Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Accounting For My Time

Until yesterdays brief posting, I’d been feeling rather guilty about the paucity of recent blog posts. It’s not been a case of having nothing to say but rather not having the time to say it; other activities decided to prioritize themselves.

So, what has been happening? Not a lot but, far too much. My pacing has at times managed to go awry; it still catches me unawares when a couple of hours pottering around in the garden results in the following couple of days being plagued with an achingly painful fatigue, a kind of hollow bruised feeling encapsulating my whole being.

A recent visit to the doctor found my GP, half jokingly, asking my other half why she doesn’t stop me! It’s rather as if the hare asked the tortoise to slow down. Problem is, there’s no telling when an adrenaline high is going to push one beyond the parameters of their proper pacing and, frequently it will be at such a time that my beloved’s out at work. When one attains or achieves a certain goal, they feel so chuffed about it that they begin to feel indefatigable.

Following that particular visit to the surgery I was sent up to the hospital for a full battery of blood tests from which only one reading (an adjunct to the ‘normal’ thyroid function test) showed anything abnormal but, not alarmingly so. The locum doctor (with whom I’d discussed the results) said, “just as you’ve seen a little progress this year, in managing the ME/CFS, perhaps you’ll see an equivalent improvement over the next three and a half years”!

It’s a slow journey but, I continue to live in hope.


Apart from the aforementioned work in the garden, the primary consumer of my time has been of the computing variety; re-vamping websites, setting up an online print store and attempting (eventually successful) to troubleshoot sundry laptop problems. As an older laptop is now totally defunct, I decided to install its XP Pro OS onto another machine, hitherto running XP Home, which led to me having to re-install devices and drivers prior to replacing various software programmes. This exercise even had me starting my day earlier than has been the norm; the excitement and uncertainties encountered during the overall operation fought off the brains desire to rest, the mind buzzing overtime when I should have been sleeping.

Subsequent days saw my customary 10 ½ hours of bed rest extended to at least 12 hours, choice didn’t enter the equation!


Model helicopter flying, and repairing, has only occupied a small amount of my time; my reserves of concentration are not sufficient to permit more than the occasional brief practise episode.

A surprise ‘phone call, shortly before I was due to emerge from my duvet lair last Friday, led to a rather thorough investigation of matters, religious, theological and philosophical, as well as personal, in what for me was a prolonged telephonic dialogue (approximately 1 hour duration). The excitement, of this somewhat exploratory conversation, somehow pushed my tiredness onto the backburner only to return with a vengeance later in the day.

By the evening, my mind was once more buzzing, theological ideas spewing forth like there was no tomorrow. Ideas for a little theological exposition abound, it’s quite simply (!) a question of organizing my time and stamina reserves; don’t hold your breath though, a little preliminary work involves clarifying the confusion between/about ‘values’ and ‘truth’ and the anachronistic approach of biblical literalists.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

If Only ... nature (sca)red in tooth and claw

The proud feline hunter scampers away like a real scaredy-cat; obviously the tables have been turned.

A few minutes earlier, I had been watching a perky grey squirrel foraging for food, in a tussock of grass, in close proximity to one of our pole mounted bird feeders. I'm always quite amused how charmingly these rodents pick up their food, scrupulously examining their paw held feast in some kind of quality control exercise, before the consuming moment. As the squirrel became aware of my presence, he firstly sidled away before darting off between the end of the shed and the greenhouse. At this stage, its exact location couldn't be determined from my vantage point but, a sudden yelp disclosed our neighbourhood ginger marmalade Persian, running for her life.

It's really strange that all the endeavours of our PIR sonic cat scarers, (supposedly) cat repellent plants, and strategically placed briars had failed to deter this particular member of the feline race, as we sought to protect the nesting birds, a little rodent so swiftly carried out the act of expulsion from the garden. A real David and Goliath parable this, as the rodent puts our feline neighbourhood predator to flight.

Next to the late lamented Sapphire, this particular moggy is one of the most endearing in our general vicinity; trouble is it's impossible to train them to know their boundaries! If only it were possible to teach them that our ponds piscine inhabitants, and the birds nest boxes were off limits, our pleasure would be complete.

P.S. I had also posted this on my Hirsute Antiquity blog where someone left the comment:

.. I don't know why but i hate squirrels.. :(

to this my hasty impromptu response reads as follows:

They can be darned destructive little critters, their scavenging exploits can certainly reek havoc. Although they're rodents, somehow with their long bushy tails they have a more cosy image than their thin tailed relatives. The grey squirrel, originally imported from North America, is now predominant and they swiftly decimated the indigenous red squirrel population.

In some ways I find them more welcome than other North American invasions such as our near neighbour, Menwith Hill spy and star wars station, ironically called RAF Menwith Hill although it's run in the utmost secrecy by the US of A. I'm always surprised to find that some American acquaintances who work there appear almost normally human. Just like the grey squirrels seem cute!

