Monthly Archives: November 2014

Full disclosure

In my post entitled 1st April 2011, PIL has pointed out a couple of errors. So to ensure that my blog remains true and faithful I need to make a correction. At the beginning where I state I work hard on the rowing machine and state why, PIL has said that she accepts that at some stage in my life many eons ago, I was indeed 27. PIL also accepts because she has seen the photos, that at one time I did have a full head of what she believes to be hair. However, the other two claims I make are, she says, a complete figment of my imagination I apologise and stand corrected.


1st April 2011

Now there’s a date that will be forever lodged in my memory. The kids and PIL were home as it was the Easter holidays and I was having a day off. As was often the case when I was at home, I would disappear upstairs to work out on the rowing machine. I would spend between 30 and 45 minutes pounding away each time working up a real sweat. At my age I shouldn’t really be working that hard but it’s the only way I know plus, of course, I think I’m 27, still have hair on my head, a six-pack and a big willy. So I thrashed away. I’ve never had that endorphin rush afterwards though. All I ever feel at the end is knackered. Anyway, I finished my session all sweaty and out of breathe and stood for a while waiting for my heart to slow down and my breathing to go back to normal. I exercise on a regular basis so I know what my recovery time is. Only this time my heart didn’t slow down, I was still breathing heavily and sweat was pouring off me. I thought this was a bit weird. Then I got dizzy and was sick! I didn’t have any pain in my chest but I knew enough to think “This is not good. Am I having a heart attack?” I concluded that perhaps I was and it’s always better to be safe than sorry. I remember not being overly concerned at the time. I staggered down stairs and announced to my lot, “I think I’m having a heart attack! Can you call for an ambulance please?” The response threw me a bit. “Haha Dad. April Fool to you too” and they went back to watching a Muppet Christmas Carol! At Easter! TV must be shit at Easter. I remember thinking “Jesus bloody Christ, I could be about to pop my clogs and everyone thinks it’s a prank! So my first bit of advise is: Don’t have a heart attack on April Fools day cos no one will believe you! Eventually they cottoned on to the fact that I was not messing about so Ed, my eldest boy called for an ambulance explaining what was up while I went and sat on the kitchen floor. After what seemed to be a bloody long time but in reality was only a few minutes, a paramedic turned up and started examining me and he confirmed that I was indeed having a heart attack although he called it something else. Then two more paramedics turned up in a pukka, full size ambulance. They put me into it and started trying to wire me up with all manner of sensors and devices but because I was still sweating like a pig they wouldn’t stick! “Christ,” I thought, “here we go. Has to be me these poxy things won’t stick to.” The medics got me sorted though. I was impressed. Here was technology being used as it should be. All the information was being transmitted to the hospital and they could confirm my condition. How impressive is that! The main paramedic was also on the phone to the cardiac unit at the hospital confirming symptoms and relaying what treatment he’d started. Then he said “he is not responding to my questions”. Strange. He’d only spoken to his mate since we’d got into the ambulance so I said to him. “Mate. You haven’t asked me any questions. What are you on about, not answering you?”. He replied, “Alexander, I’ve been talking to you and you’ve not responded.” Naturally I replied, “Who the fuck is Alexander? (I was a bit stressed) My name’s Dick. I thought you were talking to your mate!” “Really?” he said. “You’re Dick? Sorry bud.” Always me I thought. Perhaps I should change my name to Mario Balotelli. Up shot of all this was that once I was stabilised we whizzed off to the hospital with lots of blue lights and sirens. If it wasn’t for the fact I could die it would have been cool and exciting. As it was, it was a particularly stressful and worrying time. Once I had been admitted to the cardiac wards all kinds of tests were done, drugs administered, care given and reassurance offered. The staff were magnificient. The NHS has got to be the worlds most amazing organisation. It handles all kinds of medical treatment urgent and non urgent and generally despite all the stresses and strains it’s under, it gets it right. Words cannot adequately describe how fantastic all the staff are working away at caring for sick and damaged people. I can but praise the nurses, doctors and other staff who looked after me. I thanked them then and I thank them again now. They are just brilliant. After all the tests and stuff I was told that one of the arteries in my heart was blocked. A stent was going to be inserted and the artery reopened. Fantastic. Down I went for a little bit of fairly non invasive surgery whereby a stent was positioned and then the plan was for it to be inflated to reopen the artery. So bloody Mario strikes again and the blasted thing won’t expand. “O dear” said the surgeon “I’ve done thousands of these and that’s never happened before. I’ll come out, change it and go in again with a new one.” Except he couldn’t. He couldn’t remove the faulty stent. It was stuck somewhere in my arm. Always me! In the end he just dumped the stent and left it somewhere in my arm. Totally harmless and nothing to worry about except I’d have to wait a few days before they tried again. Fine. Except I was now getting a bit stir crazy. Some of the old blokes in the ward were a few sandwiches short of a picnic. One was constantly asking what all these people were doing in his kitchen. Another had an imaginary visitor every night. It was sad. Some of my mates offered to tunnel in and help me escape until I told them I was on the first floor. One came to visit with a load of sheets knotted together so I could escape out the window. Eventually, I was taken back down to theatre, an incision made in my groin and a new, working stent was inserted into my artery and it was reopened. Then, I wouldn’t stop bleeding! Bloody hell, will it never end? After a lot of pressure being applied on the incision the bleeding stopped and eleven days after my minor heart attack I was back home.The worst part of the whole episode though was that one of my buddies bought me an Easter egg while I was in hospital. I wasn’t allowed chocolate so PIL took it home with her to stop me being tempted. She was right to do so. I love chocolate (thats why I’m a chubby boy) and I would’ve hidden under the blankets that night and pigged out on the whole thing! When I got home it was nowhere to be seen. They’d scoffed it! Bastards!

