Wednesday, August 31, 2005

A House In The Country

A large house beckons me; on entering I find myself part of a ceremony but, I'm not sure whether it's a wake or a wedding breakfast. Someone dressed in clerical garb offers to take my coat and I decline the invitation.

After a short time of general tittle-tattle, we are summoned to be seated. I'm still puzzled as to why I'm here but, at least there's a meal in it, or is there? Several clergy seem to be lining up to deliver their little homily's and suddenly the general tittle-tattle recommences. Around me the conversation turns to a wonderful range of furniture; "it's all in black and white", says one, "they designed it for the blind institute". It suddenly falls into place, the makers are none other than a young missionary couple I knew in more youthful times.

I need to stretch my legs and, on doing so enter a TV lounge. Alex Parks is singing so, I turn to one of the clerical throng and ask wheteher her staunch lesbian appeal will help sales of her new album ... if it ever appears. He grudgingly acknowledges that it will and, then reminds me of business to attend to.

I return to the great hall and, seem to have missed the meal's first course but, it's geetting late and I'm feeling weary. Get up from the table once more, open the door and, wham the hinges have become detatched and I hurtle into a nearby ditch, door in hand so as to prevent some major cataclysm.

Where am I going? Your guess is as good as mine; you've just been visiting my dream and so have I!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Asocial Anthropoids

There is a vast sub-species of anthropoid homo erectus, which apparently lives beyond the rule of any laws or social conventions. Henceforth I shall refer to them as homo automobilius. This sub-human species seem capable, at times, of sharing some of the values of homo pedestrianus. Somehow, it is only when they immerse themselves in their personalized phallic temples that they become homo supra-civil-law. Anthropologists have asserted, on occasion, that these beings are also human; regardless of gender, they quite happily put at risk the lives of all other members of the species, both automobilius and pedestrianus!

Another sub-species, known as homo policeianus, seem to ignore most of their deviant behaviour. The way things are going, h.automobilius will soon rid us of such encumberances as traffic lights, speed limits and road markings and, they will duly return to the primeval jungles and swamps that are their rightful home.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Dragonfly watch

As the day progressed so did the sunshine and, in spite of a rather wet start, we have had an afternoon of glorious sunshine accompanied by a light refreshing breeze.

Helen and I had a most rewarding visit to our local nature reserve, where the dragonflies (hawker variety) were putting on a fine display. Conditions were ideal and, it was wonderful to note the wonderful lime green iridescence of the heads on some of the large blue striped specimens.

Never before have I been so captivated by the (disproportionately) large eyes and, the sound of whirring wings. I felt quite privileged as one of them settled on my shirt front, where I was able to closely observe the massive orb eyes and menacing jaws.

Fortunately, Helen drove us up to a point quite close to the reserve's entrance which enabled my legs to hold out a little longer in the reserve itself. The last time we attempted to walk there, a general state of fatigue ensured it was a mission unaccomplished.

We are such dreams as stuff is made from

A night of fitful bouts of sound sleep, disrupted only by varied discomforts. Back ache, leg ache and chronic bouts of reflux are just a few of the luxuries bestowed on my past night's sleep.

Still, ours is not to worry, I also sustained considerable dream attacks. Does one have to seek out meanings or, should we simply revel in the sheer perversity of these subconscious visions?

Whether what I'm about to report on is one dream or a conflation of several nocturnal events, only the gods can tell. Once more I was back to college, indulging in mildly hedonistic pursuits as is the legacy which all students must honour. The obvious dream element was the fact that, this college was something of an intellectual power-house. Exam eve was approaching before the realization dawned that there was another campus to this college. For all my time there I should have been attending subsidiary lectures and tutorials at this alternate campus so, what I'd actually been studying was half of the course; why had no-one informed me? (Truth be told, no-one had informed me but, they were a nobody so I'd ignored their warnings!).

Before the exams, I had to pay a visit into town where I lost my wheelchair! The fact that I was in the best health I'd ever known and, had never been a wheelchair user, was a cause of some perplexity.

The clock ticked ominously and, panic set in. A suggestion was made that I should go to the Wearmouth (?) bridge and, I may find the lost article there. Each glimpse of the bridge turned out to be an illusion, a false horizon; the panic deepened, until I found the chair I wasn't able to settle the mind sufficiently to return to college. This was the point when I discovered the entrance to the alternate campus.

I did eventually reach the bridge which transmogrified into the greatest lost property office imaginable .... and then ... I awoke! All roads lead to nowhere!

In some way I realize that, my longstanding examination-phobia and, my current inability to cope with any travelling, do show themselves in this dream. Having said that, can it possibly have any significance?

Perhaps, from these dreams some stuff can be made!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Who knows where the time goes

I just don't know where today has gone; got out of bed earlier than yesterday, having had not quite so rested a night, did a wee bit of web-browsing and, behold it's lunchtime. Lunch took rather longer than usual, owing to our guests problem with swallowing but, next thing I remember is feeling totally fatigued. This fatigued spell was followed by an effort to get in a brief brisk walk before tea-time. And what does the brief brisk walk lead to? Fatigue!

My beloved enjoyed leading her service this morning and, has just popped around to the local chapel to recharge her batteries. Meantime, I just wile away the hours, until I'm once more prompted to wonder where the day has gone!

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Mina Agossi

Isn't it wonderful to make a discovery but, it's also frustrating to find one has been missing out for so long. The discovery, an amazing Jazz singer, who frequently performs alongside a bass and drum duo; the name, which will now be etched in my memory, is Mina Agossi. Not only am I intent on obtaining her most recent album "Zaboum" but, her back catalogue contains some real gems.

Having just watched a video of her performing, I found myself totally mesmerized; she obviously likes to be admired, visually as well as musically, and I don't mind falling down at her feet ("rapt in wonder, love and praise")! As performer and composer, she is a force to be reckoned with.

Good morning world

Having only just emerged from the duvet-realm, I've not yet had time to know how I am today; truth be told, I'm still checking to see if it's me!

I was always given to understand that, the older one gets the less sleep is required. So, here you have Sinna Luvva the mental aberration. Of my past twelve and a half hours 'au lit', I would estimate that, at least, nine and a half of them were spent in sound sleep. (Isn't it strange, that the state of sleep that is so deep as to make one oblivious to extraneous sound, should be called 'sound'?)

Maybe, by the time I get my teeth in and, my spectacles on, the world will once more begin to make sense!

Friday, August 26, 2005

English Usage

Having realized that the Compose (Rich Text Editor) feature was not functioning in Blogger today, I contacted Support regarding this. In their reply they acknowledged that anyone using languages other than English was unable to access these features at present.

Being English by birth and residence and, using the English language, I was somewhat bemused by this response but, they were courteous enough to link me to a page where I could (temporarily) change my language to English. On following this link, I immediately saw the cause of my puzzlement; the language selected for me was English (UK) and, it was necessary to check the top button simply labelled English.

