Monday 28 November 2011

Social Security: a Person Centred Approach?

It seems to me the government are missing a trick, when looking at getting those in receipt of benefits for sickness and disability back into work they should be thinking in terms of working with the whole person and their situation, not just their work life.

It should be seen more like a health issue (which it is, "occupational health" being such an appropriate term in this context), I have never met anyone who is sick or disabled who doesn't wish they could work, so why can't we actually stop treating "customers" (a grossly misleading term to me when people using the DWP have no choice of provider at all!) as if they are a problem to be managed but people, to be encouraged and helped in order to become all that they can be?

Within Health care and Social care comes case conferences, where the various different "stakeholders" (that is, people with an interest in a person and their well-being) discuss the subject and their needs, plan interventions, with said subject's views being seen as equal.

I'm not saying by any margin that this approach works perfectly currently or that it is without its pitfalls, however I believe that it is seen as the best practice approach in both fields IIRC.

Therefore I propose a shift in Social Security that works with a person centred approach, where you can have case conferences with all stakeholders having a say, GPs, claimants, DWP staff, specialists, occupational therapists etc. all getting together to discuss the amount of work appropriate for a person, the type, quality, etc.

Volunteering should be seen as a viable option for rehabilitation and all these disparate agents should come together to enable long term achievable goals as partners invested in the best outcome for the claimant.

I see absolutely no benefit in getting people off of social security when they will end up back on benefits again and again because they were only found temporary work, or they couldn’t cope with the practicalities of the job, I reckon that it would save money in the long term, improve health outcomes (especially in mental health morbidity) and decrease overall social exclusion if we all worked together for the benefit of all.

I literally have no idea why/how people can have the view that kicking already disadvantaged and ill and disabled people when they are already so down as to have to require help from the state to survive and further disenfranchising them helps anyone, I don’t see that it saves tax payers money. All I can see is that further disabling poor people a new form of serfdom is introduced, cheap, uninformed, uneducated labour. I literally cannot think of another reason.

That makes me sad, but then I think about my proposal and think, well let’s do that then, seems like a good idea to me and what could we possibly have to lose (other than, cheap, uninformed, uneducated labour)?

All about ME!

Right, this is my new name, my new look, my new everything on the way to intergrating everything together.
I'm also planning to merge my jewellery blog and this blog under a few tags that will be new to keep things together.

I've not been making jewellery lately, but I have been blogging so therefore it made no sense to me to have the jewellery blog languishing, while this one goes from strength to strength.

If you have any suggestions please let me know :-)

Friday 25 November 2011

Taking the Blog Forward

Hi, after a period of messed up physical and mental health I've not been updating this blog much at all, I've not really been doing much jewellery or lampwork either, I'm not giving up, I am just taking a break for as long as it takes, in the meantime I'm thinking of combining this blog with my "personal" blog "The Womble of Cambridge". I would Label all of my jewellery and lampwork related posts and they would link to facebook as before but it would be more integrated and I think I would feel happier.

Anyways, I thought I would let everyone know of my intention, I will find a way to make it work, but I equally don't want to keep this blog unloved and unposted in when my personal blog is very active. Since there are 7 people who follow this blog I was going to suggest that anyone who fancies follow my other blog (link at the top right of the page) and eventually I shall integrate the two and have this one bow out since it is lesser used.

Thursday 24 November 2011

Ceri the drama queen

I should have a coronation or something!
I want a party god damn it!
I am a drama queen, I was I think first told this by my English teacher who was also, rather ironically my drama teacher (I do hope this actually does count as irony, unlike the Alanis Morrisette’s lack of/abundance of cutlery!), at the point at which I was told this I was storming out of the classroom after standing up and shouting at her for what I perceived to be some major injustice against of one of my friends. 
Needless to say I was a teenager at the time; this was the tip of the iceberg when it came to drama-queening. I should have had a bloody crown, a big gold tiara crown, with sparkles, and a sceptre saying “Drama Queen, Monarch of the lesser actors” around the pole bit!

Nah, I wasn’t that bad I don’t think, however, although I have gotten significantly better over the years, I still have the inbuilt responses of a drama queen, externally I may be holding it together quite well, in any situation in life something doesn’t go my way I internally overreact and one of 2 possible scenarios becomes law.

