Sunday, March 29, 2009

Pronghorn evolution : a matter of fact?

The voiceover tells us, matter-of-factly, that the Pronghorn evolved to outrun the now extinct American Cheetah [Yellowstone - BBC2]! How do they know? Surely this is hypothesis rather than fact; isn't it possible that the Cheetah failed to evolve fast enough to be able to catch the "fastest antelope in the world" or to vary its dietary requirement to devour other fauna in the region? Presumably, long before it became extinct, this species of Cheetah had occasionally found something to feed on!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dichotomy - IAIYH

I've just had a Damascene conversion; I now realize that this ME thing is all in my head.

My head keeps telling me that I ought to be able to do things (after all six or seven years ago it was no problem!). Of course, my body tells me in a most excruciating manner that I'm not able to do those things. The head starts grieving for the limitations of the body, the restrictions on any socializing that I used to enjoy etc.; so I try to exert myself a little more, the effects a couple of days later are devastating.

There must be something wrong with my head, it has the false belief that I ought to be able to manage these things!

Suddenly the remembrance, from long ago days when I studied philosophy,
you can't derive an "ought" from an "is". Then I knew that my head was wrong, it's just a bad philosopher. I may still have ME but, I'm not going to let my head make me feel guilty about it!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Running the settler gauntlet : Guardian

"The children flew along the torturous gradients as nimbly as the gazelles we'd encountered earlier on the trail, and – to the untrained eye – the walk through the stunning South Hebron Hills would have appeared utterly calm and carefree. However, that the pre-pubescent players required our accompaniment at all belied the seemingly benign nature of our journey. Were it not for the presence of the international activists, the likelihood of the children coming under attack from nearby settlers would have been too high to risk them setting off for Tuwani from the neighbouring hamlet of Tu'ba. "

Seth Freedman - 'Running the settler gauntlet'.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Facing The Void

Perspiration comes at the flick of an invisible switch, trigger factor unknown; unfortunately inspiration refuses to disclose itself. Yes, the body’s thermostat is playing up as usual but, the mind seems to have just stopped functioning altogether. I find myself staring at a blank screen, expecting something, hopefully in a verbally understandable form, to appear. A sense of vacant distraction seems to be the present role-play in which my mind sits uneasily.

I just wonder could it be the lack of caffeine, since last Friday’s doctor’s order, which leads to this almost perfect lack of stimulation. I’ve even sunk back into the nicotine habit, by way of compensation for this absence; I suspect that isn’t what the doctor had in mind. It may be slightly better if I only knew what this decaffeination process was in aid of; which of the multiple ailments, my psychosomatic being endures, will be alleviated by this exclusion from my dietary regime. It almost seemed like an afterthought when my GP threw out this proscription just as I was about to leave the surgery!

Perhaps it will take time before any benefit is realized, if nicotine poisoning hasn’t already undone any prospective benefit. At present I’m all too well aware of an aching void of boredom, taking the place of tearful frustration.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Co-incidentally ...

Having been told by my GP, on Friday, that I had to give up caffeine, I came across an interesting article in one of my beloved's magazines (whilst sat in the loo) this afternoon. Certain words leapt out at me, especially where it referred to the beneficial flavenoids to be found in tea and coffee. This on top of the references to caffeine in last evening's Garrison Keillor's Radio Show (referred to in my beloved's posting on Bright Light).

My life is certainly rich in co-incidence at the present time!

ME/CFS - Challenges of daily living

"Christine Milner is one of 250,000 in the UK who suffers from chronic fatigue, or ME. Here she gives a personal insight into what her life is like.
You wake up in the morning with a pounding head, aching from head to foot.

Your arms and legs feel like lead, your brain seems stuffed with cotton wool.

You console yourself with the thought that by this time next week you'll feel better.

Except you don't. No medication makes any difference to the way you feel, and over the coming weeks and months various doctors and well-meaning friends encourage you to "just do a bit more each day", even though you have as little energy and as much pain as you did that first day."

