Category: Life Thoughts

A Poem From My Past…

I wrote this many years ago about my experience of being an unwanted child.  Not by my mother, but by my father.  Needless to say, I have not seen him for well over half my life.

My Dad & I

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
The words spoken by a grown man to his eight-year-old son.
A callous off the cuff remark?
No, it was a cruel and calculated remark.
His son could see in his eyes that he meant it.
Head down feeling ashamed of being a boy.

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
Years of cruelty followed.
A backhander here, a punch there.
The boy’s sister was the father’s favourite.
Sweets for her, but nothing for him.
Don’t tell your mother or you’ll get a slap.

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
The remark embeds itself in his head.
He watches other Dads love their son.
Fatherly love was something he never knew.
Fatherly love was absent, missing, gone.
Fatherly love was wanted, envied, but always denied.

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
Get to your room, get out of my sight.
His room became his sanctuary from cruel words.
He worked hard at school and passed all exams.
A report card came home at the end of each term.
No praise did his father give him, that was for the girls.

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
It was time to go as the divorce papers arrived.
Many years later, he met him again.
He told him this is my son, but it wasn’t this child.
A half-brother he never knew he had.
Realisation dawned and his head dropped again.

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
A lie and a truth in the same sentence.
A letter years later confirming rejection.
A hate builds up, but he realises it’s wasted.
His father missed out on so much, he knew.
I know how this ends, as I am that son.

“I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
I see him in the street, he knows not who I am.
The old man looks back but no recollection.
I smile to myself, I am the better man.
My want for my father has been and gone.
I’m strong through loss, I have coped with the pain.

‘I never wanted you, I didn’t want boys”
The time will come when you’re deep in the ground.
I may come around and speak to you then.
Tell you of cruelty made to your first son.
You’ll not answer back, and I will not hide.
I don’t want you, Dad, though I needed you before.

Goodbye, My Sweet Girl Lilu

Yesterday M and I said our final goodbye to Lilu.  My little girl was close to 17 years old and had finally grown tired of her life.

                           Lilu In the RSPCA

                     Lilu’s First Day Home

Back in 2003, we adopted her from the RSPC. She had been abandoned in south Liverpool and had gone from centre to centre and for some reason no one wanted her. Unknown to us she was in the last shelter as they were going to put her to sleep if no one adopted her. We found this out a few months after adopting her. She had arrived at the shelter and the next day we happened to go in and see her. She looked sad and thin and peered through the bars of the pen at us. It was instant love at first sight. We asked to see her, and knowing she was very timid, I sat on the floor at her level talking quietly to her. She came over to see who I was and looked me directly in the eyes, then stepping forward put her feet on my shoulder, never looking away, then licked the face off me. This to me was her adopting us and not the other way round. We brought her home and she instantly made it her home. I admit we did have difficult times with her due to her having abandonment issues, but we worked through it and in the end, she settled down and stopped being destructive. I have always had dogs in my life from when I was a toddler so knew that it would work out and what to expect. Even when she tore up two hall carpets and literally ate through a sofa, we carried on because we expected it.

 Lilu in Hydrotherapy

In 2010, whilst out on a walk she stumbled and fell on the field whilst running after her ball. A small yelp and she did not get up again. I ran over to her to find she could not get up and her back end was paralysed. We called the vets office which was closed but had emergency services and they took one look and referred us to the Animal Hospital 46 miles away. When we got there the vet team took her in and made her comfortable and would do MRI scans, X-rays and more the next morning as by this time it was late. We went home expecting the worse and hoping for the best. She was in hospital for about 5 weeks and each night after work I would drive home, collect M and drive to the hospital so we could see her, and on the weekends we would go in the morning and visit her for an hour or two, then go get lunch, visit her again, leave and have dinner, and go back to see her until it was late and we then went home, only to do it all again the next day. Eventually, she made a recovery and came home, but two or three times a week we would be back at the hospital for her to have laser treatment, infrared treatment, and hydrotherapy. This along with the exercises done by both us and the hospital enabled her to walk unaided again, although she would never walk properly.

