Tuesday, January 30, 2007


There’s no such thing as an ordinary day, albeit I too often consider them as regular events. Each new moment is just that, new; “you can’t step into the same river twice”, come to think of it, you can’t even step into the same river once! All is in a constant state of flux, we are swamped with new events, decisions, purposes etc., and so, what can possibly be ordinary about it?

On other occasions, we may protest that a day has been uneventful when, what we really mean is that there have been no dramatic incidents or, we’ve not met anybody new, or we drank the same type of coffee as we did yesterday. Sorry, but if you really need a gangland slaying on the doorstep for you to make the effort to get out of bed and go about your daily chores, give me the mundane.

For me, time passes all too swiftly, even when my sole function is to sit and breathe, and stare into space, for great chunks of it. And, of course, there are always decisions to make; do I get some breakfast before I get dressed, do I feel sufficiently energised to take a shower or, do I get dressed now and take a shower later (if I really need it)? All these decisions are made in my first state of semi-alertness after a restless, or even a more restful, nights sleep. And there’s questions to be asked, vital topics like “did the dream wake me up?” or “what exactly was that dream about?”, “is it really Tuesday already?”

Each day is full of excitement and demands, sometimes the demands are too great to cope with; dare I risk seeming lazy if I don’t do it; if I perform such and such a task will I suffer from some sort of post-exertional malaise?

Today has been an atypical ordinary day. I managed to consume the coffee, which my beloved had left on the bedside table before going off to work, whilst it was still reasonably hot. Removed myself, slowly, from the duvet realm, checked my e-mails before getting dressed and, half drowsily stumbled my way downstairs to grab a banana and a bowl of cereal. A reasonably brisk hobble to the local shops then ensued. Next I illuminated the small aquarium and, subsequently fed the inhabitants thereof. A similar practise was involved in dealing with the main aquarium.

When my beloved returned from work, I prepared a delicious lightly spiced and generously herbed trout and peppers dish served with wholegrain pasta, which we eagerly devoured in the joyously stimulating company of Ross Noble (Radio 4 – 6.30pm). In the early evening I managed to sort out a recurring problem my beloved has been having, with ‘Word’, on the computer at work. To solve it, I had to first recreate it from my beloved’s verbal description. Having recreated the problem, it took little time to resolve!

So my halo has been well and truly buffed up by the encouraging response from my other half. Amidst all that activity, I even remembered to sort out a bottle to pop in the fridge; the consumption of its vinous content is imminent.

This has been an ordinary day indeed. Long live ordinary days!

I rejoice and am glad, in this day the Lord has made.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Might of the Transnationals - The Plight of the Poor

A new report from Christian Aid, 'A Rich Seam: Who benefits from rising commodity prices?' , has been published by Christian Aid. The report detailing the shameful imbalance can be downloaded from

Early One Morning

An early morning posting (early by my standards at least), 'RAUCOUS FROLICS', can be found on 'Mal's Murmurings'

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Monday, January 22, 2007

A few small steps for man ...

Today's posting, A FREAK OF FITNESS, can be found on both 'Mal's Murmurings' and 'Hirsute Antiquity' (Malcolm's blog on MySpace).

If any of my readers are on 'MySpace' you're more than welcome to visit Malcolm there!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

A day of food and thunder, comestibles and hailstones, donner und blitzen and, quelling the stomach’s rumble. Though much of the morning was spent in the duvet realm, a mid-morning glimpse of alertness was fuelled by bacon and black pudding prepared by my beloved. My sole exercise was provided by a visit to the local shops at lunchtime, to pander to my nicotine craving. The chilling icy wind, on this brief excursion, proferred no clues as to subsequent meteorological events.

On return from the shop I set to preparing a salmon and pepper savoury rice dish, to share with my beloved. After a brief interval, allowing the meal to be properly digested, my thoughts returned to food. This time, preparation of a casserole for Sunday lunch was the priority. First, I sweated a generosity of onions in paprika, turmeric, ginger and garlic imbued olive oil, before adding four chicken breasts to the equation. More lashings of paprika and ginger were called for, as the chicken sizzled, before adding a generous portion of red and green peppers, sliced mushrooms and, having diced the sizzling breasts with a wooden spatula, a tin of plum tomatoes, to the mix. Of course, it’s impossible for me to utilize plum tomatoes without adding lots of freshly ground black pepper to the mix, so the act was dutifully performed.

Midway through these preparations, a peal of thunder proved a little distracting, especially as it followed the lightning flash within a second. The lightning strikes were obviously quite localized, so a disconnecting of the TV aerial was called for, before heading back to the kitchen. Transfer all ingredients from griddle pan into a couple of casserole dishes and top them up with some chicken and vegetable gravy. Finally, I popped the casseroles into a medium heat oven to simmer for a while, before transporting myself to the living room.

