Growing Up Growing Old

02/03/2015

Growing Up, Growing Old ©

By Michael Casey

Well today in Birmingham and maybe all over the country the secondary school places are allocated. I had an email saying my small daughter had got into our preferred school, the same one her big sister already attends. This is good as it’s just up the road literally, about 15mins from the house.

This proves that my small daughter is growing up, though she takes after her Shanghai mother in size and looks, so she is small in build, though her big sister takes after me in build and looks, Nature’s balance if you like. Though the small daughter has my personality, and the big daughter my wife’s personality, again Nature’s balance.

This also means that I am getting old, even if I persist in thinking I am 20, mind you after an unplanned Triple Heart Bypass operation only weeks ago in Jan 2015, I am happy that I am still here, even if I am aging disgracefully. When my small daughter returns from school I’ll tell her the news, she’ll be very happy and want to drag me to the uniform shop to get her uniform ready for September, even though it’s only 2nd March today. She has already said she wants to beat the queues that her sister encountered a few years ago.

She will be wearing an old skirt of her sister’s, probably reaching to just underneath her armpits, so it’s only fair she gets nice new everything else for her new school. It’ll make me sigh and think that the baby of the family is getting bigger. However I can now look forward to her and her sister getting their PhDs, they are half Chinese after all, when a few weeks ago things could have been much much different.

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Pain and Carers

28/02/2015

Pain and Carers ©

By Michael Casey

Well this will be the last post of the month. It also marks an anniversary, as on this day in 1988 I finished writing my 1st book, The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker, a comedy drama for all the family. So that’s 27 years ago, though to be exact the anniversary is only every 4 years, as I finished on Leap Year’s Day 1988.

A lot has happened since then, joy and pain and rejoicing, and Mandarin on a daily basis, not to mention sharing a bathroom with 3 girls. Pain has put in an appearance too. Tennis elbow induced from carrying a heavy bag full of work for my Esol English students. That pain lasted 9 months then disappeared as quickly as it arrived. I even had acupuncture for it.

I had hurt my back while working in the print room at a law firm, but it cured itself after a few days, only to return spasmodically just for “fun”. Then  years later my left leg, no not my left foot, that was somebody else’s story/life, well it started to hurt. This was my Arthur saying “hi”. Six months after it started I had an injection into the left hip, and everything was fine.

Only the right hip decides it was not getting enough attention and went out in pain sympathy. Sounds like a union, simple solution you think. No, now you have tests and then a Chinese doctor scans you but won’t inject you as he cannot find the seat of the problem. You are left with your pain, which was six months at that point. So he suggests another scan.

You have the next scan, this says it’s a problem in your back which is radiating out the pain. All I want is &*() pain relief you say to yourself. Instead you keep on taking the Movelat, which works and won’t destroy your kidneys as pill probably will.

Then one Saturday, the 3rd Jan 2015 to be exact both of your hips are murdering you, you are screaming in pain and slapping on the Monvelat gel. This works, then you eat and feel much better, only the pain returns. Plus a very tiny tickle to the side of your left nipple.

You are home alone as the wife and kids are in London meeting a cousin from Shanghai, so you ring your sister and she comes around. She suggests having a lie down. In the end you ring 999.

The guy tests you and cannot see a heart attack, but you did have a bit of angina  very recently, and you did have a scan. So to be on the safe side you are taken to City Hospital. Tests are done, you remind them about the recent MRI scan of your heart. This was taken on 20th Dec 2014, so they dig it out.

The doctor comes back with news that will change your life, something has to be done. What exactly, a Triple Heart Bypass.

So I was kept in for a week of tests before being transferred to the QE for the operation. I never knew my heart was in such a state, so you could say my Arthritis saved my life.

To be continued….

18th FEB 2015 post sudden hospital visit    me looking thin

Small Kindnesses

23/02/2015

Small Kindnesses ©

By Michael Casey

I was in Aldi today, it’s part of my cardiac rehabilitation, its 30 mins walking, up the road and around the store and back home again. I cannot carry much as my chest is tight after being opened up and then sown up again. So I wander around and then bring home what I can carry. Today it was salmon steaks from Norway, which are cheaper than the smoked salmon, cheaper and you get 20% more. I also tried low fat Greek style yogurt.

