Night of the living not dead, just a little under the weather thanks for asking

Went to the cemetery to visit my dad’s grave today. To avoid those awkward conversation gaps one has on social occasions with deceased parents, I decided to do a bit of weeding and tidying up.

Now this particular cemetery is built on the side of what is basically a small mountain and dad resides right at the bottom so the return journey with my dodgy ankle and slightly wheezy chest was something of a challenge.

Upon finally reaching the summit I saw a couple walking past the gates and offered a friendly, yet muted and respectful greeting such as befitted the solemn occasion. They recoiled in horror and took off in the opposite direction which frankly seemed a little rude.
Glancing in my rear view mirror as I got in the car, I noticed that in my gardening endeavours I had managed to transfer some mud from the back of my hand to across my face. In fact I was generally looking a little unkempt and mucky.

Then it dawned on me that this poor couple out for an early evening stroll had been confronted with a pale, dishevelled, hobbling creature emerging from the  graveyard with fresh soil all over its hands and beneath its finger nails. Not only that but said apparition was emitting the shallow, ragged breaths and slight groaning noises that only someone who has just climbed the burial ground equivalent of Everest can produce, along with sporting the red, bloodshot eyes of the hay fever sufferer who has spent the last hour surrounded by decaying funeral flowers. 

On the plus side, my dad would have laughed til he puked. 

Happy zombieversary Dad!


Zombie vindaloo anyone?

So in an attempt to pretend that I’m all about the team spirit and all that shit (I have an appraisal next week) I decided to do some workplace bonding (after I looked it up; yeah totally not what I initially thought).

We went out for team ice cream, which in retrospect I should probably have known was a bad plan as I don’t really do well with vast quantities of sugar in the middle of the day. On the plus side, I couldn’t actually sit still long enough to email most of my awesome ideas to everyone in senior management, which was probably just as well as it turns out that flingyourownshitfriday is not all one word.

Anyway, after taking advice from the highest source of workplace etiquette wisdom (reruns of The Office and a couple of American sitcoms) I realised that chatting around the water cooler is the way forward. Armed with an only mildly psychotic grin I sallied forth (I’m not really sure what that is but I think it involves a sort of determined stride/hip shimmy combo which does nothing for my sciatica).

My fine intentions were somewhat stymied on arrival by the sight of a colleague from another department, lying prone beneath the water machine, one upstretched arm clutching frantically at the tap. Turned out he’d been on a curry and beer marathon the night before and was suffering disastrous aftereffects. So much so in fact that he now needed to make a rapid, if somewhat soggy dash to the nearest staff convenience.

Priding myself on a job well done in the social interaction stakes, I headed back to my office only to be interrupted by a blood curdling howl.

Some moments later I encountered my bhuna bothered friend, now more wild eyed and shaken even than before. It would seem that in his vindaloo and vino induced stupor, he hadn’t taken in the announcement about the generator test due to take place. This meant that at the crucial moment of his internal exodus, the power went out plunging him into darkness. He didn’t know whether he’d blacked out or the world had ended.

Now I like to think of myself as a sympathetic soul. It’s not true of course but I like to think it. I defy anyone however, to maintain a kindly yet concerned demeanour when confronted with the image of a hungover, bhaji stained therapist who believes that he has just shat out the apocalypse.

I think I’ll stick to paintballing in future.

On a side note, this incident did get me to thinking that I am woefully underprepared for the inevitable zombie apocalypse. The risk of being caught pants down, either literally or metaphorically can’t be underestimated. Luckily for me, I am now equipped (thanks to a fine and understanding friend) with an instruction manual that will ensure the survival of all that I hold dear in the event of zombie attack. My new mission is to follow this manual and build fortifications, gather stores, drill troops and arm bears (or something like that) despite any opposition from confused hardware salesman, irate neighbours and council planning departments.

Who’s with me?

Sorry about that apocalypse guys

Now I love my cats, I really do.  At any given moment I’m only  a few whiskers short of being a proper crazy cat lady.  I had previously been looking forward to this and reconciled to the fact that I will probably end my days being eaten in my sleep because I bought the wrong brand of kittie bics.  However a recent experience has caused me to rethink this.  Let me share my pain with you……..

Imagine the scene if you will – it’s a cold, wet night and I am sitting quietly at home, wrapped in a blanket whilst lovingly crafting gifts for the festive season (ok I’m swearing like a trooper and bleeding from a crochet hook induced injury.  See

Anyway, there is great clatter and cacophony and in comes a small, psychotic cat shrieking like a hell demon who has just discovered the matches are missing.  I of course leap up in great alarm to rush to her aid, tangling both legs in the blanket and damn near knocking myself unconscious on the coffee table. Fighting off the visions of being consumed by the felines rather earlier than I expected, I drag myself to my feet just in time to see her calmly depositing a dead mouse under the table.

