Speaking is a very powerful Verb


Speaking is a very powerful Verb ©

By Michael Casey

Prime Minister you are not properly dressed, the PM follows the eyes of his bodyguard, his flies are undone. The P.M. attends to his wardrobe malfunction, saying “I was speaking to wife” which is the only benefit of living over the shop.

I shall speak to them about it, says a very senior lawyer, this is the equivalent of arranging for the party of the first part to have a very nasty accident, falling down the stairs of the 3rd party fire and theft, if you know what I mean. Speaking has so much power, that’s if you can get people to talk to each other in the first place.

I was speaking to your mum is a very nice phrase, but I’ll speak to your mum makes you quiver with fear, especially if you’ve been doing anything naughty, and naughty can cover a whole multitude of sins. Please God don’t let her speak to mum, she’ll skin me alive, or she’ll beat the living daylights out of me.

The two parties agreed to speak to each other, this is always a good sign when there are disputes, neighbours fighting over overgrown trees, or nuclear powered neighbours fighting over which end of an egg should be the one that is opened, the fat or the thin. Wasn’t that in Jonathan Swifts book, I’ll have to speak to my English teacher to find out.

There is speaking and there is speaking, a couple may fall out and not speak to each other. It may be over the size of the phone bill, or how much toilet paper is being used, or even who wet the toilet seat. So they don’t speak to each other till finally they give in, and have sex on the living room floor, strictly come dancing on the tv in the background. How the judges would mark them for performance and technical ability, perfect 10s and what exactly would Bruno say, I cannot say, I won’t speak about it. Ask me in 9 months time and then maybe I’ll speak about it.

We’ll speak about it later, but later never comes, so anger and frustration mounts, all because we did not speak. Just a few words here and a few words there could have changed all our lives. I did not know how you really felt, why didn’t you speak to me, are words lovers exchange just as one of them is dying in a film.

I’m tongue tied when I see him, I wanna tell him but I cannot, if only I could bring myself to speak to him. If she had spoken, if he had spoken, they would have been married 20 years ago. Now both are still single, regretting what could have been if only they had spoken. Or both are thanking God they did not speak, he is old and very fat, as well as bald. She is a smoker with a hacking cough. The only thing that should have been against her lips should have been his kiss. A word and a kiss, if only they had spoken.

Sometimes we speak too much, less is more so they say. Though teenagers grunt and don’t answer in sentences as if their batteries are running low. So speaking is a nuclear weapon which should be used with caution. If you get on like a house on fire then you will talk the hind legs off a donkey, or talk till the cows come home. Explain those phrases to your Esol students. Or as Churchill said Jaw Jaw is better than War War.

Michael 10 FEB 2015

Dr Who Times Two


Dr Who Times Two ©
By Michael Casey

Dr Who Times Two, why have I called today’s piece this? Well sometimes it takes me two viewings to understand every nuance of the show, especially if you live with 3 girls and a female cat. I’d love to have it on even louder, I’d get a sound bar too, just so I could hear over the screaming of my wife to Shanghai or Korea on her phone. However I’m not allowed, though if somebody has one for Christmas that they don’t want then I’d give it a good home.

This season as the Americans call it has Capaldi as the Dr, it was his childhood ambition, now he is the Dr. He is not as funny as the Silly Dr as my children call Matt Smith. He’s not as heroic as David Tennant, who we never knew was Scottish until after he finished Dr Who. His real accent came to the fore only then.

Capaldi as Dr Who is a different Dr Who. Capaldi is the same age as me, though ½ the size and not as good looking, we do have one thing in common, our shades. Last night’s episode where he was trapped in a Rubic cube like moving castle was on 2nd viewing one of the best and in my opinion may win awards. Why do I say this?

The themes of perseverance beyond hope, beyond reason, with Clara being his prayer, his Hail Mary was very touching, being augmented by the use of music. This is where a sound bar would come in handy, although everybody was out this afternoon so I had the tv on loud, loud enough for Dr Who and that great Welsh orchestra.

