Unforeseen nice things

Sue at Nan’s Farm and GC at themainaisle.com post a weekly prompt each Wednesday inviting us to participate in any way we choose.

The prompt this week is Unforeseen.

In my back garden (yard) I have several bird feeders which I keep regularly stocked with all sorts of seed, nuts, suet, fat balls, and dried mealworms. I have a feeding station, feeders in trees, feeders under arches, and ground feeders. Not forgetting, of course, four separate water feeders/baths. The birds really do feed well, and sometimes the odd squirrel will decide to wreck everything in sight to partake of the feast. My ground feeders also cater for hedgehogs, the odd feral cat, and even foxes.

The downside to having so many feeders is that I am constantly having to weed underneath them. Oh, I know that I could buy “No mess, no grow” seed but really it tends to be very poor quality and often very dusty and so is prone to getting damp and clogging up or going mouldy (and yes, we do put a u in mouldy in the UK, just like we do in favourite, neighbour, and many many more words) The birds do try to help out by fossicking under the feeders to hoover up any stray seed and fat. All this tends to do is to leave a very bare patch underneath.

Sometimes I miss seeing that something has started to sprout in the garden that I have not planted, and I end up with unforeseen growth. I once had some very healthy, and rampant, plants that had very distinct shaped leaves and which I could have sworn I’d seen on a drugs awareness course I had attended. They composted very well – honest!

This year the birds have left some unforeseen, but very welcome, sunflower plants. They’re not daft – they know that they will produce food for later on!

The annual check-up

Suppositories and cooling anal sprays

a salve to spread on painful bleeding graze 

Tablets, potions and who really knows

what ails me with that thing that slowly grows

.

This getting old oft has its benefits

but sometimes it can be the bloody pits

Some things grow whilst others swiftly shrink

I ask the doc what do you really think?

.

He’s often noncommittal and he says

What ails you I can only ever guess

His bedside manner is beyond the pale 

I only hope I live to tell the tale!

.

I say “It’s really good to be alive”

Same time next year he says – if you survive!

A first for me – The first of March 2021.

Is the patient breathing?

How very strange it is to dial 999 for the very first time ever, to be greeted with “Emergency, which service do you require?” and to be asked that question, followed by “Is the patient conscious?” when the patient is actually the one making the call and that patient is ME!


I then went through an obviously very well scripted and professional series of questions to ascertain, in the fastest possible time, just what the problem was,  what was required in the way of immediate assistance, and in the longer term.

I had to give my history of Hypertension since 2002, Angina since 2005, Angiograms in 2005 and 2012 and, meanwhile, I was reassured that an ambulance was on its way.


When I last spoke to my doctor she asked “How often do you have to use your GTN spray?” (an under the tongue spray, that I have carried since 2005, to alleviate angina pain by opening up the arteries)   I replied “Oh, I haven’t used it for years.  I carry it around all the time and replace it when the lid starts to fall off!”.

Silly me!  Not that I’m superstitious, but you do have to wonder.

I already had a telephone appointment booked with the doctor in a couple of weeks’ time, a follow up from my tummy troubles that haven’t really cleared since before Christmas.  For a few days I “presented with a general feeling of unwell.” and just felt distinctly yuk.  I also had to use my spray several times!  On Saturday I felt really off and even, secretly, considered whether I needed to go to hospital.  Being a (stubborn old) man I didn’t!   On Sunday I suggested to my wife that I may have to phone the doctor on Monday to get an emergency appointment sooner.

Monday morning I spoke to the doctor and was told to phone 999 immediately, which I did!



Ambulance arrived, blue lights flashing, and I had 2 ECG’s, blood pressure taken several times, history and medication recorded.  All very efficient and reassuring. The ECG’s showed abnormalities, namely First degree heart block, (which I knew I had – and it sounds far worse than it actually is) and ectopic atrial rhythm.  I was allowed to walk out to the ambulance – a very reassuring sign – and was then whisked off to QMC (Queens Medical Centre) Nottingham, to A & E. I was assessed in reception, then moved to the Urgent Treatment Unit where I was given Paracetamol, pink tummy medicine, and liquid morphine.  

