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A Flat and the OCD Chord Progression

Posted in Uncategorized on November 8, 2014 by leovineknight

There are two ladies who upstairs hide,

They have little interest in the world outside.

Each day is built around the washing,

An endless cycle of soap suds sloshing.

Rarely do they venture through the door,

Dattime telly being the law.

They pass the windows with chalk white faces.

If the truth be known, they’re OCD cases.

The world beyond is all but forgotten,

Though most of it is stinking rotten.

Country broke, people lost,

No idea what the future will cost.

A host on which the feckless feed,

Licking their cherries, while the taxpayers bleed.

If only people looked out, not in,

Perhaps there’d be a little less sin.

But when, one day, this was pointed out,

The ladies upstairs gave a lusty shout,

Uncomprehending to the last,

They closed the door; very fast,

Like two huge gerbils in a tread-mill,

They were perfect strangers to good old free will.


The Consultant

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on October 3, 2011 by leovineknight

I resisted a gut reaction to rip the letter into shreds or burn it in my crested ashtray, knowing that this would then prevent me from subjecting it to endless dissection and reinterpretation. I was aware from previous experience that short term anger would probably give way to longer term wishful thinking, and that until further information arrived I would paw over every piece of existing evidence with a detective’s eye. Did the letter really mean what it looked like at first sight? Was there any hope between the lines? Did the description of my competitor reveal any weaknesses? The self-flagellation could go on for weeks and months, right down to the bone.
I felt trashed.
Certainly, this wasn’t the best preparation for my weekly meeting with the multidisciplinary team, and when the time came to walk down to the meeting room, I felt more like hitching a horizontal ride in a hearse. But I must have looked better than I felt because the first thing the consultant said was:
“Well Steven, the medication seems to have suited you. The nurses say you haven’t reported any ‘unusual’ sights and sounds for over two weeks. No voices in your head, no radio broadcasts meant just for you, and no feelings that the world was against you. You must be feeling a lot better?”
“Well, I’ve given up the fight against vastly superior odds, if that’s what you mean.”
“Yes, that sounds pretty rational to me.”
“How long do you think it will be before I’m fit for work?”
“Er…well looking at your occupation, it could be quite a while yet, but I’m certainly pleased with your progress.”
“So, what happens now?”
“Well the next step is to reduce your medication towards a maintenance dose. Then the nursing staff will arrange some home leave for you, to see how you get on outside the ward. I’m sure your family are looking forward to having you back.”
“Absolutely” I stupidly said.
” Have you heard of C——- Village?” I hedged.
“Christ! You don’t want to go there do you?” he laughed. “It’s all mumbo jumbo and ‘let’s worship the divine leader’.”
“No different to here then.” I remarked.
“Very good, Steven” the consultant chuckled. “Now. Are you absolutely sure we’ve dealt with all the issues that were troubling you.”
“I think so” came my unconvincing reply.
The consultant had a backlog of ill and ‘ill’ people waiting to be admitted, so in the following days he chose to overlook my increasingly sardonic remarks and my growing interest in religious communities, keeping instead to the agreed discharge care plan. I had received nothing further from Carol, but a preliminary letter had arrived from her solicitor advising me that divorce proceedings were about to begin and that I might want to appoint a ‘legal advisor’ of my own. The day of my home leave was getting nearer, and I was finding it difficult to explain my wife’s ongoing ‘incommunicado’ status to the nurses. Sleep was difficult, and the headaches were returning.

Outside the Unit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2011 by leovineknight

I passed the duplex (or should it be duplo) apartment blocks, and the space that was once occupied by a fine Regency hotel, and I wondered why our town had to be like everybody else’s. I felt some change jingling in my pocket, looked at the cheap breeze-blocks stacked in a corner, and intuited the answer. An original sandstone wall still stood defiantly around the cleared area, and I felt pleased that this tiny piece of my childhood had escaped the reclamation yard, even though it now doubled as a white board for dullards’ ‘tags’.
Around the corner a whole avenue of Georgian buildings had remained intact, but they had been inhabited by D.S.S. colonists and now the option was clear; flaking paint, rotting timber, the odd boarded window, and groups of unemployable wastrels wandering back from the off licence with gallons of cider, baseball caps, and guttural voices. An old lady was outside clearing the slush and litter off her doorstep, while two fine youths with lager cans sat opposite in the concrete portico of the community centre, aiming obscenities at her. The icy pavements had apparently been polished by a proud council.

