Thursday, June 30, 2005

An Attempt To Overcome Defeat


The body snatchers called
and found me void –

where once there was
a vibrant heart,

and thoughts teemed

endlessly around -

a residue
of aches and pains

delineates the core -

and Sisyphus rejoices
to have found
a new companion.

Malcolm Evison
30 June 2005


Tonight, I simply don't have the energy to blog! Come back soon ( that applies to my energy, as well as any readers)!

Today's Update

I remained seated*, near the door, for the seventy-five minutes of last night's gig; even so, that morale boost described in the previous entry, seemed to carry the seeds of it's own comeuppance. If you're not fed up with tales of health woes and (unsolicited) self-pity, the Revenger's Progress can be found in The Night May Have A Thousand Eyes and And The Day's Eyes Are Closed both reported by Heterocon.

* not for the lack of desire to get up and bop, a simple series of whims of nature disbars me from such activity!

Had I not long since rejected the validity of any Theodicies, my faith being rescued by, and rooted in, the miracle of love and care, I really would be struggling!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Oh, What A Night

As the day wore on, the discomfort in the armpits and, a very distinct sharp ache in the elbow developed. Took a few photo's of the freshly rain wetted water-lily pads and, had fun editing and adjusting same.

Around 6.00PM prepared a char-grilled (lemon, ginger & soy sauce dressed) Salmon dish, served with new potatoes and broccoli (lovingly steamed by ma belle amoureuse).

At 8.30Pm went out for a short diversionary walk prior to attending The Manhattan Club where LIFT were playing a charity gig. Nearly didn't make the venue owing to a panic attack but, Helen's gentle coaxing won the day and, what a treat the event turned out to be. The quartet [Jonti Linford, Norrey Considine, Mike Starkings and Dan Jones] performed an eclectic set ... Aerosmith, Wheatus, The Eagles, Stevie Wonder, Paul Carrack +++ ... with great versatility and verve, combining accomplished vocal harmonies with an alternating instrumental line-up. All performers are also members of the established Harrogate band The Nightjars.

That makes it twice in five days, that I've managed to be out for a considerably longer time than the past eighteen months or so had borne witness to. So the combination of Peter & Pamela's weekend visit and, my respect for the musicianship of Jonti and Mike, continues to have a miraculous effect on my life. Thanks to all concerned!

The Day That The Rains Came Gently Down

The sky's a milky grey, the air rather fresh and, I for one am not complaining. To be honest it made a change to stand by the pond, weatherproof garmented, as I scattered the food for it's piscine occupants.

After my improved day yesterday, night-time caught up with me and, around 2.00am, had to hunt around in the dark to find an elbow support ... every little movement seemed to send shockwaves from the elbow through the upper arm, spreading into an overall upper torso discomfort. Once strapped, a reasonable night's sleep swiftly ensued! Although I had a little breakfast before Helen went out mid-morning, I finally managed to remove myself from the bed's confines at the crack of noon!

Apart from downloading Beethoven 7 (MP3) from the BBC website, and reading a few e-mails, my time has been spent in blissful idleness! Actually the "blissful" is a slight exagerration, the idleness is more a result of my current de-energised state of being. Twinges, in varying degrees and variously scattered, make me feel grateful that they are not more painful. Today I play Polyanna! [How long can it last?]

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Of Apologies and Downloads

Received a really courteous apology from IDAuthority at Comodo Group (see preceding two entries) ... just felt that's worth a mention!

On the whole it's been a rather good day for me, rather more energised than of late. Elsewhere I reported multiple factors ... atmospheric conditions, ferrous sulphate, wonderful friends ... but, I omitted the possibility that part of the improvement could be the Mirtazapine kicking in!

Apart from a little work in the garden, I also managed a brief brisk walk this evening without it proving too great an exertion. This afternoon I downloaded, from BBC Radio3 website, an MP3 of Beethoven's 6th Symphony and transferred it to CD ... from tomorrow Symphony No7 will also be available for download. Each of the Symphonies is available for download for seven days ... unfortunately, I'd already missed 1 - 5.

A short time ago we experienced quite a downpour, here's hoping it will maintain the freshness in the air that proved such a boost to my energy levels this evening.

Helen and myself are still basking in the afterglow of our friends ... (of Oxcliffe Fox fame) ... visit at the weekend.

Results (wherefrom?)

Since e-mailing Comodo at 16.49 and, writing the previous blog entry, the Trust Toolbar 'Trusted Display Area' now reads correctly as does the 'Toolbar Pane'! I like to think that this is in response to my e-mail, as the problem had been going on ever since installing the toolbar. It does raise a question however; how far can one trust/rely on an "anti-phishing toolbar".

