Warden controlled flat; South Devon, 2007: With dementia dreams merge with reality.  A sufferer cannot tell the two apart.  The often surreal, mythical and sometimes downright scary scenes played out in dreams no longer sit in a twilight parallel universe.  They merge with the day-to-day events experienced during the waking hours.  At least that’s what happened to my aged, now deceased Dad as he sunk further and further into the mire before having to go into a home for the terminally bewildered.

This tale is of his time aged 88 years in a warden controlled flat by the sea. I had decided a drive along the coast as he didn’t get out a lot and thought a bit of sea air would do him a power of good. I should add that prior to the dementia kicking in he was a man who rarely swore.  Whatever, as I arrived to pick him up the conversation went thus;

“You alright Dad, you look a bit unsteady old chap?”

“What a fucking night I’ve had”.

“What’s up mate?”

“All fucking night, those fucking bastard Chelsea pensioners have been having a party in my front room.  Fucking loads of them, loud music and prostitutes as well – the dirty bastards.  I didn’t get a wink of sleep.”

“Sure you didn’t dream it Dad?”

“No I didn’t fucking dream it.  I’ve spent the last few fucking hours cleaning up the mess.  Beer cans everywhere; fag ends, and fucking used condoms.  The dirty fucking bastards.”

I checked Dad’s bin – it was empty.  His carpet was spotless.

“What sort of music?”  I idly enquired.

“Fucking bagpipes.  They had the fucking Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders band with them.  Never stopped playing.  You should have heard the noise.” 

“Why didn’t you just tell them to piss off,” I said playing along with Dad in order to attempt to get to the bottom of the matter whilst wondering how he had so readily pin pointed the specific regiment.

“Tell them to piss off?  Who do you think I am, fucking Hercules?  There were loads and loads of them.  I got a bit scared to tell you truth so I just stayed in bed.”

“Best we go out for a drive, don’t you think?” 

“Yes, I’d like that.”

On our drive out I tried to convince Dad that last night’s events were all a figment of his imagination, yet he was having none of it.  Such was the power of Dad’s vivid nocturnal hallucinatory fiction that very soon it supplanted the authenticity of the waking hours.  Like fledgling Cuckoos establishing a home of their own, his fantasies evicted or devoured what few brain cells that remained intact within the nest of his grey matter. Not only was my Dad on the Looney Toons team bus he’d now made it into the first team squad and was in the starting line up!

Then one day the old boy had a funny turn. He was in the Day Care unit in a local hospital when he collapsed.  I guess he was in the ideal place really.  He had had a history of these mini strokes caused by him having angina.  The duty doctor was called for immediately and Dad was sent over to the main hospital what with the local one having no serious casualty facilities.  He was only kept in for a couple of days before being released.  However, in his short time there he drove the nursing staff to distraction.   The problem was that he believed he was on a film set – with him playing the leading role!

“They will set up the camera again in a minute or two,” said Dad to Shirley (my wife) when she popped over to pay him a visit.

“What camera Jim?”

“The one for the film.  Surely you must know that?”

“You’re in hospital Jim.”

“Am I?   I don’t think so.   They’ll be sending my script down in a minute.  You can stay and watch if you like – as long as you keep quiet and out of the way.”

“OK Jim.”

And so it went on.  Shirley had a chat with one of the nurses who, exasperated said simply that no-one could get any sense out of the old boy.  She said he even thought he was on film when eating his lunch.  We thought it prudent to leave him thinking he was a born again Robert Mitchum (his favourite actor from the old days).  He got a bit upset when we tried to tell him otherwise.

A young lady, something of an expert in such matters visited Dad in hospital and after running a few memory tests put a report into Dad’s GP confirming that Jim Steeden had walked the plank of lunacy and was now drowning in the sea of his own fantasies – although she was a tad more eloquent than that.   After that he ended up in the care home where not long after he was to die in his sleep. Poor old sod.

As with the tale previously posted (see link below) I thought long and hard about going public with this one – the thing is I know he wouldn’t mind – in fact he’d have a laugh about the whole thing!


Israel Launch Retaliatory Strike On Maternity Hospital Following Tel Aviv Woman’s Dust On Washing Claim


5 star serious satire!

