Saturday, September 30, 2006

A Beautiful Spirit

Shirley, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
This has been a hard week. Apart from the course, which I enjoyed very much, and some joyful encounters with the clients in The Faraway Home For The Confused And Disorientated it has been a week filled with anxiety, stress and sadness.

This morning we attended Shirley's funeral. As you'd expect, it was heart rending but it was also very beautiful. The priests of St Gerard's had words of comfort and hope for everyone. Father Doherty described Shirley as having "a beautiful spirit" and this was so true.

It seems that Shirley had led a very lonely life these past few years. I think this was partly due to her mental and emotional problems for there were so very many people she could have turned to.

She is at peace now. We'll never forget her.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Bert's Guest Post

In his own words...

My Day

I get up at first light then dash down and check my polytunnels as usual. Do a bit of watering. I breakfast at half eight on ham and eggs over easy. Then I have a cup of coffee and a feg. After brekkie I do all my phoning. Ring up my customers, do PR and a wee bit of bookwork. After that it depends. I might go back to the tunnels, maybe make a few deliveries. Depends on what’s needed to be done that day to keep the whole thing running.

Sometimes I have a business lunch with fellow horticultural tycoons and after lunch I might take in a round or two of golf. Then I go back to work and don’t knock off until dark.

In my free time I like to visit garden centres, attend conferences and go to trade shows.

Many people have suggested, nay begged, that I start my own blog but if I were to start blogging I’d totally lose my mystique. Id no longer be an enigma. And that would be sad.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New Laptop

I'm writing this post on my new laptop. Zoe's beloved has just spent the best part of two hours fixing it up for me. The time spent also included a bit of a tutorial.

D: And this is how you switch it on.

N: Oh yes.

D: And this is how you switch it off.

N: Riiight.

There was other really complicated stuff but I like to think I've grasped the basics.

The machine is an Acer 5102WLMi.

I'm on a steep learning curve here because I've started the course where I'm supposed to end up as an ICT tutor. Luckily I have the perfect guinea pig to practice on - Bert. He hasn't a notion about computers and I'm going to teach him. This time next year he'll have his own blog. Won't that be good?

Passing By

I read recently about the climber David Sharp who died on Mount Everest after he had attained the summit on his third attempt. Sharp was seen as a loner and he was doing it on the cheap so there was little in the way of a support team behind him.

I don’t understand what makes people put themselves through such an ordeal nor did I know that the slopes of Everest are so busy, or that so many people die in their quest to stand at the top of the highest mountain in the world. I didn’t know that for many climbers, who perish in the mountains, that where they fall becomes their final resting place.

The route that Sharp took was one that has been marked out with guide ropes placed there by the company owned by the New Zealander Russell Brice. On that route climbers must pass by a spot called Green Boots Cave. It is nicknamed for the distinctive green boots on the frozen body of an Indian climber, one of three, who perished in 1996 and who lies there still.

On his descent from the summit Sharp was overcome by exhaustion and cold and he must have crept into the shelter of the crevasse to rest beside the dead Indian climber. But his exhaustion was total. While he sat there dying from hypothermia it is believed that up to 40 climbers passed by him. It’s possible that some didn’t see him. Of those that did see him some may have believed that he was Green Boots. Others must have felt there was nothing they could do. A few stopped and tried to help but felt that it was impossible. By this stage, although he was alive, there was nothing David Sharp could do to help himself.

Last week the murdered body of Shirley Finlay was discovered in a car park in Ballymena. Like David Sharp, Shirley was seen as a bit of a loner. Certainly for the past couple of years she was a familiar figure in the town, walking briskly, always on her own, seemingly in a world of her own. And largely people let her be. One of the most reported ‘facts’ about Shirley is that she was a very solitary person. It wasn’t always so. Shirley did have friends. But towards the end of her too short life they weren’t around. Whether that was entirely Shirley’s choice is open to question. I told myself it was what she wanted. Now I’ll never know.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Guest Blogger

I've been asked to guest blog at Baboon Pirates. How cool is that?

This cat-loving, swash-buckling piratical type came to my attention through Acidman who, despite the cat-loving, listed El Capitan on the Gut Rumbles blogroll.

Why do I like him? Because he's handsome of course! See!

So That's That Then

That's my last shift at Tinkerton over and done with.

