Category: Life

The cruelty of others

I know that my readers do not know my husband apart from things written here which is a shame as he is one of the nicest people I know. I am not saying that because I am married to him, or that we have been together for 21 years next month, but am saying it because it is true. He is totally selfless, will go out his way to help people, and puts everyone, no matter who, before himself. All in all, he is a decent human being, and in all honesty, a rarity these days.

His family, however, are vile, despicable and overall shit people. M’s mum, who was the only decent one of them, sadly passed away 8 weeks ago this Sunday. Not one of his family has reached out to him to see if he is okay. As most will know, M is disabled and has neurological problems amongst others, so life is hard at the best of times, however, his family treat him as though he is making it all up, even though there are hundreds and hundreds of reports regarding his disability/problems, some of which are inherited from his Mum. At the funeral M was left on his own, his sister, brother and father walked together, leaving him to struggle about 20 feet behind, never checking on him. M never complained, he just got on with it. At the graveside, they all walked off and got into the cars and left him there, again never thinking about assisting him and getting him to the car. At the meal after the funeral, all the adults sat together around a large table and never made room for him, leaving him to sit with the children. After the proceedings of the day when they went back to the house, his father and siblings got drunk and again showed their true colours. M recorded them and it is appalling. His sister, a bit of a drunk, sneering and spewing venom and hate for no other reason than this is her true self. His brother is a drunk and drug addict, so need I say more. His father, also a drunk is a spinless pathetic specimen human being. It was like watching a more hateful version of the witches in Macbeth.

Now, I have previously posted about them, which can be read here, and the way they treated M. So, 8 weeks passed and no one has contacted him, apart from a call from his father giving off that the aftershave that M bought for him had not arrived. In this call, his father never asked how he was doing, and would only demand that M do something about the lack of delivery. His father decided to text him today saying that he was lonely, which is ironic as he has all his family and friends there and is always Skyping M’s sister in America, and when M’s Mum needed help at home, his father could not get her into a nursing home fast enough. Nothing has changed for his father for over 4 years. M took the opportunity to confront his father about the complete lack of contact, the treatment he received before, during and after the funeral, and questioned if his Mum did not like him over the last 6 or so months as he knew that the sister had been poisoning her mind. His father answered with “well, she had a lot on her mind”. WTF! M told his father some home truths, that he heard them all slagging him off and that their treatment of him was out of order. His father gave a very feeble apology which I translated as him saying “I’m sorry if you feel that way”. I have no time for them as I have seen first hand how they have been with him and they hate me as I stand up for M, and will not take shit from them, oh, I am also English and Anglican, so double whammy there.

M’s sister has single-handedly turned everyone against him, for what reason or gain we do not know, but she has sewn lies to all that were concerned. She is self-obsessed and I have witnessed her viciousness that has no bounds and is done for her own amusement. She is the type of person to stop at an accident not to help but to gleefully watch the suffering of others, something she is actually well known for.

M has now cut ties with his family, removed their numbers from his phone along with WhatsApp and blocked them. I have had the measure of them for close to 20 years and M now sees them as I do. It is a sad thing that they have treated him so appallingly. I feel that M being gay is the main crux of their problem, but they are also jealous of his independent life. He is happy, does not live in a shit hole and is out of their control and interference, also he was the first one to get out of the country. His brothers youngest girl went to Liverpool Uni, got a degree and was set to have a career in TV/Media, but they forced her back to Northern Ireland for their own selfish reasons, that of a baby sitter and gain control over her life. Why should she be able to have her own life away from there?

I am saddened for M, as he does not now, or ever has deserved this type of treatment, and as mentioned has gone out of his way for them all and others, never complaining. However, I am glad that he is away from their poisonous prison. They have preyed on him, victimised him for their own unknown intentions. Whilst I have supported M trying to please them to no end, I have also told him what I see. I could never tell him to walk away as his Mum was still alive and they doted on each other, but now she is at rest I can and have, and he sees what I see.

