Saturday, 29 November 2014

Thoughts on a Saturday morning


A jacket from a coat hook;
A  basket full of plants.
Photos of dead relations,
From grandparents to aunts.
All these are quite acceptable,
But what really gets to me
Is a dog turd in a plastic bag
Left hanging from a tree.

I have absolutely no idea why I wrote this. I was about to go and do some Tidying Up. I can only assume that the infection in my face has burrowed its way through to my brain (I must ask doctor son about that. It's a scary thought, isn't it).

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Things I've learnt in the past week

1. That an infected wound in the nose can beat childbirth hands down for sheer agony.
2. That ALL painkillers make me feel sick.
3. That missing a beloved granddaughter's starring role in Oliver is heartbreaking, especially as apparently she stole the show.
4. That the best thing in the world when you're ill is a daughter who drives 2 hours for a surprise visit, leaving the fridge with enough ready meals to keep us going until the weekend.
5. That ready meals are sheer heaven. No shopping, cooking or washing up. This must be what royalty feels like.
6. That self-pity is deeply unattractive, even when it's one's own. So I'll stop now.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

After the operation...

....which was horrible, a bit of me looks like this. And no. I'm not showing you my face or you mightn't sleep tonight. I bought this sweatshirt to cheer me up and avoid those awkward what-on-earth-has-happened-to-you-and-is-it-okay-to-ask moments. It works quite well, and cheers me up. A bit.

One day, I'll look human again, but at the moment I look like some leftover Halloween decoration. Self-pitying? Me? Too right  I am. But I'm sorry not to have visited other blogs this week. I'll be back soon.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Magpie 246

An empty petrol tank is hell.
An empty battery as well.
But for this driver, perfect bliss
Is an empty motorway, like this.

When I vist my daughter, I use the M3,  and I rejoice as I spin past the junction that leads to the dreaded M25, revelling in the empty ribbon of road that lies ahead. (When I visit eldest son, it's payback time, as I have to use the M25.)

(With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the picture.)

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A hero

I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but it seems to me a strange anomaly that by far the majority of  the rich and famous are, by the nature of their "jobs", unnecessary. Actors, film stars, footballers...we don't actually need any of them. I enjoy the theatre, but I don't really need it. But we all need, for example doctors. Which brings me to the point of the post

I know (or have met. He is better known to members of my family) a doctor. He is in his early seventies, and worked all his life tirelessly for the health service, refusing to take private patients. Now, in his retirement, he is in Africa, caring for Ebola patients. I can't mention his name, but in any case, you almost certainly haven't heard of him. But isn't he the kind of person we all should  know about?

I've been thinking about him particularly recently. He's the kind of person our kids should emulate; he's one of the real heroes. But I'm sure he'd hate ay kind of celebrity status, even if he were given it. Such is the nature of the man.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Cancer of the nose

Sounds romantic, doesn't it? No. Not at all. But that's what it amounts to. A basal cell carcinoma to be exact. Quite small. Not serious, they said. A bit of plastic surgery, they said, and you'll be fine.

 What kind of plastic surgery? Well, they cut out the lesion, cut a patch from the cheek, keeping the blood supply intact, and stick it to the nose. Voila!

Questions I forgot to ask:
1. But what about the hole in the cheek? I could carry on with patches all the way down to my knees and beyond, each patch repairing the hole left by its predecessor.
2. How exactly do you apply the patch without turning it inside out and therefore severing the connection?
3. How soon will I be fit to be seen?
4. In fact, will I ever be fit to be seen?
5. You have done this before, haven't you?

Question to which I already know the answer:
Will it hurt? Yes. Like blazes. Even the doctor admitted this. Not the procedure, but the injection in the nose. I had one last week. It was excruciating. But I suppose better than having this done without the injection (well, that's the point, right?).

I phoned ( physician) son for reassurance. Response: "I don't know. I'm not a surgeon." Then, "you'll be okay, Mum". But he didnt sound very convincing.

Think of me, next Tuesday. When I and my nose go under the knife. And then I'll be able to tell you all about it (I bet you can't wait).

Monday, 10 November 2014

Poo post

There's a dog turd in Thames  Ditton,
And it's there because of me.
I thought two poo bags quite enough,
But found we needed three.
And if anybody's hoping
That the culprit apologises,
I'm afraid you've got a long wait
As I've gone home to Devizes.

I'm not a dog person, but spent the weekend looking after two dogs and two children. Yesterday, off we set for a walk, leaving the poo bags on the kitchen table (first mistake). Realised what we'd done, and borrowed carrier bag from the green grocer*, and poo bag from another dog owner. Two would be enough, right? Two dogs, one poo each. No. Wrong (second mistake). One poo for Humphrey, but two for Geoffrey. I pleaded with him to hang on, but apparently a dog's gotta poo when (and where) a dog's gotta poo (in the street, of course. Not some obscure alley or grassy verge).

I just hope no-one's trodden in it.

*he didn't want it back. What a nice man.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Bits (continued)

Her tits are on the mantelpiece,
Her gallstones in a jar.
Her spleen's set in a paperweight,
And other bits of Ma
Are scattered round the drawing room
Set in Perspex, glass and stone.
Her frontal lobe's a doorstop,
And her hip, a telephone.
A frugal woman, Mother,
Not particularly clever.
But she made sure every single bit
Of her would last for ever.

(This is dedicated to all those who commented on my last post. Their comments inspired me to waste twenty minutes that should have been spent on the novel.Thanks, guys. Any excuse... )

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Whose bits are they, anyway?

My sister and I were both having minor surgical procedures today (mine, a biopsy of the nose. I now have a blue stitch in my nose. Why blue? Why not nose-coloured? Why?). And we were discussing on the phone what happened to bits of us that had been removed.

When I had my hip replaced fve years ago, I asked if I could keep my old one. After the expected shock/horror/"why-would-you-want-to-do-that" reaction, I was told that no. I couldn't have it back. They did show it to me afterwards, but I was too woozy to take a lot of notice. But now, far too late, I feel quite cross about it.

My body is mine. Its bits are mine. What I wish to do with those that are removed is my business. If I want to pickle them, or make them into paper weights, then that's up to me. So, as we chatted, we had lots of ideas about what could be done with people's bits, and a new way of making money for the NHS into the bargain.

For instance, a hip bone could be polished and laid on its side like a log, and with a pretty little ceramic squirrel on it would make a nice talking point. Gallstones could be polished and made into jewellery. Pretty well anything coudl be fixed in perspex and made into a paper weight, book ends, or some other useful/useless article. The NHS could arrange for this, and without charging the patient for the actual body part, could charge for the additional art work. A win-win all round.

What do you think?.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

The evil that is Texas Death Row

We who write to prisoners on Texas Death Row (through Lifelines) have a wonderful co-ordinator, who works tirelssly to keep us all in touch with each other and what's going on. This morning, she sent us all this email:
Dear Everyone
Please keep Max Soffar #000685 in your thoughts/prayers. He has been on the row for 33 years and is now dying from an aggressive cancer. He has no LifeLines penfriend.

This is one of many who have been on the row for years, in solitary confinement, waiting and waiting....I do hope that this man is at least being cared for, with the appropriate medication. But somehow, I doubt it. (If you would like to know more about Max, details can be found here. )