Just the two incidents to deal with. First a reported 'hate crime' where I managed to persuade the victim that the PSNI might not be able to give him their full attention on account of it being Saturday night. I can just imagine the desk sergeant's response if I asked him to send two officers up pronto because Lily is giving Billy 'dirty looks' and calling him Rentboy. Then there was the theft of a packet of Daz from Gilly's kitchen window. Unfortunately this heinous crime was not caught on camera. The alleged culprits were seen taking the soap powder by Gilly's swain - Our Lad. Gilly suggested that Our Lad might go out and give the wee locals 'a hammering' but I advised her against it on the grounds that if he did so he'd likely be 'lifted' and then, probably, 'burnt out' on account of being 'foreign' i.e. English.

I worked my last two shifts with Ballymena's answer to Vicky Pollard. She never drew breath. Not only would she have talked the legs off a stool, she would also have removed the hind legs off a donkey. But to be fair to the girl she's a lot smarter than Ms Pollard. And she didn't seem to mind that I took notes as she spoke.

Then this morning George (colleague) came in. He had a big bunch of flowers for me. Chocs too and a card. Leaving present from the team. I was chuffed to the nth degree. There are some things I'll miss about Tinkerton after all.

Saturday, September 23, 2006


This afternoon I start my last shift in Tinkerton. I will have worked with homeless people for just over seven years. Too long. Too many 'incidents' and too many hard memories.

I finally decided to leave three weeks ago. In the past eight days a current resident and an ex-resident were murdered within days of each other. One, on the premises, a harmless wee man who was well-liked by everyone who knew him and the other, the ex-resident, a fragile and vulnerable young girl without a bad bone in her. We do try our best, those of us, who work in homeless services but the job is too big and the damage too severe for us to have much of an impact. We burn out and we become cynical. And there are some who abuse the services. And there are far too many for whom the services offered are not enough.

Next week (strike permitting) I hope to start my teaching course and during that week I'll be working as a care assistant in a residential home for the elderly.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Birthday Flowers 22/9

Birthday Flowers 22/9, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


I have deleted the post I wrote last night.

It was inappropriate for me to write it and unfair to her memory.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ulster Dyslexic Association

Graffiti spotted at the back of J&R Keys in Castle Street. One of their young employees gave me a right glaring out for taking the picture.

Anybody know what those initials stand for? Answers on a postcard please. Asterisk use will be accepted. The first correct answer will receive a prize of an enamelled lapel pin featuring "the sore hand of Ulster" in this season's fashionable aquamarine. The second prize is a tattoo of the "sore hand" and the third two tattoos....

Monday, September 18, 2006

Applicational Trail

I think one of the reasons I stayed so long in my soon-to-be-previous job is that I hate filling in application forms.

Which is what I've been doing all morning. Yet, on paper and with absolutely no fibbing, I find I'm a helluva dude-ess. Who wouldn't want to employ me?

I go in this afternoon for the first of my three last shifts and the first since The Incident. It will be good to get it over and done with. Tomorrow morning I have an interview and tomorrow evening the course commences.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Beano Boys

Beano Boys, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Just testing the connection.

Nothing To Say Except....

this is Tinkerton

Enforced Vacation

I made the change to beta and found it to be fraught with problems. Eventually found myself back here through using Internet Explorer. Firefox was having none of it.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's True! I Grow More Conservative With Age

Dennis, are you at the gin again?
Which Annoying B-list Celebrity Are You?
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey.

So there you go. Cannot say I'm surprised. I've just finished reading Terry Wogan's autobiography, I gave a talk this evening on the joys of sensible pants and I'm looking forward to an early night with Bill Bryson.

Leprechaun Joke

Young Rooney and Young Loveheart are the only ones in their crowd who are still single. Consequently they find themselves spending more time together. This evening they called round to our house to pass a little time before Young Rooney went back to Young Loveheart's place to cook him his tea. For Young Loveheart 'can't cook'.

Young Loveheart: What are ye making me?

Young Rooney: Whatever's in your freezer.

Such a sweet friendship.

By the time we'd done with the gossip and the politics and stories we moved on to jokes. We were telling leprechaun jokes. Young Rooney said, "Leprechauns. That reminds me - there was this man went into a bar with a leprechaun on his shoulder and they ordered a pint. The leprechaun stuck its face into the pint and I don't remember the rest of it. I'm hopeless at jokes."

