Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Satisfying day.

Took my little black pussy to get a jab this morning - an annual event. Nothing wrong with him. Just a booster. He was a little sweetie, just tensing up at the key moment rather than trying to escape - just how I'd try to be if I was having a prick (I should be so lucky!)
In town today had a sneak sideways peak at myself in a shop window reflection (which we all do, don't we?). Pleasantly surprised to no longer look 8 months pregnant - perhaps just 4 or 5 months. Now when I'm more concerned about what undies to wear for Mr Bristles' 'Undie Monday' than showing any significant paunch, I'll have arrived. We're getting there. Such a shame that all these weeks of hard work can be undone just by a day or two's over-indulgence.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Mystery continues.

Well my doom-laden prognosis hasn't (yet?) come to pass, but this odd smell from 'inside' is still here - and it's very strong. What on earth can it be? Don't recall having experienced it before. For the moment I'm putting it down to my B.P. medication - a week ago my doctor doubled the strength of one of the daily tablets I take (he's been messing around with various doseages and combinations for 9 years now in a, so far, vain attempt to find the magic formula that'll bring it under control) But this odd feeling began quite suddenly just the day before yesterday. Perhaps it took a few days for the effect to 'kick in'. If it's not that, just can't think what's causing it. Not due to see the doctor again until mid-April. Rather troubling, though trying not to be obsessively preoccupied with it.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Morbid musings.

Yesterday got the strangest feeling. A 'smell' within, not originating from outside or emanating from another part of my body (thank heavens!) but 'inside the nose'. At first I didn't know why I put a morbid interpretation on it, namely that it was somehow a premonition of my imminent demise. I have no particular reason to think I'm about to keel over - my health is good, very good for my age, in fact. But the thought was there throughout the night. Even had the idea that I may not wake up this morning. My greatest concern at present is not in actually dying but, as I probably wouldn't be missed for at least a couple of weeks, making sure that the back window is open so my cats can get out. Then this morning I realised that what might have brought these morbid thoughts about is the books I'm currently reading - 'The Tibetan Book of the Dead', which I'm reading in slow piecemeal fashon at about one page per day - and also Sebastian Faulks' excellent 'The Fatal Englishman' - a one volume biography of, actually, 3 semi-famous men who died relatively young earlier last century, 2 of them gay who were, incidentally, also the 2 of them who committed suicide. Not that I have suicidal thoughts myself - never have, apart from the fleeting notion that surely everyone now and then gets, but it's never been serious. So that's probably the reason for thoughts running along those lines. But nevertheless the strange internal 'smell' is still here even now - together with a vaguely-defined but oddly real sense of unease and foreboding. Going out this afternoon to the cinema. Must take special care when crossing the road!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

World news that makes me despair.

Every so often (quite frequently actually) an item in the world news hits me like a blow to the stomach - and the pain lingers there. This week I've experienced a double-whammy.
In Nigeria the unfolding saga of the attempt, which will almost certainly succeed, to make gay marriage illegal makes me want to give up all hope in humanity. A 'marriage' will be defined as two gays living together whether or not they've undergone a ceremony. This on top of the fact that gay sex in any circumstances is already a criminal offence, but the new measure will allow the police and authorities to take further action where there is even just suspicion of a relationship. To see children wearing T-shirts bearing the slogans "Gay Marriage is Unnatural / Un-African / an abomination" makes me just want to weep! I've unbounded admiration and respect, but also great fear, for those few very brave Nigerian activists in their own country who are speaking out against the proposal. It comes as no surprise that the Catholic Church vociferously supports the measure.
And then a couple of days ago on one of our news channels here in the UK (Channel 4) a report came from Cape Town, already 'honoured' with the title of the 'Rape Capital of the World', where now any woman known or just thought to be Lesbian is targetted for rape, often gang-rape, as a 'corrective' measure. A man was interviewed who thought it was justifiable to 'remind' these women of the bodies 'God' had given them. I've been seething inside ever since I saw the report and I only hope rationality and reason will dawn on these people before anyone else is hurt. But I somehow doubt it.
But on a more pleasing final note, I only read this morning of the breaking off of the engagement of Sarah Palin's unmarried daughter/mother. Of course it's not the latter's situation that one takes any schadenfreude from (that would be perverse!) but what a calamity for the 'traditional values' family matriarch! Oh, what an embarrassment! - my heart positively bleeds for her. But could this be the instrument for a Damascene conversion? I'm not holding my breath.

Friday, 13 March 2009

Kitchen thoughts.

Wish I had an interest in cooking, but it's such a huge bore! Never seen the point of slaving over a stove for even half an hour, let alone an hour or, possibly, several hours, when the end product takes just a few minutes to consume. Why bother, especially when one lives alone? I doubt if the attitude would change if I actually lived with a guy (which I never have). So the most I 'cook' is the weekly omelette or boiled/fried/poached/scrambled eggs - apart from that, if it's not boiling vegetables, it's a case of warming up prepared food from packets and tins. Sad life? Not really. Despite how it sounds I do make a point of eating healthily. But rather than cooking, much prefer to be using the time to read or going to the cinema or playing my keyboard - so many things that are nowhere near as dull as damn cooking!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

'The Waist Land' (again!)

