Where I want to be buried


Where I Want To Be Buried ©
By Michael Casey

Well I’ve decided where I want to be buried, though I’m in no hurry to be buried. Last time I was buried was when my brother buried me in the sand on a beach in Wales. By the Sikh temple is an old Christian church, Trinity Road Church, and next to that is the Post Office sorting centre, you look across the dual carriage way and the rail track and the canal then you see the site where my dad used to work in the steel works, Brasshouse Lane Smethwick. At the back of the post office you can see into the distance. There is also the Job Centre. Not very romantic but if you go there for yourself you may feel what I feel. The Peace. It may be the power of the prayer from the Trinity Rd church as well as the power of the Sikh Temple combined, or my dad’s sweat of 40 years in the air. But seriously if I were allowed to be buried there, then that’s where I could be put. In front of the church looking over towards Rolf Street Train Station. So there you have it. I don’t expect to become a famous writer after I die, but the train station and the other transport routes means that plenty of people could come and visit my grave.

Sex Tips for All

August 20th, 2015 21:34

Sex Tips for All

What Makes a Man Sexy to a Woman(C)

By Michael Casey

I have all my albums loaded to the computer so that while I work I can listen to the albums, over 1600 tracks, I let the music role and I didn’t know Michael Bolton was next. So when he popped up I thought HE was a woman’s favourite, but anybody can listen too. I did get me thinking though.

Is it his hairy chest, is he tall dark and handsome, or is it the way he moves, the way he grooves, is it his smouldering eyes? Women as you read this tell me what YOU think.

And what of me? Am I sexy? Is it my hairy back and my hairy arms, my bushy eyebrows, does all this make women swoon? Is it my big chest and my even bigger belly. Is it my hazel eyes, Chinese folk have brown eyes, so my eyes are a novelty to them. Is it the British accent, does it sent a shiver down the spines of women. Michael Bolton is singing “back on my feet again” as I talk to you. Do I knock women off their feet. And not because of my smelly feet, which I inherited from my dad, a father of six, and those smelly feet have passed to the next generation, to my Birmingham/Shanghai children.

Is it something in the way I move, something in the way I pucker my lips, is it the way I look into women’s eyes, and men’s too. Do I have charisma like a pop star, or politician, and I a god.

Or is it that when women see me I remind them of Scruffy their first dog, the slobbering fat and drooling puppy who left puddles everywhere, the dog who wagged his tail when they were a mile away, but Scruffy knew their master was on the way, so Scruffy jumped and jumped and scrapped at the back door.

No I’m no sex god, I’m just a hound dog, chewing on blue  suede shoes.


p.s. yes I am only joking, the only women who want me are morticians, as good bodies are very hard to  find



