Wednesday, 25 November 2020

I’m a celebrity

 The tv programme is in essence a reflection of life under lockdown and covid 
The celebs face adversity and unhappiness in that awful tv show  but they are in a group of essentially rather nice individuals 
They are winning through with kindness to each other and
I am loving this years’ programme 
What a lovely bunch of people 

Nos Da


One of the oldest rules in nursing is the one about self disclosure.
A Professional distance must be kept at all times.

I generally subscribe to this notion.
But not always.
Not quite and I will tell you why.

Recently I had a patient who had been admitted for symptom control .
Often these patients need a short sharp bout of medical and nursing care to alleviate problems before going home again.
They are still dying, but the end is not quite in full sight.

I nursed my patient on consecutive nights and so we quite quickly developed a rapport and an understanding how things needed to be done.
I am an efficient nurse who doesn’t fanny arse around and she appreciated this. 
In between turns and medications and dressings she asked me direct questions about my life and I got the impression she wasn’t being nosey, she was just being interested , interested in something that wasn’t her life of carers and of cancer and of isolation and of dying.

She fed on the nuggets of a life outside hers with a sort of hunger

She had little experience of gay marriage and she dug deep and quickly into my divorce and my thoughts of being single again, of adoption and gay rights but when the work was done she would settle quickly under her fleece blankets , close her eyes and say  “ Nos da” ( Welsh for Goodnight) until I saw her again in the morning.

I worked a lot of nights with her 

The day of her discharge eventually came and that morning, around 6 am I turned her and made her comfortable before I went off duty.
It was still dark outside, but you could just see the ghostly shapes of the Welsh goats as they pastured on the side of the Orme from her room window.

Just before I left the room she said quietly“ I’ve enjoyed our chats..... I won’t see you again will I?”

Probably Not” I said as gently as I could, a little burst of sadness in the air

“ Nos da” she said carefully
Nos da” I repeated 

And I silently closed the door to finish my rounds.....

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Så som i himmelen


If you ever want to taste what it is like to sing in a choir, have a look at the Swedish movie , As it is in heaven (Så som i himmelen)
It is in essence a musical which chronicles the personal lives of a handful of choristers, who sing in a village choir. 
This scene from the film is powerful , it’s called  Gabrella’s Song, and it’s an empowerment piece where the character  Gabriella finally has the confidence to stand up to her abusive husband aided eventually by the villagers who initially ignored her plight 
It’s a lovely, lovely  film, I’ve just watched it


A Gift Of Flowers


I had a friend over to stay last night.

Now before anyone gets their covid knickers in a spin. 
It was the chap that was ‘ conscripted ‘ into my original and allowed bubble way back in the summer 
Do you remember the one who got village tongues wagging?
He was the one I decided just to be friends with.

And we are friends. 
We talked and talked and laughed and ate and for the first moment in a long time I felt more human.
I felt more human too because of the fact we laughed and talked and hugged and cuddled too.
The hug and cuddle not no more significance than a hug and a cuddle but it reminded us singletons that we are here and valued and pertinent 

It’s 8.30 am and I’ve just taken the dogs out for a quick wee walk
Cup of coffee in hand. 
My friend is still asleep in the spare room, 
So I may take them out for a proper walk.

On the counter top is a glass jug with a bunch of blue iris drinking from it and I smile .
A gift of flowers from a man.

How nice

Monday, 23 November 2020

Rubber Chicken goes forth


Rubber Chicken has survived the weekend
It’s now standing guard over the kitchen wall and will be having a car jaunt out soon to the supermarket
I’m getting rather fond of him

Sunday, 22 November 2020

One Of Our Own

 Today our choir master and leader emailed us all with the sad news that Sharn, one of our fellow choristers had been killed in a freak accident .
It’s a strange thing losing “one of our own” and slowly but surely our choir website is filling with thoughts and best wishes for Sharn’s family and her friends 

Durme durme


 I dont know what shes singing about but boy is she determined 

Saturday, 21 November 2020


Surreal or what ? Rubber Chickens earlier 
Now for a lovely , rather moving 

I adore this photo
Sophia Loren at 85
Sometimes I really hate being 

But hey let’s embrace our years 
We are Not old 
We are here.....

Bed early tonight, 


Rubber Chicken Overload

Today is my single day off this week.
I am on a long day tomorrow, then, thank the lord, I am off work for five long days! 
I have organised things to do each day
Trendy Carol ( still in her Autumnal hues) will have the girls tomorrow
Today I’ve done some Christmas shopping and had an extra sleep and a long bath with Hawaiian Midnight.
The Rubber Chicken was a great success yesterday.
In fact it was too successful as Winnie has not been as excited since she overdosed on workmen when the new kitchen went in and was found eating chicken crisps in the passenger seat of their works van 
She squeezed the friggin life out of it last night, so much so, that I’ve had to ration it from her gummy onslaughts, so sick I was of it screaming around the cottage.
It’s presently cooling off quietly in the only bulldog safe place in the kitchen


Friday, 20 November 2020

Puffins and a Rubber Chicken


After just 2 hours sleep , I met a friend in McDonalds’ car park for a side by side car chat and coffee.
After that I bought a rubber Chicken at Lidl and squeezed it around the aisles like a badly behaved  toddler
When I got home I brandished it at Trendy Carol ( in her muted winter ensemble ) and Animal Helper Pat as they passed the cottage, neither looked unduly impressed or shocked.
Oh it’s nice not to be working 
I’ve lit the fire and the fairy lights.
I’ve squeezed the chicken at a near hysterical Winnie 
And I’ve hung my latest piece of art
Three bespoke made puffins in flight 

The art wall is now complete  

I’m so happy to be home 

Not Pritti

 Priti Patel is back in the news as her behavior at the home office was said to have breached the rules of Minister’s’ behavior.