Is this yet another example of US Imperialism; their language is English whereas that of the Brits is apparently a secondary derivative – English (UK)!

A Remarkable Woman

Recent days have found me thinking a lot about my late ‘Mum’, a feisty working class lass, who never forgot her roots. It’s really quite strange how, at times, our thoughts take control of us, rather than allowing us to remain in control. The dominant thought is of all the love I received and, was fortunately able to reciprocate.

The last seven years, or more, of her life were spent as an invalid, a role which never became her. Back in 1997, I had been given half-an-hour to get to the hospital if I wanted to see her again; a massive paralyzing stroke and, heavy haemorrhage from a consequent head injury, received as she fell, convinced the medics that she would a) never recover from the coma she had entered, subsequently modified to b) if she did come round, it could only be in a totally vegetative state; brain scans added weight to this prognosis. After several weeks in a coma, she whispered to me that she loved me but, none of the medical staff would accept it as other than an involuntary groan which I’d interpreted thus!

Mum proved them totally wrong but, her “bereavement” process for the total lack of mobility and, inability to carry on with any of the handicrafts she so delighted in, proved most traumatic. Right up until her death in May 2004, she was always, in her mind, doing her baking or leading meetings. It was so sad, to witness this formerly active person reduced to a total dependence on her imagination, in order to continue to serve her Lord, and any people who may need assistance. At the same time she largely managed to retain a lively, perceptive and incisive mind.

Every day, I thank God for her and, for all the lives she so positively touched, even as an invalid!

A Slow Start

Got to admit, the combination of beanbag type lap-table and notebook computer is an amazing liberator. At least this way, I get around to apologizing for the lack of any evening blogs, yesterday, from either yours truly or Heterocon, without forcibly ejecting myself from the duvet realm!

Yesterday, from mid-afternoon onwards, I was quite simply wrecked and, never really recovered from the thwarted venture into town – ‘Tired or What’ – outlined by Heterocon. I even seemed to have aches in parts other ailments can’t reach!

This morning, I’m quite simply shattered and yet, I must have had some pretty sound sleep as I don’t remember the night.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I am not nobody

My wife is currently busy on the task of sermon preparation; the verse which provides the starting point for her exploration is taken from the book of Exodus, chapter 3 verse 11: But Moses said to God, “I am nobody. How can I go to the king and bring the Israelites out of Egypt”.

Whilst I am impressed with the amount of preparation that has gone into the draft of her sermon, I suddenly realized how differently I would tackle the same text; she prepares, I burst into a polemical rant!


Moses was raised in the corridors of power and, duly appointed to (or at least inherited) a position of authority. This is the man who professes “I am nobody”! Perhaps he feels that life has not really been so kind to him, as he’s now working as a shepherd, having been forced to flee from his “regal” position following his act of “terrorism”.

Perhaps he has begun to question his own motivation; the slaying of the Egyptian may have stemmed from his moral outrage at the way the taskmaster had treated the Hebrew slave; on the other hand, it may simply have been that he lost his cool and so, let his temper prescribe the action rather than any sense of justice. An awareness of the injustice that surrounds one demands a response but, will we respond out of love or with hate?

Maybe this is reading too much into the situation and, his feeling of unworthiness is quite understandable when exposed to this theophanic vision. But, God is soon going to pull him up short; this is the task that God has ordained for you and, I God will be with you; how dare you call yourself a nobody. God recognizes that this man, disguised as a Shepherd, is capable of the task to which He calls him!

For God, there is no such thing as a nobody. God himself became incarnate as Jesus, the “Son of Man” and, this man did far more to transform the world than any abstract notion of God. He drew on a rich tradition of justice, from the Jewish community into which he was born and, re-vitalized it, redeemed it from the hands of the pious. Unfortunately, piety can so easily result in dehumanizing attitudes.

Jesus came and consorted with publicans and sinners, he even prevented a brutal and brutalizing death of an adulterous woman. Her life was of value to Jesus, she was a “somebody”. We are none of us perfect but, we are all worthy, worthy of love and respect and opportunity.

Jesus demonstrates to us our “worthiness” not our unworthiness. Perhaps in earlier phases of his life Moses had been consumed by his own ego, whereas now he was a broken man and, God tells this broken man “I have a task for you; the labourer is worthy of his hire”. We are all important to God and, are worthy to represent him in our struggles against corruption and injustice. It is time we all laid claim to our worthiness and forgot our self-denigratory posturing.

As we lay ourselves open to God’s call, we hear the voice of love; we are all His children!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

A Matter of Time

I have long been worried by these (sizeable) Christian factions who seem determined to hasten the advance of the “End Time”. Surely, as Christians, they believe in the incarnation, which for me is the greatest symbol of the importance of this world. Constant speculation on “The Rapture” seems to me an exercise in life denial.

So, I must express my interest in reading Charles Moore’s article, “Worried About Being Left Behind?" on the Bruderhof web-site, a lucid exposition of varying attitudes towards such climacteric events.

Why Does Heterocon Wonder?

Heterocon has been "wondering" at Helen's conversion to fish dishes. As his alter-ego and, having just re-read Something Fishy, it's all too easy to tell.

I'm quite modest really, honestly!

Taking A Thought For A Walk

Just been listening to the Jeremy Vine show (Radio 2), where part of the time was spent discussing the letter of a 12 year old (Catholic school educated) girl objecting to the proposed opening of a sex shop in cozy middle-class Altrincham.

The letter, whilst reasonably eloquent, was wildly extreme in it's sentiment; it seemed an equation was being made that saw all clientele of such establishments as either paedophiles, rapists or perverts! Ultimately though, it all smacked of adult inspired NIMBYism; the girl when questioned, acknowledged that there was "a place" for such shops but, not in the centre of Altrincham. A spokesperson for the company concerned quite rightly commented that, if they are full of the 'types' suggested by the letter, there shouldn't be a place for them.

Several callers commented on the fact that paedophiles are more likely to be found at the schoolgates or swimming pools; why should they go somewhere where children aren't allowed?

My real worry is that she may simply be be passing on 'received' information that sex is not for pleasure but, solely for procreation. Sex, as solely for procreation, is a little bit like alcohol being only legitimate if one intends to get 'legless'!

Regardless of one's own predilections, it is always good to be exposed to a plurality of opinions. The views and values of any given religion are there for the followers of that tradition and, not to be imposed on society at large. For myself, the primary value is to have respect for my fellow human beings, which entails the rejection of any abusive relationships in everyday commercial/political or personal life. Faith and Hope I cannot live without and, most importantly, I long to share that love which I am fortunate enough to have received.

The Christ I follow was made incarnate (en-fleshed) so that we may have life and, have it abundantly.


Pure delicious delight, that just about sums up the wine finally decided on last evening even though, a couple of glasses was all either my beloved or myself could manage. The bottle in question; Finca Antigua Crianza, La Mancha, 2000 - a superb blend of Tempranillo, Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot - one to be slowly savoured.