There is no end of advise about how to avoid heart disease. Take it all on board because having a heart attack is not a pleasant experience. The only thing I’d add to all that advise is this: Don’t have one on 1st April and very definitely don’t let anyone remove your Easter egg from the ward!

Enough of the medical advise. I think its time to offer advise on another area I know absolutely nothing about. PIL reckons I am the only person who could walk into the Sahara desert with 50 quid in my pocket, walk out 3 days later with 38p left, have nothing to show for all the expenditure and not have a clue what I spent it on. Yep. I’m crap with money! So I thought I’d offer some financial advise.

So you want to be rich?

Don’t have kids then.

They cost a fortune!

My thanks to you again for taking the time to read my ramblings. I’ve enjoyed writing them and I hope you have enjoyed reading them. Don’t forget to click on the “like” button if you did, click on the “follow” button so you automatically get new posts and leave a comment. I’d really like to know what you think.

More Dick soon!

Dick Dastardly

What would you do?

You’re sitting in the car waiting for someone. The dog is curled up in the back. It’s absolutely chucking it down with rain when suddenly your nose starts to disintegrate and there is incredible pain in your sinuses. The bloody dog has farted! Do you get out of the car into the pouring rain and get drenched or do you try and tough it out by holding your breath while watching your face fall apart in the rear view mirror? Please let me know what you would do. Be a bit quick about it though. I can’t hold my breath much longer. Dick


We’re having toad-in-the-hole for dinner tonight. I was making the batter and noticed once again how when I want to break the yolks, they won’t and when I don’t want them to break, they do! Is it just me? Please let me know if that kind of thing happens to you too. Just thought I’d mention it.


That hurt

At the end of my last post, which by one of those quirky coincidences that I like, also happened to be my first post, I gave out some free medical advise regarding kidney stones. I really did mean what I said. Don’t get them because they truly hurt. Muggins me has had the blighters twice now. The first time was probably over a decade ago when I was staying at my sisters. The pain I suffered then has faded into the depths of my somewhat erratic memory but I did have to spend a night in hospital while the medics decided whether to zap them with a laser or just let them pass naturally. In the end they decided to go of their own accord and the following day I felt as right as nine pence. The second episode though was far more recent and the pain I suffered is still seared in my memory. As I’d suffered before I knew what was coming when I started to feel an ache in my right kidney so I gave PIL a heads up. Shortly afterwards I was doubled up in pain and said to PIL something along the lines of “Gosh! This feels jolly painful. It might be an idea to go to the hospital”. The pain I was in is easy to describe if you’re a bloke. Its like being stabbed in the kidney at the same time as being kicked in the balls. If you’re a woman, I imagine its like giving birth to a bowling ball. Fuck me it hurts. However, by the time we got to hospital the pain had gone. That’s the problem with the little toerags. They move a nanomillimeter and the pain goes so you end up in A&E feeling a complete fraud. The nurses know better though because they know that little bastard was going to move again! So, I was admitted into the A&E section while being told that I should have gone to the other local hospital because they specialised in this stuff but hey ho not to worry we’ll sort you here first. One of things they did was send me for a scan. Turns out the culprit measured 6mm! Nearly a quarter-inch! It felt like half a mountain though. Now I know how a valley feels when its being gouged out by a glacier. The ache returned so I was given morphine. 9 units of the stuff although I couldn’t tell you how much that actually was but I guess it was quite a lot. Then Wham! It moved and despite the drugs the pain was unfuckingbelievable! It was so bad I started to throw up. “O dear” said the nurse passing me cardboard puke bowl. “On a scale of one to ten with ten being the worse and nine being the pain of child-birth, where do you score?”. “What? What?” I remember thinking. “You’re having a giraffe here”. I looked at her in disbelief. Don’t get me wrong, the care I received was brilliant and the nurses superb but what kind of question was that to ask a bloke in excruciating pain? I said something along the lines of “I dunno cos the only time I’ve played an active part in child-birth was when I was born but this feels like seventeen and a half.” At least she laughed! The hospital I was in decided to transfer me to the other hospital but all the ambulances were busy. So with puke bowl in hand I got into PILs car and she drove me there. Once again I spent a night on a hospital ward and was discharged the next day when the Docs decided to let nature take its course which it duly did. The thing is being in agony is so exhausting. I ended up taking 4 days off work that as a self-employed person I could ill afford. I was lucky though. A woman of my acquaintance suffered the same thing shortly after my episode and she got a urinary infection causing her to be off work for ages. How do you stop from getting them? No idea. I have no medical training so really couldn’t say however I was advised to drink lots of water by the quacks. So if there’s any advise I can give it would be to drink gallons of water every day and try to keep them afloat. Avoid getting them at all costs.

