Sunday, 29 November 2009

Inertia & the Work/Life Thing.

I think I'm in a rut.

Actually I know I'm in a rut.

The 'Work/Life' balance rut, or possibly it's the 'Mid-life crisis' point.

I have always objected to the concept of the 'work/life balance' since the notion that one's work is not part of one's life seems fundamentally wrong to me. The best method of getting through Life (capital L) is trying to find something that's satisfying for the majority of the time available.

Sadly, in my case, the necessary 'work' aspect of Life is disproportionately annoying and has the adverse affect of causing my innate inertia to be brought to the fore when I'm not there.

The thought of doing something in the time I am not at work that I might find enjoyable would mean I resent work even more.

What I'd like to do is to find Work I enjoy doing in addition to doing stuff when I'm not doing That.

I have only myself to blame I suppose. I either need to jump ship, actually or metaphorically, or jump in and start exploring what I can do and decide want out of life even if that may be a bit late.

Sunday, 15 November 2009


My original plan was to comment on the theme of how the choices we make affect our lives in the vein of the Doctor Who story "Turn Left".

However, following a Twitter incident, the idea, while thematically similar, has itself has been re-directed.

I was watching Mr Harry Hill's comedy programme and had already commented about it when a fellow tweeter, twitterer.. (you'd think I'd know the correct terms by now!) also tweeted about Mr H's comedy god-like stature.

Assuming my fellow viewer had watched the whole show, I tweeted at them a 'comment', which, if that had been the case, would have been picked up and understood in the mutual pleasure/humourous manner intended.

Unfortunately, they had not been the case, so - quite naturally, they were taken aback by my tweet.

I hastily apologised and explained the tweet.

Now, as I am not one who takes pleasure in intentionally upsetting friends, aquaintances or even complete strangers (I still feel 'bad' about it now!), the incident highlights not only the power in a single word, but also the affect expressing it can have.

So, in keeping with my original plan for this blog: the choices we make, from which side of the bed we get out of to what words we choose to use can have a profound affect on ourselves and others.

Turn, left, turn right. Speaking your mind, keep your views to yourself. Writing something down and sending it, or deciding to  delete or bin it will ALL cause tiny changes to how we view the world and how other people view us.

Just saying.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

The Importance of the Little Black Box

I like 'stuff'.

You can't  beat the delight of unwrapping a shiny new toy in all its (usually) glossy black slickness.

The first time you press the 'on' switch or, as is more likely these days, stroke the surface in a vaguely lascivious manner as if enticing the item to do its thing rather than like it was in olden times ( 2001, 2002), when you poked it into life with an aggressive finger.

The way the lights glow and pulse as 'the box' is fluttering its diodes at you, Siren-like: ". Stroke me, insert that into me. Look what I can show you in 1080p. Listen as I whisper to you in 7.1."

Then the thing starts to get fickle.

Then the gadget starts to get demanding.

"I need attention! I can't do what you want me to until You do what I want You to do."

When did that happen? When did it start that the stuff we buy makes us do stuff for it or it would take its bat and ball home, or just refuse to come out to play at all!

Now, it seems, everything needs up-grading every five minutes. "A new version is available: do you want to down-load now?" The underlying, unspoken line being: "if you don't you wont  be cool, you'll be left behind, or worse: you wont even be able to use me at all." The Horror!

Yes, I know other stuff, like cars, need care and attention, needs to be treated like a family pet, but when did a video tape recorder or walkman ever need a monthly overhaul in order to keep doing what it did. Or the washing machine for that matter!

Of course, I wont stop buying Stuff, I like it too much. I, like most of my fellow humans, seem to crave The New, the necessity to change in the hope that this means improvement to MY life.

However, as evolution of the human variety hasn't seemed to improve our lot overall (bigger and better sticks to hit each other with), the constant evolution of technology only seems to make us more slaves to the device.

Now, where's my ipod?

Monday, 2 November 2009

It Only Takes a Good Man to Do Nothing...

Don't you just love politicians?

Okay, no-one loves politicians, except their mothers, loved ones and children (I assume).

On Sunday I sent my previous blog to my local MP with a little more detail. My hope was that he may be able to assist, or advise on what might be possible.

While I appreciate he is far too busy to reply himself, his kindly secretary responded very promptly to my missive. Here is a part of that reply explaining why he could not help:

"One reason being that your sister is not one of [MP's name] constituents and we have very strict Parliamentary rules which stipulate MPs can only take up cases on behalf of their own constituents. 

Secondly, even if your sister was a constituent, [MP's name] could not help via a third party.  Your sister would have to contact him directly herself as data protection issues would come into force, particularly with medical issues and patient confidentiality."