We laughed long and hard for sure it was the best joke we'd heard all evening.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


Sign in Cullybackey, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Muppetry rules in the village of Cullybackey.

Is it any wonder that Paddy chose this very spot to evacuate his bowels?

Shit Happens

I have a shredder which I use to shred documents and letters containing personal information. I’m well aware of the dangers of identity theft. I also have a handbag in which I carry around letters, junk and other assorted debris for weeks on end. What my handbag rarely contains is plastic bags for picking up dogshit.

I had business in the village yesterday. It was Paddy’s turn for a walk out with me so off we set, me with my handbag full of rubble and him…

…him with several pounds of doodoo up his jacksy. His first drop was outside the (now closed down) police station. I searched frantically through my bag and came out with my last wages slip from the Novas Group. I opened up this historical document and gingerly scooped up his offering. Then off to the nearest poo-receptacle hoping that my national insurance number would not be discovered by some desperate bin-hoker.

We walked on. Took a turn up towards the council estate. Which is where he made his second drop. Into the bag again and all I could find was a folded A4 sheet containing all the numbers in my mobile phone. Now even more sensitive documentation is lying in the poo-bin. I really do hope that all the identity thieves in the Cullybackey area are easy scunnered.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Vote #3 For Gracie

Digging, originally uploaded by ZMB.

A message from Zoe

Gracie says she would like you to vote for her (if you can) in the September Year of the Dog 2006 competition. She is very excited to have been nominated but realises that her chance of winning is very slim. Though if she did win she would use the opportunity to travel and do good deeds for charity.

A Good Read

Ages ago I bought Matty a copy of Star of the Sea by Joseph O'Connor. I thought she would like it, with it having the Irish theme and all. I'd no intention of reading it myself for Bob Geldof had said it was the best book he'd ever read in his life and I wasn't going to read anything that gype recommended.

Anyways the ma didn't like it. She read a chapter of it and pronounced it "depressing" and reached it back to me.

A while after that the Kerry Sister gave it to her and she read it and said it was "great". A lesser daughter would have been ripping but I'm used to Matty and her funny little ways. She tends not to trust any books I recommend after the unfortunate incident of Christmas 1976 when I gave her a book I'd previously read abridged in a magazine. Abridged means bits are left out. So how was I to know that the bits that were left out contained vivid descriptions of hot, steamy lesbian sex? In the version I'd read the two women were just good chums.

So, despite the Geldofian approval, I eventually got round to reading Star of the Sea. And I enjoyed it. I was talking to the Kerry Sister about the book and she told me that Joseph O'Connor is the brother of Sinead O'Connor. News to me indeed.

And when you get news you pass it on.

"Hey!" says I to Bert and Hannah, "D'ye know who your man Joseph O'Connor is the brother of?"

"No idea," says Bert. "Come on," says I, "Famous Irish person? O'Connor?"

Hannah pipes up, "Is it Des?" says she.

My Birthday Present From Hootchinhannah

Racing Hounds, originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.

Hannah got this enlarged & framed for my birthday.

Zoe made me gourmet biscuits & cookies. Yum.

Katy sent me two Peatbog Faeries CDs.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Murlough Bay

Nice old postcard of Murlough Bay.

Pizza Parlour to Murlough Bay

I had a wonderful birthday this year. On Saturday Zoe and Hannah, with Dave and Jamie, took myself and Bert to the Pizza Parlour for (what else?) pizzas. As far as I can remember the Pizza Parlour has been in three different locations. Each time it moved it kept the dark red decor and the gingham and the black & white movie star pictures and collages. The tables are still adorned with empty Mateus Rose bottles as candle holders. The menu is as it always was. How long has it been trading? It must be at least 25 years. Height of sophistication it was back then - now it's an old, trusted and faithful friend. Zoe said that if you sit in the Pizza Parlour for long enough, sooner or later, you'll see every single person you know.

On Sunday Bert and I and the dogs went camping. We went to Murlough Bay, stopping off to tramp up, according to Bert, the highest hill in County Antrim. I didn't make it. I couldn't be bothered. Walking up hills on a boring path flanked with nothing but pine trees is no fun at all. Bert said the view from the top was amazing. He could see the Corkey Wind Farm and everything! Big dealaroo. If I walk out the lane, turn right, stroll up the road for three minutes and stand at the bottom of the Killyless Road I can see the wind farms at Corkey and Elliot's Hill and the wind turbine at Antrim Area Hospital.

