Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Friday, 30 January 2009

Crikey, it's Friday night already!

Can't believe how quick the last 3 days have gone.

Had the meeting with Dad's care co-ordinator and support worker on Wednesday. When I say INSIPID, BANAL AND USELESS. I think alot of people who deal with MH services will know exactly where I am coming from.

After an hour, in which I did 90% of the work trying to get people talking together and about the same subject, the only outcomes (things to take forward) were an agreement from the care co-ordinator that she would take suggestions to the full team meeting (next week)that a memory test (which is all they seem to do when someone might have dementia) be completed by Dad and that Age Concern be contacted to get a befriending service for Dad. Wow...NOT! I don't think I have any choice but to get back to MP and say that is totally unsatisfactory considering we are a year down the line and Dad is no better. I could take the choice to do nothing but then Dad would have no one giving any real consideration to his needs or mine. So really I have no choice!!!

That night Em, Rob and I took a MacDonald's meal round Dad's. He was in a poor way, again, but he ate and he rallied a bit in the conversation.

Yesterday, I didn't get up till 10 am but was in an okay mood because I think rather than be in a trough about the meeting the day before, I felt I could take this further. Okay more bureaucracy and such like, but is better to feel that I can do something, rather than nothing....and then the day sort of took over. I had planned a bath, an internet food shop and looking for something nice in the '' sale to wear to the carers' valentine's do next week. The phone rang pretty much all morning and into the afternoon. Which was fine. I got to talk to someone I hadn't spoken to before. A friend off the internet and that was really nice. To connect in that way.

Before I knew it, Debs turned up and it was off to her place. I did manage to sort Suki's food and comfort needs out (and give her some fusses) before I went. So no comments about cruetly to animals, thanks :>) We picked up my prescription on the way and I now have my February supply of lozees and migraine wafers.

Great night there. Deb's has a fair few physical probbies and her back was giving her grief so I played nursey a bit. Is fine cos, with Debs, what goes around comes around. We watched a programme about women who have romantic relationships with transvestites. Fascinating is the most appropropriate word for how I found it. Asked myself would I have a relationship with a transvetite and the answer would be "Yep, if I fancied them". Chances of coming across a transvestite in my day to day world are low and then having chemistry would be something that is debatable but I do like the idea of going shopping and trying out wigs together. That would be cool. I think I would make a better friend than lover!!!! Then again, that has been the story of my life. Skippy spent a few hours indoors (being a soppy thing)...Debs reckons he is more like a dog than a goat and I agree.

Today, card making with Hayley. My positive mood prevailed and I made a couple of cards for Debs and then revamped the 70's dancing queen card. I wasn't happy with the original and then I made a goth fairy card. Will try and scan some of me latest endeavours over the weekend. We had the most humungous jacket tatees with beans and cheese for lunch and everything was really mellow as we chatted and listened to Duffy's album (followed by some Kylie classics).

Now, after a bath and catching up on emails and phone calls, am ready to snug down with whatever is on the 'Alibi' channel and a hot choccy.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Pharmaceuticals and The Economy

From The Times
January 27, 2009
Gordon Brown plans tonic for pharmaceutical industry
Tom Bawden and David Rose

The Government has placed the pharmaceuticals industry at the heart of
its economic agenda with the appointment of Lord Mandelson and Alan
Johnson to a key health sector group that will report to the Prime

Gordon Brown has summoned senior industry figures, such as Andrew
Witty, chief executive of GlaxoSmithKline, and David Brennan, his
opposite number at AstraZeneca, to a meeting at No10 to discuss ways
of protecting pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies, their
revenues and their jobs, as the economy deteriorates rapidly.

Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, and Mr Johnson, the Health
Secretary, will also attend the meeting, along with Lord Drayson, the
Science Minister, Angela Eagle, the Exchequer Secretary to the
Treasury, and a series of other pharmaceuticals industry figures.

The decision to install Mr Johnson as chairman of the Ministerial
Industry Strategy Group (MISG), a position normally occupied by a more
junior minister, shows how concerned the Government is about
safeguarding the industry. It employs about 67,000 people in the UK,
attracts £3.9 billion of research and development investment and
accounted for £8.4 billion of Britain's GDP in 2007.
Related Links

* Pfizer to merge with Wyeth in $68bn deal

* Elan calls a review over possible sale

The Government's concern is underlined further by its appointment of
Lord Mandelson to be a full-time member of the MISG, which, for the
first time, must begin reporting to the Prime Minister, starting in
the autumn.

Mr Witty is leading the industry delegation, which has been organised
by the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries (ABPI). The
meeting formally kicks off an initiative in which the Government and
the pharmaceuticals industry will work together to address the barrage
of problems they face over the next few years.

The traditional pharmaceuticals companies, for which some key patents
will expire in the coming years, are concerned about the increasing
cost of bringing new drugs to the market and growing regulatory
hurdles. They hope to persuade the Government to introduce a package
of measures, which may include changes to taxation and patent
legislation. In return, they may agree to conditions, such as reducing
the extent to which the manufacturing process is moved to cheaper
developing countries.

The biotechnology industry, characterised by small loss-making
companies involved in potentially groundbreaking new products, has a
different set of concerns. Biotechnology companies are finding it
virtually impossible to raise money by issuing equity because
investors have deserted such offerings. Meanwhile, the debt markets
are totally off limits for most of these companies because they do not
make a profit and would struggle to make the repayments.

The BioIndustry Association, chaired by Clive Dix, is expected to
discuss with the Government several measures to rescue the endangered
industry. In a letter to The Times this month, the Association of
Clinical Professors of Medicine (ACPM) warned that British biotech
companies "are on the verge of extinction" as they struggle to raise
money in the face of the rising cost of clinical trials in Britain.

As if to underline the point, Intercytex Group, the Cambridge-based
maker of a treatment for chronic wounds, announced yesterday that it
would have to cut about half its 76 staff and halt new projects to
save cash. Nick Higgins, its chief executive, said: "This is the first
time I have had to impose cuts where there has been no failure. Our
projects are going well, but there is just a shortage of cash. These
are harsh times."

