Saturday, 30 May 2015

Saturday Silliness and Sickness


So I spent another Friday night, Saturday morning at the hospital, but this time it wasn’t my fault. In fact, I know exactly where the blame lies: Cleethorpes.
Unkind souls, particularly my good friend Paul Bell, Will say that’s not fair. They will insist that I have a downer on Cleethorpes because I’ve never seen the tide come in. This is true. Indeed, it was probably waiting so long in the cold in the hope that I might see the tide come in that gave me the chill, which allowed another chest infection to get hold of me.
So I was at the doc’s a couple of days ago where we went through the usual routine of listening to my crackly bellows and asking the usual questions.
“Smoking or non-smoking?” he asked
“I didn’t realise I had a choice.”
With a shake of the head, he went on, “Not been up to naughties on the beach, have you Flatcap?”
“Not in Cleethorpes, Doc. I was worried the tide might come in.”
Eventually, he prescribed the bog-standard antibiotics and while busy printing out the prescription he took a look at my other meds. This reads like a pharmaceutical encyclopaedia. If I came off all these pills, the company who makes them would have to lay off most of its workforce, and their share price would crash.

“You’ve been on these blood pressure pills for a long time,” the doc commented.
“Yes, and when Her Indoors winds me up, they’re not a bit of use. And if she winds me up on the day the credit card bill arrives, my blood pressure goes up so high it could light Blackpool Tower.”
“We’ll change the pills,” he said, ignoring my marital whinging.
So he did. He took me off Ramipril and gave me Losartan.
As always I read the patient leaflet. I’m not kidding, I’ve written shorter novels, and the side-effects read like an episode of Casualty.
Notwithstanding all that, I started on the pills and yesterday I felt dizzy and unsteady on my feet. Her Indoors never noticed. She reckons I’m like that all the time. But she did check on how many bottles of Old Fart Nut Brown Ale we had left in the cupboard.
The situation got worse as the day wore on, and I put it down to the FIFA presidency election. That system is so anachronistic I’m surprised they didn’t use leather footballs during the pre-debate kickabout.
Eventually, we had no choice but to whizz off to the hospital where the doctor, a pleasant, Asian lady, declared that it was the Losartan causing the trouble. It’s known for causing dizziness/light-headedness, especially when you first begin to take them.
“I never noticed that in the side-effects,” I protested to Her Indoors as we rode home.
When we got back, she picked up the leaflet and pointed to the very first line of the side effects.
“May cause dizziness/light-headedness.”
“Ah, well,” I said, “I didn’t see it because the pills were making me dizzy.”

Friday, 22 May 2015

We Are Home

Well, we’re back and I can’t say it’s too soon.
Cleethorpes is slightly over 100 miles from where we live. About two hours driving time. We left at a quarter to ten on Monday morning and got there at three. It took us over two hours to get the first thirty miles from home to Leeds.
The place was bog-standard holiday camp, and if you’ve read Flatcap’s Guide to UKHolidays, you’ll know how much I love holiday camps. They’re on a par with pulling your own teeth, sans anaesthetic. But it was cheap, and just like our new government, I know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

Someone must have told them we were coming. They put us in one of the vans as far from the entertainment (I use the word in its loosest possible sense) complex as possible. I swear we were almost in Hull. They moved us when I asked. They even gave us a better caravan. Whereupon, I promptly complained that the batteries in the TV remote were held there by a strip of Velcro, the radiator in the hall leaked and the gas bottle ran out while I was outside having a smoke. It’s a good job I put the cigarette out before I came back in, or I’d blown the lot of us to glory.
The entertainment was designed for people no older than 30. All the singer did was scream into the microphone to the sound of a heavy backbeat. “Take your hearing aids out if it’s too noisy,” the missus suggested.
I didn’t have them in.
One girl who couldn’t sing if her life depended on it, had a cracking figure, but they put the acts out on widescreen TVs dotted around the place. Trouble was the camera was set at 4:3, so when you looked at her on the screens, she looked like the Venus of Willendorf: short and fat with stumpy legs and big jugs.
She sang, “I will Survive”. If she could have heard the invective over the noise she was making, she would never have survived.
Highlight of the week was a look in an Estate Agent’s window where I saw a flat for sale in Mablethorpe. £415,000. I think it must have been a misprint. £415 is as much as I’d be prepared to pay for a flat in Mablethorpe.

More will follow, when I’m over the shock.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Have You Voted?


As a hunter-killer man, I was up early doors this morning, and out there tracking the prey. We needed bread and a packet of sausages. And of course, while we were out, I called in at the polling station to cast my vote.
They say this is one of the closest elections ever. I’m not surprised. I had a hell of a job deciding who to vote for.
I automatically ignored the RAISE TAXES TO 101% AND SPEND IT ALL ON NAPPIES SO WE CAN TAKE CARE OF EVERYONE party. Every time I do my taxes, I get the impression my money is being used to clear off the national debt.
The same can be said for the STOP THE DOLE AND HANG THEM INSTEAD mob. I’ve no time such narrow-minded dipsticks, and anyway I remember the stink he kicked up when the Job Centre stopped his benefit and made him get a job.
I took one look at the flyer for the COMPULSORY TUITION IN THE CORRECT USE OF APOSTROPHE’S gang and forgot about them until they learn how to use apostrophes.
My voting intentions have changed over the years. As a mere stripling, I’d vote for those parties offering free ciggies and 24-hour drinking on the exchequer. Nowadays I look to those wannabes who are in favour of the middle-aged and the elderly.
The WE’VE GOT OUR BUS PASSES, NOW GIVE US SOME BUSES party could have appealed, but I didn’t like the colour of her knickers. I also didn’t like the way she wore them on her head.
So it’s not surprising that it came down to a choice between the FREE BENIDORM WEEKENDS FOR THE OVER-60S party, and the VIAGRA-BURGERS ON THE NHS mob.
In the end, I decided to vote for IT DOESN’T MATTER WHO GETS IN, YOU’RE GONNA GET SHAFTED SO IT MIGHT AS WELL BE US. It’s not that I liked the bloke. I’m not keen on anyone I see picking his fingernails with a flick knife, and he should have put clean overalls on.

But I had to admire his honesty.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

World Naked Writing Day


Today is World Naked Gardening Day. I’ll bet you didn’t know that, did you?
Now, I like a bit of fun, but I have a few observations to make.
First, the temperature outside is lower than a snake’s doings, and it’s threatening rain. Mother always told me never to go out without my vest on, and I have enough problems with bronchitis, etc. as it is. I don’t fancy spending the rest of the summer with my chest wrapped up in brown paper and Vick.
Second, have you seen my garden? It needs a demolition gang to get it up to bombsite standard.
Third, Joe is not allowed to shit in the street, so he does it in the garden and I wouldn’t want to walk through that in my bare feet.
Fourth, the neighbours complain when I go out without a shirt. Apparently all that ageing meat puts them off their dinner.

Finally, as a man, I don’t think I would dare get close to the rose bushes. Those thorns are bad enough to get out of your fingers.
Still, in keeping with the general principles, and because I’m a sociable guy, I will join in with the inaugural World Naked Writing Day.
I am going to sit here all day wearing nothing but a smile while I type out this drivel.
Things could get a bit awkward when Joe needs to go walkies, though.