Posts Tagged ‘Nobby’

There You Go…

August 24, 2015

https://www.flickr.com/photos/51035732513@N01/albums/72157607598439650

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Kitty and Merlin

December 15, 2013

There is a tale behind this but I am not ready to tell it yet.  So, stay tuned:

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Giving Up

July 13, 2013

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I Know An Old Lady

I know an old lady who swallowed a fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her.
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a bird,
How absurd to swallow a bird!
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a cat,
Imagine that, to swallow a cat!
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a dog,
My, what a hog, to swallow a dog!
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a goat,
Just opened her throat and swallowed a goat!
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die..

I know an old lady who swallowed a cow,
I wonder how she swallowed a cow?!
She swallowed the cow to catch the goat,
She swallowed the goat to catch the dog,
She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside her,
She swallowed the spider to catch the fly,
I don’t know why she swallowed the fly,
Perhaps shell die.

I know an old lady who swallowed a horse,
She’s dead, of course!!

http://www.timmyabell.com/music/lyrics/ol/oldlady.htm

NB: Across the Big Pond they say I guess she’ll die.

During the Christmas holidays I did something – one of the most heart-stoppingly, mind-blowingly stupid things I have ever done and, believe me, there’s a lot of competition. I decided to do what so-called Junkies and other assorted addicts (of both legal and illegal sort) call ‘going cold turkey’. My own drug of choice isn’t a ‘drug of choice’ at all. It was prescribed for me when I was an inpatient in the local psychiatric hospital by an attractive older lady who called herself a ‘doctor’. She was highly plausible. She looked like a doctor, acted like a doctor, wrote prescriptions like a doctor. The only things she lacked were a stethoscope and a white coat. The absence of these things should have given me a clue. Well, all that proves is that I am no Miss Marple.

Some of you may be aware that my ‘diagnonsense’ (hat tip to ‘Girl Interrupted’, both book and film) is schizoaffective disorder (a word that is a fully paid up member of the English language. I know this because my usually efficient spell-checker did not attempt to correct it.) My diagnosis has not changed over the years and given the unfortunate experiences of many (for example Seaneen from The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive) I consider myself fortunate. It dates back to the year of our Lord: nineteen hundred and ninety four. Throughout the nineties (aside from the odd brief spells in hospital) I was well and truly ‘pushing the envelope’ as our good friends across The Big Pond would say. I was taking just one type of medication: a relatively low potent ‘typical neurotic’ called Melleril. I give away my age when I tell you that on my second admission to hospital I was prescribed the drug Chlorpromazine (known by their trade names in the US as ‘Thorazine’ and in the UK as ‘Largactil’), the oldest neuroleptic on the planet. (Details of its long and, some would say: ignoble, history can be found here).

Then one day (circa 1998) it was revealed that Melleril was capable of causing sudden cardiac arrest (it has something in common with life then). I remember being vaguely amused at the GP’s receptionist’s panicked tones on my answering machine: “This is an urgent matter. It requires your immediate attention. It is imperative that you contact the surgery straightaway.’ (Don’t you just adore italics?) Given that I had been on this particular medication for almost half a decade without incident, frankly I was prepared to take my chances. To my mind their concern, grateful though I was for it, was a little excessive. Still, it had been taken off the market so I had no choice in the matter so I strolled on down to my GP’s surgery and was prescribed an alternative low potency antipsychotic. Unfortunately they got the dose wrong and forgot to prescribe Procyclidine, a drug designed to combat the side effects of neuroleptics which include…(It’s like the old lady who swallowed the fly but more on that later.) The result was that I had what medics call ‘a bad reaction’

(understatement of the millennium) and lost control of my own body.

Later, it transpired that I had been experiencing ‘dystonia’, a neurological disorder that causes twisting and repetitive ‘motor-side-effects’ and ‘spasmodic’ (don’t be childish, now) ‘Torticollis’ which causes the head to pull down towards the neck or back. I felt as though my limbs were being wrenched part, as though I were a puppet caught up in a war of two rival puppeteers who seemed determined to pull me in two. (the elderly get this frequently but because they are elderly no one, including, it would seem, the majority of the medical profession really gives a toss.) On top of this I was also encountering ‘’Oromandibular Dystonia’ which involves mouth and tongue spasms. In short, my own body had become my adversary.

I lay down on my bed still writhing. I figured that I could sleep for just a while the side effects of this daemon drug would have worn off upon waking. Even metaphorical puppet masters drop their guard eventually. But it was not to be. Five minutes passed. then ten and finally the quarter hour. At this point I realized that my condition was not improving. It was getting worse. I would have to get help.

