Thursday, 26 January 2012

Chinese New Year - in January 2012

I've missed it. I assumed it was in February. Last year, wasn't it in February?

This year the date was January 23rd and enter the Year of the Dragon. I'm a horse myself. A wooden horse, no less.

It gave me the shivers when I realised that I might have been the Trojan horse itself. A gift boldly given that contains nasty stuff that you don't expect. Sometimes life is like that. You think you have it figured out. You might have psychic friends who tell you what to expect - warn you of the worst or the best... Then it springs. Or, at least, you wheel it in and it delivers exactly what you don't want.

You take a strange byway. Your life might even double back on itself and you find yourself facing that aspect of yourself that you thought you'd done away with years ago. Or that you'd sorted. That dreaded truth. However, you hadn't dealt with it. You'd just buried it and hoped it was dead. And now it's struggled its way out of the earth and is lumbering after you, eyes glittering, and reaching its purple fingers towards your frantically thudding and terrified heart. Yes, like a zombie. Little wonder those films are terrifying...

We're always being tested, always learning.

No wonder I feel comfortable as a home educating facilitator.

It's closer now. Lumbering more loudly. Scraping its misshapen feet along the ground. Moaning and - oh, dear - is it crying?

That leaden feeling that you have made a mistake somewhere. That you've committed yourself to a course of action that has brought you to the moment. The moment when...

the zombie grabs you, cracks open your breast bone and yanks your heart from your palpitating chest...

Have you made a mistake so big? Have you condemned your children to misery because they haven't passed millions of exams and fought the good fight in school?

You yank your heart back, stuff it into its rightful place, seal up the gaping wound and stare the zomb down.

Have I done the wrong thing? you ask yourself.

Nah, you reply.

It's all good.

Brains for tea anyone?

Friday, 13 January 2012

Er hem, happy new year

Lower case: happy new year. I am a bit late. Well, I'm a lot late. Hope it was, is and will be a good one for you.

But it doesn't mean much, does it really? It's a convention. The new year could start in October or February (as in the Chinese New Year) or 6:14 on August 12th. Or never. All years could be just one big and very long year. It would do marvels for our counting skills!

Anyway, I've had a stressful morning what with Talktalk (a bit ironic that name) deciding that we no longer deserved our broadband connection and - oh, dear me - we shouldn't have our landline either, ducks. Even though what we'd done to pay for it was what we had always done, and we had paid (as we thought) for it as usual. But they said no. What a palaver... Little wonder they get rather uncomplimentary comments for their customer services. Dear me, yes.

So I am on the hunt for a new package. Take note Talktalk people: shortly I will not need your talkietalkie. I will have new talk abilities. You will be all talked out in my house, and I wish you goodbye. In fact, I never signed up to your service. The service I contracted for was provided by Pipex some years ago until they were swallowed up by talktalk.

Anyway, it won't be long now before I am free from your incomprehensible letters and your non-attempts to use a long-defunct email address. Thanks but no thanks.

The Spartacus effect

I was just reading Mum6kids' blog. What a lady Mum6kids is, and such a sterling writer. I do enjoy her blog and I'd like you to enjoy it too.

It's here:

And here is the despicable government's attempt to let us, the poor and sick people who are already so many strikes down in the game of life, take the kicks from the boot of dodgy capitalism and greedy bankers.

As you know if you read my blog we look after my mother. She fell in August and broke her leg which was duly fortified by a metal spike through it. They couldn't, however, replenish the normality of her brain which has been failing for many years.

It's subtle, perhaps, her mental decay. You might not catch it and, when we tell you she is not competent to make her own decisions; you might say there is nothing wrong with her as some of the hospital staff tried to do.

My mother says every day that she wants just a cheese sandwich for lunch. Every day. It doesn't sound much, does it? Quite reasonable a request, but she makes it every day. Every day. Despite the fact that she always gets something much more nourishing. And, if we say we're making her a cup of tea, it's the 'Only half a cup of tea, with a little bit of milk'. There are, of course, many other signs that my dear old dear is demented. She doesn't have a huge memory loss which counted against us when we told the hospital that she is off her trolley. Did they care? No. Did social care care? No, they were just interested in how much money she had tucked in her fleecy socks. The social care guy told me it takes £400 to keep my mother in a hospital bed. We get about £54 a week for looking after her.

Small wonder, then, that they don't want her. Small wonder that she's been assessed as fine. No wonder that our lives are on hold, our family members live apart, that we are running two houses in tandem, that every day - every day - H or I listen to the same comments about the same things, over and over, ad nauseum and ad infinitem.

If she lives another ten years I doubt I'll be here. I'll be pushing up the daisies or rounding Cape Hope in an old tyre because you just can't do it, hour in hour out, day in day out year in year out without something going pop in you. Something to do with self. Self-determination. Time for self. Life for self in a self that ain't getting any younger.

So Mr Cameron with your army of helpers and your large juicy, fruity salary, do you think you could listen to just a cheese sandwich for lunch just a cheese sandwich for lunch just a cheese sandwich for lunch only half a cup of tea with a little milk only half a cup of tea with a little milk just a cheese sandwich for lunch only half a cup of tea with a little milk only half a cheese sandwich with a little cup of milk for very long and how long would it be before your brain curdles...

All for about 54 quid a week. And that doesn't even pay for half of our combined food shop for a week.

But, by all means, squeeze the poor and the sick out of the pittance they get from our loving and caring society. Make them all pay for being poor and sick because, for sure, the big clever bankers and those suited, shouting, share-dealing abdabs in the city of London should not pay.

Thanks to the House of Lords for trying to stem the bloodletting that sees money flowing upwards (A MIRACLE) from the poor to the rich in this society, courtesy of the already rich.

Cheese sandwich anyone?