The first one is based on the principle that I am bad, I am the worst of the worst of all people and Beelzebub himself will come and jam hot pokers into my eyeballs whilst giving me a wedgie and stretching my eyelids over my skull and toasting me over a fire because of the badness that is my existence.

The second one is that I am good, in fact I am such a good person I am the martyr of everyone and everyone around me will eventually be so transfixed and convinced of my inherent goodness that their brains will start to melt and they will defenestrate themselves to escape the knowledge that I am considerably nicer than them, and they shall see!

The thing is, nobody ever bothered to tell my drama queen self that I don’t actually believe in a binary existence, in good and evil, so it now seems completely superfluous to me to keep them hanging around, yet, time and time again, when anything dares to sneak under my skin, if anything insults my feeling of general zombie-like life having then I will then flail around in a fit of ennui that has to be witnessed to be believed.

It is quite simply ridiculous and I would be quite happy to not have it bother me anymore, I would be much happier I think if I could just shrug it off but I think it’s probably left over tantruming that I didn’t do when I was little (I did apparently stop throwing tantrums impressively early when I discovered bargaining!) but I would like me to get a new paradigm please because this middle class protestant good and evil crap is quite honestly not getting me anywhere any time fast.

Honestly, all that happens is that I flip and flop and then decide that actually I'm not either thing and decide to play another game with different rules! But hey, at least my flipping and flopping now doesn't last for years!

Sunday 20 November 2011

What is twitter to me?

Twitter's "Fail Whale" (displayed during outages)
has now become almost as ubiquitous
as the Microsoft "Paperclip" once was.

I'm not even entirely sure why I'm writing this when I'm fairly sure that the only people who ever read this blog are on twitter already!

However, it's becoming abundantly clear to me that to "get" it you have to be in it.
It's like the Matrix; you have to see it for yourself. So I guess I felt I would try to put into words what twitter is for me.

Twitter is a cross between Facebook and an instant messaging platform; you are limited to 140 characters, so updates tend to be concise. I think what people don't get is the social bit of the social network aspect of twitter. It is honestly one of the most supportive environments I have ever experienced, it is as involving as you let it become and is much more than simple status updates.

Because everything on twitter is public (other than direct messages and messages from protected accounts) it’s a very open environment, because of the way it works you can see conversations between the people you “follow” take place in front of you. In this way you can jump in when appropriate (and sometimes not so appropriate). 

It very much has the feeling of being in a pub or a coffee shop with conversations taking place all around you; you can pick up and drop conversations more easily than in real life.
In my opinion, the absolute key to a successful relationship with twitter is numbers. If you follow less than about 60 people (and by people I do not mean celebrities) you just don’t get the interactions that make it work.

In order to know who to follow I would suggest simply ask someone who you already follow, if you’re completely new to twitter and have no ideas then maybe do a search on subjects that interest you, as your circle of followers and followees opens up you will probably need a client like Tweetdeck or Seismic to enable you to be able to truly experience it.

Twitter is like all the best and worst parts of social interactions, except there’s less rules to stop you having to endure the bad bits!

At this point I really wouldn’t be without it, I get most of my news from it (albeit I wait until someone like Reuters or the Beeb posts about it before believing it at face value) you learn what you can trust, same as with any other form of media.

 I tend to be better informed about current events than I used to be, however, there is the slight issue of being too connected, a twitter buddy once wrote a blog post about the difficulty in “switching off” (see @Puffles2010) and I understand the issue only too well; however, I feel that in general the benefits massively outweigh the bad bits.

What I do find is that other people just don’t understand why I am so taken with what seems to them to be a social network akin to Facebook or something, which seems to be filled with subversive political monsters or narcissistic celebrities (how the “mainstream media” tend to portray it) possibly dependant on the day of the week and the wind direction as far as I can tell.

I think one of the most important points about twitter is that it is, like life, what you make it, however, I really love the interconnectedness of this interface.
And yes, if I’m honest, it does feel a bit like being part of Borg v 0.00000.00027 but you know what? Bring it on! What could possibly go wrong? *winky face*

Am I completely insane to feel like I am part of a huge network people connected by ideas and art and humour and politics and TV or not? What do you think?