I cannot wait for the final series ending episode, has Galifrey been saved? Well after Strictly Come Dancing next week we shall find out together. Capaldi’s Dr is a heavier Dr, he’s less plastic than other ones, earthier. Here in England the time slot has been pushed back due to the Rugby World Cup and then Strictly Come Dancing, so the tea time tradition has been eroded. Again as the guest writers write some episodes the standard does dip, so some episodes are a 6 and others an 8 or 9. Last night’s in the Rubic cube castle was a 9.

I read Dr Who review’s in the Daily Telegraph and they generally give 4stars, though for some episodes I’d say they were generous. The format this series has also had several 2 parters, which can irritate some viewers, a throw-back to the Saturday morning pictures of 50 years ago at the Grove Cinema.

I also read that Whoians or whatever they call themselves are too precious, and think they own Dr Who, too many inside jokes and references in Dr which only they understand, a code which the rest of us are unworthy of knowing. As if the Dr were in private practice, when really he is a NHS crash Dr.


Shopping Habits


Shopping Habits ©

By Michael Casey

I am a shopper, we are all shoppers, otherwise we’d all die, not unless you have pizza and Chinese delivered, but then you’d grow so fat that you couldn’t leave the house, except with the help of a fork lift truck. So we all go shopping, to feed ourselves and to clothe ourselves.

This is then described as the “shopping experience” by marketing men in magazines such as the Grocer, the fact that those men never go shopping and have everything delivered by Ocado and have never seen a man in a pinny in their lives is by the by. Marketing is king, though it’s the queens in our lives who do most shopping, by which I mean our mums and our wives, though queens do go shopping too, I’m sure I’ve seen Lizzy down Aldi once, their bargains are so tempting after all.

I could say at this point that I worked for ACNielsen for two decades, which is BS speak that you put on a CV. I was in the computer room, shovelling data and printout, so I knew nothing about market research as it is called. Though you do pick up a bit to a lot just by talking to those who really do know what they are doing, KJ, MF and TS to name but 3.

TS was a really nice man and I regret I didn’t gossip more to him over the years. This time in 1987 I mentioned an idea to KJ about The Butcher The Baker and The Undertaker, and see now all these years on, nearly 30 years on I’m still boring you the readers about it.

Where was I, oh yeah, with my hand in the bargain basket, a bit like James Herriot with his arm up a cow’s bum. You have to ferret around to find the odd bargain or two. A week after this week’s special bargain you get the real bargain, the item has been reduced in price, they have to clear their stocks after all.

In my local Aldi the pretty little Indian boss goes around with a taser, well it looks like a taser, so I never give her any lip, just in case. It is in fact a hand held computer for counting stock, though it might be a taser, so I’ve never been brave enough to ask. So they clear out the bargains which have not been sold. I got half price socks that way, and they are really really warm, I’m wearing them now as I talk to you. Though I have missed out on other bargains because the rest of Birmingham did not wait.

Shoppers are classed into groups, what kind of people are they. Do they shop regularly, do they do a huge weekly shop, are they bargain hunters. Yes I am a bargain hunter, and I shop daily and sometime twice daily. I have to get my exercise in after my operation, and I cannot carry as much as I once did. Bypass and Arthritis does that to you, but at least it gives me the chance to try a new joke out on the staff.

You can try new things when you see a bargain in the shops, and if it’s horrible Totoro the cat will always eat it, or the children depending how slow the girls are when I offer them my slops. Shops like the Coop have really nice stuff, overpriced, but very nice. As they sell the lotto in their shop I occasionally drop by, then I tour the aisles, like a store detective, ok they think I’m a shoplifter, till I turn around and they know it’s me, the fat old white haired guy, the George Clooney look alike. I am his body double after all, ask his wife if you don’t believe me. Anyway they do occasionally have ½ price items, like the fish I have in my fridge, which I’ll be eating soon.

Specialist shops have died out, the butcher the baker and the undertaker used to be on every high street, ok not so many undertakers, but the other two. Now big stores have consumed the small sole trader shop. From a shopping point of view it is cheaper, but from a neighbourhood point of view it’s not as nice. Spirit has disappeared from the high street. I don’t think you can ever turn back the clock, maybe only in fiction will you rediscover it, read the butcher the baker and the undertaker perhaps.

