Colds, Sniffles and So On

Last weekend, I started to get a bit of a scratchy throat and by Monday, I was setting world records for sneezing. The next few days were no better and even today – Friday – I still feel like sh1t. I don’t think I have ever sneezed quite so much in my life – so much that its hard to get breath at times. Now, its gone into a cough and yet I am still sneezing as my nostril is sore from blowing my nose and that is sufficient to make me sneeze.

Of course, I have been asked several times isn’t it COVID? No – its a common head cold. Sneezing you will find isn’t a common COVID symptom and I don’t have any fever at all.

Let me tell you something too. This head cold is far worse than the COVID I had earlier in the year. Far worse. With COVID, I could at least continue working in my home office. This thing has left me unable to function for several days.

My father was the same. A common cold wiped him out. I think it’s genetic and something to do with our sinuses. My entire head blows up and I am unable to think or function. I feel like someone removed whatever brains I have and replaced them with cotton wool.

It serves as a timely reminder that our societies’ obsession with COVID is increasingly ridiculous. In fact, our collective obsession with health and safety is ridiculous.

Last week, I was trying to reverse out of a narrow driveway. This is something best done without a seatbelt. Of course, the inbuilt safety systems in my car don’t understand and after 30 seconds they are screaming at me, ringing alarm bells at 100 decibels and generally ensuring that I have an accident or heart attack. No way to switch off these ridiculous ‘safety’ solutions either. No room for that now far right wing thing – common sense. Nope, you will obey!

Makes me wonder how I ever managed to survive back in the 70’s with no rear seat belts or any real safety equipment at all and how we all managed to navigate through life….

The obsession with health and safety as a collective responsibility is just an excuse to enforce more controls. It has gone too far and honestly, is helping to produce a generation of idiots.

RyanAir Disgrace

I think most of us detest Ryanair but are often forced to use them due to reasons like no one else flies there….

Yesterday, flying back to Brno from the UK, we were treated to what I can only describe as a RyanAir thug of a woman who in her uniform smugly and bossily treated us all like cattle. She talked to me as if I were a speck on the ass of the Universe accusing me of taking carry on baggage when I hadn’t paid before and demanding my boarding pass. She then didn’t apologise or even stop talking when she realised it wasn’t my baggage but treated that person like a criminal as well. When I tried to respond, I was ignored and talked over and that resulted in a retort from me. I was then informed that I wouldn’t be allowed to board as I was an unruly passenger and security would talk with me. He did. He agreed with me and sympathised about the utter sickness masquerading as a Ryanair employee. I was then forced to go to the back of the line and board last by this ‘lady’. I did so with a smile and a bounce in my step as I had a reserved seat and frankly boarding last meant less waiting in a cramped seat listening to a constant barrage of orders and sales pitches.

RyanAir needs to be careful whom it hires. People like this lady don a uniform and become instantly empowered to treat people like cattle. She has a mental condition and should not be in any position of authority until her ego is put back in place and she learns that all humans deserve respect – even her.

My Mum

My Mum passed away on Friday. I hadn’t seen her in person for almost 3-years I’m afraid to say largely down to travel restrictions and the fact that the last several months she did not know me at all courtesy of dementia. I would call from time to time but even that became a disheartening few minutes knowing that she was clueless who I was and was simply finding ways to end an uncomfortable conversation. The last call lasted 15 seconds as she told me she had to go and put down the phone. In a sense, I lost my Mum a couple of years ago to whatever dementia is. None the less, the loss is still unbearable – at least until time gently heals. Next week, my daughter and I will go to Hull and to the funeral. There I will try to hold back the tears and stay strong as the eldest Vasey left.

Mum was a strong, brave and kind hearted lady who just loved to talk and enjoyed her fish and chips. She suffered health issues for decades like colitis (which went away with dementia sort of proving colitis is sometimes simply related to worry and stress!), she had eye issues and had injections in her eye monthly and a long list of other ailments. Nothing stopped her though. If she had a mind to do something she did it. She flew to Czechia once with a broken arm. Another time, she flew back with a broken leg after falling down some steps here.

