The Family Divided By Television


The Family Divided By Television ©

By Michael Casey

Well I haven’t written anything new for a day or two, and I wasn’t going to write anything tonight either, that was until we became a family divided by television. I’ve come to the family desktop to escape watching the 2nd half of a film my wife first watched 10 years ago when I was working at a hotel by the airport at the NEC, this being at the other side of Birmingham from where I live.

The Core didn’t look too interesting so I’m here instead talking to you all. Our girls are upstairs eating chocolate while the cat Totoro is pretending to be Goldilocks, and sleeping in or on or under all the beds, such is her life. The last day of April 2016 is like winter again, she has just discovered my room, so as it’s the warmest thanks to it being South facing and having a mass of central heating pipes running through it.

Yes, we are a family divided by television. If we don’t agree on what to watch we set a recording going while one or another of us watches what they want. As I’m a news junkie, I can just watch BBC or Sky news on the computer while the girls watch what they want. As we can watch Chinese tv too my wife can watch a serial on Phoenix should she want to.

A couple of years ago there was a really gripping serial we all loved about a romance it was very funny, especially as the boy worked in the marriage office. His ex wanted him back but in the end true love conquered all, which is what my own mother told me, little did I know I’d end up marrying a Shanghai girl, with the help of God and two policemen as my mum used to say.

Sky+ divides and unites families, you can record your favourite shows and watch them together when you are all home from work or school. If you have a student in the family, or a budding Dr to be, then you can record the important tv and it can be watched at a later time. Then being able to stop the live show as well that’s a godsend, because toilet breaks and rushing to the fridge for more fuel can be accommodated, this really a great innovation. When I grew up we only had 2 channels in black and white to start with, and the cat slept on the microwave size/shape tv, because it was so hot after an evening viewing. Now with slim lcd tvs cats no longer do this.

Families do come together for chocolate and favourite shows:- Grimm, Blacklist, Elementary. Then Peppa Pig must be watched, this is now a cult programme with teenagers, why I have no idea. I’d eat Peppa Pig on some nice bread with ketchup, but for my girls and their friends Peppa Pig is a cult.

All tv is suspended while the wife watches the BBC weather report, it’s an addiction of hers, luckily the advert breaks are so long you can watch the BBC weather while the adverts are on. Ditto I can watch the headlines before we can switch to the start of our favourite programmes, or we hit record then rewind to the beginning if we’ve missed a bit.

As I talk to you my wife has abandoned the Core and I can hear the Bee Gees singing in the next room behind me, either that or the neighbour’s cat is being castrated, so high are the high notes. If I hear anything good I can return to the living room to view for myself, I sit in the corner on the naughty chair. The irony is that we were buying new furniture from Argos prior to my bypass op, then when I got out of hospital it was too low and soft for me to sit on. So I sit on a hard dining chair in the corner, so that I don’t irritate my chest scars.

Obviously as a bloke I’d love a huge tv with a sound bar etc, plus all the Sky film channels, when I win the lottery I’ll have one in my mansion, Toshiba of course as they make great tvs. Then we can watch the Sky tv 6 part adaptation of my novel The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker, well all in my dreams. Though the family might never want to watch it, you know what they say about a prophet in his own town, a man and his tv series might be the same. For we are a family divided by television.

My shoes 23rdJuly2015

Inspiration and Science


Inspiration and Science ©

By Michael Casey

First of all blame my daughter for this piece, I asked which should I write about, Inspiration or Science, and she said both with a smile, an inscrutable smile, she is ½ Shanghai Chinese after all, the other ½ being Kerry Irish by way of Birmingham. So here goes, but before I forget hello to my reader in Mexico and Austria, the readership seems to be getting far flung, or maybe they are just trying to avoid me by travelling far and wide.

The Casey Clan is vast, I do have 40 first cousins after all, I am the nearly youngest of all of them. So I have a load of stories past down to me from my dad, and from my trips to Kerry too. I’d love to go back and do a tour, but I need a driver and maybe a jeep to get to all the places, but if I win the lottery or Amazon’s Flying Car Pit show ever goes I could tag along tied to the roof rack. It would give my silver hair a great blow wave look.

So what about Inspiration? It’s something that Inspires, yes I’m stating the obvious, but do allow me to sound sophisticated, in my own imagination for a nanosecond. If you witness events they can either scar you or give you great dreams, or even nightmares, but the spark they give does lead to something, even if it’s just the exit, fast.