Disconnected ©
By Michael Casey
There are many kinds of disconnected, from faith, from hope, from love, from reality, from pain. Today I feel nearly all of them, my chest and arthritis pain have decided to come out to play, I’m breathless with pain and it’s hard to think straight. Relax, I’m not going to bore you with all this, the disconnected I’m going to talk about is far more important, disconnected from the Internet.
I can hear you all scream, or your children scream at least, how can kids live without their internet. How can I live without the internet. For kids it’s everything, anybody with kids will tell you that, I have two daughters so I know all about it. Phones are in fact little tiny computers, this connects your daughters with the world, their world and not the real world. Their world is Tumblr and Instagram and Postit or is it Pinterest, anyway it’s a load of stuff most people have never ever heard of. Some 20 something girl on UTube who has millions of followers, which makes her millions, she is pretty vacuous but her bank manager loves her and holds the door to her Bentley open when she comes by.
Homework is forgotten and vids just have to be watched because they are so good. My girls are great students so far but other girls are probably much more addicted to the joys of Mandy or Brandy or Candy explaining everything to her millions of fans. I hope I don’t sound envious, I did make a little video and put it on my writer’s page on Amazon. I have an audio site, http://www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com but I don’t have millions of fans yet. I’m more Radio than anything else, so how could I possible compete. I’m also a writer http://www.michaelgcasey,wordpress.com so words are my medium. Perhaps I should make loads of small videos, but that would need the internet to load them to.
Only I don’t have any internet, I’m internet free, I’m back in the Stone Age, well today at any rate. I cannot get my desktop to connect to the Internet, my daughters can connect via their phones, my wife can connect on her tablet, but me and the family computer, I’m frozen out. It’s like being barred from the nudist beach because you have the wrong sandals on. You are so eager to frolic and relax and let it all hang out, and to feel the breeze on your, on your, but you just get a message saying cannot connect. I suppose it really is like a form of contraceptive, a kind of wall, a firewall of sorts, I just cannot get on the internet.
The Internet is great for everybody, you can chat and email and read the Daily Telegraph, especially if you can get past the paywall, and there are ways. It’s a bit like voting in the Labour Leadership Election, everybody wants to do it, just to screw up the Labour party, and a few actually believe in this new Messiah. Though for balance some may say voting Tory has already screwed the country for the next 5 years. Perhaps I should mention Liberals, but they are too few to mention. As for the Scot Nats, I think the canny Scots will have the last word, and that will surprise everybody, especially the Scot Nats.
Yes I like reading my DT, though I do look at several papers online, or should I say I normally. Today has been a quiet day, well apart from the pain. It feels like a fridge which is empty, I go to the fridge and it is empty, just like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. Without my internet, without my daily routine, I’m a bit at a loss. I miss deleting all the emails from companies telling me of their sales, the emails I delete without opening. I miss deleting those mad emails from scammers, as if anybody would leave me 2,000,000 in any currency. As if I’m impressed by Dr, or Barrister in the title. In America you are a Dr for 10USD, these emails are just from fakers in Africa and USSR.
I also get people from search optimise companies, so I thank them for their email and insert a silly photo and return their email with my Elevator Ad. I also get companies in China advertising their wares, so I reply I have a Shanghai wife and I send them my Elevator Ad as well, but all the best with their marketing.
Today none of this to punctuate my day. I went on my daily walk with no internet to fill me, to amuse me, to set me thinking about what I could use as an idea. All I need is a seed and away I go, I can provide my own water, and with the state of my kidneys I’m a frequent waterer. I suppose I could have used this as a day of prayer, but Oh God take this pain away is today’s only prayer. Yesterday was a good day, today is medium to bad day, it’s like the curves on a woman’s body, beautiful but also very dangerous, it can either be pleasure or pain. I could use a male metaphor for balance but if I described my own body you would all heave, so I’ll not mention pain any more in any metaphor.
So I tried loads of things to get my internet back, but no dice, as the wife was making egg fried rice. So I went and had a nap, with Totoro scratching on my bedroom door, she likes sitting in the windows. When I got up, and this involves going from naked to covered up, as Totoro is a Ninja cat and if she scratched my scars I’d be in agony, when I got up I thought I have one last try at getting my internet back.
Still my internet did not work, but I had another idea, I’d write a story called Disconnected, and explain my pain, the pain caused by lack of internet, and this is what you have been reading.

