Theatre

30/09/2014

Theatre ©

By Michael Casey

Theatre, or drama what is it? Its life with the boring bits taken out, though you can stumble over a bad production. I’m going to take my daughters to see Blood Brothers, it should be great, I saw it years ago so now maybe 20 years on I’ll be taking them. If you get to the lift quick you can get to the bar real fast, and then have a pint of Stella for me and ice cream for them. This is the Birmingham Hippodrome.

I did take my girls a few years ago, we saw Fame. I think they’ll enjoy this show even more. They can prep by looking on UTube, I looked at Barbara Dickenson singing “Tell me it’s not true” last night, her singing was so powerful. Both my daughters are singers, my eldest daughter has got her Dean’s Award, which is a musical singing and theory exam. So I fully expect them to learn the songs and sing them incessantly when we get home.

I started going to the theatre when I was in my twenties, I went for a number of years. In those day’s people used to dress up when they went to the theatre. I once saw Anne Diamond in a long evening dress in the circle of the Hippodrome. I used to wear my black velvet jacket when I went to the theatre. Nowadays I dress for comfort, though I’ve reached an age where I don’t wear jeans anymore, so I don’t look like a member of Status Quo sat in the circle.

Before you are married you can sit in the best seats and please yourself, post marriage you have to think about the price of kids’ shoes. You can get out of the habit of theatre. My Shanghai wife was introduced to theatre, or should I say Panto, some of which she understood, the rest was totally totally strange to her.

So marriage and a different culture led to different things. Such as Chinese food in the Chinese Quarter, just outside the Birmingham Hippodrome. Though when I first met my wife I was positively vetted by a Chinese Ballerina from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, which is based at the Hippodrome. A friend of a friend is called “Chimp” and he works as a stagehand at the Hippodrome, he even toured China with the Birmingham Royal Ballet. So you could say there will always be some form of connection between the Hippodrome and my life.

Now a show is just that a show. You are captivated and controlled by the production, you are one with the production. I once saw the Conterfeit Stones at the Alexandra Theatre, the performance was amazing. The imitations and the singing were unbelievable, I’d tell Sir Mick to go take a look at himself. This is theatre at its best where you are carried along with the show.

I used to see bands perform at the Bell and Pump, this was mainly Folk, then I’d see Jazz at the Waterworks Jazz Club the next day, this was mainly Trad Jazz. That must have been 30 years ago, for a number of years. It’s because of this exposure to music that I can spot a good singer when I hear one. At a folk club there is theatre too, the way in which the band or solo artist holds the audience. Mad Jocks and Englishman were beyond compare, they must be all retired now.

Eddie Izzard was at the Hippodrome once and the way in which he rocked the audience back and forward, literally holding them in the palm of his hand. He did a joke about Engelbert Humperdinck and it was like watching a cat play with a mouse, such total control of the audience. Ken Dodd is totally different but he really is a Master of Mirth, control and avalanches of material, and a 4 hour show if you are lucky. He just never stops, you always get your money’s worth.

Theatre, does entertain, the Roman’s knew that, bread and circuses keep the Plebs in check. When done right the emotion on the stage spreads and touches everybody to the core. People can be helpless with laughter, crying with laughter. Some say it’s like a religious experience. The best play I ever saw in my life was Candide at the Birmingham Rep, it was standing room only.

There was a funny pitched circular stage if I can remember correctly. Period costume and riots of laughter. I imagine like the performances at the new Globe theatre in London. I have Taming of the Shrew on my Sky+ box, I need to sit down and watch it. My point though is that theatre IS better than film or your tv, it’s right there breathing on you.

When done right theatre is a conspiracy of the stage and the audience, especially something like Candide. There are no barriers, no tv screens nor silver screens getting in the way of you and the story and the performance. And yes my play Shoplife was accepted for production but not finally produced, so I still dream what if my play was on the stage.

So I hope that now my girls are older I can watch their faces as we see Blood Brothers at the Hippodrome, I hope the spark will be passed on between us. Who knows one day they may be on the stage, singing, performing or as the writer of a new play.

Confessions of an Art Lover

28/09/2014

Confessions of an Art Lover ©

By Michael Casey

I like Art, I suppose in a way I love it. My mum bought a picture printed on cardboard, it’s a street scene in snow, cost her 10p at a jumble sale. I still have it, it’s hanging over my bed, I’ve had it for 46 years maybe. That one thing has influenced my life till now and forever.

I even bought a book on Art while I was on holiday in Exeter with my brother, it was a 3 day weekend with hotel and car hire thrown in. He had named a locomotion engine and the holiday was the prize. So if ever you see “the graduate” that’s the train named by my brother. The art book was on sale and we got another quid off because there was a mark on the front inside page. I still have that book, it’s behind the telly.

I was just watching Andrew Graham-Dixon on tv, his programmes educate me. He’s been talking about artists from 100 years ago who were trail blazers, England’s version of Picasso if you like. Though that’s a very large over simplification.

The thing with art is its art, it’s not a photograph, it has many more meanings than a bare polaroid. Artist love the female form, the female nude is everywhere in art, and the internet in today’s world. Artists get bored with just one version of anything, so they stretch and strain the images. Look at some of Gaudi’s work for example, then look at Picasso’s, the form, the image on the canvas is changed and mangled even.

It’s as if the artist is drunk or looking through a kaleidoscope, or looking at a refection an image through a broken mirror. Nothing is as it seems it’s all been changed. The female form was corpulent and fat long ago, it was the tradition, then with time and different schools of art the nude was presented differently.

