Sunday, 26 August 2012

Partick Thistle Six

One must be very careful not to mention yesterday's result around these parts, but worth mentioning that The Nil are unbeaten this season, and have, in fact, won their past six matches. My Season Ticket is beginning to look like a real investment! The only team in Scotland with 100% record!

One team in Glasgow!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Methadone Debate Trundles on

My very occasional readers are well aware of my stance on methadone maintenance for habitual heroin misusers. For me, it's like giving an alcoholic free whisky to stop him using vodka. It keeps a generation comfortably numb, perhaps reduces some criminality, and gives the sufferer some respite from having to graft as much as they used to. It certainly, rarely, tackles the problem of addiction. Reduction programmes make me smile, because I can count in the figures of one hand the number of people who are free of addiction to mind altering drugs as a result of this sort of treatment.
I'm not totally ignorant or inexperienced. I've worked in the addiction field for over 30 years, and most misusers I'm in contact with top up their methadone with smack or something else. That's the way the addictive mind works. I know. I suffer from alcoholism, and if I had been born a few years later, I have no doubt that I would have dabbled in heroin with disastrous consequences.
I am slagged off by some professionals who know better, supposedly, among them workers who weren't born before my first burial of a couple who O/D'd up a close in Possil. Methadone maintenance does not, in the vast number of cases, halt dependency. In fact coming off methadone is a lot harder than coming off heroin.
I have no idea how much it costs the NHS to provide methadone maintenance, but it's probably much cheaper than providing what we really need, and that is much more residential rehab, and the support that is required afterwards to keep people drug-free.
Giving people drugs to stop them taking drugs is simple insanity, and they expect this to happen within the community, in the same shitty places where smack is more available than bread and milk. However, keeping them comfortably numb gives the police the courts and the social workers a wee break from absolute chaos, and allows a little bit of chaos to replace it.
It helps the jails too, because a wee appeal to a judge that Annie is now trying hard and is now on a methadone maintenance/reduction programme will save Annie another shot in Cornton Vale.
But does it help our sufferers?
Who cares anyway..... As long as we get a bit more peace.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Pastoral Visit

Ah! The joys of being 'laid up'! A pastoral visit today from my 'Curate-to-be', and she got nine out of ten from the judge. The dropped point was for the Danish, the crumbs of which are still hiding somewhere in my kip! On second thoughts, another two points for the Danish because it was delicious!

I had only taken to bed because the gas fitters were in replacing the toxic fire with a new one and were drilling a dirty great hole through the living room wall. When Pat comes on September 9th, the Blog will be fairly curate-free, because one does not blog about one's workmates, but it's nice to write about the anticipation!

I'm looking forward, greatly, to having someone as gifted as Pat working alongside me. Often it is not good for man to be alone, and it's going to be great to have another cleric to bounce things around with! Pastorally, she's going to be a superstar, note the Danish, and will blend in just fine with my pastoral assistant and me.

It's the opportunity to work with a cleric in training that's most exciting. Lots of new things and fresh ideas are brought to the table, and it should rid me of my bad habits for a while at least.

So, pray for poor Pat as she prepares for ordination. As some say, she'll need all the prayers she can get after being lumped with a fruitcake like me!

Friday, 10 August 2012


Feeling much better today. The bleeding has stopped, and the painkillers are making everything else bearable. (provided I stay away from laughing, coughing, or going anywhere near the loo!)

However, it's a strange feeling, this not being able to do things! It's a strange feeling too about not feeling guilty because I'm not doing anything!

Big D from Greenock tells me he enjoyed his recuperation time. I think I may just do so too!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Bloody Clots....

I suppose this is a post to tell you all that I survived the surgery and the double hernia is sorted!

The staff, their skill, and comfort were second to none. Well done Vale of Leven, and I can't understand why such a magnificent local hospital providing local health care is being dismantled bit by bit, and most of us have to travel to Paisley for treatment! I confess to going 'private' once or twice on the back of the RW's BUPA provided by her employer, and the VoL were every bit as good as them!

Yes, it's every bit as painful as I was warned it might be, but the bleeding from the wound has been a bit alarming. Bed this morning was akin to a mini abattoir, but the Practice Nurse was out within the hour to sort out wounds and dressings. Magnificent response! The RW now has a bit of washing to do!

Monday, 6 August 2012

Loved this!

Spend a lot of time waiting for both our moggies to make up their minds!


We get ready for the wee hernia op tomorrow and it's not worrying me at all. The only fear I have is that it may be cancelled at the last minute! I know that sort of thing happens from time to time!

My fear is afterwards, and there are so many scary stories of other hernia ops that include incredible pain and five week recovery periods. I scoff at them all, but they're lodged somewhere at the back of my mind. Permanently!

I plan to be back in action as soon as possible, and the parish will be run from my armchair for a week or two at most!

The worst case is being overly cared for by an enthusiastic nurse, aka the RW! However, if she wasn't so concerned I'd be miffed, so I can't have it both ways!

The only other fear is that they won't let me use my iPad in hospital! Now that would be a real disaster!

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Just Sometimes

....... on a Sunday morning, you rejoice that God has called you to be a priest. My little flock can raise you to the heavens!

Friday, 3 August 2012


Visiting Dad

Someone commented this week that I've not blogged about my father for quite a while, and wondered how he is. The answer is "not brilliant", and I tend not to mention him because in some ways I feel his dementia and downhill trend is upsetting, and maybe should be just a wee bit private for someone who was such a strong and fit man.

Today was not a good one, as he slept for most of my visit, and was fairly incoherent when awake. That's just not my dad, and it is not how I'm going to remember him. His care home is good, with many devoted carers looking after him, but sometimes I think that the medical folk who visit the home often over-medicate. However, I know nothing about psycho-geriatric medicine, so I feel out of my depth in this one. We can simply trust that he's being given the right amount of everything, and it's the dementia rather than the drugs which are responsible for his sleepy demeanour at present.

He's settled and calm, which is in itself much better than he's been for a while, and at 87 we can't expect him to be particularly ready for a game of football, but it can be easy to "let sleeping dads lie", and attend instead to the more active members of the care home. Settled and calm may be as good as it gets from here on in. My prayer is that he will soon sleep away, and get to join my mum in a better place than he's in now.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

A Grand Time!

Herself was up having lunch, lately, and got to baptise the Rectory High Chair, with banana and milk, an exquisite concoction as I'm sure you will agree!

Talking of Baptism, we now have a date of Sept 2nd for the Event in St Aug's! Splish splash! I even managed to get Eastfield Bowling Club to give us a venue for Her Majesty's reception afterwards. [thanks, John!]

The hospital had me in for a pre-op assessment yesterday and I was told I'm in good shape. Tuesday of next week sees me getting a couple of wee hernias repaired and I will be glad of that.

The big question is, though, whether I will be able to hold Hailey at her baptism! I am given scare stories that it takes weeks to recover, and I'm a week short of having a Curate to do the 'holding'!

I'm sure it will all come out in the wash!