My shoes 23rdJuly2015

A Life With Printers


A life with printers ©
By Michael Casey
Our Kodak home printer died today, so I’ve left it outside in the street for street burial, this is like sky burial but the scrap guy comes for it, and not an eagle. The Kodak really worked hard, though it was a bit noisy. The amount of pages per ribbon, or should I say cartridge was really good. That’s why I bought it in the first place. I had used it to print all my handouts when I was teaching Esol English.
We upgraded to Windows 10 on launch day, a couple of weeks ago, so I had to play with my Kodak software, to make sure everything was ok. It was, but then the Kodak decided to die. I had tried to explain to my teenage daughter how you problem solve printer problems. Her idea is to replace the ribbons immediately with new ones. This is great if you have lots of money, even though Kodak cartridges are not too expensive. I was trying to teach her what I learnt in computer rooms back in 1978 onwards.
Finally in the end we had to give up the ghost, we could not fix the old Kodak, so it went into the street for sky burial, or street burial. I should add that I call printer cartridges ribbons because in the old day that was what printers used. It was more like a scroll with ink on it.
My first memory was standing in between two barrel printers which had scroll ribbons, I had to try and stack standard continuous special paper. We were printing research forms for contraceptives, our main work was market research into alcohol sales, but we also covered contraceptives. And as people were covering each other and using contraceptives, we did the market research for that too.
I also remember Al saying that Alcopops would not catch on, this was literally when they first appeared on the market. I was scared of Al he was the same build as a troll with matching moustache. In reality he was a very kind man, though I was always scared of him.
I spent years stacking paper in a noisy computer room, we were in the same room as the printers and their dust. Years later we had a separate print room built, we also had self-stacking printers. This was a big big deal, we were very impressed. With all these volumes of paper the morning team in CAD as it was called were more like CID, working out which paper matched which run sheet.
After 21 years with ACNielsen as we had become I went and worked the graveyard shift for city hall in Oldbury, the story was we were built on a former graveyard. I worked till 2.30 and then I went home. I printed the payslips for the council workforce, including my own. The toner was like an artillery shell I seem to remember. It was very old kit that had been bought 2nd hand. The print room was new as big as a school gym.
Let’s say my time there was eventful, I even got married while I was there. I walked down the street at about 3am and got a taxi home every night. So by the time I went to bed it was 4am. Though one good thing did result, we conceived our first daughter, fertility rates must be high in the wee small hours.
My taxi driver died of alcoholism as well, and we both could have died as we were nearly totalled by a huge lorry delivering to the supermarkets in the wee small hours. It’s all very strange in the predawn hours, I should add I have done over 14 years of night shifts.
I was offered a 2nd one year contract, but I decided not to, as my daughter was due and I wanted a normal life, no more night shifts. So I ended up working for a 4 star deluxe business hotel, CPNEC, no printers involved but plenty of carrying. My chest size went up two inches and my neck size went up one inch, and as the hotel food was so good my belly went up 2 inches too. It was the best 3 years of my life.
I did get back to printers when I ended up as a life insurance underwriter non-medical, this involved printing loads of forms and posting them out to potential clients. What diseases do you have, what dangerous sports do you enjoy, if enjoy is the correct word. Which recreational drugs do you use, and so on. I hated this job as I was sat down all day in front of a PC apart from when I printed a very intrusive questionnaire. At the hotel I was walking around all day, maybe 5miles every day, just to get to the train station was 2 miles every day, 1 mile each way.
I promised myself I would leave that job once we came back from our Florida holiday to meet my wife’s uncle, the patriarch of the family. So I came back and left. The job was not for me, it was not for many people as the staff turnover was very high and they had 5 trainers constantly training.
I ended up at a law firm, they were a great company to work for, I was in the print room, back with my printers again. These were industrial size photo copier. Five beasts which were as long as a sideboard. They had hoppers for 1000s of pages of paper, and stackers for thousands more. We never sat down in the print room, we just kind of perched, it could reach 30 degrees once all the printers/copiers were all fired up. Our room, the print room was next door to the law library, it so quiet and us so noisy, so I hid a copy of my comic novel The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker in amongst the law books.
The best thing about the print room was the scrap paper, as if the paper got creased in any way it could not be used in the machines so it was recycled. I asked and was allowed to take some scrap paper home, and that is why my daughters are such good artists, because of the kindness of the law firm, and all the scrap paper.
I am a writer so that involves paper too, though I just want people to buy paper, books that have my words on. Nine books on Amazon now. Our cat Totoro like paper too, if you scrunch up paper she comes running because she can play football with the paper. If you scrunch up a banknote she will come running too, a writer’s cat loves paper. I just hope one day I sell my stories, so that the cat can come running to the sound of banknotes.

My shoes 23rdJuly2015

Dear David a Fairy Tale


Dear David a fairy Tale

Posted by michaelgcasey on 12 Aug 2015 20:51


Me Easter 2014.JPGI love to see you jogging though the streets with your XXXXXL minder right beside you. YOU love wearing blue, even when they MRS tries to hide it from you, you are a blue man trough and through, just like a stick of Westminister rock. Speaking of rock, does your noisy neighbour in No.11 keep you up all night with his drumming practice, the rat a tat tat of his drums, does Ringo visit him often. What about little Norman from the BBC, does he come in for a cocoa in the evening, he’s soaking wet stood outstide all day. Then Laura is back, the girl done good Political Editor no doubt. Norman will have to make space at the kitchen table to let her squeeze in. What about the bedtime stories do the journalists take turns to tell tales to your kids, like vampire stories and the like, how the Labour party came back from the dead under JC, Jeremy Corbin. Though even your kids would not believe that. Then at Xmas they’ll be the football match in Downing Street, police v journalists just like in WWI, only the *******s will be the politicians watching from the windows. Well thats how police and journalists speak of our leaders. And on it goes, I’m waiting for Rupert Murdoch to give me a spot in his press, his trouser press, my clothes are so crumpled after all. I’ll stop here as my candle nas reached its end, and Bob Cratchit is nowhere to be seen.

