Celtic Illumination, part 380, Leading from the front.
It’s absolutely fantastic the way many of you, The Illuminati, support me and back me up with your very own research, comments and suggestions. Only yesterday Frances O Neill, sent me a lovely report detailing the genetic imprint of Niall of the Nine Hostages. Frances, as some of you may remember, is very heavily into Irish research and would be our very own specialist in Irish monarchical studies. Niall of the Nine Hostages was the first in the long line of O Neill Kings of Ireland and Prof Dan Bradley of Trinity College Dublin has now proven that where some families might, genetically, pass on green eyes, or blond hair, or a particular skill or ability, a specific group of O Neill’s in the North West of Ireland, linked all the way back to Niall of the Nine Hostages, share ulnar polydactyly which he believes is associated with a cis-regulatory element. So now that science is on my side there shouldn’t be much problem in anyone believing that I am the High Chief of the Clan O Neill and therefore the true High King of Ireland. Chosen by God, backed up by science and supported by you lot, The Illuminati.
We should now all raise a glass, or two, and celebrate, don’t worry about it I’m paying, so cheers and bottoms up. And believe it or not drinking is what I was going to speak about today. Strange the way these paragraphs seem to come together, I’ll have to look in to how they do that one day, it’s quite freaky when you think about it. I read a small report yesterday, although I also read some heavy scientific papers about genetic research and biased polyphenism of a spontaneous complex variation, but it was the small report on a military site that made me smile and I hoped I would be able to pass that on to you. It also made me think of the differences between the military and civilian working relationships. Civilians seem to accept failure, as if it is usual, whereas in the military there is no such thing as failure. But what interested me was the underlying knowledge that teamwork was the key to success, teamwork, something the military person practised, while civilians could only talk about it.
I was trying to think of some raucous times I might have had with NWCS, but found it very hard to recall any drunken shenanigans. A new fellow did arrive who showed promise, he was an ex Royal Marine and we immediately clicked. That’s the thing about military men, and women, there is a sort of unwritten understanding. I still approached my work with a military head on, whatever Richard asked the managers to do I would do twice that, if not three times. I volunteered for anything and everything, playing Santa at the Christmas children’s party, organising social events, joining all sorts of committees and attending the most ridiculous courses possible. I understood that having a good attendance record was not the key to getting promoted. I used the same model as we had in the forces which was that it didn’t matter how good you were at your job, it was your secondary duties that got you promoted.
Reading what I have previously written many of you may think that a lot of what was happening in the learning disabilities field was made up as people went along, and you would be right, even the government was making it up as they went along. A government white paper was to be introduced called Valuing People and it would set out an ambitious and challenging programme of action for improving services. Richard wanted all of us to be at the leading edge of this event so asked me to book a weekend retreat where we could come together as a team and discuss the forthcoming white paper. I would have thought this a little ambitious on Richard’s part, but I waited so see how much I had to spend on booze before making any decisions. Well; how can you have a decent discussion about government stuff without some booze?
I actually booked Rhydtalog, where I used to take the cadet squadron, however it had changed hands and claimed to have had half a million pounds spent on it on improvements. Seems that some of the funny handshake brigade had wangled a grant from the National Lottery fund. I was really impressed when I arrived to find that money had been spent on the place, it was double glazed, had clear water coming out of the taps and even had heating. There were still the three main buildings but I warned everyone that the smallest of the three buildings was known as the morgue and was haunted. Surprisingly everyone chose to find accommodation in the other two blocks. My new Royal Marine friend and myself took the keys to the morgue, because I knew it was now a self-contained cottage, with its own kitchen and sumptuous bathroom, but it was still haunted of course.
Richard arrived with his three service managers and was waiting at the main entrance door when the caretaker announced that he had handed everything over to the boss, me, and hoped we all had a good time. Well; I was in charge. I knew the first thing we had to do, when discussing a government white paper, was to have an alcohol based game of rounder’s, a sort of baseball for the physically challenged. Then we had an alcohol based quiz, which I felt had us all relaxed enough to begin discussing the white paper. Unfortunately some of the mangers were lightweights when it came to alcohol and were as relaxed as farts. We sat outside in the moonlight drinking beer and having a laugh. Richard had left early as he had some important business to attend to. So we lit a camp fire, Richard should have stayed and led us in a few verses of Kumbaya.
The evening drew to a natural close, which as you all know, means the booze was running out. Myself and my marine retired to the haunted cottage and got ourselves in to bed. Now, before any of you preverts start, we were not sleeping together, well; we were, but he was in the bed next to me. I don’t mean he was next to me in bed I mean he was in another bed that was alongside the one I was in. It was dawn and I can remember saying that I needed a drink. Before you know it the marine is up and out of his bed. He sprints to the double doors and out through them, to the main hall, where he collects whatever booze he can lay his hands on and then returns triumphant. There were still one or two people lying about the camp fire and most were wondering why a naked man was running about the place collecting bottles of booze.
He managed to find some whiskey and some Baileys which we mixed together and drank and which we discovered made a very good sleeping draught. We returned to Liverpool and we all probably dealt with our hangovers in our own particular way. Not one word had been spoken about the government white paper although everyone had taken their copy with them. I do believe that this is the way most companies dealt with the white paper and how they could contribute toward it. I wasn’t being facetious but I couldn’t see how one white paper could deal with so many individual problems, it wasn’t written in such a way and it was obvious that the government, or those advising them, hadn’t a clue what they were doing, it really was making it up as they went along. Even the great American leaders in the learning disability movement didn’t seem to be able to steer the beast in any specific direction.
I only wished that I could have had some more military men around me or military men involved in the upper echelons of the learning disability and mental health fields. Not only would the whole shooting match been sorted out but we would have had a laugh doing it. Which reminds me, the article I read yesterday, that made me write what I did today. Well, seems that a certain squadron had a party in a mess. A senior, bomber command, squadron, commanding officer, found himself in hospital with a heavily plastered shoulder and upper arm. He was required to fill out a detailed report on how he had received his injury as it was now affecting his capability to fly and therefore the combat readiness of his squadron. He wrote that he had been standing on the mantelpiece, drinking beer from a fire bucket, when he became disorientated and fell off. Unfortunately, he continued, when I hit the floor the Air Officer Commanding ran over me with his motorcycle and I passed out. I wonder which white paper they had been dealing with that night?