At the other end of the spectrum, big established pharmaceuticals
companies are considering mergers to ensure their survival by cutting

- Pfizer, the world's biggest pharmaceuticals group, has agreed to buy
Wyeth, an American rival, for about $68 billion (£49 billion) to
prepare for the loss of a significant source of revenue in 2011, when
its Lipitor cholesterol treatment, the world's bestselling drug, goes
off-patent. This will allow rivals to manufacture their own versions
of the drug. Pfizer, based in New York, said that about 8,000 jobs
would be cut from the merged entity, representing a tenth of the
workforce, and that five factories would be closed.

http://business. timesonline. business/ industry_ sectors/health/ article5594350. ece

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Kerry Katona to save Iceland

Ms Katona has had her contract renewed....which might be something to do with her sudden weight loss and her new improved glamourous image but I like to think it is because Iceland thinks 'she's worth it'.

Can she bring Iceland back from the brink? An exiting government spokesman said "She looks pretty hot from here and she seems to put on a good spread but not sure she will hold any new coalition together".

Mysterious times indeed but wishing Kerry all the best...she is one hell of a come back kid.

Waiting now for confirmation that Jordan has accepted the position as home from home shadow secretary for the Republican Party. Might be some minor spats with Sarah Palin over clothing and make up budgets but sure Jordan is more than capable of holding her own (what there is left that is her own). Word on the grapevine is that her first project will be getting a 'beauty bill' passed which will lead to all aesthetically challenged people having compulsory plastic surgery or face (that being with their original face) the death penalty. She was quoted as saying "It ain't fair to have to look at ugly faces, it's a infringd....infrinj...., well it is something to do with my basic human right"

Let's hear it for the new womens' liberation movement. Yeeha!!!!

Waking up feeling okay and self comfort

At last, I have woken up without depression. Maybe the cycle is broken, maybe it is but a brief up before the rot sets back in. I am going to ride with there is much choice anyway.

Having read posting on 'Self Preservation Society's' Blog... and going off on my own tangent as I thinking about self comfort. Particularly, the singing. That is the singing that I used to hear that wasn't actually there. The first time it happened it was spooky. I was in the one of the communal rooms in an acute unit and started looking for the source (outside of myself) and when I realised there wasn't one that took some acceptance. The acceptance came with the understanding that it wasn't hurting me, in fact I soon came to realise that it is something that created itself (as in I didn't consciously create it) to provide comfort for me.

I am sad that it doesn't happen anymore. It would have helped me through a pissy weekend and some other times too. Even sadder that it hasn't been replaced by anything that has the same affect one me but such is life. I still can't get my head round it.

And so today's song has to be Enya because this is the closest thing I can find to how it was for me:

Monday, 26 January 2009

Steel Works latest victim of recession

I don't know why this seems more pertinent to me than the other losses. Most probably because steel production used to be an important industry in this country. Then again so were many other production industries and they are either in decline or gone now.

I remember the pit closures, a bleak period in British history. It symbolised to me, the end of an era... communities as was, were destroyed (I think the only thing that has actually replaced that is super-size supermarkets) and also the disabling of unions. Some would say that was a good thing but I feel that unions did and should still have an important role to play in regards to the welfare of workers.

Actually, if anyone has come out okay in regards to what unions achieved, in the past, is is the workers at Northern Rock because under TUPE (transfer of contractual obligations) they are entitled to bonuses and pay rises. I wonder how many of them are actually in unions...not many I would say! And of course the head honcho there has got a massive reward...maybe in a year or two they will be moved out (with a massive pay off) for non achievement. But such is what has become custom and practise in the UK.

Anyway, whatever people think of the banking world, and generally I think the consencus is it sucks, it had become one of the biggest industries in a country evidently in economic decline for quite some time. If a country isn't producing and/or selling something useful to its public and other countries then quite how the economy keeps going is questionable. Popular as they are, I doubt mobile phone sales will keep the economy of this country going in the long term.

I watched 'Newsnight' the other day and they had some financial experts discussing the recession. Pretty much saying that the UK banking industry has gone past it's boom time (yep..I get that), which in itself was aggrevating the economic situation here (clocked that too). One 'expert' actually thought that London was in serious shite (due to it having an over reliance on the banks to keep it's economy going). I dunno...I don't really understand all about 'pretendy stuff going round in circles' to me. The plus side, if there is one, is that the experts felt this was a time of 'GREAT OPPORTUNITY' for graduates and wanna be entrepeneurs to save the day. (I am guessing with technological innovations????). Over optimistic...quite possibly but as Delboy would say "He who dares, wins"...or possibly "He who managed to scam the system out of millions (and got away with it), has already done very nicely"

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Carers and Service Users and if/when the twain should meet????

Have read posting on Mental Health Service User's Blog...and there was reference to issues around funding. As in when groups are in competition to get funding.

Have responded to that posting...waiting for approval (story of my life..Ha! ha!)..anyway, I forgot to add that the merging of the local carers' group with the MH service user rep group seems a bit odd to me because the carers' group is for people who care for others with physical disabilities as well as mental health problems and the MH service user group represents (supposedly, and I have still yet to actually see it happen) people with mental health problems. Not sure quite how that is all going to fit together.

I reckon it is a merging because of the need for funding for either one of those bodies or both. The carers' group is under the umbrella of Rethink (a charity which is much better at supporting carers locally than people with mental illness) and the SU group is under the Mind (A charity that takes more locally from people than it actually gives) umbrella.

I wrote this more as an addendum to the other posting but also out of concern that in order to get funding charities often dumb down or lose the really good services they provide to people for the good of the greater HOLE!

My view on whether it is right for carer and SU groups to work together is yes, as long as the needs of one group do not overshadow the needs of the other. As someone who sort of fits (but not really) in both camps, I can see that I could very easily be compromised or feel that way..depending on how I am viewed by either group and what their agendas are.

