Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Physician, steel thyself

I went to see my doctor today and he had just returned to work after being off sick for three months. Years after I got Coxsackie B virus, he caught it (from elsewhere!) and he told me he would go home from work at 6pm, fall straight into bed and then sleep through till the next morning. He said he felt, 'like he was dying.' So, he was (is?) still struggling and he said that they wouldn't give him all the tests he wanted. I said, there's a policy of 'not encouraging us' with high-filootin, 'extra' tests. It almost felt like we were pals more than doctor and patient. I hope he's one of the luckier ones.
One of my poems was chosen by The Scottish Poetry library for their web page of Best Scottish Poems 2006. A lovely surprise. I'll post a link when it comes online.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Cats and Yoomans

Sometimes I miss not having a cat. But it has to be the right cat - you can't have one with ADHD that wakes you up in the middle of the night. I read today that some (most?) cat litter has carcinogenic dust in it and that cat asthma has increased since its introduction. Blimey. My brain seems to have an almost limitless capacity for collecting 'health risk' facts. I'm turning into Woody Allen.
My 2 year old niece was given a story tape about caterpillars. She eagerly reported to her parents how the story tells of yoomans living up the up-pipe and according to her new caterpillar perspective, yoomans were scarey creatures. Her dad explained that she is, in fact, a human, as we all are and there is nothing to fear in this respect. She replied, 'but I don't want to be a yooman.' Ya gotta love that existential angst. See? Woody Allen, I tell you.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Island Life

Oh, the joys of the countryside; the recharging powers of nature. I'm back from 3 days in a cottage on the Isle of Arran, courtesy of kind friends (the same couple who invited me there in Spring). Echoes of my previous island life came back to me - the sense of small community, the philosophical acceptance of weather like this one day, and lightning storms the next day. It was just so relaxing.
I went horse trekking along the beach. I was the only person in the trek (bar the instructor woman) who wasn't 8 years old and wearing pink. (My never being allowed horse lessons as a child may have some bearing on this fact). They all had wee comedy ponys with pot bellies and I had a docile mare, who showed a touching patience to my amateur rein pulls. I rode past a lolloping hare the size of a small kangaroo and several excitable collies.
We went to tea rooms and ate great homebaking in bad Kagoules. There were Motorhead and Iron Maiden T-shirts in the local bar, just like 1982. Alert the Scottish Heritage Trust: wearers might be eligible for funding.
At night the stars were amazing - I'd forgotten about the wonder of stars in the countryside - and the cows would give an occasional low moo, scared of nothing at all in the thick blackness.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Are you what you eat?

I got 88% on this How Healthy is your Diet quiz? Go on kids, give it a try. You know you don't want to...

'I'll just have to....'

I realise that there are so many times in my life when I tell myself, I'll just have to manage... I just woke up from a dream where I had gone to visit friends in England and I felt deathly after the long train journey. I had to lie down while the friends starting socialising and drinking. I wondered how long it would take for me to 'recover' enough to join them. Then F-boy came to tell me that we had to go back to Glasgow the next day on bicycles. He said it would take about 4 hours. I remember thinking that the train took 4 hours, so wouldn't bicycles take much longer? Even for a trained cyclist, this was quite far. And all I could think was, I'll just have to manage. C'est la vie. Don't throw a spoke in the wheel or a spanner in the works. Bonkers. Sado-masochism! (That should get me a few more hits on google).

Tuesday, September 12, 2006


I was amazed to read this article that tells of patients in brain damage states who experienced miracle recoveries or remissions after they were given a sleeping pill; and it turns out to be the same sleeping pill that I take 2 or 3 nights a week if I can't sleep. Wow.
Years ago, I remember taking a different sleeping pill and once I mistook the tablet for a vitamin pill and took it in the afternoon. After I realised my mistake, I didn't feel sleepy which surprised me.
I'd love to see a TV documentary about this. The tablet helps an estimated 60% of cases so far. I'm happy for the people who get to see their loved-ones wake up.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Weekend Syndrome

Sunday night and once more I have used what I call the weekend syndrome for and against myself. That is, I know I'm not fit enough to do X or Y, but I tell myself, it's the weekend! and I protest inwardly that everyone treats themselves at the weekend so why shouldn't I have the treat of attempting to disregard or short-circuit the awful debility? The trick is to ride rough-shod over what my body is telling me and pledge to pay my dues on weekdays. Even writing this makes me feel semi-ashamed. Clearly this is not sensible planning or wise pacing. To quote Dr Charles Lapp,
'I can assure you from experience that pushing and crashing, denial, depression and a negative attitude are all formulas for disaster, and I have never seen a patient who practiced them and yet recovered.'
I know, I know, yes, we know. But often I feel that pushing it (in short bursts anyway) is the only way I can have some semblance of a life, which in turn keeps my spirit fed.
Anyway, the weekend goody bag included being driven to the country to pick blackberries; and a trip to the cinema to see Little Miss Sunshine, which was kooky and amusing but hardly all-out-hilarious. The blackberries tasted great in a smoothie, whizzed with avocado and apple juice. Check the anti-oxidants on that. And I saw a farm cat greeting a dairy cow - whiskered cat nose sniffing up at wet cow nose, bending down, as if they were the same species.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Forget the Tiara Thing

This is a photo of an American pop singer called Ciara. Only she pronounces her name, See-aaa-raa. Oh horror of horrors. As if I don't get enough confusion surrounding my name already. For any new readers, my version is pronounced Keera and all my life people have mispronounced it - as in diamond tiara. I can hardly blame anyone though. Anyway, now that I've got my new stats info, I realise that I get a few random hits from people looking for the gorgeous pop Ciara (See-aaa-raa! 'Comin' at cha!') as opposed to 'Her offy that Belle and Seb cover that writes they poy-ems and doesn'y keep too well, although she looks well enough to me...' (that's a Scottish accent for all ye others). Meanwhile See-aaa-raa fans shake their heads in bewilderment and click on the back arrow.
I got out for a just couple of hours on Sunday to a local park to see some friends play in a band (Camera Obscura). The girls took me back stage afterwards where they made me chamomile tea, which I drank with a coleslaw sandwich and a banana. The rain was splattering on the roof of the small marquee and it was not unlike my memories of camping. I felt sheltered and randomly yet agreeably fed .