More Madtown

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 29, 2010 by leovineknight

I would have liked to put some coins in the plastic R.S.P.C.A. model dog outside the butchers, but I didn’t have my gorilla suit with me and there wasn’t a T.V. camera in sight. Nor did I particularly want my head shaved, chest waxed, or buttocks submerged in baked beans before parting with my 50p, so I left it all to the experts, and thought about the old Philips screwdriver I used to rake out dog cack from my hiking boots.
Pear-shaped people with pear-shaped lives jostled each other off the pavements, determined to be first in something, while the 18-30 group capitalised on a half hour break in the November clouds to model their shorts, T-shirts and sun hats, amidst the midday frost. An airship appeared around the corner, arms and legs set at 45 degrees to reduce friction, and from the opposite direction rumbled a stocky harridan bent low over her personal empty supermarket shopping trolley with elbows surgically attached to the handles, like a Dalek without the clothes on. This was the clash of the Titans, the irresistible force meeting the immovable object, and the rematch of King Gong and Godzilla all in one side show. I stood well back as a massive crunch echoed down the street, and a baying crowd gathered. No need for the dancing bear these days.
Roll up. Roll up. Look at each other……

The Mad World

Posted in Biographies and Inside Stories, Blogging, books, journals and diaries, jobs, careers and work, life and modern times, mental health, satire and humour, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by leovineknight

A blind man had supervised his one legged provisionally licensed son on the motorway, and the E.C. had issued guidelines to schoolchildren on how to eat a carrot safely. £10,000 had been awarded to a lady who had tripped over her own feet in a supermarket, because she was distracted by the bright lights and garish advertisements. Somebody had applied to university as ‘Mr. Michael Mouse’ and even though they had no formal qualifications, they had been provisionally accepted. A man had stopped collecting lawnmowers because his garden was so full of them that he couldn’t get to the grass to cut it. Another had just started to collect Concorde engines. Women were waiting until they were over thirty before having children, and men were waiting until they were over thirty before leaving home for the first time. Some youngsters had trashed a skateboard park, a playground and a sports centre, because there was nothing for them to do on the estate and they were bored. The University of Little Fryup was offering courses in Tuck Shop Management, with guaranteed first class honours degrees for the first fifty applicants. A group of WRENS had objected to wearing hats with the badge ‘HMS Impenetrable’. A rare fork which had been used to eat missionaries had come up for auction. Dummy television cameras were being installed in some churches to encourage attendance. Young men on benefits were being taught how to get up in the morning. A man had ‘phoned 999 because he’d run out of cigarettes.
The asylum had indeed been turned inside out………

Weather Neurosis

Posted in Blogging, books, journals and diaries, jobs, careers and work, mental health, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2010 by leovineknight

Our patients were generally very sensitive to inclement weather and often refused to leave the unit even if it was only lightly raining on a spring morning. There would be a major problem indeed if ‘bad’ weather coincided with a patient’s regular arrangement to visit a relative or the shops, because a compulsion would then be blocked by a phobia. The only solution sometimes was to book a taxi, and smuggle the patient out of the door with an old mackintosh over their head, as though they were a celebrity leaving the High Court. One lady was completely obsessed with the weather, spending long periods ruminating over the forecasts, gazing out of the windows, and getting extremely angry if it “took a turn for the worse”.
Being in England, she was generally apoplectic……

The Patient Client

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 17, 2010 by leovineknight

Our patients were generally frightened of re-entering mainstream life, remaining frozen between ‘improved’ behaviour that might see them move on, and ‘deteriorated’ behaviour that might see them return to more restrictive regimes. Nurses preferred a predictable working day, and quite enjoyed complaining about the stagnation, while some didn’t particularly want their skills challenged by new circumstances. Many relatives would accept the inertia, as long as the patient didn’t land on their doorstep, and our managers were quite happy to leave clinical matters alone as long as the meeting room had plenty of sandwiches and some paper progress was being made with the latest government initiative. Their unofficial motto was ‘ignorance is power’.

The unit was supposed to provide psychiatric rehabilitation services for a local population of 100.000 people, but over a period of ten years it had catered for no more than 30 largely intractable individuals, who had soaked up the taxpayers subscription between them. They were effectively a private ‘club’ of career clients who either remained indefinitely, or returned invariably. Deaths accounted for more movement through the system, than successful onward referrals……

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