Then when that dreary business was over we went to Murlough Bay which was wonderful and beautiful and I walked for miles. We camped in the spot recommended by Zoe and had a great evening.

SwineBlogger won't let me post pictures tonight. I'll get back to it later.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Blogging Questions

blogging meme
1) Are you happy/satisfied with your blog’s content and look?Pretty much. I’ll not change the look of it as long as I stay on Blogger. Sometimes I think the content is a bit uninspired but then that reflects me – sometimes.
2) Does your family know about your blog?
Yes. And because I know many of them read it I try not to embarrass them or betray them in any way.
3) Do you feel embarrassed to let your friends know about your blog? Do you consider it a private thing?
It doesn’t bother me if friends know about it and I don’t care whether they read it or not.
4) Did blogging cause positive changes in your thoughts?
I don’t think so.
5) Do you only open the blogs of those who comment on your blog or do you love to go and discover more by yourself?
I like to look at other blogs. I’d be more likely to investigate the links of people I’m already connected to than just randomly surf.
6) What does a visitor counter mean to you? Do you like having one on your blog?
I try not to get too obsessed with it but I’d rather have one than not.
7) Did you try to imagine your fellow bloggers and give them real pictures?
I have pictures in my head of the bloggers that don’t post (real) pictures of themselves. Bliss is of medium height, dark & handsome, Twenty Major is clean-shaven, has short gingery fair hair, is about 34 and works for the government. The Swearing Lady is as beautiful as the day but she is very cross looking. El Capitan looks just like his avatar. Manuel publishes his picture but I’m sure it doesn’t do him justice.
8) Admit it. Do you think there is any real benefit in blogging?
Yes. I’ve widened my social circle; kept in touch with people I already knew and had a lot of laughs. I’ve learned things too.
9) Do you think that blogger’s society is isolated from the real world or interaction with events?
Not in the least. The bloggers I know are real people living in the real world. I even gave birth to two of them.
10) Does criticism annoy you or do you feel it’s a normal thing?
I don’t court it, I rarely receive it and it would piss me off mightily if I did.
11) Do you fear some political blogs and avoid them?No. I’d be more inclined to avoid religion-based blogs.
12) Were you shocked by the arrest of some bloggers?
Sad for them. Not shocked.
13) What do you think will happen to your blog after you die?
Zoë and Hannah will wind it up for me. Thinks. Must give them my password.
14) What song do you like to hear? What song would you like to link to on your blog?
Silence is golden. (Not the early sixties Tremeloes hit)
15) The next “victims”?As Ed and Toast said - they can pick themselves when they read this.

I'm (A) Fytt Heifer


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Nelly Does Charity

During my month of little spending I avoided going into charity shops. It’s surprising how much money you can spend there and although there are bargains to be had it’s unlikely that you actually really need anything that you’ll buy there.

Yesterday I decided to go charity browsing. But I can't have been in a charitable frame of mind. The sour faced biddy there, glowering behind the counter, immediately irritated me. I was also very pissed off at the way the bloody garments keep slipping off their cheap useless hangers. I couldn’t be arsed picking them up like I usually do. As Matty says, “Let them gather them up. Sure it’ll pass the time for when they’ve nothing else to do.”

Seeing nothing else I turned to the the books. There were yards and yards of utter crap. The few half decent books they had I’d read already. I chose a fresher copy of Catcher In The Rye (mine is in tatters) and I saw this.

Thought it looked intriguing. Then I turned it over.

Bloody cheek! Charge me £1.50 for a tattered paperback then try to guilt trip me into bringing it back to them so they can sell it again!

If I'm going to read it then bring it back for others to enjoy I'll be going to the library.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

You Don't Have To Be Mad To Blog Here....But It Helps

So here's me working out my notice and applying for work that pays the minimum wage (if I'm lucky) and what do I do next? Why I trot into town and get all my hair cut off at Dyke-U-Like.

Photo? There are indeed photographs but I'm not ready to share my new Fat Lesbian Look just yet. Maybe later when the fresh hairdressed shininess wears off.

