Another Day With Due Care And Attention

So, I’m off to work later this afternoon, off to do the same things again, but with a twist of lemon!

Although I know what to expect, I can never really predict what I’ll face. If you’re familiar with this blog, you’ll know my job title is, and this is in line with my managers job description, I’m a caring support worker with elements of personal shopper, financial guardian and entertainments manager! Actually, alongside a dozen colleagues with the same job title, I’m a general ‘Dogsbody ‘.

I ‘Help’ to look after the welfare of 5 middle aged gentlemen who all suffer from extremely severe learning disabilities. Non of them can communicate in ways that would be considered by the general public as ‘Normal ‘, unless you count having human excrement being thrown in your direction as normal.

So, if I survive this afternoon, I will embellish on what I do to earn a living in a more detailed post in the near future.

Have a lovely day 😊


Final Chapter: Fun, Frolics And Flatulence In Turkey.

So, here we are at the end of a long series of blogs about our recent holiday to Side, in Turkey.

Remember when I mentioned the sub standard food in the restaurant in the first couple of posts ? Well, I forgot to mention that Shuffle was the only one out of all four of us to actually like the food!!! Thinking back, the reason behind that revelation was Probably that he ate chips or/and mashed potatoes at virtually every meal! Maybe we should have taken his lead because most of of the food was bloody awful, evidenced by the fact that lots of people left the complex to eat, and that despite the fact that it was a mostly all inclusive resort!!

My abiding memory of eating in the restaurant involved one particular evening meal! We were very near the end of the meal when Shuffle asked Grave digger (Seriously) to put his teeth in her handbag!! The very same teeth that had just noshed on chips and mashed potatoes, followed by a Sweet pudding!! I think, but I’m not sure, that Mother hen said to Digger with a look of horror on her face but with in a hushed tone “You’re never gonna put them in your bag?!” Personally, I thought it was a brilliant, innovative and hilarious request by Shuffle, but before I could witness the gruesome deed, Hen left the restaurant so I followed her, leaving Shuffle and Digger to finish the remains of their food. We (Me and Hen) got our drinks at the bar and found a table by the pool for all four of us to sit around for the evening. Shuffle and Digger joined us a few minutes later and I noticed he didn’t have teeth in his mouth when he spoke. I asked him, with my tongue touching my teeth where they were, but obviously knew what the answer was!! They were nestled safely, somewhere at the bottom of Diggers bag!!! Hilarious, pure comedy gold at its best!!

Dragging my thoughts away from the restaurant comedy, I have to mention our day trip to the sea. We used a mini bus that the holiday complex laid on, free of charge for the people who stayed at the complex. The ‘Trip’ to the beach front took approximately 5 minutes! Yes, 5 (Five) minutes!! Actually, a couple of days after our day on the beach, myself and Mother Hen walked from the exact same spot on the beach front and it didn’t take us fifteen minutes (And we strolled at that) Anyway, I digress. We set up our sun-loungers on the very hot sand, erected our parasols and applied sun cream on Mother Hen’s Hitleresk orders and then took the short walk down to the sea. We waded in together and after the initial shock of what we thought was cool sea water, once the onrushing sea was up to the waist, it was very comfortable and warming. Shuffle stayed in the sea with his carer (Me) haha for a little longer than the women, who went back to the sun loungers after about 5 minutes swimming around. Throughout the morning and some of the afternoon, all of us went intermittently in and out of the sea to escape the heat of the sun.

I felt it first, but didn’t mention it to the other 3!! Little black fish attacked my toes and heels whenever I stood still for to long on the bed of the sea. I think they were after the little pieces of dead skin that accumulate on the feet. (A person could swim out quiet a long way and still stand up shoulder height in the sea) At first it was a shock, I looked down the first time the fish nibbled my feet, but once I could see what was biting me, I felt secure that they couldn’t harm me and so I relaxed and actually enjoyed the attention from the little fish. However, when they attacked Shuffle’s feet, it was very funny!! (Sorry Stu) From swimming around in a very relaxed state, surrounded by beautiful, serene surroundings,  Shuffle took me  by surprise, shouting “Ahhh, Ahhhhhh, somethings biting me! Ahhhhh”. Then he started jumping around in the water and told me he was getting out! At that, he scarpered full pelt out of the sea and didn’t get back in again, preferring to bake in the sun rather than face the fish. Don’t get me wrong, I had sympathy for him because he had a toe amputated during an operation years ago, so it must have been painful to have little black fish chomping on the stump of his toe, but I couldn’t stop myself from laughing at his reaction (Sorry Stu) We stayed on the beach until about 3 or 4 in the afternoon, then waited for the mini bus to take us back to the complex. Lovely morning/afternoon.