All Wired Up


All Wired Up ©

By Michael Casey

I was all wired up for a day, no nothing to do with 50 Shades of Michael or any other colour, I mean wired up for an ambulatory cardiac monitor. Its 6 months since I had my unplanned triple bypass, and it turns out that it was 4 grafts, so it was an unplanned quadruple. Anyway thanks to City and QE hospitals here in Birmingham. Now what does ambulatory mean you are all asking. I remember 1st year Latin, ambulo, ambulas, ambulat  and we all know the word ambulance, so ambulatory means walking.

So you go to the hospital and a nurse shaves your chest, it seems every nurse wants to shave my chest. Then they attach 3  jump leads, they are not jump leads, but they do look like them, they are sensors. You are have a little machine with it, as big as an alarm clock, you put that in your pocket and then you go home. They also give you a piece of paper so you can write a  diary of your activities.

I was tempted to write rock climbing, and base jumping, followed by horse riding and marathon running. It would make it more interesting for consultant when he views the results. Michael Casey must be an Olympic athlete he would say. When I worked at CPNEC ten years ago we had an Olympic athlete staying, so every time we had a guest enter the gym I’d say as used by Olympic athletes.

Instead on the diary you write, having a pooh ten mins of training or straining, but that’s Olympic athletes again. You write went  to the corner shop, 10 mins.  Went to Aldi half an hour.Reading 2 hours, I do read a lot on the computer, Daily Telegraph and a smattering of Daily Mail and the Daily Express, and a look at the Sun and the Mirror, even the Guardian too. If any of these people have a corner on their websites I’d be more than happy to fill it. Though the editors might say I’d be like a cat, leaving mess in the corner. People can be so cruel, until you are popular and then they wish they’d stroked that cat and have it purr for them.

Being all wired up is no problem at all, that is until it’s time to go to bed. I sleep in the nude, ever since I left home many years ago. Pause, take a deep breath and have a stiff drink if the thought offends you. So where do I put the electronic box of tricks, I need something with a pocket and I want keep the wires under control. So the answer is to wear pyjamas in bed. My sister bought me some 6 months ago when I was in hospital, they are nearly worn out in the ar(***    as I toss and turn in my sleep.

My bedroom is like an oven as the way our central heating works the radiator in the room always gets some heat even if you are only heating hot water. Being South Facing adds to the heat, so if you are then wearing pyjamas and you are a nudist like me it all feels like a sauna. In a sauna I’d be naked, but as I’m wearing a cardiac monitor I’m just a pig sweating. A good looking pig, but a pig none the less. Ok, you can decide for yourselves what I look like, metaphor away, be my guest.

So the night passes and I awake every 2 hours. I used to sleep on my belly and then move about like a chicken on a rotisserie, but as I have a 12 inch scar on my belly from my heart operation I cannot sleep in my preferred position. I tend to sleep on my right side, they say sleep on your back but I’ve never been good in that position.

I got up for a drink and I wondered should I write that down in the diary, does your heart beat change when you go downstairs to the fridge and  back upstairs again? I didn’t put that down, maybe I should have. I did have a few minor twinges so I put them down. Sometimes I scream in the night but that’s from my scars on my legs where veins were harvested. Or if I’m stupid and brush the sheet again my left chest, then I scream and the neighbours can hear it. Mind you they may think it’s the local Sadomasochism Club. Though sometimes I have had a day of pain, or several days of pain, it’s the chest healing where it was cut in half.

In the morning it’s time to remove the sensors which are stuck to my chest, remember just how sensitive it is. Gingerly I remove them, and then I write down the time I got out of bed and removed them. Now I can have a wash, did I tell you, you cannot wash for 24 hours. So you have a 2 day shower before breakfast and going back to the hospital and handing in the cardiac monitor.

The moral of the story, eat your greens and have a balanced diet. I was walking 20 miles a week before this suddenly can upon me. I am now walking 10 to 15 miles a week. I have given up meat and frozen food since I came out of hospital in January 2015. I live on chicken and salmon and eggs, I have lost maybe 10kilos.I never smoked in my life and was almost teetotal, all our lodgers were alcoholics, hence alcohol never interested me. However you can still get coronary heart disease through other factors.

I have extra time now, so I don’t want to waste it, so if any opportunities come along I will grab them, but being able to see my daughters grow up IS the greatest gift. The gift of life itself.