Fear of my teacher lead me to reading lots, this then led to 20 years of BBC Radio 4 listening which then led to being a writer these past 30 years. 50 years of my life just flashed by in a sentence, I cannot complain though as I’m still alive, and hoping to reach my 1,000,000 Words written in the next eighteen months. I discovered I was 2 hours away from death after my quadruple heart bypass as my pulse went up to 200 to 230 beats a minute. Others have died I’m still here, perhaps its god punishing my readers for not talking to him and reading my rubbish instead. There you are, reading as punishment. Who would you make prisoners read as punishment for their crimes? Charles Dixons or JK Rowling or even Terry Pratchett? You can have fun in the office talking about that by the coffee machine.

Now as my daughter said write about Science too perhaps I should say a few words on that topic. My small daughter is a really great writer, she’s told me she’s better than me and I agree with her, any dad want’s his daughter to be greater than himself. We joke that her English teacher wants to adopt her as she is so good, the fridge is covered in praise slips. For balance I should reveal that my other daughter is top in the entire year group in Science, is that 90 or 120 pupils, it’s all Greek or is it Science to me. Though mum, my wife does have a Chemistry degree.

Now what shall I say about Science? Well I grew up with Apollo, no not the Greek god, though I do love Kebabs, I mean the Space Race. This was so exciting, and it was all in black and white. Ali was dancing around the ring, American politicians were all getting shot and so forth.

The music or soundtrack to all our lives was unbelievable, The Monkees, the Beatles, Sonny and Cher all kinds of everything, and not a manufactured boy band in sight, Simon Cowel is younger than me, so he would have been in school in short pants and getting bullied, and having his pants pulled down in the middle of the playground.

Science really is the future, I was watching a programme about Gravity and how they are trying to “see” by using the disturbances in gravity. It was really interesting, some of it was almost beyond me, but BBC science programmes really are so well presented/produced.

The other thing is that fact that a man in his shed, usually in England really do have the first ideas about science. Though as usual England does NOT have enough money for the research so USA “steals” the talent and makes the big bucks. So I’d suggest our Lotto invests in science, put £500,000,000 into Science instead of clog dancing for the Welsh or sewing classes for welders in Scunthorpe. Near where I am we had a £40million Art Gallery called the Public, it was a white elephant, a fancy design which should have been on Peppa Pig. It folded and has now become a school after they built classrooms inside the original building.

My Physics teacher Mr R he was such a good teacher and we always enjoyed the experiments, if the teaching is fun then difficult topics are understood and enjoyed. A good teacher really does make a difference, as does proper discipline, such as no phones to be used in school, it is NOT a human right to have and use a mobile.

We stumbled over my old school reports from 40 years ago and to my surprise I was great at Chemistry, I got 80% in an exam, but then I dropped it in 3rd year, this is Year 9 in today’s parlance. At school if you are guided well by the teacher who knows their onions, and is more than 2 chapters ahead of the class then little acorns can grow into might oaks.

Well that’s enough from me for tonight I have to watch the Press Preview on Sky, it’s my form of entertainment. I’ll never be on tv, but I still dream of being on Radio reading out my short pieces…..



Title for New Amazon Car Show


Hello team, as a non driver I think my idea for a show title is best.


feel free to donate 10,000QUID to my bank account for the  idea.


You can add Amazon to the title too


love and kisses from Michael Casey

this is me in my concierge days 2002 to 2005

I’m also available for a walk on part, or stick me on the fridge with a magnet.

Food for thought


Food For Thought
Think AS You Watch TV (c)

By Michael Casey ——————————————————————————–

As we sit in our armchairs watching the news , do we care what is going on over there , in some place hot , too hot to think about , or too cold to bear , ice and snow everywhere . Are we just waiting for the sports report , are we waiting to see was the battle hard or a walkover , did our favourite player score a home run , or 10 touchdowns , were the crowd , the audience behind him , did we win 100dollars from the bet we had on the side . In the interviews after the war was won , were we just watching to see the design on the teams shirt , is that a new logo , is that the same logo spruced up . Or is it a new logo entirely , does it make any difference in how the team played , or just another million dollars in the owners pocket , paid by us the audience , the fans , just so we can all look so identical . The reporters are screaming loudly , half excited and half in fear , they want to watch , they want to cover their eyes , but they are there so they must report . Are they in some arid desert , or in some cold cold place , pain and fear and hope etched on their face , are they in some war zone , or at the stadium , if all we heard were just their words , could we tell the difference , do we care , so long as we can switch it all off with our remote control .