Pearlie loves my new haircut. Which is worrying. Do I like it? Indeed I do. It's an improvement on the previous look - The Mad Mental Patient.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Try This. It's Amazing

Your Future Foretold

No Need To Apologise

This good woman has got a poor cratur from Cashel* sitting in her office and he’s telling her how he’s starving, hasn’t a cent to his name, hasn’t ate a bite for four days and how there’s all these young boys outside torturing him and he doesn’t want anything to do with them, he just wants a quiet life and a new start.

So Eamonn you’re starving and you haven’t eaten for four days? Where’d you get the money for the drink then?

Sure a boy I met on the train give me the drink.

Right. Would you like a cup of tea and a bit of toast?

I would surely.

So the good woman and her colleague the good girl make the poor cratur a cup of tea and a bit of toast and he seems happy enough. Then he notices a television sitting on the floor.

Could I have that TV? Sure I haven’t even a radio or anything to put the evening in.

Well I’m sorry about that Eamonn but that TV belongs to someone else who has moved on. I couldn’t loan it to you. I’m sorry.

The poor cratur went on about this TV for longer than the good woman’s patience could stand and she tried to hurry him out. She offered to escort him to his flat as the young hoods were hovering about and had rang the doorbell several times wanting to know when that Eamonn boy was coming out. She noticed, whilst walking over, that Eamonn’s gait was awkward but put it down to hunger. But at the door of his flat there was a clatter and a great pile of CDs, DVDs and a DVD player fell at his feet. The poor cratur was very dismayed.

Oh my CDs are destroyed.

What are you doing with all those? Where did you get them? And what’s that you’ve still got up your jumper?

It’s nothing. I’ve nothing up my jumper.

You have. You’ve something square up your jumper. Did you take those things from the office?

I did not. They’re my own. Are you calling me a t’ief?

I’m not calling you anything. I just want you to explain to me why you’ve got all that stuff up your jumper and what it is you’ve still got up your jumper.

I’ve nothin’ up my jumper.

You have. I can see the square edges of it just there.

Are ye callin’ me a t’ief?

The good woman realised she was getting nowhere and as she had no real idea what had been in the bags in the office she knew she was on shaky ground. So she returned and consulted with her colleague the good girl. They saw that the bags of booty in the office had indeed been tampered with. They decided to return to Eamonn’s flat to give him the opportunity to redeem himself. Optimistically they took fresh black bags to receive back the purloined goods. When they came to the cratur’s flat they discovered he had company. Saoirse was with him but as they entered she disappeared into the bathroom.

She needed to go to the toilet.

Tell you what Eamonn. Give us back the stuff you took and we won’t call the police.

I took nothin’. Call the Guards if ye like!

At this point the cratur took his phone out and after punching in a few numbers he started shouting,

Mammy! They’re sayin’ I’m a t’ief. Tell them Mammy I never stole anythin’ in my life!

His charade with the phone complete he continued to brazen it out. His accomplice remained hidden in the bathroom.

I’m not a t’ief. It’s terrible you’re saying that about me!

I’m not saying that about you. I can’t say for sure that you took those items from the office but then again you are not giving me a good reason why you had them hidden up your jumper.

It’s because I have no pockets!

The good woman did not argue this point with him. Saoirse remained in the bathroom. It was the good woman and the good girl’s opinion that she had the good stuff in there with her. But there was nothing they could do. And the cratur knew there was nothing they could do. They decided to leave with their empty plastic sacks. The cratur said,

Are you goin’ to apologise for callin’ me a t’ief?

I tell you what. If you’re still here in a month – and you haven’t stolen anything - then I promise I’ll go down on my bended knees and apologise to you.

There was never any danger that the good woman would have to keep her promise for the following day the poor cratur was taken away in handcuffs, in the back of a police Land Rover, after being arrested for thieving! Just imagine the good woman’s feelings.

But that’s another story.

*The cratur was not from Tipp. Certain names and places have been changed to protect the innocent.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Old Ballymena

The Mill 1, originally uploaded by Fossie1.

Now a retail park.

Fossie1 has a nice little collection of vintage Ballymena pictures on Flickr.

Modern Ballymena

Yet another hole in the road, originally uploaded by ZMB.

This scene is so typical of modern Ballymena.