Perhaps this sudden change is not a response to my e-mail but, rather the power of the 'blog.

Yahoo related (?) Problems

Apart from Logging In problems with Yahoo, still spasmodically ongoing, I now seem to have a further Yahoo related problem. Anyone visiting any page of my Luv4Sinners website on Geocities and, using Comodo Trust Toolbar, will find the following legend appears in the 'Trusted Display Area' : Susan Denny's About Face and in the 'Toolbar Pane' Site Credentials appear as Midwest Motorfreight, Inc.

I must admit to finding this rather perplexing as:
a) the site is a 'personal' website
b) I am an individual human being without any, nor wishing to have any, links to either of these businesses.
c) both of these companies are the other side of the Atlantic from where I reside.

Perhaps I totally misunderstand the purpose of the toolbar!

I have e-mailed Comodo to seek clarification on this matter but, Yahoo's a different problem. How is one supposed to contact them (they are always keen to receive your comments) when a search for a relevant contact address leaves one running around in circles, chasing one's own tail?

Monday, June 27, 2005

The Day's Feet-ures

Managed to feel quite positive throughout the day, despite my irritating little ailments. I think I'm dwelling in the warm aftermath of our dear friends' visit at the weekend. If I were a sun worshipper, today would have had me very pleased indeed; must admit that the brightness does give one a positive outlook, providing one can quickly retreat into a shaded room rather than having to suffer the sun's excesses!

My afternoon walk became more of an exercise in seeing if I could manage to lift my feet more than 1cm from the ground. I'm pleased to report that I did in fact manage this remarkable feat. It's not often I praise my remarkable feet but, the sound's pretty much the same.

The scribing efforts of my alter-ego (Heterocon) seems to have somehow numbed Sinna Luvva's powers of expression. They will return ... they will return ... they will ...

The Pleasure of Good Company

Amazing, the boost to one's morale that arises from the company of special friends. Had a good lie-in on Sunday morning, ma belle amoureuse reluctant to disturb me as she readied herself for chapel! Even after getting myself mobile, took things very easily. Helen collected our friends, Peter and Pamela, from the West Park at 1.30 pm and, it proved such a pleasure to be in their company.

We enjoyed a little Pignoletto Frizzante aperitif before lunch, one of my preparations that I've not had time to give a name to. [It was excellent anyway, that's what matters]. A bottle of Villa Maria Chardonnay, East Coast NZ, 2002 coped well with the barrage of flavours. For dessert, ma belle amoureuse presented us with her very special sticky toffee pudding.

After our friends departed, we spent a little time in the garden, myself reclining beside the pond - only to be accidentally mauled by Sapphire (a gorgeous Burmese Chinchilla X cat) who woke me with a start, and herself was duly startled, managing to leave two residual scratches perilously close to the groin region. Helen, who had been pottering about nearby, had been oblivious to Sapphire's presence in the garden until my sudden start!

Later evening, we became quite engrossed in an episode of Midsommer Murders that we had missed on first showing, before checking out the Glastonbury coverage on various BBC channels. Coverage has just returned to 'Basement Jaxx' who Heterocon seemed quite enthused by.

These last two days, our friends visit has brought me more relaxation than I've experienced for some time. Thanks to The Oxcliffe Fox.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Memorable Day

Saturday 25 June proved a memorable day; seeing our dear friends Peter & Pamela proves an amazing tonic. I'm not saying that it cures my miscellaneous aches and discomforts but, it does help one to bear the discomfort a bit more easily. Half an hour after their arrival in town they called around to visit and sup with us.

Peter joined me in the kitchen as I completed preparations for tomorrows lunch, as yet unchristened though I'm sure it will prove immensely satisfying. The four of us then partook of one of our favourite beverages, the exquisite 'Taittiinger', respected and appreciated by this gang of four.

Our guests had booked a table for us at a local Brasserie at the Cedar Court Hotel. The starters were all very satisfactory but, the main courses left quite a lot to be desired in the 'portion' department, a tad more than those godforsaken days of nouvelle cuisine. Despite the menu stating that main courses were served with potatoes, or salad, or green vegetables the haddock that Helen and myself had, (supposedly topped with a crispy welsh rarebit ... in actuality a pleasant coating of cheese sauce), arrived with a couple of leaves of Rocket and un petit peu of sliced tomatoes. When the waiter's attention was caught, he explained that if you wanted potatoes one had to specifically order it; something of a discrepancy with the message at the foot of the menu. We weren't asked whether we wanted salad, or potatoes, or green veg. The portions are a definite minus as far as I'm concerned but, they did arrive with a bowl of elongated, fully jacketed new potaoes reminiscent of dog poo. They tasted quite fine however.

