Category: Humour


A couple of years ago, as I started to emerge from one of the darkest periods of depression of my life, I was using the affirmation “Taking back my life”, because that is exactly how I felt. Depression is often compared to a ‘black dog’. Personally I don’t find that a good analogy – I have had two black dogs in my life, and both were good for my well-being. I can not associate them with depression. To me it is more like a muddied, boggy pool which we are submerged under. We see dim shapes and shadows of reality, but they are seen through dark muddy water. Emerging from my depression at the time was like ‘surfacing’ – making my way to clearer waters – to a clearer reality.

As usual it has been a long time since I updated here. I have had some family illness issues, which have made it difficult not to slip back into that mire. On a more positive note, I have been busy with various projects. I have done courses in blog set-up, community journalism and blog management, which have culminated in me being part of a great team, running a new blog:

Well Pool (Promoting Positive Health & Well-Being)

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It’s been a fascinating project and it is interactive in that if you have things to share on the vast subject of well-being, we are always keen to publish them.

Additionally, I have set up a photography page – at the moment, just on Facebook, but I am still on a learning curve with my Nikon! The page is:

Marc Fraser Photography

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I also did a relevant post on photography and well-being on the WellPool blog called

‘Photography – My Well-Being Salvation’

But by far the biggest element in my life has been working towards an installation for World Mental Health Day, which was on 10 October 2015.

I ended up shelving the original idea for a completely new slideshow because of the aforementioned family health issues; instead I added sound to the slideshow that ran at the ‘Sticks ‘n’ Stones’ event in February. On an emotional and creative rollercoaster, I added a ‘mix’ of some music I made a few years back in algorithmic music software – generated semi-randomly – as well as snippets from discussions on self-image and how it suffers under fluctuating mental health. There were also a few snippets of speech synthesis. The end result was this:

‘A Trick of the Eye – A Trick of the Mind: WMHD version’

Trick of the Mind WordCloud

The day was amazing. The staff at the Playhouse Theatre, where this and some really excellent drama, dance and workshop performances were going on for most of the day, were so hospitable. It goes without saying that their work was brilliant – like a well-oiled machine.

So that leads me back to the title of this post. Two years ago, I was taking back my life. Now I feel that Saturday has started me on the road to taking back my identity.

Before I fell into that muddy pool, the things that kept me out of the mire were artistic work as a composer working with fringe theatre, dance, performance art, etc. After the event on Saturday, I feel like I am that person again.

I am already putting ideas together for the installation that I shelved.

There has been a lot more going on with me this year – mostly positive (in the end). I have done my debut (and probably swan-song) in stand-up comedy via the Comedy Trust’s ‘Feeling Funny’ project, done more training in Peer Support, and more. Ever onwards, ever upwards.

Me at Comedy Night at The Brink

The Bionic Royal

If I miss any one thing about the various medications I was on during the worst years of my depression, it was some of the more surreal dream. I would wake up from them laughing maniacally – something of a lifeline in the darkest hours. I have always finished recalling this dream with “I should really write it down.” But of course in the depths of apathy, I never did until now. I had the dream a few weeks before the Queen Mother died, so here it is, 11 years later.

The Bionic Royal

The people’s love of the Queen Mother never seemed to diminish. Crowds of well-wishers, young and old, would follow her progress in her old age, her longevity seeming to make public fondness grow. So here were hundreds of those well-wishers waiting for her to emerge from the hospital where her most recent hip procedure had been performed. This procedure was far from routine. It was a pioneering new bionic hip replacement, and when she had heard about it, with characteristic determination, she insisted on being one of its first recipients. Her family and the platoon of staff responsible for her safety and security all expressed grave concerns about the decision. The surgeon and the bionics designer remembered later how she had said firmly that “I am not much longer for this world. If it fails, then it may be upsetting for my family, but if it succeeds, it could pave the way for a better quality of life for many people.” She had gained two new biggest fans that day.

As the hospital doors opened, a murmur went through the crowds, questioning “Is it her? Is she here?” As the first of her entourage stepped out surveying the scene outside for potential threats to the royal personage, the murmur swelled slowly to clapping hands then finally an ear splitting cheer as the first tell-tale signs of a hat that would only ever be worn by the Queen Mother, and maybe her daughter, glinted in the morning sunshine. Finally she stood at the top of the gentle incline of the ramp at the exit. A little shakily she waved at the crowd, with that recognisable smile. She was supported by a nurse on either side of her as she waved, the tiniest flicker of shakiness apparent in her leg. She started down the ramp, flanked by nurses and coccooned by security staff, ever-vigilant as to any signs of trouble out there in the crowd. About two thirds of the way down the ramp, the nurses started to look ‘concerned’. The security staff, still focusing on the crowd, were oblivious as the nurses broke away from the Queen Mother, unable to maintain a supporting hold. At first, there was a ripple of laughter through the crowd, as the royal patient appeared to do a caricature dance. As reality sunk in, the laughter turned to shock as they realized that she wasn’t showing off her new capabilities. She was in difficulty!

