Tuesday 31 March 2009

Tummy progress - and a hairy matter.

Waist reduction continuing - but still imperciptibly slow. Only know it's happening at all because this morning got another belt-hole to bite the dust. Determined to get to the stage of being able to contribute to Mr Bristles' 'Undie Monday' - perhaps even as early as Easter Monday. Thought I'd decided which undies to wear but when tried them on in front of a mirror it looked grotesque - there's still a conspicuous 'spare tyre' starting upwards from half-way between bush and belly-button. (Note - no shaver, I! - Hair rules OK!) But we'll get there. I've got the incentive.
Talking about hair, but this time on top, my tonsure carries on expanding - but it's been doing so for about 30 years. Don't really think I'll lose it all - I'm repeating the pattern my Dad had, and he never lost everything - and his also retained it's dark colour to the end (aged 69) like mine is doing, in spite of the beard going salt-and-pepper. But the bald crown must make me look from the back like a monk in mufti. Saw the film 'Duplicity' (Julia Roberts) a few days ago which featured an attempt to steal a much-prized formula for curing baldness. Oh, if only! But not in my lifetime, I fear.

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.