Sunday, 27 February 2011

What the Rook Did Next.

Rooks is clever. They work out how to do things. They innovate. In most cases... Innovation is applied to Food.

We have one of them bird feeders that is made up of two cylindrical seed holders (with individual small perches and feed-holes) which hang from two hooks at the end of a central pole.

Mostly this arrangement means that the larger birds can't sit on the perches and feed from the holes, cos they's too big ... and so the little 'uns get a look in.

But I been having my suspicions that the rooks have cracked this problem. Now and then I would look out the window and spot a rook grabbing a seed from a rhythmically swinging seed holder.

This morning I see the rascal. She maintains her grip on the central pole... or a convenient branch... leans in... grabs one of the metal perches under a feed hole .... pulls it back... and let's it go. The entire seed holder sets itself into a nice pendulum swing - and Rookie just grabs a mouthful when the feed hole returns conveniently to her beak.

Nice One, Rookie.

Friday, 25 February 2011

The Old Man's Mush : Part 2

I know I complain a bit about hospitals and such-like. But I want to be loyal and true to 'em, really.

We go off yesterday... the 50 mile round trip to the Main Hospital for The Old Man's skin thing... We get Big Sis to come and pick us up and take us there. The Old Man clocks in and Big Sis and me go off to spend (or waste, according how you look at it) some time wandering around - before we go back and see if the Bandaged One is ready for collection.

So an hour or more later, walking back to the Skin Department... we find The Old Man walking towards us.

"Good timing." say I.

Big Sis says... "He hasn't got a dressing on his mush."

And indeed he hasn't. Because they haven't cut anything out. Because the biopsy said "It's not that sort of thing." Instead he's got a prescription for some 'orrible cream which he has to smear on that bit of phizog... for six weeks.

So if we had known... then Big Sis needn't have done an even longer round trip for her, because The Old Man could have driven himself.

It does wear you down a bit. There's always some kind of mix-up.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

The Old Man and his Mush

Just to interrupt my own tirade.
We are off again to Hospital for The Old Man
to get his face sorted out.

The Skin Lot there eventually remembered him and his itchy spot (see this Post). (Hrrmph!) And yes, it is a bit dodgy - so off he goes to get it cut out.
It's not really dreadful they say.
And he has had it removed before.
But the rascal came back didn't it.

So I'm waiting for Big Sis who has kindly offered to drive us there and back this afternoon.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

History From My Point of View

I'm so glad that you are back and ready to be riveted by more comment on the State of Things and the Reviling of Baby Boomers.

If you read the previous post "Boom! Boom!" you will get the drift. That I suspect us Oldies are being scapegoated.

There is - of course - a natural urge to blame others when we feel helpless. And resentment of one generation towards a previous is quite common. I may have managed that myself at some point. But the ubiquity of this "Selfish Baby Boomer" refrain amongst the media has me puzzled. Particularly as some of the "writers" concerned are not exactly spring chickens themselves. Is Wool being Pulled over Somebody's Eyes? As in... Poor Old Scapegoat Can't See Past His Coiffure?

As an elderly, self-serving person - I will endeavour to recall what I consider to be some of the contributory factors to the younger generation's predicament. As well as I am able before senile dementia sets in, of course. (And Yes - I can still name the current Prime Minister. It's that smooth-faced rich boy Cameron... and for good measure.... his Deputy is Putty Boy Clegg.)

So.... Once upon a time and in my lifetime... we had Free Education, Grants for Higher Education, Free Healthcare, Council Owned Housing Stock with comparatively low rents, State Pensions, Nationalised Industries & Utilities such as gas, water, electricity, railways, telephone and postal services, and.... Reasonable Employment Prospects, etc.

Now when I say "Free" - let me remind you that I mean we paid Income Tax and National Insurance towards such things. Lord knows... if we lost our jobs, became ill, or too old to work... it was good to know we had Paid Our Taxes and Insured Ourselves Nationally, so to speak. Because not everyone can manage to pay their taxes. Particularly the Rich. But "C'est la vie" as they say in Monaco.... or possibly Switzerland.

In the late 1970s The Iron Lady became Prime Minister. (Not a Baby Boomer herself.) The proud Daughter of a Humble Grocer - as she was keen to point out - she assured us that she knew how to Count the Pennies and the Value of Things. So she proceeded to sell off "Old Stock".

