Thursday, November 09, 2017

Why Philosophy Is Important

Philosophy is important, even if the views of each different philosopher can be radically different, and philosophy itself is not a precise science. Thus, how reliable philosophy is remains open to debate.

The importance of philosophy can be understood when we think about things such as ethics, and the fact that from Plato, Socrates and Aristotle right up to the present day, philosophers were impacting on society, and laying down their own theories, which formed a lot of the tenets on which civilization is judged and based.

With philosophy, we have something which are, often unproven, opinions, but they are opinions which often ring true in the human heart. That is why the names of so many philosophers resonate down the centuries. We can almost say that philosophers were the guardians of civilization.

Philosophy is reliable to the extent that logical explanations are sought to explain things, and in philosophy this can be anything from politics to religion to aesthetics, and, as mentioned earlier, ethics.

Human beings have a capacity to never stop looking for answers to questions - whether it be the physical problem solved by early man in discovering fire to keep warm, or with the more modern problems of politicians solving an argument without losing face, but without causing offence either. Continually overcoming problems, often with great ingenuity, throughout the centuries has been the reason the human race has evolved into the most powerful species on the planet. Philosophy may, on the face of it, seem to be of no importance in a practical world, but it is something which has made us think about so many things. Would mankind have been interested in going into space, but not for philosophers wondering for centuries why we were here and where we came from?

Because of philosophy, and it inspiring the urge in successive generations to find answers to many things - from the meaning of life to what defines civilization, we can say that philosophy is extremely important to society. Philosophy wondered about the workings of the universe and the human mind in ancient times, and, as a result, science was prodded into looking, sometimes unethically, for the answers to those questions.

The benefit philosophy has played in the history of mankind has been profound, and though, by itself, philosophy has not provided many answers, it has provided many questions that we have striven to have answered, and are still striving to have answered.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Chinese Herbs That May Be Beneficial For The Mind And Memory

Herbs have been used in Chinese medicine for millennia, dating back to at least 1,000 BC. Chinese medicine has had a controversial reputation in recent years because of the use of parts of endangered animals for alleged medicinal purposes. More acceptable to the rest of the world is Chinese herbology. Chinese herbs can be used to help people with all sorts of ailments, and there are a clutch of Chinese herbs which are considered beneficial for the mind and memory. Listed below are some of the most beneficial.

Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba

Ginseng has an excellent reputation because of how it can boost both physical and mental energy. Ginseng is also a herb which is good for calmness and concentration, and for the memory. Ginkgo biloba is a herb which improves circulation throughout the body, can help with dealing with asthma, improves concentration and clearness of thought, helps to combat depression, and is a major herb used for treating Alzheimer's disease, especially in Europe.

Schizandra Berry, Gotu Kola, Polygala, Gastrodia and Peony

Schizandra berry is a herb which is beneficial to the body and mind in many ways, and aids memory. Gotu kola is a Chinese herb which is very helpful to the circulation, reduces swelling and pain, helps with fighting fever and colds, and has an overall calming effect. Gotu kola boosts the brain and memory. Polygala also helps with regards to memory, and is used to combat Alzheimer’s disease. The tuber plant gastrodia has been used as a treatment for headache and dizziness for centuries in China, and is used as a treatment for stroke, especially with regards to combating vascular dementia. Peony is useful as a treatment for the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia generally.

Hawthorn and Rosemary

Two herbs which are popular elsewhere in the world are hawthorn and rosemary, but they are two important herbs in Chinese herbology. Hawthorn is an antioxidant and is of use for boosting memory. Rosemary is a herb which helps allay bad breath and can combat colds and digestive disorders. Rosemary is known to increase blood flow to the head, is used to treat headaches, and is also of benefit to both memory and concentration.

None of these herbs can be considered miracle cures for the more serious memory problems which can afflict people, but the herbs listed have a proven track record of being beneficial in helping people with memory problems. Seek medical advice if you have any concerns about allergic reactions.