The 'Wycliffe' episode was one that we'd seen in the past few months but, nonetheless enjoyable for that. By the time we got to the third of our selected programmes, I was fighting off sleep ....

Sleep followed ... my, my,... did it follow ...? Perhaps Heterocon will be better informed on this score!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Whining On

Well, so far this has been a good day and, I even got around to doing s water change for the aquarium. Unfortunately, as it’s so densely planted, I couldn’t help disturbing and uprooting a little of the vegetation. By the time I’d completed these minor manoeuvres, my thumb seemed to be telling me it hadn’t fully recovered from its recent upset.

Tonight’s TV looks very promising for my better half, although I must admit I enjoy much the same programmes concentration permitting! ITV3 has an episode of ‘Wycliffe’ and, immediately that has finished, it’s across to Channel 5 for ‘CSI: Miami’ followed by a repeat ‘CSI: NY’. So it’s a night in with the cops!

Having had another case of wine delivered this afternoon, methinks I should check the cellar for tonight’s lubrication. At present, I seek the necessary energy to peruse the Wine List.

It's The Same Old Story

Despite an 'always on' broadband connection, both the main PC and Helen's laptop far too regularly come up with the "Cannot find server" messages regardless of using IE, Firefox or even the mail programme. At present patience most certainly is a virtue (what's more it's a necessity!). It is however strange that my new laptop isn't sharing this dilemma.

Re-cap: one (ethernet) wired PC and one wireless laptop are experiencing these connection problems; one wireless laptop using the same router is not experiencing such problems. Before acquiring the wireless router, both PC and Helen's laptop were functioning (with the previous router) without any of these faltering connections. These idiosyncrasies are, presumably, the reason that 'Blogger for Word' doesn't function on my PC!

My rational interventions in the process have come to nothing; it's almost as if by dwelling on these glitches (and reporting them on these hallowed pages) I'm expecting the magical incantatory effect to somehow restore normal service!

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Televisual Lure

After a Pasta meal, settled down with my beloved to watch Agatha Christie’s Poirot : The Double Clue (ITV3), a quite enchanting episode in which it seems Poirot has found love. What he has in fact found is a kindred spirit on the other side of the law. David Suchet is always a very convincing Poirot, in almost the same way Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes.

I am currently watching, and recording, The Masque Of The Red Death (BBC4) some 40 years after I last saw it at a cinema near Maida Vale. My beloved was also enjoying this film but, overcome with tiredness, she has now retired for the night. It’s just as well I’m recording the film really!

Were it not for the ‘digi-box’ neither of tonight’s televisual treats would have been available …I trust this brief plug has significance for The Oxcliffe Fox!

Mission Accomplished

Wel, I've just got back from a 30 minute bbw and, I don't feel too bad. It really is wonderful to manage a little bit of exercise without falling into (my default) fatigued-wreck mode! Perhaps the preceding period of total-rested-idleness, in this instance, proved advantageous. What would be even more wonderful is to have a rest period by choice rather than necessity.

A temporary energised period is a prize not to be scoffed at; for this I give thanks!

A Type of Advisor

Have you ever received some sincerely intended advice from a person who would do well to sort out their own problems? Have you ever known someone who knows absolutely everything about whatever topic is currently doing the rounds?

Some people seem to feel they have the gift of being able to diagnose a problem of which they don’t know half the details! No matter how well intended the “advice”, thoughts of motes and beams come readily to mind!

The tetchiness referred to by Heterocon on 20 August was largely brought about by such a caring friend.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

A Relaxed Evening

A quite relaxed evening; listened to some online jazz whilst Helen attended communion, and then we watched and listened to some of the Strauss concert (BBC4), before opening a bottle of Colombella Pinot Grigio 2004, Terre di Chieti IGT. The Pinot served as adequate accompaniment to the Poirot episode (ITV1), the title of which I've already forgotten, even though both my beloved and myself enjoyed watching it despite memories of a previous viewing. The wine proved quite acceptable but, I fail to understand the popularity of this grape variety!

From Blogger for Word to thoughts on The Word

I seem to have resolved some of the problems, with regard to the PC and Helen's laptop's connection to the internet ... or, at least I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Blogger For Word is a different matter; the add-on works fine from my laptop but it still obstinately refuses to function on the PC.


After lunch, we went out for a little walk but, I soon began to recognize my limitations and so, curtailed the proposed route.

Just watching 'Songs Of Praise' at the moment and, for some reason they're showing a few excerpts from school nativity plays but no, I've not got it wrong ... I just looked out of the window and it's still Summer! To be honest I've never really seen why the nativity should only be celebrated in December; a specific geographic location is necessary, if we are to take incarnation seriously but, there's no scriptural reference to the birth taking place in December.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

The X-Factor

Tonight the X-Factor returned to our screens (ITV1) and we managed to catch the last twenty minutes of it. The audition process, as expected, proved highly entertaining and, one can only wonder what inspires the majority of applicants to put themselves through this (usually quite justified) humiliation!

Switched over to ITV2 then, for X-Factor Extra which provided much more hilarity. All in all it’s been a quite TV oriented evening, the remote zapped us over to watch an episode of CSI, rather a contrast to X-Factor. What a cloistered little life I lead!

I did manage a brief, moderately brisk, walk this afternoon but then found exhaustion took over as I started my preparations for tomorrows dinner. I struggled a bit to finish the task I’d set myself but, after that I only had energy sufficient to watch the goggle-box.

[Addendum: (11.50pm)This posting was performed using Blogger For Word from my laptop; the same add-on still doesn't work on my main PC. Ever since the new router was installed, I've experienced problems with finding the server on both the main PC (ethernet connected) and Helen's wirelessly connected laptop. The new laptop (used wirelessly and further away from the router)does not experience these problems! This has become one of life's great mysteries!]

Blogger for Word

I just thought I should try out the delights of Blogger for Word. For some reason it wasn’t working from my PC so, thought I’d try installing it on my laptop first, before going back to troubleshooting.

If this blog appears then, it would seem that this install is successful!

The Trinity Finalized

This morning the third, and final, plumber/estimator called and, just when you think that you've got it all sussed, there's even more questions as to requirements. At least when we receive the estimates we'll know what extras need to be included/added!

Had a morning 'phone call from Pamela, The Oxcliffe Fox's better half. It was good to catch up on things of which the blog has not informed us and, Helen always enoys a natter! I think P was rather surprised that I'd already surfaced from the duvet-realm; had it not been for the plumber's impending visit, I maybe wouldn't have done so. It seems like our bathroom re-vamp coincides, more-or-less, with the Fox's electrical re-wiring.

It seems like these little tribulations are sent to ensure that we don't get too bogged down in familiar routines!

Friday, August 19, 2005

A Rule of Thumb

This morning, in my Heterocon guise, I was rejoicing at the return of wrinkles and creases to my beleaguered thumb but, perhaps the optimism was misplaced. As I attempted to use the offending digit, during the preparation of tonights Savoury Salmon, Peppers and Mushroom Rice dish, things got rather awkward. Last night I had managed to use the kitchen knives without exerting undue thumb pressure, tonight the effort proved far too painful.