2017 Lilu started to slow down, and although the vet said that she has life left in her she did have problems. Her heart was slowing down, her lungs scarred and she had a slightly underactive thyroid. She was given medication and seemed to respond well to the steroid for her lungs, and her cough seemed to go. However, after some time we were told to reduce the steroids so we could get a balance that was right for her, alas, her cough came back again and never went. The thyroid tablets did not agree with her and rather than give her more energy, she started to sleep all the time. In the end, we stopped the thyroid tablets and she picked up again, but her cough was still there, and she had bouts of vomiting and loose bowel movements. Again, we dealt with it as she seemed to eat well and was generally upbeat. Then she started to slow again, and the vet suggested we prepare ourselves as they could prescribe all kinds of medication, but to what end? Quality of life to us was far more important than quantity of life.

If you have been following my blog, then you will know that we had to go to Ireland, this was to see M’s mum, as she is in a nursing home, and he had not seen her for 18 months. We got back after being away for 5 days and Lilu was her usual self, however, the next day (Tuesday) her muzzle was red, she developed a temperature and had terrible diarrhoea. I booked the vet for the next day, this was yesterday. She had slept a lot of the day, would not eat or drink and just looked very tired.

The vet looked at her and said that she could keep her in, put her on a drip, give antibiotics and see if she would improve, but we knew deep down that the time had come. I asked her what her honest professional advice would be as we only wanted a quality of life for Lilu. The vet said it would only be a few days and we would be back again, and in the meantime, she could get worse. Her temperature was 2 degrees above normal, and the vet thought that she may have an infection that was running throughout her body and without invasive investigation they could not be certain. Either way, our hands were tied.

6:30pm Lilu had a line inserted into her front left leg and we sat with her, stroking and talking to her. She had been given a sedative, so was very calm. All the time she kept giving us “kisses” and just after 6:40pm, the vet started the procedure. My heart broke and the tears flowed down my face, all the time stroking her, keeping eye contact, more “kisses”, then she lay her head down and fell asleep.

My heart is broken, and dare I say will be for a long time. Her bed, bowls and other bits will stay where they are until we are ready to put them away. Her collar is in her memory box along with all her documents, and other collars she had through the years. Her name tag and contact barrel are on the wall next to my computer, so whenever I am sat here I can see them and imagine here curled up at my feet.

This is the last photo I have of her taken jin Liverpool on 5th August. We had just been for a walk along the dock front. She was tired, as mentioned her mobility was not all that good, but she always had a go. Coming back to the car she slowed right down. She had dragged one of her back paws and it had bled, so she was getting lots of deserved attention and fussing which always made her happy.

I will miss the smelly farts, getting woken in the middle of the night so she could go for a pee. I will miss that she was deaf and when she yawned she made funny yowl noises. Her constant want to sit on the sofa with us, then getting of minutes later only to want to be lifted up again to sit with us. Her playing with her teddy bears and stripping their stuffing out all over the house, her last one given to her only on Monday which she walked about with it in her mouth, just chewing on it softly. But most of all I will miss her unquestionable love, her cuddles and kisses, and that beautiful face that has been in our lives for 14 years.

Our dogs have always come with us wherever we go, from shopping to holidays. The only exception was Christmas 2009, and when we went to Rome, Amsterdam and last week in Ireland. We have decided to have her cremated, and her ashes put in a wooden box that will come with us whenever we go on days out and when we holiday in the UK. She loved to go out in the car on days out and to new places, especially on holiday.

I love you little girl and will miss you until the day we are reunited again.

Reminders of the past

Dairy CowsGrowing up in the country there were many smells/fragrances about, from livestock to equine to rapeseed, but there are other smells that also take me back in time. The smell of an outboard motor reminds me of a holiday when I was about 10 in my uncle’s speedboat, fishing in the North Atlantic. Lavender, scones, evaporated milk, streaky bacon all remind me of being in my maternal Nans kitchen, apricot brandy and advocate of her at Christmas.