Everything, the landscape, the way of painting everything has changed, we had Constable so millions of copies of the Haywain adorn millions of homes. We had Turner with a blob of spit in the centre of an angry sea swell. We had the Pre-Rafaelites too with their almost cartoon bright colours, by the way Birmingham city gallery has a great collection of them.

Time and Tide wait for no man, ditto the artist. That’s why I need my guide Andrew Graham-Dixon to explain it all to me, and to help make the penny drop. Some may follow Man United, some may follow Formula One, others follow the still a Brit Murray at the tennis. Me I did play rugby at school, but I’d just love to sit down to dinner with Andrew Graham-Dixon and a 60 inch HD4 tv set beside us.

As we enjoy our meal, cooked by AGD’s Italian friend I could be taught the History of Art, I have a large stomach so I could be deeply educated. The length and breadth of art, as well as the 16 course menu that would cover the table as I look up and learn my Art.

Perhaps I am just naïve, but a painting on the wall does turn a house into a home, and if you understand all the nuances of the painting then so much the better. It’s like being on holiday abroad and being able to understand the language. Art is more than pretty pictures, it is a language, which is even better if you understand it.

Piano Girl

yes as you can see I love my art, that’s a Burne-Jones painted copy above the piano, it was a leaving present

Recording Star

23/09/2014

Recording Star ©

By Michael Casey

I’ve been recording my short stories recently I recorded 4 more today in fact. As I record them the memories come flooding back, some of the stories are 3 years old, so as I record them I smile and sometimes laugh. I also want to add an extra line or two, it’s really hard sticking to a script.

There is a difference between a writer and a reader or a radio speaker. As a writer I want to change things, so recording my own words is like being on a train, I have to follow the tracks. As some of the stories are 3 years old events have moved on, so I want to change or give an update to the story. So it’s very hard for me just to read the words on the page.

I used to read the Lesson from Bible when I was young, over 40 years ago. You cannot ad lib when you are reading the Bible, or jazz it up, it is what it is. Though sometimes at Mass a priest may read the shorter version of the Lesson, you have to be disciplined. So I have to be disciplined as I record my back catalogue, I reached 194 today. I have recorded 194 out of 540 short stories.

They say Video Killed the Radio Star, if you remember the old song, so maybe I should be putting all my stories on Utube instead. Though I do think Radio is my medium, I did listen to BBC Radio 4 for 20 years before I started to write back in 1987. Words should be heard and listened to, and enjoyed, pictures can get in the way.

Recording makes you “announce” your words, the flavour is different, the comic timing has to be correct as you read. I was also thinking today as I listened back to my recordings that I could learn a lesson from Sinatra. Yes I do everything my way, I write in my own style, but if I recorded His way then it would be better. Clear enunciation, crystal clear enunciation, though you have to have a balance, I don’t want to sound like a BBC radio announcer from after the war. Having said that my daughters say I sound like a news reader, which makes me smile as my wife says I look a bit like Huw Edwards.

So on I go recording my shorts using my microphone which has a blue lcd light in it, makes me feel important, I suppose my very own studio live light. Its tiring too, all this recording, I hope that finally I can get my words on the radio. My other idea is to sell a book of shorts with facing page translations with a usb stick attached with my recordings on. Would you like learning English by reading my words and listening to me too?

I suppose in the end I may just be talking to myself, but isn’t that what radio is all about? Talking to yourself, in the hope that others are listening to you and smiling as they hear your words on the radio. I’d be happy either on the radio or in print or cyberspace. All I need is the Help of God and Two Policemen as my mum used to say.

annie 2003 this is me 10 years ago

Why do men think they are perfect? final sample from 300 and Not OUT available from Amazon no 194 of my records

23/09/2014

Why do Men think they are Perfect? ©

By

Michael Casey

What do men do when they are surrounded by beautiful women?

I am in that position myself, a model like wife and 2 very beautiful bilingual daughters.

Having a Shanghai wife who could have a been a model only she was not tall enough, even though she was very very pretty.

Her parents did hold her by her legs and shoulders and tried pulling her, stretching her, but it was no use. 5feet 1inch was all she stretched to. The agency did say she could be a model for children’s clothes, but my wife, or should I say future wife said no.

I would have said yes myself, though my waist is almost as big as her height, well almost, or bigger than if I listen to her. I do have a Chinese name, Panzi, it means FAT FAT BOY.

I may be fat though in my brain I AM thin. So I will dance around the living room to MTV, dressed as a Sumo, I mean just because I am 17.5 stones doesn’t mean I cannot dance, I do dance well, and even if our neighbours have called in a structural engineer that does prove anything.

And if I do leave a trail of toast crumbs all over the carpet from the kitchen and to the living room and even as far as this computer desk, what does it prove? It proves I need a wife to love me. Her nagging is just a form of courtship, her Chinese wagging finger just makes me laugh, so I just wiggle my bum to her copying Beyonce moves, I really am such a good dancer.

I hog the computer seeing how many people are looking at michaelgcasey, how many are looking at my blogs today. Then another burst of loving, I am kicked off the computer so my all adoring wife can read the recipes on Chinese and Japanese web sites. I retreat to the living room and watch 503 and 501 and 509 and even 506, which are the news channels. Then I’m kicked off the tv so she can watch a Date with LuLu, it’s a daily chat show from Taiwan, not a wee little Scots singer. So I return to the computer to write my blog for the day, behind me our bilingual girls play on the piano, I get them to play a bit quieter as I need to focus while I write.