Originally posted on SOZ SATIRE:

wounded child

Stop this fucking butchery! Damn you all to hell!

Israeli jet fighters have attacked and destroyed a maternity hospital in Gaza in what is believed to be a retaliatory strike after a woman in Tel Aviv reported dust particles on her sheets, possibly caused by debris from a Hamas rocket, which exploded 40 miles away in a nearby, uninhabited desert region The incident took place shortly after she’d hung them out to dry yesterday afternoon.

The sustained attack by F-16 Fighting Falcons has reportedly completely destroyed the hospital resulting in the deaths of at least 50 pregnant women and 23 newborn infants, according to the latest United Nations estimates.

A spokesman for The Israeli Defence Force told a press conference “While we regret the loss of life we cannot just stand idly by while our womenfolk have their washing ruined by terrorist factions. This poor women had only just hung…

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“Well I’ve never seen the like of it Freda girl. I mean to say corrosion being the complex series of reactions between the water and metal pipes in which the water is transported leading to oxidation certainly had discoloured your drinking water to the point it had become toxic – fucking lucky you called me out when you did. Still, all sorted out now luv.”

“Oh Jonny I’m ever so grateful – I was at my wits end.”

“No problem Freda – think it’s time we both had a nice cup of cha and a garibaldi biscuit wouldn’t go amiss either. Tell you what if that back of yours is still giving you jip I’ll go make it for us shall I?”

“You’re an angel Jonny, thanks.”

“There you go service with a smile – better dunk the old biscuit while your cuppa’s still hot. Best way in my book. Anyhow what’s new on the old painting front?”

“Was that a metaphor I just heard you cheeky rascal you…….whatever, I’m into self-portraits presently Jonny – would you like to kop a gander at the one I’ve just knocked out?”

“Too bloody true I would girl.”

“I’d be curious to get your take on this one Jonny………voila, ‘The Broken Column’ it’s called.”

“Fuck me Freda you haven’t really done yourself justice have you girl…….I mean the old mono brow notwithstanding and as God is my witness you’re a fine figure of a woman and that’s the truth. I don’t get this one at all.”

“Well I originally painted myself entirely naked then decided that that was a bit old hat and thought it a sound idea if I painted over it in a surreal style that reflected my physical and psychological struggles rendered visible through distortions of my body, which is fragmented, doubled, turned inside-out, and merged with non-human elements.  Metal nails pierce my face, breasts, arms, and torso, as well as my upper thigh, hidden behind a swath of cloth revealing just how exposed I feel with regard to the vagaries of life following the bus crash all those years ago.”

“Blige only you could make a life time of chronic back ache sound like rocket science – loosen up Freda luv. If I were you – and I know a thing or two about art – I’d take it back to its original state…you know paint over it again until you’re back in the raw.  I’m feeling a firming in my parts just thinking about it.”

“Tell you what Jonny how about it if I give you the original sketch I scribbled before setting to work on the painting……….you know before I changed it to The Broken Column.”

“You’d do that for me Freda!  You really do have a heart of gold.  Freda Mahlo devoid of kit – it doesn’t get any better than that girl. Can’t wait to tell the boys down the pub – you’ve made my day.”

“There you go then Jonny I’ve even framed it for you….it’s all yours.”

“Thanks, I’d better be off……well as soon as a certain swelling subsides thus allowing me to stand erect – so to speak.”

“Don’t let that embarrass you Jonny, there’s not a lot I haven’t seen or done. And you really are a living legend Jonny.”



One I wrote earlier for The League of Mental Men!

Originally posted on The League Of Mental Men:


“Crikey it’s been a couple of months has it not H? Thought you’d died and gone to rummage off in the bins of utopia.”

“True Ron I’ve not been putting myself about much lately. You know me…..when I get the urge to have a jolly good rummage all else takes second place. And rummage I have been doing old chap.”

“So you’ve had a bit of luck on that front then?”

“Oh yes Ron I certainly have mate – cop a gander at this snap I located just yesterday in a cast iron bin in Halifax.”

“What’s that then H…’s just a photograph of a slug. What on earth is so special about that?”