*****something from years ago, I’ve been having a few pain days so I’ll write something new maybe tomorrow


The Spaceman and The Arch-Angel


The Spaceman and The Arch-Angel ©

By Michael Casey

Mikhail Mikhailovich was a spaceman, a cosmonaut as the Russians call them, he’d been in space forever, he held the world record already, he was testing himself to see if Man could make it to Mars. He and Tim Peake had had a lot of fun in the space station, but now Tim was gone. So Mikhail was lonely, in fact Mikhail was having a dark night of the soul, flying high in the sky orbiting the world. He was on the edge, but bear a bear of a man he told nobody, if only his wife Katarina was with him to make him strong, but he was floating in space and she was back in Saint Petersburg.

Michael the Arch-Angel had just pushed back Satan back into Hell and had sealed the gates with a pair of Rosary beads, now he was taking Mrs Murphy’s soul back to her body, he was in a hurry before her body died without her soul inside. At Saint Michael the Arch-Angel flew in space with Mrs Murphy’s soul safely tucked in his belt by his sword he felt Mikhail’s sorrow. So much sorry, he flew as fast as he could fly towards to space station, a soul was in danger, the space station was in danger, a man’s life and soul was in danger. Mikhail was on the verge of thinking of doing something mad bad and sad. Michael felt this and as an angel he must intervene, he spiralled directly towards the space station, he went straight inside and grabbed Mikhail’s arm.

An angel does not need to use doors, the spirit just walks through walls even in space, love knows no boundaries, and an angel is just that, love. Saint Michael the Arch-Angel gave Mikhail a bear-hug and nearly broke his ribs. Mikhail screamed in fear, Michael just laughed in his face and said he screamed like a little girl, was he going to pee his pants as an encore. Mikhail rubbed his eyes, there was angel in front of him, speaking Russian, in fact he sounded like his own old grandfather, with the same local accent.

I could punch your lights out, but I’m an angel so let’s talk, have you got any beer, my wings are tired I need a beer, asked the angel. Mikhail laughed, where do we have the room for a barrel of beer in a space station? The angel reached behind him and two pints of Stella Artois appeared in chalices, so Mikhail took one and drank it, after such a long time in space it was heavenly to say the least. So Mikhail and the angel had 4 pints each, which is enough to wet their whistle if they were both Russian. Mikhail wasn’t scared any more, if this was a dream he was going to enjoy it. He’d love a big sandwich of Russian beef and bread with lettuce and tomatoes, so once more Saint Michael reached behind him and the sandwiches appeared. Is Paul Daniels behind you joked Mikhail, Tim the English spaceman had told Mikhail about Paul Daniels during his time on the space station. No replied the angel, but God is behind me, and in front of me and in all directions too, he has my back, and your’s too, that’s why I’m saving you.

Mikhail, looked at his feet, he’d felt a failure, he could have, but he didn’t, an angel had saved him. Michael the Archangel gave him another pint of Stella Artois, Paul Daniels was working overtime you could say. Why were you in space anyway asked Mikhail. I was returning a soul to a body, Mrs Murphy was risking her soul to save the life of her priest, or rather the soul of her priest. That’s when Satan pounced, so I had to give him a kicking, and then mum asked we to return Mrs Murphy’s soul to her body, before her body expired. Mum who is your mum? Mary is my mum, she’s everybody’s mum, she prefers to be called ”mum” it’s the highest title of all. Mikhail Mikhailovich started to cry, so Michael wiped his nose with his wings.

I wish I could be a father but being in the space program has put paid to that, I am a hero of Mother Russia, but my own wife cannot be a mother, we will never know the joy of children. Mikhail cried again, the angel gave him a huge hug, almost breaking the spaceman’s ribs and Mikhail’s face turned bright red due to lack of oxygen. A tear fell from the angel’s eye, it trickled down his face and splashed Mrs Murphy’s soul, this was enough for Mrs Murphy she was saying the Rosary in a nanosecond. Her body was dead by now, but at least she could pray for the spaceman.

