Thursday, 24 December 2015

twas the night before Xmas.......

Twas the night before Xmas and all through the house it was bloody Bedlam!!!

Out this morning filed with dread and into town. Surprisingly light traffic, into the cash and carry hoover up some things on short date. on to Aldi where all the fresh meat was reduced by 50 percent. Tesco turkey crown 12 pounds Aldi 4 pounds - sorted: big lump of turkey, a free range stuffed chicken and change out of 7 quid. 

Then it was on to Tesco, my had things woken up since we arrived in town, Mad Max in the car park, Close Quarter Combat in the aisles.

Glad to get home but no peace even here, full on Xmas cooking with Rayburn running flat out. Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the Stereo.

Funny though as I sat here, I started to look back,  last year i was working, bringing up someone Else's children. As I was every Xmas as far back as 1998. That year I was a hotelier, and I had worked every Xmas day since 1992. That year I was a residential social worker and I had worked every Xmas day since 1986.

Going to be a strange feeling, not working Xmas day. Won't be quiet though, I think we have a total of 17 people here. Starting to wish I had taken that security work. Wonder if i still have that blokes phone number....


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Twas the night before Xmas eve

So the dread  eve approaches full of menace, we are under imminent threat of an outbreak of Xmas.

This is supposed to be a time for families which is why so much family time is devoted to arguing I guess.  This year is quite odd for us, normally we would be splurging money of everyone but this year we are broke. Now when I say broke I don't mean eviction is imminent or that the power is about to be turned off but it has been a tough few months.

Our last placement G moved out in about August, big D moved into his new flat in July. Now, when I say moved, he has been back pretty regularly and is here for the Xmas celebrations.

Except celebration will be a bit thin this year, we have survived on wheeler dealing and festivals  virtually since July. I have worked 5 or six festivals over the summer, we are doing security for 7 festivals either as main contractor or sub contractor next year. That though is next year, somehow we have to get to then.

We have applied to replace the fostering with working in adult services, one thing we forgot is the total inertia in social services. From applying in about May they have now indicated they will have completed the assessment by March. There is a strange thing in there, imagine if this was going to be your main source of income and from applying for the job to starting work took that amount of time.

Oh hang on, it's going to be exactly that.

So this year Xmas here will be a muted little affair, well maybe not I think there are 16 of us on Xmas day. Please note also, for those planning a budget of hundreds for a gatheirng of 4, we reckon on having change from 50 quid to feed everyone, as I said we did dealing, so it's not going to be fish finger and chip.  

Actually, for me, a security job has come up  for Xmas day, a venue with a reputation for being a tough call, boozing and brawling, easier than being here then, and they pay 50 pounds an hour over Xmas, ideal. Thing is, one day on 50pounds an hour is no recompense for being homeless afterwards, and if I took that job she would definitely chuck me out!! .        

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Screwing the world down

It's safe to say this because only me and MI5 will ever read it but this world has gone beyond.

The bankers screwed up so the poor must pay for their mistakes.

Greece got itself into a corner with the total collusion of a bunch of private banks, who have now had their debt taken into public ownership so tax payers everywhere will have to fund the cock up while the banks carry on and pay next to no tax.

I am sure there is a logic in this.

The logic was Iceland, the banks screwed up so they were allowed to fail, people who did criminal things went to jail.

Thats what happened in the states in 1926.

Am i just being a bit simplistic?


Friday, 3 April 2015

the ghosts come back to haunt you...

I suppose it started when I was in my late 30's. My children  were under 3 and having a great time in the garden playing in the summer sun. Suddenly I was hit by a huge wave of jealousy, I was jealous of my own children, envying them their childhood.

My childhood was very different to theirs, we were materially far better off, money was not really ever an issue and we would regularly go on very expensive holidays.

But there was another side, I regularly stand in front of rooms of people, calm, confident, erudite. 6 foot tall and quite solid build. Does anyone think they are looking at a survivor, someone who was  constantly criticised, sometimes beaten, I think not .

There is a hidden corner in my memory, a place I keep the really dark stuff, a place i don't go too often, a bit like that stuffy old box room where all the junk you don't use but can't throw away goes.   

I got into door work for reasons i don't think i really understood at the time. People who employed me saw someone who would rather talk than fight. Someone also who did not panic if it went pear shaped but  worked well under fire after all I was quite used to violence.

So anyway this weekend I went on a personal safety trainers course, with  my eldest daughter.

It was a striking course, astonishing how skills were layered, one on one.

Then came the cathartic moment. I was paired with a guy who really was  man mountain, ex competitor in Britain's strongest man, about 5 inches taller and at least a foot wider than me. This counted for nothing, suddenly I was not 56 I was 6. In the presence of someone far bigger and stronger, this was the mother of all flash backs.  But I wasn''t that 6 year old kid, or 7 or 8 or all the other years I got beaten, I was strong I had the tools to protect myself.