There are fragrances that I just cannot describe, but on the odd occasion, I smell them and whoosh, I am in the 70’s at my paternal Nans home, part of the fragrance is wax and a metallic element, but I have never been able to discover what.

Gunpowder has memories of clay pigeon shooting.

There are many fragrances that take me back, some with fondness others I lament, but all, memories of my past.

Fragrance

Screw this, I’m outta here….. Update

If you read my previous post “Screw this, I’m outta here” that I was pissed at my Mother and step father for all the pissing about and lack of thanks. We the update is, still no thanks or even an apology for their stupidity.

I turned up at my Mothers unexpectantly on Tuesday, this is something I hate people doing to me, just turning up, but I thought screw this (again) I just turned up. I said one word “hello” and went to the camera system that I had installed and entered the pass code that I had told them it would be and was in the system with no problems. The said that it was not recording, but it was, and never had stopped. She then tells me that one of the lights is off, and there should be a light for each of the cameras. I told her that she was wrong and if that was the case there should be 8 lights on, but there are three, and that it only has 4 lights on the main base and the “out” light, if she cares to look again is an alarm light, and if that is on there is a problem. So the system was running perfectly and on no account was there ever any problem. I even showed her that it was the same pass code into the system that I had told her. Her response was “Oh you know what P is like”. That was like lighting the blue touch paper, so I told her that I was mega pissed off as to the way her husband handled this and that apart from him being incompetent and an idiot, that he needs to change his tone and not blame me for something he obviously isn’t able to do. She quickly defended him saying that he did not mean it that way, but the texts he sent me were full of blame, that she seemed to have a blind spot for.

I plugged in all her Amazon sticks and showed her that they all worked now I had removed the illegal software, apart from one that I proved that the streaming had been blocked, then deleted it. At that she then gave me an Amazon Dot to install which I thought was cheeky since the crap that was thrown my way for helping on other occasions, however, I did it. When all this was done I left and went home as I really did not want to stay longer than I had to.

No apologies or words of thanks came my way. The only message I got was referring to her having no sound on the new PC, which I pointed out that she would need to buy speakers for it.

Needless to say, I will only hear from them when they next need something, unfortunately, I have found this will a lot of people these days, not just family

 

Screw this, I’m outta here.

I enjoy helping people, but sometimes I just want to tell them to get stuffed. This was very much my tone this week. After installing a new PC for my mother, which she did not need, and took close to four hours, I was half way home and got a call saying that it was not working. Frustrated, I explained that it was working when I left and that it was not something I had done. After a few more now agonising conversations asking her to check her hub with a reply of “what’s that?”  really made me want to tear my eyeballs out. I started my journey back only to get a call that she eventually discovered that the power cable had come out of the router, and I turned round and continued my journey home.

I then get a call a few days later as their camera system HD is full and they it had stopped recording. I told them to change the options but questioned why it was not recording over the old footage as I had set it to this in the first place. Then they went to the shop to find out if they could help (obviously not) and then called me again. I told her husband that if I had changed it (doubtful) it would be something she would remember and would have told her to write it down, but this obviously never happened as the default number did not work. Then the texts started back and forward, and again I wanted to claw my eyes out in frustration as they were relentless. I pointed out that I had set it to record over old footage, and that they had been in the settings the night I had installed the camera system, and I remember them telling me and asking about certain settings. I know that I will have to visit and sort it out and no doubt find that it is set to one of the passcodes that I already told them about.

The next saga was their three Amazon sticks, which they bought from a third party so they had Kodi on them and other crap. None of them was working as all said “No stream available”. I told them that Amazon was working on blocking access to illegal content and they would have to deal just have the sticks as they were supposed to be. This didn’t go down too well, but in the end, they decided to reluctantly accept it. I then reset the sticks to factory settings, tried one last time to sideload Kodi, which worked but would not stream films, thus as per my original point that streaming was blocked.  So, resetting it, and making sure the sticks had the latest Amazon software one and were added to her account, I text to say they were done but without Kodi. The text back was quite dismissive regarding Kodi and a simple thank you, which I felt was not really meant. I told them that one of the remotes was not working and I had sorted that out, but this was not acknowledged, and in the end, I thought what the hell am I doing?