I wasn’t sure whether my condition was ‘999-worthy’ so I decided to take the fifteen minute walk to my GP’s surgery. I barely made it across the grass. An elderly ex soldier came walking towards me. He could see that there was clearly something wrong. He said later that I looked like I had experienced a stroke. And he should know because as well as being a war veteran he is also an ex paramedic. He took me by the arm and led me into his ground floor flat. There he insisted on calling an ambulance.

Ten minutes later an ambulance pulled up outside. The driver and the paramedic disembarked. My ‘Good Samaritan’ neighbour rose to let them in. The driver hovered hear the living room door while his colleague sat beside me on the sofa clutching his clipboard and pen. He seemed strangely hostile. At the time I attributed this to my imagination but later my neighbour said that he had picked up on it too. He was certainly supercilious.

My tongue had swollen in my mouth by then and my jaw felt as though it had locked but I did my best to accurately answer the ten minutes worth of questions he was compelled to ask me. I told him that the antidote to ‘my condition’ was Procyclidine. He had never heard of it. But then he had never heard of the drug that caused it either.

Eventually I was bundled into the ambulance, strapped in and driven to the local general hospital. The paramedic climbed in after me and sat beside me. He maintained his air of sneering hostility. Later Nobby told me that he had asked if he could accompany me on my journey to Addenbrookes. Our friendly paramedic said that this would not be possible citing ‘health and safety’ and ‘insurance issues’. Nobby described his attitude as ‘dismissive’, uninterested in the dear old chap’s own experiences as a paramedic (or ‘ambulance man as he was called in those much less enlightened times).  His driver, however, was spellbound.  Just before he climbed into the vehicle and drove off he said something to Nobby that cast recent events in an entirely different light.  Referring to the paramedic he said “Take no notice of him.  He’s only been on the job five minutes and already he thinks he knows everything.’  It would seem that Nobby and I had walked in on a ‘domestic’.

(To Be Continued)

What Should I Do? (Reblog)

March 16, 2013

Somewhere across the Big Pond they often advise trial lawyers to avoid asking questions of witnesses on the stand unless they are sure of the answer.  A Texan gentleman by the rather peculiar name of Alphonsus Jr. might consider applying such advice to other areas of his life, such as his interactions with complete strangers on the internet.

http://www.libertylawsite.org/2013/02/11/fat-wars-why-not-personal-responsibility

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Alphonsus Jr.

MAR 07, 2013 @ 20:52:02
Your links don’t work.

Incidentally, you appear to be on a crusade against Theodore Dalrymple. I keep seeing you in com boxes speaking against him. Kindly explain.

Incidentally, have you ever hired a surgical hitman to commit surgical infanticide?

If ‘Alphonsus Jr.’ had conducted some research before he asked this rather unpleasant, ungentlemanly question he may have stumbled across my Catholic origins.  I certainly stumbled across his.  Just a word of advice ‘Junior’, abortion is a mortal sin, having oneself tattooed isn’t.

I asked my wise old 95 year old neighbour (ex RAF, paramedic, college porter) Nobby Clarke what I should do.

‘Nobby, some American accused me of committing a mortal sin.  What should I do?”

‘And did you commit this mortal sin?’

‘Why, of course not.’

Brief silence.  And then Nobby said ‘Nothing.’

That man is a genius.  Although you’ll note that I did not follow his advice.

http://dalrymplewatch.wordpress.com/2013/03/16/what-should-i-do/

Apparently my charming interlocutor has a few identities on da web, including:

Jackson K. Esquire:

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The Toe of Italy, September 1943

January 30, 2013

butterflyinthenewyorksky21a

https://rielouise.wordpress.com/2005/10/12/nobby-at-war/

The camp they were staying in was called ‘Hell 1’.

Nobby was laid out with the dead.  He was suffering from infectious hepatitus.  He lay, for three days, unconscious on a miliatry aircraft.  A passing American soldier saw a limb twitch and alerted the medical authorities.  Nobby had been saved from being buried alive. He was transferred to a miitary hospital.  Nobby was in a coma for two more days.  When he came round the other patients on the ward were gathered around his bed.  ‘We’ve been taking bets on your chances of recovery,’ one of them said.  ‘Every man who has occupied that bed has ended up dead.’

They chatted and played cards but the food was bland and in short supply.

The days passed by.

To be continued…

Nobby in Siciliy

Nobby in Siciliy

Farmer's Daughter

Farmer’s Daughter

Sicilian Family

Sicilian Family

Comrades

Comrades

March Past

June 18, 2010

I took Nobby to see the march past of the Royal Anglian Regiment.  They were a remarkable looking group of young men (and, yes, some women too).  Nobby was ‘all gonged up’. (i.e: he was draped in medals and wore his Commando beret.) They let us through the barrier to take a closer look.  Nobby is 93 by the way so this quite an adventure.  The crowd was appreciative of them and they made that clear.  They act on our behalf.  They do what they do so that we don’t have to.  Nobby was the centre of attention.  As always but then he deserves it.