Friday, October 06, 2017

Now Out In Paperback - 50 Great Moments And Memories Of The 1960s

From a British perspective, here's a look back at some of the greatest moments and people from the 1960s, including The Beatles, First Man on the Moon, Woodstock, Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, Twiggy, David Bailey, England winning the World Cup, The Rolling Stones, Martin Luther King, James Bond, Doctor Who and Star Trek.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Brutus - the Rabbit That Changed the World; Chapter Six Extracts

Brutus - the Rabbit That Changed the World
Extracts from Chapter Six - Leppy, Felicity, and Brute

Felicity was often spotted walking her Flemish Giant rabbit, Brutus, on a lead. Brute had a reputation because of his size. But, he seemed a gentle soul. Completing an unusual-looking trio was Felicity's new regular boyfriend, Leopard Lykealot.

Leopard liked wearing a leopard skin print jumpsuit and green, star-framed shades, while Felicity preferred tottering around on 6 inch heels, in a pink mini skirt, green tights, and a tight blue granny cardie. Poor old Brute was lumbered with a pink, black spotted coat - which Felicity thought Brute looked particularly fetching in.

Felicity always considered Brute's feelings, which was just as well. If Leppy and Felicity were eating, and they'd forgotten to feed Brute he'd have a temper tantrum and headbutt his food bowl over. If the food he was served wasn't good enough he'd also do the same. Brutus ruled Felicity and Leppy with a rod of iron, and he wore the trousers in the house - once literally during one of Felicity's whimsical moments.

If guests arrived who Brute didn't take a liking to, then Felicity ensured that they didn't stay long. She only needed to look at Brute to see how the evening was progressing. If Brute didn't like someone he'd just sit and glare at them until they got the message - that it was time for them to leave HIS home.

More Brutus - the Rabbit That Changed the World info, extracts, main characters here:

Brutus - the Fictional Flemish Giant Rabbit

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

101 Poetry Tips - Now Out In Paperback

Along with 101 poetry tips, I've also included some articles, including why poets should have their own website, and how they can promote their poetry online. The book is pocket-sized, so it'll be something you'll be able to dip into wherever you are.

Promoting Your Poetry Online (article extract)

The internet means that anyone has the possibility of promoting their poetry. This is a double-edged sword. It also means that quality control is often lacking, and that there is MUCH more competition than in print media.

There is also the little matter of being a good poet in the first place. You'll need a thick skin, too, as a pat on the back from family and friends may lull you into a false sense of security when it comes to internet snipers lying in wait!

Basically, there are five good ways that you can utilize the internet to promote your poetry.


101 Poetry Tips paperback -

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

50 Great Moments And Memories Of The 1960s, From A British Perspective

50 Great Moments and Memories of the 1960s, from a British perspective - Kindle Edition. 50 Great Moments and Memories of the 1960s paperback details here.

A little ebook I've recently completed. Due to come out on Friday, via Amazon.

50 Great Moments And Memories Of The 1960s Book Cover

Book extracts

29. Bob Dylan and the Folk Revival 

Bob Dylan not only revived folk music, but he influenced The Beatles and The Byrds, and countless others, as he brought the protest song into the mainstream. Popular songs, Dylan emphasised, didn't need to be just about love. Blowin' in the Wind, The Times They Are a-Changin' and Masters of War all struck a chord - with fears over the Cold War, and a thirst for a better future all helping to make Dylan a key voice for both youngsters and those sick of the cycle of war. Vietnam also made Dylan look like a prophet.

Encouraged by Pete Seeger, Dylan's fame spread very quickly, though another young folkie, Joan Baez, was already a bigger name by the time Bob and Joan became a couple. Joan Baez saw Dylan's genius at first hand, and recorded some of his songs, while The Byrds produced a whole album of Dylan covers.

Dylan's decision to go electric in 1966 provoked cries of "Judas!" on a fraught tour of the UK, but Like a Rolling Stone gave him his first US number one. The song was acclaimed by many as a work of genius, and it is widely considered to be one of the greatest songs of the 20th Century. Going electric, then, didn't seem to harm Dylan's career at all. A motorcycle accident did, however, halt Dylan's remorseless rise, but, by 1967, only The Beatles really rivalled him as the most important young music act in the English-speaking world.