Into the Clearance Sale went Council Housing, Gas, Electricity, Telecommunications, and the Water Supply industry. I think also... North Sea Oil whilst she was about it. The Scots are particularly forgiving over that one... Meanwhile Health Minister, Ken Clarke, (tobacco expert) was starting to dismantle the Health Service as we knew it.

The Iron Lady proceeded to nobble the hated Trade Unions ( I know... but you are nothing without representation, my dears) ... and dismantled the last of the Coal Industry. Her successor, John Major, sold off the Railways.

There now. That's what I call a Clean Sweep.

But let me be clear. I never voted for the woman. I didn't get a say in this Clearance Sale. I didn't buy shares in the new privately owned Utilities... because I thought that they were "mine" before they got sold off.

Stay tuned for further thoughts on the subject. After all, Mr Cameron has Unselfish Plans of His Own.... for the Big Society Junket.

And remember The Old Man's Compassionate Words of Wisdom:

"Everybody does the best they can in the circumstances in which they find themselves."

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Boom! Boom!

There's been some rantin' out there about Selfish Baby Boomers. (Yes - I am a Boomer.)

Apparently we are a scheming, selfish generation - who sit around up there in the clouds... with our proverbial Storks... until we spot a Good Time coming. That's a Good Time with "free education and health care", plenty of employment, and big, fat pensions.

Upon spotting this Utopia, we click our chubby little fingers at the Stork, point earthwards, and demand a lift. Down we float. Down to an unsuspecting parental couple who are still reeling from World War Two.

Having arrived - we fatten up on National Health orange juice (I can taste it now) and stroll through our free education - primary, secondary and higher - until we emerge into adulthood. After packing in some Feckless Years full of Free Love, Hippiedom, and Pointless Globe-trotting .... we slide into Cushy Jobs for Life that guarantee Fat Pensions.

Settling into this adult world, we accumulate money by the bucketful and buy up all the available housing stock. Then we manage both to "Retire Early at 50 and Live the Life of Reilly" and to "Hog Our Jobs until we are at least 73". In this manner we simultaneously manage to use up all the Pension Pots and to Deprive Following Generations from jobs. Whilst we are about it - we ruin this planet for our successors by flitting around emitting carbon as quick and as much as we can: planes for Jolly Jaunts, revving our Gas-Guzzling 4x4s, and Heating Homes that are Far Too Large for us. And don't get me started on the Third World Child Labour we personally enslave to provide us with our Throwaway Consumerist Lifestyles.

Blimey! No wonder I dream about cake.

But hang on there. What is that other odour in the air? Underneath the cinnamon vanilla mocha mocha top notes of cake icing? It's something more... earthy... something more... animal.

I know what it is. It's Scapegoat!

(Stay Posted for Rant 2 and History From my Point of View.)

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Mrs Doonuthin & The Message Board

So Mrs Doonuthin comes downstairs from staring at her laptop... all pink in the face and excited. Seems she took the step to join a stop-motion animation site and posted a message on its message board... asking for comments on her films.

And she got replies.

She rushes to the Saturday Night glass of Red, wittering on about "frame rates" and "tie-downs". (I kid you not.) And is generally... all of a fluster...Well - she doesn't get out much.

Say I: "Did they mention me?"

Say she - slurping the red stuff: "One person said your stretch and yawn in the Christmas film was very natural."

Apparently that tall lump of clay, Queenie, got very kind comments for "Audition". I say... that she can hardly find the audience at her audition. I say... claygirl can hardly stagger across the stage.

Moi! Moi! I was vivacious and laughing and all that stuff.
Does anybody mention me? Nada. Zilch.

There is no justice.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Meeting Vera

So it seems that my old mate, Vera, heard that Mrs Doonuthin is filmin' and decided to check out the chances of work.

Vera turned up on the scene about eleven years ago - back in the East End of London. She likes to pronounce her name "Vyera" when she's feelin hoity-toity about her "Russian" background. True she comes from further East than me... but I reckon that makes it more Dagenham than Russia.

She's done circus work in her time - trapeze and stuff - and a bit of burlesque... if you like your burlesque with tattoos and piercings...

But let's face it - I'm a grey doll myself and Vera can only be about eight or ten years behind me. I don't know how much of that physical work she's gonna manage these days.