The wine with this meal was a full-flavoured South African Chenin Blanc with subtle floral and lemon notes. Peter and myself were quite taken aback at it's sweetness on first approach, no doubt some of the sweetness was more marked following our dry Taittinger aperitif. Unfortunately my general stamina and discomfort levels required a fairly early return home, but, the evening was the longest time I have managed to be out anywhere for at least the past eighteen months! I have no qualms regarding the quality of the food at this establishment and, they also proferred an interesting wine list.

Later in the evening, Helen and I enjoyed coverage of Coldplay's set from Glastonbury. What can one say; electrifying, mesmerising ... sheer professional artistry, Chris Martin's vocals and stage presence were second to none that I have experienced over many years.

We look forward, once more, to the company of our bestest friends for Sunday afternoon lunch.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Looking Forward

Last night I retired au lit somewhat earlier than of late. Getting off to sleep was still somewhat problematic, despite an early evening walk in the fresher air and feeling tired. Eventually emerged, after a few earlier faltering attempts, into the broad light of day around noon. Was pleased to get confirmation on The Oxcliffe Fox that some of our bestest friends will be traversing the Pennines today! That is indeed good news; not the crossing per se but, rather, that we look forward to their company and presence in God's own county!

I've got to admit that I'm still fighting a tiredness, that even the recently acquired nicotine sticks have difficulty alleviating, but I will boldly struggle on to make the most of our kindred spirits visit.

Friday, June 24, 2005

A Parable

For one who has never been too keen on 'phones, be it landline or mobile, a call received just after entering my previous blog has really encouraged me. The call was from Jasmin at Yes2Work, part of what has now become a bi-monthly event. The call is simply to check up on how I'm doing and feeling but, she has the knack of making one feel both at ease and important.

It is so rewarding when one feels that somebody, who knows me only via a CV (and the aforementioned 'phone), really cares. Yes, I know that lots of people care about and for me but, this is a stranger who cares. I just can't help thinking of The Good Samaritan!
Another restless night, of miscellaneous bodily aches and discomforts, but, a new day is here, with rainfall bringing in it's wake some cooler air. Just the sheer delight of this new day distances me from the night's unrest, I even feel the nascent possibility of attempting some gentle exercise. Now, there's a few unexpected words to trip from my thought processes. Whether it comes to anything remains to be seen!

The only exercise so far has been of the wrist and fingers as I've checked my e-mails, primarily welcome, and downloaded one or two e-books from the Bruderhof website. I suppose a stroll down the garden, to feed the goldfish, loosely falls into the category of "exercise" even though more calories are burnt tapping away at the keyboard than this especially short "hike"!

Lack of exercise not withstanding, my body still feels the need to partake of some victuals so, it's time to love you and leave you. Come back soon.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Prized Assets

Some major rewiring is called for with regards to the connections to the pond pump so, the initial waiting for the electrician to call has now passed and, we await, somewhat impatiently, the next phase. No doubt the goldfish would be happy with any Heath-Robinson arrangement, as long as it works, but there are regulations in place and, the current arrangement we retrospectively realise has been sufficiently ramshackle!

Let's just hope that Tag, Blaze, Blondie, Babe and the triplets can survive their temporarily pumpless environment.

Today is yet another example of Blazing June ... the look of it is wonderful ... the feel, for us two middle-aged lovers, is that it's just too much. In recent days my ankles have taken on the diameter of my upper calves although, I must admit, they do subside somewhat after (what passes for) a good night's rest.

We are looking forward to a weekend visit from some very special friends; a relationship, which stretches back to the days of shared academe, is not to be scorned in these days of ephemeral values!

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

PONDering the passing day

The aches and pains in the shoulder area (reported yesterday) continued on into the night, so much so that, somewhere around 2.00AM, I had to seek out my shoulder support strap in an attempt to ease the discomfort. Of course, the thermal qualities of the shoulder strap/support proved a bit of a liability, when I'm already sleeping sans vĂȘtements under a maximum of one bedsheet because of the cloying heat!

Surprisingly, the shoulder reinforcement did alleviate some of the distress. Further shifting aches persisted, however, in calf muscles, ankles, upper arms and, only in the most unusual of bedroom postures was I finally able to rest. It is not really my disposition to be strapped down in the bedroom [ nudge nudge, wink wink ...] but, I'm just starting to wonder if that might not prove beneficial.

