boy, is now investigating an apparent rupture of his anus.  At least I now know which dog to throw out into the snow!

Only kidding!

I wonder how the queen reacts when her corgi's starts playing 'Jingle Bowels' on the bum-organ?

I wonder how her dogs would react if she did it! I'm sure the dogs would get up in disgust and walk off.  Ours do!

[ re-location pause ]

My laptop and I have retreated to the kitchen.  I experienced one 'phut' too many!

My eyes had begun to water and the damp handkerchief that I'd tied over my nose and mouth just didn't bring me any respite from Sym's chemical attack.  The bad news is that all three dogs are now in the kitchen with me!

One 'phut' or  'sssfffffffffftt' and they are ALL going out into the cold!

The story that I intended to post on my blog, or 'bloog' as the dodgy O on my keyboard would have me type, isn't this one.

I'm afraid that writing, as I have, about the doggies 'bottom burping' all the time has completely side tracked me and I now find that work, once again, beckons.

Did it really take me that long to write about farts?

Oh well!  At least you now know something about the Hell I've been going through.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

It's t That Time Of Year Again

It's the chilly season once again.

You'll have to forgive me if I don't post very much in the coming weeks.  This traditionally a time when the care profession goes into overdrive.  I have been out and about doing 'my  thing' since 8am this morning.  This is my 60 minute break in which I take care of the dogs (4-5pm) then I'm off out into the cold to see more needy folks.

Extra calls come thick and fast at this time of year and we are always stretched to, and sometimes beyond, our limits.

With carers falling sick of having accidents in the wintry conditions, it's all hands to the pumps in order to get folks fed, watered and generally sorted out.

This is not a young folks profession!

Most of them phone in sick at the very sight of a snowflake!

I will be back ASAP, but for now ... Adieu!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

I See Dead People

It's true!

I have seen dead people ... driving!

This may come as a bit of a shock to everyone out in the greater Bloggiverse, but dead people abound on winter days after, or during, a fall of snow.

Judging by the way the traffic flowed this morning (and we only had a short, mild snow fall in Cardiff) zombies were on the roads in force.

I have never, EVER had to drive so slowly as I did this morning ... on clear,  well salted roads too!

I just wanted to slap people ALL morning!

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaHHHHHHHHHHH!

Ooh!  Sorry about that! It just slipped out.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Late Letter to Santa


Dear Santa,
I know my letter is late,
But we had a heavy snow fall,
And I couldn't get out my gate.
I'd like to have new bike,
And an ipod and a phone,
And if you have the time,
A puppy with a bone.
Bring my mum a handbag,
Earrings and a car,
And give my dad directions,
So he'll get back from the bar.
Thank you in advance,
for the prezzies and ev'rything,
P.S. Bring something for my sis,
like cheap and nasty bling

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Death By Curiosity

'I remember' are two words I use on a regular basis, mostly when I'm about to tell you a tale that happened many years ago.

As I don't want to disappoint anyone by deviating from a tried and tested method ...

... I remember ...

that many years back I was questioned by the police.

A uniformed policeman called at my door at about lunch time.

"I believe you used to own a firearm" he said as I ushered him in and towards the sofa.

"Not me" I answered.

"We have statements from your neighbours to the contrary" he said smugly.  "They say you used to own a weapon very similar to a shotgun and that you used to fire it over on the school playing fields at weekends".

"Never owned one or ever wanted one" I said, wondering where all this was going.

Then he changed tack and began to query my whereabouts between the hours of 8 pm and 10 pm the previous evening.

That was easy.  I was on a plane flying back from Germany.  I said so and he demanded proof, so I showed my plane tickets and my train ticket from London to Newcastle.

Without explanation, after writing down my ticket numbers, he excused himself and left.

I tried several times to find out what his questions were all about, but without success.

He left without saying a word.

That evening as I watched the news on TV, I was amazed at the headlines.

A young boy of three or four years old had been found dead.  His body was found on grassland along what used to be the local rail track.  He died of head injuries after having been shot at fairly close range by a shotgun.

The penny dropped.

Apparently, for a short while, I had been on the list of suspects.

For a further week the world and I watched as news bulletin after news bulletin merely said that investigations were continuing.

I knew I was in the clear, but someone out there had done it and the village was crawling with police trying to solve the case.

Then came the startling revelation that shocked not only the family of the dead boy, but the entire north east of England, if not the country.

The youngster had been killed by two relatives, both youngsters themselves, in order to 'see what it looked like'.

My home town was in shock and the only talk in cafe's, pubs, clubs and on the street was of the two boys that had killed a young relative (a cousin,  I think) and then told a pack of intricate lies to cover it up.

I returned to Germany just a day or two after their arrest and quickly put the whole affair behind me.

That is until today.

It all came back to me this morning as I was walking the dogs in the freezing cold.  It happened thirty years ago, but for some reason it very clear in my mind as if it had only recently occurred.

Why Are Men Here? Remind Me ....


Friday, 26 November 2010

Me Time (A Reposted TOP article)

(Originally posted on November 05, 2009 [TOP] )

Why do I get up early on day's off?