However as I’m writing right now I’m listening to Shakespeare’s Sister, perhaps I should be reading their brother.

Words have such power, was it that which brought Birmingham to Shanghai. Was it my good looks, was it my immense waist, was it my smile, I do have such a nice smile, was it my laughter,

Or were the Angels on angel dust when they heard my prayer for a wife?

A child’s eye view another piece from 300 and Not OUT available on Amazon

23/09/2014

A Child’s’ Eye View ©

By

Michael Casey

My small daughter had made a dangly thing, I don’t know how to describe it really. It’s a piece of coloured plastic which has holes in. Well that much is straightforward, then there are flowers and coloured wires hanging from it. A kind of bad hair day made from plastic. In effect its like those doorways which have strips of material handing down to separate one room from another. There must be a word for it but I’d know it, but I’m sure somebody will tell me. In films its chip shops and barbers who have these “doors”, I hope you get the picture.

Now that I’ve confused things, let me continue with the tale; though I should add that I have good news to share, I’ve rediscovered Don Camillo again. So I’m expecting a delivery of a Don Camillo omnibus in the post. With such a good feeling I decided to please my small daughter an d find somewhere to display her “art”. WE did think of hanging it in our living room/ kitchen area, I was about to find a chair to stand on and tie the “art”   to an old curtain rail, but we were overruled by the Voice of Reason which is otherwise know as The Shanghai Mum. If you don’t know Shanghai mums are very strict and don’t appreciate “art”, so me and my daughter were banished from the living room.

We retreated upstairs and we scoured the girls’ room for a location for the modern “art”, in the end we decided if we tied a piece of string to the art we could then hang it up underneath a picture that was on their wall. So we found a ball of string and cut it to the right length, and then attached it to our plastic thingy or watsit, and I was given the task of attaching it to the string that was holding up the painting.

Unfortunately the picture fell off the wall, and even when I found a hammer, all I did was make a mess and the picture fell off the wall again.

So I had failed, Andrew Graham-Dixon would have been moved to tears, so we retreated to my room and hung in on my wall. The plastic “art” was forgotten, the hammer was put away. All that is left are the marks on the wall where the picture had hung for many a year. But at least the girls have a new location where they can put a poster, all they need is gluetac, which is far easier than hammer and nails.

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Interviewing Somebody a piece from my book 300 and Not OUT available on Amazon

23/09/2014

Interviewing Somebody©

By

Michael Casey

Welcome to Casey’s Company

As you can see we are a friendly company

Would you like a drink before we begin?

Sorry only tea or coffee, no Vodka or lager

At Christmas, then that would be different

But today you are here to be interviewed.

Now why did you apply for  a position at Casey’s Company?

Because you liked the 12 weeks holiday a year, but you do do preparation at home.

Because you liked carrying a briefcase, because you liked wearing shiny black shoes and a nice shirt and tie.

Or was it because you liked the idea of being called Sir?

What qualities can YOU bring to the role?

What experience do you have in a similar role?

How would you describe yourself?

Are you self motivated?

Pardon? Can I stop because you want to go and have a wee?

Ok are you ready to resume?

You want to go out and make an emergency phone call to your mum, you forgot to ask her to buy some more toilet paper, and some beef burgers and tomato ketchup.

Anything else?

Ok, lets move on.

So do you enjoy where you are employed at the moment?

You’re not employed at the moment.

You were sacked!

Why?

You were found kissing in the stationary cupboard, and when security searched you, you had 120 red pens and 120 blue pens, and 120 black pens in your nice fake leather briefcase. So you were sacked on the spot. The Police were not called in as the girl you were kissing in the stationary cupboard was the bosses daughter.

But you do have a glowing reference.

Looking at the signature it looks remarkably like YOUR handwriting.

Is there anything more you’d like to add?

You’d like to have the 1st two weeks of August off, as you’ve already booked your holiday, other than that you can start straight away.

Oh, you forgot something, could you be paid weekly and in cash.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME.

Oh and when will we let you know if you have been successful in your application for the post.

looks drunk and don’t turn up for an interview looking like this

In my mind I have tears

08/09/2014
SEPTEMBER 8TH, 2014 11:31

In my mind I have tears

In my mind I have tears ©

By Michael Casey

 

In my mind I have tears

In my eyes I have fears suppressed for years

In my breath I have pain was everything in vain

In my mouth I can taste the regret for not reaching

In my nose is the perfume of failure

In my hair is the grey of not getting there

In my gait   is the weight of things carried too far

In my stride my steps are small no more strength to carry all

In my laugh is the experience of rejection

But in my heart is Hope and Faith beyond reason 

 

 

****************

I was lying in bed and the title sprang to mind, it has not come out as planned or hoped, but the last line really says it all, we can have had a lot of life which didn’t go as planned or hoped, but so long as you have the Hope and Faith in your heart  then you carry on, and prove everybody wrong.

 

What’s your skill?

04/09/2014

What’s your Skill ? ©

By Michael Casey

I was talking to somebody the other day via the DT and he made me think, in fact he’s given me the idea for this piece, though he doesn’t know it yet. Yesterday’s piece “I have children” was inspired by going to the cupboard while making a cup of tea and when I opened the cupboard  what I saw made me smile and thank God, because I have children. An hour later I’d written the piece.

So today I was thinking about skills, trades, talents, flairs, not the old trousers from the 70s either. Some of us are gifted or talented in one direction or another, at school the school report said I had a flair for French, the truth was we were tested every week for 4 years, 20 questions. So it was the teacher Mr Notzing who made me good, I just did what I was told. So my generation of Casey siblings were good at languages.

