Sunday, 30 September 2007

Of rugby

So the unthinkable happened.

Fiji took on Wales and came away victorious.

But bloody hell what a game.

Fantastic play from both sides.

And I think the immediate construction of the tri cathedral Llanpopham Llaneshane and llanalfie should be an high priority.


Saturday, 29 September 2007


3 days ago I stayed up all night, I needed to save a kittens life.

2 days ago a bloody kitten kept me awake all night.

Last night the little bugger had the AGA and he was delighted.

How life can change......


eyes down and look it

Here we go the world cup clincher for wales.

Wales Fiji.

Wales have it in them to win I reckon, they also have it in them to blow it completly.

Well for what it' s worth I reckon Wales will win by less than 15 points.


Friday, 28 September 2007

da man - secret post

This is so secret da man reckons he cannot risk it going public.

He has noticed these humans have a fantastic thing they call an AGA.

Every cat should have one.

This knocks having a human off the face of the planet.

Pure heat.


Whats more.

Humans are not bright but they can be taught.

And in his humans hutch there are lots of them.

And they can be trained to do lots of amusing things.

Best of all.

When you live with the stoopids food arrives and you rush and see how much you can get.

In the the human hutch it arrives and you take your time, savour it a bit.

Wander off, come back and it's still there.

Then, the humans eat and something ever better comes along.

Da man thinks he could really get used to this......

Never mind about sleeping in the humans basket tonight this is far better.

viewed from three perspectives

Da man: Christ these humans are thick, how many times do I have to say.

R: 3 am and I am outside getting cat food.

Management: For fucks sakes.....

Thursday, 27 September 2007

da man speaks

Things been a bit hard for da man these last few weeks.

Started when da man's mum stopped really delivering enough food and whats more she seemed to be about less too.

So with them eyes working he went out to see what a man could do for himself.

Man it was a bit tuff out there when you are a little cat in a big cat world but when da going gets tuff well da man has to do what da man has to do.

Anyway he gets out into the world and he had make things for himself da man is after all a self made cat..

Now da man had always been aware of those human things, they were a bit of a pain really. Picking a man up when he was sleeping, mind you that stroking thing was THE thing, really hits the spot every time. And it's really easy to teach a human to do tricks like that, he was starting to see a cat might keep a human . sort of a big pet, so long as you train them they are OK.

And then it happened the big human came out and there was food everywhere, you can keep that milk stuff too this was the real gear. And da man realised there was a human with a food fountain and all those other stoopid cats had not grabbed that human. Da man didn't hang round waiting for the stoopids "thats one's mine " he thought.

Anytime, his human came out da man was there. Trouble was he was soo bloody quick, da man couldn't allways catch him but when you did, ohh man he knows how to treat a kitten...

"Thats the human for me".

Then when da man thought he had cracked the human hutch da man well something baaad happened an da man well it's a bit of a blur really but his human took him in one of those ratlle things to a funny room. Man that was weird shit, first of all this human tied his leg that had stopped working to him then next time he went there he had this really weird sleep and when he woke up his leg had gone completly and he was back in the human place too and da man don't know how he got there either. Now da man knows the deal OK that was a bad shit situation, he ain't going back there anytime soon.

But he did find other things too, you can teach humans to stroke you and I mean really stoke you and if you can get in their baskets, yeah makes the warmest part of the garden like sitting in the rain...

But all in all it's been a shit day.

Really shit and sleepy, still he soon taught his human to carry hi round and he got some good stroking.

That stoopid human sticking food at him on some strange steel thing these humans can be strange.

What manners, da man knows you eat off the floor.

And he told him and told him and told him and still that human didn't get it was tea time - they make the stoopids look quite bright sometimes these humans.

Still the human got it in the end.

But catch this one, get your food delivered in the human hutch and the stopids don't get a look in.

Whats more - give them that them humans they know how to eat, no more cat food for da man.

Well Ok da man can have cat food as well as human food life is looking up.

Now all da man has to do is teach that human to feed him in his hutch every day.

And, this could be kinda tricky, he needs to teach the human to feeed da man as much as he feeds all the stoopids.

