Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Had a phone call from Zig's physio at teatime. She asked if I would give my permission to refer Zig to the orthotist to be fitted for a twister brace. His feet and legs twist in increasingly as he picks up speed and, being eight, gives his thought to the next part of the game, not to turning his feet out and straightening his legs.

I'm not happy. I'm sad. And somewhere deep deep down and deep I know it is the circumstance that necessitates (apparently) the brace, not Zig's legs.

This is a young physio who drifts in once or twice a term; the date rarely coincides with the date Zig's helper has been given. Consequently, thus far I've made it to her visits just once. At the end of the call today I asked her in future to ring me with each appointment. She said that parents aren't usually present at school-based physio sessions (but there are no home-based NHS physio sessions for school-aged children). Perhaps they are - perhaps there is a parent present at every school-based physio session she runs. If the degree to which she included me in her instructions the time I was present, and the amount of eye contact she engaged in is in anyway representative of her general manner, there could well be.

She and the orthotist are representatives of a healthcare system which is only interested in treating symptoms. High blood pressure? Take a pill for the rest of your life, then a pill for the side effects, then a pill for the side effects, then a pill for the side effects. Let's not poke around in the circumstance of the patient, or their reponses to that circumstance. Twisting legs? Let's brace them, from the hips down. Let's not ask why the child walks with straight legs when he concentrates. Let's not implement a consistent system of gentle, encouraging, funny reminders for the hours he is away from the non-count parents. Let's not believe that if he fakes it - eventually - he will make it.

It's the system that necessitates the brace, not the cerebral palsy.

This is the thing with C.P. A standard issue person takes the smallest distance from A to B, taking a step is a simple straight message from brain to muscles: when they need to drive to Manchester they pop onto the M66 for a few minutes and there you go. Zig - when Zig takes a step - when he needs to get to Manchester - he chuggers along up into Haslingden, Rawtenstall, Burnley, across onto the moors, into Haworth for a half hour of Bronte breathing, through Heptonstall (hello Sylvia), Hebden Bridge, Todmorden, and then bugger knows how many weaving back roads that criss-cross the M62. And then he gets to Manchester.

He gets there. And has a kebab in Rusholme.

But the NHS doesn't give a shit about this. The NHS's map to Manchester has just one thick blue line that is the M66.

At the weekends, evenings, holidays, there will be no brace. We will explore all the little places that take time, find the tracks and footpaths, hear the skylarks on the moors, poke around the hedgerows, and pick dandelions and sow thistle for Brian.

And we will get to Manchester in time for a kebab.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Arsehole is ten pee. Bugger, fart and arse are allowed. I missed the boat with bloody and shit, crying freedom of essential expression to no avail. Ten pee piece apiece.

Bastard and bloody can be used only in context. With expression is context enough, I pout. But no. Wanker: ten pee.

Fuck, fucking and fuckfuckfuckerybollocks are out. However I hope for a single charge for the compound, it'll be forty pee in the pink piggy piggybank, won't it, my kids being ruthless little shits. See, that was going to read ruthless little bastards: I now have economy of silent cuss, even.

I don't think they've heard cunt, so cunt is unclassified. I will have twat. Motherfucker is american, so disallowed.

Feck is free. Pee is nowt, no pee.

I can't help but feel that had I been organised enough to sort out regular pocket money, I wouldn't now be sucking my lips together and chewing on my tongue.


Monday, June 04, 2007


Do you have a cat called Tommy?

Have you got a cat called Tommy?

There's a white cat with odd eyes, called Tommy...

Um, it's about a cat called Tommy.




So good of the fluffy fuckwit to keep in touch. The lack of fingers scuppers texting and phonecalls a bit, but those two braincells bounced against each other, a stunted dead tin noise, and he bounced from door to door, Road to Street to Close, offering up his torpedo name tube and only biting one child (I know of), as we bounced from Cornish village to town to beach to cliff. He begging tuna and chicken, pretending unfed and unloved, as we scoffed icecream and whitebait, pretending slim enough to take the excess.

Back in the wee smalls to a strangely mowey Dave. Mow, mow, mowowow. Washing machine on and on and on again, then to bed, Dave atop his sleeping Molly.

Catflap clutterdug gone half-two. Bell on the stairs, fluffy fuckfit a pile of purr in my arms. Not left since, except for pee and poo.

Yup, we've got a cat called Tommy.