Friday, November 23, 2012

Rare day

 One of those rare sunshiny bright (albeit chilly) mornings drew me up the garden (lack of) path. Task one was to net out kilos of fallen leaves from the pond, and applying same to garden borders. That task completed, I set to refilling our sundry bird feeders to add a further gleam to my nascent halo!


Such was the sun’s effect on my morale that, once back in the house, I forgot to turn the fire on until the chill had begun to gnaw its way into my corporeal being. It wasn’t too long after that when the old familiar aches and pains began to make a negative impression on my sense of well-being. It wasn’t long before the aches in arms and feet induced feelings of nausea. Next thing, a light-headed giddiness hit in as an accompaniment to a sudden, simultaneous, onset of dyspepsia and flatulence.


Wrists strapped and tramadol ingested, I rested a while before swallowing lansoprazole and mebeverine in advance preparation for an early evening meal. Thankfully, the intensity of the muscular pains soon settled to a more manageable level and the nausea discharged itself from my psyche.  


As the indigestion settled down a little, I ventured into the kitchen and griddled a couple of oak-smoked salmon fillets, accompanied by a gently spiced stir-fry of red peppers, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms (marinated in a garlic, turmeric, tikka and soy sauce concoction) sprinkled with a few flakes of oak-smoked sea salt.


And that was my day … so far!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

normality may be resumed ...


Back to normality; these days I’m somewhat at a loss when trying to describe what is normal for me. At what point on the scale (and intensity) of regular aches, pains and general discomfort, lies my norm? Pain free days are a fondly remembered experience, albeit never fully appreciated at the time but, rather taken for granted.


Last weekend, feeling a lot more at ease and alert than I had done for some considerable time, I carried out a few extra tasks on the Saturday and was relieved to have an equally good, although more restful, day on the Sunday. Tuesday and Wednesday were the days I suffered payback, from the weekend’s exertion; almost all parts of torso and limbs took pleasure in competing for the max discomfort trophy. Shatteredly de-energized, all became a struggle; it even seemed to require a tremendous effort of willpower to enable me to partake of a little light dietary sustenance.


Thankfully, that more extreme discomfort has eased and I’m now back to that elusive norm, where I’m able to concentrate on whatever I’m listening to, observing or reading. Perhaps that is what I should take to be my norm; those days when the gift of concentration is restored/present; the rest is simply passing time!


Watching the Red Kite riding the thermals, in clear view from my comfortable armchair, at times circling low down over the top end of the garden, brought a little brightness to a drearily grey gloomy day. And once again I celebrate the joy of being here and now, privileged in being loved and ready to share that love, in what can sometimes be a cruel and heartless world, ruled by greed and self-interest


I really must count my blessings!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Poppy Day Dilemmas

As both a Christian and a Socialist, I always have problems with the celebration of militarism otherwise known as Poppy Day. Whether or not I would have had sufficient strength of character to stand by my pacifist principles in extreme circumstances is something that used to cause me considerable concern but, there are also other issues involved.

Much soul searching was involved, even when I had attempted to renounce my Xtian faith and, subsequently joined a revolutionary socialist organization. Don't get me wrong, I was already a socialist when I became a Christian, and failed to see the apparent necessity of taking on the petty bourgeois pretensions & morality that seemed to be the norm for evangelicals those days and saw communism, in an idealistic sense, as being far more compatible with Christianity than capitalism.

I moved freely between and amongst various groupings of the left, dismayed by much of the ideological bickering; I did manage however to retain friendships, in spite of (doctrinal) difficulties with members of factional groupings other than the one for which I settled.Too many of my comrades seemed to revel in the prospect of a good rumble, one could almost sense them salivating at the prospect of a bloody uprising. I consoled myself with the thought that bloodshed, like class warfare, is generally instigated by the capitalist ruling class and therefore resistance to their unjust power structures, which could only be maintained by the use of force, became a moral imperative.

But what of turning the other cheek; to be honest that may be the only option when confronted with the combined might of military and police, should the true wealth creators, the working class, attempt to fight for a truly just and democratic society where real equality of opportunity for everyone in a society focussed on care for one's neighbour. Bear in mind that I use neighbour in the broadest sense, that of the parable of the good Samaritan not the cynicism of "charity begins at home". To turn the other cheek is an expression of disdain for the values of those who rule by force. I did decide,however, that if I was able to shake off the shackles of my religious faith I would be happy to take up arms in the cause of a workers revolution. At the same time I recognized that there was no way I could take up arms for Queen and country, the capitalist cause. A complex dilemma indeed; the message and life of Jesus had so firmly grasped me that I still felt guilty at my readiness. albeit hypothetical, to take up arms for a revolutionary cause.

I fully appreciate the preparedness of young people, often from socially deprived areas of the nation, to join the armed forces in order to learn a trade and earn a living. Since the politically wilful destruction of our industrial base other job opportunities are greatly restricted. Nor do I doubt that many military personnel are serving in support of deeply held principles, whether understandably honourable or misguided is here irrelevant. For me a major scandal of the Poppy Appeal is that the welfare of those who have served their nation, and it's capitalist cause, should be dependent in any way upon charitable donations. It is the responsibility of the state that recruits, employs and puts the lives of these young men at risk,for whatever ideological motivation, to look after them.

I regret the loss of life of civilians and military personnel equally; I abhor the slaughter of innocents on the imperialist whim of any ruling elite. Should there come a Remembrance Day with no uniformed military personnel or insignia on display, at Cenotaphs and commemorative church services, I would no longer see the commemorations as show of support for militarism but, rather an acknowledgement of the futility of war.
This post originally appeared on 10 November 2010

Monday, November 05, 2012

of bugs and fishy business

Nausea, dizziness, diarrhoea are sadly all too frequently experienced by yours truly; as a result the symptoms have to reach some crisis point before I’ll seek medical help. Such was the case towards the end of last week when a bug really did lay me low. On the Wednesday I’d felt giddily disorientated from the moment I first attempted to raise myself from the bed and get dressed; for most of the day I rested on the sofa and, by mid-afternoon, managed to eat a small portion of poached smoked haddock in spite of the onset of nausea.


Later that day I was due to carry out the second treatment of my aquarium for white spot disease but, reluctantly had to delegate this task to ma belle OH. It really is quite a rigmarole changing 36 – 40 litres of water every five days, vacuuming the gravel before renewing the treatment dosage. Fortunately, today, I felt up to the task that being my primary workload!


By Thursday morning even sipping water made me feel like retching and just the thought of food was enough to make me feel queasy. My beloved, from her workplace, had ‘phoned my GP practice to see if she could make an emergency appointment. The duty doctor called her back and said that it could be a reaction to the sertraline, which had been prescribed for me on the 17th October [the day I wrote my “Breach of Composure” post], at first suggesting that I should maybe try half a tablet, but then arranged for me to see a doctor later that day.


Having been chauffeured and hand-delivered to the surgery door by ma belle, the doctor I saw thought it unlikely that the reaction to the medication would have been so delayed. Having checked my temperature, blood pressure, and examined my acutely sensitive abdominal area, she surmised that I’d caught a bug and prescribed rest and plenty of fluids. She was more concerned about my lack of fluid intake rather than my lack of appetite (for food), she prescribed domperidone to help counter the nausea. It feels really great to have much of my appetite restored, even though my stamina reserves are even more depleted than usual.