Having said that Spirit can be injected if we decide to break convention and ignore the security cameras. In one store “darling” has made a comeback, I even get called darling by female staff, which does my ego a power of good. If you make the atmosphere like an outdoor market but indoors in the shop then the staff are happier, and the shoppers are happier too. The vibe, the buzz is better, so this step backwards is in fact a step forward, and we all dance and the tills ring. Strictly ballroom if you like, or you could read my play Shoplife.

Christmas is but a month away, so I assume mums and dads are buying stuff ready for Christmas, if you really really like the much too rich food then the bargains begin immediately afterwards. Christmas cards will be so cheap after Christmas, as will a bird stuffed into a turkey stuffed into a sheep stuffed into a cow, a special multi roast, just for Christmas. There was an old Val Doonican song along those lines, swallowed instead of stuffed, I’m sure it’s on Google somewhere.

After Christmas all the obscure triple strength beer and wine concoctions will be ½ price, you may be able to use some of them to creosote your fence with, it would be safer that way. But the true Christmas spirit is the friends you have in your local store, in your pub and in your club, and not forgetting the good friends in your street and others you may meet. So don’t forget to send them all a Christmas card with a p.s. telling them when the Aldi post Christmas sale starts.

Clown Jacket 2

Bobbi Brown and Me


Bobbi Brown and Me ©
By Michael Casey

I just saw a programme on BBC about Bobbi Brown, the makeup lady, and believe it or not I found the programme very interesting. It was part of the BBC’s 100 Women feature, we saw it by chance, my wife has worked in cosmetics in the past so it pricked her interest immediately. So we watched it, I was really pleased to discover that Bobbi Brown was a nice lady.

I guessed there must be some faith behind her, something that made the kindness inside her, so I did a quick Google and she was raised Jewish. I image any faith, any value system inside you makes you a better person. If I’m wrong and she is just a naturally nice lady I’m sure somebody will tell me. I should say she was here in Birmingham once, my wife was working at the next counter. My wife has a degree in chemistry by the way, so if Bobbi ever reads this she’ll laugh.

Yes I’d love for Bobbi to invest in http://www.michaelgcasey.typepad.com just as a side-line for a bit of fun. However what I’d like to expand on is “niceness” if you are nice to your staff then they’ll work harder and they’ll be happier. I spent 3 very happy years at CPNEC Birmingham, it was the hardest work in my life but I loved it.

We were known as the friendly hotel, the guests loved it, and the food too, such a simple thing does make a difference. Quality rooms with great food, all brought to you by friendly staff. Guests don’t want grumpy people after a hard day at the NEC, I used to say welcome home to them when they got back to us.

So if it feels like a team, then its better all round. My dad said when he was made redundant from his steel works job after 40 years that it was like a little family. My local pizza place they are another little family, if you sit waiting for a pizza you can see how they gel and how it’s like a well-oiled machine.

The reverse is true too if you sit and observe some places where they are arguing and fighting each other all the time, it’s not my job you hear them say, or I’m going on my break just as things are being swamped. I’ve worked:- reception, concierge, canteen, switchboard, housekeeping, laundry, portering, security to name just some of my roles in the hotel, on a daily basis. So I know what being flexible means. If you are flexible the guests, the customers always come first, then a company prospers. If you are not flexible then the company sinks.

My computer room days were fun and a lot of hard work too, it was more like a club than a place of work. There’s lots I could write about but never have. The thing I learnt about Bobbi Brown though was that she is honest, she makes what is great within women even greater. She uses their natural beauty within them to show just how beautiful women are.

he magnifies beauty within her clients with her makeup, whereas other beauty products conceal and hide. I imagine if ever she meets me she’d improve my beauty immediately. By putting a sack over my head, or would that be Jean Paul Gautier’s idea?

Dressing Gown Writer

Trash Tv


Trash Tv ©
By Michael Casey

I’m hiding in the other room while my girls watch Trash Tv, by which I mean a tv show that is so bad it makes you cringe. It might be KUWTK or anything else which has z listers in it trying to make enough to get out of the trailer park and back into an apartment, overlooking the trailer park.

