Why would they think this is what we want?

They say a society is judged by the way it treats its elderly…

Vulnerable person for political rant
Photo by Chalmers Butterfield

but should it not be measured by the way it treats all its vulnerable people, young and old?


Young boy for post about vulnerable people in society
Photograph by Lewis Hine

I am probably stating the ‘bleeding obvious’ when I say that many cut backs intended to increase efficiency, do precisely the reverse. The result is that we are letting down disabled people, those with special needs, children from poor backgrounds and any other vulnerable person you can name.

You may have noticed that I was in hospital quite a lot, a couple of years ago. Nothing sinister, just a series of unfortunate events. Hospitals took the brunt of my frustration at the time because despite the best intentions of the caring and overworked staff, my experience was awful. Mainly, it seems to me, as the result of cut backs and consequent inefficiencies.

Foot in plaster


At that time, a Magicbhunkshire A&E had been closed and its ambulances diverted to ‘The Saville’. Continue reading Why would they think this is what we want?

Sexual press ups

When Mavis was about 4 she had a beloved friend, Peter. The two were inseparable, so much so that when they both went to school, the dinner ladies called them the little married couple.

Sadly for Mavis, Peter moved away leaving her distraught. For years afterwards she struggled to make friends, but it seemed that the girl groups had already formed, and Mavis had developed a preference for the company of boys.

One day before Peter left, when he was very much in Mavis’s life,  Whizz, Mavis and I took a trip to Woburn Safari Park. You know, the place with the monkeys that rip off your windscreen wipers. Whizz and I sat in the front of the car and Mavis, in her child seat, perched behind us on the rear seat.

We peered through the widows at lions and giraffes, and soon  arrived at the ape enclosure. In a line of cars we crawled along roads between trees, where the little blighters, Barbary Apes I believe, were soon landing from the trees onto our car and gnawing at the trim and peeing on the windscreen.  Mavis was delighted to watch them being sprayed with the windscreen washers.

We rounded a corner and looked back to see an ape making off with part of a car further back down the queue and then Whizz and I turned back, whereupon our eyes were drawn to a huge ape, squatting in a sort of hut, directly ahead of us. He was observing the mayhem like the King of the Swingers. We knew he was a male because unlike the Disney character, he had an enormous erection. We stared in silence wondering if our little girl would notice. As we watched, the penis of the King of the Swingers, swung. Well actually it bobbed, up and down in apparent response to the desirability of the various crumpet options  around the woodland. ‘Oh yes, there’s a good’un,’ up with the erection, ‘Maybe there’s a better one over there though.’ slight droop, and so on.

Mavis had clearly spotted the ape and its seemingly athletic part, and after a few seconds her little voice came from the back,

‘I wonder if Peter can do that.’

adam's penis


The Demon Drink

Whizz is not much of a drinker. He will have the occasional beer, and drink wine at a dinner party or meal out but in the main he is, for me, a very valuable chauffeur.

tring beers for illustration of a funny drinking tale

‘Twas not always thus, though. When he was much younger, learning moderation skills, he went to a party and began to drink Bacardi and Coke. When the Coke ran out, he continued drinking neat Bacardi in plastic cups, propped up against a wall to maintain ‘verticality’.

When his knees began to sag he was thrust out of the front door in the interests of the carpet, and minutes later, having scaled a six foot fence, he arrived back in the kitchen demanding (slurring for) more alcohol. At some point he passed out, and in the small hours, the long suffering father of a friend took him home to his sister, Fret’s, house, first equipping Whizz with a plastic bag in case of ‘accident’. Somehow Whizz made it into bed. Of course he can’t remember much about that.

Now, Fret had a small job marking up newspapers each Sunday, and at the same time, Whizz had a job at the local Makro cash and carry. Not knowing the time and state of his arrival home, Fret, very helpfully, woke Whizz for work. He was still drunk, and as she passed the living room on the way out of the front door, he was doing press ups in the middle of the carpet.

Whizz walked to work and spent much of the morning, bouyed up by the alcohol levels in his blood. At some point though, the after effects of his night hit him, and when one customer asked him the location of an item, his response was a multi-coloured yawn. Yes, he was violently ill, right there, in the aisle.

The customer wandered off and Whizz was booked into the sick room as ‘feeling faint’. He slept, for quite a while, and when he awoke, he was drunk again. The understanding Medical Officer decided that the best place for him would be in the car park, collecting trolleys so he spent the rest of the day scooting round on the trolleys playing dodgems with the cars.

supermarket trolleys for funny drinking tale

The most amazing thing about this is that he was paid – double time because it was Sunday. Eeh, they had it good in them days.

Now that’s what I call ‘customer service’

Some time ago, during my Friday evening fest of wine drinking and communing with Facebook, I reached a particularly engaged moment  and knocked over my glass of wine.

Oh no I thought as the glass evaded my grasp, there goes a whole glass of wine. What a waste. Oh No! Something else has gone wrong in the life of the authorThen I saw the direction the wine was arcing. Yes, straight for the keyboard of my laptop.

Being well educated by Whizz on what to do in such circumstances (I also know that I should put my mobile phone straight into a bowl of uncooked rice after retrieving it from the toilet bowl), I took out the battery and turned the machine upside down onto a towel. Nonetheless, the next morning, it was seriously dead.

Fortunately, nay imperatively, we have accidental damage cover on our contents insurance, so I rang Direct Line, and after noting the details of the accident, they told me they would have it collected to check whether it could be fixed. My laptop was very old, and already limped, in fact the wine incident, although entirely accidental, turned out to be well worth the loss of the wine, which I did not, dear reader, squeeze from the towel to drink later, despite what you may think of me. In short, I ended up with a shiny new Toshiba laptop. What a result. Continue reading Now that’s what I call ‘customer service’