Now, a few more things to document about our holiday concerning the Grave Digger. When we moved apartments on the first day of the holiday, mine and Mother Hen’s phone chargers went missing! We thought that we’d left them behind in the first apartment, so we went to reception to ask them if they would look for them for us. Anyway, we didn’t hear anything from the staff all afternoon so resigned ourselves to the possibility that somewhere in Side, a cleaner was enjoying their good fortune. However, later in the day, Digger miraculously handed said phone chargers over to Mother Hen. I pulled Diggers leg by suggesting she had tried to add our phone chargers to the two hundred she had already (Acquired) stashed away in her wardrobe back home (Jokeeee)

On another occasion, I went to the onsite shop to buy an English Sunday newspaper. I managed to check on Saturday’s football results then (Piff, paff, poof) miraculously, the newspaper disappeared!! (It cost me £5!! Somehow, it had managed to grow legs and climb into Diggers handbag!! Throughout the holiday, Digger managed to lose something of hers or Shuffles nearly every day. (I suspect everything ended up in her handbag) It’s just as well Shuffle gave her his teeth because I suspect they would have gone AWOL whilst he was eating his chips!!!

One more thing to say about our nights around the pool before I end this final post. Remember when I told you how the Grave Digger got her name, by always digging up the past? Well, when she decided to dig Shuffles past up, he would look up to the sky or anywhere else were Digger wasn’t in his view and pretend to ignore her 😂 This amused me. So, when Hen started to peck my ears, I would join Shuffle by looking into the distance and pretending to ignore her. We took it one step further and both looked up to the sky midway through normal conversations 😂 The term for looking into the distance and thinking about nothing is actually called Boketto. I informed Shuffle of the name so on a regular basis we would say “Boketto ” in unison and stare into the distance 😂😂 We had some great laughs around the pool every night. I don’t miss various items going ‘Missing ‘! but I miss those nights.

Well, that’s about it, apart from the journey home, we had a very relaxing holiday. I may have come across as taking the piss out of Shuffle, Digger and Hen, but I wouldn’t enjoy myself as much if they were not there with me.

So cheers, and here’s to the next holiday.

Penultimate Fun, Frolics and FLATULENCE Part Eight

This is the penultimate post about our holiday to Turkey and I have lots of memories to write down in these final two posts.

Those nights sitting on the balcony of the apartment were an ideal way to end every day. As I mentioned before, looking down on the pool area with all its multi coloured lights flickering away was very relaxing. Mix that scene with the sounds of laughter from the die-hards around the pool bar and I can’t think of many better ways of rounding off the day. When the bar finally emptied it was almost completely silent, that is almost silent apart from the seismic activity that regularly caused the balcony to shake. I am of course referring to the explosions of methane gas coming from all four arses!!!

I remember the most impressive explosion came from Stu aka Shuffle and Click. One night in particular was memorable. We were all sat on the balcony and he announced that he was going to retire for the night. (It was about 1am) Now, through no fault of his own, Shuffle often struggled getting up out of his chair, regularly making 2 or 3 attempts before he could stand, accompanied with a sound effect of huaaaa huaaaa huaaa as he built up the momentum to stand. As he was beginning to stand, whilst in a semi crouched position, with his arse just clear of the seat and with his head down, he released what can only be described as a hum dinger. The bubbling noise resembled the sound you might produce if you held a wet canoe paddle against an overhead rotating fan going at top speed! (Bapapapapap) 10 people standing around a bare arse slapping it super fast would be a good description of the sound. You know how a fart normally starts sharp and loud and then quickly fades into the distance? Well this one refused to fade, the pitch and tone remained at the same level from start to finish. And it was incredibly long, I think I could have gone to the shop to buy another packet of crisps for him and return to hear the last remnants of his overture! It was the Tom Jones of all farts.

