[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 585: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/phpbb/session.php on line 641: sizeof(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable
A Tax rose is but a rose by any other name - Page 23 - Carers UK Forum

A Tax rose is but a rose by any other name

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
687 posts
Oh, pooh buggers! My ace idea for SM’s birthday was a complete washout. Quite literally, as it was weather dependant. Rain, hail and thunder storms put paid to my idea.

I remembered, from years ago, he was seriously into kites. He loved them with a passion. I remembered helping him make kites with his sister. So my idea was to take him kite flying on Otterspool Prom, complete with a picnic (paleo friendly, given his latest diet fad… UGH! Ever tried to knock up a picnic for paleos?) All of that relies/d on goodish weather…. Didn’t happen.

SM: Never mind, the thought was there.

Me: But that’s not the point… I’d arranged for these dead ace Chinese kite things to be there and…

SM: If I remember rightly, you made a bow and arrow instead, not a kite…. Correct me if I’m wrong.

Me: I did, didn’t I?

SM: Yes you did and…

Me: You’ve got to admit it though it was a bloody good bow and arrow… the damn thing flew up into the sky like a rocket and then really plummeted into the ground.

SM: Up to its neck. Now I don’t fancy being frozen or drowned… so what shall we do instead?

We came up with something. But the second part of my pressie I insisted on. It was a hit.

I’ve eaten an awful lot of Welsh lamb, but I wanted him to try out goat curry. I took him to possibly the scuzziest street in Liverpool for, possibly, the best curried goat in Liverpool.

He loved it, and those fried yam chips things are to die for. We may be total opposites but curried goat is ace… We are both agreed on that.
Picnics for paleos: Hmm. I would think a BBQ might be better, lots of meat. I've eaten plenty of goat meat in Africa, ad its OK, but venison is my fave. Ideally marinated overnight and turned into kebabs.
Scally, you’re right. Paleo picnics are a pain. The recipes were surprising complicated, with difficult to find ingredients. Zucchini lemon drizzle cupcakes anyone? I’m sure the average cave man ate those.
It all rather reminded me of a cartoon (Far Side, I think.) It depicted a couple of cave men looking down from a cave (where else) looking down on another cave man being chased by a sabre toothed tiger. One says to the other, “How come we eat fresh food, drink fresh water, have no pollution and loads of exercise, but we’re dead by 30 years of age” (or words to that effect.)

Needless to say it his latest diet fad didn’t last long. However, the bread and pasta are stilled binned. But that’s only because that’s easy to do as neither of us were nuts about them to begin with. A bit like ‘sacrificing’ something for Lent you were not that keen on/bothered about in the first place. Every catholic kid knows that trick.

But the sugar thing has worked??? A bit like the food bank stuff; I suggested it more as a joke than anything serious. But he’s now down to half a teaspoon a day off his own bat; that’s a hell of a reduction.
I’ve calculated, conservatively, that he’d been consuming 30 teaspoons of sugar per day in his tea alone. That’s now down to about 5. That has to make a difference.

He thinks so too, but I’ve not been let off.

SM: If I can cut back on sugar so easily, then you can cut back on cigarettes. Why don’t you try having one no more than once an hour…. At least give it a go.

Me: Are you kidding me. I’ve tried that before. It didn’t work. I’d spend the next 45 minutes obsessing about when I could have the next one… absolute bloody torture.

But, in the interests of moral support, I finally agreed (did I have a choice without being accused of being a hypocrite?) To my utter surprise it worked. I’ve actually halved the amount I smoke…. Miracle of miracles!
I think there is an element of competition involved here. I’m determined he is to cure his sweet tooth; he’s determined I’m to cure my nicotine tooth.
But if we both help one another, who cares how it works… I don’t. I’m just pleased I’m smoking half what I was and I haven’t even noticed the difference regarding cravings (used to drive me mad before.) How weird is that?

Another weird thing is that I spent about 6 weeks persuading my dad (nagging, according to him) to attend a heart health course thing at the local heart hospital. He wouldn’t hear of it, pooh-pooing it.
I then had a word with the local heart nurse to have a word with him. She spent all of two minutes with him, telling him all about it. He jumped at the chance to go along on this course…. Bloody typical!

It’s one day of the week, 10 weeks long and teaches you loads about looking after your heart. They do gentle exercises in the morning (on state of the art equipment) followed by various lectures on diet, how the heart works, blah, blah, blah.
Dad been going for about a month now, and he had me in stiches when he was describing the lecture on ‘Relaxation.’ He, along with his fellow Coffin Dodgers, thought it was going to be a load of, and I quote, “Babbly bullshit.”
But they loved this lecture the best, and they have demanded a repeat en mass. At the end of it, by following her instructions, most were so relaxed they were practically asleep, but in a way they really liked.

Dad: Who’d have thought you had to put so much effort into relaxing, but it works!”

So, to summarise, I’ve learnt I can manage on the half the nicotine I thought I needed, SM has learnt he needs about a tenth of the sugar he thought he needed, and dad has learnt that relaxation isn’t for wusses (try convincing an ex-commando who’s eighty plus that he’s no longer 20…. They are a pain in the arse.)

All in all, not a bad week or so. Plus, I’ve finished decorating the top floor. I only did that to shut my dad up. I thought he was being morbid. He kept going on about if he died, we’d need to sell it as quickly as possible, and it needed doing up.
The hardest work was clearing out and prep work, in between injuries (not serious) and looking after him. But it’s done now…. What a difference!

He was/is right. Now all I have to do is the bottom floor… gulp! The top half shows up the bottom half; that’s the problem with re-decoration.