A raft of gifted singer-songwriters followed in Dylan's wake, including Britain's answer to Dylan - Donovan. Tim Hardin, Phil Ochs and Joni Mitchell also became big names, as some folkies became as feted as pop stars. Something that would have seemed unthinkable a decade earlier.

30. The Prisoner 

Unwavering obedience to authority was really challenged in the 1960s, and, as far as TV shows were concerned, none more so than in The Prisoner. Patrick McGoohan was superb in the lead role of Number 6, and he is a character who is taken to a mysterious place called The Village. The place seems idyllic - but only if you try not to leave, and risk being stopped by a Rover...

Number 6 is also unhappy being a number, and is determined not to toe the line. Number 6 has a nemesis as well - Number 2. But, because Number 6 is so strong-willed, a new Number 2 is called in regularly to try and make The Village's most difficult resident an unquestioning robot. Number 6 worked for the security services, but resigned, and the reason he did so is a question he's not keen to answer.

In the beautiful, unusual setting of Portmeirion, The Prisoner was one of the more stylish TV shows of the 1960s. With impressive guest stars, and with its not always being easy to fathom, The Prisoner gained a cult following, and the Six of One official Prisoner appreciation society exists to this day.

Saturday, May 06, 2017

Andrew Bruce - Hartlepool Musician, Poet, Writer And Photographer Dies At 54

My great friend, Andrew Bruce, co-founder of The Peace & Freedom Band and Peace & Freedom Press, has passed away. He was the most gentle friend I've ever had.

Andrew was born on July 26th, 1962, the only son of John and Sheila Bruce, and brother of Wendy and Julie. Very proud of his Hartlepool roots, Andrew co-founded Peace & Freedom Press and co-formed The Peace & Freedom Band in the mid-1980s. A humanitarian, free thinker, animal and nature lover, Andrew was a gifted guitarist, keyboard player, poet, writer, and photographer. He was also adding art to his range of skills before he was suddenly taken from this Earth and his family and friends at the age of just 54 in April, 2017. On the page below you will find a selection of Andrew's work, and feel free to share.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Introduction to Luton Town FC in the 1970s

My latest Luton Town FC-related book is now out on Amazon in paperback and Kindle format. Here's the introduction.

Introduction to Luton Town FC in the 1970s

Luton Town FC in the 1970s was, for the most part, like any other decade for a Town supporter - great highs, great lows, financial difficulties, and waiting for the inevitable sale of the club's best players.

There were, however, two things that made the 1970s slightly different. Firstly, with Eric Morecambe as a Luton Town director, the Hatters could expect a mention on the Morecambe & Wise Show every Christmas! Bearing in mind that half the country's population would be tuning in, any mention was welcome publicity and made Luton seem like a cool club to support. Secondly, in Harry Haslam and David Pleat, Luton appointed two managers who knew how to spot and nurture young talent (Haslam even tried to sign a 17-year-old Diego Maradona, when manager of Sheffield United). While, under Pleat, the likes of Ricky Hill, Brian Stein and Mal Donaghy blossomed, and they would become the base of Luton's greatest side in the 1980s. Consequently, when appointed in 1978, David Pleat became the most significant managerial appointment in Luton's history.

A best of Luton XI from the 1970s would probably have won the League, too! But Malcolm MacDonald, Don Givens and Paul Futcher were never likely to have career-long stays at Kenilworth Road. But, here is a tasty XI made up of players who played for the Town in the '70s: Jake Findlay; Kirk Stephens, Mal Donaghy, Chris Nicholl, Paul Futcher; Ricky Hill, Andy King, Peter Anderson; Malcolm MacDonald, Brian Stein, Don Givens.

In this book, you'll find my personal recollections of the 1970s from a fan who watched in awe games at Kenilworth Road as a 10-year-old, but had become cynical at promotion near misses by the end of the decade. Luckily, I also wasn't really a victim of the rampant hooliganism of the 1970s, apart from getting clobbered with a bicycle chain when a teenager, by another teenager, in a random act of violence when coming out of a testimonial game!