Now as I struggled for the change the pretty Muslim girl on the checkout helped put my shopping in my Lidl shopping bag. It’s a joke I play on Aldi, I use Lidl carrier bags to take home my shopping. Previously I shared a joke about Tasers with the shop manager, the machine she uses to count stock looks like a Taser, she has a law degree you know, or so I have been informed by the bodybuilder who stacks the shelves.

Now this is maybe the way shops used to be 40 years ago, or my local Aldi just has nice people working there. I did in fact write a play called Shoplife years ago, it was accepted for the stage though not finally produced, it is on Amazon.

Now to the point, the point is that simple kindnesses do make a difference, you can brighten up a person’s day, just by sparing a little time. Time to chat, to share a joke, or just help them with their shopping, or hold a door open. I was a concierge for 3 years in a 4 star deluxe business hotel, so I have practiced what I preach. I’m speaking from experience.

Now as I have been forced to slow down, and I can only just about put my socks and shoes on as bending is painful and sometimes impossible, I really do appreciate the small kindnesses. The little things do matter and they do make a difference, they are a smile, a ray of sunshine, a reassuring hand, a steadying hand. Being forced to slow down does make you look at things differently, just as being in a wheelchair either temporarily or always makes your perspective different.

So thanks to everybody who has been offering me small kindnesses, the old women, 90 plus in age who have been praying for me, they are my mother’s contemporaries, I went to school  with their children. To those who don’t even know they have helped me, because kindness is in their nature. Obviously a big thank you to the NHS, I will bring the chocolate to the wards when I have enough strength to carry it down the longest hospital corridor in Europe.

That’s all for today, I get tired more easily so I have to cut my computer time down, though the house is quieter as the girls have gone back to school. We finally let the cat out of the bag and told my wife that I had bought my small daughter a new coat  as the one grannie in Shanghai had given her was way too big. It will be used eventually, in a year or two when she is in Year 8. We did enjoy speaking in Spanish behind mum’s back, saying that she still hadn’t spotted the new coat, but yesterday we let the cat out of the bag, six months after the holidays to China.

18th FEB 2015 post sudden hospital visit    me looking thin

Sudden Hospital Visit

18/02/2015

Sudden Hospital Visit ©

By Michael Casey

Well my heart rehab is/was going well. But yesterday I ended up in hospital. Until I started screaming in pain. It was to the left of my chest, past my nipple by a few inches. After a few screams spaced out in time I dialed 999, or 911 as you call it in USA. I was told to use the under the tongue spray, I must have sprayed twice so I collapsed on the floor. It lowers your blood pressure so much. Anyway as I’ve just had the Triple Heart Bypass I was taken in. I had bloods and an Xray. I also screamed a lot in casualty. They gave me pain killers twice while I was there for 3 hours or so. MY HEART IS FINE. They did a couple of ecgs as well. As you know I have Arthritis or Arthur as I call it since 2013, it just appeared and mugged me. The doctor had a look at me but I had stopped screaming by then. Then “luckily” I screamed while he was stood beside me.

The result

http://www.everydayhealth.com/pain-management-photos/treating-musculoskeletal-pain.aspx

It’s all down to Muscular skeletal pain. So it was a relief it was not my heart. I may have stretched too far and triggered it all, you have to watch yourself if you have a heart bypass. So finally after my Xray and my bloods were looked at I was allowed home WITH super strength pain killers. The irony was that during the day I had not needed the regular post operation paracetamol, in fact I was pleased with myself. So I am wondering did I trigger it. Though this past month I have had random pain, a stab and then it disappears. But last night maybe 20 such stabs. It really does make you scream, and scream JESUS, God, or whatever else you may believe in. I must thank my sister for her support and taxi service. I had told my wife to stay home with our young daughters, seeing dad collapse and holding his hand while the ambulance arrived was enough for the night, so I thought it was better for my 3 girls to stay together.

