Monday, March 8, 2010

Letting go of the past

3 years ago now I was diagnosed with cancer, an aggressive malignant tumour had taken residence in my right upper arm near the elbow and was growing fast. It took a few weeks to realise it wasn't a haematoma or a sports injury and by January 2007 I had an appointment with a specialist consultant in the Royal Marsden Hospital in London. 7 weeks of radiotherapy then an operation successfully removed the tumour, but left me missing half my bicep and some radial nerve damage, but still alive and still with an arm.

I used to be pretty good with a guitar, still would be if it wasn't for the nerve damage, I can still do the fret movements for chords and pick work but what I can't do anymore is strum properly or finger pick, the fine motor control is gone along with full control over the wrist (don't hold anything for me if I attempt to hammer it, really just don't!)

So tomorrow I have decided to sell my guitar, it cost a lot of money at the time and is still "as new" the case is a damned good one too in mint condition, yet I doubt that I'll get  as good a price, not that I expect too.
Yet still I'm reluctant, I know I can't play and yet I feel bad about selling it. Mind you I am a bit of a packrat, I still have boxes of tools in the loft that I doubt I'll ever use again, this is on top of my now unused working tools.

Still I am going to take up a new hobby, though I haven't quite decided yet what it will be, probably ornamental wrought ironwork, so the sale of the guitar will cover the cost of a welder and some bending tools and I'll give that a go. Just hope the world is ready for another faux artisan with a weird taste in plantpot holder design and candlesticks.

Others that can't seem to let go of the past though are the public service unions.


Civil servants go on 48-hour strike over redundancy pay
Civil servants have started a 48-hour strike in protest at cuts to redundancy pay.
Up to 270,000 civil servants are taking part in the action, which will hit courts, ports, jobcentres, benefit offices, tax centres and emergency police call centres.
The walkout by members of the Public and Commercial Services union is the biggest outbreak of industrial unrest in the service since 1987, with further disruption planned in the run-up to the general election.
The union is protesting over changes to the Civil Service compensation scheme, which it says will ''rob'' civil servants of up to a third of their entitlements, worth thousands of pounds, when they leave their jobs.
MPs warned there was ''growing consternation'' on the Labour backbenches over the dispute, especially as it had flared so close to the election.
John McDonnell (Hayes and Harlington) said: ''The Government has severely under-estimated the strength of feeling among civil servants and the anger that's built up and led to this dispute.
''It is critical now that the Government returns to the negotiation table to avoid further disruption. This dispute could be resolved easily with flexibility from the Government.''
I doubt the government can resolve it, they've run out of money, the unions don't seem to realise this so they're striking, not to stop the redundancies but to hold on to the redundancy money. I doubt they even realise that the average wage for a public sector worker is around £25K a year which is about £70 a day. They're striking for 2 days for which they'll get no pay saving us, the taxpayer, around £30 million roughly, wonder if that might cover the payments.

I don't think the public service unions have moved into the present yet, they still live in the past and act like it, the private sector rarely strikes because we can't afford too, all the public service unions are showing is that they  don't live in the same world as the rest of us. Nor will they win, the cupboard is bare, the government has wasted it all on administrators and civil servants to the point where they can't even pay them redundancy to get rid of them.

Sooner or later though the public services are going to have to realise, like me and my guitar that the world has changed and holding on to something that's past is counter-productive and does them no good at all. The world has changed, not necessarily for the better, but the rest of us have adapted and moved on, we don't strike, we don't automatically get pay rises and we don't get protected pensions and we don't sympathise with them either.

My world has moved on, time they did too.

3 annotations:

scunnert said...

QM - as an axeman I feel your pain but am glad you've decided not to let this set back stop your creative juices flowing. Good luck with the heavy metal:o)

williamsjk said...

I feel your pain with the guitar. I've never quite been able to bring myself to sell any of mine - even the ones I haven't played in years.

As for the unions - it's not just the public service unions that are living in the past, it's all of them just look at the BA cabin crew!

opsimath said...

My very best wishes for whatever you decide to turn your hands to, QM - I've always found metalwork fulfilling - don't get arc-eyes, that's all!