Anyway, if you want to support a team where everything is nice and safe then don't support Luton! Enjoy.

- Paul Rance, April, 2017.

Luton Town FC in the 1970s Kindle Cover

Paperback edition

Kindle edition

Monday, April 03, 2017

Paul Rance and the Ladybird/Ladybug Mystery

Another major event in Crowland. No ladybird was harmed in the making of this film.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Paul Rance with the Shaky Hand

Having a laugh with my new Smartphone. People love crap on YouTube, more than thought-provoking stuff, so call it a satirical two fingers...

Friday, February 24, 2017

Paul Rance's New Website:

Yes, a new website launched this week. So, more stuff of mine to entertain ya, bore ya - whatever...

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Being St. Francis - In Crowland, Lincolnshire

These are pretty distressing times if you hate prejudice, and since Brexit and Donald Trump's election, flight or fight comes to mind. I'm in the heart of Brexitland, and people I care about voted for Brexit. So, things have been difficult, as they have strong opinions and so do I. Anyway, I've been busy working on a variety of projects, including a book I've given the provisional title of Being St. Francis.

I've always done my best to respect all living things, and that's what St. Francis was all about. I don't believe in organised religion, but there are good religious figures that we can aspire to. All humans are descended from a tribe in Africa. We're all family, so where does this hatred of foreigners and people of different faiths come from? Fear of something different?

So, would St. Francis feel at home in Crowland? Perhaps, but I feel increasingly isolated, and if you can't beat 'em there's the choice of fighting your corner, or retreating into one's shell.

Love and Peace.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

Fighter Jets Noise Pollution Over Whaplode Drove

For two months now the noise from fighter jets has been horrendous over Whaplode Drove. As I type, I'm trying to listen to David Bowie via headphones, and he's drowned out by the hideous din up in the sky.

Almost every weekday there's hours of noise from these planes, and it just seems like the MOD are taking the piss because rural communities don't matter. No doubt there'll be those living in towns and cities who say that it can't be that bad. Trust me, it is. It's like hearing a loud rave of crap music for a few hours every day, with a break at the weekend.

Yesterday the noise was more of a non-stop droning for a few hours, before it stopped well into the evening. The North Sea's a big area, so go and practice over there, RAF! It doesn't feel like you're protecting me - more like making my life a misery!

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Peace & Freedom Band Co-Founder Paul Rance Hits Out At Tories, Beyonce, Jay Z And Katie Hopkins

Before the Internet arrived,'s founder had been involved in the world of underground music and fanzine publishing since the early 1980's. His longest running magazine, Peace & Freedom, was first published in 1984, and began life as an environmental, animal/human rights, music and arts fanzine. The next year he formed the alternative, anarcho underground band, The Peace & Freedom Band.

When I interviewed him in the middle of May, 2015, he was still as rebellious as ever and passionate about animal/human rights and the environment. I took the opportunity to ask him about his musical influences, values, the underground music scene and his views on modern music and the recent general election. He also went on to discuss his dislike of the State and why we need a revolution.

- Andy Bruce.

Paul Rance with his beloved Sparkle
Paul Rance with his beloved Sparkle in May, 2015

Paul Rance interview extracts

"It seems like it's cool to be hard these days. The Tory elite like showing how tough they can be with poor migrants, the unemployed and the disabled. I find their attitude repulsive, and they remind me of the posh bully, Flashman, from Tom Brown's Schooldays."

"I like The Black Eyed Peas, because they've supported issues concerning animal rights, the environment and human rights, and their music's inventive. But, Jay Z, what's the point? No real talent from what I can see, and he, and the equally odious Beyonce, like wearing parts of dead animals. Unfortunately, the media fawn all over 'em and keep telling us how great they are. No, they're not."

