Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Cat Watching

As I walked back from the local shops this evening a cat strayed across my path. I watched the cat watching me. Cats are naturally set up to notice the smallest deviations in their environment and to see that as either a potential danger or a source of opportunity. I have never known a cat to miss a source of opportunity.

And so it is today that after some little local difficulty over fee levels I have registered again at the University. Two years left now and time to think about the end game.

It gets tougher as time goes by, not because of the diminishing time to complete my work, there is no objective reason why I should not be capable of it. No what worries is what former Tory Prime Minister Harold MacMillan called "Events"

For sure some of those "Events" are coming home to roost upon our current Tory Prime Minister and his end game may be closer than he would like, but it is the financial rigour of his party and their allies vendetta against "the poor and disabled" who have been scapegoated in the Murdoch press for the sins of Murdoch and Cameron's class allies, that will do for me in the end I fear.

Personally I would like to line them all up against a wall and have them shot, though whether that is more economical than hanging them from lampposts I don't know. Forasmuch as I would like to do that to them I am sure they would equally like to send me to a penal colony picking peanuts to feed to the other monkeys like me.  I still think they have a better chance of achieving the latter than succumbing to the former, worst luck.

So it is that the greatest threat to the completion of my degree is financial, and then after that what? If I get that far I will be 58 and that is rather an advanced age to be considering a career change. It was at that age my dad made his final career change from this world to the next, and my mum did not live that much longer after either.

One thing is fairly certain, I cannot expect this government or the next to provide for my old age, not being entitled to anything more than a derisory state pension which would be less than I have to live on now.

Realistically speaking, just as there was someone else who had superior "qualifications" to succeed to the chair of the NAS, there will be a plethora of younger, more agile and "able" people to fill any academic posts that may be available locally, notwithstanding the future for academia is itself uncertain, given the potential fallout from the disastrous fees rise starting this year, I'd have as much chance of going the Grayling route and setting up a University of my own as of getting any secure teaching position.

Likewise the paper chase after a post doctoral fellowship or research post may be unachievable in terms of having to uproot myself from Coventry and chase after something even more distant than Birmingham. Too much shuttling between Birmingham and London has been both economically and physically crippling on me already, I don't have the wherewithal and I don't have the stamina any more.

It leaves the third option, which is to set myself up as an autism/disability consultant, and I have been spending an intense 6 weeks recently on a course designed specifically for that. I have no illusions how difficult that will be either, it is not as if I have never been self employed before to know the challenges, and without the capital behind me this time that I had from my mum's legacy.

I suppose then it would really suit me to go out into that great goodnight at the same age as my dad then, having achieved as much as I was able, and facing nothing but poverty and mental and physical decline if I go on.

Who knows? Only God, but this train is travelling on to whatever destination the rails confine it to.


Yakoub said...

I'm 47 and writing a novel that probably won't be finished before I'm 50. I know writing fiction is a high risk profession, and it's bloody hard work, but I love it. As long I can afford a keyboard of some kind - I struggle to form a tripod grip - then I'll be happy.

The author said...

I once started a novel which was based around the number seven for reasons I won't go into. I estimated that it would take seven years to write, well those seven years are more than twice seven gone now and I never finished it. I took up another interest more than ten years ago now, to make a film called Terra Incognita, I have not finished that yet either.

Socrates said...

I was wondering where you'd been... You'd've had a better chance at the Top Job if you'd spent the last 7 years selling plastic replica of dinosaurs to obese Americans, but there you go...

I once started a novel for NaNoWriMo that had a certain boffin's head (alive) in a vat of nutrients, held for ransom, while a group of stark-raving-mad/autistic Aspies (lead by some geezer in Kung Fu trousers) tried unsuccessfully to get the housework done before changing the world.

You'd probably be best spending the rest of your days cataloguing the Stupid emanating from His Eminence Borat-Cohen.

It's gone beyond a joke.

I was out with the dogs the other day, following the guidlines laid out in the Prince Philip Wildlife Conservation Handbook, hacking through the drought-damaged wheat, only to look up and see a deranged creature with wild hair, gripping tightly the steering wheel of his Ka, as he peered intently down the country lane, presumably looking for a cyclist to knock down... but the picture was spoilt by the pedestrian 22 miles an hour the car was doing.

As I stood there giving him my finest yokel's look of contempt, I could help but notice the discrete-to-the-point-of-invisibility personalised number plate.

Only a true fuckin' smart-arse can take a standard plate and turn it into a joke about genetics.

Yea, it was Him.

And why does a Psychologist have a joke about genetics on his little professorial car?


Socrates said...


Are your readers interesting in knowing whom Tony Attwood is humping lately? (Super-injunctions notwithstandig).

Ole Ferme l'Oeil said...

Hi Larry...
I'm from Switzerland and I will go to autreat this year.
I know that this year you will make a presentation there...
I hope to meet you there, since my diagnosis and the moment I began to search online about it, I've been vewry interested in disability right movements* and I hope I'm part of it... but there is not much about it in French countries I really hope it will be possible to meet you there, maybe you could learn me a lot.
These times I am not going well at all for diverse reasons...
and I don't know what to add.
* I mean movements for the rights of disabled people, against ableism/disablism (never know which one is the better term) pro neurodiversity and the social model of disability.

usethebrainsgodgiveyou said...

Perhaps someone will care for you, the way you did your mother. Can you begin to imagine where she might have been without your strength behind her?

Your karma alone should suffice for your old age.