In the morning my small daughter said she had a dream. I was in hospital and the nurse said I was going to die, then an Angel came down and breathed on me.

Well I’m back home, and this morning I had a letter, an appointment from the Royal Orthopaedic  Hospital for my back/arthritis problem. Today is Ash Wednesday, we remember that we are dust and to dust we will return. This I know only too well, I hope I can use my extra time to have a happy family life, maybe I’ll write 8 more books. Pain I know all about, if I can make people smile and laugh with my stories then I’ll have used my time on this earth well, before I return to dust.

my 3 Malta girls

Fun photo from 2001

13/02/2015

this is my eldest daughter

holding the baby 2001

50 Shades of Michael

10/02/2015

50 Shades of Michael ©

By Michael Casey

I first met Michael at the bus stop, he was back combing his bushy eyebrows in the reflection by the bus time table. Applying a bit of spit on the them as well to hold them down. How could I an impressionable woman resist, it was all too much for me, I started to have palpitations. I had to hold onto the bus stop for support. The eyebrows were just so, so magnificent, he reminded me of a werewolf, so manly, so handsome, how could I resist him.

On the bus I followed him and sat next to him, I was intoxicated by his manly aroma, a mixture of Brut and sweaty socks. I gave him the once over as the bus trundled along the road in the rain. His broad shoulders and his even bigger belly were so overwhelming, I could barely breath, he was irresistible.

My breathing became laboured and heavy, Michael looked at me, with concern in his hazel coloured eyes, the eyes the eyes, he was the man with the child in his eyes. He was too much, I just had to have him. I started to breath more heavily, I was having an asthma attack, brought on by pure lust, how could Michael do this to me.

I reached into my bag for my inhaler, I placed it between my lips, but it was Michael who I wanted and needed, he and he alone could give me what I wanted and needed and MUST have. He asked me was I ok, speaking to me sent my pulse rate soaring. My head spun, he was speaking to me, he was speaking to me, it was all too much. I fainted and my body slumped against his.

I could feel his pulse against mine, Michael whispered in my ear, he asked could he do anything? He asked could he do anything. YES YES YES. Kiss me I whispered, so he did. I was in Heaven, a man a real man was kissing me, a man who wore Brut and had sweaty socks, not to mention the shoulders and the brushed back eyebrows, topped off with the Winnie the Pooh like tummy. I was tingling all over as he kissed me.

We got off the bus together in Old Forge and Singing Anvil, he knew what I wanted and I would not take no for an answer. I gave him my business card Tracy Rogers, lingerie designer. He told me he was a cross dresser and did I make his size, I laughed, he was so funny. He then told me he was a film reviewer for Hungry Wolf a lads magazine.

We went into the Trader for a pint and a natter, I explained my job and he explained his. We felt at ease with each other, as if we had known each other for years. He was everything  I had ever wanted in a man. He said looks did not matter, so long as I could make him laugh, though designer lingerie did help.

It was wanton, I had never picked a man up at a bus stop before, but life was short, my last boyfriend had ran off with the girl from the takeaway. I had never suspected, though he always seemed to get extra rice. So now to find a real man was too much of an opportunity to pass on.

In the bedroom, socks and pants littered the floor, but at least the sheets were John Lewis Egyptian cotton extra soft ones, and they were fresh on that day. Michael had a washing machine and knew how to use it. He also knew how to use what God had given him, and boy oh boy was I glad of that. As for me, he liked what I gave and gave and gave again and again.

Three hours later we stopped for some tea and crumpet, sex had made us hungry, and Michael did have Warbuton’s crumpet and PG  tips. So we had crumpet after we had had crumpet, and we share sex tips while we had our PG tips. I glowed and Michael was just Michael.

So we carried on again, it was as if Michael had Duracell batteries in him, long lasting and never fading. As for me, I was glad I had taken a chance at the bus stop, he was an animal, but the kind I wanted and needed and must have. 50 shades of Michael, I had heard there was some obscure film called 50 shades of something or another, but I had 50 shades of Michael which was much much better.