I have experienced hate from my own father who is homophobic, racist, sexist and a truly vile man who thought with his fists and whom I have had no dealings with from the age of 15. I have seen my family turn against me because I was gay (lead by one of my sisters), which was their loss for a year or so. I have seen my sister envious of the life I have, a happy life with someone I truly love. I have been at the end of a campaign of sibling interference that failed. I have witnessed this and been at the harsh end of it, but due to my childhood I became hardened to it, gained the ability to switch off my emotions at the drop of a hat, but with that, I have anger issues and a temper that goes from zero to explosion instantly, and I am a fighter. M, however, is the opposite, he is not a fighter, he cannot switch off his emotions and as such his family have been like hungry vultures, picking away at him, feeding on his humanity until there is nothing left. Thankfully, he has now put a stop to them. He can now move on. It will be a long trek, but one that is worthwhile. With each step, he moves further away from his troubles, from people that are not worthy of his company, people that do not know what honour, charity or compassion means. Each day will take him on a journey of healing and the realisation that he is important, worthy of love and kindness, and that he is loved more than he will ever know.

The old saying of “this is the first day of the rest of your life”, although a clumsy cliche is very apt for him now, and as always, I will be at his side for the whole journey. My vows 12 years ago when we got married were “in sickness and health, through thick and thin until the end of days” and never more than now are they adhered to.

Busted Nose

When I was 17 I had my face smashed in as I was attacked by a thug, for want of a better word. He came up behind me spun me around and punched me with the heal of his hand, smashing my nose and breaking other bones in my face and fracturing my eye socket along with other injuries to the face. It turned out that it was mistaken identity, he was sorry, but the police were there and he was handed over to them, but he also got a good slapping from one of my neighbours who was a tough lad and thought the thug needed it, which I agree.

Now 33 years later I am still having problems with my face. I have had many operations to fix, rebuild and correct problems, but like the Martians in the musical War of the Worlds, but still, they come. My latest problem started three weeks ago with a severe nose bleed. Now, I get nose bleeds all the time due to the damaged anatomy of my face and I never think too much about it. However, this one was different insomuch as when it finished my nose whistled. Comical indeed, but after some time it became weary and yes, bloody annoying, yes pun intended. This now adds to the problem I have with my sinuses because nothing is really right, or in the right place. My septum has deviated, and even though the tube on the right side was replaced, it is still not easy to breathe out of my nose.

Yesterday I went to the doctors to see if my septum was perforated which is a common reason for whistling noses. He had a good look with the basic equipment available at the surgery, and could not give a definitive answer apart from telling me the anatomy was all a little messed up and the maxillofacial team would need to take a look with all their cameras to decide what to do next. He could not find much information about the previous operations apart from me being admitted to the plastics unit at one of the top hospitals. I explained all that had happened and what operations I had had along with my last operation in 2005 when my tonsils, adenoids and uvular were removed and I had laser surgery on the back of my throat. Do I snore? he asked and yes I do, quite bad these days because I cannot breathe through my nose. He thought that maybe the back of the chambers had collapsed hence little airflow and could also be the reason for the whistling.

Due to COVID, the wait for a hospital appointment could be some time, so who knows when that will happen, so until then I will have to be part of a squeaky toy or take up the nickname of Wheezy from Toy Story. I must point out I had no idea who Wheezy was until a colleague told me.

Ireland – An End

M came back on Friday night, me and the girls could not wait to collect him from the airport. His flight was due to land at 6:50pm and the wheels hit the tarmac at 6:30. Luckily I was not too far and was there when the disabled assistance brought him out to me. We were both very glad to see each other. The dogs went mental licking and doing their hug things as they were in the car waiting.

M’s sister again did not offer to take him to the airport even though she was in the same house and had a hire car and quickly vanished to the room she was staying in half an hour before he left. I would say hiding in her shame, but she has no shame, just hiding as she just did not give a shit about her disabled younger brother. If hell exists there is a definitely a place for her. His dad was his usual cold self and when M left, his father let him struggle with his bag and when a few feet down the path he just closed the door behind M only leaving the dog to look out and watch M leave. M’s brother who lives 5 minutes walk never bothered, nor did any of the nieces and nephews who all live within 5 minutes walk. Cold callous bastards the lot of them. I guess birds of a feather really do stick together.