A very slick operation followed where I had 3 ECG’s, had my temperature and blood pressure taken about 10 times, had 2 lots of blood taken, a chest X-Ray, a scan of my tummy and bladder, saw 2 surgeons and 3 doctors, countless nurses and assistants, had a bite to eat and a cup of tea, and was eventually allowed to go home with new medication,  2 outpatient appointments booked,  and a collection of labels, gauze, sticky tape, and 10 sticky pads for ECG’s still attached to me. Souvenirs of an unexpected day out that didn’t cost me a penny.

Thank goodness for the NHS.

Song Lyric Sunday – 24 January 2021 – I Don’t Want to Talk About It

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week the title or lyrics of the song must contain one of the words Chat, Laugh, Rant, Scream, or Talk.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

Last week I had a Smokie link to my thoughts and I’m going the same way this week. 

The song I’ve chosen is one that I have in my music collection – by Smokie.  It’s a song that that I always believed was written by Rod Stewart,  but I find was actually written by Danny Whitten.

Danny was best known for his work with Neil Young’s backing band Crazy Horse and is sadly one of the many musicians who died tragically young, in Danny’s case at the age of 29, reportedly “engulfed” by Mandrax.

The song he’s best remembered for is “I Don’t Want to Talk About It” and the featured version is by Rod Stewart with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, recorded in 2019.  The video has some tremendous flashbacks which I think are a marvellous tribute to Rod’s history with this great song. I hope you agree.

I Don’t Want to Talk About It

Rod Stewart

I can tell by your eyes that you’ve probably been cryin’ forever
And the stars in the sky don’t mean nothin’ to you, they’re a mirror
I don’t want to talk about it, how you broke my heart
If I stay here just a little bit longer
If I stay here, won’t you listen to my heart, whoa, heart?

If I stand all alone, will the shadow hide the color of my heart
Blue for the tears, black for the night’s fears
The star in the sky don’t mean nothin’ to you, they’re a mirror
I don’t want to talk about it, how you broke my heart
If I stay here just a little bit longer
If I stay here, won’t you listen to my heart, whoa, heart?
I don’t want to talk about it, how you broke this old heart

If I stay here just a little bit longer
If I stay here, won’t you listen to my heart, whoa, heart?
My heart, whoa, heart

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Danny Whitten

I Don’t Want to Talk About It lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Crazy Horse Music

Here are two other versions:

The first by Smokie

…and this by Crazy Horse, featuring Danny Whitten

Song Lyric Sunday – 3 January 2021 – PG

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. This week the title of the song must start with P or G.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

Music is a personal choice and, like any form of art, I know that some may not be to everyone’s liking.  The song I’ve chosen this week probably fits that statement more than most. 

“Paranoid Android” is a song by English alternative rock band Radiohead. It was released as the lead single from their album OK Computer in May 1997.  

The song was originally over 14 minutes long but was reduced to just over six minutes.  It has four distinct sections and was written by singer Thom Yorke following an unpleasant experience in a Los Angeles bar during which he was surrounded by strangers who were high on cocaine. 

In particular, Yorke was frightened by a woman who became violent after someone spilled a drink on her.  Yorke characterised the woman as “inhuman” and said “There was a look in this woman’s eyes that I’d never seen before anywhere…. Couldn’t sleep that night because of it.” The woman inspired the line “kicking squealing Gucci little piggy” in the song’s second section. Yorke, referring to the line “With your opinions, which are of no consequence at all”, said that “That’s just a joke.  It’s actually the other way around – it’s actually my opinion that is of no consequence at all.”

The title is taken from Marvin the Paranoid Android from the science fiction series The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

The original release came in the form of an animated video and this appears at the bottom of the post, but I’m offering a live performance from 1997 on “Later with Jules Holland”, a BBC production that I never miss. I do hope that you enjoy it.