Once again, although sunshine is considered an anti-depressant, it's accompaniment of cloying humidity soon displaces the 'anti'! The garden cries out for work to be done but, at the moment I have an additional excuse (apart from my general malaise) for not facing up to the tasks. The excuse, sorry I meant to say reason, is the anticipated arrival of a tradesman to sort out our pond-pump woes and, of course, he wouldn't expect one to be out in the garden ... the abode of the aforementioned pond-pump ... would he?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The slightest twinge finds its place in the cosmos

After yesterday's nature trek, and subsequent work of pond maintenance, this afternoon and early evening has produced the reward. To be honest, the pond maintenance plays a bigger role in todays reward than the pleasure trek.

Today, I have aches in muscles and joints of whose existence I have been (and to some extent remain) sceptical. The ache at the base of the neck I understand, the spasmodically sharp pain (apparently) in the middle of the shoulder blade proves a bit trickier! The pain in both shoulders I can once again relate, albeit only in part, to yesterdays exertions but; a kind of floppy dull giddy ache in the ankles is hard to apportion cause to.

Knee joints seem to have a recurring pattern of dull aches, that's simply (or should that read 'complexly') me! Sweeping waves of tiredness, sometimes appearing quite out of the blue, are tiringly becoming pretty much the norm as are the sudden switches of the bodies thermostat.

If I was quite simply a machine, even a robot, I guarantee the most dilligent technicians would have their work cut out! But, thank God, I'm not a machine. I'm a human being who still enjoys a laugh, a drink, affection (both shown and showing), sex as pure delight even if rather exhausting. If it wasn't for the fact that I'm such a wonderful warm and loving human being, I'd be giving up in total despair! [ Meantime I can't avoid the odd bit of despair, more over social than personal issues, just as I can't help wondering at the immeasurable vastness of space allowing room, for a little clod of clay like Planet Earth, to produce such amazing diversity.]


After further glitches with Netcraft Anti-Phishing Toolbar on IE, following several "repairs", re-installations etc., decided to give up on it. However, I'm still really pleased with it's performance on Firefox!

Decided this morning to install Trust Anti-Phishing Toolbar, only time will tell if it suits me but, I do like it's interface and the built-in search engine. Think I'm going to be satisfied!

I really do regard some kind of anti-phishing toolbar as an essential plug-in / add on.

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Doorstep Oasis

A discovery on one's own doorstep, at least within fifteen to twenty minutes walk, is something well worth reporting. Helen decided it might be a good idea to have a little walk, this morning, before the heat became unbearable (once more). After some fifteen minutes, we approached the pond where we had seen the juvenile newts a few weeks ago; what had happened, in spite of yesterdays torrential rain the pond appeared to be dried up!

A walk along a pathway, previously too waterlogged to tread, we found it was possible to cross "the pond" at what had been it's widest point ... and that without getting our feet wet; no, I'm not talking miraculous events, the ground was reasonably dry and firm. What had happened to our pond? A path, at what would have been the far side of the watery place, led us to an area of ponds and marshland, with a duck-walk 0r two to ease the traverse. The margins of these areas were flanked with Flag Iris and Bulrushes ... we had found our oasis from the "shock"of the dried-out pond. An oasis for amphibians as well as us mere mortals and, we rejoiced in the presence of Sand Martins and Buntings as we leisurely ambled around.

Evidently, this wetland reserve is on the site of the old clay pits from a brick-making industry. As we reached the metalled track beyond the marshes, we spotted the start of the narrow pathway from which we usually viewed the temporarily absent pond.

The feelgood factor abounds; after omitting (for atmospheric reasons) the last few days of brisk brief walks, we have stumbled upon our doorstep reserve. It is almost as if the mountain has come to Mohammed!

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Not Too Bad A Day ... After All

In spite of the prevailing atmospheric conditions and, their affect on my various minor ailments, I still managedto enjoy *Father's Day. Dinner was a huge success, an emergency prepared sneakingly hot curry (See "Malcolm's Food And Spilt Drink Column" entry for 18 June) came out even better than anticipated.

Spent mid-afternoon doing some Christmas-related (in the hope that some of the subject matter would help us to ignore the day's oppressive heat) VHS to DVD transfers. The day continued in lazy fashion, even after a storm tried to break through the days clamminess.

This evening, sadly, was the final episode of the current series of "The Last Detective" [ITV] ... our only TV viewing of the day. A very tender humour percolates each episode without detracting from the case in hand.

* for further Father's Day references see 'Some Atmosphere' on Heterocon's Blog.