Customer Service for All


Customer Service for All ©
By Michael Casey

Before I start let me tell you that I speak from experience, as a worker and as a teacher. So I hope you have an open mind, and that you really want to polish your skills to be even better.
If you are like me you watch everything around you, you are a people watcher, as well as a tv watcher or a film watcher. By observing you can learn so much. So what makes you happy when you watch a film, a good actor, a pretty actress, lots of action, or all of these things?
Customer Service, Great Customer Service does make a difference. By watching a Duty Manager in a Hotel you can observe just how polished he is when he handles people, when he communicates with people.

The secret is LISTENING, let the customer TELL YOU WHAT THEY WANT.
Then you can give the customer what they want. If they ask for trousers you don’t tell them about hats. You tell them about trousers.
You never say NO to a customer, you say LET ME FIND OUT, I’ll let you know.
Example1: The customer wants black shoes, BUT you don’t have any.
What do you say?
We don’t have black shoes bye, and you end contact with customer.
NO, what you say is SORRY we don’t have black shoes at the moment, but we do have some nice brown shoes, and various other colours.

WHY do you say this?
Because if you just say NO all the time you’ll never make any Sales.
BY saying SORRY and OFFERING an alternative you MIGHT still make a Sale.
Why is it important to be POLITE ALWAYS?

Because TODAY everybody can BUY everything from ANYWHERE in the World.
IF you are RUDE then the Customers will vote with their feet, they will SHOP Elsewhere. Also it is a SALES FACT, if your Customer Service is BAD then the Customer will tell TEN (10) People that YOUR COMPANY IS RUBBISH. This will lead to lack of sales and in the end YOUR COMPANY WILL CLOSE and you have no JOB and no MONEY.

IF you offer GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE then the company will get BIGGER and there will be more jobs and WAGES for the Workers. ALSO the Company will get a bigger Reputation and the Customer will tell FOUR (4) Friends to Shop with your company.
As you can see BAD customer service  is advertised times 10.
Good Customer Service is advertised times 4.
That’s why you should NEVER give Bad Customer Service.
Bad news travels faster.

Example 2 A customer wants black shoes and would like something else but has not made up her mind what.
So you say that we have socks that can go with the shoes and you tell the customer what kind of socks we have. By knowing your stock you can HELP the customer buy more items. If we have a SALE of certain other items then you can GENTLY LEAD the shopper towards the SALES items.
We also have trousers and shirts in Toddler size, your toddler can dress just like Prince George in England. Is what you MIGHT say.
You LISTEN to the customer and IF they are interested then you can LEAD them towards more ITEMS.

It is like fishing, you have to be gentle and patience, never FORCE the customer, this way the CUSTOMER will not REGRET what they have bought.
IF you have LISTENED then you have increased the sale from one item to several.
AND THEN THE CUSTOMER might tell all her friends just how great your company is, and they will buy more things from the company.

Example3 Problem Solving
If you have PROBLEM, what do you do?
Ignore it, hope it will go away.
SORRY, I cannot help you at the moment but I will CONSULT with my colleague, I apologise  for the inconvenience, I’m very SORRY, I will CONTACT you as soon as I have an Answer.
YOU SHOULD NEVER BE BLUNT, Remember there are 1000s of companies on the Internet why should the Customer waste their time on a RUDE and LAZY person who does not want to BOTHER to HELP the customer.
The fancy way of thinking about it is HOW WOULD YOU WANT TO BE TREATED IF YOU HAD JUST WON £10,000,000 ON THE LOTTERY and it was you who was buying clothes for your child.

You would expect to be treated like an Emperor or the President of your country. So if you expect that then you should treat ALL your customers as  if they are the President or the Emperor.
Sweet Words Always
Your  favourite singer is pretty and speaks SO NICE, would you listen to her or him if he sounded like a thief and spat in the street all the time. Your tone on the phone and in emails DOES MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Who would you like to listen to? A rough voice who sounds like a thief or a sweet voice who you’d like to marry.

For FUN you can try closing your eyes and listen as you each try different voices and see which makes you Laugh, or be Afraid, or which is Sweet. By doing this you will realise the IMPRESSION the customer gets of YOU over the phone. A bad voice is more like something from a Horror film. A good voice will be REASSURING and fill the Customer with CONFIDENCE.
Try it for yourself in the office, then you will realise I speak from EXPERIENCE. I can reveal I did win awards for my Customer Service.
For the company we want it to succeed and expand.

How do we do this?
WE listen. We are never Blunt. We are kind in the way we speak or Email.
We treat the Customers as if they are our own Grandmother.
We offer Alternatives, we Politely tell the customer about offers we have and extra items that might compliment what the customer is already buying.
We are never rude and blunt, always remember the customer is paying our wages.
Customer Service means putting the Customer first ALWAYS.