Perhaps the fact that late afternoon saw the return of my 'pale' swimmy fatigued state, played a minor role in the increased pain (or possibly, a decreased pain threshold)! In spite of that, with some assistance from my commis chef Helen, the meal proved succesful as always. Why did God make me so gifted in the culinary arts, which I only turned to in my later fifties; it makes it far more difficult to appreciate lesser cuisines? Still, at least it keeps me on my toes, such high standards to maintain.

Helen is glad to do anything to help but, I do have something of a stubborn streak that makes me labour on when perhaps I should rest!

The Estimator Cometh

This afternoon, the second of the estimators (for our bathroom re-vamp) called around and this time, following the common-sense advice of Tuesday's plumber, Helen was able to tell him the basics of what we wanted. Well, it's no good having competitive(?) estimates for totally dissimilar commodities!

Tomorrow, another plumber will be calling in the morning; after that it's a case of awaiting, and sifting through, their respective quotations. Consideration will also be given as to whom we think will perform the task in the minimum of time with the minimum disruption!

Those who know me well will appreciate just how much I enjoy disruptions to my mundane routines!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

An Evening of Lows and Highs

Shortly after my previous entry, decided I should make the effort to go and see The Nightjars but, it was doomed to failure. We eventually found a parking space within a few minutes walk of the pub. On arrival there, we saw Lisa (from the group) and, Beth and Mahmood. The venue was pretty crowded but, Lisa told us that they'd be on in fifteen minutes. Took a drink to a table outside but then, wham everything started swimming and that intense 'pale' feeling overwhelmed me; it was hard to keep any focus and I seemed to fluctuate between feeling hot and cold. So, that was the end of the effort, I had become noticeably pale and shaky ; Helen brought the car around and we headed back home. Was it simply that I can't cope with crowds at the moment; whatever is the case, it definitely had a marked physiological response.

Once we got home and, I got settled down again, we decided to watch 'Donnie Darko' which I thought we had on video and, I had noticed on Pewari’s Prattle for 10 August ‘05 that it was the kind of movie we would enjoy!

Picked up the E180 VHS video, clearly marked Donnie Darko, only to find I'd only recorded the first twenty minutes at the end of the tape! My concentration seems to be be completely shot. However, on running the tape back, I rediscovered 'Hiroshima Mon Amour' which I'd recorded a couple of weeks back and then lost before we got around to viewing it! Last week I'd searched high and low to find this movie; that quest proved totally unsuccesful. Lack of concentration is becoming a major problem when it comes to, rewinding, indexing and labelling of videos; I'd already realized that I'm unable to concentrate sufficiently to read a book, hence my intense random browsing habit.

I look forward now, to viewing HMA in the near future and, I'll treasure the experience far more realizing how close I'd come to taping over it.

The evening was redeemed for us by watching a DVD of 'Monkey Business', classic screwball comedy which kept us highly amused!

lamenting missed opportunities

Tonight The Nightjars are making one of their rare 'public' (as opposed to 'private function') appearances at a pub in town but, unfortunately, I don't really feel sufficiently energised to be able to cope with the anticipated crowd.

I do miss out on so many social occasions for health reasons. I live in the hope that, one day, I may recover the (physical and emotional) stamina that could re-activate my former gregarious nature!

I'm already lamenting this missed opportunity.

[For those who don't know me; The Nightjars provided the entertainment at phase II of our wedding reception, where I boogied away for most of the evening].

Pit Stop

Up bright and early this morning, well, 9.30AM is just that by my current standards. Already set off for the hospital by 10.00AM, accompanied by Helen, my beloved chauffeuse; it's certainly too far to walk in my current state of being.

First port of call was the X-Ray department; sat opposite us was a handcuffed young man with two burly prison officers. "I think he's perhaps a prisoner", Helen whispered sweetly. "More like a fetishist!", was my response. Anyway, it reminded me that it was about time we wrote to our friend Brian who's currently in the care of HMP Hull.

The first posture I had to adopt for my thumb X-Ray was straightforward enough, simply resting the offending digit on it's left hand side. Next came the jujitsu move; bend forward in the chair, twist arm backwards and to the side ... palm facing upwards. So much exercise and, it's not yet noon. Thank goodness I didn't have a frozen shoulder at the same time my thumb needed x-raying!

On from Radiology to the blood-letters, where by now I'm a familiar face (perhaps that should read "familiar arm"). Today's tests are Random Plasma Glucose, Full Blood Count, Plasma Vicosity and CRP, next month is the turn of Liver function etc., the following month Thyroid function etc. and, anything that may occur meantime.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Mountain comes to me

Tonight was Helen's night at the Pizza Hut with her friend Hilary, meantime our friend Graham came around to visit. Enjoyed listening on-line to some Cajun/Zydeco on Radio Free New Orleans and to Brian Parker's All That Jazz ... I just love the mesmerising visuals on both Real Player and WMP. After that switched to BBC Radio 7 for a bit of spoken word.

The moon tonight was especially prominent, no attempt being made to hide it's doleful countenance, As I leaned over the stable door, at the rear of the house, it was the first time I had observed glow-worms at the more tamed end of the garden ... if M won't go to the mountain then, the mountain must come to M! For all my ailments, I simply love this world of ours!

More diagnostics

With much prompting and organizing from my beloved, visited the doctor's surgery this afternoon with regard to my inexplicably swollen & painful thumb and, the persistent sores on my leg. Tomorrow, I have to visit the hospital for an X-Ray of my thumb and some further blood tests. The cause of the thumb problem is unknown and, the sores on my lower limbs are either Discoid Eczema or Bowens Disease. At the moment she has prescribed some stronger steroidal cream, which should clear the patches up if it's eczema, otherwise Bowens is definitely in the equation. I'm hoping and praying that the eczema diagnosis is the correct one. I have a return appointment with this particular doctor in two weeks time.

Visits to the hospital are becoming, pretty much, an all too regular part of my life but, it does make me grateful that we have a National Health Service, rather than a totally market-based one. At times like this, one learns to appreciate what can so easily be taken for granted!

The land of dreams

Just how long do dreams last, apart from the whole of one's life? Do they have any purpose? Perhaps what I am now offering will prove a delight to the psycho-analysts! An exercise in vulnerability perhaps.

Last night, retired to bed at 11.00pm but, was then laying awake until at least 1.ooam. Sometime between 1.00 and 2.00 I must have been asleep because I awoke from a dream shortly after 2.00am. In this dream, I'd paid several visits to a large chapel where, the minister was well known to me. The chapel wasn't particularly well attended, (that bit I presume was quite true to life!), and the cleric seemed to have a personal word for everyone in his address but, when it came to me ... nothing .. (that certainly seemed quite normal).