The hedgehog has been helped by some fab friends

In spite of on-going issues and a nasty attack of IBS (thanks to peppermint oil getting some relief) I went to my friend's on Thursday. It was a good move because I got to spend lots of time with Skippy and he ended up with his head resting on my leg and falling asleep. That was deffo an "arr bless" thing.

Friend wanted to clip his hooves. So I knelt, trying not to kneel too hard, on his neck whilst she did the clipping (that might sound cruel but she insisted it was the right way to do it). He seemed okay about it and I was stroking his face and trying to soothe him and he was okay, until the last hoof when he had had enough and stood up and I went flying across the room. Was one of them sequences that you imagine ending up on "You've been framed".

Yesterday was card making day and I thought "Sod it, just go for it". So I did.

Saw Dad last night with Em and her fella. I am trying to get to point where I can de-sensitise myself (because I always feel so raw). Not sure I will ever get there but trying.

Today, it is too early to say what I am going to do so will see how the day takes me but have no big plan. At the moment am watching Andy Murray playing some excellent tennis in Australia (he is not me..Ha!)

Here's some of my latest endeavours of the cutty outty kind:

Thursday, 22 January 2009

I want to be a hedgehog

It could be reactive, it could be part of a cycle ...whatever is causing the slump doesn't alter how it is to be in one.

I keep waking up between 6 and 7 am. For some that is natural and comfortable but I need a lot of sleep and also waking up that early tends to mean I am either be lying in bed procrastinating for hours or finding chores to do about the house. I don't like housework, it does not fill me with a sense of achievement but it has been something to do.

Can't get motivation or any creative flow to make cards and the fear of going outside has become worse.

My Yin has gone beyond tong yiddle I po and I haven't been able to trace my yang for far too long.

I know that the only way I will get through this is to tread carefully but to keep treading in a forward direction. Setting myself mini targets to achieve. That is how I got through the worst times in acute care.

On the things that are actually happening front:

I have finally got an agreement with the local council to repay them at £5 per week. A progress of sorts.

I have also had a conversation with a welfare benefits officer who told me I am entitled to income support and I have applied for it through the DWP. Funny that I have never been informed of this before. How quickly government bodies are on the case when they want money off of people but how disinclined they are to inform people of what they are entitled to.

Apart from that, spent 3 hours with Dad the other day and came away and broke down in tears. Not good when stuck in the middle of a council estate and needing to get home. Trying to encourage him to do things, trying to work with where he is at to help him, when I am struggling to get through the day is difficult and rather soul destroying. I have managed to agree a meeting between him, his care co-ordinator and myself next week but I feel the owness will be on me to play devil's advocate and is not a roll I feel comfortable being in. Ho hum

My friend is coming round later. Not sure I am up to going over to stay at her place, particularly as yesterday afternoon I felt so physically and mentally sick I went to bed and slept. Will see how it goes. Perhaps it will do me good to see the goats again and keep her home fires burning. I don't know so will have to see how today takes me.

I have been getting paranoid. The other night I heard something outside and thought someone was going to break in and attack me and a horrible hysteria set in (quelled, eventually by a couple of lorazepam. I am also getting thoughts that people are trying to do damage to me. I have had them before...logical me (in with the CBT) challenges those thoughts but they keep coming back. I have even wondered if Dad is trying to give me a break down. Crying as I type this because I know he wouldn't intentionally but it is confusing being in my head. Trying to understand and trying to keep on holding on to some hope when there seems none.

Fucking illness, fucking life. I think it would not be unwise for me to be in a coma for a while. I don't want to die but to take some real time out from thinking and feeling is where I need to be.

Monday, 19 January 2009


'When I said "America needs an enema", I didn't want it taken that literally!!!'

So off goes George W, leaving a trail of botched speeches and unnecessary wars behind him. Yep, the wars carry on but he will be well out of it now.

Am actually not going to write about all that was naff about him because that is evident to anyone with half a working brain cell but something interesting, well it caught my attention, about his reign as president was that he had authorised the most funding for Aids treatment in Africa than any other president. So okay, one could argue that as the price of everything goes up so must medical treatment, and maybe you have to keep it in that context....But he could have authorised less funding, or the same as before, and he didn't. I am relatively impressed with that but not enough for it to make up for him being another naff politician in a line of.

And tomorrow, Barack Obama is taking the stage..possibly from centre left but is too early to say. I am not overly excited, although I do think this is a chance for some positive change and if I were African American I would feel that the struggle of my ancestors was worth something more than bad history to look back on. As a white loony Brit, of no real relevance, I hope more than any experience of politics has proved that things will get better with him as president..I guess it depends what is expected of him, how much power he actually has and how he uses it.

Extra note..because I am a white loony Brit does not mean that I can't appreciate the relevance of a mixed race president (in regards to equal ops and all that) is more a case of I don't trust politicians..whatever their ethnic background.

Neuro scientists confess to getting lost in their own hype

From article in 'The New Scientist'

Editorial: What were the neuroscientists thinking?
14 January 2009
Magazine issue 2691.

It is two centuries since the birth of Charles Darwin, but even now his advice can be spot on. The great man attempted a little neuroscience in The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals, published in 1872, in which he discussed the link between facial expressions and the brain. "Our present subject is very obscure," Darwin warned in his book, "and it is always advisable to perceive clearly our ignorance."

Modern-day neuroscience might benefit from adopting a similar stance. The field has produced some wonderful science, including endless technicolor images of the brain at work and headline-grabbing papers about the areas that "light up" when registering emotions. Researchers charted those sad spots that winked on in women mourning the end of a relationship, the areas that got fired up when thinking about infidelity, or those that surged in arachnophobes when they thought they were about to see a spider. The subjective subject of feelings seemed at last to be becoming objective.

Now it seems that a good chunk of the papers in this field contain exaggerated claims, according to an analysis which suggests that "voodoo correlations" often inflate the link between brain areas and particular behaviours (see "Doubts raised over 'hot' neuroscience results").

