Friday, 8 December 2017

Billy

I told you in the last post I had joined my local breakfast club, and given that today would have been Billy's birthday, I figured today is a good day to post a tribute to this legend.

When I arrived at breakfast club he was the smallest bloke in stature there, he had a big personality and he made me laugh alot.He wasnt afraid of banter and gave as good as he got. He died suddenly and bizarrely for someone I had only known for 6 months it hit me hard and even now i miss him like he was a family member.
 The funeral reflected his personality but they say life goes on, and to a certain extant that is true, but there is still a billy sized hole at breakfast club. the way he made people laugh, the crack we had, that is not there any more.

So to my old mate Billy, Happy Birthday. Know that just because you are not here , does not mean that your have been forgotten by your friends and family. We will raise a glass in your honour.

Update on where we are

well despite my best efforts to keep on top of this blogging malarky it doesnt seem to have worked does it?
So i am effectively going to try and bring you up to date on where we are and it will probably explain why i havent blogged.
So in my last post I had sent the wrong CV to a company, wierder than that an old friend contacted me and asked for my CV. When i Sent him my latest attempt he laughed and asked where was my proper cv.
  I thought I had done a good job of tailoring it to the job I wanted, but the problem was, I couldnt seem to let go of my military employment. My friend said he could help me providing I was happy for him t o help me , which of course I was, cos so far my way wasnt working.
I joined an Armed Forces Vetrans Breakfast club , and this is where things get really interesting. There were alot of guys and gals there that were in the same boat. I soon realised that for employment i didnt have to be a veteran just another employable minion. That seems a bit harsh but when I got my CV back from my friend who had completely rewritten it there was no mention of my previous time in the Royal Air Force, apart from two lines at the bottom that more or less just stated , also served in the Royal Air Force, like 22 years of my life didnt really matter.
In reality I posted my New Cv online that evening, the telephone rang int he morning , I had a telephone interview in the afternoon, face to face interview the next day and started the very next morning, so it demonstrated to me that my friend was good at writing CVs and that being in the RAF was great and everything but it does nothing for your employment prospects.
The question though is should it?
My new job was a Test analyst for a small family run company, I loved that job. we had a laugh everyday, the team were a great bunch of guys and although sometimes they didnt like it when i did my job, ultimately they were grateful, despite the whole time I was there I never had any piece of work that actually passed Testing first time. it felt great to be part of an actual team again.
  On January 15th 2016 one of the guys I had got to know at breakfast club, attempted suicide.  It was a pretty determined effort , he took a medicine overdose slit his wrists and tried gassing himself with his car. Fortunately he was found by his family quite quickly and in his unhealthy state of mind he posted on facebook his farewells and how he felt there was no one there for him. I went to see him at hospital and introduced myself. he was put into a secure mental health facility in Hull, im trying to keep naming places and people out of this, but needless to say , it was horrible.
I had to sign in, which in reception was nice enough, but when they escorted me through, the door was a huge steel door and it closed with a sound that made you feel you were being locked in a bank safe. The escort was probably of haitian origin, he was very dark skinned, had a great smile but he never said a word. He was built like a proverbial brick shithouse tho. I was shown into the waiting room.
From the outside, this building looked pretty modern, but from the inside, now i knew the NHS were short of cash, but when i got to this waiting room , nothing prepared me for what to expect. There were no windows the seat covers were from the 1970s and even with the lights on it was dark. the room was smaller than my lounge and in it there were three tables. there was a 2 person table in the corner , an 8 person round table inthe middle and a 4 person table in the other corner.
 There were alot of mentally sick people in there, one of which kept replying to the voices in her head , another with tourettes syndrome that seemed to coincide with the voices in the girls head ( but she wasnt responding to what he said), and the room smelt like stale urine. When they brought my friend in, there was no wonder he had relapsed, this place made me feel depressed and I wasnt even ill.
He told me about the doctor saying he was making it all up ( despite having a formal PTSD diagnosis on his medical records) and that they had withdrawn all meds. ( probably because of the overdose)..
There was no way he was going to recover in there. the attitude to illness was not condusive for a start.I tried talking about other stuff to try and lighten the mood but as the tourettes bloke got louder and the girl had an argument with her internal voices , it got louder and eventually we just sat there.
I went back two days later to see how he was getting on, the news was better, only because he had become so out of control off the meds , they had to administer the meds in an injection to calm him down. He told me of the repeated escape attempts of some of his residents. He gave me his families contact numbers so i could ring them and the tourettes bloke and the girl with voices in her head were not present in the waiting room so we could actually talk.
It turns out his dad served in the TA with one of the local MPs and that they were still friends. Whe nI rang this MP, this is when things began to change for the better for my friend. he was moved to a better secure mental health unit, it had windows, the staff listened, and made sure his room did not overlook the road and wit hthe MPs help ( only with the MPs help) did my friend get some treatment.
he still has good and bad days and in many respects he was lucky.  He tells people I saved his life, I didnt of course I didnt find him, but i still checkup on him, make sure he is keeping busy and is making progress on his road to recovery, which (fingers crossed) he is.
 He isnt the only friend I have have that is a military veteran and has PTSD. Another friend of mine is more determined, he took an overdose having said goodye to his family face to face. they misinterpreted his words and by the time i got to his house to check he was OK, he had collapsed. 18 months on from being in that terrible place i thought thats where he would end up. Evidently not. I called an ambulance , who asked if he would attack the ambulance men again and when i said he was barely conscious the operator relented and got an ambuulance dispatched. He had posted a message on facebook, and someone had called the police. they showed up as he was put in the ambulance, now here is where the conflict in fortunes occur. when he got to the hospital, no one would take responsibility for his mental health, so consequently no one did, and after seeing no one he discharged himself at around 0050. He had been in hospital 6 hours.
His wife made repeated attempts to get him sectioned and there wasnt a doctor within his care chain that would section him. The crisis team did show up to remove any meds frm the house tho , which by monday morning, the beast was no longer asleep and he was in full Hulk mode.The police were called again, but because he was in his own house there was nothing they could do. apparently sectioning is as a last resort. quite how last resort is last resort im not sure.
Medical professionals take note , when a former serviceman informs you he is going to commit suicide it is not a call for attention ( even tho it technically is), its not so you will stop them ( because you wont) , they are telling you because there is nothing you can do to stop it. The doctors have the opinion that those that talk about it dont do it, and for civvies thats probably true. When it comes to veterans that have been trained to operate in the most extreme environmetns and survive, when it comes to suicide they know no one can stop them. it needs someone to watch them like a hawk , checkup on them and make sure they are around when they collapse.
 This is what mental health in this country has come to. There are over 3000 military charities that are there to support ex servicemen and women. most of these offer grants and there is very few that can talk about treatment, which in turn is placing excess pressure on thise that do offer treatment.
 This is a real and current threat, for every man or woman that was killed in Afghanistan and Iraq there were 5 with life changing injuries and a further 10 with mental health related illnesses, and they are the pople that were showing mental health symptoms early on, it doesnt tkae into consideration those that developed symptoms later on.
I will pledge to blog more often, mostly following the life and times of veterans