After the service, his reverend self took yours truly aside; I sensed this was some kind of special commission. Next time I turned up at the chapel, I found myself directed to the vestry door and a different minister pointed me to another door; I felt like telling him I was only there to read the meter but, instead I followed his command.

Somehow this door led me into the back of the balcony. The hall was full to bursting and I was passed over the heads of the assembled throng. That's when the panic struck but, by this time, all eyes in the building were focussed on me ... I started to run ...

Next thing I know, I'm wide awake and it's shortly after 2.00am. By 3.15am arrived, I'd given up on thoughts of getting back to sleep so I went downstairs to get a bite to eat. Returned to bed about 3.45 and slept until, I was vaguely aware of the better half making herself an early morning cup of tea.

The next I knew, I was at some sort of college and, found myself roped in to a dramatic production, to play some sort of sinister Beckettsian clown type figure! Called in to see my parents in some war-stricken village and, Mum said how proud she was that I'd been honoured, or at least trusted, in this role.

It was time to head back to the college so, small suitcase in hand, I headed off to do my duty. This is when I began to get lost but, several hours later I found the college. A general buzz of excitement was in the air, the only problem was that I couldn't find the dressing room. Perhaps this wasn't too major a problem as I had already donned some grossly oversize trousers en route. This was the moment to panic ... "I don't know the lines" was the refrain that kept echoing through the corridors so ... I ran.

This is the point when I got lost in the surrounding countryside but, not yet total panic. Turn a corner and a large petrol tanker is heading towards me; "this must be a punishment for chickening out" was the thought reverberating through my head. The tanker drew closer then, it suddenly swerved, veered over a cliff into a large sea loch ...

My wife entered the room, this bit was for real ... the dream was over. Do dreams ever have a resolution? How long does a dream last?

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Preparing For Changes

Well, we've had the first plumber in, to estimate for a re-vamping of our bathroom and, we are impressed with his down-to-earth suggestions! [By the phrase "down-to-earth" I did not intend to imply ridding ourselves of a WC!] I've a feeling we will be sticking to a shower in a bath, as per current arrangements and, perhaps later on, we'll have a shower cubicle in one of the bedrooms which currently has a washbasin fitted.

The major change will be the shifting of the wash basins position, installation of an extractor fan and, perhaps, re-boarding of a currently problematic ceiling. The plumbing to the shower will, this time be concealed. I am anxious to see the changes but, not looking forward to the necessary disruption. My current state of health makes it difficult to cope with any changes but, with a little faith and perseverance, I'm sure we'll get by.

Two more plumbers will be calling round later in the week and, I'm just a little curious as to any suggestions they may have.

Thumbs Up!

A bruised and sprained thumb did little to affect my reputation for wonderful cuisine! A simple tuna pasta, instinctively spiced and herbed, provided a most satisfying repast.

And what of the abnormal thumb; I have no idea where/when the injury was sustained and, I'm trusting the discomfort will disappear as swiftly as it emerged last evening. One lesson I have learned, in this short time, is just how versatile (in synchronicity with other digits) this thickened and shortened finger is!

Feeding Time

Having contributed, in the past hour, to Heterocon's rant "Can there be smoke without fire", I feel surprisingly calm and at peace with my world.

Just popped out to the garden, to feed the fish, which brought about the usual flurry of activity in the pond and, am currently contemplating the preparation of a meal for my beloved and myself. Hopefully, our response to the meal will not produce such frenetic activity.

How fortunate and privileged we are to 'know' where our next meal is coming from!

Monday, August 15, 2005

Escapist Delights

Two evenings running my beloved and I have revelled in a bit of pure escapism. Last night we watched, and recorded to DVD, "The Mask Of Zorro" for some quite captivating buckling of swashes. Tonight it was the turn of "Raiders Of The Lost Ark" which, despite the gratuitous violence, is redeemed by the pure unreality of a tale excitingly told.

Tonight's viewing was accompanied by an appropriate, typically Oz, wine. Very gluggable but, totally upfront in both fruit and oak - 'Penfolds Winemakers Selection Chardonnay, 2004'. If subtlety is what you seek, neither the wine nor the film are to be recommended; it so happens that, on this occasion we enjoyed both!

Of Exercise, Sleeping and Eating

My mid-morning awakening led to the saga of the mysterious intruder, recorded by Heterocon but, since that time, there have been no major incidents to report. Fish-feeding routines, at both the garden pond and the aquarium, have been efficiently performed and, shortly before five pm, I even managed to get out for a (not so) brief, (not so) brisk, walk around some of the more tree-lined roads and avenues! The combination of sunshine and breeze was just about right for me and, didn't interfere unduly with my hypersensitive eyes.

Shortly after the return home, old Morpheus really held me in his thrall; a shock awakening, actioned by my beloved, signified it was almost time for dinner. An almost vindaloo heat minced beef Rogan Josh variant, prepared by yours truly on Saturday evening, went down bootifully with new potatoes, broccoli and leeks. Yesterday, we'd had the traditional saffron rice but, these days, I'm equally happy with pasta accompaniment. 'Tis the quality that counts!

Sunday, August 14, 2005

An attempt to overwhelm tiredness

This afternoon's short walk proved quite enjoyable but, I was certainly ready to slump down on return; that's what ten minutes gentle exercise does for one! Subsequently began to feel extremely tired, in spite of interesting company.It's been rather a weekend for entertaining! This afternoon, Phyllis a friend from Helen's schooldays has called in with her son Sharif.

In order to prevent myself falling asleep, as if I hadn't already had enough, Helen suggested I pick up the laptop and, that is why you are being confronted with a further brief report on my day so far. My eyes are suffering from (an imagined) sleep deprivation so, that's it for now!

Ah! ... that's a refreshing change

Awoke, for the second time, at around 10.15 am but, after a further snooze and relaxation, finally plucked up the courage to disengage myself from bed around the time that Helen returned from her second visit to chapel at 11.40. I must admit to feeling quite refreshed today and, I've actually managed a bbw this afternoon. I'm certainly feeling much more alert than I did at the corresponding time yesterday.

Before my venture into the bed-free domain, I enjoyed playing around with Photo Story 3, creating the odd mini-video on my laptop. Oh what a life of luxury I lead.

A Visit from Ruby

It's amazing how much better Ruby's visit made me feel; she certainly is an absolute charmer. Unfortunately we didn't get to meet her mummy on this occasion, as she hasn't been feeling too well. In fact Ruby herself had been a bit off colour this morning so we (Helen & myself) were extra-pleased to meet her in the flesh and, to take our own snaps to add to the digital Ruby collection.

I also discovered that Ruby doesn't particularly like men, at least I'm not the first of my gender to have this young female crying on my shoulder. We also were pleased to meet Anne, Ruby's maternal grandma; a real family occasion.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Not One Of My Better Days

Well, I managed to force myself out of bed a little bit earlier and, I haven't felt right since! Afraid it's one of my "pale" days; if I was a dog my nose would be dry and my tail down between my legs. Ruby's visit has been postponed until a bit later in the day, she's sound asleep at the hotel at present; perhaps the delay is a godsend, as I may feel a little more awake when the visitors arrive than would have been the case earlier.