Madness Abounds

No, this is not a swift return with the entry I'd forgotten. Just happily went into My Yahoo, using Firefox browser ... no problemo ...; clicked the 'Inbox' link (under Yahoo! Mail Preview and was required to sign in again. Having signed in I was then directed to the Security screen ... you know, the one like an eyesight test ... write down the "word" you see in this box! Don't the crass MORONS know that a random selection of letters, both upper and lower case do not necessarily make a WORD.

Could they please :

a) define their terms more precisely
b) get their act together

Personally, I would be happier with b. It's a relief to know where the madness lies!

On Sanity and the Quest For Resolution

Firstly an update on problems signing in to Yahoo, touched on in my blog entry for 17 June as well as by Heterocon :

The problem seems to have cleared itself when using Firefox but, the behaviour of the sign on screen has now modified on IE6. If I first of all sign in to My Yahoo on IE6, I can immediately click on the link to Yahoo! Mail ... as expected, no further signature check required. Alternatively, if I go directly to Yahoo!Mail I am immediatly transferred from my first signing-in page to the extra-security of copying the "word picture".

I realize that the sensible thing would be to always enter Yahoo!Mail via My Yahoo when using IE6, or else only use Firefox. Problem is, when I discover a problem I simply have to gnaw away at it in the hope of obtaining some kind of resolution. Perhaps the issue is not really one of Security Madness but rather my tenuous grip on Sanity! [Joking ... I think ...!]

Secondly: I've forgotten what I was going to be scribing about. Perhaps I shall return!

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Malcolm's Food and Spilt Drink Column

Following upon the remarkable success of last night's ginger & paprika dressed Chicken in a honey, mustard & garlic casserole, I found myself today in something of a quandary.

I had hoped that the second dish of casserole would see us right for Sunday lunch; I was somewhat dispirited (though at the same time flattered!) that this reserve casserole had diminished somewhat.

Quite a quandary you must admit. The solution .... shallow boil some diced potatoes, the water heavily seasoned with Coriander, Garam Masala, and Garlic; add this to the casserole residue along with some chopped chillies and crushed garlic, slosh it around in a well-oiled pre-heated Wok and ... hey presto ... serve with a lovingly prepared saffron rice. Easy when you know how, not too difficult when I don't.


Helen's sister Fran, who called over to visit us today, was savaged by a Wild Yorkshire Parasol outside of the local Brewer's Fayre, thereby re-distributing a potentially refreshing glass of 'Stella'. Unfortunately, I was at home slaving over a hot keyboard so I have to rely on the eyewitness accounts of my beloved.

Will we be hearing more of these attacks should the sunshine persist?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Anyone else out there having problems signing in to their Yahoo account, or are they just out to get me? As my close relative Heterocon has already touched on this matter, I will say no more at present.

The day has indeed turned out better, the morning's rest stood me in good stead as I got on with preparations for this evening's meal. Even managed to take Henry (Numatic Vacuum Cleaner) for a quick whirl around one or two rooms as well. Forgot to have any lunch until mid-afternoon but, that balanced out well with having our main meal later than usual. As traditionally expected, this evening's meal was a great success ... compliments to the chef. The accompanying delight was the beautifully soft 'Il Papavero Rosso', its only danger could be its total gluggability!

Must mark this day down in my diary as better ... at times I almost felt healthy. I feel better about acknowledging that "this is the day the Lord has made", I do rejoice and am glad in it.

Welcoming the daybreak

Having just emerged from the realm of Duvet-dom, the award for first sustained twinge of the day goes to the knee joints. These joints were closely pursued by the back of the neck and, the banded upper-arm muscle.Just hoping the tipsters favourite, Armpit, is not going to come in with a place!

Just sat here at the keyboard, I already sense that it's going to be something of a muggy day ... even though I can't stand the heat, it's impossible to flee the kitchen. Helen has gone out to her computer classes so, I've no-one to prod me awake should I fall into deep slumber by my PC ..... I must think positive, I must stay alert, I am not tired ... I am not ... I am ...

Helen's sister Janet is joining us for a meal this evening, so I'd best put my chefs hat on and ponder what amazing concoction I shall set before our guest. At present I know it will involve chicken breasts (already detached from the chicken), red, green and yellow peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes and a condimentation* of spices and herbs ... furthermore, I suspect, with all due modesty, it will prove quite delicious.

Today will be a better day, today will be a better day, today I will not feel so tired .. today I will be on .... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz ....well ...Good Morning ... speak to you later ...


p.s. * I don't know if condimentation is a proper word but, it's taste seems right!

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Creature Discomforts

Physically, or should that be mentally, this has not, so far, been one of my better days. For almost inexpressible reasons (see The Absurd Touch of Normality) I have not been having major fun, boring visitors to my blog with tidbits of *wisdom/ *unwisdom, nonetheless I urge you to note how nobly (I nearly said manfully but, that could be misconstrued as sexist) I cope.