A lot of things slotted into place, why I became a bouncer; I had things to prove to myself, I didn't want anyone else to be where I had been, so I became the strange sort of bouncer who would step in to help people but really tried every way to avoid a fight. Something about myself became crystallised in those moments. 

Next came an item that really crowned things for me, someone was talking about resilience. Those who have been reading this from the start will know I really go for Resilience theory. I thought whether this Functional Edge system could be used to promote resilience in young people. The answer was a very guarded yes. Yes so long as you had trained the young people out of using conflict, teaching this to kids who are being bullied would be great, teaching it to young people who routinely use violence to achieve their aims would be the daftest idea ever.    

The next speaker was an inspiration, a woman who had lived through some horror. She was testimony to the poverty of therapeutic systems which pretend to be more expert than the individual who has lived their life. You are the expert on you, said Milt Erickson and as usual he was right. When people have been in situations where they have been totally powerless the first thing to give them  back is control. Functional Edge was a key part in her solution to her problems something in which she was  really the expert. The person most impressed by all this was Bethan, my daughter, she was so inspired that she talked about nothing else nearly all the way home. 

Things often happen for a purpose. this whole train of events started when, in a moment of daftness I applied to good 4 shit to become a security worker at the big sports day. That's how I met the instructor who lives just down the road. We stayed in touch Bethan and Branwen both did their door supervisor course. I looked at the FES trainers course and nearly applied last year. That little bit of nagging doubt and uncertainty stopped me. But i got chatting to some of the people involved and thought a phrase that rhymes with bucket, the worst that could happen is that I could fail. I  recruited Bethan as back up, turned up and  entered the  training room with trepidation, within two seconds I discovered we had a bunch of great people together. We had a fantastic time, I feel good about myself even today the voice of criticism stops me doing that sometimes, not now though.   

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

being an academic for a day

Today has been a day for being a bit clever, not that I am but it's nice to pretend.

Off to uni and the place was in meltdown lots of people due to interview had not turned up and all the candidates were there.

So instead of 3 panels interviewing 3/4 each, we usually have some no shows, we had two with 6 each.

And our panel had some really good people who answered every question in full. In fact, they were such nice, good quality candidates you could not shut them down.

So, normally it  would be done and dusted and off to lunch by one, instead we were still locked in the room at three.

No breaks no coffee and by three I wanted to be at home, except tomorrow I am off to Brittany, but just for half a day and it's going to be full on.

But noticing the front tyres were a spot low on tread this morning meant a stop off on the way home to have them changed.
Just what I need after the day I had today.

Thankfully I wont have to drive tomorrow, Bruce is coming with me so she can drive while i snooze,

She will need the GPS though, was there any need to change the language to Korean, probably not....


Saturday, 7 March 2015

It's not nice to be prooved wrong

Many years ago,  we spent  bit of time with someone who worked for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services, someone for whom I have huge respect. Someone who has had more than enough of the lack of service and cleared off to work somewhere else. 

So anyway this chap made a dire prediction about one of our foslings, he prophesied that he was unsaveable and not reachable. There was nothing anyone would be able to do to prevent him going down one life course.

Of course, this was red rag to a particularly opinionated bull  and we have I think given it our very best shot for a whole 13 years.

Sadly though, i think our mate was right and the 13 years was a bit of a waste of effort.

Well no it wasn't, he knows right from wrong and when he chose wrong he really could not imagine anything else.

So, anyway, next week we get to find out what the Police actually have on him.

If the first interview is anything to go by, I think it might be showtime.

Leaving Care (and was a team ever more aptly named) have been looking for an excuse to dump him, i think he's just handed them one on a plate.



Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Sky's the limit......

With Branwen and i both defrosted it was time to try and get the satelite located. Call in an expert, down the drive came my mate Dai. simple solution says he, we were 180 degrees out looking for the Sattelite. Ok then, off came the dish out came the chainsaw. Cut a mounting plate on the other side screw everything on and connect the meter.

Mass swearing the level of signal seemed to go up and down at random. No sense no signal, well not at the decoder box anyway. Several hours of struggling in the rain - getting nowhere, at least we were getting there fast.

Darkness fell, this was not funny and it was cold.

Soo off we went, beer o clock.

Some days later back on the scene, new compass, the old compass was 180 degrees out. Dismantle the whole set up again more chain saw and back up it goes. Same thing, the signal strength goes up and down at random.  Nothing in the house.

Maybe time to use another signal meter, as luck would have it we have one. In  a matter of moments we have signal that is blowing the doors off. Impressed or what?

Into the house and - nothing at the set box. no signal.

How could that be?

Lets measure signal strength at the set box, blowing the doors off, and that before the dish was connected - two meters both defective.

Oh the joys!!

Look on the bright side, were we that bothered that there was no telly for Xmas - not really.   

Is there telly now?


Time to say bucket and move on I think