Friday, October 12, 2007

What's Going On?

By early to mid-evening I’m feeling decidedly battered and shattered, an aching hollow void seems to have hit the very core of my being. Somewhere along the line my ‘pacing’ seems to have gone awry, it doesn’t seem to require any marked over exertion on my part; these days, I’m constantly amazed by how much I used to cram into my day.

Just thinking about former activity levels makes me feel rather giddy so, where do I place the blame for my current functional disarray? Of course my normal routine was somewhat disturbed by dining at a slightly later hour, as my beloved and I were invited over to Janet’s (Helens sister) house for Dinner, or should that read Supper (I’m not too good on these social niceties), last evening. Much as I enjoyed the meal, and the company, it was succeeded by a rather disrupted nights sleep, in spite of which I managed to retrieve myself from the duvets enticements at a reasonably early hour.

I even managed to venture down to Open Church for a little natter over a cup of Fair Trade coffee and, on my return home got down to a bit more work modifying one of my web sites. In fact, the creation of some new web pages, and modifying the meta-tags etc. seems to have been a major preoccupation during the past few days. I’ve also set up a little showcase for some of my paintings on – you’re welcome to browse and see the options for different size prints, mounts and frames, though it’s not compulsory!

Actually, the process of tapping out these few lines has made me realize that I’ve not been totally idle these past few days and, I’ve now yielded to the temptation to fill the inner void with a nice bottle of Chilean oak-aged Chardonnay. So my beloved and I are about to settle down in front of a hot cathode ray tube for an episode of Rebus (ITV1).

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Question of Moral Authority


So, David Cameron (Conservative – leader of the opposition) accuses Gordon Brown (Labour – Prime Minister) of lacking any political or moral authority.

The main points for arriving at this conclusion seem to be that

i) GB failed to call an election, which DC thought he may have a chance of winning (political authority)
ii) GB stole, and put into practise, Tory (Conservatives) policies.(moral authority)

As far as I can see, this means he lacks political and moral authority because

a) He wouldn’t give the Tories an early chance to ruin the country

b) He lacks moral authority because he practises Tory policies.

This would seem to be a very strange accusation. Presumably, DC believes he occupies the moral high ground because politics is simply a means to further his career; obviously he doesn’t believe his own policies would be good for the country, otherwise he would applaud the PM for implementing them, feeling flattered that the PM should consider them worthy of theft! He fails to recognize that GB saved the country the expense of an unnecessary election which would have simply been about which "window-dresser" gains the prize.

Since the advent of Blairite Thatcherism we’ve been stuck with two Tory parties to choose from. I can only assume that all aspiring candidates should choose their party on the basis of whom they believe will best advance their political career. (Stuff the country – what about my job!)


A further blog posting for today, K...K...K...K...Katie, can be found on 'Mal's Murmurings'

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mechanical Breaks

Saturday morning was a time to break the relative silence of the garden with a bit of mechanical intrusion. Both strimmer and hedge trimmer, which share a common electrical lead, fortunately making it impossible to wield both simultaneously, were brought out of hibernation, the more efficiently to perform the decapitation of meadow grass, trees and hedgerows. Actually decapitation is not quite the right word, rather a productive mutilation.

Only later were the loppers brought into action, as I started to prune back some of the topmost prolific growth on the largest of our fruit trees. To my own surprise, and that of my beloved, I had actually started this travail at a time, 10.00am, when I would normally still be ensconced in the duvet lair.

It’s always something of a mystery that, the cutting back of vegetative growth should in fact enable stronger and fuller growth the following season. A couple of hours of exertion and perspiration later, I decided (to my wife’s relief) that it wouldn’t be very wise to attempt more. Even that couple of hours, I was later to discover, was sufficient to cause a (relievedly) minor setback; this “pacing” game is never as easy to manage as one would suppose. I so frequently make the mistake of comparing my current stamina output with that of a few short years ago. I’ve got to admit that the exertion initially makes me feel good, and I do so enjoy looking after the garden, but I never like the repercussions.

When one has spent a considerable amount of time in a numbingly aching fatigued state, it makes a pleasant change to be able to blame a particular bout of activity for some of the more extremely painful exhaustion. Fortunately my bounce-back time seems more efficient these days; the pacing is working after all!


This budding remote control helicopter pilot continues to make progress, replacement propeller blades being less frequently required. Training is temporarily on hold as I await the delivery of a couple of tail-frame assemblies, the current one being fractured in four places. It’s amazing how many obstacles one has to try and avoid within the confines of ones garden.

Mal murmurs on avian matters

Todays blog posting, STAKING A CLAIM, can be found on 'Mal's Murmurings'.

For further recent postings (poetry), don't forget to visit 'ARCHIVE MINED and FRESHLY SPUN' and 'MAL's FACTORY'

Wednesday, October 03, 2007