I told Michael I enjoyed all sorts of things in the bedroom, so he smiled and poured a bottle of Guinness  all over my body. I thought it was beer shampoo or something, until he started to lick it off. It was the first time I’d done such  a thing, it was wanton but I loved it, we both loved it.

I told Michael that he was my best lover ever, that we were so wanton, he could do anything he liked to me. As I said we were so wanton he went to the kitchen and made wanton soup, we fed each other soup, and what spilt on our bodies was licked off by us. Prawn crackers were spread over our bodies and we ate from our bodies. So much better than anything from Sex and the City.

We had so many plans, things to do, things to eat, we’d never use plates again. It was prefect, perfect lust, and perfect food. 50 shades of Michael, I was such a lucky girl, such a lucky girl.

Then I woke up it had all been a dream, but why did I smell of Guinness and have prawn crackers in my hair?

IMGP0887Michael 10 FEB 2015

Cover Letter 2014

09/02/2015

Cover Letter 2014 ©

By

Michael Casey

I was talking to somebody about cover letters today, I can see the irony as I talk to you, as I won’t be needing one myself any more. However Pitch Letters are a different thing, and I do expect to have to do some of those.

So what about Cover Letters, they are part of the job search process, without one you may not get a job, or it may swing it for you. So you have to write a cover letter. I looked at my old cover letter today and realised it was too long.

A CV should be two pages and no more, the cover letter that goes with it should be just one side. HR people and job agencies are always in a hurry, they won’t even look at a multipage opus. Into the bin it will go, literally or on their PC.

So what do you do? You iron out he rough spots, and raise the molehills to mountains, and vice versa. The Cover Letter is your chance to shine, it’s like your Facebook home page. Or your paragraph on the Dating Website. It’s all about you.

So you say what you were great at, you never say “I was a bit rubbish at X Y Z” followed by but. Your Butt would be kicked out before you even start. It’s a Positive Only piece, it’s your chance to get a great job, or any  job and be able to afford to pay the rent or buy a new set of golf clubs.

So tell them what you are great at, and think differently about yourself, put yourself in their shoes, the Saint Augustinian Way, and Sell Yourself. You may not think  that visiting the sick is anything special, its your good deed. This proves to an employer exactly where your heart is, he may be a hospital visitor himself, yes him in the £2000 suit.

You may be embarrassed by your kindness but it lets the employer know just what kind of person you are. Your Community Actions do make a difference.

I

n your job it may have been you who trained all the new people, and wrote the basic Bible for the job you all did. Nobody else could have been bothered, but you did it. So put it in the Cover Letter, you have Training Experience, so boast about it.

You may speak several languages, and the office staff may have poked fun at you for it, but it’s you who speaks to all the truck drivers when they arrive from all over Europe. Tell everybody as the Billy Joel song goes, you may even overlook it, because it’s only a few minutes. But only you can do it, so boast about it.

Write a list of everything you can do, and everything you do do, then write a flow chart of it, and join the dots with words. If you sell your house you put everything down in a positive way, so on a Cover Letter you do the same, but about yourself.

I am fat and have white hair, this describes me. In a Cover Letter it becomes I am distinguished looking with silver hair and a strong athletic build.  Ok the athletic may be stretching it too far. You are painting a picture, a pretty postcard showing just how great you are, so you get that job.

All this has to be done on one page, it’s a sprint and the winner gets the job, so don’t be shy give words a try.

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lies, damn lies, linkedin profile and facebook

08/02/2015

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 (michaelgcasey) 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.

www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com

www.michaelgcasey.wordpress.com

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

IMGP0887 this is me 8th Feb 2015   post Triple Heart Bypass

I have written 500+ such pieces, perfect for radio, so get in touch.

Dear Stephen, I still love you, lots of cuddles from God

05/02/2015

Dear Stephen, I still love you, lots of cuddles from God ©

By Michael Casey

Well Stephen, you really did have a go at me didn’t you? I know the world is a sad and bad place, but I did give it Free Will. But everybody still blames me, that’s if they believe in me.