Once upon a time, Sinna Luvva inhabited a world where he didn't find it necessary to think or harp on about his health; oh, where has that Shangri-La, or should it be Brigadoon, vanished to? I throw away allusions to maintain a veneer of urbanity! Anything is easier to cope with than reality ... perhaps that's why Jesus in the garden wanted his 'Father' to take away the cup.

What's needed now are fresh stratagems, to meet head on the daily routine. I proffer up my orisons for help and then, seek to withdraw them for fear of being thought selfish. Why can't I bravely accept the role of coward! In my Gethsemane, I seek your prayers.

* delete as appropriate

Anti-Phishing Toolbar

If anybody out there is interested in a useful anti-phishing toolbar, which these days can be seen as a necessity, you could do worse than downloading the Netcraft Anti-Phishing toolbar ! It's available as a free download in versions for both IE and Firefox. [I have experienced one or two minor glitches using IE but so far no problems on Firefox]. It displays hosting locations and risk ratings for every web site visited.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Phil Ochs re-visited - a birthday treat

Already having "All The News That's Fit To Sing" and "I Ain't Marching Any More" (on both CD and vinyl) it was really good to listen to Phil Ochs "Live In Vancouver 1968" (CD) this afternoon. The songs, and the performance, have lost none of their bite or (more sadly) relevance through the intervening years! That tingle down the spine is still part of my response.

Not exactly 'celebration' music for my birthday but it struck so many chords (forgive the pun)!

This evening we watched a couple of episodes of "Spaced" and enjoyed a nice glass of "Pignoletto Frizzante". Finished the evening with a viewing of "Hercules"(the Disney animation) having also dipped into a couple of my other birthday CD's.

Festive Fayre

'Tis the 61st anniversaryof my birth today but, for some obscure reason, it has not been declared a national holiday. The days celebrations started in the now time-honoured manner (of almost every day); what can be more fitting to commemorate a gracious gentleman's birthday than a lie-in. [Don't get me wrong, the "lie-in"is not a festival of untruth saying, merely stopping in bed a while to catch up on some (always) much needed rest].

Once rescued from the duvet's lair by my knightess, la belle dame avec some mercy - ma belle amoureuse, visited the hospital for some blood tests and returned home for twenty minutes before heading off to the local Brewer's Fayre for lunch. The pork steaks with BBQ sauce were much appreciated by this couple of Darby and Joans!

By this time we were well into the afternoon of this favoured day, time to open the presents; wines from Italy and Australia, CD's of Phil Ochs "Live in Vancouver", Count Basie and, Billie Holiday, a collectors edition DVD of "SPACED" (for those not familiar with this wondrous TV series, it features and is written by Simon Pegg of "Shaun of the Dead" fame) gift vouchers and cheques. I've just got so much to be grateful for with friends and family that, in a way, the gifts are simply the tinsel added to a privileged life.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Plus ca change

The nicotine in the bloodstream seems to have had a benificial effect on my temperament. Is that what I really believe or, is it a justification for weakness? Such possibilities are touched upon, but in a broader context, by Heterocon.

One day isn't a good test, in any case, my moods and sense of well-being seem to be extremely fickle these days.


Whilst the fish in the pond continue to thrive, our aquarium is now down to two occupants despite the care and attention lavished upon the colony. You win some and lose some. C'est la vie!

Sunday, June 12, 2005

A Broken Spirit and A Wearied Flesh

That's it, after yesterday's ropey day (recorded by Heterocon) and an even worse night, the will has finally broken. At 14.00 hours, Sunday 12 June, went to buy my first pack of cigarettes (and lighter) in more than seven months. Could no longer cope with the dis-ease of the body, or the tension and anger of the spirit. One certain factor is that the new medication doesn't suit me or, if it does, I'm struggling to give it time to settle in. Patience is a virtue that seems to drift, nay it runs ... scarpers ... away from me!

The first cigarette, on the way back from the local co-op tasted , to be honest, indifferent but none the less welcome. I hate the thought of money going up in smoke; I resent supporting these destructive corporations who manufacture and merchandise these defiling tobacco sticks and yet, all ethical considerations are tossed to one side in the hope of experiencing that "rush" as the nicotine enters the blood-stream.

For the last couple of months my throat and mouth have managed to taste like a nicotine and alcohol hangover, each morning, even though the former is in absentia and the latter very moderately represented.