Some of the resulting headlines appeared in New Scientist, so we have to eat a little humble pie and resolve that next time a sexy-sounding brain scan result appears we will strive to apply a little more scepticism to our coverage. Neuroscientists should also take a hard look at their techniques, but don't expect anyone to rush back to reanalyse the data. Science is too competitive to spend time raking over old results.

This is not the first time neuroscientists have been criticised for over-egging brain scanner results (New Scientist, 21 September 2002, p 38). It probably won't be the last. But at least there are signs that the self-correcting nature of science will win the day.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Awake again and chundle chundle

Have read posting about the new Mental Health Act on Shrink's blog. It got me to thinking about the rights of the patient (person), what is considered acting in a person's best interest and who (when someone is 'appearing' to be incapacitated) is the right other person (or persons) to act for them.

Reflecting back on the last year with my Dad, I do believe his capacity (ability to make decisions in his own best interest) is in flux at and alot of the time it is frightening for me as his daughter(and the only person who is about or shows any real concern in his care).

I am not sure if he will survive another year like last year and I am not sure I will either. That most probably sounds over dramatic but carrying continual worry for someone (and alone) when their relative is mostly in states of distress is soul destroying. Particulary worrying that mental health services seem to think that is okay or perhaps it is more a case of them not thinking much about his needs at all.

So how does the mental health act come into this. Well, I may decide that a capacity assessment needs to be done on him. I have done this in the past, when he was starving himself and he was taken into a general hospital and transferred from there to an acute unit.

The problem in doing this now. Well there are a couple of problems I envisage. Firstly, if a capacity assessment is done and he is seen as incapacitated then he is most likely to be put in an acute unit. You have to, well I do, look back and see if that helped him in the past and I can't say that it did. He didn't seem to get any better in acute care. The other concern I have is that the assessment could be used as a way of doing nothing..dependant on who carries itout and what their criteria is.

As I have written before, I would like a dementia assessment done on him either to confirm he has the disease or not. Not because I want an excuse to put him in care...but I want to know if what he and I are dealing with is constant depression or something else..or a combo of.

And then the question of a care home keeps coming into my head. Would he be better there. The monitoring side of it (if that actually goes on) in regards towhat he takes and when would be something that I am not able to provide for him. In fact, what meds he takes and when are a concern for me now because yesterday he was off his face, having taking 4 zopiclone the night before. Over medicating himself, he does on quite a regular basis although, as far as i am aware, the most zopiclone he took before in one go was 3 tablets. Still too many, I think.

I am not able to provide much for him, because he refuses alot of what I offer. Perhaps in a care home, he would be able to accept that care. Perhaps he refused what I offer because he doesn't want to burden me. The ironic thing is that I don't mind doing things if they help him and I can see they help him. That helps me but this continual trudging through the mud is doing neither of us any good.

Having spoken to his care co-ordinator last week, and we both agreed to see if his lift in mood (or so it seemed) was likely to continue before meeting up, I have now decided that we need to meet up next week with Dad. A couple of good days in amongst 364+ bad ones is not progress and I certainly do worry that his self medication is highly dangerous to him.

I am not sure how I am managing to live with this but for sure I am using lorazepam more...and that is mostly because there is fekk all else..or anyone else..who can, or does, help carry this load.

Saturday, 17 January 2009

Meanwhile back in Blogland..or not as the case has been

Have not been on for a few days. It wasn't so much a deliberate act of separation so much as things going on outside of it that I got wrapped up in and then, at the end of the day, being too pooped out to write.

Been a mixed bag of nuts. Wednesday night was a kind of replay of shxt hitting fan with Dr J. He has been dominated by paranoia encouraged by 4 litre bottles of cider. I was on the butt end of this and he kicked me out of his flat whilst shouting obsenities at me. All because I agreed to dog sit for a friend the next day. I have long learnt that my involvement with anything to do with anyone else gets him on one and decided that I had to make a choice 1) be controlled by him 2)have a life outside of him. I used to think I could combine a life outside of him with a life with him (although that needed me to compartmentalise) but for him that is not enough.

So I rang a taxi (whilst pacing around in the cold, trying not to look like a sad lonely, vulnerable, woman) and went home. Not long before I got a was the usual on the lines of "I am sorry but it was all your fault". I didn't have much to say except "Leave me alone". Then came the text "I have taken an overdose". I called an ambulance and passed on the address. Got another text saying he had refused to let them in and taken another overdose. By this time, I had had enough. It is horrid that people take overdoses, that they feel that is the only option but it is also horrid to do things like that to manipulate other people. I have known Dr J for 11 years (I know stupid bitch or what?) and I am long past being driven frantic with worry by him).

He he always does. Maybe one time he won't. Maybe one time he will take too much of a risk with himself but I do think that is his choice. Not mine.

I am not answing his calls because there are patterns of behaviour, in both of us, that I need to work on. Well, my own. I can't do anything about his.

Some good news is that Dad had a couple of, in his words, "Better days". I have spent quite a bit of time with him. Seen him everyday since Tuesday. He even went to get me some ciggies cos the dog I was looking after is too old to be taken walkies in places she doesn't know and left tied to a railing, outside shops.

Last night Em, her fella and I went for a fish and chip supper at his place. Dad said he was slumping again and was worried about that. Me too, but I didn't tell him that, I said "We have to take life one day at a time". I reckon if he gets some good days and some slumps that is better than a year of slumping or in the inertia of continual depression.

And now it is the weekend. I have been quite busy this week..and when not busy been demanded am rather tired. If I can get my arse in gear, I am going to stay at a friend's tonight. Although I am thinking that going back to bed for a few hours and then carrying on trying to get my house in order, later, would be good. On a mini quest to tidy the place up have cleared out my wardrobe and kept clothes that I do still wear..rather than ones that have been hanging around waiting for the right moment to wear. The front room and kitchen need some more serious attention although I have dusted and had a bit of a clear out there too.

For now, I can put things on hold and snuggle back under the duvet. Will endeavour to catch up with other blogs over the weekend.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Either a very stupid cow or an arrogant one

Found this story in my in box:

AN NHS executive has been blasted after boasting she works for the NHS “bull*****ing for a living” on her Friends Reunited web page.

