Have I been missed at all? Just been reading some of the stuff written by a Mr John Underwood who’s writing was recommended by M. J. Banbury esq. about his cancer. He’s only been diagnosed recently and is as I write this having his head shaved. Already the tone of his writing is shifting from the initial jokey stuff that reflects the initial shock defence of it’s not really happening to the increasingly horrible realisation of not only having the crabby one but that the treatment is shit. It all changes you, I am still, and will be for a while, ‘coming to terms’ with it all. Only last night Kate was saying how she doesn’t understand why I’m not just happy that the current cancer is in abeyance, that I can no longer complain about all the bureaucratic bollocks of teaching and that the pension has almost been sorted. And apart from being a curmudgeonly, cussed, cantankerous,crabby twat I still don’t have the language to properly describe my condition and feelings.

In Porto when walking down a slope onto the crowded Ribeira riverfront I started pitching forward, I couldn’t stop myself from falling over and crashed to the ground in a very unseemly old person sort of way. Stuff tumbled out of my man bag, my sunglasses fell off and a lens popped out, grazed leg and hands. Lots of immediate concern from those nearby who helped me to my feet, but for me the horrible feeling of not even being able to stay upright (and for those that know me I had not had any alcohol), of being an old codger, of the continuing collateral damage of treatment.

I walked away, still somewhat unsteady, and reminisced about how in my younger days I had exceptional balance and physical prowess. No longer.

But in the spirit of undeterrence a few days later I joined the elder two female adolescents for a surfing lesson. I was knackered before we even began the process of how to stand on the board; what with putting on a wetsuit, carrying a big board to the sea and then doing a warm-up run, something I hadn’t done for years. I gave up after 3 pathetic attempts to stand on the board. I then waded to the beach and sat on the board for a while watching the others surf and thought.

And then, when running for a bus, Kate fell over in sympathy. Because her falling over wasn’t shown on a screen the adolescents showed little sympathy.

I developed a cough which worsened and now I have a streaming nose, have coughing and sneezing fits and worry that it’s more than just a cold. Which brings me back to my first thoughts about John Underwood; he’s just begun the process, I hope he has a long and happy life and that maybe we could have a chat someday. Just read he bailed out on becoming a skinhead.

Also notice that he’s supporting the Anthony Nolan Trust, they take blood samples from people to find their tissue type to then match people for bone marrow transplants. I worked for them for a few months, taking blood samples and ’tissue typing’, a very repetitive job. Joanna Lumley turned up one time, it was my turn to take blood but the old geezer who was nominally in charge brushed me aside to stick a needle in her.

Voted in the labour leadership earlier, Mr Jeremy of course, and Angela Eagle for deputy. It’s very entertaining watching bliar and co foaming and frothing and not engaging in any proper debate, just deriding his manifesto such as renationalisation but not putting forward any coherent arguments for the benefits of privatisation. It really is heartwarming to read and hear about Mr Jeremy proposing to take on the kleptos, the tts and others.

Kate and I really liked Porto and want to return someday, hopefully in our rompahome.

So some gentle admonishment about certain comments about education, sorry Mr Hector your nom de guerre has been cleverly figured out and words have been exchanged. What slightly saddens me is that instead of engaging in discourse by pointing out my erroneous thoughts and the like an attempt is made to silence me. I have been a teacher pretty much all my working life and I’ve witnessed and been subjected to a great deal of bollocks. I have been a classroom teacher all my career and like other classroom practitioners have never properly been involved in developing educational practice or what we actually teach. Why is that?

But now I have to develop my karma, which ‘simply means doing’ (from Alan Watts). We misinterpret karma when we say ‘that’s your karma’ because of what you’ve done before, it is not cause and effect. I have to do what I’m doing now and ‘not define myself as the result of what has gone before’.

So ineffably dubious smith has been caught out again, this time using fictitious people extolling the benefits of his new system. maybe not a resigning issue but many other reasons to petition him to go. Here’s a link to petition him to go: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/104436     Check it out and pass it on, you never know. When I signed I experienced a little frisson, especially with my name! Karma.

Porto for the champions league.

Keep on keeping on, love Duncan.