I have no excuse, apart from weakness. For the moment life sucks but, who knows ... I do still recognize my good fortune in terms of family and friends.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

A Shift In the Balance Of Power (or Tales Of A Tail)

Strange, the scale of re-ordering involved in a weight gain scenario! Before leaving my most recent employment I was becoming concerned at the weight loss from my already reasonably slender frame but, since that time, I've put on at least 35lbs (most of that since quitting smoking at the tail-end of 2004).

This is the point where we get into tales of re-distribution , or shifts, in the balance of power. Such a wierd and wonderful sense of humour dear Mother Nature possesses, sometimes carefully balancing changes anterior and posterior ... stomach and butt!

As the belly begins to fold nicely over the waist band, the butt protrudes like an invitation to some (lower)primate ritual of romance![oh why should I fancy my chances so much?]

Friday, June 10, 2005

No Longer Wild but not quite Cultivated!

A generally quiet ( though clammy) day with little exertion, either physically or mentally required. If there had been any demands, of an exertion requiring nature, I doubt whether I could, or would have responded!

Despite the slow rate of progress on the pond's green-water clearing, it's inhabitants are thriving; from bloodworm (a wonderful food source for) seven goldfish ... Tag, Babe, Blaze, Blondie and the triplets ... and the many itinerant frogs, the reeds and marginal plants, and an abundance of assorted insects.

The nest box echoes to the twittering of some young bluetits, drawing the attention of the neighbourhood cats to their presence but, it's only a limited amount of interference (in terms of protective measures) that we can rightly offer.

This evening I proudly invented a new salmon and rice dish, for the sustenance of ma belle amoureuse et moi ... not for the wildlife (Well, in another sense, I think my wildlife days have passed!). A nicely chilled bottle of 'Chateau du Carpia', Bordeaux 2003, calls out for my attention so, I must bid the blog farewell for the present!

Thursday, June 09, 2005


After a rather troubled night's sleep recorded by Heterocon, my beloved really had to make an effort to get me out of bed and to the hospital for my blood tests. That was three hours ago and, still, I'm not properly awake. The positive to come out of the experience is that my first new poem, in some considerable time, has started to take shape. This is how it reads at present :

A type
of Gethsemane.
Not so much the pain –
more the agony.

Not the absence
of sleep –
more the ache;

an ache which penetrates
each sinew. If only
one had slept

like others do.
Oh, how you’d love
that luxury. Wait

for the next event –
everything burns,
each pore secretes
anxiety. Has it

all come to this?
Who knows
what follows
the restless night.

Malcolm Evison
09 June 2005 (third draft 11.36am)

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Day's Embrace

"Hullo There"; no, you're not deluded - yes, it's me, talking to myself at this unearthly hour. No, I don't have any excuse. I know it's positively indecent to have raised myself from my bed, to get a glass of water, at this unearthly hour!

For all my dread of moving on to the higher dose of Zispin (mirtazapine), fearing a totally zombified state, after all the recent hypnotic trance states, I am actually wide-awake. This could simply be that I have not properly been to sleep, as I know I have to be up early to prepare for an 8.00am appointment with my GP.

Having entered the embrace of duvet-land before midnight, I anticipated deep hypnotic sleep instead of which I dozed spasmodically! The body entered one of those ultra-sensitive states where any slight movement or touch made me feel totally discomfited; a kind of mild cringing nausea.

So, that's my excuse for being up at this unearthly hour, what about you?

Good morning all!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Willing And Having

Whilst Heterocon has been dealing with technological glitches, I have attempted to keep, at least part of, my psychosomatic being aloof from such temporal stresses. This afternoon's bbw went very smoothly, not even out of breath and, as always had the best of all possible companions (ma belle Helene) to accompany me on this exercise.

Perhaps the unsolicited rest this morning, not emerging from my slumbers until almost mid-day, had recuperative powers! A slight hangoverish ache above the eyes links my psyche to the trance-like floatingness of recent history, but do I have the faith to overcome?

Quite unremarkably, I have enjoyed the day, ignoring frustrations whilst almost falling victim to their spell. The fatigued flesh is willing to leave annoyances well alone but, the spirit's sometimes weak!

Self Healing Problems

The pond pump 'trip switch' problem, despite a few little setbacks, was resolved by mid-afternoon. Having temporarily by-passed one section of our convoluted shed, greenhouse and pond-pump wiring circuits, ran the pump for a few minutes from an extension reel cable; upon re-insertion of the by-passed section the little problem had resolved itself.