I mean his man still has to feed the stoopids, they get kinda crotchety when they are hungry and da man would not want them getting into the hutch where da man keeps his human....

da boss

da boss is eating.

but he still seems in a lot of pain.

very hard to know what to do really.

have put him in his little box by the aga, seemd to like it in there and at least he is eating

not out of the woods

this morning i dropped the little lion at the vet who duly removed a leg.

now, a night spent fussing and holding him clearly paid off as he was a far brighter katten going there.

2 hours later he was back in the car and the mews seem to be getting louder and stronger.

cant use caps as I would need two hands and lines have to paused between due to demands for scratched ears. he is sitting on my arm looking outwards and not trying to hide in my armpit.

all good signs i think.

we have had a few tentative attempts at a purr and now ill see if he will drink.

not yet, but he is getting his voice back

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

the even greter lonliness of the two cat man

OK so I have got him asleep.

No, he is awake again.

No he@s dosing just about.

This is worse than babies.

He is on my hand.

and thats the only place for him.

I might have to stay up all night.

Bloody things, cats.

Why do we have them.

Why do we put ourselves in the way of pain.

All this little guy did was pick on me to love, well in the cat way whatever that is.

More than likely he loved the tin opener trick i do, and I do that one well!!!

Those cats taught me all I know.

He might be sleeping can't move 2 check.

But what I meant 2 say, I was here before 2 years ago.

The litter abandoned, 1 dead, 1 kitten howling, an even younger kitten.

But at least that one has accepted other humans.

This little one will only sit with tough macho me.

Who nearly tore his leg off.

Think I need my quilt.

Christ I need to toughen up.....

Or is the fact i haven't the reason I have such a big quilt.


the lonilness of the one handed typer

I have done something dreadful.

now, i spose in the scale of things its not that bad but try telling no one son.

one of the kindest people on the planet.

now we have at last brought the katten wave under control.

an epic day of catching last year and we had all of them done.

Well nearly all.

Lilith got through the net and this year managed to have two kittens without our knowing.

Me and T went off to get a load of bedford parts and fond mum had smuggled the kits into my van. This in turn meant that T sat with them both on his lap all the way home and raced tem back to mum when we got back.

He is a lovely boy.

All was OK we had homes sort of lined up for them both and they were nice little things until they started to move about.

One of them though became a a bit different.

Every time he heard my voice the din would start.

He would come charging to find me where ever I was.

They talk about people having pets, this little chap had a human.

He is now about 2 months old.

So anyway today his sib was ill and in the rush to bring the kitten into the house i didn't realise he was there and shut the door on his leg.

The vet is none to optimistic he's a bit young to take GA and the leg is shattered.

So he's going to try and whip it off tomorrow morning when if the anaesthetic and shock don't kill him he should be OK.

Vet dealt with the cat his nurse found me an chair before I fell over.

"Yes yes I am a big tough man I can cope."

"Sit him down before he falls over"

Of course this makes me the worst person in the world if you ask the kids.

Puss, oh no worries , he has forgiven me, no malice there.

If is not easy though.

Typing is so much easier if you have two hands and dont have a cat under your armpit.

Every time I try to move he howls, put him down and he cries , I have managed to get him to accept the MD for a few minutes .

But I know I will go upstairs and say something and the instant he hears the noise will start.

"Maaaaawwwww maw maw" or here is am over here in cat.

The noise will only stop when I am "over here too.

God I hope he lives.

The kids will hate me.

So will I

A bi of restored faith.

Now I don't know the full story.

It seems that last week on a large construction project near here a group of real heroes decided that someone there was different.

This is West Wales and the guy's name was Mohamed so it does not take an Einstein to work out what was different about him.

These guys were really clever and they came up with this wizard jape they started marching about doing Nazi salutes and even pointed a hammer at him and pretended it was a gun.

I am sure there are howls of mirth round the world and wonder at the cleverness and funnyness of this all.

But this is where the story starts to turn. I'm not sure if the management didn't take it seriously or what but.

Next thing all 260 other people on that site simply put their tools down and walked away, 26 hours later they were still gone.

260 assorted sun readers, Tory voters, unreformed old labour, liberals, nationalists Jews Christians and of course no doubt a few muslims were so offended that anyone thought it was OK to treat a muslim like that in Britain today that they refused to work with people who did.

Really restored a bit of faith in the old place.

Feel like going down and ordering 260 pints in whatever pub they may be found in oh and a soft drink for Mohamed.


Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Beliefs and core values

Nothing hinders your beliefs and core values more thoroughly that having a physical bricks and mortar as opposed to metaphysical house in which you live.