I suspect if the likes of Sir Philip Rutnam who resigned describing Patel’s behavior as ‘vicious’, has spoken out then there is no smoke without fire even though Ms Patel has denied all accusations.

In my experience  ( and believe me the NHS is nose to nipple with inadequate managers) the most common bully is one that exists by taking advantage of group situations by “carpet bombing” and brow beating a group of more  “junior staff” in a meeting.

No direct confrontation occurs, which often proves that the protagonist is in fact the weak link in a chain, and so all it usually takes is a calm firm

‘ No I disagree” by one hardy soul present for the bully to be exposed and power to change hands.

This firm and fair” approach works with most bullies, especially when accompanied with a smile but a more robust response may be needed if the bully is more confrontational.


Once a few years ago, I was challenged over something by a village bully.

I could have explained my side of the argument  too with a calm, comfortable “No I disagree!”

I chose to half bellow a loud “ Oh do fuck off!!!!!” across the village green before walking away


That, as I recall worked very well too

Thursday, 19 November 2020

“ You Have To Be Careful with Your Loneliness”


So said Neil Horan in an interview with the BBC yesterday.  
A fifty something gay man living in London, he once suffered isolation and loneliness before coming out in the 1980s and is liking those feelings to experiences now under lockdown.
“ You have to be careful with your is a separate illness to say depression and needs to be treated as such”
From I can see there are a myriad of ways people have been coping with months of enforced isolation.
Frazzled Cafe is something a friend of mine has used recently
It is a charity for those who is finding life a challenge at the moment and has the mantra 
it’s ok NOT to be ok”
Not a counselling service , Frazzled Cafe offers an online zoom service where peer support can be obtained in a large group. Indeed one of its founders comedienne Ruby Wax actually facilitates several of the meetings that can be accessed daily.
I love the innovation and the positivism of such an enterprise at this time where the Office Of National Statistics report that 8% of all adults ( some 4.2 million people ) have reported to always and often lonely.

Mrs Jefferson from her pensioner bungalow rang me the other day to check up on how I was 
I haven’t seen you walking the dogs for a while” she said “ I wanted to check up on you as you live alone”
She lives with a husband with dementia and her call made me a little ashamed that I had not checked on her ( leaving the job to the village street wardens) 
“ Have you found a man yet? “ she finally asked 
I told her I have not
Her grandson is gay and now married 
She’s very gay friendly and wants everyone to be in a gay relationship.

Psychologist Vivian Hill says that “ The decent into winter can be a significant factor how people feel about loneliness” and I get this only too well with night duty recently. Four nights on mean five nights without any significant natural light on my face even though I walk the dogs as soon as I get home 
Under my boffin friend Nigel’s advice I am taking vitamin D daily.
It will boost your immunity he said seriously .
I need to talk to best friend Nu too....I’ve never gone this long without not physically seeing her .
Ten months or too long.

My normal self help areas seem to be shrinking rapidly. Despite the relaxation of the lockdown in Wales the cinemas that are left are mostly closed .
I’ve booked to see a rerun of Uncle Vanya filmed at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London which is showing in the valiant Colwyn Bay Independent Cinema  next week and have five whole days off before my next run of nights where I intend to catch up with a few friends for coffee and walks and just talking in the daylight which hopefully will turn into sunlight.
I’m very mindful that it has rained almost every day for weeks
Another factor which can compound loneliness.

Arnt they fabulous 👍

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

oh Christmas Tree


Oh dear
The Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York has been erected under beautiful blue winter skies and for some strange reason its a balding and somewhat raggedy affair.
Perhaps it’s a metaphor for 2020
Who knows .

I remember as a child having such a tree.
Bought as an afterthought from the greengrocer on Meliden Road, it was bald and patchy and ever so sad looking, but to my sister and I who bought it, it was an underdog who had to be made the best of.
Bottom branches were literally sellotaped into place. 
The gaps were filled with fairy lights and thick snakes of tinsel and if you squinted long enough the whole finished article looked cheerful enough
Like I said as long as you squinted.

Christmas trees mean different things to different people and we all have our own connections to them.
For me it’s Shelley Winters and the cast of The Poseidon Adventure climbing up that impossibly blue 18 foot monstrosity in my 1970s  childhood but this memory has since been superseded by traditions of Sunday trips to Calver in Derbyshire to pick up the tree for the Sheffield front room.....and  after that various incarnations of the Nutcracker tree, at the ballet
You know the one that grows like a beast when the toys are sleeping.

I haven’t had a tree for a couple of  years. 
I did buy one of those tiny ones that the supermarket sells last year but it was too small to be viable and I planted out into my new back garden. 
It’s still there , bright green and cheerful and still with its battery lights on it
Another metaphor for 2019 perhaps.

On night shifts all week