Just get along!

I wrote an article for an online magazine 2 or 3 years ago. I’m not really a political person, some of the things the politicians say confuses them, so they sure as hell confuse me! Anyway, if you have the time or inclination to read it, please do. The link is

http://www.uisio.com/the-eleventh-hour-invisible-borders-and-moral-boundaries/

Hope at least some of you agree, even though at the moment, it seems unattainable.

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The Chicken Men

I once had a working nightmare/adventure, albeit surrounded by chicken giblets in a factory about 15 miles from where I lived. I hadn’t worked for a while so I was chomping at the bit to earn some money. When the opportunity arose of a reasonably paying, full time job working with a few of my old friends, I clucked at the chance (Wish I hadn’t)

The factory was set amongst the beautiful rolling hills of the Derbyshire Peak District. Quite ironic really, death and splattering giblets surrounded by natural beauty.

I only worked there for 7 months, but believe me when I say this. Sometimes, if I close my eyes, I can still smell the chicken offal and hear the incessant gobbling that came from out of their long necks, and that was just the employees.

I worked in nearly all of the departments that were on the factory site, where they tortured the other 600 employees with the smell of chicken innards, and sometimes, the outards, if you know what I mean!!

For my last 2 months of working there, some sadistic Hitler type charge-hand decided I should work in the ‘Killing Shed’;  so called for obvious reasons. Allow me to describe the shed. It was NOT a shed, it was a concrete room with no windows (Sort of like a world war II bunker) about 40 foot square, give or take. In the middle of the room was a rotating steel table, circular in shape, with what looked like steel stirrups moving overhead, thousands of them, all moving with a clank clank sound in the same direction. I half expected Marley’s ghost to make an appearance, staking a claim for the moving chains.

Now the interestingly weird part. Around Camelot’s rotating table stood 6 men, spaced evenly, standing on small platforms to raise them waist high to the table. They wore the same long smocks, shit and blood stained from years of use.  They also wore face masks to shield the lungs from the dust that scattered into the air as the chicken’s wings flapped in distress!! The weird thing was, all 6 of the men actually resembled chickens. They all sported elongated necks and had what looked like developing jowls. But the most telling sign they were turning into chickens was the way they moved. They kind of strutted their stuff, but NOT like John Travolta. They moved stealthily like chickens hopping and bobbing around a farm yard, jerking their heads back and forth waiting for feeding time.

It was strange yet hilarious to witness these 6 men all working in unison (Efficient yet clucky, as they were referred to!) Anyway, I was chosen to work in the shed for a while because one of the human chicks was leaving before the place was shut down. So, I took my place on the little platform and copied what they were doing until I could do the job without having to concentrate on the little chickens so I could watch the big chickens. The ‘function’ of the turntable went something like this. The chickens came through a tunnel, which rather conveniently allowed the chickens to step (Fall) onto the revolving table. Then, if the chicken was docile, would be picked up by it’s legs and hung upside down so it’s feet rested in the stirrups, which carried the poor little blighters to their destination (Doom) If the chicken wasn’t docile then a chase would ensue, and believe me, running after a chicken who knew what it’s fate was is not an easy feat. Feathers would flap and dust would fly off their wings, which would fill the ‘Shed’ in no time atall.

The most unpleasant thing that happened to me was about 2 weeks before the factory closed it’s doors for the final time. I was stood, surrounded by chickens and I caught a rather large specimen as gently as I could by his/her legs and turned him/her upside down to rest the legs in the stirrups. At the precise moment of placing the feet in the stirrups, a hot fountain of chicken shit escaped it’s bottom, shot up into the air and painted my face, dripping off my chin and down the front of my t-shirt. The smell was horrendous, in fact, despite several showers, the aroma stuck to my clothes and skin for a few days after.

I like to think that shitty incident was the chickens way of protesting. If it was, then it won lots and lots of support and sadistic admiration from the chicken men who stood around the table. I had never heard then cheer or even smile during my time in the ‘Shed’, but that at least provoked a human response, even though their heads bobbed back and forth as they cheered.

Thank God my factory days are behind me !!

Looking Forward

Throughout my life I have been through episodes of feeling disconnected from life, meaning, I watched life pass me by and felt detached and unaffected by life.

I used to blame my parents for that disconnection because of how they disconnected themselves from all forms of family festivities. We never had any family over for Christmas, no friends popped around, nothing happened, the only thing that was out of the ordinary and indicated it was Christmas time was when the Christmas tree was up and festive movies played on the TV.

Because of that, I found it mentally exhausting and physically draining to join in a ‘Normal ‘ or ‘Conventional’ Christmas time when I met and moved in with the woman who became my wife.