Popped into town to settle a credit card bill this morning but HSBC, with whom I have an account, have no human counter-presence on a Saturday and, Halifax, with whom we also have accounts and, which is part of the same banking group (Halifax Bank Of Scotland) as my credit card company (Bank Of Scotland) don't accept these payments. Got to admit, I voted against their becoming a bank but, it seems that as a bank they're far from fully fledged!

The certain fact is that none of the banks give a toss about their customers, their one aim in life is to pay their directors exorbitant salaries!

Friday, August 12, 2005

Meeting Ruby

Tomorrow morning I'll be seeing my great-niece Ruby for the first time. Never before I have received so many photos (via e-mail) of any one person as those I have received of Ruby, ranging from her being a couple of hours old at the end of last October up until recent weeks. Of course it will be good to see her Mummy and Daddy but, I've met them before, so the real excitement is at meeting Ruby!

So, tomorrow morning, I'll have to make sure that I unencumber myself from the duvet realm in plenty of time. All other distractions are on hold at present and, I look forward to a restful night.

Boys and their toys

Just been downloading MS Photo Story 3 and, am impressed at the ease with which one can create a video from still-images. When it comes to graphics programmes I love creating my own images but, it's rather nice to lazily place a folder of images into a programme which automatically creates a slide show, with quite acceptable transitions, together with generating the soundtrack music.

My first little video certainly sets off some of my paintings to advantage! No doubt I'll enjoy filling some of my many lazy moments experimenting with this programme.

Saying whoa! to woe

Although last evening was most relaxed, by the time bed-time arrived, a void was waiting to be be taken over by the demons of stress. There wasn't anything I could put my finger on, it was more a kind of suffocation by the sum total of my minor ailments. A yearning to regain some of my former energy or, at least the stamina and courage to get out and do dome socializing, seems to be at the heart of it. Learning to live within limitations always sounds much easier than it feels!

Guilt at my inability to tackle many tasks continues to gnaw at me; this is the guy who would keep slogging away at work, sometimes against other's advice, regardless of the state of my health, that is now wondering whether he'll be able to get out for a bbw or manage to prepare lunch on any given day. This same guy is also gregarious by nature but, finds himself unable to cope with even quite modest crowds.

Of course, when one is tired, that's when they're most prone to these anxieties but, unfortunately, tiredness is integral to my current state of being, regardless of the amount (or Quality) of sleep. Sometimes life drags, when a rag-bag of ailments yearns for but, doubts that any diagnosis is available.

Having whinged on, almost to the point of self-pity, I should point out that at this present moment I feel quite positive about the day!

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Premonitions of Disarray

Impending danger; today the alarm bells started ringing, stress levels suddenly swung right off the scale. Ever since the plumbing emergency of very recent memory we had decided on a revamped bathroom but today, when I went up there with a measuring tape, the logistics seemed more daunting. Even to have the smallest shower cubicle installed will require a re-siting of the washbasin, if we go for the bath and shower panels option various re-sitings will have to take place.

For a matter of greater import, whilst any work is performed in the bathroom, it will be necessary for us to remove the major wineracks from their cupboard space, which shares the joists and certain lengths of floorboarding with the bathroom. As you may well be aware, wine has a quite sensitive soul which does not take kindly to vibration. Needless to say, I share this sensitivity but, whereas I can be redeemed from the effects of vibration the same cannot necessarily be said of wine.

Perhaps I am crying wolf and, any transformation of the bathroom will not prove quite so traumatic as is my dread! The past couple of years has seen us having a new dampcourse, new combi-boiler, new gasfire, warm-roof insulation after necessary repairs and replacement, a new larger hatch into the, subsequently, newly floored loft space! My survival of such devasating events is, in and of itself, little short of a miracle!

For the time being, this fatigued spirit attempts to rejoice in the present moment.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Documenting Documentaries

Our friend Graham came around this evening and, our first task was to transfer the contents of a DVD-R to VHS video for an elderly neighbour of his. In fact the material on the DVD-R proved quite interesting to both Helen and myself. It really feels good when performing a task for a neighbour becomes a pleasure in and of itself.

After that we caught up on three recently recorded TV programmes, two instalments of 'My Life As A Child', a fascinating child's eye view of themselves and their families and, a documentary 'Sad To Be Gay' in which a gay man sought help ... wondering if his sexuality was nature or nurture ... to change! The experience, in a heavily religious community stateside proved quite traumatic but, was nonetheless doomed to failure. Unlike many of the other 'clients', he wasn't starting out from a premise of self-loathing. By the end of the programme he seemed resigned to the fact that it perhaps wasn't his lot to be a husband in a traditional nuclear family. A consolation seemed to be that at least he had a 'family' in the form of his god-children. Helen and myself both felt uneasy with the healing ministry's starting premise, that somehow "being gay is not really who you are!"

Quite amazingly, in spite of still feeling rather fatigued, I managed to retain a reasonable degree of concentration for each of these short programmes.

Time moves faster than thought ... (?)

Seemed to get a better night's sleep but, still felt exhausted and, seemed unable to find the necessary energy reserves to remove myself from duvet-dom until 11.00AM. Since that time I've been checking out security bulletins, downloading and installing necessary updates on the PC and both laptops.

I just seem to lose track of time although, I did remember the lunch-time feed for the pond fish; suppose I ought to get on with the lunchtime feed for yours truly! So, speak to you later!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

A Long Night's Journey ....

Some initial sound sleep rapidly transformed itself,and me, into a restless fireball of flesh! Before the sound sleep, my body moved through one of it's hyper-sensitive phases; the accidental touch of the beloved's toe on my calf muscle was enough to drive both upper and lower limbs into a convulsive frenzy. Even the brush of Helen's breath, on my naked shoulder, was enough to send me to the edge of that moment when playful tickling becomes excrutiating torment!

The thing is, I survived and, once more rejoice in this day the Lord has made.

Monday, August 08, 2005

And Today Was Good

Despite dealing with some little technical glitches with the laptop, reported on today by Heterocon, and doing my bit of lawn tending (see previous post), the day still finds me in reasonable form! Tonight I take my final reduced dose of Mirtazapine so, we'll see how I go on from here.

Today the joint pains have been quite minimal and, the fatigue less marked. Still, at the moment I've to listen to my body and rest if necessary.

I truly can rejoice in a much better day!

A Brighter Prospect

Last night I started, after a mid-evening snooze, to have all the signs of an imminent streaming cold. I actually greeted that prospect with rather ambivalent feelings as, for the past 10 days or so I'd had sore, occasionally reddening, eyes and a by now habitual wonky throat. Anyway, I decided to have a nice late-night drink of ginger & lemon, together with my 500mg VitC and a couple of paracetamol, in the hope of "sweating it out".

This morning there was no sign of a cold developing and, for a welcome change, I felt rather more alert than of late! One Swallow doesn't make a Summer but, it's usually a welcome sign; just stretch myself gradually!