The group obviously get on tremendously well, having met at school. I love how they almost show disinterest in sections where they are not actively playing, yet they remain professional throughout. Jonathan Greenwood, the very talented lead guitarist who has written several film scores, wanders off to the back to play keyboards. His brother, Colin, beavers away, almost unnoticed, playing bass, with Philip Selway, equally busy, playing the drums. Edward O’Brien on the left, meanwhile sorts out a minor technical problem at 2.37(not shown here but, believe me, it happened),  then takes a well-earned rest at 3.30 before taking over the refrain “Rain Down” from Thom Yorke at 5.00. So brilliantly done that you never even noticed it!

You may have surmised that I’ve watched this particular recording a few times.  I have, and I love it.  I hope that you do too!

Paranoid Android

Radiohead

Please could you stop the noise?
I’m trying to get some rest

From all the unborn chicken
Voices in my head

What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but not an android)
What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but not an android)

When I am king
You will be first against the wall

With your opinion
Which is of no consequence at all

What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but no android)
What’s there?
(I may be paranoid, but no android)

Ambition makes you look pretty ugly
Kicking and squealing Gucci little piggy

You don’t remember, you don’t remember
Why don’t you remember my name?
Off with his head, man
Off with his head, man
Why don’t you remember my name?
I guess he does

Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height
Height
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
From a great height
From a great height
Height
Rain down, rain down
Come on rain down on me
That’s it, sir
You’re leaving
The crackle of pigskin
The dust and the screaming
The yuppies networking
The panic, the vomit
The panic, the vomit
God loves his children
God loves his children, yeah

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Greenwood Colin Charles / Greenwood Jonathan Richard Guy / O Brien Edward John / Selway Philip James / Yorke Thomas Edward

Paranoid Android lyrics © Warner/chappell Music Ltd

Original MTV animated video release

Song Lyric Sunday – 18 October 2020 – Won’t Get Fooled Again

Jim Adams’ Song Lyric Sunday gives us the chance to share familiar, and sometimes not so familiar, songs. Jim has given us No/Yes this week to be included in the title or lyrics.

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, here.

This week I chose a song by The Who, formed in London  in 1964, the year that I joined the army. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townsend, bass guitarist John Entwistle  and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide.

The Who’s iconic anthem, ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again’, from the 1971 ‘Who’s Next’ album is performed here on B-Stage at Shepperton Studios on 25 May 1978. It is not the best performance there is but gives a good indication of some of the excesses that have obviously been indulged in by more than a couple of the band. Sadly this was to be the very last public performance ever by Keith Moon.

The lyrics are on the video.

In mid-1978 Keith Moon moved into Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place, Mayfair, London.  Cass Elliot of the Mamas and Papas had died there four years earlier, at the age of 32.  Harry Nilsson, who owned the flat, was concerned about letting it to Keith Moon, believing it was cursed. Townshend disagreed, assuring him that “lightning wouldn’t strike the same place twice”.

After moving in, Moon began a prescribed course of Heminevrin (Clomethiazole) to alleviate his alcohol withdrawal symptoms. He wanted to get sober, but due to his fear of psychiatric hospitals he wanted to do it at home. That particular drug is discouraged for unsupervised detoxification because of its addictive potential, its tendency to induce tolerance, and its risk of death when mixed with alcohol. The pills were prescribed by a physician who was unaware of Moon’s lifestyle.  Moon was given a bottle of 100 pills and told to take one pill when he felt a craving for alcohol but not more than three pills per day. 

By September 1978 Moon was having difficulty playing the drums, according to roadie Dave “Cy” Langston.  After seeing Moon in the studio trying to overdub drums for The Kids Are Alright, he said, “After two or three hours, he got more and more sluggish, he could barely hold a drum stick.” 

On 6 September, Moon and Annette Walter-Lax, his Swedish model girlfriend, were guests of Paul and Linda McCartney.  After dining with the McCartneys they returned to their flat.  He watched a film and asked Walter-Lax to cook him steak and eggs. When she objected, Moon replied, “If you don’t like it, you can fuck off!” These were his last words.  Moon then took 32 clomethiazole tablets. When Walter-Lax checked on him the following afternoon, she discovered he was dead. (Aged 32!)