Then putting that house up for sale.

The continuous need to suspend your core values beliefs and fundamental right to make a mess and feel comfortable. Something to consider when they look at extending a Human Rights Act that must be good because otherwise the Tories would not be talking about doing away with it.

It's starting to do my head in.

We have a viewing this morning, viewings are a bit like; lets run round town without even your bundies to cover your physical embarasment.

Whats more the inastste agent has admitted before the viewing this guy has no money at the moment.

They usually wait till after the viewing before saying that.

I think I might just go back to bed.

"And here's the current owners, they must love this house otherwise they would not be humping away in that bed with such vigour"

When selling things, taking an unusual line can often help.



We live the lives that we lead.

Often because of how that life has been but always because of how we have decided to attach meaning to life.

The glass is always half full except when you looked and chose to see the empty part to the exclusion of everything else.

I am not going to send you to sleep reading about mine, unless of course you are an insomniac and I will mail you personally and send you off in about a nanosecond.

However, this last few months I have succeeded in making mine more interesting for me and probably overturning not rocking a few other boats. And I hate to have overturned those boats but I hope I can make it seem worth the swim.

But last night I went to bed and I was cold, in fact yesterday at the end of a long process; I realised that I have slept a lot of nights in the cold.

They were nights when this lovely warm quilt was there for me but I chose to leave it at the end of the bed.

The reasons were valid reasons, totally mistaken but valid to me.

That was because the patchwork quilt at the bottom of the bed sometimes felt wet, or sometimes dirty or sometimes yes sometimes that quilt, or at least some bits of it were not to be trusted and might and even and did hurt you.

Yesterday, and goodness knows why I had a moment where I felt really ready to pull on the quilt and I slept well.

Because earlier in the day I had a moment where not for the first time I felt a need no not a need an urge, to jump out of bed and leave the house and it was the thought of that quilt going to waste that made me stop.

The patchwork is woven of all those who in little bits or gigantic 48 tog duvet patches so big they don't fit the bed; love you.

And this is written to my quilt, it doesn't matter which size part you are when you have a quilt, a hole leaves you cold in a draught and sometimes a little, sometimes a howling gale.

Sometimes as there was for me you don't realise a patch was there and sometimes what maybe you thought was just a bit of blanket is a patch that has a tog of ninety eleven and could power the whole show if they were a one inch square.

I just wanted you all to know you are all important, and to thank you for keeping me warm .

It has taken me 50 years to decide this is a quirky old house and there are a fair few odd bits and bits that need work, but at the end of it I live here and I have the most amazing inspiring and humbling quilt on my bed don't think I will be leaving any time soon either.


Sunday, 23 September 2007

Completly off topic

I think i have helped do something very special.

To get this you have to teleport back to a different age.

Fascism was alive and well and based in Europe, as opposed to the white house....

But it's 1940 the Belgian army has been betrayed by it's leaders.

Part of the French Army has folded like a deck of cards.

Part of the French Army fought like tigers to defend their land but the leadership was flawed and communication Napoleonic.

The British Army as ever half equipped had fought partly with valour and partly very badly.

The whole lot was stuck in northern France, mainly but not exclusively, around Dunkirk.

George Bush's grandfather was running the bank accounts of the Nazi's and promoting their interest's in America.

The call went out for owners of small boats, without really telling them why, to gather in ports in South East England.

700 boats and the weekend sailors, retired people, fisher folk, pilots and everyone else sailed from England into the waters off Dunkirk.

The Me 109's strafed them the JU88's bombed them, cannons rained down shell.

And these ordinary people sailed into that. Took on board the frightened, injured young men of the British army and brought them safe home.

Then knowing what they had escaped, they went and did it again.

Then they did it again.

Until the bulk of the British and some of the French army were safe back in Britain.

These were heroes to heroes, the capital H would fill the page.

The boats they sailed were just anything that would float paddle steamers, life boats, pilot cutters, fishing boats, pleasure craft and private yachts.

Interestingly, a few who had pre war been amongst the brown shirted English Nazis were there with the bravest of the brave and by all accounts amongst the bravest of all.

Over the years those 700 craft have slowly vanished.

There is a register of all that remain.

Last week one went on eBay.

Lying in a yard in Carmarthenshire, no one bid on it, and by fluke, yesterday I mentioned this to another foster carer and today he bid on it and

It has been saved.