Little did we know that we’d all marry foreigners, so my girls are bilingual in English/Mandarin. The next generation, our kids, seem to be going into science, my nephew has decided to do Bio-Chemistry at York, because it has a big lab there, I did mention that my own wife has a degree in the subject, my friend from grammar school has a PhD in it, that made him smile. My daughter is heading in that direction too.

But where does the knowledge come from? It’s partly in the genes, and not the Levi Strauss ones you are wearing. Grannie in Shanghai was the accountant for the bus company after all. So gifts or flairs or even talents can come to you via the genes. The greatest gift is your looks, ugly parents have beautiful children and beautiful parents have ugly kids, its God’s sense of humour and balance after all. My own kids take after the wife, thank God for that, I wouldn’t want them to inherit my hairy back.

I’ve gone off at a tangent but that’s the way my mind works, and it’s fun to see if people stay with me, or drift over to the bar, or go and fetch an iron bar to hit me with, it’s never happened yet, but you never know, you never know. So a talent, what is it? A talent is something that you are very good at, better than your experience level, if you like it’s a plus 20% and more that comes from somewhere else, maybe the ether.

People can be jealous, and snide about a talent. Oh, he’s just gifted, he didn’t have to work at it like the rest of us. Beckham had to practice to be able to bend it, he’s having elocution lessons next, he wants to be an announcer on Radio 4, well in my imagination he is. Rooney practiced his heading technique too, maybe that’s why his hair fell out, but its grown back, must be the shampoo he’s using, I hope he puts it on his website then we can all buy it.

You do still have to work at your skill, your trade, your knack with this or that, you’re knackered by all your hard work, and because you’ve put the hours in then it seems so easy to an onlooker. Perhaps firemen would be good pole-dancers, all the sliding down pole practice, ask any firemen friends you have. Which brings the obvious to mind, policemen would be good at bondage, all the handcuffs and so forth. I’ve gone off at a tangent again, are you hunting for that iron bar in the boot of the car?

Sometimes people are down on themselves and say they cannot do anything, I suppose girls are more sensitive and can be more self-critical. Image/size issues and so forth. I’d just say STOP. Yes you can, if I can steal Obama’s   saying. You just have to make good with what you have got.

Any organisation needs all of us, the cleaner, the guy at the door, the cook, the secretary, the lawyer, the general manager, the everybody. In my hotel days I was like a puppy dog, a 17stone puppy dog who greeted everybody within 15 seconds of them entering the hotel. Once our boss went to the Hilton over the lake, and nobody approached him for 20 minutes, which is enough time to have a meal and conceive a baby, but not simultaneously, not unless you are a chef. In fact a lot of guests thought I was the manager because of the silver hair, being 20 years older than the reception crew, and the lack of a uniform, because I was the wrong shape, ok fat for the uniforms they did have.  

It takes all kinds of everybody doing everything, if I can mangle Dana, to make a hotel, or a law firm work. Yes you need the high skill guys, the university trained folks, but without everybody with their skills and talents, the jigsaw, the mosaic is not complete. Certainly at the law firm I worked at they knew this, everybody was looked after, anybody who did not fit the bill would never get through the interview process.

Carpenters are gods, ask Harrison Ford, he was one before he hit the big time. Chefs now they are gods too, and if you work in a 4star deluxe hotel you can to sample their creation, then you realise just how true it is. They also carry knives, lots of knives, so respect them, and did you know they live on biscuits and never cook at home, as they spend a lifetime in the kitchen, and yes gas is best.

Musicians are gods too, having been influenced by Eric Clapton from the age of 10 the power they have at their fingertips or with their voice is amazing. My claim to fame is that I once almost carried Eric Clapton’s bag when he stayed at our hotel. Only I went to the wrong end of his car, the boot was in the front. The car was worth twice what my house is worth. So I smiled and said, sorry sir, the wife drives a Skoda, but he did laugh.

So we all need to remember that we all can do different things, though actors have to learn to do many, but they are acting after all. Think about a film, and I have yet to write a Hollywood Blockbuster, it could be a 20 year pregnancy though, but I live in hope.  After the writer writes the film or the book upon which the film is based it takes 100s of people to produce it.

Next time you see a film, stop and watch the credits, count how many people it takes to make a film. If it’s an action film there may be 50 stunt people alone, or if its Jackie Chan just himself. The maths is interesting though, a film can be relatively cheap, but the returns can be a factor of 10. So a 10m film could make 100m, which 1000% return, which is better than the 2% which you’ll get on your Isa. That’s why people invest in films, rich people gamble 100k each and if it works they could get 1m back.

So as you watch the credits look at all the different categories, the butcher the baker and the undertaker is the name of my 1st book, just as that is a collection of trades and callings so are all the folks who work on a film. So if I ever get lucky, then one person, me, I could give work to a whole host of others, and all because I balanced a typewriter on a stool as I shivered in my living room, sat on an old barn chair with a broken back in front of the gas fire, as I wrote The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker. And best of all the writer gets at least 5% of the initial budget.

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I have Children

03/09/2014

I have Children ©

By Michael Casey

I opened the cupboard to get a cup, crackers tumbled out, followed by straws, multi-coloured straws. I looked for a spoon only there were none. I went searching for spoons, only to find them magnetised in a clump on my girls’ bedroom floor. Magnets are very attractive to enquiring minds, so they had to be tested, just how many spoons could one magnet hold. As for me and my tea, I’d have to use a finger to stir it.