Now, you may think, what has M done to receive this type of treatment. Easy to answer, he is a decent human being, and that seems to be a problem with them all. Over the 21 years I have watched them stab each other in the back, fall out with each other, have fist fights with each other and exude general hate to each other. All of this M had no part and kept away from their arguments as it was nothing to do with him. M is polite, kind beyond normality to be honest, and nice to everyone, but this seems to have put him at a disadvantage. His dad is a homophobe, we accepted that a long time, and “puts up” with us when we have visited. He has taken advantage of M over the years by getting him to do so much for him, from purchase of laptops, phones, and much more to sorting out paperwork, policies etc., basically everything he could not do or could not be arsed doing/learning M did it for him. As mentioned, M’s brother lives a few minutes walk away, but does nothing, and M was guilted to do things. When lockdown started M bought loads of essentials from toilet paper to hand sanitiser, he bought lots and sent it over to his dad, to which he barely got thanks. M never complained and just went with the flow, so in answer to the question, he did nothing wrong. His family are dicks. If M was a back stabbing hater then he would have fit with them all and nothing would ever have been a problem. His siblings had a problem with him when he was young as he was good at school and ended up at the Grammar School, passed all his exams, and never go into trouble, unlike his siblings who were out petrol bombing, rioting and sleeping with everyone with a pulse, not to mention they were always out drinking.

Now M’s mum has been laid to rest he has decided that there is no reason to go back. I have to agree with him, and in all honesty, I never want to see any of his family again. Even if they all apologised to him and admitted they were wrong to treat him like that, I still would not go as I could not believe them.

Although a visit to them is off, I had been chatting to the priest via email and he has asked whenever we are next over there to let him know as he would love for us to go to dinner with him, which we will be happy to do. However, the visit will not be to see M’s family, it would be to visit his Mums grave and to have a holiday on the west coast with the dogs.

With that all, this is the end of that era. Time to move on and enjoy life without interference and hate.

Planet Earth… Closed!

So, how are we all doing out there? I hope that you are all well, and keeping safe in this Stephen King novel we all seem to be part of. Or are we part of a Black Mirror episode?

On Monday night, we were told that we could not go out unless, for essential shopping, medicine and exercise once a day. The company I work for was part of the companies that are able to stay open (construction), but, the owner decided that we would finish on that Tuesday. We came in and finished off what we needed to do and got out products that were needed, I did the month-end accounts and then did out lockdown procedures. However, the next day there was talk about opening up again as construction was still continuing and the government had no intention to stop it. I was chatting to the owner who’s son wanted to open and carry on, but after me telling her of a girl who had just died due to the virus at the age of 21, she decided that it was not going to happen and we would remain closed until the government lifts restrictions. We have all kept in touch via WhatsApp and are checking up on each other. One of the lads who is a driver for us told me yesterday that he thinks his wife has the virus, but from what he said she does not have the symptoms. She is a hypochondriac which does not help, and he seems to believe everything he reads on Facebook. On the last day of work, he told me that over 500 people had died in the UK the night before and argued that it was right. I did point him to the official website tracking the infection and deaths and the conversation was quickly changed. Therefore I am not concerned for them just yet.

I have noticed that the streets are a lot quieter, but from what another workmate tells me when he had to go out that the local town was busting with people going about as though it is a national holiday. Some really do not get it.

I had to go to the shop to get some supplies and although the place had very few people in it, some were not observing the social distancing that is in place, which they are reminded of when entering as there are signs quite literally everywhere. I was rude to a woman who had as much etiquette as a truffle pig, as she was sidling up to people as she was shopping, touching everything including people. She gave me a look that said fuck off, to which I responded with “wanker”. It was all I could do rather than punch her in the face, which I could have done as I was wearing latex gloves. I also noted that the main culprits were old men, I say old, ones in their 60’s. I think if you do not follow the rules and become infected then you do not deserve to be treated in hospital in a live by the sword die by the sword attitude.

We have been out to walk the dogs and get our once a day exercise, but we have been doing this at dawn, no one about and social distancing achieved, but the dogs are not too happy as they are walked a few times a day when I am at home, but I am sure they will get used to it soon enough.

As well as finishing M’s scarf I have frogged 2 projects and am well on my way with another Stephen West blanket “Bit of Iceland”. I have made this before for us and one for M’s mum, but I decided to do another on in colours that would compliment the bedroom. I am enjoying it as it is a large project, and those who know me, know I love big projects.

Yesterday I decided to bake cinnamon swirls as I have 1kg of fresh yeast, although I have frozen most of it.