I blame it on the dogs saying "Someone's got to be there for them" but, the truth is, dog's or no dog's, I'd get up anyway. I've slipped into a routine which, if truth be told, drives me mad cos I like nothing better than to stick two fingers up at the world and carry on sleeping while ev'ryone else is out earning a crust.

But I get so little 'me time'! If I'm not out working  (between Barry and Merthyr most days) then I'm walking the dogs (thinking time) or cooking or .... well, the 'or' is private!

So, I guess what I'm saying (typing) is, that early mornings ... and it doesn't matter when I went to bed the night before ... is my time and my space. I will never be truly 'on my own' because of the dog's, but we have an understanding ... they know the score and settle at my feet; no whining, barking or general making a nuisance of themselves ... and it works!

Do you want to know something? Ev'ryone should 'dribble' on like this in a blog! It helps clear your head of all the jumble that builds up between your ears.

Last night Ben (a past foster dog) surprised me again (the first surprise being his age; he was meant to be 18 months and turned out to be 19 years old) by bolting up the garden and then back again. Clover thought it was playtime and took off after him (she's very wary of Ben cos of his age I think) but at a more sedate pace. Sym showed his utter disapproval by cocking his leg on the rotary washing line and Sox, with her usual 'hard done by' look waited by the door to go back into the warmth.

It took some minute's before all of the dogs sorted out their lower- and upper-case P's but, when they did, an orderly queue was formed at the door ready to go to bed. They all got their bedtime cheese and settled down for the night.

Ben accompanied me upstairs and after his 'safety check' prowl around the bedroom, went to sleep on his hot water bottle. I read my book (a Pratchett) until the early hours (more relaxing 'me time') and then I too closed my peepers.

The dogs are still respecting my space and 'me time' as I type, but Sym is looking at me ALL the time ... he know's 'me time' ends with a trip to the park!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

For Cali

For Cali
(the kitten)

Departed
November 24, 2010


Your stay was brief but full of love,
and I pray you'll look down on us from above.
Tis with great sadness that we must part,
but you will always be with me as a piece of my heart.
Sleep well my princess and dream sweet things,
and I will join you when my Angel sings!


The Brave Defender And The Dog Sludgie Trail

It was twenty past two in the morning and I thought I'd heard something downstairs.

I was out of bed and awake quicker than you could do something quickly, my 9 iron whisked out from under the pillow (well, where would you keep yours?) and ready for action.

I tip-toed to the head of the stairs in a 'ziggy-zaggy' kind of way so I could avoid all those squeaky floor boards I've been meaning to replace.  I did not alert the intruder by switching on a light and I certainly didn't say "Is anyone there?" because if someone answered "Yes!", I just knew I'd shit a brick, if not a whole bungalow!

In the downstairs hallway there was nothing to be seen, so I crept down the stairs as quietly as possible.

I quickly checked the front door and it was still intact and locked.

I went through to the kitchen ... nothing!

The back door and all the windows were all secure.

I felt safe enough to put the light on at this point.

It went 'click'

It lit up.

As my eyes adjusted to the light, it slowly dawned on me that there was no intruder and that one of the dogs must have been responsible for the noise that I heard.

There were three tired, but guilty looking dogs lying in their beds.

But that is not what convinced me that one of them was to blame ... no!

It was the trail.

It was a UK size 7 trail.

A trail down the centre of the hallway and into the kitchen.

It ended in exactly the place where I was stood.

It was brown!!!

Three dogs pretended very hard to be fast asleep and the cat sniggered!

Let me tell you ... there is nothing more sure to wake you up, and give you no chance of getting back to sleep, than cleaning up dog mess at two-thirty in the morning.

It was .... [YAWN] ... an awful exp... [yawn] ...erience so early ... [yawn] ... in the ... zzz zzz zzz ZZZ.....................

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Christmas Day Comes Earlier and Earlier


I know this is a little premature, but if I don't do it now I'll probably forget.
(Originally posted on TOP last year)


It's Christmas time
 a time of cheer,
for presents and food
 and dad drinkin' beer.

Broken new toys,
 wrapping paper still on the floor,
a visit from those neighbours,
 the ones you don't like anymore.

Mum in the kitchen,
 strugglin' with the lunch,
trying to prepare food,
 for the whole bleedin' bunch.

Dad's on the bog,
 with a can of Newkie Brown,
lukkin at his Sun calender,
 n he don't mind that it's upside down.

The 'outlaws' arrive,
 around about two,
and all they can do,
 is complain about you.

At the table it's said,
 the turkey is dry,
the sprouts are too soft,
 and you just want to cry.

Then back to the telly,
 to see the Queen,
cos she speaks the bestest
 english what's ever been.

Around about six,
 there's more food on the table,
and we all start eating
 as much as we're able.

later on,
 lunch time sprouts play their part,
as adults sip wine
 and secretly fart.

Over at last,
 you sip your brandy
n tell your ol' man
 forget bein' randy!

Off to bed,
 straight to sleep,
all that hard work,
 and not one 'thank you' peep.




Monday, 22 November 2010

German For Runaways

The title is, of course, a pun which maybe only Germans will understand.