The picture also includes (to the right) a shot of Ballymena's most photographed dog.


This is one local walk that I've yet to use. This dated from our Spring snows.


How wonderful to turn up such an atmospheric photograph. I'm glad now that I embarked on this little project.

Go look at his other pictures.


gate near Loan Hill, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Mile or two outside it to be accurate. Obviously I'm the main tagger of Cullybackey on Flickr.


Antrim Castle, originally uploaded by dickyhart.

The amount of photographs of the Giant's Causeway that I had to plough through until I reached some that actually featured Antrim town.

It looks pretty doesn't it? That building to the left of the castle gates used to be part of the old Antrim police station about which I could tell a tale or two.

But in my defence I was 'very, very drunk at the time' and I promised the officers I wouldn't do it again. Which was a lie.


Portglenone, originally uploaded by ConnorMcc.

I'm going to do a little series of recent Flickr photographs of local towns. This is the first one I'm featuring. I love this particular spot and I think that ConnorMcc has taken a beautiful picture

Sunday, September 03, 2006

That's What Living In Ulster Does To You

You're 50% Irish

You're probably less Irish than you think you are...
But you're still more Irish than most.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lenny & Jenny

Once upon a time there lived a couple called Lenny and Jenny. Lenny was twenty and Jenny was several years older. Both of them had very hard and difficult childhoods because their parents were stupid and feckless and did not care about them very much. Jenny’s hard times continued well into her twenties. She wasn’t very clever and was easily taken advantage of. Lenny had rescued her from that life and that might just have been the best thing he had ever done for anyone in the whole of his own short life.

Lenny and Jenny may not have been the brightest or shiniest buttons in the button box but they had a good working knowledge of the benefits system. Both of them were claiming all that it was possible to claim. Jenny was on income support and incapacity benefit, Lenny was on income support and disability allowance. He’d claimed DLA on the grounds that he was an alcoholic but although he liked a drink he liked drugs better. He admitted himself that he wasn’t an alcoholic. But for some reason he got his DLA for having no legs. I don’t know how this came about and to give Lenny his due he phoned the DLA and told them he was in full possession of two working legs. He still got the benefit. Maybe he put on the form that he was ‘always legless’ and they misunderstood.

Lenny and Jenny lived for paydays. When payday came they drank, smoked, drugged and were merry. When payday was over they were broke, hungry, hungover and miserable. Between paydays they schemed and plotted as to how to get more money. They never looked beyond the next payday. They never stopped to consider that a Crisis Loan was exactly that – a loan that had to be paid back.

By now Jenny was pregnant. Lenny despite his ‘disabilities’ managed to get both Jenny and another girl pregnant in the same year. The other girl moved on. Lenny had no plans to support his child and no interest in seeing it. Meanwhile, despite her pregnancy, Jenny continued to smoke, drink and take drugs.

Jenny’s belly grew and she had hardly any clothes to fit her. She applied to the Social Security for a clothing grant. She was informed that clothing grants were a thing of the past. She couldn’t get a Crisis Loan as they had too many already. She was in despair. None of her underwear fitted. Only one of her tracksuits was wearable. They had no money for drugs. They had money for fags. There is always money for fags.

She approached me for help. I let her use the phone to call the social. Within minutes she was shouting her head off at the person on the other end of the line. It was no good. She said to me,
What can I do? The bru won’t give us anything! St Vincent de Paul won’t help us! I need new bras and knickers. And I need stuff for the baby.

Here’s what you should do. You and Lenny should go down to the DSS. You should explain your predicament. Be nice. Don’t shout at them. They hate it when you shout. Be nice and they’ll tell you what you can claim for. There’s bound to be some way they can help you.

They took my advice. Came back all happy. The people at the DSS had looked into their claim and found a way to give them money.

The next day they received the all-important GIRO. Payday! Down the town - spend, spend, spend. Back up again to party, party, party. Jenny had bought a new tracksuit but no new underwear and nothing for the baby. I'm not sure what Lenny bought but later that evening his eyes were rolling in his head.

The day after that was not so good. All they had to show for payday was two sore heads and a new tracksuit. Then the letter came explaining how the money they had received was worked out. It was then it dawned on them. Their big payday GIRO had included their next fortnight’s regular money.

Forgive me God but how I laughed. To myself of course.