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.

Thursday, 30 June 2011


So I took myself off to the A&E department of Cardiff's Heath hospital.

I have a baddie foot and am in quite considerable pain.   I've had a baddie foot for sometime now, but yesterday the pain level rose to a point that convinced me that I had broken a bone.

I didn't expect my visit to A&E to be a short one, but I didn't expect to have to wait for almost two and a half hours before my "official" waiting time began.

Let me explain  ...

I arrived there at approximately 8pm and reported to reception.  I told them my problem ... foot ... pain ... ow ...  and was told to take a seat and informed that it could take a while before I was seen.

I waited.

And waited.

Then someone called my name and I hobbled in to see the triage nurse at about 10.30pm.

I was asked questions about my problem and politely informed (without even having had my foot examined) that I could either wait for an appointment with a doctor (approx. 5 hours), see the out of hours GP (approx 4.5 hours) or go home and make an appointment with my local surgery the next day.

Talk a bout gob-smacked!

No examination!  Just questions.

Had I waited for one of the appointments that I was offered, I would have probably left A&E at 1am, or later, and arrived home at about 2am or so.

Having lived in Germany for nearly 30 years, I know that this sort of thing can and should be handled a whole load better.

This kind of thing is just one of the reasons I hate the NHS.

It's a mammoth beastie ... a dinosaur ... that can never be fed enough and one day, if it isn't taken care of soon, it will go the way of all dinosaurs.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Monday, 27 June 2011

When In Doubt ...

... post a funny picture!

Which is what I did.

I have been tardy ... lazy really ... and I have avoided most things blog related for a short time so that I could give a little more of my free time to my wife.  Not that she was complaining you understand ... she never uttered a word about my face being glued to my laptop screen ... but I recognised that look which was occasionally flashed in my direction.

As a married man, you get to recognised that look.

It's a look that is passed from mother to daughter, generation after generation, and it can cut through a man's thick-skinned defences like a hot knife through butter.

It sears!  It frazzles!  It turns a hard man into a "lemme do that for ya hun"-wimp.

And I was flashed that look.

Several times!

I was a soldier, for God's sake!  A roughie-toughie, hard-nosed-couldn't-give-a-damn kinda guy and I buckled under that look!

All those women out there must be wearing a "Oh yeah, I know how to do that too"-smug grin on their faces right now.

I wish I knew how to master that look!

Anyway, that is why I haven't been indulging in my ... hmmm!  Addiction?  Is that the right word?

Today, my intention was to tell you of my dog (Sym) and the progress he's making with his treatment for Lymphoma.
I have already mentioned some time ago that although he's still receiving treatment, he is doing very well and remains in remission (or in recession as my step daughter, Gabriele, insists on calling it - a little worrying for a trainee veterinary nurse, wouldn't you say?).

As I type this, he is receiving his penultimate treatment in a Bristol veterinary clinic.  At this moment he is reclining (he was sedated this time) on a nice cushioned bed whilst his medication is dripped into his vein.
In a few hours he'll be awake and after a brief recovery period and a check-up, we'll be taking him home.

If the rain holds off and he shows no ill effects from the treatment, he'll be romping around the park sometime after 8pm this evening.

He now only has four more treatments to go.

Wish him luck!

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Parking The Dogs

I must have mentioned at some time or other that I have three dogs.

Have I?

Yeah, I'm sure I have ... once or twice.

Anyway, I do. I have three in fact: Sox, Sym and Clover.

We have, or should I say 'they' have routines which they very much like to adhere to.

One of them ... and by far the noisiest one ... is when they consider it time to go to the park.

They can, without ever having being taught, tell the time and at 4.30pm every day (when I happen to be home) they go into what I like to call their 'parking' routine.  Each dog has developed their own way of telling me that it is time.

Sym, the brains behind the whole song and dance, kicks it all off with his wide-eyed staring and mournful "harrouwowow" after which he slaps me with his paw.

Sox, low on intelligence but high in years, looks at Sym then at me, issues a plaintive whine and feigns a mad dash to the front door.  In actual fact, she just runs behind the sofa then comes back and performs her routine all over again. 