It would transpire that the bionic hip had malfunctioned. The thing was out of control. Nurses scattered in panic. One of the bodyguards turned around to see what was happening too late to avoid the kick from the royal shoe with the full force of a high speed train behind it. He doubled over, winded, as other bodyguards swarmed forward to attempt unsuccessfully to grab her. The surgeon disappeared back inside the hospital only to re-emerge a few moments later with an anaesthetist. He, in turn, disappeared back inside. Meanwhile the Queen Mother stumbled on towards the crowd, throwing out kicks and squeals of alarm. There was something very surreal about seeing such a dignified lady kicking out at people randomly like a cornered psychotic murderer and then saying “I’m so very sorry” in that chopped aristocratic accent of hers. Surreal? As if the whole scene wasn’t surreal enough?

Little Amy Porter, 8 years old, had been looking forward to this day with the anticipation that children of that age look forward to birthdays. She had been chosen from her whole class at school for this. She had been well taught what to do and when to do it. She was very well prepared. Miss Pagett had told her “Whatever happens, as the Queen Mum reaches the end of that ramp, you step forward to meet her, with the bouquet held out for her, curtsey, and take a step back. If she says anything to you, reply politely and address her as ‘Ma’am’. If not, then step back and join the rest of us at the front of the crowd.” Amy was very reliable. That was why she had been chosen. Accordingly, she stepped forward, albeit with some trepidation. Her bright, dimpling smile was somewhat hesitant as she held the beautiful flowers up. The smile turned to anxious sobbing as the Queen Mum drop-kicked the bouquet leaving shredded stalks on the ground and broken flowers cascading gently down through the sunshine. With lightning speed, one of the security guards whisked the young girl out of the path of the pirouetting Queen Mother. As she staggered past, the whir of air-displacement centimetres from the bodyguard’s ear, he also heard the Queen Mother’s normally dignified voice entreating “Will someone please turn this bloody thing off?” Of course, as such, it couldn’t be turned off, it could only be removed if they could stop it, and stopping it meant stopping her.

The doors to the hospital were flung open again, largely unseen by the horrified crowd, who were now parting like the red sea to give the Queen Mother and the rogue hip a wide pathway. The anaesthetist and a team of assistance, armed with hypodermics, and one pushing a wheelchair surged towards her. One almost got close enough to administer the injection, but was kicked by the royal shoe so hard that they loosened the grip on the syringe and it slid meters along the ground. It took three attempts, and finally it was one of the assistants, who was a black belt in some martial art, ducked, blocked and parried and got close enough to administer the tranquilizer. The team, plus three or four of the security team caught her, carefully, and lowered her onto the chair. As she slipped deeper and deeper into unconsciousness, the hip stopped spasming and the twitching leg was finally still.

12 Step Recovery Program for Web Addicts

1. I will have a cup of coffee in the morning and read my PAPER newspaper like I used to, before the Web.
2. I will eat breakfast with a knife and fork and not with one hand typing.
3. I will get dressed before noon.
4. I will make an attempt to clean the house, wash clothes, and plan dinner before even thinking of the Web.
5. I will sit down and write a letter to those unfortunate few friends and family that are Web-deprived.
6. I will call someone on the phone who I cannot contact via the Web.
7. I will read a book… if I still remember how.
8. I will listen to those around me about their needs and stop telling them to turn the TV down so I can hear the music on the Web.
9. I will not be tempted during TV commercials to check for email.
10. I will try and get out of the house at least once a week, if it is necessary or not.
11. I will remember that my bank is not forgiving if I forget to balance my checkbook because I was too busy on the Web.
12. Last, but not least, I will remember that I must go to bed sometime… and the Web will always be there tomorrow!

 

George Carlin Dead – His ‘Seven Dirty Words’ Helped Define Radio’s Boundaries

I only recently paid much attention to George Carlin. The most I had really seen or heard from him was his cameo role in the movie ‘Dogma’.  Now I enjoy listening to and watching a lot of his stuff. I think he will be sadly missed.

Did Philip fart???

 

Thanks to Jude for sending this one…

Did Philip Fart? What do you  think?

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The expressions are priceless! Look at the Queen’s face (click the image to enlarge).

Brian’s Confession

 

Ducking into confession with a turkey in his arms, Brian said, "Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I stole this turkey to feed my family. Would you take it and settle my guilt?"

"Certainly not," said the Priest. "As penance, you must return it to the one from whom you stole it."

"I tried," Brian sobbed, "but he refused. Oh, Father, what should I do?"

"If what you say is true, then it is all right for you to keep it for your family."

Thanking the Priest, Brian hurried off.

When confession was over, the Priest returned to his residence. When he walked into the kitchen, he found that someone had stolen his turkey.

Scottish Bar Stool

 

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The sad thing about this picture is that when I first looked at it, I thought it was the imprint of a face. Doh!