From Out Of Tragedy Came Honest Comedy

I haven’t been able or felt the need to write anything on here for quite a long time for a number of reasons. My ‘New’ job has taken over most of my time (Even when I’m not working, I’m thinking about it and how I can do it better) Also, I’ve been under the weather for quite a while and I just haven’t ‘Felt it’ if you know what I mean! There’s more important things to life than writing!

My family and friends have been directly and indirectly affected by covid and lost loved ones to this bloody virus. One very close friend was hit by a car in a hit and run and died. She was on her way back home to her husband after working a shift in a nursing home. Anne never made it home. It knocked everyone for six. Still can’t believe it! Still can’t believe she’s gone! I’m not religious, but if there is a God, Why !!!

So, you can see it’s been difficult, but I guess no more difficult than it has been for thousands of others.

However, funny incidents can come from tragedy.

A friend of the family lost his mum during lockdown, she died of ‘Natural causes ‘. She was cremated, as was her wish. What with the rules surrounding funerals, not many people were allowed to pay their respects. Her ashes were taken home, and sat on the fireplace, taking pride of place, i guess, giving her son and our friend Dave a sense of comfort and closeness.

The weeks went by and Dave asked his wife Christine, if she would go with her sister-in-law to the cemetery and scatter his mother’s ashes over his father’s grave. (Dave is very unstable on his legs and has to move around on an electric scooter. He also suffers from chronic lung disease, which has made him suceptible to covid and afraid to leave his house)

Of course, Christine said yes and a few days later, walked to the cemetery with Jackie, her sister-in-law, the urn safely tucked away in Christine’s coat pocket, wrapped in a silk scarf, Jackie carrying a large bunch of flowers.

At the graveside, Christine thought it would be a loving gesture to dig a small hole at the head of the grave to place the whole urn into, so they could be together in their entirety. They did exactly that, placing the soil over it and patting it so it was compact and safe.

When they stood up, Jackie mentioned that she was worried they had just broken the law, saying she was sure they needed permission to bury the urn with the name and date still on it because it would be classed as a burial!! Christine went into panic mode and dug the urn back up, again replacing the soil. Then she opened the top of the urn and started to sprinkle the ashes over the top of the grave. The wind changed direction and blew the lady’s remains in different directions. Christine explained this to me, whilst trying to look sombre but every few seconds a mad giggle escaped, along with a high pitched laugh. She said when she looked over her shoulder, Jackie was moving her head in jerky movements, one of her eyes closed. Some of the ashes had blown directly into her face and mouth, and her hair had changed colour, from a dark brown to ash grey. She explained she felt ashamed but they both started laughing hysterically.

Christine admitted that Dave’s mum would have seen the funny side.

So you see, even in moments of tragedy, it’s possible to smile.

Anyway, I thought I’d share this with you. By the way, Dave will never know.

Finally! Relief.

So, I was offered a job with Derbyshire Council Council way back at the end of October. After waiting for over 3 months they finally got in touch with me yesterday to tell me they are now in a position to offer me a start date. They asked me how much notice my current employers need from me. After explaining that I had already given them my notice in late December, they replied by saying they are looking at the 20th of February and would that be ok!!! Of course I said “Yesssssss”.

To be honest, their timing was kind of uncanny. Yesterday was my Mum’s birthday. If she had been alive she would have been 95. Strangely, I’ve been decorating my bedroom (I don’t like decorating) and was sorting through suitcases that were blocking the stairway that was built for the attic and came across some of my mum’s possessions. In amongst her things I found a headscarf that she always wore. I put it to my nose and could still smell her. I wished her a happy birthday and carried on sifting through her things. A little later I was painting and silently told my mum that I was going to give DCC until Friday to get in touch with me or I would give up waiting and go back to my former job. Half an hour later I took a break, went downstairs and made myself a coffee. Whilst relaxing I checked through my emails and was pleasantly surprised to find the message from DCC.

Although the last 3 months have been a mixture of relaxation, cooking, cleaning, washing, revamping the garden and decorating, I haven’t really been able to relax properly because of the tender hooks I’ve been hanging by on, waiting to hear if the job is still mine.

So now I’m in the alien world of being relieved and relaxed whilst still decorating! Life! Sure is strange!

Supporting The Vulnerable

At times, all to often, everybody’s life can be cruel, unfair and for some, life events unjustified. In one of my previous posts in December ‘Last Day, New Beginnings’ I alluded to how a small proportion of the general public regard and react to those who are visibly different from what is perceived to be ‘normal’. This is especially true for those who have been dealt a cruel twist of fate by suffering from a severe learning disability. Unfortunately, public reactions often materialise in ways that defy logic!

