Friday, March 31, 2006
After the difficulties encountered during this morning’s relaxation routine, recorded on Mal’s Murmurings, any attempt at the day’s second session of breathing was maliciously thwarted; seems like the body resents the imposed discipline. Having listened to at least 99% of this afternoon’s play (on BBC Radio 4), which finished at 3.00pm, my next conscious recollection of the day was a rude alert, some 75 minutes later, when my beloved returned home. I awoke as a groggy wreck; the only problem is, I’d planned my breathing sessions for 11.00am, 3.00pm and 7.00pm, as they say “the best laid plans … blah, blah … blah …”.
Not to be daunted, by my record of abject failure, my evening relaxation routine duly started 30 minutes late. The first in-breath took the full seven count and, the out-breath maintained for eleven; so far, so good.
The second in-breath found me struggling at the count of five, in a ratio of 5/10 and, I felt like giving up. Third breath 6/12, repeated four more times; success of a kind! Next comes the rest part, retaining my upright but relaxed posture and, this time, it started well.
I seemed to retain concentration on the inflow and outflow of breath but, the relaxation and flow was spoilt by a quite frequent need to swallow hard. That’s where the SPT come into the equation; the body’s Saliva Production Team certainly seemed to be working hard to distract me, I certainly believe that they’re on some kind of overtime or piece-rate. I overcame the distraction, dear reader, believing myself the courageous soul I’d like to be!
Thursday, March 30, 2006
The second session, today, managed to bring my long standing nasal problems to the fore and, the routine was transformed from 7/11 to a disrupted 5/8 pattern.
Come this evening, three attempts to begin the routine ended in an exhausted failure; suddenly it felt like a recipe for stress creation, almost as if my breathing apparatus (as a token of disapproval) had developed a kind of tracheal hiccups. As usual, my beloved thinks I’m being a little hard on myself, recognizing that I’m quite shattered from yesterday’s outing. How can one possibly induce rest and relaxation when they’re really tired?
I was quite surprised by one or two of the percentage ratings but, overall it pretty well has me sussed!
You scored as Emergent/Postmodern. You are Emergent/Postmodern in your theology. You feel alienated from older forms of church, you don't think they connect to modern culture very well. No one knows the whole truth about God, and we have much to learn from each other, and so learning takes place in dialogue. Evangelism should take place in relationships rather than through crusades and altar-calls. People are interested in spirituality and want to ask questions, so the church should help them to do this.
What's your theological worldview?
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Wednesday, March 29, 2006
Having carried out my pond check and, fastened the nest-box on the sawn-off end of one of the apple tree boughs, I could rightly feel that my brief spell in the garden had been quite fruitful!
This afternoon, my beloved chauffeuse drove me over to the Chronic Fatigue Unit, at the District Hospital, where I spent an hour with Julie (Senior Occupational Therapist). Most of the session was spent providing her with some background to my condition and, she duly set me some homework, with a few general tips about ‘pacing’. The homework is all to do with relaxation; 7/11 breathing for 6 or seven times followed by a period of rest, total duration (using a timer) 15 or 20 minutes, the routine being carried out three times a day at approximately the same times. It is the discipline of a regular routine that will be the major problem, for me, rather than the exercise itself. By the time our session was finished, a slow stroll back to the car proved sufficient strenuous exercise for the day!
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | 'If you start looking at them as humans, then how are you gonna kill them?'
Monday, March 27, 2006
Of course, were the rather more rare IMM word to be deliberately used in conversation, chances are that the listener would assume the EM word was intended; hopefully the context would enable the truth to emerge. Life gets confusing at time but, as has frequently been said, “the meaning of a word is its use in language”.
Occasionally a difficulty arises as to what is a word and what is language.
Sunday, March 26, 2006
Beth and Cathy took my beloved out for Mothers Day lunch today then, briefly called back chez nous.
Thursday, March 23, 2006
I have plenty of seeds ready to create, or intensify, a ‘Butterfly Friendly Wild Flower Meadow’ at the top end of the garden but, I await the right “warm and moist” conditions for sowing them. Perhaps, after our much colder than the norm first three weeks of March, we are entitled to expect a mild Spring. I still await my first sightings of the red-tailed bumblebee, 7-spot ladybird and, frogspawn for the ‘BBC Springwatch Survey’.
I still manage to rejoice in this day the Lord has made!