What made it funnier was that there was no expression of regret, acknowledgment or embarrassment from Shuffle, just a low chuckle as he shuffled off towards his bedroom! Unfortunately, the horrible aroma didn’t follow him to his bedroom, it hung around the balcony like a green, thick, putrid mist that attacked the lungs. HORRIFYING!!

The aroma the grave digger produced was a slight improvement (If you can call it that) but hers were quick and lively, like a Usain Bolt coming from her rear end. I actually think they snuck out without her permission because her farts took her by surprise. Immediately after she had surprised herself, she grinned without showing her one tooth (Jokeeee) nodded and then insisted she wasn’t the culprit! The aroma she produced was probably in cahoots with her grave digging mantel because it smelt like what I imagine a deceased cast member from the Living Dead series would smell like after rotting for weeks in a vat full of scrambled eggs!! Actually, the grave digger did apologise, albeit with a give away look on her face that spoke of a certain pride in her effort!

Mother hen chipped in now and again with what can only be described as a muffled air bubble escaping deep water. In fact, she would often expel gas whilst in the pool, the jacuzzi effect that surrounded her was all the evidence I needed.

As for my part in the expelling of gas party, I can only say that it’s a natural and frequent part of my everyday life. However, whilst on this particular holiday, the aroma that I created can only be described as the blooming of a rose in the throes of early spring 😊😎.

Talking of sitting on the balcony, there was one afternoon that we stood on the balcony to watch a storm come over the mountains. We had been relaxing by the pool, lazing on sun-beds when the wind picked up (Not the man made type) Gradually, the other sun worshipers left their sun-beds, picked up their towels and stood underneath the shaded area by the bar. The entertainments guy walked by and said “There’s a stormaaaa on the wayaaa”. Dark clouds rolled over the sky so we got up and went up to our balcony to get a Birdseye view of the incoming storm.

From the balcony we watched the mountains disappear under a sheet of rain and waited for it to arrive over the town. As we looked down, all of the parasols started to dance around the pool area so the staff moved quickly to collapse all of them and move them indoors. Claps of thunder accompanied the storm clouds as the rain came in. It lasted for about 15 or 20 minutes and to be honest, shuffles stupendous gas explosion was much more impressive than the storm. If Zeus had transported Shuffle to the top of the mountains and instructed him to let one go, we would have been witness to a force 10 hurricane of biblical proportions!

Ok, that’s it for this post, one more to write before the end. So, until then.

Part Seven Of Fun, Frolics And Flatulence

I left the previous episode (Part six) of our holiday with all four of us sat around the pool laughing about the Turkish shave incident. So, we’ll stay around the pool/bar area as I tell you about ‘Bingo Gate’ an international controversy equal only to Brexit!

The entertainments guy, the one who used “Ahh” at the end of every word, announced during one evenings entertainment that “Bingoahhh” would begin soonahhh”! After he had announced it, he moved stealthily amongst the increasingly drunken people sat around their tables, asking everyone if they would like to play. I can’t actually remember exactly how much the tickets were but they were surprisingly expensive considering it was just a holiday laugh! The price meant nothing to me personally but looking around the tables I noticed a few eyebrows lifting in jaw dropping astonishment 😂

When all tickets had been sold (Unbelievable) our host set a small cinema screen up that flapped about when a breeze caught it. He turned on his laptop and a few minutes later a numbers grid appeared on the flapping white screen. He was ready, we were ready, everybody else was ready. The numbers started to appear simultaneously on the screen as he called them out. As the numbers were called out by our host, the tension grew and every 6 numbers or so our host would irritatingly stop to ask “Is anybody closeahhh”? About 20 numbers had been called out when a female voice shouted “Earrrr” from somewhere in the darkened, makeshift bingo hall. A few seconds later a woman walked up to the host to collect her prize. The host appeared to be excited as he boomed out over the microphone “Let’s seeahhh whatahhh you’veahhh wonahhh”. The first ‘Part’ of her prize was a fishbowl. When he said “Fishbowlahhh” she became irritated and looked visibly disappointed. He looked at her and asked her what was wrong? She replied by asking , and she was serious when she said this, “How the hell am I going to get a fishbowl through customs “? Incredibly, she had no idea that a fishbowl was a very large glass of whatever cocktail she wanted! Her confusion seemed to confuse the host, (Members of the audience looked on in amazement)  who tried to explain what it was and then told her that it was just the first of three prizes that were coming her way! She also won another prize I can’t remember what and some money (I think about 40 Lire) However, she didn’t look happy as she walked back to her table, verbalising her obvious disgust at her prizes!! and that theme carried on throughout the strangest, funniest game of bingo I’ve ever been involved in. At one point, I thought a riot was going to break out as every one of the winners expressed dissatisfaction with their prizes!! To his credit, the host remained cool under enormous pressure and I could see the relief on his face when the game came to an end! Our table (Mother hen, Grave Digger, Shuffle and myself the Carer) sat back and enjoyed the pointless commotion caused by some of the holiday makers. (Sorry Mr Host) At a point just after ‘Bingo Gate’ had finished, the host came over to our table (It must have looked like a friendly place to hide) for a chat. We told him he had done very well to keep his cool and we had enjoyed it. After thanking us he told us that in all the years he had put bingo on as entertainment for the guests, he had never faced a more difficult group of people!! Of course, Mother hen tried to heal international relations by offering an apology on behalf of the English people in the ‘I want your blood ‘ crowd.