After all that I have decided to say screw this, and I am not going to bother helping out again. After all, I only tend to hear from people when they want or need something, which now is becoming very apparent, and not just from my family, but from so called friends.

Overpacking…

Now, do not get me wrong, I like goods to be packaged to protect them, but I have found lately that everything is so overpackaged it is becoming outrageous.  My example today is for goods from Amazon.  I love Amazon, the convenience of having things delivered next day and to one of their lockers, if I am to be out, it is an astounding service.  They also do 1 hour delivery on certain products which may become a boom one day. However, this is where my feelings become a little, shall we say, sour?

I decided to declutter some of the boxes that were sitting in the spare room, 5 boxes in total complete with packing.  Now, the items that were in these boxes, delivered last week, were quite small in comparison with the container, needless to say, the items were in their own box, then inside an Amazon box, usually the size of a small car.

I decided, since I have time on my hands today, I would measure the paper packing that held the boxed goods within.  The total came to 187 feet of paper packing, which has no use apart from re-packing things back again.  In the past I have meticulously folded the paper and put it in the paper recycling bag, however, after the feat of measuring the packing I decided to put it all in a bin bag, a large bin bag at that, ready to go to the recycling plant along with all the boxes past and present.

Again, I am not trying to be a killjoy or indeed being taken over by Victor Mildrew and shouting all over the house “I don’t believe it” as I unpack and unfurl the items being delivered. I just feel a little common sense should really prevail.  I had two items from amazon delivered on the same day to the same place, both could have fit in one of the boxes, yet they deemed fit to pack each item in its own protective box.They did send me a feedback email regarding packing, options of packing “too big” which I could not resist in clicking, and having a quick point by point synopsis of what they could have done differently, and better for that.

They did send me a feedback email regarding packing, options of packing “too big” which I could not resist in clicking, and having a quick point by point synopsis of what they could have done differently, and better for that, also asking the questions “are the boxes and packaging from recycled materials?”, “If not, are they from sustainable sources?”, and finally, “do you want all your boxes and packing back to save me having to dispose of it?”.  I hasten to say, they never came back to me, but that would be the size of it, or oversize of it if we are going to be precise.

Too Quiet

I love quiet times, and I mean TV off, no mobiles or computers, just the silence and a book. But all of a sudden it seems too much. My partner of 16 years has gone to stay with his parents in Ireland, which means I am at home in England alone with the dogs. It has been 11 days so far, and I have to wait till the 5th December till he will be back, but the silence is now deafening.

I am not really one for the TV, I find most programs mind zapping. I do like films, especially classics, and I quite like documentaries, but lately there is nothing that matches my taste. I have watched American Horror Story, but one hour a week really does not make me a TV lover.

The quiet continues on through the day and into the night.

I read in silence, write in silence, check my email in silence. I put Spotify on, then get fed up with the noise, and then the quiet seeps in like a virus that is trying to invade and eventually take over.

I walk the dogs out on the fields between the cemetery and the golf course, and it is in silence. The only noise comes from the engine and the radio as I drive to my preferred place to walk. I could go to the beach and have the noise of the sea crashing, but the council has cut it off from cars, and there is nowhere to park unless you want to risk a double yellow and a fine.

I could go to the woods, but it is silent there too and again nowhere to park.  I went grocery shopping and the supermarket was quiet, not silent, but enough to notice. It seems odd. I pass a woman talking to her kids, rather loudly and I think to myself “tone it down, or shut up”.

The silence is all consuming and is something I want, and yet, I do not want at the same time.

The dogs play fight with each other and have a great time, but I want it to stop, it seems too much, but then when they stop, I listen to nothing apart from the whistling noise in my ears.

I am in sound limbo. Quiet and deafening. Wanting and hating.

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