Decided to have a go at mowing the lawn, a task long overdue ... especially to clear a way through the mini-wildlife meadow section; this was certainly a task that got the perspiration going, especially scalp-wise. The sun, each time it came out of hiding, was more than my polished pate could take so, I had to don a sunhat; the sunhat ,in it's turn, created a mini steam room on the top of my head.

I carefully showed Helen how to adjust the cutting level of the mower, just in case I couldn't manage but, I am pleased to report that I finished the course with honour and, an urgent requirement to sit down and rest my weary limbs!

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Thought For The Day

Today, we have enjoyed each others company and, this evening, imbibed the bubbly which had been set aside for yesterday. After a rather belated start to the day, I did manage, after lunch, to get out for a little walk and, in spite of my knees making their presence felt, didn't feel too bad for the experience.

At 7.00 pm we settled down to watch an episode of Sherlock Holmes (ITV3) but, unfortunately, I managed to sleep through most of it.

On awaking, the Taittinger summoned me to pop it's cork and, thus was our anniversary celebration re-launched ... an accompaniment of the soundtrack to "Kiss Me Kate" had us joining in with joyous recognition! Somehow, the music of Cole Porter always seems to be conducive to a fuller enjoyment of Champagne.

The mood rather mellowed as we viewed the docu-drama "Hiroshima" (BBC1); it really is amazing how a 'neutral' science can be used for both the most humane and the most bestial of purposes. Sadly, human-kind (regardless of geographic location) seems to have a habit of following jingo-istic leaders, rather than ethical values. Perhaps obedience to one's principles, like the path of discipleship to Christ, proves too arduous to follow!

Perhaps ...

Is it because it's Sunday and, my beloved has recently returned from Church, or is it the reminder of life's fragility that the Hiroshima anniversary has brought home once more, that has me (out of the blue) quite joyously meditating on the eternal now! Of a sudden, I feel prompted to re-engage myself with the writings of Paul Tillich; not the convulted Systematic Theology, in whose lair I have spent many happy weeks and months whilst youth was still on my side but, rather the sermons and shorter studies with which I may once again be able to educate my current limited powers of concentration.

On my life's journey, there have been many significant literary/philosophical/theological encounters, that have served to enrich and enliven all subsequent experience .... Heidegger, Kierkegaard, Marx, Bultmann, Wittgenstein, Moltmann, Sartre, Camus, Dostoevsky ... many names invade and evade my consciousness at this moment but, words and ideas have always been a cause for great excitement. Perhaps, I can train my limited concentration once more to lead me back into that ecstatic discovery of diverse understandings of the same reality!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

.... And An Alert

About half-an-hour after our return, from our anniversary lunch, remembered I hadn't fed the fish in the garden pond. When I picked up the food stick container, from the kitchen, I thought it felt rather wet. On returning to the house, I noticed a little pool of water on one of the kitchen work surfaces. Alarm bells sounded, it can't be the combi-water heater that's only recently been replaced but, it was in that general vicinity. Eventually noticed that the slow trickle was coming down the side of the cupboard containing the water heater; further alarms sounded when we noticed the ceiling was wet.

Next thing check the alignment ... aha ... that's where the bath is. Sure enough, the hot water tap, long past it's sell by date had water trickling underneath it. Next we removed the side panel from the bath and, the pipes were wet. It's quite strange really as, ninety-nine percent of the time we only use the shower; perhaps we should be grateful for that! Anyway, the emergency plumber has now been and tightened the tap and put a bit more sealant at that end of the bath.

We had contemplated replacing the bath/ shower with a proper shower cubicle, surely more convenient as we move towards a more general state of decrepitude, and now we feel it has become a matter of some urgency. So, today we have the Feast of the Transfiguration, the Hiroshima anniversary, our engagement anniversary and, a minor plumbing emergency.

Just how much can one pack into a single day!

An Occasion

Saturday morning saw a nice leisurely start to the day, 'though come mid-afternoon I'm already feeling quite drowsy, having just returned from lunch at the local Brewer's Fayre. A pleasant way to begin our (engagement) anniversary day; the Taittinger is in the fridge chilling and, even the sun keeps peeping through. The little stroll to the Pub was about the limit that my weary limbs could master but, any little expedition accomplished gives me a sense of acheivement!

Heterocon has already commented on a couple of other significances to the day (apart from my engagement to Helen), so I have no intention of waffling on any further!

Tonight, I expect will be just a normal evening for the two of us as we quaff our Taittinger; our two NV grand marques of choice are definitely Roederer and Taittinger. As a couple who have each had a helping of frugality in earlier phases of our life, a taste of 'quality' is not to be scoffed at so, why settle for second best?

Friday, August 05, 2005

Some palatable truths

Well, Mahmood called around with Beth again this evening and re-installed the wireless network and, hoping I'm not tempting providence, it's working OK now! I've got to admit though, what with the return of my various aches and pains, it has proved a little stressful. The old chicken and egg conundrum comes to mind; do the aches and pains intensify the stress level or, was it subliminal stress restored the muscular and joint discomfort.

God moves in a mysterious way ... 'tis oft said but, if you ask me, I sometimes feel there's nowt so queer as technology!

My wrist supports provided a reasonable degree of comfort during the evening, together with my shoulder holster ... sorry support was the word I was looking for ... although I had to remove them to prepare the evening meal. Tonight's special was a Trout, Peppers, Mushroom and tomatoes Savory Rice dish. As I'd substituted corn chips for a normal lunch, I was certainly more than ready for this meal.

It's really quite amazing how Helen has become so fond of Fish, and the occasional really spicy dish, as neither had featured in her diet before she had the misfortune of becoming entangled with me. Even stranger is the fact that I never really bothered to cook before I married Helen but, now I find it a natural extension of my creativity! To be honest, I often used to wish that we could just take a pill, instead of allowing eating to get in the way of one's more important pursuits. A gradual change occurred when I developed a taste for haute cuisine as a marked contrast to the, bread supplemented, ready-meals that had become a regular pattern.

Nowadays, my beloved finds it hard to find a restaurant that can compare favourably to my culinary delights! Unfortunately, it is all too rare an occasion that I feel I can cope with dining out.

Anyway, I trust that you can see a degree of uplift in my spirits; this is the day the Lord has made and, I rejoice and am glad in it!

Much ado about non-connectivity

I've just gone back to using a wired link for my laptop as, it has a habit of connecting to lower powered wireless networks in the vicinity and, an inability to connect to mine. As my concentration is rather poor, I decided it was best to have someone else set it up for me but now, I am finding the frustrations at it's non compliance with a reasonable utilitarian expectation, almost intolerable.

Perhaps the decision to go wireless (though currently re-wired) was a costly mistake! I'd previously set up a home network, without any problems and, that was when I was a newbie to the world of PC's; this is a salutary lesson about reliance on others, I'm not even sure about what to undo!