"I fear there's more people in this country who agree with the sick views of Katie Hopkins than we'd all like to believe. Though they tend to be cowards who keep their mouths shut, and then strike when it's voting time. That'd kinda explain why the polls indicated that the election would be close - and it ended up not being close at all. People were too ashamed to admit that they'd be voting Tory. Don't get me wrong, if it was a choice between voting Tory or The Kitten Killers Party I'd vote Tory. But that wasn't the choice, and many people have basically given the thumbs up to austerity, and are saying to the weaker members of society: "F**k you.""

"Politics hasn't really worked in the UK since the 1970s. We've had the poll tax fiasco, now it's the austerity cuts. Too much corruption from people in power, too much injustice - Hillsborough, the Jimmy Savile cover-ups, crooked bankers and politicians, the expenses scandal. The list is endless. People who set standards, i.e. those who make the laws for the rest of us, should be beyond reproach. But they're often as immoral as it gets."

"The problem is that most of the individuals who carry out the state/system's dirty work aren't evil people. Most of them are scared of losing their jobs if they question specific decisions. It's all very clever and sly really, because it's always hard to get at the real bastards - the ones at the top. But, like any machine, it will not last forever and then it'll get really interesting. I want to see it all fall to bits, and then let's start again. It probably won't happen in my lifetime, but it will happen."

Read the full, explosive interview here:  

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

BBC's News Coverage Of Anti-Austerity Demo In London Further Proof It's In Bed With The Establishment

It's a pity the BBC‬ concentrated on the nastier elements at the anti-austerity demo in London, rather than what people were actually demonstrating about. But then I don't really watch the BBC news much now, as it's too in bed with the Establishment.
End Austerity Now Demo, London, June 20th, 2015

Charlotte Church Wants To Settle Her Dispute With The Sun's Rentagob Katie Hopkins In Boxing Ring

I hope any match takes places in front of a few thousand migrants, Northerners, the Geldof family, and everyone else Katie's offended. But you can't fit the world's population in one boxing arena I guess. Go Charlotte! ‪#‎CharlotteChurchKatieHopkins‬ ‪#‎CharlotteChurch‬ ‪#‎KatieHopkins‬ ‪#‎Rentagob‬

 : Charlotte Church: Hell's Angel

The Mirror on how Charlotte and Katie may look in boxing gear, if they do eventually square up to each other:

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Short Kindle Novel For The Occupy Generation

Brutus - the Rabbit That Changed the World

My fairytale, which I hope comes true. Kindle - available for pre-order. Hopefully in paperback fairly soon, too.

If you're sick and tired of the system this book's for you. If you're a person who cares about all life and the Earth this book's for you. If you like a mix of the dark, humorous, erotic, philosophical, futuristic and a world-changing rabbit this book's for you! 'Brutus - the Rabbit That Changed the World' looks into a future that's not too far away, and one which offers hope to those who feel there is none.

Amazon Canada

Monday, April 07, 2014


Clash/Public Image Ltd. founding member  Keith  Levene  has  donated  a  vintage  Supro  guitar  to  raise awareness of the April 19, 2014 global Record Store Day. The black and white guitar will be given away a promotion the Mike & Jenyr’s  Q106.7 FM radio program celebrating Record Store Day.

“I’m getting involved in this way because I want to do everything I can in support of what, unfortunately, appears to be a dying but very important industry,” declares Levene.

“A music lover simply cannot have the same unique experience in some bland corporate chain that can be had in a mom-and-pop type record store establishment.  I have personally  spent  countless hours at  record stores and then at home listening to vinyl, and enjoying the artwork and liner notes that accompanied the music,” adds the legendary guitarist.

Although Levene has owned and used countless guitars over the years, his Supro  is  special  to  him  as  it  was  used  to  compose  music  for  his forthcoming  album “Commercial  Zone  2014”  release  –  a  project  which represents more than three decades of his work.

In 1982-1983, Levene started composing what was intended to be PiL’s fourth album, the Commercial Zone.  However, lack of support and creative differences over that album led the fiercely independent Levene to leave PiL  and  abandon the project.  A  crowdfunding  campaign,  which will  run through April 28, 2014, has been established on Indiegogo to help bring the project  to  market.