Clover, not the brightest dog in the world and lacking in confidence, looks at me with eyes that seem ready to pop as her tail begins to rotate and she begins a rather comical 'running-on-the-spot' dance.

I've typed this in an orderly manner, one after the other, but in reality these little performances are happening concurrently making it very apparent that I have to move my arse.

Once they start I can't hold out for more than a few minutes as their performances increase in intensity and volume.

The next stage is preparation ... poo bags, cheese, leads and keys.

As I cut the cheese into little cubes, they are milling excitedly around my feet and making their need for more haste perfectly clear with a variety of "grrrr's" and "wuh's" (Sym does not "wuff") and through three differnt forms of tap dance on the laminate flooring.

As the poo bags are pull from the drawer, the scampering (poor Clover just can't keep her footing on laminate) begins and they make dash to be first out of the front the front.

This is generally when all the excitement becomes too much for Sox and she begins to bark, shake and run around in circles.

It can take a few minutes for her to calm down enough for me to open the front door.

Eventually, leads draped around my neck I open the door, issue a curt "Stay!" to the dogs and step outside.
When all is clear and the dogs have sat down I say "Find the car!" and they all rush to wait by my car's back door.

Sox goes in the back and won't tolerate company.  Clover and Sym share the back seat.

And away we go.

They have me well trained!

Friday, 10 June 2011

The Home-check

Julie and I volunteered to do Dougal's (a Four Paws Animal Rescue puppy) prospective new owners homecheck.

We debated as to whether or not we should take Sym (my boy) with us just to see how they would cope with a boisterous dog, but we both arrived at the same conclusion ... we didn't want him crapping on their garden!

So ... on the day of the check, after we received all the details and printed out the form with all the quezzies on it, I entered the address into the satnav just to be sure we found the place ok but, my satnav, he says "No!" and just as the map was about to show us where our destination was, my satnav lost power.

'Never mind' I said to Julie. 'You drive and I'll plug the satnav into the ciggy-lighter and check the route on the way'.

So that's what happened.

As we approached the end of our street (approx 110 yards from home) we were expecting to turn left towards the main road and Whitchurch village.

But it wasn't to be.

The satnav piped up ...

'Prepare to turn right in 70 yards ... take next right'.

We were a little taken aback, but Julie pointed the car in the direction the satnav had dictated.

Before we had even gone 50 yards the satnav once more intervened with instructions.

'Take the next right in 100 yards and prepare to reach your destination'.

Within a minute we were there.

We had driven a grand total of 320 yards from home!

And ... we went the long way apparently!!!

Talk about feeling like a wally!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Why The Amnesiacs Anonymous Hotline Failed

The Amnesiacs Anonymous telephone rang.
"Hello, this is ... erm ... tip of my tongue .... what-ya-call-it ... "
{rustling of paper}
"Amnesiacs Anonymous?"
"Yes ... the Forgetty People thing.  My name is ... "
{rending and tearing of material}
" ... Medium?"
"Size 48?"
"I don't th..."
"Quite possibly"
"Well, something like that anyway. How can I er ... thingy ... er, you?"
"I have a problem with my ... my ... "
{mumbled voices away from phone}
" ... mammary!"
"Memory! Yeah, right.  Memory!"
"Ri-i-i-ight? So why're you calling me?"

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

The Collected Works Of Symdaddy

Thank you to everyone that ordered my book and a thousand apologies for the 'typo' that incorrectly priced it at £15.00  


The correct price is £5.99

Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Collected Works Of Symdaddy

As you may have already noticed, The Collected Works of Symdaddy is now available.Priced at £5.99

Also available, and in aid of Four Paws Animal Rescue, are:

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Vet priced at £7.99 (colour)

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Vet priced at £5.00 (B & W)

The proceeds, very small after publication, will be going to Four Paws Animal Rescue (South Wales).

So if you would like to support a worthy cause (even if you live far,far away), please feel free to purchase a copy of either, or both, books.