So, in essence: Not My Problem. As you can see, it was suggested my sister contact her local MP. WELL DUH! 

Are MP's part of a 'team'? Can they not address the 'issue' rather than the specific case? Can they be 'bothered' at all?

So fair reader: not only do we exist in a bureaucratic nightmare world where medical, educational & social services don't link up, we also have to suffer a situation where our political representatives are not prepared or, it seems, 'able' to involve themselves with addressing fundamental problems in the system. 

What chance do we have? 

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Modern Times

I have a sister.

She is a sensible, well educated woman who had a career but gave it up due to her love for her youngest child.

This child had always been 'unique' as a small child and my sister had thought there may be 'something' amiss. The way the child reacted to people, the obsessive behaviour and determinedly controlling nature, the little ways that seemed at odds with what might be considered 'normal' even allowing for every individual's eccentricities.

Time moved on and by the age of 7/8 my sister requested an educational psychology report be carried out by her local education department due to her concerns for her child.

Nothing was done.

Time moved on.

Now, at nearly the age of 15 and having been absent from education for virtually a year now, those who are best placed to help this child find a place in the world have done nothing and are in the process of returning the child to its mother's primary care.

For the past 10 months the child has been in the care of an extremely celebrated private 'Facility'.

Sectioned in order to be sent to one of their establishments, the child was diagnosed as suffering from an extreme form of Asperger's Syndrome. My sister had already advised the medical profession that this was her belief.  Prior to admission, the child had lived in their room for the previous four months; attacked and verbally abused their mother who was attempting to get help for her child. Initial visits by social services, originally intended to consider supporting her at home, resulted in the forced move to the Facility.

As you may know, this condition presents itself as obsessive compulsive behaviour added to an chronic inability to relate to other people. Especially those in authority.

Following admission and subsequent de-sectioning, the child's condition was such that re-sectionioning was required. I have been lead to understand that this action is very rare, so indicates this child has very severe needs. They have since come off 'section'.

The main reason for the history is to explain my current amazement and anger at what is ostensibly perceived to be a Facility designed to assist people who suffer the way the child does has done nothing for them other than to NAME the condition. It has apparently, only half-heartedly attempted to help them deal with the condition. In fact, for the past several months all it has done is provide bed & board.

For a 'caring' facility, I have nothing but contempt for the complete lack of any organised or systematic attempts to HELP this child acknowledge or deal with their condition. It now appears to be want to return the child to exactly the situation that existed prior to the admission on the basis that it can do nothing for them.

The child has very vehemently stated that they are not prepared to return to the care of my sister, who is perceived as the cause of their current predicament. The father chose to buy a one bed flat many years ago - so, although living with him that is the child's preferred option this would appear to be impractical.

My sister is now faced with a situation where that Facility wants the child gone; the local social services department wants the child gone due to the expense; the mother will now, potentially, have to deal with a child who hates them and has threatened to accuse her partner of abuse, and worse, should they be forced to return to that home.

It seems to me, from a distance away geographically and judging only from reports from my sister, that there is no practical, long term help for people in similar situations. Yes there are doctors, psychologists, social workers and educationalists but none of these diverse but vital functions are joined-up in an shape or form. Each does its little bit and 'passes the buck' to another.

If children and young adults similarly afflicted are to survive then please let these services designed to help people ACTUALLY HELP them.

The ideal situation for this child is some form of secure, boarded educational establishment but instead of investigating this option, the Powers That Be seem to think returning the child to her mother, expect her to return to ordinary state education is an acceptable option. Anyone with a modicum of wit can realise that, should the child be forced to return home, both the families and the child's situation can only deteriorate.

To conclude:

I have had previous family experience of The Medical System. Based on this situation, and the previous one, my only conclusion is, should you ever need to use these services be prepared to kick, fight and bite your way to what you need. If you don't, you will be abandoned to whatever resources you have.

Time moves on.

The Morning After


So, this 'blogging' thing. It strikes me that, as an exercise in ordering one's thoughts on whatever happens to flit across my mind, its quite a good idea.

Also, should I get overly incensed about something I shall endeavour to research the issue before spouting off so at least it'll be 'vaguely' informed.

If I can work out how to include picture and/or videos I may even post that sort of stuff too.   for example, something I was recently made aware of and its got a good beat!.

See I can be taught.  So, until I feel the need: have a picture of a cloud to keep you going.

An Entry in the Wilderness

It is approximately 00:07 am on Sunday 1 November 2009. But then you know Time.

This is the first of a series of shenanigans from my mind.

It is simply 'Hello' from the terms of my perceived existence following a couple of bottles of in expensive red wine.

Should I think of any insightful things to say I may jolly well write them down for public consumption.