Wednesday, 28 September 2011


I have great admiration for the nursing profession having been involved with health care workers professionally for most of my working career. In the main they do a wonderful job in poor conditions and for inadequate pay.

However, there have been tales recently of such poor nursing care in some of our hospitals, that thousands of patients have been starving and left to soil themselves in their beds.

I therefore read with interest that the NHS and nursing unions have reacted to this criticism by explaining that there are too few nurses to cope, especially at busy periods like mealtimes and therefore, they urge relatives to help in caring for the everyday needs of their hospitalised loved ones by assisting with feeding or by taking them to the toilet.

My brother, who went into hospital for an operation which was anticipated to involve a two week stay on the ward, has so far been in for four months.

I have assisted as best I can but have found this difficult since I am limited by visiting times of an hour in the afternoon and an hour and a half in the evening.

As for helping with meals, there are signs on the (often locked) door saying that meal times are 'protected'. It seems an odd idea that patients should need protection from their relatives at meal-times.

If the hospital staff would like the assistance of patients' relatives, might I suggest that we are allowed in a little more often? Perhaps also, we could be treated as an asset rather than as a nuisance.

Sunday, 25 September 2011


I find it truly amazing that with all my years of experience, I still learn new things every day which though simple in themselves can be quite life-changing in their effect.

For instance, it's taken me a long, long time to discover the secret of how to prolong one's pleasure but I have finally achieved it and am willing to share it with you dear reader.

I have found that the climactic moment, which bursts so joyously upon the senses can be extended so as to last and last thus prolonging the pleasure over and over again.

The result is completely amazing and can work not only to provide much enhanced enjoyment for oneself but prolonged pleasure and satisfaction for your partner as well.

That is, if you choose to share your bag of crisps with them.

Yes, eating crisps will never be the same for me since I discovered that by biting just a small amount off each separate crisp, I get all the same delightful mix of crunchiness and taste but the packet lasts for ages and ages.

I hope this handy tip will bring you as much satisfaction as it has for me.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011


Couldn't resist telling this one...

A group of four friends who went to the same girls school reach their fiftieth birthdays within a few days of each other and decide to mark the occasion by dining out in style.

"Let's go to the Jubilee Restaurant" says Daphne - "I've heard that the waiters there are really good looking." They all agree and have such a fine time eyeing up the waiters that they decide to meet up again when they reach their 60th birthdays.

A decade later they have to decide a venue once more.

"Let's go to the Jubilee Restaurant again" Susan suggests - "the food and wine there were so good last time." So the Jubilee it was and they had a great meal.

Ten years later they are faced with the same decision. "Let's go to the Jubilee Restaurant" says Bridget - "the wheelchair access is excellent there."

Finally they reach their 80's. "This time let's go to the Jubilee Restaurant" says Maureen - "It will be so nice to go somewhere we've never been before."

Sunday, 18 September 2011


As far as I know I'm not a coward. But then of course it's hard to know until you are faced with a scary situation and have to decide whether 'fight or flight' is the best course of action.

The only moment in my life which comes to mind is when I returned home one day to find my wife and daughter outside the house in a terrified state because the front door had been forced and they were sure there was an intruder inside the house. On that occasion, the red mist descended and I ran indoors and raced round with murderous intent to try and find the burglar. Thankfully he had already run off.

In times of war, men who were branded cowards were vilified and often abused or imprisoned but I can't help feeling sorry for them. Cowardice is not a matter of choice. It is just the way you react in a crisis. Bravery is admirable but cowardice, though not a flattering quality, should invoke our sympathy not our anger.

Eek!!! There's a spider crossing my desk!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011


I recently paid a visit to the Black Country Living Museum near Dudley. I can heartily recommend this as a fascinating glimpse into a recent but bygone age. Among other things, it seeks to recreate streets just as they were fifty to eighty years ago when the corner shop ruled supreme.

It struck me as I entered an old fashioned grocer's or hardware shop that I was not so much viewing the past as glimpsing the future.

There is nothing quite so sad as seeing the demise of our shops as one by one they succumb to the relentless advance of the supermarket and megastores. Unable to compete with the buying power of these huge establishments, the greengrocer and the butcher sadly close their doors for the last time and likely as not, end up working on the vegetable or meat departments at Tesco or Asda.

It is sad but also completely inevitable. The sweet shop where I spent my pocket money will no doubt be consigned to the museum in future. I can only hope that Joni Mitchell was wrong when she sang 'they took all the trees and put 'em in a tree museum'.

Nostalgia just isn't what it used to be *sigh.

Sunday, 11 September 2011


A correspondent in the Daily Mail offers a remarkable example of how times have changed.

I well remember the childhood joy of Sunday lunch with my family. There is nothing quite like the smell of a roast cooking to whet the appetite. Of course cooking a roast dinner is not achieved without hard work and my Mum used to share the burden by getting us to help out by peeling the potatoes, top and tail the carrots or pod the fresh peas.

Of course nowadays, peas are most frequently bought in frozen form and to the younger generation, their source is a mystery as evidenced by the aforesaid correspondent who describes her experience at a supermarket checkout. The cashier, a young girl in her teens, picked up the bag of fresh pea pods and examined them with great puzzlement.

'Excuse me, are these beans or peppers?' she enquired. When informed that they were peas she laughed and replied "Don't be silly. Everyone knows that peas are round". The correspondent opened a pod to prove that there were indeed peas lurking within.

Oh the ignorance innocence of youth!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


It's funny where one's train of thought can take you.

For instance I was stuck on a crossword clue this morning. The clue was 'American cricket'. Now being unaware that Americans ever played our lovely game, this perplexed me until I discovered 'Katydid' in the encyclopaedia. This is a small insect with long legs and is noted for its loud mating call.

Curious name I thought - puts me in mind of the Susan Coolidge books, 'What Katy did' and 'What Katy did next'.

This in turn caused me to think of 'what Katie did in her every waking moment'. You see I had recently read that Katie Price, that well known master of the written word, not content with having written four autobiographies for our literary delight, apparently considers her life to be of such significance that it warrants a glossy magazine cleverly entitled 'Katie'. Will anyone be able to resist finding out what her tattoos mean or how she always leaves two Rice Krispies in the bowl? I sincerely hope so.

Which of course brings us full circle to the insect with long legs noted for its loud mating call.