I retreated with spoons galore, I hid the magnet under a bed, they’d never think of looking for it there. A bit of toast would be nice, at least the knives were in the right place. Now where was the jam? I looked high and low, and in the end I gave up, only to find the empty jam jar in the bin, as I discarded my tea bag. Children eat your favourite things first, you may as well have a gannet in the house.

I’ll pop up the road to get more milk and bread, I have to be careful nowadays with weight of the shopping, too much sets my screaming and wincing. Relief comes at home when I squeeze out the tube of Movelat pain killer. Where does the milk go to? Its hot chocolate for my children, for my girls, and then there are Cheerios, their favourite cereal, or rather the cheaper Aldi version. I swear we should buy a cow, my cousin has a dairy herd, perhaps he should send one over from Kerry. I do like milk myself, but I blame my girls, my thief like girls, they drink all my milk.

I have children, there is the cascade of scarfs and gloves when I go rooting for my coat in the pantry under the stairs. Then there are slippers galore all over the floor as I try and negotiate my way to the door. As I head for the shops there is the shout for chocolate, why do children and girls especially love chocolate so much. Forget the bread, just bring chocolate. Or in our house, forget the rice, just bring chocolate.

I need the bathroom, I have to fight my way through our galley kitchen, past one obstruction, a wife with a cleaver and a wok. Only to discover 2 more in the bathroom, 2 girls, why is it always 2 girls in the bathroom? Go pee in the garden I am told, or use a clothes peg as a clamp adds my scientific wife. Just as my bladder is about to explode I am allowed to use the bathroom, don’t pee on the floor advises my wife as she brings down the cleaver, amputating a fish’s head. I leave the bathroom, relieved, and them nagged for getting in the way as the chef is at work.

I get to the living room, I stumble over books and jumpers, I want to watch the news, only Peppa Pig is on. If it was up to me Peppa Pig would be having her trotters removed by the Chinese chef in the kitchen. Then I sit down in my spot,  demanding my cushions be returned to support my back, I have children, so they throw Looney Chick at me instead. Looney Chick has been a great support since 2009 when he arrived in our house from Shanghai, a back support.

My daughter wants to be a vet so while I am eating she is watching a documentary, so I have to avert my gaze otherwise I’d need a bucket to be sick into. I am laughed at and shamed by my children, by my wife too. Three against one are the odds.

It’s a school day, nine is bedtime, or rather the time you want them up the stairs, out of the way, not watching Peppa Pig. So there is bedtime and preparing for bed bedtime, which usually means by 9.30 or 9.45 they are finally out the way, out the way of the tv.

I am alone with the wife, now she wants to watch Chinese TV, I turn to Looney Chick and start speaking French to him, occasionally Spanish. I can hear laughter from the door to the stairs, my children are listening and spying. Go to bed I command, but they need a drink so I have to relent, and give another kiss goodnight. I have children, I have children.

 

teaching my children to fly, or is it semaphore?IMGP0004

Elevator Ad or give my column a few inches in your media

02/09/2014

Hello , how about a Verbal Cartoon for Radio and all other media

I grew up listening to the radio, we all used to hide under the blankets and listen when we should have been fast asleep. Radio did change my life, a lodger gave us a radio when he had to go back to Ireland to look after his sick mum. In fact he left all his stuff and caught the first boat home. Months later he came back to see us and said me and my brother could have his old Bush radio. I spent 20 years listening to radio. That and being afraid of Mr Gallagher when I was 8 changed my life, and improved my intellect.

Today after 20 years of radio and 25 years of writing, 45 years in total I think I’m a good writer, and thank God so do others. Yes I’m 55 now, in my head I’m 20, though my wife would say 12.

I met my Shanghai wife in the old people’s home, she was cleaning my dad’s room. I was positively vetted by a Chinese Ballerina  from the Birmingham Royal Ballet, now we are married with 2 bilingual daughters. I am the token male and English speaker in the family.

Now here’s a few samples, what I’d like to do would be to read my shorts/blogs on your radio. Each piece is about 90 seconds long, 90 seconds with Michael is the idea, simple idea. I have gained 17,227 views on Funny or Die for a sample  

1st chapter of Tears for a Butcher which will be my 8th book. Only the other day a publisher said my book of shorts 300 and Not OUT was very funny. In fact I must have 530+ shorts, enough for over a year.

I have started recording all my Shorts and have put 50+ of them on www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com  I have a new mike now too, so listen in reverse order.

My  7 books are on Amazon Kindle

 http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Casey/e/B00571G0YC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 and

www.michaelgcasey.wordpress.com   is my site.

Here’s the samples for radio or print.

Let There Be Light ©

 By Michael Casey

Let my tears be my words

Let the candle light be my eyes

Let the flowers in bloom be my lips

Let their scent be my blood

Let the wind be my breath

Let clouds be my mood

Let children’s laughter be my hope

Let widows’ sighs be my conscience

Let a stranger’s prayers be my delight

Let the bees be my wisdom

Let the trees be my strength

Let my patience reach to the stars

Let me be always remembered in your prayers

 

 

 

 

 

 

          The Dead and The Living (c)

 

                           by

 

                     Michael  Casey

 

 

     I first saw a deceased when I was nine years old, my father said not

 

     to worry as the dead are the same as the living,  only the  laughter

 

     has left them,  the sparkle has gone from their eyes, the worry has

 

     been lifted from their shoulders,  and their voice has vanished  to

 

     eternity.

 

     In  paradise the sparkle will return for it is the  twinkle  of  the

 

     stars, the laughter will return too for it is the morning breeze and

 

     the turning tides are their sides shaking with laughter.