All the while torrential rain was much in evidence, and this suddenly transformed into hailstones which seemed intent on finding a way to break through the double glazing. At the moment we’re feeling quite under siege, hemmed in by howling winds, hailstones, and a thunderstorm.

All that remains to do is turn up the fire, open a decent bottle of wine and, catch up on some videos or DVD’s – but perhaps a little snack will also be in order!

Meantime, the thought occurs to me that the garden pond was already close to the point of overflow before this latest downpour. I trust that the fish are safely ensconced amidst the planters and clay pipes at the bottom of the pond; I’d hate to think of them getting washed away!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Faith posting on Mal's Murmurings

A further posting for today, FAITH MATTERS, can be found on 'Mal's Murmurings'.

Viewing Habits

Howling gales and lashing rain are, once again, the order of the day. Today, a degree of comfort is felt, a sense of gratitude that I have no need to venture out and face, in the flesh so to speak, these inhospitable elements!

The howling wind seems to possess many of the qualities of the talentless oiks, upgraded to the status of celebrity, by programmes like ‘Big Brother’; it makes a lot of noise and, its most noticeable effect is of a negative variety. The wind usually manages to blow itself out after a limited period of time, hopefully these ‘celebrities’ will follow suit. The big problem, for me, is to understand why anyone with a modicum of talent or intelligence should even consider subjecting themselves to this type of inane indignity?

I admit that I have never watched the aforementioned programme so, my understanding is based only on hearsay; hearsay is so potent that I have no desire to make amends for this omission in my viewing habits.

At least looking out, through a rain streaked windowpane, at our battered and windswept garden gives me something worthwhile to watch!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Rise and Shine

Much of the morning was sunshiny and bright, although most of my information on that score results from an interpretative process, assessing the degree of brightness which penetrated the bedroom curtains. Although my body demanded an early night, last evening, I still found it impossible to release myself from the duvet realm before 11.15AM.

First port of call was the bathroom where, my beloved having securely installed a shower seat, I was able to luxuriate in its warmly soothing spray. Although the aches and pains, emanating from the Achilles tendon, have considerably subsided during the past few days (the meloxicam, codeine and paracetamol diet having a degree of success) I am still unable to take the amount of exercise that I’d gradually built up to over the preceding twelve months.

On Friday, Helen dropped me off at ‘Open Church’ where I enjoyed chatting with a few of the old faithfuls but, the walk back home proved a rather fatiguing experience, especially with the battle against a bustling wind which misguidedly attempted to aid me on my journey. Yesterday, I managed to attend a coffee morning at the neighbourhood chapel, with my beloved who then chauffeured me down for lunch at ‘The Park’ (formerly ‘The Hornbeam’) our local Brewer’s Fayre which has attempted, much to our disgust to go a little more upmarket. Having got up the nerve to venture in there, for the first time since the revamp/refurbishment last September, the experience proved most rewarding.

Dining out can be a pleasant experience, as long as I don’t expect it to produce the quality of food that I manage to prepare. The general ambience of ‘The Park’ proved cosily welcoming, unexpectedly so considering they describe themselves as a venue for ‘Contemporary Dining & Drinking’. I am pleased to report, a surprisingly unpretentious ambience and menu; a comfortably relaxed lunchtime experience!

So, I return to the bright sunshiny morning, although my first venture out was strictly speaking early afternoon. I hobbled along to the local 7-11 shop for a packet of cigs, shortly after noon, enjoying the crisp brightness rather more than my right leg appreciated the stick assisted exertion. This ten minute venture provided sufficient exercise to see me through the remainder of the day.

Before the tendon inflammation entered my life experience, I’d managed to reduce my nocturnal bed rest requirement to between 10 and 10 ½ hours but, following the limb directed major sleep deprivation it has recently increased to between 11 and 13 hours. Some severe disciplining may be called for!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Today's utterance

Today's posting, "Rhubarb, rhubarb ..." can be found on both 'Mal's Murmurings' and 'Hirsute Antiquity'!

Monday, January 08, 2007

The variegated dance of life

Oh, the bliss … a wonderful return to the almost normal disrupted sleep pattern. The cocktail, of anti-inflammatories and analgesics, has finally started to kick in and, my traditional mode of randomly disrupted bouts of sleep feels just great! What a contrast to the sleep disrupted pattern of acutely pained wakefulness.

The staircase now proves less of an obstacle, more of a routine; the exercise has been honed to a fine art of stick and handrail assisted good leg lead on the ascent, pained leg lead for the descent. My hobbling around, within the confines of the house, is an altogether less excruciating experience; I occasionally manage to maintain an upright posture, as opposed to a crooked one, during these ambulations.

The dance of life maintains an endless fascination. I rejoice in this day the Lord has made!

Friday, January 05, 2007