One of these days I will understand! For me, the age of miracles is not yet past.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Some Words Upon A Prophecy Of Heterocon

To fulfill the prophecy of Heterocon, in his first posting of the day, I boldly ventured forth into the garden, impressing the signs of my feets presence into the lawn. But, this wasn't enough, oh no ... 'twas time for Sinna Luvva to perform a routine rinsing of the filters for the pond. Six bucketfuls of pond water sufficed for the task of rinsing the graded sponge filters, and feeling well satisfied with the effort (risking further irritation to my dodgy back in the process) returned a la maison almost rejoicingly.

And what did the gods say ... "You fool ...thou shalt not be able to reset the temperamental trip-switch to set the pond-pump purring into life". My God ... I soon discovered the truthfulness of those words! Sunday may be meant for man but, is man made for Sunday? Perhaps metakes the day in vain!

Saturday, June 04, 2005

Tidings Of Comfort And Joy

At least the dis-organization of a Sick Health Authority has roused me from the hypnotic trance, which has dominated the past 72 hours of my existence! It's amazing how stimulating a little venom can be; methinks it tickles the adrenalin producing glands into overdrive. Certainly, the anger has redeemed me from this prior sonambulistic state, even though it may be far removed from the most healthy emotional one.

Unfortunately, it's something of a truism that .. "those who are well have no need of a physician .." but, it should not necessarily follow that the sick should be grateful no matter how crap the Health Authority!

Ain't like what it used to be!

As Heterocon has already reported "recent days" and "recent daze" are now to be seen as synonymous! Still, I manfully struggle on, not that I've really got any option ... but is it really I ... or, to quote some French poet, am I simply "a trumpet blown by another". Oh the nostalgic joy of that slight trip into my bohemian days/daze!

The media player blasts out something about .. "love is all you need" and I'm thrust back into the days of my return from section-dom into the real world ... heading on for three decades now ... how I yearn, how I yearn! Cliched as the saying may be, I do feel it's a shame that youth is wasted on the young.

It's strange, the voice ex-machina now proclaims " I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello"... are the days of such profundity really gone forever. Lady Madonna certainly doesn't think so. Thanks for those number one hits lads!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Home and Garden

Back to the medicinal front. Woke up around 7.30am today and, decided to step straight out of bed following yesterday's delay. Did a bit of early morning work at the PC, preparing DVD's of Cathy's swim with sharks during her visit to Thailand. That task being succesfully set in progress, felt justified in partaking a little sustenance to break the night's fast.

As the bluetit brood, in our nest box, become increasingly chirpy the neighbourhood cats seem to take it as an invitation to hang around in hope! On the pond front, I'm pleased to report that the pea-soup has thinned a little more ... note the optimism, just hope it's not misplaced.

Went out for another of my fabled bbw's (brief brisk walks) despite somewhat muggy conditions and, on my return settled down with ma belle amoureuse to watch "Elephant" ... the DVD being due back to the library tomorrow. Unfortunately this proved to be just the time that a trance-like sleep befell me.

What drama there is in the realm of domestic bliss!

Helen and myself were both pleased to see Cathy, albeit fleetingly, on her return from the latest travel round. This time round the lure of L-O-V-E curtailed her itinerary somewhat, a mere five months as opposed to her constantly lengthening stays on the previous occasion.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Initiation into a new (medication) regime

Yesterday evening, I took my first minimal dosage of mirtazapine before finalizing some work on the PC. Unfortunately I fell into an hypnotic sleep demanding state, before I could finish the task in hand, as a result of which I entered the duvet-realm before the witching hour's arrival.

Awoke from my slumbers around 5.00am, trance-like obeying a call of nature. Once my head hit the pillow again all is blank unti sometime after 10.00am. Felt unable to shift my leaden body, from the vale of repose, for a further hour. perhaps the fact that I've been taking the odd analgesic to ease back discomfort has added to mirtazapine's impact.

In another five days, I shall be doubling the dosage of this particular anti-depressant but, I am hoping my current hypnotized state is purely a passing rite of initiation.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

But it's raining .... but not in my heart ...

Awoke to the sound of rain, at least I would have if it's angle of descent had been rather different; certainly there has been considerable refreshment to the lawn and garden, hopefully not too much.

It's actually quite pleasant, watching the rain fall, its rippling bounce on the pond, even the milky grey sky has a certain air of assurance. There again, perhaps these 'positive' responses are the result of a much better night's sleep ... for me that is (not for the weather)!

If it hadn't been for aching joints and creaking muscles, I would have treated the 'tame' part of the lawn with a sprinkling of 'Weed and Feed" yesterday, this somewhat persistent rain on top of a relative warmth could have provided the ideal activating impulse. Still, it's no use crying over unspilt milk.

At least we'll be having a liitle water change in the pond; saves me the effort.

This is the day the Lord has made. I'll try to rejoice and be glad in it!