In the very recent past, I was fortunate to support and work with several men who were born with and in some cases develop extremely severe learning disabilities. I remember the very first day I walked into their large, adapted house. I admit I was surprised with how they acted, but not horrified or judgemental. One of the men who I would eventually support and care for, unexpectedly lunged at me and grabbed one of my wrists with both hands, trying with all his strength to pull me towards him. Luckily, I’m physically strong so his efforts came to nothing, in fact, he let go of me, smiled and walked away. My manager at the time informed me I’d have to get used to that sort of behaviour because that’s just the way it was.

During the early days, I discovered that all this gentleman wanted to do was drag me to the kettle to make him a cup of tea. The following months and years were filled with the exact same behaviour. Nothing changed. He wasn’t violent in any way, he just couldn’t communicate in the usual ways. When he was taken out of the house to go shopping, go to the bank or just go for a walk, he would walk alongside me, hold my hand and grin a mostly toothless grin. The only time he would pull away from my hand was when he noticed a piece of rubbish on the pavement or something else blowing in his path, especially if it was an empty polystyrene cup. The thing that I noticed when we were out and about was that some people would cross over the road to avoid walking past us. I found this very strange and extremely rude. I would often notice people pointing at the man who was holding my hand, or maybe they were pointing at me, and talk about us, sometimes bursting into fits of laughter!

When I escorted my gentleman to the G.P. some people would unashamedly get up from their seats and move to the other side of the waiting room. It was as if they thought whatever was wrong with him was infectious! Bloody ridiculous!

It was only a small minority, but nevertheless, it was a ridiculous attitude. I remember one episode when I escorted the same gentleman to a bank in the town centre. I had put some clean jogging bottoms on him before we set off and thought I had tied them up securely. I was wrong! I led him through the door into the bank, holding his hand when he spotted some leaflets neatly stacked up on the counter. He quickly pulled away from me, lunged for the leaflets and proceeded to throw them into the air like confetti! During the process of attempting to prevent him from enjoying himself, his joggers fell to the ground, completely exposing him (Underwear barely covering his arse) to a busy but watching, goggle eyed bank! When I bent down to pull his joggers up he took the opportunity to throw even more leaflets up into the air, laughing with glee as they floated down around my head.

I looked at the bank staff and apologised. One of them couldn’t stifle a laugh but indicated it was no problem. (It was easy for her to say!) However, two members of the public looked shocked and alarmed. An older woman, who must have been strong because she was carrying a giant dead grizzly bear across her shoulders, said “He should never be allowed in here, can’t you control him!” Whilst I was tying his joggers up I looked at her and calmly said, “I think you shouldn’t be Allowed in here, you should go and get yourself an education”. She looked flabbergasted 🤣

The gentleman who I was supporting was oblivious to everything, he merely smiled and clapped his hands, his eyes firmly on the leaflets. As luck would have it, we conveniently jumped the queue and were served at light speed!!

The woman who had complained in the bank was still muttering to her partner, with the bear silently growling, so I took the opportunity to wish her a very good day and left the bank, gently pulling my gentleman away from the tempting leaflets.

Although that incident was amusing, it was a situation that was predictable in a minority of public reaction. The point is, everyone is different, everyone is dealt a different set of life cards and most people have the ability to learn and grow as individuals. However, not everyone is lucky enough to be born without physical and mental disabilities, but everyone deserves to be treated with a modicum of respect and dignity, regardless of what they look like. So to the ignorant woman in the bank ‘Up yours’! And to those who haven’t got the sense or decency to know how to react and/or treat people less fortunate than themselves, ‘Get a life and grow up’!

Mushroom Head!!

Just a quick one afore I forget. I looked down onto my repaired and flourishing lawn (Which I worked on in the autumn of last year) from my back door about an hour ago. I noticed what looked like 4 large mushrooms standing tall and proud above the green blades of grass. I called to the wife, saying “Have you seen these mushrooms growing in the garden, they’re massive”!? She came to the door, peered around my shoulder and started laughing, saying “They’re not mushrooms you twat, they’re left over Yorkshire puddings that I threw out for the birds “! I looked again to make sure she was right, and she was right. I’m a mushroom head.

The Cherokee In Me.

When I was a fledgling teen, maybe not even that, possibly 12ish, we (The family) were deliciously treated to a new neighbour. She moved into the house directly across the street from our house. She (Can’t remember her name) was very pretty, youngish (I think) wore multi coloured beads on the ends of her wild flowing, very dark hair and always seemed to wear the same bright coloured clothes. (She probably didn’t wear the same clothes but it just seemed that way to me)

She, let’s call her Amira, simply because I like that name, was very pleasant but never forthcoming (If you know what I mean) She (Amira) always took the time to say good morning every time we saw her, naturally accompanied by a beaming smile, set off with beautifully white teeth and lips that required no artificial gloss put definitely required my lips!! Admittedly, I was besotted with seeing her make fleeting appearances.