I've not been struggling with it all the time since my previous blog as, in the interim, I'd fallen asleep for 3/4 of an hour. I'm really only writing this to prevent too much internalization of my tension and frustration! Sorry!

Why?or less

With such a super-abundance of wireless networks in our vicinity, it seems mildly ironic that I'm in a perpetual struggle with our own router - having to repair and re-connect with an amazingly high recurrence of such necessity, or could it be that this fertile wireless terrain is causing the problem?

As a newcomer to the wireless world this becomes a major concern, alongside concerns regarding the number of unsecured networks within such a narrow range. Anyway, ours not to reason why ... ours is to do ... when a connection is available! The loss of connection proves extremely frustrating when one suddenly loses the connection whilst trying to "send" an e-mail, via web-mail, only to find that the message itself has been lost by the time one returns from the disruptive "cannot find server" screen.

This morning, the aches in my upper arm muscles, elbows and wrists have returned and, I'm hoping it's just a reflection of present tensions rather than the neurological condition I'm beginning to suspect. Perhaps this is a warning that I need to rest, having spent a full 90 minutes free of duvet-dom! Strange thing is, I felt fine until I had a shower but, following the shower .... a discomfited fatigue seems to have set in.

I'm preparing this on a fully wired PC, having temporarily given up the struggle with wireless. Time to rest!

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A Compliment Returned

Some 45 minutes ago, I started my evening blog only to find when I attempted to publish I encountered the fabled "cannot find server" screen. This time I was attempting the posting on the wired PC. Four hours ago, I attempted the same thing on my laptop ... this time wireless and the same thing happened! Perhaps there's a problem with the new router but, as you can imagine, by this time I'm feeling rather peeved having totally LOST two postings.

It really is rather ironic considering that, in both cases, I'd been describing what a good day it had been. Started the day on a positive note, after a non too early arising, even managed a trip into town for a couple of monetary transactions. It's not really that often, these days, that I can be such an intrepid adventurer!

M. came around this afternoon and finalized the wireless network set up but, now I'm waiting to see just how efficacious the move to wireless has been! (Current problems affecting both "wired" and "wireless" machines !) Anyway, I'll take some of those misgivings back if this posting works.

This evening Helen and I settled down to watch "Beetlejuice", I'd forgotten just how brilliantly entertaining this movie was! The viewing was aided by a bottle of smooth and plummy "Los Robles Carmenere", Curico, Chile 2003. The fact that this wine is produced for Traidcraft (Fair Trade), added an extra nuance to our appreciation!

We watched part of the programme (BBC1) examining the Mafia links of "Ol' Blue Eyes" and, I also remembered to set the video to record Sinatra's 1970 Royal Albert Hall Concert (BBC4).

Helen's head hit the pillow about one hour ago and, as is her great gift, immediately entered the land of dreams. No matter how exhausted I may be, or have been, the Sandman always delays his visit.

Anyway, I'd best forget my earlier moans, they go totally against the general tenor of the day. This was a good day, and I rejoiced and was glad in it ... well, most of the time! I started the day on a positive note (as recorded by Heterocon) and the day strove to repay the compliment.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

A Few Words before the Sandman calls

The salmon dish proved satifactory, served with a large jacket potato and then, the rest of the evening was spent with visitors (more details of which can be found on Heterocon's blog).

By this time, I'm getting a little weary despite my late arising; I am bearing witness to colliding letters on the screen in front of me! So, if brevity is the soul of wit ... this should be heading that way.

Just set up the video to tape "Hiroshima, Mon Amour", I last saw it in the early 60's, when I was living in the metropolis. I'm just curious as to whether it has lost any of it's New Wave power?

Bed calls me and, I must obey. Goodnight one and all.

Of Victuals and Vitality

Started the day semi-wide-awake, not semi-awake as that would seem to veer towards an unconscious awakening, around 6.00am! This was quite remarkable as, for at least 90 minutes, I'd been struggling with a bout of reflux from around 1.15am and so, lay awake at this stage.

That early start to the day was a false alarm in any case, the clutches (and even gentle coaxing) of the arms of Morpheus gained a convert. My final disengagement with the lair of sheets and duvet didn't occur until late-morning, reluctance to emerge being a temporary aberration.

Helen had, meanwhile, gone out to the day hospital where she appears to have had a rewarding session, both creative-writing wise and educational information gleaning! Having only grabbed my breakfast cereal in the latter part of the morning, a couple of slices of wholemeal bread and honey, together with a banana sufficed for lunch! I look forward to preparing some fresh salmon fillets for dinner, with my special herby spiced peppers and mushrooms; the entire dish will be subjected to a little char-grilling!

Does anyone get the hint that FOOD is beginning to play as essential part, in my life, as it does in the lore of the Hobbits?

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Sunshine and Hospitals and ....

So far this has been yet another of my better days; it must be tied in to visiting the psychiatrist! The good news is that he's halved the dose of Mirtazapine for one week only, after that he'll check how I manage without any medication and, I see him again in six weeks time. He's also seeing about a referral to the physio/pain-management person who had read my blogs and, thought maybe she could help. Of course it had to be mentioned how much calmer I had become (on the temper front) since resuming smoking.

So appointed hospital visits are now for mid-september (trick-cyclist), end of September blood tests (liver function) and 7 November blood tests (multiple). I suppose someone's got to keep them in a job!

Suddenly the weather has turned rather hot again, I hope it knows when to stop, although, at the moment it's still rather pleasant in the breeze. Recent rain had topped up the garden pond sufficiently to withstand a few sunnier days. If somehow I can find it in my energy reserves, I may even get around to mowing the lawn as well as a little pottering about in the garden.

On returning from the hospital (with my beloved chauffeuse) we listened to a brilliant performance of Mussorgsky's "Pictures From An Exhibition" (the Ravel orchestration of course) by the Birmingham Symphony Orchestra ... what a wonderful brass section!

Got a little more work done on the laptop this morning, before preparing a curried pasta lunch (part reclamation plus Peppers, Mushrooms and Ham, a tin of tomatoes thrown in for added refreshment). It's possible I'll be back later in the day but, don't take it as a promise ... somehow obligation takes away the joy!

Monday, August 01, 2005

A better day

Today has been a much better day in terms of concentration and, also for keeping my cool at times of (technological) testing! The aches in my arms have been minimal but, sore eyes (right from my emergence into the day) and a niggling headache have been the days primary set-back.

For a better day, I give thanks!


Just a few words before I dine. Most of my waking hours, after a somewhat belated start to the day, have been spent playing around with my new toy. It's not all plain sailing but,i felt it important to download an anti-spyware programme and, update Windows ... 24 items were detected to download and install. Heterocon has already reported on one or two hiccups so, I won't bore you again.

It really is amazing how much the new gizmo has enabled me to push my various aches & pains into softer focus. I'd not realized that a new machine could be such a wonderful physician. Perhaps it's part and parcel of the normal remission before I visit the 'trick-cyclist' at the hospital!