8 thoughts on “Karma

  1. Superdunc,
    Since you’re wobbly without alcohol, I wonder if life has actually reversed and if you drink you’ll be more stable?
    Glad you’re reading John Underwood. Proves there’s a funny side to everything.
    I bet you’ve been reading up on the tube strike. The 2 opposing views can be heard from 2 presenters on LBC. Its good to see a media outlet providing both sides of a story and letting people decide. Both presenters are intelligent (unlike that idiot Jeremy Vines) so their cases are put well:
    For the strikers:-
    and against the strikers:-

    Although its nearly impossible to do this without prejudice and bias, if you were totally ambivalent, and deciding purely based on the arguments presented, which view would you back?? I think in a nutshell James O’Brien’s case is ‘Employers should never be able to force a change to working practices on their employees because that’s wrong in principle, and; isn’t it great to see a group of employees being able to stand up to their employers’.
    Iain Dales case is ‘They’re overpaid and underworked versus other public workers, have held London to ransom, are being offered more pay and a bonus to change, and the public are demanding a night service.’

    My right wing fascist view is:-
    Given that the amount that London has to spend is limited, if one set of workers is paid extra, another set will be either paid less or will not have a job. I’m for paying nurses, firemen, policemen, carers and teachers a bit more, from a reduction in tube driver pay.
    By achieving high pay, i.e. cost, and stopping the tubes from running, the unions are pricing tube drivers out of a job. They’re motivating TFL to bring forward driverless trains. An own goal.


    1. Martin, I’ll check out alcohol thesis a little further down the recovery road but i’ll need controls so a selection of older folk recording their fallings, both those with and without crabby treatment and varying levels of alcohol intake. Then we can give optimal alcohol levels for all older folk to reduce falling over syndrome. haven’t been following tube strike, have been in porto and kept away from internet and all news. Anyway not happy with ‘holding people to ransom’ trope, very emotive and aren’t the strikes for very occasional days, not much in the scheme of things. And bosses/companies/governments all use far more holding to ransom approaches than the unions. Also pitting different groups of workers against each other is very divisive, pay everyone the same I say. Technology will soon take over most jobs anyway so time we started thinking more seriously about this, I think Mr Jeremy is and it will be fun having him as PM. Kate sends love, Duncan x


  2. Glad your back – I for one have missed your missives!
    Will add Porto to our list of places to go. Jim has just had his 60th and now has his senior railcard and I fell over with a wallop when we were in Dublin. Painful at the time but also has made me much more cautious and I now have to concentrate more when I am walking as I am scared of tripping up and falling again. So I definitely look like an old lady and Jim is officially old!
    Also pleased the pension is finally getting sorted – roll on the 7th of the month for you (I hope I have remembered your birthday correctly as May 8th) – I get mine the 3rd of the month and at first it felt a little weird as though I was getting money for doing nothing, even though I had been paying it in all those years. Not for long now – it’s all allocated and spent! xxxxx


  3. Julie, I’m pleased you like my ranting missives, certainly has helped me through the crabby process. maybe we should create a new falling over club? Could have an interesting badge/logo! Checked with TP this morning and they’re waiting on school/company returning form 18A and my final salary, yet another delay and of course I fear they’ll fill it in wrongly. I can understand the weird feeling but that was the deal where we provide a public service for a relatively low remuneration and an OK pension, the sociopathic kleptos have no feelings of guilt.
    love Duncan


  4. Den’s first 2 hour surfing lesson last week – he stood up a few times eventually, after much methodological analysis of the technique, and felt old as a 30 year old australian dude gave him ‘much respect’ for even trying at the advanced age of 57! Cairo of course (aged 9) rode the wave standing on his first attempt. Will send link to pics….

    Don’t pressure yourself to move on to ‘the next thing’ too quickly – took me a year to adjust to not being an employee any more, not entirely of my choosing and with the necessity of continuing to earn for a few years (but with the world your lobster how does one choose?)- and that was without the crab. The horizon of free time and endless sunset coffees and spritzers doesn’t look the same close up. In the spaces between tending the garden, cooking more thoughtfully and staring into space, a new rhythm and meaning will surface. At times anyway….

    the well-worn skin-mind layer of believing in and having had to create our own self-definition through enforced labour for an overlord takes some time to slough off.
    much love to you, and all from us all.


  5. I confirm I also missed the blog during your holiday. I still checked it every day even though you said you wouldn’t be posting for a while!


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