Sunday, 27 July 2008

Our days in the sun

Today has been a running and catching, sleeping in the shade and an eating in the sun kind of day. Up here in the north of England, they are to be savored, as these sort of days are uncommon. The heat muffled shrieks of the kids and the tiny little flies wafting in the sunlight have got me all quaintly verbose so they have.

My words however, I shall save for my wife, as we're enjoying the last of the sun in our garden whilst we watch the swallows in their dizzying flight paths above us.

Mind, I am relieved that my guts have finally settled. I've spent the past three days trotting back and forth to the John. Not only that, my hay fever, ordinarily subdued with antihistamine, has had my eyes streaming all day.

I've since discovered that the packaging on our laxatives and my new hay fever tablets are remarkably similar...

Thursday, 24 July 2008

A right Coot

Bit busy right now to blog. Besides, I don't really have anything interesting to say.

So here's a Eurasian Coot that I met today to keep you amused.

Friday, 11 July 2008

Body mind and spirit?

Working in mental health as I do, I come across the term “holistic” all the time; holistic models, holistic care, holistic assessments, values and what not.

In being holistic we’re supposed to view the person not as a conglomeration of symptoms, but rather as a human being – as a whole and with ordinary human needs. Such as to have meaning, purpose, relationships, physical health, hope and happiness as well as good mental health.

It’s a no brainer really. Quite why anyone would think you can treat a person’s depression (and other ailments) simply with medication, whilst all around them their life falls apart is beyond me.

Anyway, this isn’t my beef for today.

It’s Holistic Medicine.

Because Reiki therapists or the numpties who waggle crystals or the idiots who dilute stuff into nothingness before telling you their wares have potent effects have adopted this word as their own.

Holistic Therapy my arse.

You see, holism works when you think of it in Bio-Psycho-Social terms. When we take into consideration the complex interplay between the body and its brain and how it relates to other bodies and brains, we begin to get a grip of well-being.

These ‘holistic therapists’ however, invoke a fourth, karmic component to the whole – the soul, or the bit of being human that we might call spirit.

Which apparently responds well to lavender.

They work with the bit of the body that simply does not exist. We may think we have a spirit, but we’re mistaken in the same way Descartes was when he argued the mind was distinct from the body.

That isn’t to say having your feet massaged with essential oils has no value. Far from it. Just last week I had my skull rubbed by an Indian Head Massager and I’ve must tell you, I floated out the room in a blissful, wobbly state of mildness.

Having someone make you feel pampered and relaxed for an hour is wonderful. If this improves your ‘holistic’ health then all well and good. But please don’t manipulate my chakras or pretend that my purple energy is out of alignment for fuck sake, because this is nothing more than bullshit and placebo.

Which of course begs the question – if you know that they’re placebo, then does the effectiveness of these ‘holistic therapies’ reduce?

Mind, I’ve arranged my next head rubbing session for the week after next…

Whilst we’re on the subject of holes – I’ll leave you with this thought;

If female pole dancers dance round their poles for metaphorical reasons, then why don’t male strippers dance round a hole?

Thursday, 10 July 2008

A wee skive

For the past three days I've been a prisoner of my desk. Tap tap tap on the keyboard. So, before I made my quiet descent into madness, I took a walk in the woods behind the office over lunch. This is what I saw;

So much nicer than Microsoft Office.

Back to work...

Sunday, 6 July 2008

A four year old's philosophy

Never, ever stand still

Friday, 4 July 2008

Potty mouth?

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?

Well fuck me...

It seems not. (H/T to Ethics Gradient)

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Washing mouths out

The linguistic development of my littlest continues apace. Tonight, as I stole a potato from his dinner plate, he pointed his left index finger at me, scowled and shouted “Now Daddy, Bugger Off!”

Despite the shock, I had to hide my face behind my hands as I couldn’t help but laugh. Perhaps my heaving shoulders belied another emotion, because Dom then said “I’m sorry Daddy, don’t cry, I won’t say it again.”

Job done.

I’m not sure where he got it from, but something about his delivery reminded me of a certain grandparent, who shall remain nameless…

We’re pretty good at not cussing in front of the little ones, ever since Meg, perhaps a bit younger than Dom is now, muttered “Oh, for fuck sake” under her breath after she dropped her baby doll.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Smug Bastard

I foster a deep dislike of the shiny people. What with their big smiles, good teeth and all round successfulness, they get right on the end of my man nipples.

You know the type – the ones that have things and stuff and holidays in the sun; nice houses, big TV’s, good clothes and jobs that pay way more than you’d expect given their lifestyles.

They have photos hung in their halls depicting them frolicking against pure white back drops. They’re Photoshopped into bleached, perfect nothingness by the "professional" studios they pay fortunes to.

But most of all, I dislike their air of all round happiness. You see, for all their outward shininess, I simply cannot believe that anyone could be that happy.

Perhaps I'm just a miserable git. But then again, I could just be very British. We do have an inherent mistrust of the exceptional after all. We prefer bumbling mediocrity thankyouverymuch.

Shininess is relative. Only in how we're reflected in the others’ dull sheen, do we get a notion of our own shininess.

So of course, we must seem like smug bastards to some. What with our house in an “exclusive” village (though we’re in the cheap seats I’ll admit to you), our pretty children, my good job and general all round, white, stable middle-class smuggery.

Which is nice…

All this brings me to the current obsession our media have with our cultural "happiness". If you were to believe all that is written, we're a wretched, depressed nation, wallowing in a self pity that we medicate away with alcohol, drugs and credit card debt.

I can’t help but hear a certain puritanical shrillness to these assertions. It’s as if a return to a parsimonious lifestyle of hard, subsistence farming and cabbage soup will be better for our happiness.

We’ve become soft and self-righteous according to them. We expect to be happy and imagine that everyone else must be more happy than we are. So we buff ourselves up and adopt the typecast grimace of the shiny.

There’s also a whiff of schadenfreude when we read about the successful wallowing in self doubt and existential depression.

They do have a point though, as materialism alone will not buy us happiness. No shit, I hear you say. But really, I have no problem with materialism, as long as it’s balanced with the stuff of substance – love, interdependence, meaning, purpose, creativity, tolerance and co-operation. It’s quite simple really…

Incidentally, we don’t have one of those photos in our hall.


Then it must be true


Found in Gateshead today.