I’ve written this in Janet and John style for somebody who needs a push.

Windows Eight Doors Two


Windows Eight Doors Two ©

By Michael Casey

Today is 29th July 2015 its Windows 10 rollout day, so Bill Gates is sat at his PC answering emails and cut and pasting the new operation system into each letter, so that when he replies the world population gets their free copy. His fingers will be bleeding by the time he finishes, that’ll teach him to be not so popular. He could have employed a few of his friends to answer all those emails and cut and paste Windows 10 into the emails and hit RETURN.

He could have had a Windows 10 party, like a Sleepover, but for geeks. He could have invited his Google friends over too, they’d tell him just how trendy he was, though the idea of Bill Gates being trendy is a bit beyond belief. I’d spend a bit more on clothes if I was him, and get some that are a better fit, not the bargain bin from Macys. Though I am like a pot calling the kettle black. However since I’ve lost all this weight after my operation and giving up meat and frozen food I can now fit into clothes at the back of the wardrobe, it was like Narnia back there.

It is exciting I suppose getting Windows 10, and for FREE, it says  worth 100quid on the icon, or 99 something, which is 100quid in real money. Perhaps I could pay in Bitcoins, if I had any, though silver paper covered chocolate may have higher value. I have got up early to switch my computer on and be ready, like a kid waiting to go on holiday. A computer is a very important thing, I use mine to write on, as my penmanship as Americans call it, is so bad being able to type is a godsend. I’m hoping the music function is great, I have background music constantly.

I’ve got Crowded House playing, I’ve got 4 hours of their music, so they will be there to welcome Windows 10 to our house. Totoro our cat is dancing around the house, chasing some scrunched up paper. A writer’s cat adores paper and comes running if you squeeze paper, sounds daft but it’s true, my cat just loves paper, if I scrunch up the till receipt when I come home from Aldi then Totoro loves to play football with it.

Windows Eight Doors Two, that’s the number of windows in our house, I just spotted another one so I’ve just changed the title of this piece, I had forgotten the window above the front door, and as for doors we have two. I was going to write in one direction and I ended up going in another. That’s the joy of writing you can start one way and then take it another way, like being pollen blown by the wind, or the windmills of your mind, which is my favourite song.

So Bill I hope your day wasn’t too tiring, a couple of pints of Stella Artois to wash down your chicken dinner should sort you out. Just get Melissa to walk all over your back, but make sure she takes down the washing from the indoor washing line and scrubs down the kitchen table first. Otherwise while she’s walking on your back while holding onto the washing line she’ll bring down your Y fronts on top of you. And if she if she hasn’t wiped the kitchen table first then with all the extra virgin olive oil on the table you’ll just slip off the table.

All the best with “God’s work” Bill, my nine books may amuse you and your kindle, if not you can use them as kindling, but don’t get too close to the fire or you’ll burn with all the extra virgin olive oil on you, just like a modern day witch.

My shoes 23rdJuly2015



9 books on Amazon

A Typical Saturday in Our House


A  Typical  Saturday in Our House ©

By Michael Casey

Today 25th July 2015 is a Saturday, its Totoro our cat’s 4 month Birthday. My chest pain is reminding me that heart bypass has a price, to make me well, to stave off a potential fatal heart attack I had the Triple Heart Bypass 6 months ago now. Only I was told a few days ago that actually they did 4 grafts. I felt perfectly well before the op, I was reading Don Camillo. Now I feel 50% the man I was before the operation, then there is the chest pain. However in the end I’m not pushing up the daisies. I’m telling you all this as it’s hard to concentrate when you are in pain, and sometimes your very breath is taken away. So forgive me if I stumble as I tell the tale.

Watch the cat, or he’ll sneak out, so we shut the back door, so she’ll not sneak out. Our cat has confused gender, we were told she was a he when we got him, but he was not a him, but a she. If you find and count the nipples under the fur you have the final proof, Totoro is a girl.

Who wants tea, I ask like a dirty spoon chef,  no reply so I ask again, nobody answers me, none of my 4 girls. Then the cat sneaks up and rubs himself, sorry herself against me, this both frightens and alarms me. I have scars up both of my legs where the surgeon harvested veins for my heart bypass. They are still very tender even after 6 months.