He bought it.

It will need 15 k spending on it but.

How do you put a value on a boat like that?

Whats more, and there is more.

He has asked me to help him take it back to Dunkirk for the next memorial ceremony.

I did have to pause it must have been a whole nano second.

But who would not walk in the shadows of such heroes in the hope that some little part of those ordinary people who did extraordinary things might rub off on them.

I am not British, I am Welsh , much of today's Britain I reject from the depths of my heart.

Dunkirk Britain stood absolutely alone against fascism when, it seemed victory could not be won, but if defeat could be delayed a week then a week was worth fighting for. That is a Britain I could be proud of.

Make no mistake either, Pearl Harbor was a side show. Yes Americans were the ultimate saviours but it was the "Patriotic war" that beat Hitler.

Dunkirk was no victory.

But, because total defeat was avoided

There was a Britain left when Russia and America were each forced into war.

And our American allies saw through the Bush family and their allegiances.

History is very important.

Saturday, 22 September 2007

A trip in the Tardis

This is not a post about today.

This is a happy tale of times gone by a time when I was younger and absolutely no wiser than I am now.

I take you back to May 2000 it's new millennium and the new spring morning is ideal. A lovely if chilly bright morning ideally suited to simply pottering in the garden or even completing MSc essays which were approaching "overdue" with a purposeful air.

But no none of those were for me, forgoing these pleasures, quietly, so as not to wake the dawn chorus I was piloting a large van up the drive at Penole on M4 bent.

But what was the great appeal, what cosmic event was drawing me inevitably away.

Well, dear reader we had been chosen over all others; privileged to receive that paragon: Serenity my step daughter not to mention her boyfriend the Industrious and Diligent Lively and Enterprising Great Intellectual Thinker possible father of her soon to be multiple progeny.

As you can imagine that title was a bit of a mouthful and so we had developed a simple acronym to which we used instead.

Still the day was starting well. I was equipped with one of Mr Fords larger Transit Vans which had quite an impressive turn of speed and a very loud stereo. So, complete with the sort of tapes that normally have her "turn that din down"ing I set the stereo at apoplexy and set off at an indecent pace .

Pre the tax camera era indecent it could be as well. Far too shortly I had covered the 120 miles to the house of the rising GITs. Chez Serenity was actually the abode of GIT, his mum and brothers.

Of course this was not their original home, this was one to which they had recently moved from another where Gits brother, a master of enterprise had some sort of business purveying chemicals. Now he was not alone in this trade and some of the other deale errrhh purveyors had popped round to show him the warmth of their love and give him presents. Warm was their love too, cocktails a la Molotov rained through the windows and heated the house very effectively.

Faced such a display of an affection so pure and genuine; the family decided it might be a good idea to move, well when the fire brigade had finished damping down they did anyway.

The new house was significantly smaller than the old and well, bearing in mind the general atmosphere Serenity and git decided it was the country life for them.

Let the loading commence, well actually no. Taking in the nature of all their wordily goods I suggested that maybe a trip to the council tip might save a deal of diesel burnt moving things across wales. I got a feeling that somehow I was not making a friend of Serenity.

Having just loaded a three piece suite, dressing table, three bed bases and mattresses into the van. Serenity reminded me that there was a small wardrobe and a "few" boxes remaining. Getting these to the van proved to be a slight problem as neither Serenity Git nor his brothers had so far overindulged in the indignity of labour, seeming locked in social intercourse with a stream of visitors who would arrive in a furtive manner leaving in an equally secretive style shortly afterwards emitting an oddly familiar smell that reminded me the coils of rope you used to see in chandlers.

There I was looking at a van well packed when I thought a cloud had passed across the face of the sun. It was no cloud it was a monster wardrobe. Followed shortly after by an equally proportioned chest of drawers.

A period of head scratching struggling and profanity saw the van fully loaded and ready to go.

Now I am a big follower of multi cultural tolerance so when the wail started i thought it simply indicated the immediate proximity of a mosque where the faithful were being summoned to prayer.

The source of the noise turned to be entirely secular, Serenity. The cause of her distress being the need to "leave so much behind". I was puzzled at this, the van was loaded I said, but no. .Thoughtful Serenity had known I love a challenge and saved a special surprise, an extra 15 boxes the odd 24 inch telly a selection of bulky but cuddly baby toys and of course the baby's cot which no one had thought necessary to dismantle prior to transport.