Michael and Mikhail had some fresh fruit, bananas and grapes, washed down with more Stella Artois. Mikhail unburdened himself to the angel, all his hopes and dreams, being a spaceman was the last of them. Tim had told Mikhail about David Bowie and the two of them had put the face makeup on and sung the songs. Now Tim was gone and Mikhail missed him, but most of all Mikhail missed something he’d never have. Children. As a child Mikhail loved listening to stories, stories from all over Russia and everywhere else too, but then studying came along.

Saint Michael the Archangel has a secret, he loves stories too, he’s spent ages, literally Ages listening to stories from all over the world. So as they drunk their Stella Artois Michael told Mikhail some of the stories. First in Russian for the Russian stories, then he switched to Chinese for the Chinese stories, Indian for the Indian stories, and Japanese for the Japanese stories. Michael knew thousands of stories in told them all in all the native languages. The food and drink flowed, Paul Daniels really is a great magician, how he hid all of it in the space station ready to save a soul, a Russian spaceman’s soul we’ll never know, perhaps he’s just an angel.

How long would it take to tell tales from all over the world, as long as there is food and drink on the table there will always be tales, and this angel doesn’t follow Logic, only Love. In Earth time 50 years had passed, or was it just a dream? Michael and Mikhail hugged, this time Michael could not breathe and he turned red. Mikhail had been filled with Love, and food and drink thanks to maybe Paul Daniels, so he was a big Russian Bear once more.

You are Mikhail Mikhailovich a Spaceman who did not fall to earth, you are the Storyteller from Space, you are a “father” to billions of children, and to your wife you are the best husband in space and on earth who gave her seven children, angels love the number 7, Snow White really did exist you know, but that’s another story. Mikhail snored, he been dreaming hadn’t he.

Michael flew off into space, for decades he’d been talking to Mikhail, it was a coincidence he’d spotted Mikhail, he thanked God. As Michael looked at his watch, by which I mean the rotation of the stars in space, he realised he’d actually gone back in time by 2.9 nanoseconds. Einstein had been livid when he’d got to Heaven to discover that Time and Relativity was just one of God’s jokes.

Mrs Murphy’s soul was returned to her body, but her 50 years of prayers so that Mikhail could have a family had not been wasted, and as for her priest well that’s another story, Tears for a Butcher by Michael Casey to be exact, if God gives me the time to finish it.

The next night Mikhail said he had a story for all the Russian children, so he told them about the night the angel came to the space station. This was an instant hit all over Mother Russia, it was so funny too, though he had to explain who Paul Daniels was, they liked the story a lot, not a little bit. The Indians wanted to hear the story so could he tell them too, so he did but Mikhail told them in one of the major Indian languages, and as each child hear the story they hear it in the voice of their own grandfather. Japan was next and they were astounded too, not only did know their language but the accent was perfect, Mikhail was like a United Nations, his stories perfectly told demanded silence, followed by tears of joy.

Mikhail spent another month in space, each night he’d tell stories to the world’s children. He was out of this world literally and in all other ways. When it was time for him to return he was an international hero, for science and for story-telling. Putin himself said he drive him from the airport to the Kremlin for a reception. When Mikhail came down the steps from the plane his wife jumped into his arms, Putin was dressed as a chauffeur, the election was next month and he know good PR. The president as servant of the people. Putin did have to close the privacy screen in the Zil because the spaceman started on creating his happy family on the back seat of the Zil limousine.

So Mikhail got what he wanted a big happy Russian family, was the angel right in guessing 7, no he was wrong, Mikhail and his wife only had 3 pregnancies. Three being Mrs Murphy’s favourite number, three sets of triples. Mikhail set up his own Utube station to tell stories to the world’s children, he called it You’ll Like It, a lot. Then his friend Putin suggested he should run for president, so that’s how a spaceman called Mikhail became the President of Russia, because an angel came acalling, twinkle, twinkle.

Michael 10 FEB 2015

Entertaining Rubbish


Entertaining Rubbish ©

By Michael Casey

Derby and Joan were and old couple, as wrinkled as, well as an old couple can be, as wrinkled as car tyres, but they were Pirelli, such was their love for one another. They had had a life, a very long life of love and laughter, but now they were marooned like children on a beach with the tide coming in from all sides. They had a family and a house, a fine big house in Harborne but they had sold up to help their kids get their own foot on the property ladder, and to help the grandkids too. It really was a grand house and they had parties in the Summer, everything was so nice. Derby had worked for a Panama hat company, and visited Panama often, and Joan believed him.