My left chest is still extremely tender too, if I brush the sheet against it while in bed then I scream. Getting up in the night means getting out of my bed naked, then getting dressed in pyjamas to avoid a Ninja Cat assault when I go downstairs. Totoro has discovered the fridge, she jumps on top of it so that she has high ground, 6 feet, from where she can pounce on anything that comes downstairs in the night.

But now it is morning and I’ve made my own breakfast, I am in fact chewing the 1st piece of my toast as I pop my 7 morning pills. You have to have them with food so my pharmacist told me, it’s a morning ritual now, a bag full of pills. My wife chirps up, can you give Eve her breakfast, she wants French Toast. Yes Daddy, you make it better than mum. And what are you doing? I ask. I’m reading the Bible is her reply, and so she is a big green covered on, printed in Mandarin. Converts will be the death of us.

So I get my daughter to get 2 eggs from the fridge, the cat having vacated her high vantage point. Then while she gets a bowl to mix the Polish eggs in I wolf down the last of my toast which has a covering of garlic and herbs mixed in the reduced fat cheese spread. The Polish eggs are like the Maltese eggs, the yolk is very bright yellow, not anaemic like some supermarket eggs.

My small daughter is pleased as she can now reach higher into the cupboard, in fact soon the cupboard door will hit her on the head, this is great news as it proves she is finally growing, at 11. Now I have the tools so I can get on with the job. French Toast for one, crack and whisk the egg in the bowl, add a splash of milk and a dab of butter. Then just stir.

Being a Shanghai Birmingham family once the bread is soaked in the egg I put it into the wok for cooking. We only had wholemeal bread in the house, so it was a new experience of French Toast a la wholemeal. Luckily my small daughter liked it, otherwise she would have been lumping it.

Twenty different conversations going on at the same time, the girls are off singing at a wedding later on, so a few lines of this hymn and that hymn. I’m just happy that my small daughter is getting taller, the plan is for my wife to be the midget of the family, my small daughter just has to out-grow her.

I think they sound worse than seagulls, another protected species, so I take refuge in the Italian barbers. I decided to give the Russian one a miss and go back to the Italian. I had tried the Polish barber before as well, I even had the mad witch Shanghai wife cut my hair a few times too. If only I could be Rapunzel, and not have to cut my fast growing but fine hair, which is everso everso silver.

The Italian was busy with a customer so I had to wait my turn, it was only 10.30am. It’s always interesting to listen in to conversations, you are sharing, or even stealing part of somebody else’s life. The Conversation Thief could be a future book title of mine, while I have that thought in my mind The Book Thief, the book, is the greatest book I have ever read, I would just love to have a pint of Stella Artois with the author.

So the customer was talking about Sky packages and how he nagged them and got a few deals out of it. His gripe was that long serving customers did not get the new deals. Which reminds me, Sky I’ve had you for 16 years plus now. It was the fact that my satellite had Phoenix Chinese tv which encouraged a young girl to come to my house.

So I should “blame” Sky for my wife and 2 bilingual daughters. Anyway Sky how about giving me, our house a free package of Sky. I’ll even write for Sky too, though Rupert will have to pay me for my words. www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com to HEAR 50 examples.

But back to the barber, a half bald guy had his hair washed and cut before it was my turn. I told the Italian to shear me like a sheep, it’s the quickest way. He was very quiet at first then I told him my tale. He may not have seen me for a year. It turned out that his mother had died back home in Italy.

So I offered sympathy and suggested that he talk to her photo on Sundays, which was the normal time he phoned her back home in Italy. She was 98, but as he said , your mama is your mama, even if she was a million years old. He showed me the photo of his mama on his mobile phone. This was a touching moment for him, and me too. This week a family friend a contemporary of my dad has just died, aged 90. The older generation, the war generation, the better generation, is dying out.

I came home shorn of my hair, looking years younger, apart from the fact that I needed a shave. So I had a shave and trimmed my eyebrows, we have a scissors with teeth in the bathroom. It’s a very dangerous thing, but I survived.

Aldi is next on my list, I have to shop everyday as I cannot carry tons of stuff anymore. It’s also a way of getting my exercise, a trip up the road and see if I can raise a laugh from the staff on the tills. Aldi staff really really work hard, that’s why they have “high” rates of pay. I asked the guy on the till was the manager slumming it by working the till next to him.

Then I get out my conversation starter purse, yes purse. A GorJuss  purse, with a girl riding a horse printed on it. My daughter gave me it when my wallet sprung a leak. I always say it’s my daughter’s purse but my money. I did have my wife’s purse, then I said it’s my wife’s purse but it’s my money. Before that for years I had a plastic 35mm film canister, see how I have progressed, and digital cameras have taken over.