I assured the serene that there was a really simple solution to this problem. We would simply remove the now inaccessible wardrobe pack the stuff in there then put it back in the van .

Further wailing, the the arrival even more boxes and Serenity was proximate to hysteria. This van was no good, the van required was the far larger luton model. I explained the budget provided by her father, Serenity of course being above such matters of commerce, would cover the use of this van and the fuel for one trip. Though I confess I was beginning to suspect that her father might think that whatever it cost to get Serenity 120 miles away from him might be money well spent

Picking up on her distress, I said I was not enjoying my day either, I promised would take no offence at all should Serenity want me to completely unload the van and return empty to West Wales. this would offer her the huge advantage of making her own arrangements which would I had no doubt be far vastly superior to anything I could offer. If pushed I will confess those might not have been my exact words but it's what I meant to say.

Serenity, of course knows all about New Labour, and so taking Tony Blairs model she launched an extensive "consultation". Change was procured and she went off to the phone box consult her father mother and step mum. Unfortunately, technology is not always as good as we hope and all three for some reason had their phones very firmly switched off.

When I managed to get her calm, well OK calmer, I worked out the root of the problem was her infant son.

that leaving Now the day before I had raised a small matter, that the cab has three seats and that with myself git serenity and enfant there would be four. I could understand that Serenity simply abandoning a baby might not be considered too well by Social services and that if she left GIT there he might not ever make his own way to West Wales (ohhhh for hindsight) and I was fearful leaving Serenity behind might leave us holding the baby for a long time.

Being a foster carer I am good at solutions, so I suggested I take Serenity Git and gear. Drop them off then return in my car for the baby!!!

Simple, or so it seemed to me anyway.

I must say that I had actually raised this the day previously. I was reassured that "on the day" huge amounts of assistance was expected, and that our progress to west wales would be at the head of a convoy of GIT's extended family .

It should add that at this time Dads financial contribution had not been fully clarified there had been lots of talk of petrol money.

Tragically, and very shortly after dad's announcement that his contribution would be the cost of hire of one van and the fuel to go in it, everyone in Gits extended family fell ill and had to drop out.

Still these things happen.

With nothing better to do and Serenity engaged in multiple attempts of consultation Gits mum emptied the van and engaged in the mundane task of completely repacking everything.

This wasn't as simple to do as write and the best part of an hour had passed with serenity passing back and forward to the phone box alternating between hysteria and rage.

I was in the van on top of the wardrobe, seeing if i could wedge small items in the odd nooks and crannies left round the double mattress which had itself been compressed between the three piece suite other items and the roof. What more it was getting warm in there, even better some of that stuff was emitting pretty dubious aromas when you compressed it into place.

I mention this just to convey the milieu. I was clearly in need of advice so Serenity arrived and gave it me. I was doing a very poor job of loading this van. It was a Pauline moment, and one that I wasted not a moment in acting on. jumping out the back of the van I dropped to the floor and congratulated her on her insight and intelligence.

I proposed that such a talent was wasted, why didn't Git and her come and sweat and strain loading the van and I would go and dink tea and wail which seemed to be the sum of what she had done so far.

I would be lying if I said this idea was well received, Serenity did not think this a good idea at all, GIT well, we will never know what (if anything) he thought he was very conspicuous mainly by his total absence.

There is of course a limit to fun. And eventually by compressing them against the back of the load with the doors we got the two single mattresses into the van.

This was a natural time to remember one last large box containing nothing more important than all their crockery.

Fortunately this was not so large that it would not fit in the foot well if Git had his legs round his ears for the whole trip.

Adjusting the stereo to drown the moaning and whining, I went again and soon I was back at HQ and the van could be unpacked.

Unfortunately I had to go and do child based things so GIT and Serenity had to unload the van themselves. They had got it all the way to the floor behind the van by the time I got back.

So braving the horrified looks I simply got in the van and drove off leaving their world in a heap.

Things got even worse when I got back and immediately drove off again in our aged Cavalier to get their baby.

Another unfeasible blast up the M4 fit the car seat and back to base.

Well no not quite. Half way home and the mobile phone burst into life. Management wanted to know who the bloody hell Vicky was. with a strong suggestion that this was some winsome young wench, previously unknown to the management who had developed a significant desire for my body and was refusing to tell Jamie, my other step child why she wished to speak to me.

