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Showing posts from 2019

The Mental Health Ward: First Impressions

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The Bastard Noose The Mental Health Ward: First Impressions Click here for Part One of The Mental Health Ward: Informal Inpatient “But you don't [engage with mentally disturbed people], because they seem frightening and irritating, they seem dangerous a lot of the time… and you know if you make eye contact, all those problems in his head will be yours too.” Doug Stanhope Doug Stanhope’s words reverberated. I was shell shocked walking out into gen pop tired and without savvy. I didn’t know these humans and frankly, really frankly, I didn’t want to get to know them. The environment was a mystery and after my arrival under darkness these nut nuts , screaming and shouting were not people I wanted to befriend. I didn’t shout. I didn’t kick and scream, I shouldn’t have been there. I didn’t see myself as that ill by comparison. They all looked at me, the problems in their heads waiting to be mine too. My head is full, no room at the inn. ALL THE BASTARD NOOSE PO

The Mental Health Ward: Informal Inpatient

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The Bastard Noose The Mental Health Ward: Informal Inpatient I hated writing this post. Originally it was all in the third person, but I decided it was too detached and out of line with what I've written of The Bastard Noose so far, so changed it to this; which I'm not sure is better. Going over my notes from that time a year ago, it is pretty obvious I was in a weird place, literally and metaphorically. The tone and my engagement with my experiences bounce around some. After eight days I finally got what I wanted, a transfer to a mental health ward elsewhere in London. CLICK HERE FOR EARLIER PARTS OF THE BASTARD NOOSE After darkness had ripped the bright lights of the Emergency Department from my eyes, I was thrown into the sensory stasis of a hospital transport van. Dull blue light sat coldly in the back, the quiet journey through a seemingly empty London indescribably lonely. Although I had an ascribed escort in the back with me, he said nothing and neither

Hooked on True Crime: Documentaries

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Apparently in my middle age* I’ve begun obsessively documenting everything like Kevin Spacey in Seven. I’m not a serial killer though. Yes I have the time for it (or else why would I be writing this), I just don’t have the inclination or nerve. I imagine driving round with three dead bodies in your boot is kind of nervy. Why three you ask? More fun than two. I imagine. With three bodies in the car though you better hope you paid the congestion charge. Also I don’t drive, so those bodies would be hard to shift. Plus there’s the whole alibi thing. The practicalities of serial killing really are a pain in the arse. I imagine. Where podcasts largely tell you about crime, documentaries are much more emotive. True crime docs are diverse and differ in approach and style. Some are 90 minutes, some are 10 episodes. This list doesn’t exclude based on format, it is limited to what I’ve seen, liked and want to recommend- I’ve tried to mix the list up a bit. The word Netflix crops up a l

Hooked on True Crime: Podcasts

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  “What is all this missing person shit? I don’t want missing, I want bodies!” Did you know that crime happens in every country, everywhere, all the time? It’s unbelievable really. Fascinating, though. I am hooked on every aspect of true crime and have been since before my teens. This is part one of a series. Hooked on true crime books and hooked on true crime documentaries posts are bubbling in the background like fetid flesh in a Florida field. I work in a kitchen. I work in a kitchen on my own. It’s not an interesting fact but it is relevant to this list. When you’re doing seven, eight hours chopping stuff up with no one to talk to because everything you work with is already dead, you need something to pass the time. Yes there’s TalkSport, yes there’s Taxi Cab Racist Radio or whatever it’s called, but if I’m going to hear voices in my head all day they need to be talking about other people murdering other people. Is it distasteful to listen to accounts of real people’s c