Monday, 11 January 2016

Another legend dies

Well today we learnt that David Bowie had lost his fight with cancer. He is the first popstar after Cliff Richard to remain current in 4 decades, he trod the the path that many then followed. For a brit, he did wonders promoting british music abroad.

Aside from the sadness, we have had a multitude of professional visitors this week, the mouse man was back to eliminate scouse mouse once and for all, but more than that, we had a bloke that filled all of the cracks and holes in the house to prevent ingress or in fact egress for the said mouse with expandable foam. I had this vision like a cartoon, where this mouse was slowly expanding as it took on the foam and somewhere there is this giant mouse almost solid now with foam.He cant get out, that is for sure, but dont worry readers he has an almost limitless ( in mouse terms) of nice blue sweeties to go at. so we will see. The screaming in the Johnson household would have been reduced as the Mrs Johnson has had a cold and Mucus cough all week so she couldnt have screamed even if she had wanted to. This mouse has proven elusive in the past so we will have to wait and see.

On the job front, something weird happenned today. I applied for a job attached my CV, but once the application had been sent, I realised that the Cv that had been sent wasnt quite my own. I was sent a CV to copy for format and content, and all I had to do was change it, I had, but the computer hadnt saved it. The recruiter rang for a chat, whereupon the mistake came to light. I forwarded the proper CV and now they are finding work for me ,so that at least remains positive.


