Men at work: Day 105

LB went to the farm yesterday for the first time in weeks. He’s timetabled to go every Monday and Friday but has consistently refused. Even though he always enjoys it when he’s there and works hard.

Apparently he’s been interested in the decorators, carpet fitters and electricians who’ve been working at the unit for the last few weeks. Yesterday it was turn of the gardeners.

“You hear that sound LB?”, asked his support worker.
“Yes,” said LB.
“What is it?”
“No, it’s the sound of men at work.”

And that was it. Bowl of porridge (or two) and off to work. Beautifully done.


Bill Clinton, Posh Fish and the work do

Just like I nearly met Michelle Obama a few months ago, today I nearly met Bill Clinton. Small world and all that. We were at a work do in a local hotel when we noticed some security type geezules with ear pieces prowling the corridors. Very atmospheric, and slightly surreal. The hotel is based in an old prison.

“Ooer.. someone important here tonight then?” we chittered, moving towards the photographer to have our work pics taken.
“Hey, is Bill Clinton talking to you lot tonight then?” asked the photographer, conspiratorially.
“Eh, wha? Bill Cer-linton? Here?” We looked round.
“Yep, I saw this security guard earlier in town and asked to take his photo. Then I heard from the guys in the office that Bill Clinton walked passed Posh Fish in a white suit. I just saw the same security guard walk in a moment ago…”
“A white suit?”
“No, he ain’t talking to us.”

The action hotted up as an older man rushed past, dressed just like like a US reporter in the movies.

“Ah. He’s a journalist from the New Yorker.”
“Did you just recognise a journalist from the New Yorker?”
“No, he said ‘I’m from the New Yorker’ on his phone when he went passed.”

More security people gathered in the exercise yard. Looking very serious. Scanning the area. Was Big Bill about to arrive?

New Yorker guy rushed passed again.

“Excuse me, is something happening this evening?” I ventured.
“Happening? No idea?” he answered with a big, fake shrug, rushing off again.

Blacked out cars filled the front of the hotel. A posse of security guards, the size of minibuses, came in from the rain.

“A ‘V.I.P.’ is going to be filming out back”, one of them said. With a serious, Bill Clinton related, nod.

“Well I’d love to hang around and meet him”, I thought to myself. “But it’s Tom’s birthday and I’ve got meself some butterfly cakes to ice.”

Sick notes and excuses

Had a ‘chuckle’ this morning while reading tweets from mothers about their disabled kids off sick (or not) from school. It reminded me of past experiences. A key task for parents of disabled children is to weigh up your child’s ‘sickness’ status and manage nursery/access because the ‘sick bar’ is lower for disabled kids. LB now has an indefinite sick note (have I mentioned that before?) but he wasn’t any more unwell than most kids when he was a tot.

In those days, he went to the university nursery a couple of days a week while I did my degree. They soon found him a bit of a handful (despite talking the talk in terms of meeting his needs) so staff regularly contacted me to collect him. Fifteen years ago of course, mobile phones were a bit of a rarity so the nursery staff had my lecture/seminar timetable to track me down. It was pretty frustrating to get hauled out of lectures to go and pick him up. Regular heart sink moments.

“He seems a bit under the weather. We think you should take him home for the rest of the day”, they would say, handing over a grumpy little parcel of healthiness.

Halfway through term though it was reading week. Whoo hoo!!! No timetable just uninterrupted study time in the library. Such a treat. One day, after about half an hour of reading, there was a tannoy announcement in the library;

“Would Sarasiobhan please go to the nursery to collect her sick child. Sarasiobhan to the nursery please.”

Unbloodybelievable. Seriously???? You have got to be kidding me??? I sat there, surrounded by books, in my chilly little study carel thing, feeling like I had a massive arrow over my head indicating it was me. Of course, in a university of 16,000 students, no one had a clue who I was but I felt completely exposed. I packed up my stuff and wandered out of the library. Furious and frustrated. I walked about for a bit wondering if I could ignore it. “If only I hadn’t gone straight to the library..” I muttered to myself. I went to get a coffee in a cafe. Standing in the queue, deep in thought about my options, I vaguely noticed an A4 sheet of paper pinned to the noticeboard by the till. In large black font was typed;

“Urgent! Would Sarasiobhan please go to the nursery straight away to collect her sick child.”

Eeek!!!!  Game over. It was clearly serious. I legged it over to the nursery, dropping books and bits of paper, feeling guilty about the wasted ‘fume’ time.

“Ah hello Sarasiobhan.  I’m glad we got hold of you. LB seems a bit under the weather so we thought you ought to take him home for the rest of the day.”


Thinking about it, I’m not sure that indefinite sick note did start in November 2011.

A dose of hot face

Phewwy. I had a right old dose of hot face at work the other day. It was so bad I nearly went home SICK. Yep, sick from hot face.  Crazy really. What happened was, I woke up, peeked out the window, saw the grey and rain and jumped from Summer to Winter in my mind.  This meant I put on a thick woolly jumper and a scraggy old thermal top. Continue reading


Fieldwork.  Life on the road. Possibly romantic in, for example, the wide open spaces of the States. Bumbling around the UK on trains and buses, staying in typical British budget hotels, is not quite so enjoyable. Here’s a taste of one journey, a couple of years ago, and the spaces I passed through on that journey. Some a helluva lot quicker than others.

So, first the cross country sleeper, London to Aberdeen. Fun, though odd, waking at midnight and opening the blind to find we were at Crewe station.  Bit of a surreal bed/private/platform/public situ. Plus there are no cabin keys; you’re supposed to call the steward to re-open your door.  I didn’t want to bother Stew so did a quick loo dash leaving my door wedged open, hoping some thieving bastard didn’t filch my stuff.

Continue reading


Im hoping the statute of limitations has passed on this one and everyone involved has retired When I was working as a research assistant at the other Hometowny university I was given a very important job by the head of the school Could I oversee the printing of the end report for a very large five year programme of work It was going to take the form of a big glossy brochure to be mailed out to everyone and their dog Continue reading