This is the beginning of an excellent article on living with ME/CFS - the full article can be found in the Yorkshire Post of 04 March 2009 ... Learning to live with challenges of chronic fatigue one day at at a time

Friday, March 06, 2009

Salt Flow

Just when things can’t get any worse, somehow they manage it; Wednesday’s crash (KERRR ..AAAA…SSSH!) was followed by an even greater slump on Thursday. Serially interrupted sleep seems to do little for one’s morale or physical well-being; the emotions make an overt display, this time in the form of tears, not just the odd sob but torrents of salty liquid.

At times weeping can feel quite therapeutic, a sense of having freed ones-self of a deep rooted, repressed, aching frustration but, just as I began to feel more secure, the least little incident opened the floodgates once more (e.g. an inability to accept a phone call). This time I feel that there’s more than a hint of depression to the frustration, and yet in my daily routine I feel that (subject to omnipresent limitations) I have a most positive relationship with the universe. That recent sense of dis-ease with which I occupy my own skin is the only alienating factor – objectively I (subjectively) love life, and everything it throws at me, challenges and pleasures each finding a fit place; all that’s really required is a healthier bearer (body) of my bundle of sensations.

That’s the really odd thing about depression, it bears little resemblance to self-pitying sadness; no matter how much one tries to rationalize this cloud (as to its cause) one is never able to get to the core of the matter. Much of the time I’m completely unaware of its lurking presence.

One is depressed in spite of ones-self, not because of!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


A sequel to yesterday's 'Transitional Demands' posting can be found on Mal's Murmurings - Go to KERRR ..AAAA…SSSH! - I suspect that the title suggests a lot!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Transitional Demands

What a pleasant surprise; I’ve just been counting the cost and it isn’t half as costly as I’d anticipated; admittedly, sometimes the price is paid later. As a parallel to climbing the property ladder, if one takes too many risks with their “pacing” they have to be prepared for landing up in negative equity. I’ve recently been trying to extend the boundaries of my pacing regime, how else am I going to know what I can manage but, at the same time, I’m listening to the signals my body transmits back to me.

We’ve recently decided on a course of revamping our bedroom, which requires a little shunting around, and spasmodic removal of, the extant furnishings and accumulated detritus. Yesterday was the time to assemble a couple of wardrobes, a task which at first seemed rather daunting, though it proved rewarding as one managed to satisfactorily assemble the said units (despite the manufacturers best endeavours to ensure the misalignment of certain component parts). It proved a rather perspirational endeavour, during which I several times struggled to ignore both pain and stamina thresholds before finally collapsing at the eleventh hour; not a moment too soon. Our friend John, who lives just down the road and had earlier proffered assistance, arrived on his white charger to finish off the task in hand.

An early night being required, by body and spirit, there followed a somewhat restless sedimentation of hours, exhaustion seemingly serving as a barrier to sleep. After 13 ½ hours of bed rest(lessness), aching joints, bones and muscles were hardly in any worse shape than has been the norm over recent months / years, and the brain seemed to be functioning as well as can be expected. A slow emergence into the daytime world was par for the course; sleep eventually caught up with me, early in the afternoon, as I listened (!) to Radio 4 with hands crampingly poised on my laptop keyboard.

For little signs of progress I give thanks but, I am intentionally avoiding any further exertion today, a fair reward for yesterday’s endeavour.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

10 Ways to Kill Fatah - Uri Avnery

"Contrary to the demonic image that Israel constructed for him, Arafat was the ideal partner. He was a strong leader and all sections of the Palestinian public accepted his authority completely – including those who criticized him, even including Hamas. He had the two attributes essential for making peace: the will to achieve it and the ability to convince his own people to accept it.

But, strangely enough, our government moved in the very opposite direction. The peace negotiations did not even start. The settlement drive continued unabated. Everywhere in the West Bank one could see the red tile roofs of the settlers springing up. The absolutely essential passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip was not opened – in spite of the solemn undertaking of the Israeli government to open four “safe passages”. Not only did the economic situation of the Palestinians not improve, but on the contrary, it worsened perceptibly. Before Oslo, Palestinians could move freely in the whole of the country (including Israel proper). After Oslo, that freedom of movement was restricted more and more." -

Uri Avnery

10 Ways to Kill Fatah can be found at :