“Not a slug mate….no, no, no, no, no. This, my friend is a first. My anthropologist chums will be rubbing their hands together with glee over it. This is Pandora Snail in the raw i…

View original 353 more words



Can’t find this any place on the ‘reader’ hence I shall try a ‘re-blog’ thing. Cannot fathom WordPress presently!

Originally posted on mikesteeden:

gloom 3

“Good morrow Doctor Gloom and might I say you look a happy, spritely soul this fine day. What Sir are you drinking?”

“Pint of your usual gnat’s piss landlord and what pray is this upbeat greeting all about? It’s freezing cold out there; pissing with rain and I’m soaked fucking through.”

“Oh come on Gloomo do fucking cheer up – everyday it’s the same. You cast a shadow of negativity upon my establishment such that my regular punters have started complaining. I was just trying to cheer you up a bit. Obviously it hasn’t worked. Anyway what’s new?”

“Mind your own fucking business you nosey twat but if you must know I’ve been robbed of my brand new baseball bat.”


“Yes, ‘really’ you see I took it upon myself to collect said baseball bat that I had pre-ordered from Sports Direct on my way to this piss poor boozer…

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gloom 3

“Good morrow Doctor Gloom and might I say you look a happy, spritely soul this fine day. What Sir are you drinking?”

“Pint of your usual gnat’s piss landlord and what pray is this upbeat greeting all about? It’s freezing cold out there; pissing with rain and I’m soaked fucking through.”

“Oh come on Gloomo do fucking cheer up – everyday it’s the same. You cast a shadow of negativity upon my establishment such that my regular punters have started complaining. I was just trying to cheer you up a bit. Obviously it hasn’t worked. Anyway what’s new?”

“Mind your own fucking business you nosey twat but if you must know I’ve been robbed of my brand new baseball bat.”


“Yes, ‘really’ you see I took it upon myself to collect said baseball bat that I had pre-ordered from Sports Direct on my way to this piss poor boozer of yours yet have subsequently gone and had it stolen.”

“Why Gloomo would you want a baseball bat in the first place – that’s what I’d like to know?”

“Wasps, that’s why. I hate wasps with a vengeance. Just last evening one slipped in through the bathroom window no doubt attracted by the sugary emissions from my strawberry flavoured toothpaste and in the flurry of activity that followed it stung me about my parts….you know….down below.”

“Let’s get this right Gloomo, you’re telling me that whilst brushing your teeth naked a wasp stung you on the knob?”

“Yup that’s about the strength of it and that landlord is why I phoned Sports Direct first thing and ordered the baseball bat with a view to beating the living shit out of that specific wasp. It’s trapped in the bathroom as I speak and it’s got it coming to it you see as I doubt if my savaged member will ever be the same again, notwithstanding the fact that the wife’s eyes lit up when she saw the swelling. Of course when I got her to apply the Wasp-Eze lotion that wiped the smile off her unusually hopeful face. She wore rubber gloves mind and refused point blank to accede to my request and adorn herself in the nurse’s uniform from Ann Summers I gifted her for Christmas several decades ago. Waste of fucking money that was if the truth be told.”

“Poor old you – I’m confused though, how on earth did you allow it to be nicked just a short stroll from the pub….I mean Sports Direct is only just up the road?”

“Well as it happens I felt an itching about the nethers – I’m guessing here that that would be an indication of the healing process following the sting – and felt compelled to have a swift scratch. So as not to offend any passing ladies I took it upon myself to enter the empty bus shelter and setting aside the baseball bat for a moment I undid my fly and gave the old todger a surreptitious, yet jolly good clawing.”

“I bet you did.”

“It turned out to be the case that at that very moment the Epsom & Ewell Taliban Committee – all four of them that is – had decided to hold their monthly branch meeting within the same fucking bus shelter.  I overheard them saying that the usual street corner meeting place was off the menu as it was pissing down. Whatever, whilst I was scratching away like a good’un they were going on and on about how they were going to bring Sharia Law to Surrey yet were bolloxed in that they had no weaponry with which to enforce their proposed variation to the tried and tested legal system we have enjoyed for centuries. That is when one of them spotted my baseball bat and said, ‘Here Raj this’ll do won’t it?’ At this Raj said, ‘Nice one Alan mate.’ With that Alan nicked me bat and they all ran off shouting, ‘Loser’ at me and giving me the sign of the wanker. Plainly I could do nothing what with me hands being down me trousers.”