Caroline Davis, in her 30s, is Assistant Director of Strategic Partnerships for the NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent health authority.

Her salary, more than 50,000 a year, would pay for at least two nurses.

Her job involves flying the flag for the NHS and working with local authorities so patients get the best deal.

Her entry for the popular social networking site lists previous areas where she worked.


Then she writes: I now live in Dover, where I work for the NHS, bull*****ing for a living, no change there then.

One NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent Trust NHS worker said: "Her comments make a mockery of hard-working staff. It's just downright rude. It's disgusting that she has written something like that on a public site when she works for the NHS."

A spokesperson for NHS Eastern and Coastal Kent said: "We are following an internal process with the individual concerned. We take our reputation very seriously and disapprove of anything which brings the NHS into disrepute".

Last night Davis could not be contacted for comment.

Who would take bets on Ms Davis being suspended? Or even being cautioned by her superiors.

And I am all for whistleblowing but blowing one's own trumpet about how they screw everyone is something else!!

The caring arms of the Government

By arms I mean the different bodies that the govenment have created.

Have read latest posting on Panic Room's blog. Her grandmother is being harassed to pay back thousands of pounds. What sort of caring organisation continues to over-pay people (without their knowledge) and then suddenly decides to have that money back. Obviously is gross incompetence that people get overpaid so much and for so long..and maybe they haven't actually been overpaid. You really can never tell with this government what is going on. Nope, I don't trust them and I think anyone that does is fickle.

We are in a recession and me thinks that the government has been sending round robins demanding their henchmen start turning the screws on the poor and so people are getting nasty letters insisting money is paid back as of NOW! Like that is going to cover the costs of allowing banks (and what exactly is a Hedge Fund?) to do what they want and when they want with minimul accountability. And it looks like the government might well have to nationalise banks en masse. Weird place for a capitalist society to find itself in.

I have got to the point where I am ignoring (on an internal level) letters from my local council and I am paying what I can. Ultimately they could send me to jail, although I doubt they would because the prisons would be bursting (even more than they are now) with people in similar situations.

You can't cover the debts of the greedy and wreckless by stuffing the poor. There just isn't the money in these quarters anymore.

On the household front...Suki was sick all through the night. She seems okay now. She has been drinking lots of water and had a quick pad around outside. Keeping an eye on her but think she is over the worst.

Stoking fires and stroking goats

That was how I spent a fair bit of my yesterday. Stayed over with a friend. She was sort of playing nursey.

I couldn't believe how big Skippy had grown. He is about 4 foot 6 and long as he is tall. Still acts like a puppy though. He has his own blankey and is allowed in the house at night for cuddles.

It was cheffin' freezing though. My mate has a house that is too big to afford to heat. Mind you she is made of stern stuff. She has raised pot bellied pigs, chicks to chickens and 3 goats. She also has a dog, called Sally, who is 15 and likes to bury her dinner in the sofa, lick my clothes till they are sopping wet and carry out phornication on one of the wooden chairs. At her age, I think she should be allowed her foibles.

Due to the cold, I spent most of my time breaking up boxes, adding on logs to the fire and strategicaly placing lit sticks for maximum effect. As I was in introspective mode this suited me fine. We started to watch 'Unforgiven' on tv but it got too heavy for me. There is a time and a place for things like that and I do usually get into them but not last night.

I snuck off to bed around 10 pm...lots on my mind. I don't ususally sleep so good in other people's places but I zonked off pretty quick. Came to at 5.30 and then couldn't get back to sleep. Clocked the soar mouth was getting worse and that got me into another internal flap, followed by seeing stars and general malaise that seemed to be spiralling negatively somewhere...

Had planned to see Support Worker in town. Thought she had got the message as to where the meet up was. She hadn' friend parked up car, she told me I had a phone call earlier. Checked it and it was from support worker saying she wasn't sure about my message was going to mine. Friend and me raced home, where I waited for 15 minutes and then rang her office. Support Worker was still in the office. She said she would leave then and be with me in a while. In a while she rang back and re-arranged meeting for tomorrow. Yes, another typical day and set of exchanges with MH services.

I was feeling rancid..had a blub. Not sure why but think all the fannying around whilst feeling rancid made me more rancid and then it all came out through the holes in my eyes.

took a whole lorazepam and that kicked in pretty quick so I thought "All is not lost" and walked to local shops. Needed to get rid of the backlog of tablets Dad is either no longer on or has horded and buy some shampoo.

Got a sudden surge of enthusiasm so rang Dad and asked if he wanted to see me. He did. So popped back home, for some satsumas (he needs to eat more fruit..well some fruit) and then headed off to his.

Was okay. We chatted for a few hours. Spoke about some private stuff and also looking long term at what is best for him..or at least starting to look at that. I am still encouraging him to go out and about with his Support Worker and to come to mine for a Sunday dinner. He is reticent..I understand but do think (and shared my thoughts with him) that he can't stay alone, going round in this ever decreasing circle, indefinately. That must be coming across as harsh but it needs to be put in the context of me trying to get Dad to see that there is more to life and him and also that I want him to stay out of a care home if that is possible. If that is, longer term, in his best interests. I just don't know and maybe he doesn't either.

If he does go into a care home, I want it to be because that is the best place for him. I would rather have him close by and us be close but that is a ball that is more in his court than mine.

Have been thinking about Calum Carr's last posting and him wanting to focus more on his family's needs. I am trying to focus more on Dad's needs. I still have to work out what they are though. Another Ho hum! It looks like a meeting between his care co-ordinator, Dad and me is on the cards. Will take it from there.

Dreading mouth still playing up tomorrow. Not so much going to GP because I can hack a round of anti biotics but I can't hack going to the dentist's and I think that is what they will be requesting me to do. Not now...please.... not ever!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Prince Harry, Eli Stone and Ted (The Count) Hankey

That was my Sunday in a nutshell form


I was going to write something about His Royal Geezerness - appropriation of his turn of phrase and for it to be shared with the world at a time when it is likely to up the anti Brit campaign - but that would deffo be stating the obvious. I can't be doing with the Royals so this is one more faux pas for me to add into my reasons to dislike them even more. I do wonder if his army pals call him "The ponce who pretends to be one of us" (behind his back)!!!!