One final thing I got was the Vogue Knitting book. I kept seeing it, but thought the £35 price tag was a little excessive, however, I found it in my rewards catalogue, therefore cost me nothing. Not expecting it for a few weeks and it arrived on Friday so bonus lockdown reading.

Let me know how you are all doing…

2019 – My Video

I decided to make a video last year and am continuing to build on it each day. My start point was 31st October as this was when I got the software. Each day consists of anything from 1 to 3 seconds of video to mark what I was doing, even if it was a dull day and I did nothing, I had to take a video. I am looking forward to seeing 2020 when I finish it on 31st December.

Enjoy 86 seconds of my life over 62 days (1.387 seconds each day)

Short-lived…

I have mentioned in the past that I have several aquariums, and with that, lots of fish. On Saturday I bought two Tiger Hillstream Loaches. However, on Sunday, both were dead, no reason for this as my water was perfect, all filters were working, the water was fully oxygenated, and there are no diseases present, so I was at a loss. I have fish in the same tank that needs perfect conditions. These fish, however, are quite tough and only need a flowing tank, mine is medium flowing, so that should not be a problem. I took them back to the aquatics shop and they were at a loss as they tested my water and said that it was fine too. They gave me a credit to use for the cost of the fish as I did not want to get another two and the same happen. I may get some at a later date, but for now, I will give it a miss. If I do get some later, I could always set up another small tank for just them to thrive.

Family & Surgery Update…

So 9 days ago I went for my surgery to remove my skin cancer. My youngest sister messaged me with lots of irritating questions, “what time are you leaving for the hospital, what ward will you be on, will you go straight down to theatre when you get there, what is the latest time they take people to surgery, what time is your operation, how long will you be there, will you have many stitches, what’s happening after the operation, is it a day case, will you have to go back, whats the surgeons name” and many many more! She is one of those people who continually ask questions in rapid fire and never really take a breath, and asks many daft questions. I am not the type of person who likes being questioned and find it irritating, and usually close-down or give generalised answers when this happens as I prefer to tell when I am ready and not be under a spotlight.

After the surgery I drove home and replied to a few more texts from my youngest sister and one from my mother, mainly ones of “are you home yet”. Today I finally got a call from my mother asking how I was, but I could tell from her tone she was not really calling to know how I was, then it came. “The reason for my call, can you ask your mate how much a new computer……” When my phone rang, I said to M “oh! here we go! I wonder what she wants this time?” knowing it would be a “can you” type call and not a genuine call of concern.

One of my sisters has not bothered calling to find out, and my little brother has become an ass and does not think he has to ask about anyone, including his father when he was in hospital.

M and I are always suspicious now when we get calls from our family as it is either a call for help or in the case of M’s mum, a mistaken call as she is trying to call someone else. It would be nice to have parents like we see on the Hallmark channel, or to have family like my cousins, but coming from a broken home I realised that would never happen.

So, my surgery went well, and I got away with only 4 stitches. The surgeon said it was deep and he removed skin and what lies beneath in the shape of an ellipse. He said he thought it went well and for me to go back to see him at the end of the month. I removed (yes I did) my stitches on Thursday and boy was I glad to get them out as they were irritating me. I heal really fast, always have no matter the injury. Cuts tend to take about 24/36 hours to fully knit, and usually within a week they are pretty much healed and just faint scars. This is no exception, and on Thursday when I took them out you would not really tell I had surgery. There is a fine scar and very thin mark that will fade to nothing before I go and see my surgeon.

I thought I would share a photo of the surgery, this was taken about 2 hours after. Although 48 hours later I did have a slight black eye as can be seen in the second picture.

Dietary Adventures in Narnia

I know, Narnia indeed! But, it would seem like I have stepped into the blessed snowbound place. Why? Well, it would seem that sticking to my diet I have been able to eat really nice things and keep under my calorie count. I decided that it should be around the 1200 mark, with a margin (of error?) taking me to 1500 if I am being a bad boy.

I have cut out milk, which was a shock to the system as I quite literally, live for milk, cannot get enough of it, and tend to drink many pints a day of the lovely creamy full-fat milk. If I have unpasteurised milk, or raw as our American friends call it, I can drink a hell of a lot more, oh, then there is sterilised which is my all time favourite from when I was a kid.

Anyway, I have been keeping track of all that I consume, and I have tried my best to increase my intake of water. I am a bugger for not drinking water, and this is due to the amount of coffee and tea I drink on a daily basis. I am still not drinking enough water if I am honest, but it is a lot more than I have done in the past.