Couple of years ago, after I'd admired some pics an Aussie pen-pal had sent me of beautiful-bodied Aussie labourers working under the hot sun wearing nothing but brief khaki shorts, he sent me as a birthday gift several pairs of these same 'worker' shorts, partly to tantalise me but also to wear. But seeing guys at my sort of age wearing too-short shorts I find such a turn-off that there's no way I would wear them outside - you need a good body to carry it off as well as being no more than middle-aged. However, not wanting to waste them I've taken to wearing them under the jogging bottoms I wear in my flat outside warm-weather season. When I first got them I could do up the shorts' button-fastening-waist (size 34") but then last year I found my waist had expanded so as to make it impossible. But this morning I found that once again I could fasten it again. Small thing, perhaps, but it's a real sign that my hardship diet is working. I dare even say that in the mirror, although there's some way to go yet, there's certainly some progress. So feeling a bit pleased with myself, though the foot will have to remain on the accelerator for some time yet. Who knows, before too long I might even be sending Mr Bristles (Breenlantern) a pic of my lower regions in undies!

Friday, 6 March 2009

Getting there - at snail speed.

Was getting a bit despondent at so many days of under-eating and not just going through the day hungry but, worse still, going to bed hungry - and all with nothing to show for it. Until this morning. At long last managed to get my belt fastened one further hole in. The 'overhang' still looks pretty grotesque though, but it must mean there is some progress even though it's not readily visible. Only another 4 holes to go! Pity that pigging out for a day or two takes at least that many weeks (or even months!) from which to recover.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Not an easy watch - but it wasn't intended to be.

Well watching that film (A Jihad for Love) didn't do my blood pressure much good. Although it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know in general terms it still provoked feelings of disbelief at how people can be treated both by attitudes of hatred and intolerance from others (mainly religious, naturally) and physically (imprisonment, lashings and, of course, state-managed murder). But that was tempered by witnessing the bravery of those effected - something I cannot honestly say I would have the guts to emulate if I was in similar situations. Of course the internalising of feelings of inferiority and mental contortions to convince oneself that one's religious faith doesn't really apply here are all familiar, though I think I started 'compartmentalising' my sexuality and my religion separately fairly early on. Actually during all my strict Roman Catholic upbringing homosexuality per se was never ever mentioned (just too utterly and grievously sinful to even contemplate?) let alone discussed. When sex was (rarely) briefly discussed it must have been assumed that we were all hetero, as all the accent was on not engaging in sex before marriage, which even for most heteros would be considered laughable nowadays. Haven't heard anything yet about reactions to the showing of the programme - but similar threats of violence and worse have been made before and nothing happened. Can only hope that this too is just bluster. In the meantime - more such programmes please!

My 'beef' for today.

I've just got to computer-watch TV prog of last night (broadcast past my bed-time) concerning Gay Muslims and their struggle for acceptance within their faith and living in their communites. Even before I see it my heart goes out to them. Annoys me like hell that there's been an outcry against this prog from certain vociferous Muslim 'leaders' in this country, even death-threats against the makers if it's broadcast. So there we have it. We are not even allowed to read particular books and watch particular TV programmes, some are even saying that British laws need not be observed, -yet we are all supposed to submit to the laws of 'Allah' as defined by these same despotic theocrats. Never mind if we don't hold that faith. Sometimes really makes me want to despair. One recalls in jaw-dropping astonishment, Blair telling us all, shortly after 9/11, that Islam is, in reality, "a gentle, peace-loving, tolerant religion". Yeah, right! (I feel better now - but only slightly.)

Monday, 2 March 2009

Yes, this is me!

Photo loaded - just taken this morning. This is the best of a bad bunch, I think. (Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?) Now I'll just sit back, grit my teeth - and wait.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Counting the holes.

Huffed and puffed myself along the promenade in the 5 a.m. dark today. Being still out of condition I could only manage a couple of miles - and even that with several walking 'rests'. But already slight improvement on last time, though all those official Half-Marathon/10 mile public events are so far in the past now that it's unlikely they'll ever return. If I can get up to, say, 7 miles without any stops will be more than happy. The previous motivation had been training, now it's to get this damn paunch down. But only a month ago it was hard work getting to fasten my belt into the outermost hole whereas now fitting it into the second hole isn't too hard so there is some progress. Now if can get to stage when comfortably fastening the belt yet a further 3 or 4 holes in is achieveable there might be occasion to celebrate. It's been done before. But do so want to get there before the warmer weather arrives and there's sometimes only one layer of clothing to disguise any unsightly bulge. Can but try.

