Monday, June 23, 2008

Water Water Everywhere

I was interested to see on the news this morning that there is a new initiative to get old people in care homes to drink more water - up to 10 glasses a day! Well, I can see that there is a problem with people not drinking enough and I agree that dehydration is dangerous and can lead to a whole load of health problems.

However, I do wonder if those advocates of this new scheme have really thought this through. Has it not occurred to them that perhaps one of the causes of dehydration in old people is that they can’t hold their water in the first place! It is a well known fact that incontinence is one of the main symptoms of old age. So - you encourage an old incontinent care home resident to drink 10 glasses of water a day. This person is already peeing himself every 20 minutes or so. The next thing you know, his bed linen has to be changed that much more often and he‘s sinking in a sea of pee. When he’s not peeing the bed he’s wetting the Shackleton’s High Back chair so its all nice and soggy and steamy for the next unfortunate inmate. Now, this is only one person I am talking about here out of a whole care home. Multiply this by 60 or so and it doesn’t take long to see there will soon be a huge urinic tidle wave of a problem sweeping through the hitherto peaceful haven where you could previously relax in the morning to the soothing sounds of geriatric lips sucking on their morning toast! Now no one is in their chairs, because they are all queuing to get into the one loo open to the residents, beating wildly on the door with their walking sticks and Zimmer frames.

So, we now have a situation where the bed sheets have to be changed and washed that much more frequently. The furniture has to be thrown out and changed every couple of weeks or so. Building contractors have to be called in to design and build more loos. More staff have to be employed, including a tripling of the cleaning staff rotas to cope with all the puddles of old person’s pee issued by those who didn’t make it to the loo in time.

Actually, its all a big conspiracy. You see, care home owners don’t actually care at all for their inmates. They are in it for the money and nothing else. When was the last time you saw a poor care home owner?? No, my friends, what is going on here is a cunning plan hatched up by these greedy parasites who feed on other people’s misery, to make loads and loads of even more money, while duping everyone that they are really concerned about their residents health. Behind this smokescreen, they will vastly increase the care home fees, already at the level of utter usury, thus swelling their coffers while their inmates have hosepipes shoved down their throats and water forced at gunpoint into their distended stomachs in the name of healthy living.

The truth is, that it is not in the interests of care home owners to have healthy residents. If they were healthy, then they wouldn’t be there in the first place and the owners would be out of business. All the residents really want is to sit staring at each other with a nice warm insipid cup of (diuretic) tea and Songs of Praise blaring from the box as they await their turn to enter the happy hunting grounds.

Gosh, thirsty work this writing lark - I think I need a glass of water!

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Person on the Landscape

When I am out and about with my camera looking for landscape photographs, I often like to include a person in the shot. The reason for this is that a well placed figure can add drama, impact, depth and scale to an otherwise ordinary photograph.

The photo on the mountain features my youngest son looking out over the countryside. On this occasion, he was posed. I asked him to stand in that spot because I was keen to add scale and depth. When taking landscapes, it is easy to end up disappointed with the final print, which, in two dimensions, can look very flat and uninteresting compared to the awesome three dimensional spectacle experienced at the moment of exposure. Adding a well placed person immediately changes the whole dynamic of the image. One is drawn much more into the scene, because the person adds a sense of empathy. You become more aware of size and distance, as well as being invited to ponder the view with figure in the photograph. The man on the mountain adds humanity to what would otherwise be just another nice view for the album.

The photo of the sand dunes was transformed by the addition of the dark rider. This shot was definitely not posed. I was out walking on the dunes – as you do - looking for a “nice shot”. Up until this point I felt I had captured some pretty good images. And then the horseman appeared. Suddenly, I had something starkly different to shoot, but I had to act fast. The rider was not hanging around, and there was not a moment to lose. I quickly fired off three shots before the mystery rider vanished behind a dune, never to re-appear. Again, a much better sense of scale was added to the shot. But more than that, what started out as a group of Scottish sand dunes was immediately transformed to the bad lands of Montana! It was pure luck on my part as I could never have predicted the shot. The lesson here I suppose, is always carry a camera if you want to capture the unexpected. Dark riders do not come to order!