Saturday 19 November 2011

The hat of cunning!

some of you may be aware of the series Firefly, or the film Serenity, if you're not then what are you even doing here? Huh? HUH? GO WATCH IT NOW!
On the wonderful ship called Serenity there is a man called Jayne, there was once a song about him...

Right, so anyways, I decided I wanted to get me some of that mighty fine hat looking action so I got myself a fivers worth of wool and a pattern and with the help of @MargoJMilne I set about knitting it on straight needles for that was all I had.

I set about knitting, I knitted in front of the telly, I knitted in bed, I knitted on the bus, in a car, on a train, I knitted in Cambridge, I knitted in Leeds, I knitted a whole load of places is basically what I'm saying!
Finally, one cold autumn evening it was done! I stopped boring my twitter friends with inane innuendo about flaps, and instead started on the pom-pom euphemisms and shouting about tangled yarn.

So then I sewed on the pom-pom and sewed up the seem in the back and it was done!
and now I have a cunning hat, I look fabulous in it! Don't say I don't coz I know you be lying coz you're jealous of the hat, I have one, you don't!

the cunning hat!

Friday 18 November 2011

The Party of Revolutionary Wombles (updated)

Due to doing yesterdays silly comic thingy, I spent a fair amount of time making a womble avatar!
This imediately caught on and I had a load of avatars to make!

These are the current ones I have produced, if you would like one of these beautiful avatars then just let me know! @cainglain on twitter, you know the drill.
Now 10 avatars produced!

Thursday 17 November 2011

The Lie of Capitalism!

This is what the capitalists want! They want me to have all the pretty things but I must resist believing their lies and remember the reality of purchasing things with all my moneys! Ohhh.... Shiny! WANT!

Tuesday 15 November 2011

The Bleh!

Ok, so today I've been feeling ok for most of the day and had loads of fun with my sister but then the evening fell, she went home and the bleh hit.

The world has a different quality to it when I feel like this, it goes from being scary to completely devoid of any hope, death and destruction seem like an inevitability and anything other than waiting for this to occur seems like pure folly!

When I say the world has a different quality I mean a very real and tangible difference, it's like the colour has changed, or the warmth has gone from the room, it's very odd because I don't know how to describe it but I must not be alone in this experience. The only thing anywhere near close is my migraine aura.

When I say that I am down, that I feel bleh, it's not that I feel upset, the other day I had the demons of times past trying to bite at my emotions while I tried to sleep in vain, this isn't like that, I'm not upset, there's literally nothing wrong.

Except that EVERYTHING is wrong, and everything is dark, and hard and sharp and has corners and is like biting tinfoil, and the world is entirely devoid of hope to the point where there is NO point fighting it.
Only experience tells me that it's not, that my mind is playing tricks on me, that I will be better tomorrow, when the sun rises, so will my disposition etc. etc. but just now, tonight, there is absolutely 100% no point to anything ever, I will ALWAYS end up on my own, without anything or anyone, because that's how it's meant to be, everything else in life is a distraction from the cold, hard, reality of life.

And I don't need hugs, and I don't need chocolate, I just need it to stop.

I said I wouldn't analyse myself when I'm like this, I'm not, I'm just chronicling how it feels to be it.
I just want everything to stop, I don't want to feel warm and safe even, because in my heart I know it's a lie.

I'm such a joy to be around, aren't I?

Monday 14 November 2011


Stop the division!
I am sick of everything being “fat girls this” “thin girls this” When having an issue with a “#fatstippernames” hashtag how does it actually help to come in with a “#fatgirlsarebeautifulbecause” hashtag? While I obviously agree that any hashtag aimed at making fun of people is a horrible thing and that the hashtag causes great offence, however is the other one actually much better? Especially when filled with venom about “thin girls”!
Why do we feel the need to split ourselves into right and wrong, good and bad? Can we not actually just be individuals, all beautiful in our way? Can we not aim to validate people by their uniqueness, or their hearts, or hell, by their looks, but not by attempting to belittle others? Fat girls can be beautiful because they frigging are! Skinny girls can be nice because they are! Why does a hashtag meant to make people feel better just become a way of being snarky about the moral values or looks of the other people?
Let’s all just be wonderful ok? Don’t need to make other people small to make yourself happier, we can all do it! We can all be lovely, ok? Coz we are!
That simple!

