Today did not start well. I had several reports to follow up that
came in over the weekend. The first surreally said please offer
help to Mrs Cats who has mice. The second, slightly more surreally,
asked me to phone Mrs Quack urgently. The third message – by now
leaving the realms of the surreal far behind – was, from Mrs Ducks
and her worries about Mr Bruin, and the last one told me that a guy
had been bitten by a cobra. Stop right there. This is crazy. When
do you see a cobra in North London? Let alone get so intimate that
it sinks its fangs into your nether or other parts? Out of
scientific curiosity I checked it out. There wasn’t a cobra! The
guy had copper poisoning!
Found out that it was Mrs Duke (not Mrs Ducks) who wanted to thank
me for getting her brother Mr Brian (not Mr Bruin) emergency home
care, and Mrs Quack turned out to be Miss Clark.
Get offered a bribe today when I was asked to remove the diagnosis
of dementia from a residential care application so we don’t have to
wait for a place in a specialist unit. The caller in question
promised I’d be looked after.
Like all social workers I’ve had offers to
look the other way. My choice of any of the boys in an East London
male brothel, handfuls of drugs of course, crates of bonded whisky,
a contract on any victim of my choice (see diaries passim), and
even the local police, pleased with my promised performance at the
court gave me a place on their priority response list, just like
the PM and MPs. I’m now waiting to find out what amount will be
offered that might compensate for being found out and sacked.
A recent article in the local paper about environmental health
officers clearing a rat infested house has triggered a wave of
referrals identifying residents to whom every plastic bag and old
vest is sacred. I am working with my student on some of them.
There are indeed similarities between these hoarders in terms of
family history, academic achievements, plausible personalities. But
there it stops. One chirpy little man wraps his rubbish carefully
in tiny parcels, labelled and stacked up the walls of his house.
Another just opens the door of the rooms in turn and throws in his
finds. He lives in a corner of the sitting room as every other room
is filled with anything from TV tables to empty cardboard boxes.
Some archaeologist is going to love this in a couple of hundred
years’ time. In other houses the goods hoarded included about
10,000 plastic carrier bags, scissors by the gross, 50-year-old
dried fruit saved from the war, so the place smelt like a
distillery, and alas dog mess and the like, which brought a variety
of insects large and small by the thousand to swarm the walls of
I think I prefer the old vests.