The truth was revealed when the land lady returned our local pub. Apparently there had been people in looking for our house. They had ingratiated themselves to the barmaid by calling her thick, then the locals by friendly phrases "like giz a fag mister" .

There was apparently a small willing local posse who were wanted to come up the house and assist the MD by performing some impromptu amateur orthopaedic surgery on the gentlemen concerned.

Subsequent investigation revealed an aged Allegro motor car had appeared outside our cottage.

Gits brothers had followed him down. Not wishing to weigh the car down they had simply left the baby for me. The car was generally a tribute to minimalism, other items notable missing being tax mot and insurance.

Still I was home it being 15 hours since I woke up, I simply knocked on the cottage door and thrust the baby into whichever pair of arms it was that emerged from the considerable fog that seemed to have engulfed the living room.

I was also concerned that I might be over come with some considerable display of emotional gratitude for my effort so did not want to linger.

I need not have worried and soon I was able to go and find a therapeutic corkscrew.

Of course I did not end even there.

Next morning I was outside catching up on chores when who should come out but one of the bunch of intellectuals in the allegro. Having quickly established I do not smoke he asked me about engine oil. Thanking him profusely for his kind offer I said I had plenty.

No I had got that wrong he wanted engine oil. Not a problem I said there were several garages in town who would sell him suitable oil for the engine of his car.

Some little time later I noted the allegro had vanished. Also missing was my chainsaw oil. Now lets talk technical here chainsaw oil is very special stuff. As it get hotter it gets thicker, so if for example you put it in an allegro motor car it would not be too long before you had an engine that was completely dead.

The beach, I said to the MD, time the kids went to the beach.

We were gone some time and when we came home the answer phone was winking. I was sure it was a wrong number too as phrases like car, breakdown and tow were being used.

It's time like this you fall back on your friends and who should call but my mate Hugh. Hugh is a
good listener and very sympathetic all the time. Hugh was particularly concerned when i mentioned the broken down allegro with the lightweight approach to documentation. He became visibly concerned when I speculated that the occupants might not have a licence between them.

Huw seemed genuinely touched and worried for their safety and welfare, he volunteered to forgo a coffee to go to their aid. What a man eh.

Nice wheels too, those big Volvos really can shift. The blue light and stripes makes Hugh's look particularly smart.

Serenity, eh what a girl, her mother keeps her photo on the mantle piece and every time she looks at it she is so proud the tears well up.

At least I think it's pride....



Now I am going to be deliberately controversial here.

It is not just the children who are pretty heroic.

I wonder if social work vilifies parents and their children
on the dual non sciences of attachment and attention.

The role of social work has moved from helping do their best to policing them when they cannot.

Almost without exception every parent I have come across, is heroically doing 100 percent for the kids they love desperately. It's just those 100 struggled percent are 80 percent of what they need to do.

And again they are not seen as 80 percent and struggling but 20% and failing.

That said, I have been in social care now since the mid 1980's and I have come across people who are genuinely evil.


Yes 5 perverse people whose intent was genuinely malicious.

Not a lot is it?

Friday, 21 September 2007


Summer this year was a very interesting time.

Historically everyone says we are on holiday but taking children often with complex needs to a different country can hardly be described as time off.

We have had kids run off, kids have psychotic breakdowns, violence you name it we might well have seen it.

I remember once being hauled in by the tax man, I had written the holiday costs into the accounts and in full. Every meal out, every limonade every camping bill the lot.

This guy was of course an accountant, used to the tricks of the self employed.

To help him decide how much of our "holiday" was work and how much "holiday".

I gave him a precis of C the nicker nobbin terrier todgerer who "liked" little boys.

Who of course had gone with us.

The guy was shaken:

"I can only allow you 100 percent", he said

As if left to his own devices he would have given us more!!

That said, there is a terrible temptation to regard these looked after children (and was there ever an inaccurate phrase) as demons with whom nothing can be done and therefore it's not worth trying.

LAC have taught me so much of the human condition and the possibility for heroic and stoic survival.

It's a shame really that we do not read the research that individual high level trauma is really survivable.

But the serial low level stress of a life in care, the SW who for good reason does not phone.

The trip that because the bean counter has spent the money on the public concert cannot afford to send you on the rugby tour.