An hour or so later, after the majority of the baying crowd had disappeared, we ended our evening by retiring up to our apartment and enjoyed a cup of tea on the balcony that overlooked the pool/bar area. In fact, that’s how we ended all of our nights around the bar, sat on the balcony, witnessing the few diehards who continued drinking, forcing the bar staff to stay behind to serve them when I’m sure they would have loved to have finished their working day!! (The staff worked very hard)

Now that iv’e mentioned the balcony and the apartment, it’s worth saying that Shuffle likes his crisps. Every night on the balcony, to accompany the cup of tea, was a large packet of crisps, most of which he consumed. (This is true Stuart) In fact, at one point during the holiday, at about 3 am, Shuffle actually woke me up with the sound of him crunching crisps, which was confirmed by Mother hen, who got out of bed to use the toilet only to be met by the sight of Shuffle’s mouth crammed full of crisps, crumbs all over the floor.

I have one more episode to post, which will conclude our holiday in Turkey.

Until then.


Wrote This 6 Years ago

A eulogy to a dear friend who passed away 6 years ago. Never forgotten. Les Allen, what a gentleman.

“The future is not a gift, but an achievement”. Albert Einstein famously said this. How true. The majority of people are guilty of taking life for granted, some more than most. Its only when we face mortality that we look back and remember what we did and if what we did made any difference to other people and to ourselves. From a personal point of view i seem to look back at my life more and more with every year that passes and wonder if ive made a difference. If im lucky i have made and been part of many wonderfull memories. If i can continue to help create good memories then i must be a part of other peoples good memories. If i am part of lasting memories then no part of who i truly am will ever die. I gentle man who i have known for 43 years is facing his mortality but i believe he will never truly die because of the memories he leaves behind. I know the first time he kissed his wife will live on her lips for an eternity. I know the memories i have of our time together mean he will always live. What an achievement.

An Apology And Correction To And For Stuart aka Shuffle

Just a quick note to add before I start the latest instalment. My friend Shuffle and Click (Stuart) has been reading my blog on our recent holiday in ‘Side’ Turkey. I’ve mentioned His testicle flash on a couple of occasions. He has informed me that I haven’t done justice to the size of his testicles . So, I want it to be known that his testicles are not diminutive in size, in fact they would probably put Barnes Wallace Bouncing Bombs in the shade, and they are probably just as eager to explode 😊

Part Six of Fun, Frolics and Flatulence.

During our holiday, and I hope Stuart doesn’t mind me saying this, he was a little bit constipated (I’ve always said it) On one particular day around the pool he told me he was a little bit uncomfortable around the bowel area so was going up to the apartment to try and squeeze one out. (I was delighted he told me that, not) He also informed me he would stand on the balcony and put his thumbs up if he he had been successful (Carry On Up The Khyber springs to mind) and to look out for the sign!! (What the fuck!)