Saturday, 2 January 2016

Bizarre christmas present

Hello readers,

I hope you had a great christmas, we enjoyed being with family, but this year I havent got what i asked for. I asked Santa for a job...We were away for christmas, so when we got back there was a present under the tree....Santa had brought us a present....well more of an unwanted gift really...Santa had given us a live mouse for christmas, no cage, food or anything just the mouse....

After much screaming, it did whats its predecessors did and ran for it and disappeared. We thought it had returned to its predecessors haunts so having calmed down a bit, we had a drink and settled in front of the telly, It came out to watch Downton Abbey , and disappeared and wasnt seen again.

Yesterday we didn't see it all, in fact new years day was lovely. Right up until we went to bed, Jenny went to the toilet and was greeted by the mouse doing a runner into the bathroom upstairs. More screaming and I went to investigate. I moved everything out of the bathroom and it ran out of the bathroom on to the landing right where jenny was stood. <queue more screaming> and eventually it ran into our box room. ( well there are plenty of boxes in there).

Today we visited the new Tesco of awesomeness  in St Stephens in Hull, they do mouse sweeties, so we bought a box. we are going to try our own mouse control and see if we can have any luck. If not we will be ringing the landlord on monday ( again) and hopefully they will actually get here this time...

Happy New Year

Friday, 18 December 2015

Run up to Christmas

Hello again, Happy Christmas,

Since I last blogged,  I have been to the job centre to sign on, normally I dont mention it, but on this occasion , my job centre person said , that her whole life had gone to ratshit,. Now whilst I have been there, I had a sudden flash of inspiration and suddenly said "oh well it could be worse you could be out of job coming up to christmas and only get your national insurance paid...", needless to say it was a short appointment.

Good news and bad news, I have been applying for loads of jobs and whilst 90% of employers suffer from very poor admin in that they dont acknowledge the application let alone respond, I got an interview for a job. It was for the civil service at Leconfield. I had a days work experience in the same environment to prepare me for possible interview quaetions. Turns out wasnt such a great idea, because all of the hull veterans work club did the same,  but needlesss to say it was enjoyable. At the interview we had a variety of competency questions, but needless to say they ticked the " we identified with the stronger candidates" box. I asked for feedback, but in real terms it was repeated in every box , close but no cigar...

I have started taking photographs again properly. I started again at the breakfast club and have started taking some everytime I go into the city. Theres something quite surreal to living in hull, its really quiet but every now and agin we get a rag and bone man, and  its not some bloke in a transit van. these guys do the job properly. They came again today and I finally got the chance to photograph them coming down the street. I am going to edit this picture to show passing of time, maybe some black and white in the middle, im not sure yet, but never the less I thought I would share it with you.



Friday, 11 December 2015

Alex Politzzis Programme on BBC2

Since I last blogged I have applied for another 20 jobs and I do have some good news. I have an interview on Monday with the Civil Service. So we will see.

Im watching the Alex Politzzis programme on hiring veterans, obviously these guys are my brothers so it helps to see Im not the only one going through this.

In the mean time there have been no sightings of the mouse/mice and financially things have been really tight, but the veterans support groups in Hull have been amazing. I can wait to get a job tho... Til next time

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Syrian Air war

Today, the government sanctioned airstrikes against Daesh.  its ok taking the war to the enemy, but how are we doing that? when we atacked Iraq we had a strict UN resolution framework to work within. It hasnt been mentioned that we have a legal basis to allow these attacks.
People say it will make Britain a target for terrorists. My response is that Britain has always been a target for terrorists. Look at the IRA. they were far more technically savvy than ISIS. We combatted the IRA as we will Daesh, and our domestic security has improved alot since the early 90s.
The other point is that the Tornado is in demand because of the brimstone missile. this missile is awesome its an anti armour missile and can take out any vehicle at any speed (so far) and limit collateral damage. , the replacement for tornado , the F35  cannot carry Brimstone..

On the work front I got an interview for the storekeeper position at Leconfield in the civil service, thats not for a couple of weeks tho. so fingers crossed.

In other news, there was a mass shooting in the US and a number of people are dead after 3 gunmen opened fire. Before we panic guns are legal in the US.

Above all that the real debate is, is the fashion to have a beard waning? i have a goatee and tash,and wondering if its time to go of whether I should keep it a bit longer.....

No Mouse sitings