Occupy - Politics Rant

I made a massive train booking fail that meant Faye and I were taking trains home that were 2 hours apart. I attempted to change it but apparently this was going to cost over £50!!!! To take the train 2 hours earlier I wouldn’t/couldn’t do it and so I had 2 hours to kill.

Lovely place!

I went to visit the Occupy Leeds protest in City Square. We walked past on the Friday but they hadn’t set up yet and I hadn’t been in that area of the city since. So anyways, I arrived, was greeted with a friendly hello, a safe place to store my bags while I hung out with them and a cuppa!

We chatted about all sorts, there was an ITV Journalist there who conducted an interview, there were people coming to and fro, there were members of the public who were asking about the camp, or wanting to discuss the politics behind it, wanting to express solidarity, donating food or just saying Hi.

So yeah, the overwhelming feeling was that of being invited into a family as soon as I arrived. My overwhelming feeling from the movement is that we want more equality; whether people are there for financial, political or social reasons they want a fairer society. Whether Socialist, or Communist or anti-capitalist, or anarchist or whatever, they want everyone to be happy, they are unhappy with the current stratified system whereby the rich get richer, while the poor get poorer.

It was wonderful to feel so welcomed, and I loved the feeling of acceptance, I highly recommend that you go check it out! Take some soup, or biccies, or just yourself!

Apparently they have enough teabags
(The ranty bit)
People tend to ask what the point is, when the system can’t/wont/might not change, to them I ask, what other choice do these people have? How can someone trapped within make a difference? When we live in a society where it costs more than 1 million (I can probably dig out a reference from somewhere if anyone needs it) to become an MP. A country where 1 vote makes naff all difference, and when we do get out and vote 50% turnout is unmanageable, where violence is condemned yet  peaceful protest is thought of as ineffective and pointless. What are we meant to do when the rich wish us to feel powerless and lucky to gain the handouts we can, to clean the crumbs from the table and to be thankful for it?

This is what we do! This is how we make ourselves heard, Louise Mensch said that if you embrace coffee, that if you benefit from capitalism or any system one assumes, that you cannot complain about it. To her I ask whether she would try the same logic on a slave, that if you live in a house owned by your owner, that you eat the food given to you by them, that you wear the clothes given to you by them then you must necessarily be fine with being in bondage?!

Quite frankly, Bollocks! That is the most ridiculous logic I have ever heard!
Apologies if this is a bit fragmented... I’m feeling headachy on a train and I don’t have a coherent head!

Friday 11 November 2011

My Week in Pictures

This week I am up north! I didn't go to see Jimmy Fixitman off, even though I am in Leeds, I had no desire to go see an ostentatious coffin, I am having some simple time, it's good! Family and friends and stuff are GOOD!
Me and Faye

Dad and Brother

Faye, me, Dad, Brother! All of us are sitting on sofas this week, like wonderful sofa sitting people!

This is what I arrived up north to! An odd welcome!

I bought socks!

Saw the Handiest dusch EVER!
Bought EXPENSIVE SOCKS! (£8 for 2 pairs M&S)
Went for lunch and had a huge burger!

Dressed like someone from the 1970s!

These are horses outside my Dad's house!
I woke up!

I also started a Role Playing game
with My Bother and Dad
It's based around the Call of Cthulu system
and based vaguely on the setting in
this book, but in the
London Underground rather than the
Russian Metro
Right, done loads more but these are the bits I choose to tell you of! Maybe next week I shall tell you of the visit to the Evanescence concert and the trip back down south!

Thursday 10 November 2011

Finding Self

I always worry when I write, obviously, I’m just me; I’m not an expert in anything and I don’t research these ramblings, so don’t expect me to be coherent or able to defend everything I write with fervour and knowledge, we clear? Ok!

Seems to me that Finding ourselves is kind of the point, otherwise, what is it pray tell? Other than having little people and making them somewhat less fucked up than ourselves and making the world a less sucky place I think finding out who we are is pretty much the it!

It seems  to me that sometimes people don’t actually understand how much their words hurt, I know I generally don’t ever mean to cause actual hurt, let alone with words and choose to believe that this is true for the rest of the human race!