Then I watched him move as quickly as he could and secretly wished him luck! (I kind of felt like the doting wife who watches her soldier husband going off to war)

I remained in the pool, swam to the edge and informed Mother Hen of Stu’s predicament and his intentions. She laughed whilst I kept looking up at the balcony like an expectant father 😊 10 or 15 minutes pasted and I was beginning to wonder if he had split his bowels open trying to part with it, if he had given birth to twins or actually passed away during the big push. He appeared at the balcony like a bald headed Juliet , looked around like a man who had won the battle , spotted me and put his thumbs up in triumph. Eureka, at that precise moment he wasn’t actually full of shite (Jokeeee)

So, that’s part of the story about Stuart’s baby, the second birth happens at Antalya Airport on the journey home but I’ll leave that for the final part.

Now to reveal why we got our nicknames. I’ve already explained why Angie became mother hen, so it’s now time to explain why Stuart became Shuffle and Click, Jackie became the Grave Digger and I became the Carer.

When we were out and about, walking around the streets, going in and out of shops and pubs, we either walked alongside him or waited for Stu to catch us up because of his difficulties with mobility. No problem with that, we didn’t intend to rush about anyway. However, mother hen claimed she could gauge how far Stu was behind us by how loud the click of his walking stick was. The fainter the click of the stick, the further behind he was. On a few occasions, Hen would point out that she couldn’t hear the ‘Click’ so we would look behind us to locate him.  Obviously, we used mother hens listening strategy around the holiday complex to pinpoint where he was. Also, the faint little shuffle he produced was a further indication of where he was. So, shuffle and click it was!

Jackie was christened The Grave Digger for one thing, when we were chatting around the pool at the end of the night, often fuelled by cocktails, she would inevitably dig up the past concerning her and Shuffle. It wouldn’t take much for shuffle to provoke the response of digging up a past event from Jackie. We tinkered with the idea of naming her The Archeologist but taking into account Jackie’s “Someone has just died” expression (Joke)  I thought the grave digger was more appropriate.

Now we come to my nickname, The Carer. So, Shuffle has been my best friend for many years, about 26 years, I think. Over the last few years, because of a chronic back and leg problem, his mobility has become more restricted. Through no fault of his own he doesn’t move very quickly and uses a walking stick most of the time. The grave digger helps him alot, and when we’re all together (Holidays, drinking sessions etc) I tend to walk alongside him, chatting about anything, ambling along together.

Around the pool, more often than not I helped him up out of his sun lounger, occasionally getting him food in the restaurant whilst he found a table for us. Grave digger and Mother hen both did their bit to make life easier for Shuffle.

As far as I’m concerned, shuffles mobility issues (Not normally funny) developed a comical twist when myself and shuffle went to a Turkish barber, who had a shop in the complex, for a cut-throat shave.

We strolled slowly into the barbershop and shuffle sat in the chair first. I remember the barber brandishing his razor and saying to Stu, in broken English “Don’t worry, I have magic hands “. I sat directly behind the ‘slaughter chair’ half expecting one of Stu’s ears to fall on the floor because Mr Barber didn’t actually have magic hands. I tried saying a couple of appropriately funny things about the demon barber of Fleet Street to Stu, but he didn’t hear me because he’s a little deaf, so I gave up.

So, as I sat there waiting, a woman came in and sat beside me, wanting to talk to the barber about having a tattoo. I recognised her because she always laid on the same sun lounger around the same pool. She would pass by often and chat about anything, she was obviously very friendly. She recognised me and leaned closer and with a hushed tone she said “Ahhh, that’s lovely, you’ve brought him for a shave”. Before I could respond, she added “How long have you been his carer”?

Recognising the opportunity, with a devilish glint in the eye, I looked at Shuffle and told her “Quite a while, but we’ve become good friends”. She looked at Shuffle and said something to him, but he was oblivious to her, because he couldn’t hear her, so she looked at me with a sad expression and said “Bless him, he’s enjoying his shave”. I told her that we were going to have a swim after his shave and she said ” You’re doing such a good job, you’re very patient and very good with him” talking to me like Stu wasn’t actually there. It made me chuckle. She briefly spoke to the barber as he finished Stu’s shave and raising her voice quite a few octaves thinking he was deaf and asked Stu if he’d enjoyed his shave! I can’t remember what Stu said in reply but I stifled a grin as I sat down for my shave.

That night during cocktails around the pool, I told Shuffle what the woman had said to me whilst he was having his shave. Mother hen and the grave digger saw the funny side and although Shuffle called me a “Twat” I think he saw the funny side to.

That’s it for part six. Until then.