Friday, 27 February 2009

Quandary.

Want to be brave like so many others and post a current pic of myself here. Tried several times with web-cam but so far the results have been unflattering - which probably means they were realistic-looking. Even though I'm aware this isn't a dating site (but I am available!) when one sees what my age is one expects to see a 'daddy' figure. Trouble is I just don't look like one. Throughout life people have always said that I look some years younger than I actually am - which would now suggest someone in their 50s but I STILL don't look like a daddy. Oh well, maybe I'll try again tomorrow. Why not put off what one can do today?

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Oh happy day!

Now I've managed to work out how to make myself a blog 'follower' - at the moment only(!) of the unique and cuddly Breenlantern - I'm feeling as chuffed as bum-fluff. Now I'll explore more blogs and try to get some more excitement into life before I've got to take to a zimmer-frame and maybe.....who knows? Not easy for someone at my stage of life (boo hoo!) who's only had a computer for 4 years to work out how to do things with it. But it's commmmmming!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Belly laughs.

Thanks largely to the inspiration of the esteemed Breenlantern did my first jog this morning since mid-November (which itself was the first since the previous July!). Just GOT to work this absurd paunch off. I've always been on the thin side without being actually skinny but a protruding stomach on such a body really looks gives the impression of being preggers! (Just like that expectant bearded 'man' we saw a lot of a couple of months back.) I wouldn't care but two years ago the same thing happened, brought home to me by a visit to the barbers, me unwisely wearing shorts and already very conscious of my front load. As I exited after the cut, just before the door eased shut behind me, I heard the four of five guys there collapse into hysterics. I've little doubt that I was the object of their mirth and knew what exactly had caused it. (It stung like hell - and I changed my barber after that.) Looking self-consciously in the reflections of shop windows on the way back I was struck by the grotesque sight. Anyway it was the spur to reducing food intake and taking more exercise. The waist was eventually successfully brought down so far that I was actually able to fit on my old scout belt - which I'd worn when I'd been just 12, albeit briefly, but that's another story. So all last Summer I rejoiced in having a satisfactorily fairly flat tummy - but come the Autumn I let myself go again (dammit!) with the result that I'm back in the same undesirable situation. Well, there's no choice. Just got to get it down yet again - and will! In fact it's already showing signs of 'de-tumescing'. When younger, I was accused of being vain about my body and looks. Might as well have something to feel vain about, so more pounding the English south coast ahead!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Stifled yawn.

Just seen 'Che - Part Two'. Thought it a bit of a bore really. If a film is 2+ hours long it'd better be good! Awarded it 4/10 in my list - Part One earned a 6/10, hardly very inspiring also. Well, at least they've been seen now, and on the big screen.

Monday, 23 February 2009

That was a pleasant surprise!

I'd already got an advance ticket to see 'Confessions of a Shopaholic' as I'd been buying a theatre ticket last week at the same establishment. But then this week-end all the reviews of the film I read and heard were unanimous in dismissing the film not only as unfunny but hopelessly timed in the light of the financial world going arse-over-tip in the last few months and reckless and profligate spending is now considered sooooo irresponsible. But having got the ticket I thought I might as well go and maybe leave before the end. But it turned out to be really enjoyable. If maybe not quite laugh-out-loud it certainly raised a good number of chuckles in its fast-paced action. All fairly predictable undemanding stuff, of course, but still well worth a visit. And I didn't look at my watch once - a tonic!

Post-Oscar reflections.

Heartening to see Mr Penn pick up for 'Milk', rather than Rourke, though for me personally the film as a whole didn't quite take wing as I'd hoped it would - also the award for best original screenplay for the same film was fair enough. I suppose there will always be those who see these as 'politically correct' awards. (I never quite know what that term means, except sneeringly to put down others who don't share that person's own prejudices.) But giving one-in-the-eye to the neo-cons always seems worthwhile.
Sorry that the never-less-than-blisteringly-excellent Meryl lost out to Kate W. though I thought 'Revolutionary Road' was a far more convincing performance for the latter and a much better film than 'The Reader' to boot.
Not exactly displeased to see that 'Slumdog' practically cleaned up but for me it was one of those films, though admittedly pretty damn good, I found such an uncomfortable watch that I don't think I'll ever want to see again. (By the way, remember how 'The English Patient' overwhelmed the awards, what, 12 years ago? Who now thinks it was really deserving of all that praise - and who would consider it as even one of their all-time favourite films? Who even remembers it? It certainly wasn't a bad film (but, Christ, it was long!) - though I did like the book more, if one can compare two disparate art forms.)
Of the 100 or so films I've seen in the cinema over the last 12 months I gave my highest personal scores to 'The Kite Runner' (which I think actually featured in last year's nominations) and Mike Leigh's 'Happy-Go-Lucky' - but for sheer mad F-U-N surely 'Mamma Mia!' takes the prize hands down!