memoirs, art and fragments by Thomas Milner

Archive for June 8, 2012

In space no one can you scream

I was literally petrified (terrified, horrified, shocked, frozen, stunned, appalled, numb, dazed, speechless, aghast, dumbfounded, stupefied, scared stiff, scared shitless, terror-stricken, shit-scared. Or literally turned to stone, fossilized, ossified, rock-like, statuesque


Historic victory (until it is forgotten next week)

Unique occasion (a royal wedding)

There are no words to express our loss – she was a kind, brave, popular yada yada yada yada

It was an electrifying experience (oh really, how many volts?)

Hopefully, it won’t rain tomorrow (oh, I didn’t the climactic conditions had feelings!)


Actually I am in a unique position to observe (in English) that shouting at old people (unless they are deaf) is unacceptable in an institution such as this for the following reasons:

  • They are human beings
  • Only 30 or 40 years separates the shouters from the shoutees, nothing else
  • They are old, ill, exhausted and therefore defenceless
  • They are clients (i.e. they are paying the very people who are shouting at them).

There is stock of bad qualities which are attributed to the old folks and victims of dementia/Alzheimer’s, the chief of which seems to be STUBBORNNESS and an inability to answer to logic.

I must hasten to stress at this point that «they» form only a very small percentage of the staff here, the rest of which carry out their duties in a friendly and competent way under often very difficult circumstances.

What can I do? I only have useless words – the dictum The Pen is Mightier than the Sword doesn’t apply here. The English language seems to be an impenetrable code that (in this village at least) the inhabitants seem disinclined to break (even though they are subliminally exposed to the language most days of their lives – it’s just wagga-wagga to them; some invisible chip in their brains simply switches off (we don’t do that).

In a recent blog I fell back on bitter satire:

After the skirmish the captain has a debriefing session with his Sargent

–    Well Sargent, any casualties?

–    Yes Sir; one Sir, Fernandes Sir, blanket-job Sir

–    Was she stubborn at all would you say Sargent?

–    Ooh yes Sir, she could be so stubborn, that one!

–    I see; anyone else?

–   Two others only lightly injured Sir; they was caught in the-friendly-crossfire- of-verbal-abuse, Sir.

–    Jolly good; any other business Sargent?

–    Yes Sir, permission to request my transfer out of here, Sir!

–    Good lord, Sargent, any special reason?

–    I am Home-sick, Sir.

–    But I thought this was your Home Sargent!

–    Yes, Sir, it is and I’m sick of it!


  • Where are you going?
  • To the bathroom …
  • You have a nappy don’t you, well use it!

After 5 years in nappies and now happily liberated from them, I will remember the discomfort/indignity/smell/helplessness/hopelessness to the end of my days, so whenever I hear that particular one, my blood literally boils!

I must simmer down, take deep breaths and, far from the madding crowd, turn my attention to my paintings and books.

I am experimenting with collage again:


And here’s my latest yellowy therapy effort thingy:


The book I’m currently immersed in is WOLF HALL by Hilary Mantel:

On the movie front I have just heard tell about Ridley Scott’s latest offering PROMETHEUS – sounds promising; think I’ll check it out (I like Ridley Scott – Bade Runner, Alien, Gladiator, Body of Lies, The Kingdom of Heaven et. al.)  especially ALIEN


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