I started at the beginning of the year at 14 stone 7 pounds. I am broad shouldered so carry the weight quite well, but I need to shift my gut. At least I still have a 32″ waist and this has never increased for the past 25 or more years. After weighing myself I have managed to lose a stone (14lb) so far, but there is still a need for lots of improvement. I have been bad the last few days, so back on the diet again and try as I may to avoid the sinner’s delights of cake and sweets (candy).

Both M and I have ended up with colds, so they do say that you have to feed a cold, so that was my excuse to eat cake, ice cream and other delights. The world is too full of nice things, so I don’t mind sinning from time to time, after all, what is life without a little whimsy?

Her tail stopped wagging…

Yesterday was one of those bloody days.

Through the night Mazikeen could not settle and all in all was moping about and generally restless through the night, making funny noises and the odd whimper.  We thought, this is it, she is going to have her first season (in-heat), as some dogs react that way, but alas no.  In the morning after a shocking night of sleeplessness, I discovered that her tail was sore, and was not wagging.  My thoughts immediately went to a broken tail.

We have a 24/7 vet phone service that is part of her insurance, so I called them to see what they suggested.  They can do a video chat so you can do a version of “show and tell”, but as with all technology that is new, it did not want to work on her side.  Her first question was “has she been swimming?” which deserved an answer of “yes and no”.  We had been to the beach on Thursday and she was in and out of the water, although she was soaked from top to bottom, she had not actually swum, just jumped about in the sea running after shells I was throwing in the water.  Her suggestion was that it could be a swim tail or broken.  I quickly explained that her tail was still wagging most of the evening, and the swim tail would be out, but a broken tail was possible.  Harper is twice the weight of Mazikeen, and they do love to play rough, but usually, this means Mazikeen dominating Harper and jumping on her, but I could not recall any rough arsing about.  She suggested getting her to the vets to get her tail x-rayed.

I called the vets at 8am and got an appointment later that morning.  The vet felt about her tail and found two places he thought it may be broken, and took her in for x-rays and examinations.  She had the first of the anaesthetic injections whilst I was there, and then I had to go so they could do their thing.  Just after 12 I was called and told to come and collect her after 1:30 and the vet would chat to me about his prognosis.  Duly at that time, I went to get her, and like the morning appointment, waited about for ages.  Eventually, I was called into one of the rooms with a nurse who explained that she had not broken it, so that was good news, but she had badly sprained it and that she needed some rest for the next few days, no rough playing and anti-inflammatories for the next 14 days which had a little painkiller in them to take the edge off for her.  

Today, her tail is wagging, not as fast as usual, and she is a little slow on her feet, but she is in good spirit.  So quite an expensive day for a sprain, however, our dogs are our kids, so we do not mind spending money on them, especially health, which I seem to go overboard with.

A little bit wet and dirty

One Year On…

No daft titles here today.

A year has flown by since Lilu passed away.  It is amazing how fast that seems to have gone.  8760 hours, that have ticked away without increasing speed, but in our minds, it seems like only yesterday we said goodbye to her and watched her silently pass from this world to the next, via the doggy rainbow that we have no access to.

All around we have our memories of her, on the walls, on the many bookcases, and I even have a tee shirt that has both Lilu and Harper (at 8 weeks old) on, which I have on today.

If I did not know better I would swear that Mazikeen is a reincarnation at times of Lilu.  She has so many of the same mannerisms and the same spirit of adventure.  Even the spiral staircase in the middle of the house was no obstacle to Lilu, and Mazikeen is the same, however, Harper puts her front paws on the first step and stands there waiting for us, never daring to climb even after watching the pup fly up and indeed when she was a pup herself watching Lilu go up, slowly as her walking was not the best after her spinal stroke, but she still wanted to go up, just for a potter about.  But I know by the Buddhist cycle of reincarnation that it is not possible, as they say, saṃsāra is an endless cycle without pause or end unless liberation is achieved by insight and the extinguishing of desire.

A year on and we still miss her like mad, and now and again emotions stir, a tear is shed, but the fun times and great memories are in abundance.  So I will leave you with a photo of her in one of her favourite places, the beach.

Lilu – Posing for a photograph before launching herself into the sea
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