Thursday, July 24, 2008

THIS is the age of the train

Jimmy Saville was wrong about the 70s. Here I am watching the sunset, instantly publishing my own inspired record of the noughties, keeping in touch with all my friends and family at the click of a switch - and in silence - just about. (Some people abuse the 'quiet coach' system.)

Anyway so far tonight glided past the golden corn fields, watching a young boy cycle between the grooves, then past a park with a happy gang camping with a little camp fire. And the ubiquitous TOXIC then TOX graffitti tags as you come out of London. The clouds are their usual magnificent selves. Castles in the sky. The Gods shimmering and swimming away from the sapphire sun. Now it's a huge ball. Almost before my eyes it is sinking into the smoky turqouise clouds. And then the greens of the fields and trees start to merge as the darkness seeps in. And she's gone. The sun has set. Wherever we are at 9.04pm. Somewhere on the same lattitude as Birmingham but on the Norfolk side.

Anyway there we go. Another day lost. Personally I prefer sunrises.

Other more interesting news - I have managed to make 'Joint Strategic Needs Assessment' sound interesting enough to persuade people to come to a three hour meeting on it.

The trolley is not coming round due to 'staff shortages'. I bet in the 70s they didn't even have a trolley. I bet you couldn't get a chardonnay anywhere on a 1970s train. So we should be grateful that at least we can go to the bar.

London is like a ghost town. And this normally empty train is practically full. Everyone going on their 'eco-friendly' holidays to Doncaster. Obviously I'm devastated about having to go to Hong Kong and Bali for my summer holiday. I wonder how long a train trip would take to get there?

A few friends and rellys of ours have had the right idea. Escape the Western recession and emigrate to Asia - jobs, great standard of living, optimism. Qatar has the highest gDP in the world. India has the second fastest growing economy. Location Location Location. Job Job Job.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Husband has a well deserved week off work. So we celebrated by holding a three day Bergerac Ironing Marathon. It was most enjoyable, I found myself one step ahead of Jim. The Green Goddess hiding diamonds in the sea - I cracked that before him. And the paedophile stalking young girls, cracked that a whole 47 minutes before Jim started asking to look at the photos. The second series is more dark, yet Jersey is still irrestible.

We saw Mamma Mia on Saturday and it was excellent. Silly but a definite feel good film.

Still can't read more than 2 pages at a time of Nelson Mandela's autobiography. I just find it so harrowing, disturbing and appalling. I'm reading the bit about prison food at the moment.

I'm also trying to get a 'well paid' job as we call it. It's not that I don't enjoy care work, it's very rewarding in fact. But, it's too physical. Unless I start putting two hours in at the gym a day to build up my muscle strength, I just can't do it longer than one morning a week. I think if it was men's work in the eyes of society it would be £45 an hour. You hear horror stories about people doing their back in. And already someone has fallen on me. It took two of us to get her back up again. Then there's the outrageous bean counting. We don't get paid travel time for example. And we're supposed to get people ready in the morning in less time than I allow myself. I give myself an hour and a half to get up, get washed, get dressed have a nice breakfast. People with multiple disabilities, can't walk unaided and long term health conditions, not to mention full commodes - they get 20 minutes.
And every one of them wants their care at 8am. But we have six people to get up. Someone will have to get up at 6.30 and someone at 10.30 - in fact it's on our rotas. But in the care plan it says 8am for everyone.
There isn't really a mystery to crack on this one. The culprit is the capitalist system.

But the rewards for the subliminal criminal are that you're really helping people, directly. Without the carers - paid and unpaid - of the world, humanity would collapse. It's just tough luck it's not financially rewarding too. As soon as men start to do the work, we'll see carers getting their just dessert.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

My connection to Dizzee Rascal

is that I believe I shared a bus with his girlfriend last night - the 73 to Islington from King's Cross. Anyway, I don't know why, but I suspect it's something to do with being ill so TV and music is about the only thing I've felt like doing, but I watched music TV channels for about 8 hours non stop yesterday. By the end of it I had about seven songs which I'd decided I liked - which I'd downloaded and was listening to on my IPOD. Very boring you might think. And yes, this story is pretty dull, but this is probably the closest I'll ever get to stardom, and it gets worse. Anyway I had learned that this nice young chap from London 1) was number 1 with his song Dance wiv me 2) liked girls - this was a highlight of his fame according to him at the O2 festival 3) also liked rock music which was another plus in his direction from yours truly. And basically I overheard this attractive young woman on the bus talk to a friend of hers on her mobile phone and the it went something like this:
"Well he said he was going to Kent, and then I found out he wasn't he was a party with some girls. And you know that dress I wore to Dizzee's party. The sort of slinky one? Well she had cut it all up? Yeah, you know what I mean? And then I said No way. Yeah I told him. And he was like begging me. He even bought me some jewellery you know. And I chucked it at him. Yeah. And I was like No. No, I haven't been in touch with him. I just sent him a text saying congratulations for staying at number one. Yeah Dizzee will probably be having another party. Yeah I'll talk to you soon." And she got off the bus, after I'd bamboozled my way next to her to sit down and eavesdrop more effectively.

I'm more effective as a restaurant spy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Enjoying the beauty of nothing.

