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.

DSCF3135

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.

 

Customer Service for Beginners

01/09/2014

Customer Service for Beginners ©

By Michael Casey

Before I start I’ll ask you one question.
Why do we need customer service?
Answer:
We need customer service, GREAT customer service So that customers come back to us again and again.
BAD Customer Service means NO return customers.
Which in the end means WE ARE ALL OUT OF A JOB looking after great grandpa at home.
So please follow the ADVICE I’m sharing with you.
And before you ask why should you listen to me, the answer to that is I’m paying you and I had the highest praise ever for my customer service when I worked at my previous job.
I had maybe 100,000 customers, I spoke to all of them.
Here’s the Advice, please commit it to memory so you know it as well as your favourite song.
1. Never say NO.
2. If a customer asks for black, and we don’t have it tell the customer what colours we DO have.
3. Then we don’t lose a sale
4. Saying NO turns customers away and they look elsewhere.
5. So you ALWAYS tell them ALTERNATIVES, they can be
Persuaded, to make a PURCHASE, we have NOT lost a sale.
6. If you cannot give an answer for any reason, then tell the customer YOU WILL FIND OUT, Never say I don’t know.
7. Always be polite, especially with difficult customers, NEVER eat and drink while on the phone, they will think you are a PIG
8. Professionalism counts, so be professional, have a tidy desk and KNOW where to look on the computer, so you don’t APPEAR to be like a lost child.
9. Once you have an order ALWAYS REPEAT BACK to the customer what they have just ordered.
Eg. So you say:- shirt size 10, pants size 12, and the COLOURS they want too, and the QUANTITIES. Most importantly their MAILING ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER
10. SO you have the order and ALL the details, what do you say before ending the CONVERSATION?
11. You say THANK YOU FOR YOUR ORDER PLEASE SHOP WITH
US AGAIN.
Never bad mouth customers as you hang up, because they WILL hear, and you should NEVER do it anyway.
12. ONE FINAL THING, BEFORE YOU HANG UP, Tell the customer we also have great offers on, whatever items there are offers on. AND tell them next week, or next month we will have more items. It would be EVEN BETTER if as you take their order you REMIND the customers about matching items etc.
13. Customer Service is all about giving the customer what they want, and if we don’t have it we offer ALTERNATIVES.
14. We wear makeup and nice clothes to attract a boy, and we try and make him happy. OUR CUSTOMERS ARE THAT BOY.
15. If you are GOOD the customer tells 4 friends and we get more SALES.
16.If you are bad and lazy the customer tells 10 friends, and WE SUFFER and end up at home looking after great grandpa
SO SMILE EVEN WHEN ON THE PHONE AND ALWAYS GIVE GREAT
CUSTOMER SERVICE, OFFER ALTERNATIVES ALWAYS

me in suit

me during my 100,000 guests time

 

Dolls’ House

29/08/2014

Dolls’ House ©

By

Michael Casey

Well the Vet books arrived so we covered them in cling film, or rather sticky film to protect them, so they would be protected while my 13 year old spends a few years mulling over whether to become a Vet or not. The sticky stuff also arrived in the post, as part of the preschool materials for my daughter.

I remember maybe 40 years ago when my French teacher at grammar school got us all to cover our text books in clear sticky back plastic. One of the class had done his book in it and Mr Notzing noticed and decided it was a great idea, so he arrived one day with squares all pre-cut ready for us all to cover our books. I mention this because thanks to Mr Notzing I was good at French, a 20 question test every week for 4 years had also helped. So God Bless Mr Notzing, he died when he was about my age.

Now my small daughter had begged for a dolls’ house for a long time, she had one already but she wanted a bigger version. My brother had bought her the original dolls house as a Christmas present a few years ago. Finally she was allowed a cream coloured one, available from Sue Ryder via Amazon, and naturally made in China, but she is ½ Chinese herself.

We watched the post for it to arrive and then finally it did, my small daughter was delighted. So I just looked at my watch and said she had to read for 2 hours first and then do 15 minutes piano. She would be very good at piano but bored of it, but now at this moment the dolls’ house had power, so I used it.

Then I had to drag her away from the piano as I carried the heavy bundle upstairs to her bedroom. It looked as if it was all covered in sticky clear plastic itself, but it was no book, it was a dolls house. So we used a box cutter to get all the wrapping off, then I laid out all the pieces like an undertaker laying out the dead.