I discovered the delights of Eli Stone..which is an American series about a lawyer with a blood clot which makes him have visions. Yep, it quite similar to Ali McBeal. I liked that too. I watched 4 episodes (3 back to back and then the final episode of series one). Think I am hooked..and is not like there is much else worth watching on tv on Sundays.

Popped round Dad's with his post treck washing. Still in the tentative camp with him and trying to get to point of acceptance of whatever is going on. Not easy but rolling with it as best I can. I invited him to watch the darts final at my place but he wasn't up to it. I don't understand why (I think way too complex for me...or too simple)....but that is something else I have to accept.

Came home and Dr J cooked me dinner. We haven't seen each other since he blew a gasket and smashed a mug in the hall...whilst Suki was sitting (trying to avoid the line of fire) there. I thought it best we had a cooling off period and it hasn't been an easy weekend trying to get back to anything like a comfortable place but we are trying (again). What else can a couple of misfits, who have a warped but deep emotional connection to each other, do?

And the darts final was brilliant. My favourite (The Wolf Man) got knocked out in the semi's. I was half rooting for Tony O'Shea who put up a pretty good fight but lost to Ted Hankey. That was fair enough..he was the best player.

I know this has all been pretty bland, basic, stuff but it is how my day has been..minus the too-ings and fro-ings that go on inside my head. If I wrote about them in would be pages and pages of twisted stuff and I actually don't need or want to share that here and now.

Final note. I have only taken one lozee today. Not bad considering I have been spending alot of time in heavy sedation city lately.

This is my song of the day...because when I was writing about Dr J and me..this song sprung into my head:

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Communication - The wonders of the internet

"She can't help it, the girl can't help it"

A list of some of the highlights from my email inbox and the awesomely relevant MSN alerts.

An invite to celebrate the New Year on a quote "God Linked Christian Forum"..erm, now isn't the best time but thanks for the thought.

The umpteenth excuse from the complaints manager at BLPT as to why I haven't got the minutes of a meeting that took place a bit too long back for me to remember about now. Better they send me a note saying "Can't be arsed".

Story of a woman who stabbed her kids to death after being prescribed with SSRIs (I get similar stories frequently)

A discounted offer on books such as "Measurement and Control - Using Minimum Equipment" (I wonder if that is a guide book for mental health services)

And the piece de resistance (and I am trying to stick with the resistance on this) is the MSN alert which is asking if I think the latest Big Brother evictee should have been voted off. Tough call...but if push comes to shove then Davina must go!

Could be manic...could be not..and people leaving that I didn't even get a chance to read about

Have been up since whenever. That is how it is.

Flitting between blogland and facebook and the funny old places that go with being me.

Whilst surfing, not even sure what I was looking for, came across Calum Carr's blog. You know, I hadn't even read any postings there before today. Not a crime because there are so many blogs (all as worthy as each other and in different ways..although sure that is an individual taste thing) but read his last posting as in he was writing that he was leaving blogland and very good luck to him with that. I hope he can focus on what he needs to focus on..but also if he comes back to blogland that is how it should be. That old "Never Say Never" thing that I think is about as good as it gets.

I am sure I am not the only one (because I come across it as I surf) who often wonders to what point am I blogging? Is it actually helping me...should I take time out and focus on other things..should I get a life that doesn't involve blogging. Well, self confessed lonely sad fekk that I am, there isn't much of a life going on. I don't blame anything but myself cos it is down to me and my shit - SHOCK HORROR - someone full view of whoever...that they are lonely!!! And quite possibly over and unhealthy associating itself with Dad isn't helping. Anyway, that is another something or other not to be dealing with right now.

Have become interested in Panic Room's blogging and they are involved in some kind of therapy. Early stages (and from what I gather) is via the internet (at least initially). I am tentatively interested. Everything is tentative for me at present. Having had therapy, at different times but most probably everytime for the same reason, and none of it helping much at all (rather doing the opposite) am reluctant to open myself up...just to unravel and end up back in a psychiatric unit. However, this could be something that helps me. I am not signing up for it yet (if ever) but there is a book (there's books for everything these days) that I will be buying when I have the money..and if I think it might help to do something a bit more formal and interactive, will take it from there. Sometimes is a case of nothing ventured nothing gained, especially if there isn't much to lose except £10.

And so as the words start to merge on this page, am going to head off. I am apt to ramble at present...and not write anything of any validity to anyone else but me but, I guess, in the grand scheme of things that doesn't really matter...unless one has or feels a sense of responsibility to write for others more than themselves. If that is selfish then it can be added to the list of things that piss you off about me. Yes, I do wonder at what people make of me...but is not like that is actually apt to make me a better person. We all have to deal with the inside out and then the outside back in again (however we do it).

Etc.etc. blah dee blah. Time for some IMPRO!

Dancing down memory lane

Cheers Lareve x

The Divine Billie Ray Wotserface:

Check out the miming on this...even for a mostly synthesized track is showing what was really pants about TOTP.

Friday, 9 January 2009

The return of the cards

In amongst the veerings towards Ga Ga City, have managed to get some quality time for me.

Here are some of my cards. Am glad to be getting on with making them again. A chance to lose myself in something I enjoy and there is an end result to.

If it is not too cold tomorrow am going down town to check out the cd's at the library and maybe hit the second hand shops. If it is too cold (or am a bit too wobbly) will get back to the cutty outy bits and glue.

Control freak and constant flapper

Having wrote back to my MP seeking, more than anything guidance, on where to go from here, in regards to Dad's care, I am now beating myself up...wondering if that was the right thing to do or not.

That is the problem with trying to look out for someone else. Someone who is an adult and related. The never really knowing if I am doing more damage than good.

I think I am a control freak, although I try hard not to be.