That was then, and now it was 2016 and things had changed and their life had moved on. The kids and grandkids seemed to have forgotten them, as can happen when it’s just the Money they want and not the Love. They say they love you when they want the cash to buy a flat or a deposit on something, but what happens after that?

Derby and Joan did not care though, they had each other, they called themselves the John and Yoko of their new area, Old Forge and Singing Anvil, which was Birmingham’s answer to Islington. They had a humble house with a great dab radio and a hifi, but no tv not broadband, they had each other so why would they want those things. It was pointless anyway, as the kids nor the grandkids bothered with them now, now that the Bank of Derby and Joan was empty, or so they thought.

Where Derby and Joan lived you were forever getting rubbish through your letter box, taxi cards, pizza leaflets and double glazing, not to mention estate agents saying they would buy your house for cash. Joan got fed up with throwing them in the bin in the Summer, in Winter they were burnt on the fire. So Joan invented a game, Entertaining Rubbish. They sat in rattan chairs by their front door with a cool box between them, Red Stripe for him and two bottles of Blue Nun for her. So they were ready for adventure.

You had to get a taxi card to start, as you always take a taxi when you go on holiday. Once a taxi card came through the letter box then you could begin. By looking out the window they could count the crows flying by, the number of crows represented the number of miles in 100 units they were traveling away. Then Derby would get out the old Atlas and a piece of string to show the radius from their house to where they could be going. A piece of litter flying in the wind would tell them which direction on the compass they were off to.

So their holiday began, when a pizza leaflet arrived they were allowed to go back into their own kitchen to eat before resuming their squat by the letterbox. A leaflet offering the services of a clairvoyant popped through the letter box. So Joan would ring her pretending to be  in the location the crows had decided for them. It was an entertaining way to spend a few minutes, and it cost nothing as their son had giving them the phone for emergencies, then he never ever rung them, as it wasn’t an emergency speaking to his own parents.

A house removal leaflet came through the letter box, so they had to move seats and sit at the top of the stairs looking down at the front door below. Luckily they had a chair lift so that made things easier. Then they waited to see what would happen next, a leaflet about higher education arrived on the doorstep, so they switched on Radio Four. Everything was not in the stars, but in the calling cards and assorted junk pushed through their letter box.

So this was their life and their entertainment, do this or do that, all dependent on what was pushed through their letter box, obviously a newspaper was very important, it meant toilet break, reading and wiping. Derby and Joan really loved each other and that’s how they died, loving each other. A leaflet for the Rumba and for Naked Yogurt arrived at the same time, though because their eyesight was failing they thought it said Naked Yoga. They were game for anything, so they did the Rumba while naked, if it was good enough for John and Yoko then it was good enough for them.

That’s how they were found with Imagine playing on repeat, it was the noise that alerted the neighbours after 5 days of constant Imagine, Derby and Joan were found clasped in an embrace. The postman had mis-delivered a copy of the Joy of Sex, and Derby and Joan followed  it……


Image and Advertising


Image and Advertising ©

By Michael Casey

Everybody is obsessed with advertising nowadays, and I don’t mean washing powders either, that’s where the term Soaps came from, as they sponsored shows so that people watched the show and bought their soap powder. What I’m talking about is image building, even when nothing as such is being sold. A soft focus advert on radio, where you cannot see the soft focus but you can hear it.

Michael Casey is the man you can rely on to fill the time in while you are waiting for your taxi, he’ll talk absolute drivel, total drivel, but so entertaining that you won’t notice that your taxi is 20 mins late. Then he’ll raise that barrier to make up 30 seconds while the driver speeds down the Cov Rd to take you to the restaurant that Michael has recommended. And yes I really did do that for 3 years when I was a concierge and 10 other roles at CPNEC Birmingham.

Companies want to create moods and images, the radio equivalent of the Hay Wain, so we all feel so happy and glow with the memory of Constable’s paintings, we all love an Old Master after all, then they tell us that Joe Bloggs unblocks sewers for the past 50 years. So we can trust Joe Bloggs for all are sewer and cesspit needs, and yes we’ll all come up smelling of roses. Such is the power of advertising and association.