“I acquired my Supro not at a music store chain but at a mom-and-pop vintage  store  and  it  helped  me  finish  unfinished  Commercial  Zone business.  Now, hopefully, it will help bring some commercial business to independent record stores,” Levene says.

For further information, contact Kathy DiTondo at, or go to

Keith Levene playing his Supro guitar
Keith Levene playing his Supro

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Robert Wyatt - Pigs...(In There) Video

Soft Machine legend Robert Wyatt's disturbing discovery in the 'idyllic' countryside.

Mystical Conspiracy Blog Posts

Mystical Conspiracy is a blog I've written some articles for. To understand what the blog's about you can see some of my articles, and those of the blog's founder, poseidon4879, via the links below.

What Happens When We Die?

Nelson Mandela And Forgiveness

Jonathan Trott - Another Example Of This Stressful Society

The Poet Shelley on Vegetarianism

Selected posts by poseidon4879

Where Do Cats Go?

Herbal Qualities of the Marigold

Seven Chakras for Pets

Spiritual Music Travels the Planes

What Is New Age Visionary Art?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The First 10 Poetry Tips...

The first 10 poetry tips from '101 Poetry Tips', which is available on Amazon. Paperback details here.

101 Poetry Tips Ebook (

101 Poetry Tips Ebook (

1. Don't pester people with your work. If a poem's been accepted don't then bombard a publisher with several submissions in a week or month. Also don't send whole manuscripts to small press publishers with no return postage, as many are struggling financially as it is.

2. Don't forget to practice writing poetry. As the great golfer Gary Player once said: "The more I practice, the luckier I get." In the case of poetry that should read: "The better I get."

3. Don't believe the myth about how magical a poet's life is. It's hard graft for little money for all poets initially, and involves gradual steps towards success - unless you really are one of those loathsome geniuses who finds it easy and who is quickly appreciated.

4. Don't copy Byron's lifestyle - unless you want to have the paparazzi outside your front door 24/7.

5. Don't ignore constructive criticism, but judge whether it's fair comment. Violence rarely solves things...

6. Don't use too many big words in your poems as it'll seem like you're pretentious.

7. Don't stick to one poetic form, but experiment with several, which will then help you find out which are the best poetic forms for you.

8. Don't go anywhere without a notepad. Inspiration can come at any time.

9. You don't need to set a time period regarding when to finish a poem. If it's midnight and you're tired, consider it finishing it the next day.

10. Don't sulk if your work gets rejected. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger and all that.

Monday, May 06, 2013

101 Poetry Tips Kindle Book Introduction

'101 Poetry Tips' Introduction

After producing my first collection of poetry in 1980, when I was 20 years old, I've gone on to select and publish hundreds of poets from around the world via Peace & Freedom Press magazines, paperbacks and booklets. I'd like to think that I've learnt something along the way! '101 Poetry Tips' is intended to help you get the most out of your poetry writing. Good luck!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Nonsense Creatures For Children Aged 3 To 120

12. The Three Humped Camel Car of Cairo

Three Humped Camel Car of Cairo,

Was more careful than a tyro,

Children sat on his humps,

And there were never bumps,

Camel Car took bridges real low.

1 of the 12 Nonsense Creatures Limericks and Illustrations by Paul Rance.
Book 1 out now on Amazon. For children (and adults) of all ages.  

Paul Rance rediscovered Edward Lear in 2009, and began creating his own nonsense creatures - in the form of illustrations and limericks. Originally published in 2009, and now currently available only through Amazon, here are the first batch of limericks, which should appeal to children aged 3 to 120.





Thursday, November 15, 2012

Thelma Rance Biography - Chapter 17 Extract

Extracts from Chapter 17 of 'Mother Becomes Stardust'. See my other blog posts for more details about this book, which is about my late Mother's struggle with the twin effects of breast cancer and a stroke.