Still - she's gonna see what Mrs Doonuthin has to offer - so watch out for the "old girl".

O-Oh! She heard what I just said. She don't look pleased.
She always did have a hot temper. Is that an empty beer bottle in her hand?

Bye darlins... I'm off.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Out and About

Get kidnapped to go for usual walk along Long Rock Beach. Get out of car into teeth of howling gale.... well ... bit noisy gale. I get back into car while The Old Man stomps off to exercise hisself.

He gets back and admits it is a bit much. We drive a very long way round back home and stop off at Copperhouse Pool in Hayle for another attempt at walking, this time out of the way of the southerly gusts. It's pretty good but eventually the wind finds us.

As one lady on her mobility scooter shouts ... speeding into the teeth of the wind on her return "run" with the dog:

"Bit different this way round!..."

Heard a curlew calling which made my walk worthwhile. See lots of duck, including shelduck, and one MP in winter plumage.

I want to shout: "You haven't replied to my email about selling off the forests.... I know you voted for it!"

But I'm too polite. (My problem always.)

At home, in the garden - snowdrops and hellebore are starting to flower.

Friday, 4 February 2011

The Old Man and the Surgeon

Hello. Just to say to "Old Man Watchers" everywhere, that we did visit the The Old Man's Heart Surgeon yesterday - two hours drive away....

The Old Man actually succeeded in seeing The Man Himself. And the Surgeon is pleased with his progress. And says not to worry about this Heart Failure business. There is every reason to think that his heart can still improve it's condition somewhat - with the drug regime and so on. He is happy with the level of drugs that The Old Man is on at present. Do you feel this? Do you feel that? Don't worry... and
- in the manner of the medical god that he is .....

"Go live your life and enjoy it."

I hear this news and still shake my head in a degree of confusion over who to believe over Old Man's prognosis. (Remember I was a bit gloomy after his last session with the Heart Nurse? Click here for reminder.) But what matters to people in these situations is the context of their discussions. If you live with compromised health, the psychological and emotional aspects can't be forgotten.

And The Old Man is much jollier after his chat with The Surgeon.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

A Thrill A Minute: Crime Fiction

Maybe some of you notice what I'm readin' by lookin at My Library Thing collection? See... in the right hand column there?

Maybe some of you couldn't care less.

But if you have ever looked at my profile (supremely uninteresting but a girl has to protect her privacy....) You may see that I "stress-bust" by reading foreign crime fiction.

I would indeed like to claim higher literary habits. But... at least I'm honest about them.

Anyway... the other day I goes to my local library to see if I can stock up on said delights. Hah!

"Library Closed for Management meeting. Open at 1pm."

Hah! Indeed. I know what that means.... It means discussions of closures and cuts, don't it. As if they hadn't only recently re-opened after repairing the roof. Mind you - they took the opportunity to re-arrange everything during the closure. Now the place looks appalling. Like a book storehouse with about one member of staff visible, a bank of internet PCs and a computerised, do-it-yourself issue system. It's so depressing.

So, thwarted from an hour of browsing while The Old Man gets lectured by his Heart Nurse, I beetle off out of the cold into the nearest charity shop. It's run by a small independent charity supporting a local animal sanctuary. The prices are still cheap. (Unlike the local British Heart Foundation shop - where secondhand paperbacks are priced at £2 each. And I have to say that you can get new books at that price in a "remainders" shop in another nearby town. It's not that I'm Mr Scrooge personified. But if a girl has a habit... £2 a throw is no good.)

Cos the Animal Sanctuary shop charges a delightful "50p a throw or 3 books for a pound". And I mean, at that price, if I treat the books well - I'm happy to take em back to the shop when I've read 'em. And maybe someone else will give them a go. So I buy three books. Three thrillers by Nevada Barr. And I am pleased to find them, cos her books are a bit rare out there.

Nevada Barr is an American writer who sets her stories in the reserves and National Parks in North America - the protagonist being Park Ranger Anna Pigeon. I've read some before and am delighted to find that someone else local is a fan and has donated them to the shop.

And what it reminds me, as I slip back into the world of a forty-something, lone female with a slight drink problem..... is that I've drifted away from female leads in my reading. My crime fiction world has returned to the domain of male protagonists - albeit forty something, lone males... with slight drink problems.

It is nice to be back with the women.