Front and back, roof and floors and so forth, I got my small daughter to count all the screws so we could know if we lost any. Then we began, I had guessed it would take an hour and a half to do, only I forgot about my bad back and my Arthur, my arthritis. So in the end it took 3 and a half hours. Some of the screws were so small and fiddly so I could not fit them into place. So both my daughters did the small finger parts.

The new Sue Ryder dolls house was 4 times bigger than the original dolls house, and actually 25% cheaper in price, made of wood and not plastic too. You have to use logic and spatial awareness, to work it all out. I was trying to explain it to my daughters as I went along, my big daughter did think about architecture as a career, before being a vet roared into her mind.

So we did the base and screwed the sides on, then we slotted in the 1st floor, we were on a roll. The 2nd floor came easy, we tightened it into position. Soon the roof would be on and the house was taking shape it looked so good already. Then we realised the 2nd floor was on back to front, the pictograph was the evidence. So we had to undo all the screws and rotate it before putting the screws back into position.

Then we placed the 2 sets of stairs into position, the thing was taking shape. So I went downstairs to the fridge for a celebratory drink of cold blackcurrant and a visit to the bathroom. The back roof went on next, followed by putting the 2 attics on the front roof. So everything was coming up roses, my small daughter was getting happier and happier. As for my back and thighs, they were beginning to hurt, scrambling around on a bedroom floor exacts its price, especially if you have arthritis.

So we only had the front to put on, with hinges, and the front roof with more hinges. This is when things get tricky, the screws were tiny and my pork sausage fingers were not tiny. So the hinges were the girls’ job to do. I just supervised, as I went downstairs for another drink and to squeeze some painkilling gel on my back and hips. Building a dolls house has a price to pay for dads with Arthur, but a dad has to do what a dad has to do.

Then we worked out how to put the double jointed roof hinges on, though to be honest one was back to front so we had to redo it. Finally the roof was on, I would have done a victory lap around the bedroom, only my Arthur would not let me. The front had 4 hinges plus a magnet to close the front 2 pieces together. We managed to do it, even when we discover we were missing a few screws. Luckily I had a few spare in my stash of tools and screws. But we still lacked 2, my small daughter said it did not matter, but I insisted. I found a long thin nail and it was pressed into service, and with a few more blows of my hammer it was turned into a screw. But we still lacked one screw, one screw was missing. So we used a large drawing pin.

We closed everything, we had done it, we now had a super dupper dolls house, in fact it looks like one of the dream houses that I look at on www.rightmove.co.uk If only I could win the Premium Bonds then I’d move to such a house. We decided on one more thing, the hinges could be helped if we added clear sticky back plastic to them and along the entire edges of the opening parts.

We moved the new dolls house into its final resting place, just in front of the girls’ wardrobe, which could now only open with one door. That did not matter, only the doll’s house mattered. My daughter gave me a big hug, it had taken 3.5 hours. I went downstairs to lie on the settee, while my daughter filled her doll’s house with all the Sylvanian family furniture.

We had done it, I would of course extract a price for this new dolls house, more piano and more reading. Though to be honest my small daughter does do loads of reading already, but if I can redirect her back to the piano for 15 minutes a day then that will be a victory for both of us. So we had a victory toast of fizzy orange Fanta, and then I rubbed my pain killer on my Arthur. 

IMGP0819IMGP0828

Photoshop

27/08/2014

Get ypur own girlfriend    

 

click to see the photoshow my girls were doing today.

 

Ask a young person what BAE   means, then you’ll get the joke.

Shanghai Pink

22/08/2014

Shanghai Pink ©

By

Michael Casey

Well my girls got home yesterday morning, a groaning taxi arrived with them and all their treasure. I was standing on the doorstep as the black taxi tuned the corner, perfect timing. I had been watching flightaware so I knew all the details of their two flights from Shanghai, if you google it will tell you all about Daniel Baker the founder.

It’s so much easier if you fly from Birmingham, no waste of 3 hours going to Heathrow, and more especially when you return tired from holiday. However you do have to take a connecting flight, but at least you are not so tired when you get home.