She was single, at least I think she was because I can’t remember seeing her with anybody. Mum guessed Amira was Indian, simply because of her olive skin and the tantalising tint in her voice that brought to mind foreign shores. Looking back, I can sort of understand why mum came to her racial but Innocent conclusion. All I could see was perfection.

Anyway, over the weeks and months, my mum somehow became very friendly with her (Yippppeeeee) Occasionally, mum would pop over the street for a cup of tea and a chat, which was very out of character for mum, and Amira would reciprocate mum’s visits.

I guess Amira had more money than my parents, or maybe she was just kind, because for the one and only Christmas she lived on the street, she brought a big wicker basket to our house, packed to the rafters with all sorts of festive goodies, festooned with coloured tinsel.

Anyway, mum discovered, much to my fascination, that Amira ‘Read palms’. I really had no idea what that was at the time, but mum explained it to me. You can probably imagine my fixation with Amira quadrupled. Beautiful and mysterious.

I remember arriving back home from school one day (Unusual for me because I didn’t like school so was mostly truant) Throwing my school bag on the chair I heard my mum talking to my sister in the kitchen, who is 4 years older than me and had just left school. Mum was talking about Amira, and how she had read her palm. I was listening intently, not really understanding mum and daughter dialogue but interested because Amira was mentioned quite a few times. A few days or weeks went by without much sight of my fascination. Then one afternoon, she came walking through the front door with mum. I was asked to make them a cup of tea, which I did with dribbling enthusiasm, wanting to make Amira the best cuppa she had ever tasted. I sat watching something on tv, half listening to their chitter chatter unfold when mum slipped into their conversation that Catherine (My sister) wanted to know if Amira would read her palm for her. What followed astounded and excited me. Amira answered in a matter of fact way that of course she would, but she would like to read my palm because I interested her. I looked at Amira with what must have been a bright crimson complexion, but she calmly looked at me and moved her hand onto the vacant chair next to her. When I sat down, Amira looked at my mum and said, very openly that I was special! (To be honest, judging by my life that has unfolded over the years, I have to say I am very special, lots of people have told me the same thing, but they put it in layman’s terms, such as “Twat” “Nobhead” “Pillock”) Anyway, my secret love and I sat across from each other and I believe, despite my best effort to hold it in, I allowed a little fart to escape. I wanted to disappear down the little hole that my fart had created in the chair! Amira let out a little giggle whilst mum told me off. Remarkably, despite my embarrassment, Amira kept hold of my hand, palm facing up.

Amira told me, and I remember this almost verbatim, that in a past life, I had been a holy man, a quiet Cherokee, respected and trusted. Of course, as an impressionable boy, I believed every word that escaped those beautiful lips. I hung onto her every word, listening but not listening (If you know what I mean) mesmerized by her soft tones. When she let go of my hand I didn’t want her to. Amira eventually left the street without any sort of warning. One day she was there, the next, she had simply left. It took me ages to get used to not seeing her. I remember looking through the windows of her house, expecting her to come back. But she never did.

Funny thing is, ever since then, I have been fascinated by the native American way of life. It seems so simple and stress free. I’m sure it’s not but that’s the way I see it. I even bought a Grand Cherokee a few years ago but it kept on breaking down so I sold her.

The one thing I’d love to see in my lifetime is a Native American becoming the president of a land that is rightfully theirs. Let’s face it, if Trumpy Bum did it, then it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Is it ? Sod it, I may just go over there and run for it, I am, after all, a Cherokee in spirit!

Hello New Year, Good Riddance 2020

I don’t know about you, but I’m creeping into the new year on my tippy toes, hoping it doesn’t see me, so I can go about my business without being restricted by the tier system.

Like many people, we were meant to be meeting up with a very small group of family and friends to open the door for a new year. With most of the country going into tier 4, it’ll just be me, the wife and my youngest stepson.

It will be quiet but probably nice to relax with a few drinks without leaving the house, listening and watching music videos on YouTube.

I hope everyone I follow and talk to on WordPress, as well as those who follow me on here, have as good a new year as they possibly can do.

I’ll raise a glass of single malt tonight at 00.00 and push 2020 to the recesses of my mind and hope that 2021 is not written by Stephen king.

Cheers everybody. Happy New Year.

Apologies

Just a quick one. I’ve just checked my spam folder (Which I don’t normally do because I forget about it) and there were lots of comments and messages that I didn’t realise were there.

I’ve attempted to reply to them but I’m not sure if it’s worked or not.

So I apologise but it’s really not my fault, I’m not ignorant, just technologically not up to scratch.

Merry Christmas

Today is the first Christmas Eve I haven’t worked in quite a few years. It’s been a novelty to go into town and do last minute jobs that finish off Christmas preparations. It’s been nice, despite the lack of hustle and bustle of baying crowds that usually go with the holiday rush.

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas. Santa is coming!