“Not your day really Gloomo old chap. What are you going to do about the wasp then?”

“Fuck knows.”


‘A SNIPER’S GIFT OF A GOODNIGHT KISS’ – A verse of respect and remembrance using just some of the words and phrases gifted us from the trenches of WW1


I was ‘arguing the toss’ with Private Jenkinson

A ‘badmash’ who would not ‘muck in’

The camaraderie of a ‘fair whack’

Simply caused him to grin a foolish grin


And cause a great commotion

Debating who would get to use the ‘dixie’

And fry the ‘bully beef’ and ‘barkers’ up

Yet scoffing it would prove risky


For no sooner had we calmed down

The smell of ‘pear drops’ filled the air

So it was grab the ‘thingumyjig’ mask

And say a little prayer


For no one wants to ‘cop it’

In a ‘cubby hole’ wet and dank

Rather a ‘gasper’ and a ‘lucifer’

It’s the same for any rank


Then the cry ‘over the top’ came

From a ‘brass hat’ of poshest voice

No time for ‘poodlefakers’

No time to think of choice


It was clearly ‘zero hour’

We are to tackle the ‘Squareheads’

Best get to it; our duty

Best not to ‘swing the lead’


The enemy had a ‘field day’ though

I saw Jenkinson ‘cop it’ first

A ‘dum dum’ to the temple

Sadly the poor lad he was cursed


A ‘red tab’ went ‘doolally’

Before we reached the first barbed wire

A ‘Tommy’ in a ‘trench coat’

Was in their line of fire


It was then my turn to ‘cop it’

A snipers gift of a ‘goodnight kiss’

They’d seen us coming though their ‘perisher’

And shot into the abyss


The ‘third man’ I am to be then

The ‘chats’ concern me no more

Won’t dress again in ‘mufti’

A ‘wooden overcoat’ that’s for sure


This field in Flanders will be my grave

I’ll not get back to ‘BIighty’ now

Still better dead than a ‘basket case’

Sadly ‘Mutt and Jeff’ to my ‘outfits’ vow




Tittenhurst Park, England; May 1971: John Lennon has it in mind to really kick off his solo career by writing a belter of a song – a guaranteed best seller. Just one problem though for whilst John has already mapped out the melody as he sits down at his piano with his lover Yoko Ono at his side to pen the lyric of the song ‘Imagine’ he finds himself stuck as to how to finish the very first line.

“John you know this new song what you have called ‘Imagine’ what you’re writing the lyric for even as I speak.”

“Yes Yoko of course I fucking know. What of it?”

“Well do you think I could have a nice little sing-along in it – when you’re recording it, for I so long to do a vocal with you. I’ll try my best…..honest.”

“How many times do I have to tell you Yoko that whilst your singing voice is, I admit, ‘unique’ in truth it sounds like two tabby cats having a shag at best and at worst it shatters glass – hence I wear plastic lenses in me specs. So in short you may not sing-along as you put it. Besides I’m somewhat bolloxed as to how to finish off the crucial first line in the lyric.”

“Oh you can be so cruel Mr Lennon. Anyway let me see if I can help you with the lyric then.  What have you got so far?”

“Imagine there’s no…………’ that’s it. It’s all lyricists block after that.”

“Easy-peasy John.  ‘Imagine there’s no soy sauce left meaning that the rice crackers would have to go both unseasoned and unglazed.’ That would be a disaster don’t you think?”

“The thing is Yoko my vibe for this song is more about getting the listener to imagine a world at peace without the barriers of borders or the divisiveness of religions and nationalities, and to consider the possibility that the focus of humanity should be living a life unattached to material possessions. Where pray do fucking rice crackers come into the frame?”

“My you are in a bad mood today John.  Right then, I’ll have another stab with the old metaphorical Kodachi sword……try this one out for size……. ‘Imagine there’s no………um…..wait for it… it…. ‘Imagine there’s no clean knickers in the chest of drawers the net result of which would be that we’d have to wear none and would thus be truly unattached to our material possessions.’ That must be a racing certainty for your lyric John?”

“God give me fucking strength. No Yoko why can’t you get in the zone….a single word would do…surely that’s not much to ask for?”