 

     I treat the deceased with the same courtesy as I give to the living,

 

     though I find the deceased are always more polite.  My father also

 

     had a few words to say about the living.

 

     He said that the living are only the caretakers of the soul, yet

 

     they think their existence is everything, that they know everything

 

      because they experience many things with their senses.

 

      What the living don’t acknowledge is that their time is short  and

 

      when I lay their bodies to rest then their souls  continue  without

 

      them,  without their strong, without their weak,  without  their

 

      beautiful or even ugly temporary form, to where I cannot say, only

 

      that it is a better place.

 

      Percy the undertaker placed the lid on the coffin, the soul was free

 

 

                       THE  BEGINNING

 

LinkedIn Profile  and  CV ©

By

Michael Casey

We’ve all been on Facebook and LinkedIn, we get to know people and make “friends”. On LinkedIn it’s more about connections and maybe business connections. So we have to rely on the Profile, my LinkedIn profile tells my story, as I am a writer. But how accurate are these Profiles?

I am a born leader.

Means he was the firstborn boy in a family of 11 girls.

I created the supply chain structure.

Means he decided to use a clipboard and notepad instead of just his memory.

I optimised the sales among target audiences.

He chatted up all the girls, he was kind to seniors and went to church.

I was inventive and creative in gaining new sales.

Means he designed a flyer and went street to street delivering them.

I was never afraid of going the extra mile for the business.

Means there was a street gang chasing  him after he was at  the bank

I am great at communicating the business message.

He just would not shut up, so the boss got him to tidy the fruit outside the ma and pa store.

I always try and improve myself.

Means he has no friends so he reads a lot.

I created the new scheme to optimise the business cash flow.

Means he took the store’s cash and put the money on a horse.

I am now looking for new opportunities to excel

Means he got fired, cops not called as the owner married to his sister

I created a great new idea for centralising purchasing delivery.

Means he was a guard for the money delivery company, crash helmet and visor.

I created my own start-up company

Means he stole the money from the cash delivery company and started his own company.

I am now on a learning sabbatical before resuming my career

Means he is in jail, working in the library.

So when you read those LinkedIn profiles or reading a CV or resume think what do they really mean. Check the photos out too, the reality can be far different. Just like actors, photos can be 10 or 20 years old, and they are. Dig deeper.

Me, I google and check people out, as far as you can on Google. Google me and my sites and think for yourself. I am on a sabbatical myself, no I’m not in a library, thought we have plenty of books in the house, no it’s called arthritis, which comes and goes and makes me scream sometimes. But at least I can sit here and make some of you laugh, as I Google everybody.

 

 

 

Sleepover©

By

Michael Casey

Sleepover is exactly that, your sleep is over, you have laughing kids invading your house, and driving you out of your minds. Well not always, but it is very distracting. You can’t remember what you were doing and where has that file gone on the computer. This is the 2nd time I’m telling this story, why, because my Word, or upon my word, the story died or rather Word did not close properly, so now you’re getting something different.

Total strangers, or strangers to you arrive at the house and kind of invade it for a night. You do shout up the stairs, keep them out of my room. Not because you have anything worth stealing, but they are stealing your privacy, and that’s all you have left if you have daughters in your house.

Then the smell of nail varnish drifts down the stairs and permeates everywhere, its worse than mustard gas from the Great War. You scream up the stairs, open all the windows fully, what about your room, dad? Especially mine.

Its then that your inner sanctum is breached as they bring their friends to help them open the window. They see the Teddy Bear that you’ve had since you were 6 years old, the invader laughs. She also sees the deep heat by your bed, And he complains about nail varnish.

Dinner time arrives and you have to feed the cuckoo, only she doesn’t eat this or she doesn’t eat that, on principle. So you say, you’ll have to stave then. Your daughter, the host, is horrified, so you relent and flick a pound coin at them, cholesterol free oil used to make the chips. So a compromise is achieved.

You put Sky Sports on to watch the match, they say Qatar is going to build underground stadia, novel idea. You are settling down to see Rooney when they arrive back chip laden. Her friend just loves the ballet and Sky Arts has Bolshoi on, so could they please please watch that. You say you’ll record it for them. But you are as bad as a puppy murderer even for suggesting it.

So being a nice dad you let them watch the ballet on your 46inch tv, while you retreat to watch the match on the laptop upstairs. They never tell you about this at parenting classes, just how to change nappies. Let’s hope William and Kate are told.

After the ballet they retreat upstairs for girlie music, and what were you doing in their room on the laptop. Didn’t you know you are just a dad not allowed in the inner sanctum. The Hits is switched on  their dab radio at volume 13, you retreat to watch the after match talk on the big screen.

Later its bath time, so you have to wait 2 hours for all the girls in your house, including the cuckoo, to pollute the bathroom before you a mere dad, and bill payer, can have a shave. Only your last razor has been used to save somebody’s legs.

So everybody goes to bed, all is well, holding your teddy bear, you sleep soundly. Until 3am, when a banshee screaming wakes you, your wife and all the neighbours. It’s the cuckoo, she’s having a nightmare, it must be the chips, and the cholesterol free oil from them. Or half waking up and forgetting where she was.

So remembering to put on your dressing gown you have to calm everybody down, and answer the door, to the police, as the neighbour from neighbourhood watch has rung them. So the police come in and have a look. Flatulence is written down in the Police note book. As you let the police out the house again your smallest daughter hands you your teddy bear, its ok dad, it’s only a sleepover.