Recipe: Fusilli with sausage meat, fennel, chilli and white wine

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Fusilli with Sausage meat, Fennel, Chilli and White Wine Feeds four Ingredients: 500g Fusilli pasta, 4 quality sausages, fresh fennel, fennel seeds, chilli flakes, bottle of white wine, one onion, three garlic cloves, fresh parsley, a lemon, chicken stock.  Cooking time: 1 ½ hours Method: Let me start by saying I hate recipes. As openers to a recipe go, I realise that's hardly selling it. If you stick rigidly to this, great, if it doesn't get you engorged, feel free to windmill with it. I first ate this at my friend's house; I can't remember where he got the recipe from but it was ten years ago and over time it has metamorphosed into this. Initially it was a quick fix - one of those do-it-in-30 minutes jobs. Well, I have time on my hands and I enjoy cooking, so I stretched it out. In my opinion it benefits the dish. To begin, make sure the white wine is cold. It doesn't help the recipe but nobody except tramps and students like warm white wine. Pour

Ensure: For Oral Use

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“Food for special medical purposes.  For the dietary management of patients with, or at risk of developing, disease-related malnutrition. For oral use.” Disclaimer: For all my flippancy and pissing around making jokes in this piece, Ensure do exist for a reason and there is no doubt their medical purpose has helped my Grandad- and many more. I certainly don’t intend anything other than a lighthearted look at a dark subject here. As well as an obscure review. Plus my Grandad has a sense of humour. First up, let’s address the fact that they had to state Ensure is for oral use. I’d hate to be the terminally ill person who found that out after an Ensure enema. "I can't taste the strawberry". I’d never heard of Ensure before. I guess word of mouth doesn’t count for much when you exclusively sell to the dying. They’re essentially palliative care milkshakes, liquid calorie intake for those unable to consume solids but in need of sustenance. A depressing enough sit

The Bastard Noose: Darkness Visible

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Please read the other posts from the Emergency Department  Eight days in Bay 13 of the Emergency Department. Frustrated, mad and upset at once. A mental health bed waved at me, a glimpse of the future. Titillation. The false dawn. A bed in another Trust had been dangled like an eight day old carrot. A carrot another donkey had got to first; hoisted from my hooves and leaving me biting at air like an ass. It all made me feel as if I had to be wailing, shitting in my hands and clapping to get the help the hospital had repeatedly told me I needed. I was lower than I had been since about day two when I had begun to adhere to my captors. Bottoming out, sad and angry at the system. I am sure my face flared when told the bed was gone. It occurs to me at this point how hard I have tried to avoid mentioning crying, both at the time and while writing this. Tears happen. Tears hurt. After more than a week of teasing and taking bad news I fought tears back with anger alone. I still do t

The Bastard Noose: NHS Bed Shortage

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Please have a look at the earlier posts from The Bastard Noose My wait in Bay 13 of the Emergency Department was stressed not only by not knowing when it would end, but by constantly being told it was close to ending and it not ending. The concept of time was largely lost with no daylight. Time was dictated by the arrival of the friends and family I was slowly realising I am very lucky to have and, yes I’ll admit, a watch. As days wore on and my expense and tying up of resources became more of a stress on the Trust who cared for me, there was no shortage of tension. Mental health, or really any, beds are hard to find. I was told that a lot. I understood, I got it after about day three. Used to the frequent drawing of my curtain by someone looking for another patient or just checking I hadn't done a runner (an idea which left me so fast I'm definitely a candidate for Stockholm Syndrome), I didn't flinch when a man came in with a clipboard to enquire on my happines

The Bastard Noose: Finding the Funny

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For other posts from the ED- take your pick I’m rather proud of my ability to find humour in things others are reviled by or at least uncomfortable with; it has certainly helped me throughout my time in hospital and beyond. In all of life’s ups and downs, seeing the funny in something can be the slither of hope. If I can still laugh, I can still live.  With that in mind, I bring you the tales of Barbara and an unnamed gentleman, both of whom I came across in my first twenty four hours in Bay 13. Stories I could twist any which way, but will try to find the funny in. While I hope Barbara (not her real name) and the man I describe are well now, I also hope my lottery ticket wins next week. My troubles felt as if they paled in significance with those of the poor souls who wandered or were escorted through the ED. It made me feel sane, then guilty for being that selfish. Every person has layers, levels, branches. Only it seemed the leaves were falling from many of these poor tree