Chapter 17 - Chinks of Light (extract)

I would walk up to Cedar Falls with stuff like The Sex Pistols 'Pretty Vacant' on the MP4 player. It'd get me to get me pumped up as I strode towards the home. It'd feel almost like a marching song at the beginning, and prepare me for any confrontations.

Mum has another hospital appointment, on October 4th. Dad was buried 10 years ago on this date, so another thing to think about.

The writing work had been picking up again, but in the morning I get an email from a writing website informing me that they're letting most of their writers go. You couldn't make it up really. No wonder the doctor in the hospital asks if I'm okay, as I'm obviously looking stressed.

At Cedar Falls, Mum enjoys her orange juice: "Oooh. Lovely." Since her stroke, Mother seems to be more enthusiastic about things she likes, and more angry about things she doesn't.

Mum, up until her stroke, had a photographic memory. She was a big film buff, as well as having wide-ranging musical tastes. Mum would rattle off names of obscure film stars from the '40s and '50s, and name films that they were in. I remember telling her that Morrissey, whose first name is Steven, was named after B-movie actor Steve Cochran. Mozza has said that he didn't think anyone would know who Cochran was, but my Mum did.

There's still good signs re Mum's fight against the dreadful disease. I'm regularly told that the cancer that's already there can only be contained and not eradicated. I'm aware of that, but I appreciate the honesty.

I've bought a Charlie George autobiography for Vaughan, my bus driver and Arsenal fan, as a leaving present. Another driver I liked, Mick, had left in July. I tell Mum: "Reading about (former Gunners star) Charlie George. Do you remember him?" Mum: "Yes, I remember him." She actually remembered a lot of football stars from the early 1970s, especially players at Arsenal, Leeds United, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, Everton, West Ham, Spurs, and Chelsea - though she wasn't into football. Mum had a soft spot for gentleman footballers, including Bobby Moore, Bob Wilson and Frank McLintock. But Mum also liked George Best...

The Breast Cancer Bombshell

More extracts from my book, 'Mother Becomes Stardust', which is about my late Mother's brave fight during her final months on Earth - and what I also often experienced within the system.

Chapter 10 - Cancer (extract)

Cancer, the real c-word. The word itself still strikes terror in people. On March 8th I was talking to Anita, a nurse at Cedar Falls, and she let slip that my Mum had terminal breast cancer. She presumed I knew...

That my Mum had cancer had been known for months, but nobody explained this to me. I'm my Mother's only child and easily her closest blood relative, but that didn't seem to matter. On my Mother's Service Option Form it stated quite clearly that, in the client group, my Mother was classed as suffering from "frailty/temporary illness". Being terminally ill is not a "temporary illness". Whether Social Services were as ignorant of my Mum's condition as I was is open to question. Going back to Mum's Reassessment of Needs form I again looked up "fumigating mass", but I came to realize that it should have read "fungating mass". The verb 'fungate' means: "To grow rapidly, like a fungus." For example, cancer. The reassessment was dated November 12th, 2010. All these months I had been thinking: "At least Mum hasn't got cancer..."

After hearing the news, if a truck had hit me I wouldn't have felt it. I said to nurse Mary that "The brown stuff is going to hit the fan", and, bless her, she was outraged on my behalf that I hadn't been informed of my Mother's condition. She rang the doctor concerned, and I was then given a copy of my Mother's Inpatient Letter, which certainly explained things more clearly. It had also earlier been deemed, by the Lincolnshire Primary Care Trust panel, that my Mother's prime need was social rather than health. My Mother had inoperable breast cancer and couldn't walk since her stroke. I've learnt since my Mum's death that, depending on what prime need is deemed appropriate, there can be differences with how a patient's care is funded. When needs are deemed as social then loved ones are expected to pay more.

I possibly wouldn't have signed Mum even going into temporary care if I had known that she was terminally ill. I also wonder how ill you have to be to stay in hospital exactly. If Mum was going to die, I and she would have wanted it to have been at home surrounded by her two beautiful cats. That wish was denied her.

'Mother Becomes Stardust' is available through Amazon in Kindle and paperback format. Check my other blog entries for more info.