You have girls, or should I say Botox pumped girls poured into swimsuits who keep on bending over to reveal their assets, front and rear, along with their gleaming painted white teeth. We all love pretty girls, otherwise the human race would just disappear. However a classic beauty of any size and combination is always far far prettier than a Trash Tv girl.

You have men too, pumped full of iron and their designer drugs, with muscles and designer stubble galore, not to mention the latest shades, and bulging shorts, with or without shuttlecocks if you are old enough to remember Wham.

No I’m not jealous, I know a pretty girl is pretty because of her smile, because of her eyes, and not what lies between her….. As for men, girls want a bloke who’ll stick around and talk and actually listen to her. Then passion is better, it’s not fast food where you feel hungry afterwards, it’s more like a banquet.

However on Trash tv it’s all fast everything which just leads to heartburn and heart ache. Yes we all watch the rubbish tv, just to see did they really say that do they really love their reflection that much, is the high life really that high or just the arrogant self-centred people high on their egos.

It’s nice seeing nice places, just like in the James Bond movies, but what would be really nice, really really nice would be seeing him give the z listers a push, and not into a swimming pool but somewhere far far deeper, such as the Grand Canyon.

Dressing Gown Writer

Smile you are on camera


IMGP0372Smile you are on camera ©

By Michael Casey

Life imitates Art or so they say, from Truman Show to a school in York, cameras everywhere. They say we have more cameras in UK compared to anywhere else. You can be sat in bed with your girlfriend, and still be watching your Kebab shop, all thanks to a micro camera and the Internet. Big Brother and his super dupper little brothers are changing surveillance as we know it.

We have lots of surveillance in our street, Mrs Brown at no.48 is always in the window watching, no she’s not an Amsterdam lady of the night, she’s 94 and likes to keep an eye on everything, ever since her husband sneaked off without telling her. He in fact died and he was carried away by the undertaker Percy Frost and his son Jack Frost.

Mrs Brown’s family decided to let her believe he’d ran away with the girl from the ice-cream van, as her heart was so weak she could have died of shock. That was 50 years ago, and still to this day Mrs Brown always hoped he’d come back , she always listened out for the sound of the ice cream van.

So we have cameras as extra pairs of eyes in our street and all over the place all over the country. The only thing though is that there are not enough real people there to view all the cameras. So now we have machines monitoring the machines, facial recognition and so on.

In films people distract the security teams so they don’t spot Bruce Willis entering the building dressed as a Scotsman in a Kilt, playing the bagpipes, I can vouch for a fact that bagpipes are incredibly loud, especially in a crowed bar. My point though is that the best place to hide is in plain sight then nobody will see you.

Going back to the school with 1 camera for every 3rd pupil, I know if I were there it would be a challenge to see how quick I could do the rounds of all 500. Such a challenge to be on all 500 cameras in the shortest period of time. If anybody is reading it up at that school, though I’d call it a prison, and their parents pay £34,000 for the pleasure, I think 90 mins or the sports lesson is time enough to be on all 500 cameras.

There is a prize for the winner, a Yorkie bar and all 9 of my books to read, while you are in isolation for being so naughty. I’ll leave it there now, I have a photo shoot to attend now. 1000 cameras as I’m the new nude reclining in Birmingham, if only that Chinese billionaire wanted to pay millions for my image, or my books, if he does not like my looks.


As these tears fall


As These Tears Fall ©

by Michael Casey

As these tears fall, we remember we have been here before.

As these tears fall, the love we feel hurts so much more.

As these tears fall, we are stunned and don’t know what to say.

As these tears fall, we must remember them all.

As these tears fall, we think of the smiles.

As these tears fall, we remember the laughter.

As these tears fall, we remember the kisses.

As these tears fall, we touch their things that will never be used again.

As these tears fall, we finish ironing the shirt or the trousers that will

never be worn again.

As these tears fall, we feel a hole in our heart that aches so much.

As these tears fall, we remember their touch, comforting and more.