 

How do Men Shop? ©

By Michael Casey

There is a difference between Men and Women, and thank God for it. But how do men shop? Shopping for men is about getting what you need, my shoes have a hole in them so I’ll go to the shop and buy another pair. A man will buy a new pair of shoes that are exactly the same as his old pair of shoes, or if he’s being adventurous he’ll have a pair of shoes which are exactly the same but with grey laces and not black. Now to a man this is being fashion conscious. If a man wants a new pair of trousers he just goes to the shop and sees if they have his leg/waist size and then tries them on, making sure they don’t split when he bends over and that his package is not squeezed. If a man needs a suit he checks the trousers before putting on the jacket, the jacket must be able to be done up without his belly exploding the buttons off. A man will never button up his suit jacket, but he needs to know that the buttons won’t fly off and hit anybody in the eye, if ever he does.

If a man needs a shirt he checks the neck size, 18.5 in my case, and then he sees if its full fit or not. Then he buys 5 shirts exactly the same all  in plastic . For a lazy shopper he’ll go straight to Slaters and get what he wants. In and out in 30 mins for everything. Then he’ll go to the pub and meet his mates and have one pint too many and leave all his shopping in the Queens Tavern. Luckily they are honest there and his shopping is saved, otherwise he’s have to waste 30mins in Slaters, before going back to the pub.

This is basically the difference between men and women. Woman shop, men pick up clothes or whatever like an order picker does, without any passion.  A man gets home and puts his shopping away and forgets about it. Just like in the film The Fly where the man’s wardrobe contains suits all the same colour, clothes are just a thing so they are all uniform.

As for women shopping s something different, the clothes have to be tried on and they must make the woman look perfect, her bum or boobs mustn’t be to big or too small, everything should be right. To help the woman chose her clothes she brings two or three mates or her children with her. Her man is forced to come too, but he plugs Radio5 Live into his ear and listens to the football  while she is choosing. Men know 5 colours, red, blue, red, green, yellow or maybe one or two more; as for a woman there are at least 50 colours, and just as the eskimos have 30 words for snow a woman has 10 words for each colour and its hews.

This brave man, or am I stupid, I just give my wife the debit card and say leave me in peace, so she goes off with a smile with the girls with her, they are young Fashionistas after all. I decided years ago what a wife needed was space to shop and not constant looks at my watch. So that’s what she does and her bulging wardrobe will testify to the wisdom of my decision. When a woman comes home its 2 hours of mix and match to make sure that the new clothes match the old clothes, the husband tries to watch the big match on tv but his wife is prancing around the living room asking “does my bum show” and various other questions. It’s a penalty, and you sit on the edge of your seat, the wife appears and blocks your view, so you miss seeing why  your side was relegated. Normal life in homes up and down the country.

The next day you watch the match again in peace, you remembered to record it on Sky+ and as for the wife she’s gone back to the shop to return ½ of what she bought because it doesn’t match her shoes. And it’s your fault because you wouldn’t give her your debit card again so she could buy cheap £100 shoes.

 

 

All Things Bright and Beautiful ©

 By Michael Casey

 I haven’t written a non-pain piece in a while, so I’ll try and forget the pain and write something new. We’ve just had the half time holidays and my girls have been playing “shop-girls” as they call it. They even have a sign on their bedroom door saying “open” or “closed”. They steal my wife’s clothes and prance about upstairs. Our eldest daughter has bigger feet than my wife now so that’s a relief as she cannot steal my wife’s shoes any more, but it does not prevent her younger sister from wearing mum’s shoes. There is also the matter of the beret with silver sequins, that’s an absolute Fashion Must.

Me, I’m not fashionable at all, three girls in the house is enough, if I gave in to them they’d be beading my eye brows, I do wear pink on occasions, so that’s as far as I go. If I were maybe 3 stones lighter I’d try other things, I did see a nice cord jacket in Cotton Traders 48R, it was bright blue, Kingfisher Blue, my girls called it a “Clown Jacket”. With encouragement like that what am I supposed to do? I did say if I win Euro millions I WILL buy the jacket. My wife has a nice light brown one, although as she is a woman there will be a more accurate colour name, men don’t do colours. If you think of it its black and white, blue, green, orange as far as men go, but women at least another 40 names for colours. As far as my hair goes, its silver, though a friend used to say I was an old man with white hair. As the colour of our hair change it’s the 7 ages of man.

I remember Ali saying why wasn’t it “Whitemail” instead of blackmail. We are in the Pink if we have good health, I long to be back in the pink myself. We say we hope be back in the black not in the red when we do company accounts, we look for the silver linings. We look look look for the rainbow as the song goes, we may find the crock of gold, all our troubles may be over and we can pack them up in the old kit bag. Hope springs up within us, it is now Spring after all, and as Chance the Gardener said “in the Spring there will be growth.”

 

 

 

Cheese and Chorizo ©

By Michael Casey

 The thing about girls is that they steal your stuff, you think they are nice and sweet smelling, but they are not. If they get up before you they’ll raid your side of the fridge and eat your cheese and chorizo. Cheese and chorizo on toast, with hot chocolate to follow, this is how your daughters treat you. This is how my girls treat me.

Yesterday mum bought biscuits, and did she share them? NO. The girls got some but I got none. They were  the ones I really like, its always the ones you really like. I looked high and low, just like an Ah Ha song, but nothing. JJ the wife just laughed at me as I went from pillar to post looking for a biscuit, the Tunnock ones. See this is how the 3 girls in my life treat me, I am biscuitless. Finally after much derision my small daughter showed me  where the biscuits were, a new hiding place, that’s why I could not find them. So I was victorious, I sneaked a biscuit into my pocket and slipped away to eat it in peace.