The guy on the till is smiling, so my mission is complete, so I balance out the weight of my shopping and prance home just like the horse on my purse. My dad, a blacksmith and a steel worker had a purse too, made from tick material, so I suppose it’s a family tradition.

I get home and cat jumps down from the fridge giving me a fright, if she ever gets inside the fridge it will be her having the fright. Then it’s the madness of getting ready for the Wedding, and reminding mum they need a lift to the church, its 2 miles away.

They drive off and the morning madness is over, just me and Totoro the cat home alone. Totoro decides to go and have a sleep in her basket, I feel tired too now, so I have a rest. Totoro purring in her sleep and me talking in mine. If only Sky gave me a free package and Rupert used my 9 books over 2901 pages, him paying me, now that’s something to sleep on.

My shoes 23rdJuly2015 

Looking Back


Looking Back ©

By Michael Casey

Well today is the first full week of the school holidays, so mum’s at work while I “supervise” the girls. This involved taking our smallest to the doctors’ as she had bumped her elbow a few weeks ago and now, only now did she tell us. There had been no bruising just a little pain, enough for her finally to tell us. Luckily I got an appointment and the nurse had a feel before saying she could feel a small swelling. The nurse then went and got a prescription signed by a doctor, while we waited I told my daughter it was because of her she did not now have a dog. I had said before Christmas that the girls could have a cat if I had a heart attack and a dog if I died. It was the very prompt action of the nurse that got me my first cardiac appointment which lead to my bypass. I only discovered the other day that I had 4 grafts not the 3 I’d been told. So I have had my money’s worth from the National Health Service.

After a trip to Aldi we went and got the prescription filled at my local pharmacy, there I could drop some news into the conversation. My other daughter had got 100% in a Chemistry exam, not forgetting 2 Astars in 2 mock GCSEs, 2 years before the real ones will be taken. I told him it was just a ruse to get more pocket money. She even got a distinction in her Grade One Piano Music exam, even though she has to be dragged kicking and screaming to the piano. But 91.3% is nothing to be scoffed at. The cat Totoro likes to dance on the piano, otherwise it may gather dust. No more piano lessons until she practises of her own free will every day for a year. Then we will know she is motivated. If we could bribe our musician neighbour with chocolate, to give free lessons, then maybe they’ll resume. Or if Ed Balls is ever in the neighbourhood…

All these exam results make me look back at my own school days, I was Head Boy at primary school I can boast, but really it was chief jailor locking up the school at dinner time so the kids could not run amuck. For one year I was left alone to read at the reception desk in the school, because I was ahead of the pack. Once you go to Grammar school you are ordinary, with an ability to kill on the rugby field.

I was called Casey Minimus at my grammar school, as my 2 elder brothers went to the school before me. This was ironic considering I was the heaviest by far. Ali Campbell later of UB40 was in 1B with me, though after the first year I went into the fast stream, where they try and kill you, only joking, it was fun. I can boast I did 5 years of Latin, which is a form of torture, but I suppose it does make you think. Why God am I in this classroom? Please release me, let me go, for I do not love Latin, I never did, not now, not ever not ever. I even had double Latin, 2 hours worth on a Friday afternoon in 5th year. We had the joys of the Ablative Absolute, I will never forget that lesson on a Tuesday, a double lesson with first break in the morning dividing it. This is when we all lost our linguistic virginity, when we sweated for the result. I think it was Patel, the son of a doctor, who finally cracked it. 4 other future doctors in the class hadn’t a clue but he did. If 2nd years were allowed Stella Artois, we’d all have had 3 pints each and forget the fancy glasses.

These are the things that bind us and remind us of our schooldays, the torture in Latin, or O’Callaghan getting the pump for calling my “Witty comment” a “S*** comment” and Mr Ealy the woodwork and gym teacher not being impressed in 1970. Mr Ealy was 6feet 2 but on the rugby field I could fling him, and I was just 12.

If you can look back with smiles then your school days haven’t been wasted. If you still have a friend who has lasted down the years that is even better. Pain lessens with the years, getting 4 of the best on you bum with a pump because you did not know your multiplication tables, is just a memory now, but then it really was a pain lesson. Next time I was asked to multiply I could with ease and without any pain. Now 40+ years  on my mental arithmetic is still quick, so thank you Mr Gallagher.



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