Why I am in this quandry is that I had decided to back off a bit from Dad and would wait for him to ring me. I didn't think he would but even backing off (as in direct contact) I wanted to keep in mind the fact that he still needs care and maybe more care than he is getting from services???

I am confused a fair bit of the time. I often feel that he should be with me but, realistically, I am struggling to look after me at the moment so I am in no position to take on the responsibility for looking after him. I feel ashamed about that. If I shouldn't it doesn't stop me.

Dad rang me last night and he seemed fine. He could be in some sort of recovery. Reflecting back on the last 14 years (from when his illness either manifested or took control of him)I find it hard to believe that he is recovering in the sense that everything will be fine and dandy but maybe he is starting to lift out of the depression. I haven't written that with any conviction because I haven't got any although it would be just fab if that is the case.

If I wasn't emotionally involved I could be a lot more objective. If I wasn't fighting with myself to get some middle ground (with myself) then maybe I wouldn't be so strung out about how he is.

Everything seems tentative. Not sure that makes sense but I am tentatively trying to get through each day and am tentatively hoping that Dad is finding it easier to get through his.

If only I was the eternal optimist. Then whatever happens wouldnt't matter, it would be alright because the optimism would ensure it was (even if it wasn't????)


Thursday, 8 January 2009

Paramedics decide to let man die

Have had this story sent through to me.

"Two ambulance medics have been arrested for allegedly failing to treat a dying man because "he was not worth saving".

Ambulance controllers overheard a private conversation between the crew members in which they supposedly made disparaging remarks about the victim's untidy home, allegedly failed to attempt to resuscitate him, and then apparently decided to claim he was already dead when they arrived.

Barry Baker, 59, dialled 999 from his home in Patcham, near Brighton in the early hours of November 29 and said that he was suffering from severe chest pains.

Controllers sent a paramedic and ambulance technician immediately, and although Mr Baker collapsed while talking on the phone, the line to the control centre was left open as he lay on the floor.

Minutes later the control staff heard the crew enter the house. A police source said: "What they heard after their ambulance crew arrived frankly astonished them.

"Apparently their first reaction was to comment on the untidy and unkempt state of the house. Then they are heard to comment on seeing Mr Baker and allegedly saying that it was not worth bothering to try to carry out resuscitation to try to save him. They then are heard discussing what to tell ambulance control and allegedly decide to say that he was already dead when they arrived.

"Obviously the crew did not realise that the phone was still connected and, of course, the 999 call was all recorded on tape," said the source.

The unnamed ambulance staff were arrested after the tape was handed to the Sussex Police Major Crime Team.

They have been suspended from duty and a file has been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service to consider prosecuting the pair for wilfully neglecting to perform a duty in public office.

Police confirmed the two medics, both based at Brighton ambulance station, were detained on December 5, six days after Mr Baker's death. They were later freed on bail until next month, pending further inquiries.

A spokesman said: "The men, aged 35 years and 44 years and from the Brighton area, have been arrested and questioned following the death of a man in Brighton. They were detained on suspicion of wilfully neglecting to perform a duty in public office, contrary to Common Law."

A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance NHS Trust said that both men had been suspended from duty.

"We have suspended two male members of staff from duty as police conduct an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of a man at his home. We are giving the police our full co-operation in this matter and are not in a position to comment further at this time due to the police investigation taking place."

His funeral has been delayed but a memorial service is due to take place next month."

Is there a point and if so could someone enlighten me as to what it is?

A couple of friends informed me that they don't have to pay council tax because they have MH problems.

I rang the council office to ask about this and they told me that people with bipolar are not excempt from paying council tax. Well, as one of the friends that told me they were except has bipolar, I have to wonder at what exactly is going on and why?

Is this another new law the government are bringing in or do the rules vary depending on which borough you live in..hmmm Or is it now seen that bipolar is no longer as debilitating illness?

I spoke to my care co-ordinator who is going to be talking to a disability rights adviser on Monday about it. She has also advised me to organise a meeting between Dad's care co-ordinator and myself in regards to his mental health and care needs.

In amongst this had another letter from the MP telling me the relevant person at the Trust is on holiday and will be getting in touch when they are back off leave.

Is all quite muddley really. Perhaps I should wait for the relevant person at the Trust and ask them to be involved in the meeting.

And so I have bought myselfa second hand hoover. Spied it whilst I was posting the letters to credit card company. My carpets are a disgrace and I couldn't stand it any longer. Okay so I am in overdraft but am kind of giving up on the budgetting front. Know that I am on a hiding to nothing with that.

As I wrote on my facebook page, I am now using the hoover to try and suck my brains out with. Might get some relief!!!

Hollow Hills

I have felt that posting is futile although blogs are for blogging as and when and for whatever reasons but with the new year sagas I would rather not have to be involved in, I have no awe inspiring words and there is very little creative flow going on inside me. Not that this blog is here to serve the public. Is not some sort of personal recovery model in which I feel can aid others to recovery. Although if there are ones, and they do aid others, there is nothing wrong with that.

I guess I am counting my lucky stars that I am still able to get out of bed in the morning although what to do with the rest of the day is more than a slight problem.

Have been in contact with Dad. Wondering why so much of me has been absorbed in his whatever is going on. Is not like I am actually being of any positive use to him. Maybe I am (for him) a key player in some game. A game he isn't necessarily concious he is playing.I can't explain this very well...but it isn't all about me being the flesh of his flesh (although that is some of it). It is quite a bit to do with twisted history. Perhaps I do try and make things alright but I should know by now that it doesn't work. I accept that I have no control and I also accept that whatever I do is likely to be undermined by his illness and character traits. I don't know if there is an element of deliberate stubborness. I do think he is being very selfish.

When I spoke to him I said I didn't mind him going away. I was concerned for his safety but that he is a grown up and can do what he wants. The problem was the not letting me know and leaving me to try and work it out for myself (risk assessment). He was, I sensed, pissed off cos he told me he would think about it and then put the phone down. I think he felt I was telling him off. Rightly or wrongly I took that badly. I didn't tell him because i don't think he is in a position (or wants) to care about my feelings.