It refers to the German phrase "Deutsch für Fortgeschrittene" which means 'German for advanced students', but 'fortgeschrittene' could also mean someone who has run off, hence German for runaways.

Now that has been explained (it has little to do with this tale, but I thought it was worth a mention as I have at least one German reader), I shall tell you of mornings encounter with two German students that we (my client and I) bumped into as we left the cafe after our morning ritualistic latte.

"Excuse me" said a thickly accented voice. "Do you know where I find Charles Street please?"

I recognised the accent as being German straight away.

"Yeah", I replied. "Follow this road all the way to the third traffic light then turn right. At the next set of lights, turn left. Go straight over the following set of traffic lights and it will be the next right after that."

Easy.


He 'sanked' me very much and turned to go, whereupon his colleague said "Was hat der blödmann gesagt?"*


This rattled my cage big time!

As they started to walk away I shouted "Moment mal!"*

They both turned towards me. The student that had asked for directions was grinning. His friend looked decidedly shell shocked, as if he'd just been caught with his fingers in the cookie jar.

" 'Der bl
ödman' ist gar nicht so doof wie du denskst, mein fruend. Du solltest etwas vorsichtiger sein. Jetzt verpiss dich, aber schnell".*

I don't have very many opportunities to use my German and, over time it's become a little rusty, but I really enjoyed that moment and the look on that guy's face.

* Translations


Was hat der blödmann gesagt?            =  what did the idiot say?
Moment mal                                             =  Just a moment
Der blödman' ist gar nicht so doof 
wie du denskst, mein fruend.                =  The idiot isn't as stupid as you think,  my friend 
Du solltest etwas vorsichtiger sein.     =  You should be a bit more careful.
Jetzt verpiss dich, aber schnell.            =  Now Fu%& off very quickly.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

The Elephant On The Roof!

We decided, my client an I, that an elephant jumping from the roof of a six storey building would make a very big splash on the road below.

We also decided that we would not like to be in the clean up crew that had to deal with it.

At the time we were eating bacon sandwiches in a small cafe just up a side street of a welsh coastal village.

I no longer remember how we, in our minds that is, managed to get the elephant on the roof or why we would want it to commit suicide, but somehow we did.

I remember my client had just told me about a row over a cup of tea and the ownership thereof.  There were words, the tea was spilled and, for a while, he and a friend stopped speaking to one another.

Then suddenly .... there was an elephant and it was on the roof about to jump.

But how we got to that point is a mystery to me. I must have dozed off!

When working with people with learning difficulties, you have to be ready for sudden changes in conversational direction.  A degree of mental agility equal to that of a gymnast is required in order to keep pace at times.

One moment, as was the case recently, I would find myself discussing the benefits of a nice cup of tea on a cold day, only to have the topic of conversation change in mid sentence to election manifestos and why none of the major parties include a policy of 'being more helpful to people who have lost their train ticket'.

You never see the changes coming ... but you have to try to react as if they are normal when they do.
You have to make the flow from one subject to another seem .... well, seamless, and although you may think the conversation you are having is illogical and disjointed, you have to remember that to your client it is all logical, well thought through and in need of being said.

Meanwhile, back on the roof, the elephant is still teetering on the edge.

I have to admit that I made no attempt to talk the elephant down to safety as our topic had already been changed to the subject of buses (why do they have to go down narrow lanes?) and had moved on to post offices (why is the government closing them all?).

I wonder if the elephant is still up there?

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Saturday Evening With A Dog On My Lap

It's X-factor and Strictly Come Dancing night and, as I'm not a fan of either show, I shall be reading blogs with an upside down border collie on my lap.

Well,  I say "on my lap", but he's actually a little too big to be restricted to such a small area of his "daddy".

On top of him (animal welfare people should take this with a pinch of salt) rests my laptop.  Typing is one-handed and therefore a little more difficult than it otherwise would be.

Stay!!!

He's a booful dog but a lousy desk!

A cwtch, for those of you not fluent in Welsh, means an affectionate hug and, as there is no literal English translation, it's often taken to mean a safe place.


So, when my boy Sym wants to flop down on top of me, he drops his chin onto the sofa, looks out of the corner of his big brown eyes at his 'mum' and waits for her to say the word.


"Cwtch!"


Now this is the funny thing ...


... he wants to lie on my lap but he won't actually jump up onto me.  


He jumps up beside me, allows himself to fall sideways onto my legs, then rolls straight over into his back.
And there he will stay ... four legs pointing towards the ceiling and tail curled over to hide his bits.


Nothing will move him now until ... well, until I lose the feeling in my legs or it's time for bed.


Once settled, his favourite pastime is the periodical whacking his 'daddy' in the face with his paw.
It's his way of keeping my attention and guaranteeing that one hand continues to tickle his tum.

We've actually been sitting here for over two hours and, truth be told, my legs are numb and I'm pretty much all done with reading blogs.

I know this wasn't my best post, but I thought the stuff about Sym and his cwtch's was appropriate, especially  as he is still under my laptop at this moment.


Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend. 
~ Corey Ford, American writer