Is the stuff of lifetime damage.

Yet your parents doing the same was grounds for care order.

The system that records your weakness and failures and pays attention to them more than your successes.

I could go on.

That so many don't get to their potential early is hardly surprising.

LAC are very often a bunch of heroes.

We should view them as heroic survivor's of a system which with the best intentions manages to herald their failures and far too often not seek out their strengths and successes.

And I am writing that not as a critique of what we do but rather to remind us all what we should be doing.

And sorry that's a bit heavy for a Saturday morning.

I wrote most of it last night with the assistance of a few glasses of wine, wanted to read it first before I stuck it on here. I hope there are a few good people in SW reading this and taking it as a reminder.

I am off shopping.

Welcome to festering UK

Now today has been one of those interesting ones.

This morning a viewing in which we seemed to do OK me and the lady from the estate agents.

Then this afternoon was penciled in as and exciting chance to visit Tesco,s so that the mistress of all we owe money could try and fill the screaming void of our larder.

But no, as so often happens in fostering all that changed with a knock on the door.

It was our link worker to announce trips anywhere were being canceled for the forseable immediate future.

To Understand the tale we need to go back into the summer. At the end of our "holiday" (apparently going away and taking your work with you is a holiday if you are a foster carer)

We had a 18 hour disaster day getting home arriving home eventually at about 1 am

Now anyway in the morning I lit the AGA stove and mid morning it went into core meltdown and the started belching fine black ash into the kitchen. This is turn landed on the plates and stuff from dinner.

Meanwhiles other problems beckoned, a veritable off licence had to be removed from the Van and a fair amount of mud was tramped into the house getting it in.

Which paled into insignificance when I turned on the hot water tap and a tiny trickle dribbled out. It was a matter of a few hours to remove two washing machines the tumble drier a cupboard and work surface to get at the boiler.

Management was feeling things a bit and retired for an hour while I tried to sort the boiler. We had after all had a 16 hour day the day before and had arrived home at 1 AM.

The house itself had of course seen no attention in the month we were away and to add to the ambiance one of the kids cleaned the rabbit hutch out in the bath!!

Before we left we had of course packed lots of the electronics away on instructions of the estate agents, so there was a dearth of play stations and a poverty of DVD's.

No one son had been away for a month before we came home and so his bed was unmade and bare. Arriving home at 1 am he had simply crashed in a sleeping bag.

I include all of this to paint the picture for the tale that is about to unfold.

Now selling our house cannot be done without viewings and this bunch of batty wimin came down the drive.

This tribe had been told we were just home and should not be disturbed but they could drive past the top of the drive which they took as their invitation to knock the door, just after lunch.

Having knocked the door I brought them in and sleepwalked them round the building site and war zone. They had not been there for two long before I worked out they were potless but continued out of courtesy.

So anyway off they went and I forgot about them.

They didn't forget about me though

No sir eeeeee.

One of them was a social worker, someone had taught her to type and type she did.

2 1/2 pages detailing every perceived in farction known to wimin and a few more on top too.

So this morning down the drive came a SW to investigate

To be fair our link worker was brilliant.

The situation though soon deteriorated into pure comedy.

Now SW knew we had just landed after a month, I told her that.

Her first comment, though the windows looked unwashed, quite right, we had not been there for a month, arrived back that morning.

The place had not been vaccumed, true, now lets see, also about a month in fact.

The toilets had not been cleaned - now let me see.......

There did not seem to be anything much for teenies to do, pretty true it was all in boxes, well except the rugby pitch I have mowed in one of the fields. Must have missed that, easily done...

And the mini motos in the room she looked at. Must have missed that - easily done too.

What about half a dozen cycles outside - yes yes easily missed.

There was an off licence in the living room; I had just got back from France and friends had yet to collect their "presants". Told her that at the time
There was an unmade bed in a room - that was not occupied at the time.

There was evidence of unwashed dishes, well, kind of hard when the hot water was off.

The hot water was off, so why did she think all the appliances were everywhere, boiler covers off, tools on the floor; did one think I was playing tiddley winks?

There were water pipes and wires, well it kinda helps if you want water and power.

The house was remote, well listen lady, this is the country, you chose to come and see it because it was remote....

There was no mains water, I wonder which does she buy perrier or volvic....