I thought about Mum. Our relationship was very different. We could talk pretty freely (although at times her ill states meant that I avoided things that might hurt her) and laughed alot together. We were close. I don't feel close to Dad. I feel like someone who looks out for him but he is a stranger to me and we are becoming more distant.

He could be suffering from dementia. I am not an expert in how to diagnose dementia so is more a possibility than knowing with any certainty. Having been in contact with other people (non MH professionals) I am getting feedback that old people can become self absorbed and hurtful. Hmmm.

I guess I do have to detach myself and keep myself as detached as much as I can but I don't want to let go. I don't want him to be totally alone but I can't carry on being dominated with fears for him or being rejected.

I could wail on about it being a pants time of year for me and trying to see some point in rallying through depression but that isn't going to make anything better.

I have to get on with it.

The local council sent me one of their officious letters pretty much saying that if I don't play ball they will call in the heavies. I am paying what I can, when I can. It doesn't matter how many officious letters I get, they can't have money that I haven't got.

Making some progress with the credit card company. I have to send letters to them (addressed to the companies taking the unauthorised payments from my account) and then, so the credit company says, they will stop further payments. So far I am £40 down! If that doesnt' work then the police will get involved, so the police say. I don't know what I believe anymore. I just see things going round in circles.

Ho hum!

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Worry Lag, a really vital blog posting and a young Doctor with much more than an Oyster card

Haven't been waving or drowning but huddling in the trenches waiting for the backfire!

I am not sharing anything of what is going on with Dad because I have been too twisted up with anger and hurt and I can no longer be arsed!!!!

I am not competely washing my hands of situations so much as detaching myself on the grounds that I have just joined Lil's "Self Preservation Society" and following Mr Sinatra's footsteps, I'll do it MY WAY!

Had a hunt round blogland and was struck by the glorious Dr Rant on a classic rant. Actually, it was more a straight to point assessment of how things are in the NHS rather than a rabid session of the screamy ab dabs (although I quite like those too). Anyway, the best rants are those backed up by a sharp intake of reality.

Problem is Jo (where the fekk are we, now?) Public seems to have resigned itself to being permanently shafted up the jacksie by the Government and for those who feel the Government have been given a bad name...wake up and smell the pxss you are drowning in!!!

I was actually relieved to read Dr Rant's posting. Relieved that there are still some people out there prepared to take a breather from the Jollity Farm and look at where they are and ask some questions as to why.

And flitting from the crucial to the optional extras....a tangent I am more than happy to go with is the new Dr Who.The quirkily attractive (in my mostly irrelevant opinion) Matt Smith.

I like him. Not even sure why yet but I did get to see him in 'The Ruby In The Smoke' in which his character reminded of an older Artful Dodger. I haven't the foggiest how he will cut it as the new Doctor but am prepared to ride along with him in the Tardis and see where he goes. Pity it is rather a long wait for his big entrance...but that does allow David Tennant fans (me included) to say our goodbyes in a more gentle fashion.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

A Brief Encounter....

With a glimpse of hope and then it was gone.

Am still trying to get to a numb place..(have had fleeting encounters with that today too).but Dad has done the offski again.

I was trying to work out why (as in why almost same time as last year)....considering I don't actually know hardly any of where Dad is at (only from an observation point to far away to make any difference), it isn't easy to know anything any more.

Only perhaps because when Mum died we had to wait until the first week of January for her cremation service, there is some significance. Perhaps that anniversary, followed by the effort of trying to survive all the durge and charade playing of the festive season gets him to point where he feels he has to do something. But I don't really know.

The emotional exhaustion of yesterday left me in neurosis hell today. Is bad enough me having to deal with this but Em was involved. I try to keep her away from the pain as much as but she and fella were crashing at mine. After several attempts to ring Dad (no reply). We all went round there, no response from door bell, calling careline, waiting for Warden to turn up, walking into pitch black flat (dreading finding his body)..the police. The nosy neighbour (who for once am grateful to) as they told warden he had got in taxi around 3pm.

The police have classified Dad as low risk (seems everyone except me has done the same)..what I view of that view is beyond printable.

I have had a call from him. He is North East. I won't go into any more detail on that but for now he is safe.

This could go anyway...I certainly haven't the foggiest which way. All I have done is asked him to stay safe and eat well.

I am not even sure I want to get the MH services involved. After he was picked up last year, he spent the best part of six months being totally miserable and ignored in a psychiatric unit. I wouldnt' want to be the one to inflict that on him.

Mind you, I feel like I have no say in anything!!!

I contacted the police to tell them what I knew. They have asked me to contact them if and when he makes contact with me again. I will but I feel like telling them all to "Fuck off" and is not personal but I really can't be doing with any more hoping, trying, fighting for what? False hope...for a father who I don't have capacity to handle and a system with no capacity (or desire) to provide proper care.

Is all mind fuckingly shite!

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Can't forget the little one

Here is my first attempt at using digital camera. I think I have to do something about the lighting but at least I managed to install it, take photos and then download them (all by myself).

We went to party

Cinderella got to the ball and wearing a posh frock too!

Em, her fella and best friend came with me to the New Year's Eve do at the local pub (which is well within crawling distance).

I didn't feel like the token old fart, in fact being amongst young people played to my fun side. Yep, I danced. That was great to be dancing amongst other people for a change.

Was a great buffet too with 4 lots of desserts. I had the Death By Chocolate which was pretty close to divine.

I didn't drink although I did dip my finger in the remnants of Em's Sambuka (very nice too..I like aniseed)and although the youngsters did knock some back none of them got legless which meant we could all walk home (without fallings over or deviations).

Just before we left, there was a fireworks display, which we watched from the window. That seemed to be the perfect ending to a great night out.

Back to dancing. I was pretty much dancing to anything but drew the line at "Oops Upside Your Head"....deffo not a dance for a posh frock. I did attempt to dance to this..which was novel:

Now it is 2009. I haven't much to say about it except I hope everyone gets the kind of year they need.