Shoes are a big thing, so our small daughter walks around the house in mum’s shoes, mine are too big so thankfully they are left alone. However having two daughters who like Textiles, which is the fancy word from school for sewing and making things. If they like textiles then your clothes are not safe, they drag a shirt or two out of the wardrobe and say they want to turn it into something. Jumpers are not safe either, they can cut them down to make a dress  or even a handbag. And as for needles, it’s like having a porcupine in the family, DANGER. You only realise that after you have sat on a needle or two, the wife just says its free acupuncture, no need to asked Dr Hu to pay us a visit, and yes he really is Dr Hu, not Dr Who, but Dr Hu.

Now that our 11year old is 5feet tall, as big as mum, she wants to wear her clothes, but you can imagine what kind of clothes a Shanghai girl wears. So there is debate in Chinese, I cannot understand a word, but SANINGONGA is heard quite often which means no. Which also means my girls, our girls will return to steal from my wardrobe again. In a way it’s like having moths, but instead of holes in your clothes, entire items just disappear. BUT it’s not just the girls, its mum too, she’ll decide that the Fashion Police would not like this item or that item, so it  disappears.  When do I find out? Never, or nearly never, until I walk past a charity shop and see a tent sized item in the window, it’s my clothes.

So if you want to keep the clothes on your back, don’t have daughters. If  you want your favourite food safe in your side of the fridge, the none Chinese side of the fridge, then don’t have daughters. If you want to save your pennies, don’t have a Shanghai wife. But then life would be boring, just make sure you look before you sit.

 

 

 

From A to B from Sat Nav to Blocked Sink  ©

 By Michael Casey

 Well I hope you are all fine this morning. For us the Sat Nav debate continues. In the old days a Black Taxi would not be seen using an AtoZ, it was beneath his dignity. He’d done the Knowledge and it was all up there in his head. Jack Rozenthal wrote a great play about it, was it 30years ago? Maureen Lipman was his real wife.

 Delivery drivers have and egg and bacon butty in one hand dripping egg on to the AtoZ in their other hand while they try and deliver a chest of drawers, with 5 days growth of beard for good measure.

 Bus drivers know their route, so once they’ve done it a while its automatic, they know what they are doing. All they have to do is put up with kids trying to use a 3 day old ticket, and not get too high from all the cannabis on the bus. Or remember when they have switched routes because that can lead to strange directions.

 Door to door salesmen all those years ago, with the rap at tat tat on the back door had their route carrying the suitcase with samples in. I can vaguely remember one at our back door did my mum buy a clothes brush? But that must be 45 years ago.

So basically we all know what we want and where we are going. Going further back they say people only knew a six block radius around their home. Going to War changed all that as did radio and then more importantly tv. Tv being our eyes on the world, previous to that only Merchant Seaman knew of the world. My own granddad was a merchant sea man, I sometimes wonder did he ever get to Shanghai

Or was it me, his grandson who got there first. Had he visited at the turn of the 19th/20th Century 100years and more ago.

 Which brings us back to Sat Nav. Me I use a bus which is fine apart from the pot heads who sit next to you on the bus and all I want to do is puke. My wife is a car driver, so she and our girls love the car. But my wife has borrowed a Sat Nav and likes the ease of it so now she wants one of her own. The result is that I’m being nagged to provide one. You pay, me pay, yes you pay, why me pay, because you are the husband so you pay, no way me pay, you pay you pay yourself, I say. And on the ding dong, sing song goes. Which is the fun part. Me I no pay, use computer I say. You can get perfect directions off the computer all you then have to do is print them off, if our printer was still working we’d be doing that. So really all the wife has to do is copy them down, in English.

 She’s  busy with the wok as I talk to you, she’s compromised now, she only wants me to pay half. So I say I’ll be doubly generous and double the share I won’t pay, I’ll pay zero and she can pay 100%. That’s the true spirit of negotiation, now I have another thing to resolve, she’s blocked the sink, so pardon me now as I take the plunge, or rather take the plunger to the sink, no need to use a Sat Nav to get there, its over my shoulder in the next room, just turn left at the tv and go straight on to the sound of bubbles. Love is everywhere don’t you know it, just find it, no Sat Nav required.

 

My other idea is a book of shorts, 40 stories with 40 translations

on facing page plus 40 audio of me reading my stories on usb stick.

Perfect to teach English as a 2nd language, via humour.

As I have written 530+ stories this would be a series of 10 plus books

So we could have Mandarin/Japanese/Urdu/Spanish/Hindi/Russian etc

This would be a world wide hit, angel investors needed

Thanks for reading this, that’s if Junk did not get it. I have come close and not got a cigar many times in my life, so I decided to try you. Radio is the medium for my words, 90 seconds with Michael, could go nationwide, it’s a simple idea, with great words, mine if I can be boastful. I have already recorded 180 of my 530+ shorts, they can be heard at www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com listen in reverse order I have a new microphone now.

Cheerio, Michael Casey 

Email michaelgcasey@hotmail.com

 www.michaelgcasey.wordpress.com

www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com  to hear 50+ stories

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Casey/e/B00571G0YC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

8 ebooks and 3 Printed on Paper Books

http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Casey/e/B00571G0YC/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

 

Piano Girl

that’s me at home writing while my daughter plays piano, she want to be a Vet when she grows up, as for me I’d just like a bigger house if I can sell some books.

 


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