Doctor Dicks next piece of medical advise now follows:

Heart attacks

Don’t get them

They can turn you into a dead body!

Well that was fun. Hope you enjoyed reading about my discomfort. Hopefully you’ll be back for more. It won’t be a long wait

Thanks once again for your time


Crikey! Starting a blog is hard

For the last few weeks I have been actively encouraged by PIL and my sister to start a blog. I’m not sure why but they say that I write emails and texts in a nice, slightly amusing way. So I thought “Why not”. I started looking into it because I do like to do a bit of research and initially what I read on-line seemed to indicate that starting a blog takes anywhere between 10 to 20 minutes. Bollocks it does! To be frank, I am not the most tech savvy person on the planet and to a degree I shy away from technology. I remember a couple of years ago listening to Larry Wotshisname from Google and he said that everyone on the planet now has a smart phone. I had a steam powered Nokia 3510 in my pocket!It has its place but I think that too many people rely on technology far too much. So it would take me longer than most to get started because I’m such a dinosaur but that’s not the real issue in setting up and starting a blog. What everyone who goes on-line and says “Hey, want to start a blog? Come to my site and together we can set it up in no time and I’ll only charge you a hundred bucks” fails to mention is that you need to make an absolute mass of decisions before you can launch the bloody thing. Stuff like hosted or not, what platform to use and what to call the damned thing in the first place. The name of my blog took ages to decide upon with suggestions coming in thick and fast from my kids and PIL. Most of them were derogatory as you’d imagine and ranged from ‘myworthlesslife’ to ‘whatwhome’ via ‘knobofbutter’. Selecting WordPress was pretty much a no brainer. It gave me what I needed in a simple way but then I had to decide on a theme and there are hundreds of them! Want a blog for your restaurant? There are loads. One for photography? Groovy cos we got tons. Take your pick! Gardening blog? Shed loads of themes. WordPress really are a swiss army knife for blog themes. I’m sure if you look and customise enough you’ll find one that removes small stones from a horses hoof. And no, WordPress aren’t paying me for saying this. So days were spent looking at the hundreds that WordPress offer before a decision was made. Once that was done the rest really was simple and took next to no time for the blog to be set up. However, once that bit has been sorted you can customise the theme you’ve chosen and that could take me ages. I decided not to go down that route too far as it’s something you can go back and do at a future time. Plus. of course, it might be nice to see the site evolve over a period of time. I wanted to get this off the ground sooner rather than later and I’d already spent ages deciding on all kinds of things. Using WordPress also brings some pleasant surprises. One of the first things I did was to write-up the “About” section. Then because I’ve never done this before I thought it would be nice to say that I “liked” that entry. Lo and behold, shortly afterwards I received an email from WordPress saying “You liked your own post on iplonker. You’re so vain. You probably think ‘About’ is about you”! Fantastic. A sense of humour. Excellent, I love that particularly as it took the piss.  So if you decide to start a blog then go for it but ignore all the crap about it being something to do in your lunchtime. You have to make a shed load of decisions beforehand. Once you’ve done that then it really is very easy. Even I can do it and that’s saying something. I won’t mention the amount of help I received from my youngest son. It will just go to his head and he’ll start demanding money, the mercenary swine. During the course of many hours of researching blogs, reading and enjoying other people’s blog and looking at any number of sites explaining how to set up and publicise a blog, I noticed how often “monetising” a blog was referred to. What an ugly word! Got to have been a banker who came up with that and probably, with respect to everyone in the US, it was an American banker that considered that a good word. Us Brits only ever come up with truly good words like “twerp”, “twit”, “bollocks” (my personal favourite), “wanker” and of course “plonker”. It appears to me that to do “monetise” a blog you must have to offer some kind of advisory service or start a website offering expertise. I have no particular talents. I’m not very good at DIY, I have no talent for car or motorcycle maintenance and as I’ve already stated I’m rubbish with technology. So I decided that as I have no talent or specific knowledge on any subject I would offer my advise on something I have experienced. As I have absolutely no medical training apart from a course on “First Aid at Work” I did 20 odd years ago, I thought, on my first ever blog, I would offer advise on a medical matter:

Kidney Stones.

Don’t get them.

They fucking hurt!

I hope you have enjoyed reading my first ever blog as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it. Please feel free to press the good old “Like” button and follow me on this journey in the future. I would love to read your comments too, so please take a moment and let me know what you think.

More to follow really soon. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Dick Dastardly