Oh buggers! Or should that be burgers?

Venison…. Yum! It’s actually cheaper than steak, but only if you buy burgers which are rubbish.
I run some relaxation sessions for carers: amazing how relaxed some carers can get in strange surroundings and not especially comfortable chairs - and still get close to nodding off!

That ties in totally with what my dad said. The nurse even apologised for the lack of ‘relaxation rooms.’ Something they had before they toshed the hospital up; but no longer. So they have to do their relaxation stuff in chairs.

But I’m really surprised by how much my dad likes this relaxation stuff. He’s passing on his tips to me.

Keep up the good work… it really does work!
I have had a bit of a dilemma of late with SM. He has set his heart on a Norwegian fiord/Arctic Circle cruise, which takes in the Shetland Islands and Iceland to boot, for his summer holiday. It caused a bit of a ruction, as follows:

Me: It sounds absolutely bloody amazing; good for you. Will you send me postcards… can you send postcards from a cruise ship?

SM: Why would I want to send you postcards? I was rather hoping you’d like to accompany me.

Me: I’d love to, but no ways in a gazillion years could I afford such a holiday. Can’t we go camping in Cornwall or something instead? I could afford that and I have an ace tent….

SM: My camping days are well and truly over. Besides, as my invited guest, I shall naturally be paying, and I think it very remiss of you to think otherwise.

Me: Ohhh! Remiss is it? Do you always have to speak in such an antwacky way when you get on your high horse? So how much will it cost then?

SM: I do not believe this! I commit the heinous crime of asking you to join me on a holiday, and you accuse ME of being on a HIGH HORSE? I’ve said it before, you are a hypocritical PURITAN. I refuse to tell you the price of the cruise. But if it makes you feel any better, I can get a two go for the price of one deal.

Me: That’s my SM…. BOGOFF.

SM: Now you’re just being downright rude.

Me: You what! You div! BOGOFF is a thingy for ‘Buy One Get One For Free’…. It’s supermarket-speak; I wasn’t insulting you, you dozy grillock…

SM: Does that mean you’ll come with me then?

Me: How long does this holiday last for?

SM: 19 days.

Me: I can’t leave my dad for 19 days.

SM: I’m sure something can be sorted out.

Me: Even if it could, my passport ran out in 1992.

SM: You can apply for a new one.

Me: But… (I ran out of buts at that point.)

And at that point, I also burst out laughing, as the above so reminded of a clip from ‘Some Like It Hot.’


Not that I hasten to add, that I am a man disguised as a woman. But it rather tied in with an incident a couple of days ago.

One of SM’s food bank client’s was about to be made homeless a few weeks ago. He called in some welfare rights officer from the food bank to help her. This help was successful, but her young daughter is disabled, suffering from asthma, amongst other things.
SM persuaded me to lay laminate flooring in this kid’s bedroom. I’ve laid dozens of these floors in the past, have all the right equipment and expertise, so was more than happy to help out.

Her daughter, with a couple of her mates, were peering around the door, gawping at me. I was wearing work clothes, wielding power tools, goggles and generally trying to get them to piss off, as I didn’t want them hurting themselves, or getting in my way.

One plucked up the courage to ask me if I was a lady man, or a man lady. Out of the mouth of babes or what!
Just because I was doing what they perceived – even at that young age – as a man’s job, the poor buggers were as confused as hell. I soon put them right on that one.
And, to keep them out of my hair, I ended up using them as my assistants. I couldn’t get rid of them otherwise. It actually lengthened my job, but the look of pride on their little faces when we showed the mum the finished job, and I said, “Here are my assistants; I couldn’t have done it without them,” was a joy to behold.
And in some ways they really did help. I kept losing my pencil (a total pain in the arse) and it always turned up by my side… amongst other things.

Bit of an odd connection between SM’s holiday, 3 disabled kids and a Hollywood film, but there you go…. Stranger things happen at sea (whatever that means?)

Should I go on this holiday or not? I’m still in two minds, and I don’t even know why :-??? Here’s hoping for some good advice on this as I’m seriously confused. This is where I miss my mum. Dad is useless; he just wants me to go on it.

What to do?
Of course you should go, this is the man who wanted to propose to you, if only you'd let him, you are so, so lucky, so stop punching Lady Luck in the stomach and ENJOY yourself. It will probably cost him NOTHING extra, single cabins don't exist, they are all doubles on almost all ships. SM has been so supportive to you, take this as your thank you to him.
I'm sure you would go with dad's blessing, he'd be happy to see you go on a holiday as a reward for all your love and devotion, aware that his own care needs are slowly increasing.
So get the glad rags out, renew your passport, have a wonderful time, and tell dad all about it when you get home, so he can do the trip, through you. (And remember my previous words of wisdom concerning appropriate clothing!!!)
I suggest you go with the flow...
And speaking of exotic destinations, it appears that my employer is short of interviewers in the Shetlands, so I have wangled a week's paid work there in September, driving around and interviewing the decent folk to find out how over-or-under weight they are, how much or how little they smoke and drink, etc etc etc.

To those who have followed my birding adventures, it might not escape their notice that the Shetlands in September is also the holy grail of Twitchers. Well, why not combine business with pleasure, eh? Expect some spectacular pictures of birds like these from my last brief trip to the Shangri La of birds ...
gannet894.JPG (51.39 KiB) Viewed 2411 times
guillemot170.JPG (62.69 KiB) Viewed 2411 times
arctic skua
arcticskua873.JPG (71.88 KiB) Viewed 2411 times
687 posts