Friday, 24 October 2014


At this point in time - I can't believe I said that - anyway, currently, I can say I am a fairly well being. (Because, Dear Reader, I am allergic to jargon and cliche is why). Having out-run the Grim Reaper two years ago I am in a condition much as you would expect an elderly lady to be. I have not gone back to my pre-condition but I am still quite fluent in the day to day requirements of the 'Survived'. One of the amazing people who saved me at the time told me I should regard myself as having run two full marathons, uphill carrying a bicycle, or some such, on my back. It took me ten days to regain my strength simply having heard her say that. But seriously, the state of one's body and its capacities do take up rather too much time and management the further one moves from the long-distance running days of yore.

If you learn to listen to your body it will tell exactly what the source of the pain may be. I have been talking to a friend who has had an intractable stiffness in her neck for a very long time. When she asked herself what factor was a 'pain in the neck' in her life she realised it was her boss and, in due course, changed her job. Don't laugh. Try it yourself. Another related yarn: someone I know suffered difficulty in swallowing. He spent days with various specialists working, without success, to resolve his predicament, living on soup, mousse and jelly. (Not American jelly but American 'jello'.) In the end, responding to the question " What can't you swallow?" he identified a severe upset with the circumstances of his life and took steps to sort it out. It's fun, isn't it, trying to translate the idiom in to the underlying truth. It reminds me of trying to understand my beloved cat's efforts to inform me. "What kind of miaow?" I would ask her and she would obligingly miaow again and again and again until the stupid two-legger got the message. A woman I met who suffered permanent back ache had frail, elderly parents in another town, a difficult partner and four teen-age monsters. Well, she would, wouldn't she, with the load she was carrying.The difficulty lies in trying to work out what is a bodily expression of some inner world hassle, what is a medical condition requiring qualified treatment and what is down to three score and ten years of wear and tear. My forty-year-old inner voice spends fruitless minutes persuading my elderly outer self that this or that pain is nothing to do with anno domini and should be atended to fifthwith. On the other hand, many General Practioners will collude to dismiss the concerns of the no-longer-young with a sort of what-do-you-expect-at-your-age prescription. I am reminded of the story of two no-longer-young musicians who, on meeting, would start with an organ recital. Bore da

Sunday, 12 October 2014


One minute I am sure there is nothing new in the world and the next I am driven in to a corner in a darkened room aware that so much is new there is no way I can hope to assimilate it, not even all, but enough to survive in the here and now. (It's kinder not to groan at me: after all, that's what the blog is about. ) I was thrust in to the current realisation because my foot slipped off the clutch pedal of my car. I asked the Guru if there existed such things as non-slip covers for car pedals. He likes driving and is boysie about cars, when he was little routinely taking them apart to see how they worked;(No, silly: his toy cars.)If you are young enough, you won't be surprised that he told me to search-engine it. Well, truth be told, he mentioned the name of the search-engine, but, as I keep telling you, I don't say 'Hoover' either and I am b....y minded about making a verb out of a noun and thereby providing free advertising. (Perhaps that last would do better in green ink. Listen, I can barely use the computer let alone change its colour nor even find its paragraphs.) Bless him, he does persist in trying to drag me in to the world everyone else is living in. Having said that, the Father of my Children doesn't even have a computer. Considering the breadth of his interests and capabilities, this could be surprising. However, he is not good with frustration - who is -and has taken the wise decision not to put himself through it. It may also be that where he lives it would cause quite a stir were he to throw it out of one of the windows.(paragraph) Yesterday, I went to see one of the most human, funny and altogether satisfying films I have ever seen. In the context of this post, I mention it because I had quite a challenging journey to a cinema showing it. To avoid one of the necessary three bus-legs I drove to the point where the second bus started. No problem there: the problem was finding somewhere to leave the car. I do have the right to park on a single yellow line by virtue of my Blue 'Disabled' badge but for three hours only. It took me so long to find a solution I nearly missed the film. The point being that, had I search-engined it, I would have found it showing almost within walking distance of where I live: humph. There is a sort of mysticism about the cyber world. It's as if the phantasy of omnipotence sometimes experiencced by the teenaged young has come true. There is something/someone out there who really does know everything on earth and elsewhere that is capable of being known. I have been honoured to know several young people who indulged in day-dreams of being an oracle, a greek God from whom all knowledge flowed, myself included. Therefore,after three score and a lot more than ten, it's not surprising, surely, that I am finding something weird about this phenomenon coming to pass. One can access car pedal covers, information about a relative living in Hawaii, Marmite - even if it arrives in a jar too big to stand on a shelf- the forgotten maiden name of a college friend not seen for sixty years, the unruly doings of people in the news and, I am told, pictures of the streets where we live. I am aware that this particular obsession of mine crops up with potentially boring frequency. I beg you to forgive me. I am as a child in front of a toy shop window: everything is possible but there is so much out there I feel terrified and have to go away empty handed. It is as if we had so little faith in an all-knowing, all powerful God that we have had to create one. Now I have a headache. I shall go in search of an analgesic without benefit of engine. And so to bed. Nos da

Friday, 3 October 2014

Sod's Law

Many years ago, I drafted a law that has continued to rule my life ever since. This was 'Sod's Law'. I am aware it is not the most elegant of titles but it seems the most apposite. "The co-operation of factors which are random and fortuitous operates in inverse ratio to the urgency of the need". To wit: When you have no need of a taxi, three plying for hire will pass you in as many minutes - or fewer. When you are desperately late and it's raining there is no sign of a 'For Hire' from where you are standing right up to the distant horizon. My most recent example pertains to a cancelled hospital appointment. I was to see an Opthamologist some Wednesdays ago. This appointment was cancelled and no replacement offered. I went to the department, I telephoned it and the appointments office for the whole out-patient system many times and got absolutely nowhere. Made robotic by the need to have a problem with one of my eyes resolved, came a day when I spent the whole morning on the phone, an automata with a dialling finger. Finally, I came upon a human who was familiar with the situation and was able to tell me that the person who made appointments was not there but would be in the next day. Noting in my diary to provide sustenance and water for the next day's waiting time I went down to pick up the post which had just arrived. You have guessed correctly: there on the mat was a letter from the hospital offering me an appointment in a few day's time:that wouild be Sod's law in triplicate. Examples come avalanching out so fast the old man in the archives is barely able to keep to his feet. You, too, will have experienced the toothache that goes as you ring the Dentist's door bell: the longed-for invitation that arrives just after you have committed to selling flags on a windy winter street for some charity you didnt even catch the name of. Sometimes it is possible to reverse the effect or create a solution which defeats the letter of the law without actually, criminally breaking it. During the scarlet swimsuit holiday, the Guru and I took a public ferry to an island opposite the bit of coast we were staying at. We drove five miles to the little emabarking port and left the hired car to bake itself in the sunshine. While lunching by the harbour, having a need for a comfort stop I encountered a lady who was staying at the same hotel. She and her husband had come in the hotel's private yacht. When offered a ride back on board with them, I demurred, saying we couldn't because we had left the car at the harbour. Reporting this to the Guru, he looked at me as if I had come from out of Space. "Blow the car," said he, "I will walk back on my knees, if necessary, to get it." While he froze with with hot embarrassment and tried to stop me, I went back to the lady and rescinded my polite refusal with an even politer acceptance. I have now totally lost the thread of where this fits with Sod's law. I think I may have been trying to say that having denied the co-operation of factors offering the Guru and me the unique chance of a voyage on a delightful private yacht I was able to restore the situation and comply with the Law after all. I need some sea air to clear my head. Bore da