As these tears fall, we are heartbroken for our lost futures.

As these tears fall, we give thanks for what we did have.

As these tears fall, love carries on, we will meet again.

I remember you —- a soothing piece we all need


I remember you (c)
by Michael Casey

I remember you/you threw a cup/I ducked and it broke the window/you threw flower at me /it hit my head and spread all over the floor/the dog came in to bark and leave paw prints all over the floor/the cat came in to leave paw prints everywhere/ the dog chased the cat and together they left marks everywhere/up the curtains and even on the ceiling/you threw an egg and missed me/it was baking a cake on the kitchen floor/the cat ran out and slipped on the egg yolk/it was no joke for she was covered in flour and egg/the dog came afterwards with flour and egg on his tail/you threw milk at me next/was it yorkshire pudding a la kitchen floor we were a making/you threw raisins too was it hot cross buns we were a making on the kitchen floor/I laughed and you cried we slide on the floor/ arguing no more/we made up on the kitchen floor/ and 9 months later without any yeast/ everything was self raising/the family was appraising our new baby’s looks/made on the kitchen floor by two cooks.

looks drunk

Let there be light


Let There Be Light ©

By Michael Casey
Let my tears be my words

Let the candle light be my eyes

Let the flowers in bloom be my lips

Let their scent be my blood

Let the wind be my breath

Let clouds be my mood

Let children’s laughter be my hope

Let widows’ sighs be my conscience

Let a stranger’s prayers be my delight

Let the bees be my wisdom

Let the trees be my strength

Let my patience reach to the stars

Let me be always remembered in your prayers

Mood Music full version


Mood Music ©
By Michael Casey

t’s been a few days since I wrote something, so here’s something new, for those of you in Russia, Portugal, Spain as well as the USA and here in the UK. I’ve been looking at my stats so I know where you are. Stats MR was in fact the original name of the company I worked for before ACNielsen bought us up. Music was a big part of our working life.

We had a Ghetto Blaster which we put on top of the computer, which were as big as wardrobes back in 1978, yes that long ago. Then we’d hit play and the music played all nightshift long, I’m still playing some of that music. Depeche Mode and REM were introduced to me over the decade plus that we had to work nights. Before Dark Room beckoned, and no Dark Room was not a band, it just meant that both the computers could be trusted not to crash and the printers had an auto stacker.
Music does get you in the mood, or make things more palatable, so a bit of music while you work does help. Arthur Askey had Workers Playtime on the Radio you can google that for yourselves. If the job is dire, and you can pick your own definition of dire, then listening to music does cheer you up and make time pass faster.

Supermarkets and Hotels and even lifts, or elevators if you are American, have music, as Life without Music is like being in a mortuary, though I admit I have not had that once in a life or is it death experience yet. The energy and the bounce of music is the pulse of Life itself and so its presence is like our own blood circulating.

They say that music helps study, and no it’s not our kids saying the Beatles or the Stones or Cream helped them study, literally. It’s the sound of music, and I don’t mean Julie Andrews either, it’s the sound of music that does something to our brain. So we are more receptive and happier, they used to say whistle while you work after all.
My brother did have Cream music help him get into Oxford, and then the same music through the same speaker got another brother into Cambridge. As for me, I have the same speaker, now nearly 50 years old, and I met Eric Clapton, I only went to Oxford on the train.

My own daughter listens to Classical music and other strange sounds on her phone, which is her excuse for being on it so much. However she recently got 100%, 100% and 96% in Chemistry, Biology and IT. So either Classical music works or she’s very clever, though my teacher brother always says to his students make sure you sit next to somebody clever.
So all in all music is company, it does soothe the savage beast. When my brother went to work at a coal mine in Newbold Vernon for a year, a gap year before they were invented, before he went to Cambridge, I was all alone in the homework room, and it was music which was my company.

Folkweave was on then I seem to remember, as was Radio 2 with all kinds of everything. Music is a friend as is radio itself, it’s in the room with you, it’s in bed with you, it’s even in the bath with you. And if you are lucky enough to love a musician you’ve both got rhythm.

Dressing Gown Writer


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