Once home all the cases are dumped  in your clean home. I did actually vacuum and tidy up before their arrival, before my 3 girls came home to me. After 3 weeks, I needed too, I even did all the washing up too, and put all the cups and plates away, and I washed the kitchen floor too. None of this was noticed as my wife went online to tell her mum she had arrived safely, not to mention catching up on all her messages. Sometimes I think she needs a social secretary.

My small daughter was triumphant, she had a souvenir for me in her hand. A lucky cat, a fat cat on a red cushion with a bell around its neck, this now lives behind me, on top of the  bookcase next to the hifi. My small daughter also gave me a tiny rubber in the shape of a tiny white lucky cat. So I have 2 lucky cats now.

Next the bags are opened and the contents spill everywhere, and everywhere really does mean everywhere. They were allowed 69kilos, so they brought back the full allocation. Ma, as I call grannie in Shanghai, sends things she’s saved. Such as 2 old shirts of mine and 2 pairs of nonmatching socks, and one old pair of blue underpants, all this saved for more than a decade, from my first ever visit to China.  

How and why these were saved I cannot remember, it may have been part of the leave something behind, which would mean I’d have to come back for my future bride. I did have to leave the Eurythmics  album 17 behind, I still play it often. The album returned to me many years ago, but the shirts and socks, and the blue pants must have been overlooked. The shirts would never fit again as my chest size is 2 inches bigger and my neck is an inch bigger, thanks to 3 years working in a hotel.

More treasure spills over the floor and covers the 2 settees we have in the living room, then the phone calls begin. My wife is very popular, so she has to catch up on 3 weeks news, but she had not seen her mum for 5 years, so there was lots of catching up to do.

Then slowly slowly, like a tide too slowly retreating all the stuff is unloaded from the suitcases and those plastic/canvas blue stripy bags that Chinese travellers use on their travels. Next all the packaging is thrown to one side, luckily I emptied the dustbins the day before. Where does all the stuff come from, ask anybody with an international wife and they will say the same.

This takes a period of hours, in between the phone calls, so the tide of unpacked suitcases retreats, with pockets of wet sand here and there, or rather piles of clothes balanced and slipping from the arms and backs of the twin sofas. Meanwhile twin dustbins are filling with stuff. Grannie has send loads of stuff back  to Birmingham, some of the stuff I don’t see as I take refuge in the front room, my PC being my saviour.

We stop for family pizza, my big daughter had decided to puke on the Shanghai to Paris flight, so she was starving now, though the Paris to Birmingham flight was nice. So my Shanghai/Birmingham family have pizza, it’s a change from 3 weeks of total Chinese food.

The washing machine is switched on and the first load is started, luckily I emptied the washing machine 2 days ago, I anticipated this. 90 minutes later the first surprise, a duvet set emerges, only its camouflage green, it’s what you’d use to hide a tank with, have we got Putin’s luggage by mistake?

So I hang out all the washing, ready for the next load. As I hang the camouflage green duvet cover, with matching pillow slips and mattress cover on the line I laugh. Ma, has sent this all this way, 5000 miles just in case we could use it. It’s very Irish really, not just Chinese, my own mum would have done the same. I hang out more washing only to discover that several items are now Shanghai Pink, an old red jumper that my wife had 10 years ago has landed up in Birmingham, mixed in with all the washing. So several items are now Shanghai Pink.

The washing was left out overnight, then early this morning I switched on the washing machine ready for the day’s sun, and the second load. As least Shanghai Pink would not be repeated. Then I went back to bed for another hour, I would rise with the rising sun, and get our 2nd load done. We never use the tumble dryer, radiators yes, as they are free, tumbler dryer no. My wife has developed an English love of the Weather Forecast, sunshine is free too.

I rise and discover my wife on the phone, so I hang out the 2nd load of washing, laughing at Putin’s washing as I take it off the line ready for the next load. I hang out another duvet set, Ma has sent this 5000 miles too. She did have her place redecorated a year or so ago and so we are getting her caste offs, though it turns out that the second duvet set was a new set, that was stuck at the back of the wardrobe, for 10 years.

Then Shanghai Pink reappears, where is the offending item this time? There are no red jumpers in the pile, but there are 3 sets of long-johns, what looks like a child’s long-johns, 3 tops and 3 pants. They are in fact the wife’s long-johns.  The Shanghai Pink is bigger this time, my wife comes outside to laugh. Thanks to her long-johns she never freezes in Winter, and always wonders why I’m cold, and tells me off for putting the heating on.