Comedy is a great tool, but don’t tell Comedy to its face that it’s a great tool or it will be very very upset. A smile and a laugh sells more product, British advertising is famous for that. Radio adverts are far cheaper and catch a bigger audience, because radio is in the kitchen and in the bathroom and bedroom too, I think Radio is some kind of voyeur or Peeping Tom. And yes I’d love to get a chance to write adverts, the pay is great and I could earn enough for a new house, well in my dreams anyway.

Dreams are what adverts are selling, if you buy this new Brazilian Wax for Men, not only will you be all ship shape and Bristol Fashion down there but  you’ll also have a much better life, if you know what I mean, or so infers the advertising. On tv they could only show so much, but on radio it would be X rated without even showing anything. It’s all in the imagination you know, which is a bad lover’s best excuse, or so I’m told. If you dig out Around the Horne you will be in for a treat, trust me I’m a writer, and no it’s not a sex manual, it’s a BBC Radio Comedy Show.

Images are created and we are told how happy we will be if we just believe in the dream, if we are not part of this dream, then we are just boring losers. You really must try Cromfingle Cheddar from Italy and you too will be so sophisticated, on crackers or on toast, with it all dribbling down your fingers. Your cat will love you so much, your children will love you so much and your wife will have that come to bed look in her eyes permanently, all because you eat Cromfingle Cheddar from Italy.

It’s all a load of rubbish really, but I did buy 6 kilos, I ended up with really strange dreams, and a broken bed, the cat tried to mate with the local sheep dog, but that’s another tale.

So you can see advertising is a modern Fairy Tale, but without it the wheels of commerce would not turn, were the Brothers Grimm really advertising copywriters?



What’s MY old Stuff Worth?


What’s My Old Stuff Worth? ©

By Michael Casey

Today I heard on the news that Harry Potter writer’s desk and chair were for sale, the ones she used when writing the 1st two Harry Potter books. Such is fame, the bottom sat here and notebook or was it typewriter was there. Obviously you think I’m jealous, but if you know me, then you know I’m not, cos I’m an Altruist first and foremost.

I do still have the varnished old barn chair with the missing back and the old tall stool with the red top that I used to write The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker on. I sat on the chair and balanced the typewriter on top on the stool, while I shivered in front of the old gas fire. It took maybe 4 months to write my first novel, when I finished I decided on one thing, to buy double glazing, as I was freezing.

I think my sister has the old typewriter somewhere, I think it was green in colour, I had learnt to type in 1978 when I 1st became a computer operator, don’t forget men didn’t type in those days, just girls who worked in offices. I can remember flicking my fingers at  the bus stop while I tried to memorise where all the keys were.

Now nearly 40 years on I’m still typing and writing, I’ve gone through 850,000 words now over 9 books. So the question is would you pay big money for where my big bum sat and where I balanced my typewriter. I think my words are far funnier than JK’s but they haven’t been turned into major motion pictures, yet. Though I did get a film producer ask for a treatment once, just as I did get a theatre say they’d produce a play of mine, and radio did like my stuff too, and commissioning editors have said I’ve made them laugh out loud.

So with this in mind, with my twerking butt sat writing would that increase the value of my old chair, and how much for my stooles, I mean stool, though Americans would buy anything.  Could I sell my nail clippings and my beard that I’ve just shaved off.

What exactly has to happen before anything becomes valuable? You could mass produce items and say they were this and that and fleece people, just as some artists do. So what gives value to anything? The actual value, such as the weight of an ounce of gold, or the Magna Carta because of its value in History and the fact that there is only one.

Pop Art mass produces things, but still can sell for high numbers, but does that make it any good. We can say look at the numbers but still something is rubbish, sales and taste and value are very different things, very different things.

A bench in a park can be priceless, that was where your grandparents first met, that was where your mum dropped a handkerchief and your dad picket it up, then in Victoria Park Smethwick they first spoke, sitting on that bench.

Silly little things in even stupider places can and do make a difference in all our lives. Walking home with a new toilet seat hanging from your neck may have been how you first met your best girl. You made her laugh, so you became an item so she loaned you money to open that garage, now you drive her around in a Bentley, and all because of a toilet seat.

My mother was given an old wooded pink stained coat hanger when she left Kerry in Feb 1944, when we broke it 24 years later she cried, before hitting us with it, before we glued it back together. Her mother had given it to her, it was the only thing they could give, they were poor and that was all the parting gift they could give.