It was strange for me because I had to convince myself to unlearn my old habits and faze myself into some new ones. But I managed it eventually! Looking back I realise that I naively believed that my life would always remain the same. I didn’t really understand that time never stops, and that every second of the life I was living back then would soon become a part of my history.

Maybe that’s why I coped with the sadness in the house because I knew innately that nothing lasts forever.

And now, ironically, after getting used to all the family get togethers, parties and nights out, I always seem to be working, especially on New Years Eve !!

However, I don’t feel like it matters a great deal because I can always catch up with everyone and everything. I don’t feel isolated anymore because I can feel there’s always something good, different and surprising around the corner, so that’s something to look forward to.

Happy New Year

In 2019, I intend to step back even more than I already do from the drama of life. The meaning of life to me, is simply, to live.

So I promise myself I will live my life to the maximum,

To all my family and friends and to those I’m yet to meet, have an unforgettable new year bash, and live your life.

Happy New Year 🥳

Memories

As a boy, I used to walk around the living room copying the movements of the gunslingers I watched on television. I would stand in the living room, Candy cigarette hanging out of the corner of my mouth, legs apart, plastic gun hanging in its holster around my waist, waiting for my imaginary foe across the room to draw before I did (Just to give him a chance!) It’s a nice memory.

In fact, on one particular occasion I took my imaginary gun fight one step further. A priest came to visit my parents, can’t remember why (Probably to exercise them of their demons) Anyway, he was sat at the table in the living room when I sauntered John Wayne style through the door next to the table, dressed as a cowboy, complete with hat, sheriff star and my trusty old plastic six shooter.

My first instinct (Which I acted upon) was to advise the aforementioned priest to “Stick em up! However, I was just to fast on the draw and quicker than Billy the Kid, I drew my gun and knocked his hat off, which fell onto the table and knocked over his cup of tea, which soaked his hat!!

Needless to say, my parents were none to happy, but the priest, to his credit, laughed it off and actually sat me on his knee and let me pretend I was on a horse. Let me suggest that in today’s current climate that would probably be frowned upon!

So anyway, I’ve never been religious, despite of or because of the fact that my parents sent me off to church every Sunday (I very rarely went. I always made my way to the nearest football field for a kick about with my mates) But on the day of the ‘Hat in the tea incident ‘ I felt like I developed a certain amount of respect for the priest, so much so, that every now and then I’d pop in to church on Sunday to show my face, and respect.

So, that was just another memory I felt like sharing.

Memories (Bad)

I sat in my armchair today in front of the TV after coming home from a trip into town. I sat there staring at the screen without actually watching what was playing in front of me.

I sat there in the physical presence but was replaying a video in my mind, oblivious to everything else, with my parents playing the principle parts, Rocky and Apollo (God rest them)

For some reason a memory of one of their many arguments fought its way to the forefront of my mind (I have no idea why)

Mum had just thrown a full plate of food in dad’s direction (Can’t remember why) he dodged it and the plate shattered against the wall.

I remember witnessing this as I stood by and watched.

I recall the white shards of porcelain covering the chair and carpet and the food sliding down the unfortunate wallpaper, a thick splodge in the middle surrounded by reddish, yellow and brownish splash marks. (Which, by the way, stayed there for weeks)

I could see it replaying before my eyes and wondered what my dads’ head have looked like if the plate had actually hit it’s target! That would have been a complicated, excuse riddled explanation to go through with the police if the worst had happened.

I remember standing very still and crying silently, wanting them to stop, sometimes wishing them to separate for the sake of everyone’s sanity!

I stood on the outer edge of that violent explosion and thought about how stupid they were. Why on earth did they stay together?

I always find myself asking that same question.

Because I was a witness to their incessant arguing and fighting, especially dad hitting mum, I have always had a strong dislike or even a hatred for violence, especially a man hitting a woman.

I know a child can’t turn love on and off for their parents, so of course I loved them, but I don’t love some of the memories they left me to deal with.

Moral of this story: Leave your children with memories of love and nothing more.

Just A Thought, but…..

This is just a thought!

It’s taken me a long long time to have faith in who and what I am.

The irony of that statement is that I accept I’ll never truly know who I really am or what will happen to me, I just have faith that whatever I do or say or believe will probably not alter the course of my destination. It might affect it a little bit by developing bumps in the road, but the destination will always remain the same.

Having faith doesn’t mean being in complete control Of your life. Being in complete control would be boring, wouldn’t it ?

Having faith means accepting things change, for better or worse, who knows, but things change, we have to trust that things will work out for the best, whatever ‘Best’ is!

Life is what it is.