There she was in her 80’s frail from colitis and with a broken arm yet she was quite able to board a plane to Vienna and figure it out as she went. I would meet her with my daughter at the airport and marvel at how she had managed with a heavy bag finding her way through the airport. Her answer was always the same – she just found some kind soul to help her! On the journey, I’m sure she sat and chatted the entire two hours. Most likely about me boasting as a Mother is apt to do.

She amazed us especially after my Dad passed. She lived alone and carried on doing her thing. When I visited though I wondered how well she was really doing when I realised she couldn’t see very well and was eating expired ham and the like. The dementia was slowly coming although we didnt know it. The give away was the day Deni and I returned to her house from my brothers and let ourselves in. For a full 30 seconds, she did not know who we were and then made light of it….

As a boy, my Mum was just Mum. Always there baking, cooking, cleaning, ironing….. and working a full time job to pay for our annual holidays. On holiday trips, she would sit in the front seat rapidly making sandwiches and feeding the four men in the car with her…Queen of sandwich makers she was. And her baking was simply amazing. Deni recalls the full breakfasts and a whole bunch of other small things about her Nana including her smell. She loved the smell of Nana.

In the end, Mum lasted longer than she imagined – she was convinced she would leave us at age 82 for some reason but managed many more years than that. In the end, she led a comfortable existence I think in the home and enjoyed the food and the views. The dementia shielded her a bit from having to understand COVID restrictions and where some of her home friends went (died of COVID) but it robbed us of a person we loved and admired.

I miss my Mum knowing I won’t ever talk to her or see her again. I hope she and Dad are together again exploring the beaches and museums of some idyllic location.

In the last few years I enjoyed some real; quality time with her – both here and in Yorkshire. I’d drive her around places she liked. We would stop for cakes and coffee or fish and chips and she would talk and talk about times gone by. A different world of naivety and work when people were somehow different and more distant maybe. I was always fascinated and had lots of questions. She was always happy to answer.

God bless you Mum.

I had pretty much the perfect Mum and Dad.

Far Above

Rise above the noise

The rabble far below

Left and right can fight

Dictators can try to dictate

But my mind is still

Far above the noise

Far above the rabble

Floating and drifting

Filled with peace and happiness

My mind expands

I travel wherever I want

I drill into my truth

Far above the fake news

The lies cannot touch me

I’m free



Somewhere in another time and place

They hold hands and walk with grace

I’m sitting in the shallows

Kicking at the waves

No idea nor knowledge of whats to come

Innocents all

Later, much later and all is changed

I see the blade working furiously

A Queen of sandwich makers

Feeding us all with food and love

Like only A Mother could

The beach sand is so very hot

Burns the soles of my feet

Yet in the heat

There is family

Growing, changing, evolving

College beckons some

Pipes and wires others

We disperse

Yet home is where the heart is

And she is heart and home

Even late in life sitting all alone

Motherhood suited her

Fit her like a glove

Tough and tender

Brave and yet fearful

She did the best she could

Words of Beauty

I wanted to write you words of beauty

Phrases that would transport you

To a place just like heaven

But beauty is such a transient thing

It cannot be chased nor caught

And whatever I write or words I chose

It rings hollow

And the vision I had escapes me

Even tho I follow

Across and beyond the depths of me

An illusion once grasped disappears

And efforts that result in tears

Love and beauty cannot be grasped

Nor brought too close

For beauty is in the eye of the beholder

A personal preference thing

Never still enough

To capture whole or even capture at all

Like all dreamstuff

It fades and cannot be grasped at all

So my words of beauty

Are a pale version of heaven

A rusted reflection of reality

Lost in a moment of hesitation

And drowned in the concentration

Of capturing your look as it was

And will never be again

Though it pains me to say

The rains of time

Have washed it all away.

Everyone Has A Story

For years I have had a website where people submitted their encounters with strangeness stories. It’s call My Haunted Life Too. It had good traffic and lots of submissions but in the last 12 months or so, submissions have all but dried up. It seems sites like Reddit are now the preferred venue for stories. It’s a shame. I also started a podcast of the same name where I featured some of the stories…. along with my own.

Anyway, I’d like to try to get the site going again with some fresh content and so I’m asking if you have a story…. would you share it?