The sun shines and the 2nd load of washing blows in the wind, even if  some of it is now Shanghai Pink in colour, inside the house gradually the tide of clothes and suitcases disappears, at least its only in one room now.

I remember I have a can of lager in the fridge so I enjoy that, upstairs there is noise, my wife has decided to have a tidy up. There’s no room in the wardrobes for the new stuff, so old stuff is exiled to downstairs. Just as I thought the house was tidy, the tide, the 2nd tide of the day takes over, this time old and unloved clothes will be transported to the charity shop. But first they will mount up in plastic bags behind me, it’s my job to carry them to the charity shops.

Sadly 2 of the charity shops close by have closed, so I have to walk farther away to donate/ get rid of our old stuff. If you have daughters and they are under 16 they are still growing, so the amount of clothing that ends up in the charity shop can be quite large. I do have one daughter who takes after me, and the smaller daughter takes after my wife as far as build goes, which means more trips to the charity shop for me.

I could go on but I have to cook for the family now, so we are having pasta, Aldi pasta, two packets full in one big saucepan. I switch on, make sure it doesn’t over boil, and in 15 minutes I have fed the family. One thing is sure though, my pasta won’t be Shanghai Pink.

DSCF3135

I want to be a Ghostwriter

15/08/2014

I want to be a Ghostwriter ©

By Michael Casey

I’ve decided to be a Ghostwriter, it might be easier just to adopt a pen name but I think I’ll go all the way, there has to be a first time for everything. I mean if I am a ghostwriter nobody will know who I am. I can write horrible things about the man in the chip shop, he never gives me enough chips. I can write about that lolly pop lady who lets cars kill me, oh sorry love I did not see you. I wear bright red and I have silver hair.

But that’s more about the joys of having a pen name so you can be truly invisible, and really dig the knife in, all those people you hate, that man at the bus stop, or all those driver bastards on mobile phones while you cross at the zebra crossings. Not to mention those who overtake a queue of stopped traffic at a zebra which you are crossing, just so they can try and kill me. It’s happened at least 5 times.

Well it’s good to get that out of my system, though I would like to vaporise all those bad drivers in the neighbourhood. I speak as a lifelong pedestrian and non-driver. So what would ghost writing be like? Would you meet lots of interesting people? I did when I was a concierge, would they have lots of good stories to share? And I’d get paid to tell them, for a good fee of course.

How much should you charge? £50 an hour and a minimum fee of £1000 up front, just to get rid of time wasters. How would they communicate their stories to you? One idea would be for them to record them then copy them to a usb stick which they’d post to you, with a cheque. If you like the story then you agree to write it for them. If you don’t then you keep the usb stick, and charge a £100 fee just for evaluation costs. If you like it they have to pay the £1000 up front.

If you google “fees for ghost writing” I’m sure you’ll get much higher costs. You can also add on a 10% share of any book sale profits, plus if it’s optioned for a film you can ask 25% of film rights. It’s your writing that made the story interesting after all. So much for the theory, but did you know a film script writer gets 5% of the film budget, and a profit share, or so much for the theory.  

As for the writing, the ghost writing itself, it must be a story worth telling, you don’t want to be some sort of glorified copy typist. When I was copy typing my novel to have it on my computer, that was the most boring thing in the world, so instead I rewrote it and it doubled in size, humour and pathos.

So assuming you get a reply to your advert in the Daily Telegraph, it’s not really an advert, you posted a comment in the comment section and hoped somebody noticed. Then you make contact with somebody, or rather they contact you, and you sit there listening to the usb stick story. Every other word is, “you know, or init or erh, or I, I and I” people have to learn how to speak before they can learn how to write. Though I could teach people to Speak as well, see I am doubly gifted.

The trouble is people “think” they can speak, and then they think they can write. The truth is they cannot. To stand up and talk and hold and engage an audience does require training. I learnt to do it properly back in 1998, and the writing took me 1 year of doing it, with 20 years of constant listening to BBC Radio 4 BEFORE I picked up a pen.