“Oh I give up John you are being so very mean today. Look there’s a clear sky tonight we can go for a jolly good walk and that might clear your block on the writing front. You up for it?”

“Suppose so.”

“Do you know John when I look up at the night sky it is as if it is ‘heaven’ itself. Sometimes I ponder the point of what it would be like were it not there.”

“What you mean imagine there’s no ‘heaven’? That’s a very profound thought coming from you luv yet please…..and I cannot over stress this point… not, I repeat do not……distract me when I’m thinking.”




black tie

The coupling of minstrels

An epitaph for an Eden long lost

And drowning in the solace of

Underserved dignity


That I look from afar and

Pray for their well-being

Matters not a jot

Changes nothing

A black tie and the taste of almonds

Spells death to those who have been poisoned


Eyes scanning the night sky

For one last time

Up there a stillborn pock marked sphere

Their terminal vista


The Moon may

Hold sway over the tide

Just, although

Mesmerism is the master of all things

Dare stare at the Sun and

In the instant before the eyelids are rendered redundant

The one of adroit virtuoso will reveal itself


For now though an angry Moon

Remains a prisoner of Empire Earth

Manifestations of its tantrum in sporadic tempests

Irksome yet hardly threatening

Presently at least

Not such a bad thing were it not for mankind,

the black tie and the taste of almonds



juniper 3


Well the headmistress took it upon herself to run IQ Tests on my sweet, darling little 9 year olds to see just how clever they all are. I must admit I almost got carried away with the fun of it all!  The very best bit was getting all the test papers back to mark.

Little – well tiny really – Marie, an adorable child managed 100% and she’ll go far. Even so in life one has to expect that there are those who one day will become brain surgeons and those who will dig holes. Of course one should never feel ashamed of only being fit to dig holes in the road for it means all your limbs are intact and that’s a plus in anyone’s book. Obviously I wouldn’t want to live next door to a ‘hole-digger’ but that’s another issue.

And thus it was that I came to mark the test paper on Denis Thuggery, who in all truth and if he follows his father’s example will likely end up prison one day – still at least the positive there is that it will be of pleasure to Her Majesty and you can’t ask for much more than that can you now.

Denis, a bright boy in many ways at first refused to sit the test – indeed he told me to shove the paper up my arse! It was only when I explained to him I would turn a blind eye to him setting alight ‘again’ to Ms Tomkinson’s rodent collection at playtime he reluctantly agreed.  Denis gave some very unusual answers to the questions – some even made me chuckle at the way he thinks outside the box. Here are a few of the questions and Denis’ answers;

Q: Make a sentence from these scrambled letters G O T A D M G G D S A H A A D Y


Q: When Tracey says 3 + 3 = 7 why has she given the wrong answers?

A: Because she’s a tart and she can’t even park a car

Q: What is a hermaphrodite?

A: You Miss because although you’ve got great big knockers you also have quite a lot of unsightly facial hair befitting a testosterone charged geezer like my dad.

Q: What was Alexander the Great famous for?

A: Being as bent as a butchers hook

Q: What is a philosopher?

A: A tit in a trance

……… and so on.

Right at the end we posed the general question, ‘What subjects could you do better in?’ Denis answered, ‘Spilling’ then added, or perhaps ‘Sex Education – although that would improve beyond all measure if Miss Fervent the gym mistress gave practical demonstrations without any kit on.’

The thing was, ‘Spilling’ aside Denis scored 99% coming second in class to that little – well tiny really – Marie! How very shocked, yet pleased I was for the child.

Who would have expected that? Anyhow with this in mind I penned a short poem for Denis which reads;


Your father’s banged up for GBH in the Scrubs

Your mother I’ve heard is on the game

And your elder brother is out on remand

Awaiting trial, yet claiming he was framed


For beating seven barrels of shit

Out of the parking metre man

He says ‘It weren’t me it were my mate Brian

So fucking Brian can carry the fucking can’

I thought it best to use colloquial English in this verse – how very cosmopolitan of me! I shall be popping around to Denis’ home with a signed framed copy of this poem and really can’t wait to see his reaction which I know in my heart will be one of utter delight.

Must get on now – jolly hockey sticks and all that.