I would go and see an analyst, only Freud is so busy, it’s impossible to get an appointment. What would I say anyway, Stephen Fry doesn’t believe in me. But you don’t even believe in Santa any more, do you Stephen. I suppose being so large and breaking Santa’s knee when you were 10 did change your life so much.

You are clever I’ll give you that, but not as clever as you think, I was having a pint in the bar with Shakespeare the other night, the other Midsummer’s Nights Eve  to be exact and he did mention you in passing, he asked who were you, he liked your performance in one of his plays. So you are known here in Heaven.

Everybody moans and says just how unjust I am, I had it all the way back to Noah, so Stephen you are not very original, at least you won’t be needing an umbrella like Noah.

Just be nice and niceness will come back to you is what I always say, put on a happy face, dance, laugh and have a nice glass of wine. Cana is my favourite by the way. Then life is so much better, if all you do is scream at me you’ll just end up with high blood pressure, and as you are so tall already who knows where it will all end.

I could always send you a dream, of Michael Casey and www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com he is looking for a business partner. Now wouldn’t that be such perfect punishment, Stephen Fry reads Michael Casey. The sheer indignity of it all. Or would that be giving you ammunition to fire at me again, an evil and vindictive God.

No Stephen, you have got it all wrong, as usual, but I still love you. I spend nights crying my eyes out, tearing my clothes and howling at the moon. It’s heart-breaking being a dad, I just want to give everybody a cuddle and push them on the swings, only they hate me or blame me.

People are too sophisticated, where has all the innocence gone, well Eve knew the answer there. I just want to be your best pal, yes Stephen, your best pal. Only I’m not modern enough for some.

Modern, isn’t the Universe modern enough for you. Or does everybody want the Sistine Chapel version of me, Michelangelo has got a lot to answer for. He’s whitewashing the toilets in the angels’ bar in paradise this week. But Stephen what I’m trying to say is that there are bigger people than you in Heaven and we all get along, can’t you just try and fit in?

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From the Eastern Side of the Kitchen

01/02/2015

From The Eastern Side of the Kitchen ©

By Michael Casey

My wife has decided that I need to follow her diet, the Shanghai rice with everything diet, the I’ve had 2 kids ad still only weight 6 stones diet, which is 38 kilos if you understand kilos. I think my right leg weighs that much alone. So now I’m out of hospital 12 days I have not eaten any pork nor beef, I’ve also been reintroduced to rice too. There are so many tastes and varieties of rice. As a child all I knew was the rice pudding we sometimes had out of a tin as a treat on a Sunday.  Now I’m revisiting the Chinese side of the kitchen. I had baked or grilled everything for decades, I even gave up my weak milky coffee after 50 years yes 50 years, But now, I’m  turning Chinese I really think so. WE have to find a low fat spread or marg to replace our beloved Clover, we’re trying Olivo from  Aldi but I don’t really like the taste, If I have to be healthy I do want to enjoy what is passing through my lips. So Love might be sampled next. I had a plate of Chinese food today, it was nice maybe I should have photo’d it. So this is my future, the wife wants me to hit 100 kilos. I have got a thinner face now after my time in hospital and my unexpected 3 way bypass operation. And no I never smoked in my life, but I did work in print rooms for decades, so maybe that was a contributing factor. I am lucky I was spotted and had an emergency operation. My small daughter tried her hand at cooking cake from a packet with instructions today, It was perfect, I was even allowed to sample a small piece, she just walking past me here at the computer, her spoon banging against her bowl as she finishes off her haute cuisine.  This is my family future, a change of diet, a Shanghai wife and our two bilingual and impossibly thin daughters. So spare a thought for me as this adventure unfolds. Alcohol I hardly ever use so I won’t miss, bacon and beef may never reappear on the menu again, so as you scoff all your favourite things tonight, just look to the star rising in the East, in Birmingham.

Kiss me Baby


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