I aint no hippy!

Over on Weekly Prompts the site shared by GC, themainaisle.com and SueW,  nansfarm.net the Weekend Challenge is Flower Power!

I’ve never partaken in these challenges, but when I saw the post today it triggered an immediate poem that, under normal circumstances, would have ended up as one of my Rapid Rhymes. Since I’m here, the poem is writ, and I saw this earlier today: (which I’ll leave to Sue to explain!!!)

I thought that I would offer you:

I aint no hippy

I missed the swinging sixties

with jeans and beads and hair

They say if you remember them

it proves you were not there

Well I was wearing uniform

no jeans or hair allowed

Each day was fully occupied

we couldn’t join the crowd

At least I got past 27

there’s many folk did not

Succumbed to sex and rock and roll

and drugs including pot

Still, p’raps I made up later

or p’raps I was a saint

Afraid I am not telling

A hippie I sure aint!

RIP Peter Green

Peter Green, who has died aged 73 was, alongside Eric Clapton, widely regarded as the foremost white blues guitarist of his generation, although he became equally famous as rock’s second-most notable LSD casualty (after Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett).
He formed Fleetwood Mac in 1967.  Although initially called Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, he later chose to omit his own name.
He was affected disastrously by the effects of drugs yet he always seemed to revert to the musical genius that he was whenever he picked up a guitar.
He lives on through his marvellous music, some of which you can listen to below.

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday – 16/02/2020 – Come /Go /Leave /Stay

song-lyric-sundayJim Adams hosts Song Lyric Sunday and gives us the chance to share lots of familiar, and some not so familiar, songs. 

If you fancy sharing one of your favourite songs you can find out how to participate, and also listen to all the great entries, by clicking HERE. You’re bound to find something you like and, very likely, something that you have never heard before. Sit back and enjoy the music.

Today, I’m offering you a song by Florian Cloud de Bounevialle Armstrong. That’s a good start isn’t it?

Well, let’s make it a bit easier. Her Mum and Dad called her Dido.

The song I’ve chosen is Don’t Leave Home.  Dido co-wrote the song with her brother Rollo of the Electronic music group Faithless. It was originally a demo recorded for her 1999 album No Angel that was instead included on the 2003 album, Life for Rent.

On first hearing, this appears to be a nice love song but really it deals with drug addiction. It is written and sung from the unusual point of view of the drug singing to the person who is addicted to it.

It only reached #25 in the UK singles charts but reached the top of the Airplay charts. Even so, I think it is a really beautiful song, if a little sad when you know the story behind it.

I hope you enjoy it!

However, if you are feeling depressed after listening it, there is a bonus track at the bottom which is bound to cheer you up.

Don’t Leave Home

Dido

Like a ghost don’t need a key
Your best friend I’ve come to be
Please don’t think of getting up for me
You don’t even need to speak

When I’ve been here for just one day
You’ll already miss me if I go away
So close the blinds and shut the door
You won’t need other friends anymore
Oh don’t leave home, oh don’t leave home

And if you’re cold, I’ll keep you warm
If you’re low, just hold on
‘Cause I will be your safety
Oh, don’t leave home

And I arrived when you were weak
I’ll make you weaker, like a child
Now all your love you give to me
When your heart is all I need
Oh don’t leave home, oh don’t leave home

And if you’re cold, I’ll keep you warm
And if you’re low, just hold on
‘Cause I will be your safety
Oh, don’t leave home

Oh how quiet, quiet the world can be
When it’s just you and little me
Everything is clear, and everything is new
So you won’t be leaving, will you?

And if you’re cold, I’ll keep you warm
And if you’re low, just hold on
‘Cause I will be your safety
Oh, don’t leave home
‘Cause I will be your safety
And I will be your safety
I will be your safety
Oh, don’t leave home

Source: LyricFind

Songwriters: Dido Armstrong / Rollo Armstrong

Don’t Leave Home lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

BONUS TRACK    Dexy’s Midnight Runners    Come on Eileen