I’ve gone sideways, so back to the ghost writing. You get a usb stick and you play it on your hifi, so it doesn’t get a chance of giving your computer a virus. You sit there with a can of Stella Artois in your hand, as you listen. You hear the accent and the tone, some accents are hard to understand, some just hurt your ears, like chalk on a blackboard, though I’m probably the last generation that knows about chalk and blackboards.

If the story is good you’ll put down the can of Stella and listen harder, as you listen your professional ear kicks in. When you watch a film, you enjoy the story and the way it’s acted, and you spot the telegraphed items. At the start is superglue, so that later in the story the superglue returns to save the day.

So the story is good, you just need to take out the cursing, yes it’s needed and it’s the way the story is, but less is more. Some kids think that saying %$£^ is clever, but when repeated 1000 times its just BORING. Same goes for the sex, less is more, if that’s a contradiction in terms. Jackie Collins is Jackie Collins or 50 Shades of Grey. So you listen and you see through to the heart and soul of the story. The teller may not be able to write nor even talk, but the ingredients make a very powerful story.

So you finish listening, you may have another Stella Artois or their new Cidre, then you sit in the chair thinking. Then you go to bed and sleep on it, literally. In the morning you write for an hour or two. You read it back, you’ve taking their story, their life and you’ve made it better, it’s a good piece of writing now.

As I write this I can remember once being asked did I ever write for others, I cannot remember when, that could have been my ghost writing chance. I was asked by a lawyer did I ever teach how to give a talk or was it writing. NOW today if either of those people is reading this I’d like to try both, but they are gone like ships in the night.

So back to the ghost writing, then you have to ring up or email the teller and ask them what they think of your writing. Have you make their life good, do you do justice to their story, to their life. It’s at this moment you either get £100 for the evaluation, or they send you £1000. You never do a stroke more without payment. I have a friend a translator in Shanghai who was fleeced for a technical translation he had done. There are thieves out there, so trust nobody, this is work, even if it is work you love, you must be paid. And in advance.

Some people can write about anything and anybody, axe murderers and junkies, who don’t use trains but buses, all kinds of stuff. Or the life and times of the village organist. It can be either end of the spectrum. As a ghost writer you could be writing about anything, the guy interviewed on the BBC claimed he got 3 offers a day. If he’s that lucky he can be choosey, very choosey, it said his books have sold 10,000,000 copies.

How choosey would you be, would you be like a bar, open long hours to everybody, for everybody. Me, I wouldn’t be like that, I wouldn’t want to put up with an idea or a person for 3 months while I wrote the story. It’s like shop staff they have to put up with the likes of you and me, while they are working. Once outside the shop they can cross over the road to avoid us. So a story is like a uniform that you have to wear at work, you could really hate it. I had to wear a pink tie while I was a concierge, I hated that tie.

You have to either like or at least tolerate the story and the teller, while you are ghost writing. Then once the work is done their name is on the front of the book, not yours. If you are lucky you may get a tiny credit. That’s why you must have a proper legal contract so that at least you get the money if not the praise for all your hard work.

So I hope all you would be ghost writers, and I include myself, have had food for thought by reading this piece. And as I said before I am available to teach public speaking and as a virgin ghost writer.

Buy my books on Amazon Kindle

Ghostwriter Available

14/08/2014

 

I just saw this guy being interviewed on “Meet the Author” on the BBC, I forget his name,but he is a Ghost Writer after all. So it got me thinking, perhaps that’s what I should be. People may like my style but not the content, so perhaps I should just sell my style. I did actually get a radio station, a hip and trendy one, say “we like your style but not the content” Other Radio stations DO like my stuff, but getting a slot in a format driven Radio World is very hard, but I do keep on trying.

 

As for the Ghost Writer idea, if anybody out there wants to contact me then just send me an email with “Ghost Writer” in the subject line. Now if you want examples of my writing you can click on http://www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com  and  there in actual fact you can hear me READ OUT 50 or so examples. If you want to read more then just click http://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-Casey/e/B00571G0YC  I have 8 books on Amazon. Just look for my face.

 

I do have an idea for a comic post about wanting to be a Ghost Writer, that’ll be called “I want to be a Ghostwriter” So watch out for that.

 

 

p.s.I’m a writer I’ll never call myself author 

 

looks drunkPiano GirlIMGP0422DressingGownWriter


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