Saturday, June 27, 2009


I was just in danger of falling into that heard it all, done it all, seen it all trap (with and without the help of artificial aids) when something happened and, I’m stunned, breathless, excited and emotional.

The reason for this exhilaration; Crosby, Stills and Nash at Glastonbury 2009! Wow, what can I say, really I’m all shaken and stirred; I doubt if they’ve ever played a better set; blissful harmonies, smiling rhythms, steely leads and an overall spine-tingling, tear tickling (and stirring), celebration of what it means to be alive.

Yep, you’ve guessed it; I was impressed!

Thanks to BBC4 – I was there.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Attaining Full Credentials

Last night, for the first time in many weeks, I experienced that sudden exhaustion whereby my aimlessly wilful lower limbs directed me, albeit falteringly, to the house’s upper floor in search of a bed. Object achieved, there came the inevitable collapse onto the nocturnal furniture. Just as night follows day, my body required the assistance of my beloved to carry out the task of its disrobing.

Some thirteen hours later I emerged from the soundest sleep experienced for months, or possibly even years. You might assume that, after this rest, I would be able to face the new day feeling totally refreshed; of course you’d be wrong. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the sense of your body being lined, internally, by a coarse felt sheet which has been (and still is being) subjected to a thumping hollow bruising affect! It’s my duty to inform you that it’s most unpleasant and, you have my sympathy if it falls within the range of your experience!

Anyway, unpleasantries out of the way, I can ignore other familiar ailments and move on to recent more positive experiences / activities. Having replaced a right angled absence on our front fence with a partial small pallet presence, I was able to utilize the base of this ‘new’ fence section as a mini-planter wherein I’ve placed a couple of small ivy plants. Further horticultural endeavours have been centred on the garden at the rear of the house, paying particular attention to the wildlife friendly arena. It’s most rewarding to view the results of previous years’ efforts which are gradually coming to fruition!

Monday of this week saw the celebration of my 65th birthday, a special milestone as I am now a fully fledged pensioner! At lunchtime ma belle Helen and myself had a light lunch at a newly established local crêperie, Helen partaking of a goats cheese variety whilst I settled for the smoked salmon. As it’s a new venture, the accompanying drinks were free of charge, something most welcome in these financially straitened times!

From 7.00pm onwards, friends of ours called round chez nous, as and when convenient to themselves to partake of a birthday drink and toast the venerable birthday boy. As I’m not much for parties, and especially those of a more formal variety, this arrangement proved ideal. Having been incapable of much socializing, in recent years, it proved most enjoyable to play the (occasionally) sociable host. Although I have lost contact with several of my friends (those who failed to understand my health problems) since becoming an ME sufferer, it was great to know that I’m not totally forgotten! It’s my pleasure to report that a good time was had by all. Snacks and nibbles remaining from this event have made an interesting addition to our more routine diet, and of course we’ve had to make ourselves quaff the remaining wine from sundry open bottles.

The week has quite simply flown by as my beloved had taken the week off from work; time spent with ma belle amoureuse is always a pleasure, it’s remarkable to have a life so blessed!

Inquiry into vested interests - M.E. related

We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to take up Gibson Inquiry into M.E. recommendation of a Public Inquiry into vested interests.

Please click on the link and sign this petition, it only takes a couple of seconds, - We are fighting to have our illness recognised.

The All Party Parliamentary Group's Gibson Inquiry into ME in 2006 came to the conclusion that it was highly inappropriate for psychiatrists such as Simon Wessely and Peter White et al to act as advisor's on illnesses like ME CFS for the Government and the DWP while working as consultants for the medical insurance industry for companies such as UNUM Provident. The insurance industry have a clear vested interest in classifying such illnesses as psychiatric conditions (despite the WHO classification of ME as a neurological condition ICD 10 G93.3) since they have to pay out less on policies.
The recommendations of the Gibson Inquiry called for an appropriate standards body to be set up to investigate these clear and alarming vested interests. This recommendation seems to have disappeared in a puff of smoke?


We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to take up Gibson Inquiry into M.E. recommendation of a Public Inquiry into vested interests.