But finally she had just completly mis under stood and thought having a septic tank with fan soak away means you pour raw sewage out into the fields.

Still there was one piece of real comedy, I can evidence washing the windows I said.

Switched to you tube and there on film is no one son washing the windows with a green goddess fire engine......

Happy houses

It's 10 am in the UK.

Now, the management has decided, god bless her and make no pejorative inference.....

That we are selling up.

This is supremely financially logical, also it's something we should have done about a year ago as the markets I reckon are about to go into flame out.

The logic being we can sell here Cash in our profit buy somewhere a few miles in the less desirable direction, have a shed for my fire engines and a house would be nice as well.

Most important would be the mortgage we would not have.

To be 50 and free of the burden of finance makes so much sense and would be soooo good.

Of course that just leaves the minor trivia of selling Penole out home of nearly 15 years.

Lets get the emotional bits over.

Penole is without doubt the most spectacular place to live bar none.

We have been here and in that time have shaped used and abused the house to suit our needs and to reflect our values.

That's a big thing to say but don't we all derive what we do from our basic values and beliefs about the world.

Yeah OK pretentious tosh.

and we have a guy coming to view this morning.

So those values and feelings that express the way that we are and are manifest in our house have to be suppressed

Or put another way we need to tidy up.

So I had better go before she realises I am sat at the computer and not doing something useful.

Funny though, we first saw this house in it's spectacular location and felt it's innate happiness on a day like today when it was shrouded in mist and damp and cold.


Thursday, 20 September 2007

Serenity the serene

Now I am not doing a huge history.

But my step daughter has had a life.

Not dwelling on it she has chosen to dump a jerk.

She has four children.

Holds down a job.

And has a nice house in a nice area now.

Today I am very proud of her.

The Great Intelectual Thinker her ex is blown out and she has decided he has no contact.

Contact weekends mean no boundaries, occasional food and dad maybe off doing somethign else and care from who falls through the door.


The kids have struggled with this and she has decicded to get help.

So she goes to the doctor:

Tells the doctor what she needs, which is;

Help for the children

Doctor decides dr knows best .

Scripts her for prozac diazepan whatever

She hands the script back and says - thank but no thanks.

Doc says you need it

You are crying all the time and in distress.

Serenity says and read this well:

Yes of course i am crying and in distress, someone in my position would


How come in this world we have come to reframe distress and discomfort as a symptom to be medicated (within the DSM) and not a human response to life.

I wonder if doc was protecting herself from being an empathetic human being and trying to make themselves the expert in a situation about which they were clueless.

But anyway I digress. I do digress rather well if you ask most people who know me.

Serenity hung on in there and has accepted a referral to mental health in the hope that they will accept her as the expert on her life and deliver the service she needs rather than the one they think she does.

Actually there is more.

Wales are steamrollering Japan into the floor and Japan are playing as they do giving it 100 percent.

Today I was at a large Uni who for their folly have decided that a beligerant foster carer is a good addition to their management board.

I have been blown away though. Traditionally in the UK anyway Social Work has enjoyed a reputation which could be described as poor and that on a good day when all was going well.

The new intakes of SW students are really impressive.

I was a bit tired arriving late today so the old eyebrows were going when I said some SW would do the best for their clients oh sorry service users oh sorry customers (we change what we call people every so often so we can all show how we keep up with the cusp of modern thought).

I said there were social workers out there whose best positive contribution to their customers lives would be to stay home...

A bit raw but these people can be too nice.

If you go into work and the person sat next to you is a muppet, you achieve more by geting them out than working twice as hard to proove that you are not.

Rant over.

Of beginings


This here is my first effort to do this sort of thing and so you cannot expect to be blown away by anything Posh and good looking. In fact i am technically pretty dumb with puters but have been forced on here by management.

Well when I say forced what I mean is that she has a blog and how could I let her get here first.

Whats more, hers might well contain things which contain her considerable ability to be economical with the truth

Now let me start off straight away and talk about our life.

So many years ago I cannot remember we moved to Penole and decided eventually to become foster interesting teenies .

One thing lead to another and now all these years later we have 3 really great kids and of course our own four are here and her two seem to be unshakable burdens.

Then in 2005 the government decided to dispose of it's green goddess fire engines so we ended up with four of those too.

Thats enough for now, with all due respect to you all. Wales are playing Japan at rugby and I am busy.