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
Come the afternoon, I went out with my beloved and managed a twenty minute brief brisk walk but, I have to admit that the last half of it was quite a struggle in terms of back and leg aches and general feeling of swimmy fatigue. A true sign of progress was the relatively swift recovery from this modest exertion.
At 5.00pm, my physiotherapist/acupuncturist arrived for a chat and to give me the needle. It’s strange how one can never predict quite what sensation will be emitted from the insertion channel. For all my initial scepticism, I never cease to be amazed by the difference these treatments have made to my pain levels. Whilst the treatment session is in progress, it always proves to be a time of amazing relaxation; nothing to do but watch my breathing as, for that period of time, I’m rather (in the words of my therapist) “pinned down”!
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
Mid-morning, stepped out with ma belle to confront the icy blast and, bumped into Paul, the vicar of St Marks (the church I used to attend before my health took a turn for the worse a couple of years back). As we ventured on down the road, decided to pop into ‘Open Church’, at St Marks, for a coffee and a warm welcome. It really was quite rewarding to meet up with old and new friends and, I hope to repeat the exercise in the not too distant future, physical and emotional stamina permitting. I might even attend the Thursday morning Communion, one of these days; I might be able to cope better with this, than the lengthier Sunday Services. I really have been missing the sense of fellowship during my prolonged sojourn in the incapacitated wilderness!
Monday, March 20, 2006
|Your Brain's Pattern|
Your mind is an incubator for good ideas, it just takes a while for them to develop.
But when you think of something, watch out!
Your thoughts tend to be huge, and they come on quickly - like an explosion.
You tend to be quiet around others, unless you're inspired by your next big idea.
Elsewhere, we read of a situation in Iraq where “From a physician's viewpoint, liberation means rising infant mortality, critical shortages of medicines, terrorized doctors and the return of diseases once under control.”. It certainly puts some of our concerns about the NHS, here in the UK, into perspective.
In the UK we have a new church calling itself the Christian Council of Britain, “a group set up to represent Christian values and the Christian Heritage of the country”, which is facilitated by the BNP. It does seem strange that the BNP should use Hebrew Scriptures to support their racist ideology and, should wish to describe themselves as defenders of the values of Jesus the Jewish troublemaker. The Methodist Church has already spoken out against the CCOB.
Sunday, March 19, 2006
Bring it On! � Blog Archive � If Hitler was a Jew, then Bush was a Democrat
Saturday, March 18, 2006
By mid-afternoon, my energy was sufficiently restored to enable me to spend an hour on preparations for tomorrow’s lunch, a spiced and herby moussaka variant. If the result is even half as splendid as the cooking aromas suggest I’ll be well and truly satisfied.
Friday, March 17, 2006
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Despite the rather melancholy subtext to many of the songs, one couldn’t help but be uplifted by the overall performance.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
I have to admit, that a few weeks back I wouldn’t have even contemplated performing the task imposed by the inconsiderate behaviour of the old curtain track. My bold assumption is that normal progress, on the health front, will soon be resumed!
Monday, March 13, 2006
First port of call, for my beloved et moi, was the DIY store. A 2.2 metre rail was swiftly acquired but, the installation procedure involves a practise far less simple than the instructions suggest. Fixing the brackets proved quite straightforward (well to be honest slightly crookedly-forward) apart from minor glitches. Fixing the track onto the brackets was in principle equally simple, but the precise positioning of the bracket latch required a little more manual dexterity than this fatigued human-being could initially muster. Perspiration and giddiness are not my favourite companions whilst perched on top of a stepladder.
What should have taken perhaps 20 to 30 minutes, in practise took about 1 hour and twenty minutes but, I have to admit it only felt like an eternity. Task completed; the curtains do actually glide along the track and, for the first time, we have a curtain rail that extends beyond the actual width of the window. The curtains seem to hang better than before; I only wish I had the energy to rejoice in this minor task successfully completed.
Sunday, March 12, 2006
Methinks the frogs on Thursday were simply out for a practise run; the evidence for their temporary bout of frenetic activity is nowhere to be found. No frogspawn to be seen but, at least my preliminary tidying up operation means less work to be done when signs of Spring once more reassert themselves. For the time being we are back under the spell of more wintry conditions.