Saturday, June 13, 2009


rempemrel - watercolour - Malcolm Evison 2009

After a bit of a struggle, I think that this painting is now finished - it's always difficult to know, especially so with the subject matter of this particular piece. It's an attempt to reflect an all too familiar ME-CFS pattern of remission, post-exertional malaise and relapse (hence the rempemrel title). At the same time I wanted the work to be affirmative - after all it's my life and I live with this rollercoaster pattern!
This posting also appears on Mal's Picturebox

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Assuaging Guilt

Guilt wraps around me like a barbed wire glove. And what is the reason? Neglecting my blog! Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy keeping an online journal but, it’s rather like the diaries of my youth; a flurry of activity when the logging begins but, after a while it seems like a chore too far. When a pleasure becomes chore neglect seems like a sensible response but, guilt creeps around one almost as if one is acknowledging their own sense of failure.

There’s always plenty of news to share, should anyone be in the least interested, but the doing of events always seems preferable to their recording. So, why do I bother: a simple need to communicate from, but is this arrogance? Could it be quite simply that the opportunity is there, so why not use it? Perhaps I’m attempting to fill an unacknowledged, even unrecognized, void in my life. Should that be the case then, why should I feel guilty about recent neglect, surely that should be a cause for rejoicing!

Anyway, I’m now set to assuage my guilt; after all the primary reason for neglecting my little niche in cyberspace is that whenever stamina has permitted I’ve been too busily occupied in real space. The work of re-moulding the garden goes on apace; it’s amazing how much effort it takes to create a more natural wildlife friendly space. Apart from digging, planting, and removing, sundry nature’s artefacts, I’ve also been assembling a new bird table, and a rather rustic arbour seat (a marginally advance 65th birthday present) in the more (wilfully) overgrown area of the garden.

Although my familiar glandular and muscular aches and discomforts are always to be reckoned with, a recent acupuncture treatment (western localized style), on my back, relieved me of pains of which I’d previously been unaware, finally acknowledged by their absence. Hence the bout of activity, only interrupted by the unwelcome effects of post-exertional malaise.

Whilst the warmer, sunshine bright, days encouraged my out-of-doors presence, I also reacted rather badly to the hotter days – my erratic body thermostat being somewhat better adapted to more typical British Spring and Autumn temperatures. At least the arbour seat will offer me a little more shelter from the ravaging sun and, also enable me to spend a little more time enjoying the environment in less clement weather.

The garden has played host to a growing display of avian juvenile gapes, the young are still quite happy, even demanding, to be fed even after they’re more than capable of feeding themselves. I’ve lost count of the hours spent observing this behaviour, both from the comfort of the lounge and an appropriately placed garden seat beside the pond.

The feeding regime for the piscine inhabitants of both pond and aquariums provides a little structure to my otherwise erratically unstructured days. The only other structure is the preparation of meals in time for my beloved’s return from her workplace.

After all that build up, I’ve little else to say – or at least a running down of my stamina resource demands this hasty conclusion.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Gordon the Unlucky

So, it takes an American journalist (albeit a Nobel Prize winning economist and one of my favourite columnists to boot) to understand Brown's predicament and Cameron's lack of an alternative. It's a pity that Britain lacks columnists of this calibre.

"For much of the past 30 years, politics and policy here and in America have moved in tandem. We had Reagan; they had Thatcher. We had the Garn-St. Germain Act of 1982, which dismantled New Deal-era banking regulation; they had the Big Bang of 1986, which deregulated London’s financial industry. Both nations had an explosion of household debt and saw their financial systems become increasingly unsound."

"But here’s the thing. While Mr. Brown and his party may deserve to be punished, their political opponents don’t deserve to be rewarded.

After all, would a Conservative government have been any less in the thrall of free-market fundamentalism, any more willing to rein in runaway finance, over the past decade? Of course not.

And Mr. Brown’s response to the crisis — a burst of activism to make up for his past passivity — makes sense, whereas that of his opponents does not."

Paul Krugman - "Gordon the Unlucky", New York Times (8 June 2009)