One of the joys of meditation is that you actually start to enjoy nothing. It must be the ideal recreational activity for prisoners. Apart from that, also enjoying the nasturtiums which are about to come out, picking songs from the TV that I am going to listen to on my IPOD. Deciding that 'Hulk Knows Best' is the best programme on TV. Massage and aromatherapy.Cleaning the house. Not much of a blog entry, but I was fed up with talking myself into a recession. But the other things keeping me happy - so excited about a lovely present I have bought for a very special young S. And a real life prospective Dr Blag has achieved just that - and I know who she is! And she's not Blaglady - who has started her blog again. Phil thought Margaret Thatcher had died. Anyway the point is, it's not all bad news. You've just got to Blagg out the goods on this blogging lark.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

How do you stop a recession?

The recession is imminent. One of our best friends is a corporate property lawyer. She bought a house a couple of months ago - and right at the last minute the mortgage company were trying to pull the plug on the deal. Can you imagine if that is happening to someone earning whatever corporate property lawyers earn, and someone doing corporate property law for a living - what the hell is it like out there for any old person trying to buy a house with a mortgage? Husband keeps on saying to me, 'I don't know why you give two hoots about the FTSE'. The point is it's the best indicator to the economy we've got. And if it falls by 20% then we're in a bear market that nearly always will lead to recession. If you think about being Chief Executive of say, Marks and Spencer, and suddenly your value and your company's value is reduced by 20% - what do you do? Well there's a few options. The first one though is retract - consolidate, reduce your expansion plans - and a few seconds after that you think about cost savings you're going to make. Labour is the biggest cost. So you start laying people off. It's already happening in housing, finances. Not long before everything else follows. And perhaps even worse than recession is what we thought had vanished from the 70s - stagflation. Massive inflation - this time caused by rising oil and food prices - and rising unemployment.

Anyway the good news is I now have more ideas for an MA dissertation, that could actually be less depressing than the history of dementia. The history of stagflation - what caused it in the 1970s? What caused the UK 'credit crunch'? Will the 'credit crunch' see a resurgence for economic history?

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Inventions by Tattontastic

I have several ideas for inventions
1) Having specifically chosen interval music on Sky plus - something other than the 3 tracks you're forced to listen to.
2) An ironing machine. I personally wouldn't mind paying at least a thousand pounds for this machine. Like a washing machine, but it irons. You shove all the clothes in and then in 3 hours it's all ironed.
3) Grand Theft Auto - the movie. Perhaps not with a bloke as the main character, but an Eastern European woman, who is one of the trafficked prostitutes he kills.
4) Recycling rubbish boxes made out of recycled rubbish - we currently have six bins for recycling and rubbish, none of which have been recycled out of anything.
5) - the website. Not only for looking up decent places to eat in this beautiful, yet foodie-virginal county, but decent shops, delis, off licences, farmers markets revewed. Strictly no advertising or sponsorship. Perhaps there could be a bit on the website devoted to combining nice food with other activities - eg cycling, climbing, camping, music and running. One has to get rid of all this flab one is building up when food is the main hobby. Perhaps if I get some web training I could do this last one myself. But can you be a carless yorkshire foodie?
6) The human dynamo - a machine which is powered by the human body which then powers and charges other batteries - the AA type or perhaps even larger ones. So you exercise and charge your stuff at the same time. There could be a human bike dynamo, an arms and legs one, and perhaps one that you attach to your bike when you're out and about, perhaps one that works when you jog or walk.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Striving for consensus

I'm feeling quite a lot better now, although pneumonia takes it out of you more than you think. I've been ill for nearly three weeks and haven't had much energy to do anything. But the good news is I'm currently cancer free. Had a CT scan yesterday. The doctors want to make sure in someone like me that pneumonia isn't hiding cancer. Knowing that you have at least a few weeks to play with in life expectancy terms gives one a sudden zest. And how will I change my path in life? Not much is the answer to that. Of course if anyone dies at 35 it's basically too early. But why? Well, I haven't had children yet, haven't contributed that much to academic thought, haven't contributed that much to politics or seen my creative ideas published. Children is probably the easiest one there. Academic thought I'm working on. But politics is the tricky one. I have so many unachievable aims and priorities. Free education for all. Free social care for all. And I could go on. Even those two are incompatible. How do you prioritise? Free social care is probably cheaper than free education. Then there's the ongoing privatisation of the NHS. My great friend Gill George is working on that. But it's her versus the great armies of the state. People think that it doesn't matter who provides care. Codswallop. When a care worker, working for a private care company, is told 'It doesn't matter what you say, you're employed by the private company. We don't have any control over you'. And then how do you defend one's views? Through violent means? Hopefully not. But definitely not? Nelson Mandela used violent means when push came to shove.
Anyway, I don't think politics is the way forward for me. It's too frustrating, about money and I don't see eye to eye with anyone on anything. The reason I picked dementia as a topic to study was because I saw it as a topic on which there could be political consensus. We don't want to see people with dementia suffer unnecessarily. We don't want to see their carers suffer. And this is ironic, because my favourite tutor at college, Michael Kandiah who is a Tory historian argues that the 1950s age of consensus didn't exist. Perhaps what Michael doesn't realise is how depressed you can get if you're always arguing with everyone, on the margins, when the general public are deluded buffoons. So consensus and progress seem attractive. It's nice to be nice to the nice.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Poetry Muse Detective

Randall and Hopkirk- Deceased
Agatha Christie - dominates
Bergerac - non drinker
Dempsey - Makes peace
Poirot - pontificates
Quincey - moralises
Murders - dialled, diagnosed in midsummer