So when you are bidding for JK Rowling’s chair and desk, or even my stool and barn chair in my dreams, then think about something of far far greater value, an old pink stained coat hanger, and not my 50 shades of grey hair.




Crawling Like a Worm in The Dirt, humbled by a photo copier ©


By Michael Casey


This is one piece from essay/blog postings, I type fast so excuse any mistakes.



Well this is my 100th post, I had hoped I could think up something nice or even spectacular. This is what I’ve come up with. I’m laughing now as I type. Yesterday 5minutes after I started work I bent down to fill up the copiers. I filled one, then another, then I did a third. I then screamed, I had straightened up too fast and had ricked/strained my back on the right hand side. So these past 27hours have been a lesson in pain and humility. I felt such a fool at work, the girls I work were both sympathetic and funny. Somebody came by for some coloured paper , I bent down to look under our shelf and I was racked with pain, one girl told me to crawl away out of the way so that she could find it instead. I hobbled away, out of the way. The rest of day I moved about like an 80 year old, rather like my own dad. I hoped that on my lunch break while I sat for 30mins in the cathedral my back would be restored. We stand all day in our print as some of you may remember me mention. Prayer and rest for 30mins no doubt aided my soul but not my back. I went back to work and hobbled about for a couple of hours. Then I decided I really had to go home and rest.

Getting home I got off the bus and had to walk only 300yards, a crippled Charlie Chaplin kind of walk, though I look more like Oliver Hardy. I was home 2 hours earlier than normal so the family were surprised.

I told them I was fired as a joke. Then I sat down on an old chair and then I could hardly move. Standing up again was an impossibility. Last Friday we had a drama with my youngest, this Friday, Friday 13th it was my turn. My girls all laughed at me, just as I would laugh at them if the tables were reversed. Night came and knew I could never climb the stairs to bed, but at least our bathroom was downstairs. So I tumbled onto our sofa and got ready to spend the night there. Only we have a glass coffee table in front of it and I was afraid of falling off onto it. So at 1am I staggered up the stairs like a drunk with locked joints, then I rolled onto my bed, screaming as I did so. I did sleep, but in the morning I had to slither out like a snake sliding out of bed on my belly. Some positions were possible and some were not. My wife laughed till she cried my youngsters did too, as for me, I laughed and cursed and laughed again. My wife went to see the pharmacy man for advice and a spray for me. The pharmacist laughed too, he’s an old friend. When she got back I was all sprayed up, the old spray and the newly bought one drenching me and my room with the stench of a bad back. I slithered in and out of bed, crawling around as I couldn’t stand up straight. As for getting down stairs that would be an impossibility. My wife went shopping, stopping first to steal my debit card, laughing she left me in my bed of pain. When she returned she gave me yoghurt and orange juice. Later I just had to go downstairs, but I couldn’t walk. I slithered off bed like snake, then made it to my hands and knees, then an inspired idea. I bounced down the stairs one step at a time, on my butt , one step at a time. Then I crawled across our living room and pulled myself up onto a chair. I did notice that we needed a new carpet after 20years our carpet does need replacing. I then rewarded myself by stealing my wife’s pork she’d just made.

Later after some movements like belly dancer of 120 years old, I managed to straighten up. I do walk as if I have a full diaper though. I made it too my big chair in front of my computer. And that’ s how I got to write this 100th post.

The moral of all this? Well I am a very bad patient. Health is the most important thing in our lives. I rejoice that my girls have a good sense of humour, even if I am the butt of it all. Last year when I had food poisoning they had plenty to laugh about then. And I do laugh at that memory. We are all worms crawling in the dirt. It is God’s love that lifts us up, as does our family life. Sometimes it is only though pain and adversity that we learn such truths, sometimes we learn mundane things, but they too have meaning for us, even if its just the fact that we need a new living room carpet.





well that was 600posts ago. my back is bust again   history repeats

Dressing Gown Writer




Michael and the Chink in the Wall


Michael and the Chink in the Wall ©
By Michael Casey

Michael was all alone in the house, he was abandoned, left all alone with just the mice for company. He was the kitchen boy in the Master’s house, he’d fetch and carry and be allowed to sleep in a corner, just like a dog, but a dog would at least have a basket. He was actually the Master’s son, but when the pantry maid had died in labour, Michael was kept in the kitchen, the Master agreeing not to send him to the Workhouse, a promise he kept as the maid died before him.