Relief and mild revulsion mingling in my breast, I step up to  retrieve its sad little corpse whilst acknowledging the pride of the mighty hunter.  At this point it turns out that said rodent was only feigning death and with an almighty squeal, it jumped up and launched itself straight for my jugular as the aforementioned mighty hunter ran straight behind the sofa.  Clearly I was dealing with a zombie mouse with rage issues and probably a poor relationship with its mother.

Despite my obvious terror and the risk of inadvertently joining the legions of the undead and/or losing my remaining brains, I basically built a fortress of boxes around the rodent of the apocalypse to try and herd it into a place of safety.

All the while, frustrated hellcat is screaming and inciting kitty riots outside the sitting room door. Anyway, in the style of the Pied Piper’s really inept but well meaning third cousin, I lure the now extremely perky and distinctly homicidal zombie mouse into a box and carry it safely through the house to the garden. Of course, I was being followed by an army of baying felines, convinced that they can mob handedly (pawdedly?) destroy the satanic vermin.

In view of this I very firmly close the back door behind me.  That would be the door that automatically locks when you close it and needs a key to get back in.

I realise that at this point I have no keys, no mobile, no shoes and no sense of personal dignity. I was trapped outside in the rain and mud with an unrestrained, undead mouse that may or may not launch an assault upon my unprotected back as I attempt to break into my own home using nothing but a selection of garden produce.

Also, in my amazing, planning wisdom I had neglected to remember that I have a cat flap so the whole shutting the door against the marauding mousers was pretty much the third most ridiculous thing I’ve done this week…………sorry, fourth most but I’m not allowed to talk about at least two of those things until the trial.

Of course at this point, the highly disgruntled moggie popped out of the cat flap and firmly and decisively bit me as revenge for the theft of her mouse.  She then calmly waltzed back inside where it’s warm to laugh at my pathetic attempts at being McGuyver.   It’s amazing what you can do with a trowel, a garden hammock and some over ripe parsnips when faced with imminent hypothermia and the guttural squeaking of the animated cadaver of the rodent of the damned.

Apologies for the horde of zombie mice I might have inadvertantly created and released on an unsuspecting population. Try not to smell like cheese or brains for a while

Time off for excessively awesome behaviour

So I have week off work ostensibly to celebrate my birthday (more on that later).  Now work is very busy and it’s been hard to take leave but when my original plans fell through I offered to cancel my leave and do some hard office time.  My manager however insisted that I go and refused to revoke my parole.  Initially I thought this was a reflection of how hard I’ve been working and her intense desire to maintain my well-being.  On further reflection though it occurred to me that it may have been due to any or all of the following incidents:

The NHS love a bit of mandatory training but don’t differentiate between different types of clinical staff.  Apparently on manual handling courses it is not considered the done thing to point out that if you work in mental health ‘manual handling’ basically constitutes inappropriate touching and they probably shouldn’t be encouraging me to do that.

Also when being trained to use the new data storing system and being awarded ‘superuser’ status, they really don’t like it when you refuse to attend the extra training unless they give you a cape.

When encouraging attendance for the anaphylaxis training  which basically is not catchy on account of no-one can spell it; the suggestion that they use the tagline “stab ’em or bag ’em” to promote epi pen awareness did not go down as well as I would have expected.  Not even when I drew them pictures complete with body bag wielding undertakers looking all sad and shaking their heads in a ‘oh, if only more people knew about epi pens’ kind of way.  I guess they thought undertakers would be pleased about more people dying like giant red balloons (but the kind you never give to children, not even with a ribbon attached).

On the same day as this, we also get CPR type training which is run by an organisation called ‘Back to Life’.  Now the obvious conclusion when you see this is that you are going to be trained to be either Jesus or some sort of zombie master.  Not being sure which made it very hard to plan my wardrobe for the day.  Who would have thought that some people think blending the two is blasphemous?  If there was no such thing as zombie Jesus we wouldn’t have Easter now would we? I think it’s just that the trainer remembered me from last year’s unpleasantness:

The final straw however was possibly me doing a massive sea of printing on our shiny new printer. I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself until it stopped dead, flashed its lights and refused to go any further until I tended to its needs.  I topped up its paper,  checked its ink levels and patted it reassuringly while whispering sweet technological nothings into its flappy bits (totally not as dirty as it sounds)


After swearing, pleading, pressing every single button and opening every drawer, flap and orifice (the printers not mine) it finally grudgingly gave up the message ‘JAM’.

At last I knew what the little blighter was after so I hop to it and acquired the finest fruit preserves available on the NHS. Now I’m no IT whizz despite having worked out how to turn it off and on again, so I wasn’t quite sure which of the aforementioned orifi (that’s gotta be a word right?) one would apply jam to.  So I guessed and I guessed liberally.  It was like a messy but enthusiastic union between a donut and a jammy dodger only with more bees (an unexpected side effect that I probably should have thought through)

Anyway it must have worked as our admin was so tearfully grateful she says I don’t have to do my own printing anymore.

So basically the only logical conclusion is that I’m being given time off to top up my awesome after having so freely and generously flung it about the workplace ( the awesome not the………oh actually sorry, that too)