Saturday, March 11, 2006
My traditional weariness (sore throat, burning eyes and inadequately synchronised lower limbs), was satisfactorily re-united with a cramp-like pain between the shoulder blades as I slaved over the hot stove. Apart from that it has been a reasonably good day. Ma Belle Helene prepared me a delicious bacon and black pudding sandwich as fair recompense for all my endeavours; it’s truly good to know that my culinary endeavours are so well appreciated!
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Whilst up at the pond, I decided to do a bit of trimming back of the pond weed and, removed a little of the detritus that had somehow evaded our precautionary net. For the first time this season, I was able to watch a couple of the larger goldfish as they made a brief visit towards the pond’s surface; obviously the water temperature has risen a little from its recent rest within, and beneath, its hard ice shell. No sign of the baby goldfish today but, it’s still exciting to observe the signs of changing seasons.
By my standards, it turned out to be a rather busy morning but, I’m still alert enough to tell the tale. Much to my surprise, I’d even managed to take a shower without needing a rest before I applied myself to the task of getting dressed! Things are certainly starting to look up but, I still carefully listen out for my body’s request for rest.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
First point of call is to check up on the aquarium; after yesterdays cleaning up and plant replenishment exercise, the two freshly acquired White Cloud Mountain Minnows are certainly very active but, they seem so tiny alongside their fellow residents. NO2 and pH levels are fine, so it’s all in the hands of Mother Nature. It seems that no matter how carefully one filters and monitors an aquarium, one can never guarantee the survival of its occupants but, at least I attempt to give them a relatively pampered existence.
Overall, I still feel that health wise I am on a gentle upward curve; the spirit is certainly willing.
PS. Heterocon has filled in the gaps regarding my activity/inactivity of recent days here.
Monday, March 06, 2006
Around lunchtime, I ventured up to the garden pond, to see if the ice is thawing or whether it needs a little assistance; perhaps 60% of the surface is still iced over but, today’s routine check also provided a bonus for me. At first I thought I’d seen a tadpole but, as we’ve not yet had any spawn in our still netted pond, that didn’t seem like a possibility. Eventually, I spotted two baby goldfish swimming near the ice sheets edge. None of the adult fish have yet seen fit to surface but, nor would I if it meant being so directly exposed to prevailing wintry conditions.
Helen has gone out for her first afternoon of paid employment, since having to take early retirement from teaching (on health grounds) in 2003; it is indeed a day of new beginnings!
Sunday, March 05, 2006
What if the breaks hadn’t come for SQ, as is the case with so many talented would be entertainers, and she had to put her showbiz career on the backburner, would she still so confidently express that “God put me on earth to entertain people”? It’s all far too glib a statement to make ex eventu. Or perhaps there’s an underlying fatalistic acceptance of a caste system; is everything pre-ordained and, our life choices simply an illusion?
A further point, raised on the Heaven & Earth Show; did Tony Blair simply say God would be the judge on the Iraq war, or was there also an implication earlier in the interview (as suggested by Peter Tatchell) that the war was God’s judgement? As I didn't see the Parkinson programme, I'm not sure what delusional tendencies I've missed!
Saturday, March 04, 2006
Once I overcame an initial panic attack, this was after all the furthest afield I had travelled during the past eighteen months; I enjoyed observing the man-made rural landscape, the patterned hedgerows sometimes complimenting, at others sharply contrasted with, the gently undulating countryside. Nothing jarred; the occasional agricultural dumping ground or, even the odd quarry site, whilst a scar to some, for me had that sense of belonging and, as we passed a decrepit old stone building, rafters akimbo, with vacant gaps where once was a window frame, it seemed worthy of a place in a C19 painting.
For several minutes, I delighted in the variegated green patchwork of fields but then, as we followed the road’s gentle curvature, the fields were still blanketed in pristine snow; somehow these areas had fallen outside of the sun’s catchment area.
It is wonderful to enjoy these simple adventures, in realms not much more than a giant’s stone throw from one’s own doorstep.
Friday, March 03, 2006
Even my somewhat antisocial irritability/anger response is somewhat in abeyance; yesterday the doorbell rang as some cold callers (canvassers or market researchers) turned up, standing adjacent to our cold callers notice*. Rather than my usual aggressive knee-jerk response, I calmly pointed out to them that “owing to an incapacitating illness, I am unable to spend time talking to unsolicited callers, hence the notice”. The callers were actually quite apologetic and, I now recognize that (health permitting) a calm response is perhaps more effective than an aggressive one.
* “For Health Reasons COLD CALLERS are NOT WELCOME. Please Respect Our Wishes”