Being the eldest, Michael should have inherited the house and the fortune, but he had been born on the wrong side of the blanket. The non bastard children were in fact very ugly, but the Master had married for a fortune, and not for love. Meanwhile Michael slowly rotted in the kitchen, while snotty noses enjoyed their Victorian life.

Michael would sit and dream on the cold flagstones, just shadows on the wall for company. Sometimes one of Charles Dickens’ stories would appear wrapped up with carrots or turnips. Michael loved Charles Dickens his stories were so good, what with the cliff-hangers, one day Charles Dickens would be famous. The cook just laughed, but she enjoyed listening to Michael reading out the stories while peeled the spuds. That was the only reason she had taught Michael to read, so she could entertain her, she had in fact invented Radio, minus the radio that is, Listen with Mother if you like.

Every night the staff went to the attic to sleep while Michael shivered in a corner, it was a slow death of the spirit apart from Charles Dickens. Michael had to try and fall asleep before the kitchen fire went out, or he would not sleep at all, the cold being so bone chillingly cold.

There was a chink in the wall from the house next door and this was Michael’s tv, without the tv that is. For in the next house everybody was always happy and gay, the servants laughed and even danced. They had a good Master, their fire was always on, the Master liked a warm house, he had made his fortune in India so he liked a warm house.

If Michael squeezed himself against the chink in the wall he could hear the singing and smell the cooking, he could pretend he was with them in the warmth of company and of real warm. There was actually a bit of heat coming from that chink in the wall, Michael loved that house and that kitchen, it was so full of life and joy.

At night Michael fell asleep mumbling the songs that he’d heard from the next door household. In the middle of the night he’d regularly awake, his toes numb with cold, his bum freezing too. So he’d get up and stamp around. Only shadows for company, the one candle in a jar his only illumination. Michael would hold the jar and press it against his body for warmth.

Even the shadows on the wall had pity on him, they would dance about and form faces of people dancing and talking, trying to amuse and console Michael. The very stones cried for him, shadows of tears fell. Michael loved their company in his daily Dark Night of the Soul, a shadow is great company if you have no friends, if you have to decide whether to burn Charles Dickens for warmth or save him so he can warm your soul. Such a choice, warmth of the spirit or warmth of the body.

The same shadows came night after night, they were in fact peopled by stories from Charles Dickens, if your body is so cold, then all that is left is the spark of soul. Or distant smells and laughter coming through the chink in the wall. So your imagination sees things in the dark, you see what you want to see in the cold and dark. You see Hope. You see Love. You see Laughter. You see dancing shadows.

The cook gave Michael a sweet, it was covered in muck and feathers, she’d found it in the street when she’d been to the butchers, a few weeks previously. She had only just remembered it. It was a present for being such a good boy. It was also a goodbye, Michael would be 9 next week so the Master had decided to let Michael find his own way in the world. Michael would have to leave.

The Master was going to buy a puppy for his legitimate children, Alpha the dog would need a space in the kitchen, Michael would have to leave to make room for Alpha the dog. A dog is a man’s, a Master’s best friend after all. The promise to the pantry maid had been kept, 9 years Michael had squatted, now he was man enough to find his own way in the world.

The Master ordered that Michael be locked in overnight and then in the morning when Alpha arrived Michael would be shown the door. Michael stuffed all the Charles Dickens in his pockets, he’s freeze one last night, but Charles Dickens would be part of his new life whatever and wherever that may be.

The walls wept, if only Michael could squeeze through the crack in the wall, if only he could sing and dance with the neighbours, they were having a Christmas Eve celebration. Michael fell asleep dreaming that very same dream. He was dancing and drinking punch, the maids all gave him a dance and a peck on the cheek. They all loved him, he was not the bastard son, unwanted and thrown out to make room for a dog.

Michael danced and laughed all night long, he was so happy, a much loved member of the family. He was smiling in his sleep, clutching Charles Dickens in his hands. That was how they found him in the morning, curled up like a dog, but with a smile on his face, and Charles Dickens’ new story in his hand A Christmas Carol. Michael had died happy in his sleep. But how he got next door through a locked door nobody would ever know, not even the stones would tell. Sometimes all the love you need is a chink in the wall.



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.