Protected: Dilemma

April 22, 2010

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They Live Here

March 13, 2010

They live here.  In my head.  Disembodied voices.  And nothing can stop them.  Nothing works any more.  Nothing blocks them out.  The defence shield has dissolved.

Purchased a book for Nobby by Lord Baden  Powell, entitled ‘Roving to Success’.  He said it helped him through some of the most difficult times in his life.  I gather it is a kind of self help manuel.  I could do with one of those.  Or maybe I’ve damaged myself beyond repair.  Anything to stem the tide.

I am afraid that Nobby and I have become too mutually dependent.  I find myself wondering if he is as afraid of losing me as I am afraid of losing him.   I don’t think I can live in a world in which he does not exist. He is frail and his hands are shaking.  He tries to hide it from me but I can still see.  Kathy, his neighbour, an Irish woman in her fifties took me aside and said, ‘Have you noticed how frail Nobby is becoming?’  Noticed?  I’ve noticed little else.  ‘You need to prepare for…’  she stumbled over her words so I put her out of her misery, ‘….his departure from the planet.  Well, if he goes then I’m accompanying him.’

‘No, no,’ she clasped both my hands in hers.  ‘He wouldn’t want that.’

And I knew she was right.

Rage, Rage, Rage

January 27, 2010

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night, Dylan Thomas

Nobby is stoical.  He is stubborn and he can sometimes be downright awkward but he is my friend, my companion.  An unusual friendship perhaps for he his ninety two and I am in my early thirties.  I am not friends with Nobby because he is old and frail and dependent upon me for everyday care.  I am not his carer.  I am his friend. And I am not his friend because I pity him.  He is still lucid and fully in control. Some might say he is too independent for his own good.  Nobby is endlessly fascinating.  He has a bottomless pit of stories to tell.   His boyhood in the ‘thirties. His wartime experiences.  The hardship he experienced after the war.

The elderly have something to offer too.  They are living, breathing, walking history. In a society obsessed with youth it is easy to forget this. People make assumptions about the elderly.  They are ‘past it’. They have lived their lives and have no more to give.  We are wasting what could be a valuable resource and we may one day come to regret it.  Because the way in which we treat the elderly now sets a precedent for the way we will be treated in the future.  And if the way the elderly are treated now is anything to go by we should be afraid. Very afraid.  And there are two certainties in life: you either die or you grow old.  Remember that.

Topical too. Who woulda thunk it?

Back Home – A Survivor’s Tainted Luck

October 11, 2009

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A sense of loss floods through him.  Nobby lost the majority of his comrades.  Thanks to a diagnosis of infectious hepatitis he was sent home early.  This was his tainted good fortune.  He returned intact and free of wounds.  Or so it seemed.  But there was a storm raging within him.  ‘You wouldn’t have liked me back then,’ he said.  He was wounded in a way that others could not see.  Nowadays they would stuff him up with pills and slap a medical label on him.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, probably.  And then they’d have left him to rot.  Little has changed then.

But back then you just got on with and maybe that was the best thing to do.  As Nobby said, ‘You rode out the storm.’  At least they were honest then.  At least they didn’t pretend to care.

When Nobby left his unit he sailed back home in a ship suffused with the stench of men’s underarm sweat.  ‘There was no where to wash’.  When the vessel finally docked at Liverpool he was about to disembark when a senior officer approached him.  He made him stand to attention.  ‘What kind of a corporal are you? Look at the state of you.  You’re a disgrace to your uniform.’

It was then that Nobby unleashed the rage that had been gathering up inside him.  ‘No,’ he said.  ‘You are the one who is a disgrace to your uniform.  I’ve been overseas for four years.  And you see this mud clinging to my boots, my uniform.  That’s Italian mud.  Now tell me how many years did you say you’ve served overseas?’

The officer’s face was flushed with a mixture of embarrassment and anger.  ‘None,’ he said.

‘Now,’ said Nobby.  ‘I’m going to leave this ship and you’re not going to say another word because if you do you’ll be over the side and in the drink.’

The officer turned and walked away without saying another word.

‘A victory for the common man,’ Nobby said later.

But his ferocity disturbed his senior officers and they sent him to see a psychiatrist.  Other ex commandos who had not been in Nobby’s unit were sent to see him too.  Nobby tried to explain to the doctor what he was going through.  ‘It was like winding up a stopwatch – that was the training.  And it takes you a long time to wind down again.’  But that pompous, puffed-up little psychiatrist didn’t get it.  In the end I think Nobby and his fellow ex-commandos drove him to the brink of insanity


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