The alternative is horrible and I discount it as stupid!

It seems to me that the clever people in this world have the bull by the horns, have hit the nail on the head so to speak and are all too keenly aware that they have to be ok with themselves, and become a person that they can love and live with, that they need to accept who they are, or change their expectations. That is, they need to be a whole person, to be enough for them! The other people are the gravy!

The less self aware people of this world are constantly hiding from themselves or busy pretending they are ok, because they’re too scared to be alone; we’re scared of not being good enough. Then the blame comes in, we all scrabble for fulfilment, we grab at each other hoping to fill the hours, the days, our lives; with some kind of meaning and when someone takes what we perceive as happiness away we blame, we hurt and we attack.

Secret is though, you are responsible for your happiness, you are not single-handedly responsible for the rest of the world’s, for me part of making me happy is making the world a more friendly place, a better place where people can live and love and learn and all that crap! However, that’s ME, it’s making ME happy, it’s not selfless or altruistic, it’s self interested. I consider being ‘nice’ to be a huge part of being happy, and therefore I have to include it.

You don’t need to hide or worry though because why do you need to be ok with others? Why are you not good enough? Because they’re busy trying to tell you you owe them happiness! How selfish is that? Never sell yourself short, you are responsible for you and yours, if someone is a threat to that it’s not your fault, it’s that bastards fault, don’t forget it and give yourself some slack!

Also time, give yourself some time...

In fact give yourself some time, a cup of tea and a biscuit!

*goes off to find a biscuit*

Friday 4 November 2011

My Week in Pictures!

It's not Thursday, I forgot to do it yesterday due to having a life and that sort of thing.

This week I did a fair amount of walking in woods, and falling over in woods!

Mushroom from Brownsfield

Gates to get into Devil's Dyke

Me in the process of falling over
Thanks for the photo mum!

There was cooking for my Grandparent's freezer and lunch!

Beef stew went down very well
though next time I'd make it with ale, not cider!

Carrot and Mixed Veg soup, most of which
is now in my freezer due to lack of space!

Then there has also been geekery of the highest order!

My Bro's 'Avatar of a blood god'

My Bro's old Yu-Gi-Oh! Pogs!

I have decided to knit a Jayne Hat!
Need to get red wool though!

Other assorted pictures I liked from this week are

I quite want one of these! VERY CUTE

I went to hobbycraft and there was all manner of
wonderous craftastic items!

New store in the grafton centre
has lots of these types of postcards!

Dunno if I'll get one done next week! I am away doing all sorts of stuff up norf!

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Devil's Dyke

The way we went in, I love this entrance!

Went to grandparents again today, on the way back we stopped off at Devil's Dyke; boundary of the old village of a peoples called the Catuvellauni tribe, they lived near Wheathampstead.
I also lived in Wheathampstead until I was almost 8! This, to me at the time was obviously some kind of sign of my immense importance and I looked at this woody ditch with a kind of reverence, it was special, it was symbolic of me in some way that I can't describe.


So yeah, we went for a little walk there because we fancied it, It was pretty and autumny and lovely! I like being in places to walk and that sort of thing. Mainly because I like the change of pace and I like peace and quiet and having a break for a few moments because I can "recover" from the "sickness" of modern life and stuff, all the trappings of computers and tellys and lights and the binding feeling I can get from spending my life to engrossed in them can be relieved by being in nature for a bit!

I searched for the familiar landmarks I was used to but some of the trees that fell in the storm of '87 aren't there anymore, it's changed but it's just the same in so many ways, I even fell over! Also got dog poo on my shoe!

One of the fallen trees from the '87 storm!

I also met a friendly friendly cat! This is without doubt the most friendly cat EVER and we discovered from meeting his slave just down the path a bit that his name is Bailey! I bent down to say hello and he tried to jump up, I then picked him up for a cuddle since he seemed to want one, he then climbed on my shoulder and wouldn't get off! He wanted to be cuddled and cuddled! He then refused to get down and insisted on being held much as one would hold a baby over a shoulder. But yes, he came on the walk for a bit before his doggy friend said hello and he went home!

Then we went to the car and got in and went home! (having removed my shoes!)