Tuesday 28 April 2009

Standing up to difficulties

Bought my first ever 'V' today, my doctor's requisition for which I placed between the other prescription requests. But it was bound to stand out(!) as all my other medication is free (thanks to this country's National Health system - hurrah!) whereas 'V', being non-essential, I have to pay for. The need is occasioned by my blood-pressure medication leaving me somewhat, erm, 'wanting' in a certain department. Was hoping that there'd be no one in the chemist (pharmacy/drugstore) when I went in. There wasn't - but as I waited for my prescription to be prepared no less than four other customers entered. Then the chemist himself came out - He said to me "On the 'private' matter, have you used these tablets before, Mr C.?" Responding negatively he proceeded to tell me, in front of all the others, the same advice my doctor had just told me, while I squirmed and turned just slightly (I hope) red. But the mini-lecture came to an end and I exited heaving a sigh of relief. Won't try the first one out just yet - I don't have the need to as there's certainly no particular person in mind to be the object of my attentions. But at least I've got the hardest(!) part over with. (Maybe I'll regret posting this blog, but what the hell, I'm slightly pissed and I can delete it later anyeay.)

Saturday 25 April 2009

Back with my much-missed little furball friends.

Returned from very successful 'away' yesterday. But now I'm really happy again with my two feline chums - one at my feet at the moment looking up at my face, the other sleeping contentedly after the excitement of the last few days in the cattery. When bringing him back yesterday he was so overjoyed he started rolling over in his carry-cage, purring loudly, despite the swerves and halts and starts of the taxi. When back in the flat he was initially disorientated until he'd explored around, checking that everything was in its rightful place. Then last night he slept with me in my bed again - so all is well and he's forgiven my 'betrayal'. The other pussy apparently had a rather more upsetting time. My neighbour says she was on the window sill as I'd feared, pawing at the window and crying loudly - and eating very little despite food being put out regularly. When I arrived she was actually still right there waiting outside the window. But after letting her in she was also quick to forgive me for the trauma and last night slept beside my bed on the carpet. While away they were both constantly on my mind so it's such a relief to be back with my little 'children' again. Barring any emergency, could be the last time I go away again this year at least. Now we can all purr together.

Sunday 19 April 2009

Tough few days ahead - no pussy.

Five hours ago I delivered my beloved tomcat flatmate to cattery for a few days stay while I go off tomorrow to visit my sis. Although this is the third time he's been there (previous time was a year ago) I feel as low and mean as anything - it's like a weight being carried round in my stomach. Missing him terribly already and feel that he thinks that in spite of all the affection he gives me I've still betrayed him. To make it worse, he spends all of every night sleeping inside this flat even though, in this milder weather, I leave a window open for him to come and go as he wishes. Every couple of weeks or so he changes his sleeping location as though he wants a change of scenery and, just a couple of nights ago, he re-started sleeping with me in my bed. So tonight is not going to be easy (sob sob!). But that's only the half of it. I've also got a tabby whom I'm going to have to lock out when I leave in the morning. (No, it's too complicated to explain.) She' s going to be fed out in the back garden by my kindly downstairs neighbour but will have to sleep somewhere alfresco for the whole time I'm away, probably under a hedge or something. But I know that when I go she'll be at the back mewing pitifully and pawing frantically at the kitchen window to be let in (sob double-sob!). I know this will happen because she did this when she ran away from her own home, five houses down the road from here, and insisted on living with me. (Both her former owner and I tried to get her to go back but she only wanted me as 'daddy' so we both gave in to her intransigence even though I'm not supposed to have any pets at all in this rented flat.) But I'm already counting down to my seeing them both again by doing the mental exercise - "My return is only so long in the future as such-and-such happened in the past." It's a dead cert that I'll be updating that exercise every few hours at least until we're all together again; meantime it's a case of having to endure the bitter pangs of separation.

Friday 17 April 2009

Criticising religion? What cheek! (I jest, of course.)

After reading this morning Wonderboy's blog (Idle Eyes and a Dormy) on same-sex marriage I also saw an item which is not a million miles away from the subject. It seems that there has been, up to now, over 100 complaints about an episode of 'Coronation Street', this country's most-watched TV soap, in which one of its oldest and most stalwart characters criticises his son for allowing the grandson to be 'indoctrinated' by religion in a school which also teaches Creationism. This same character goes on to refer to God as a 'supernatural being' and, horror of horrors, faith as 'superstition'! The sheer audacity of it! But not to worry, the Broadcasting Standards Authority is going to consider the complaints. (Consider? What is there to consider? Just tell the complainants to "EFF OFF!") By the way, I ought to point out that the programme is fiction, for goodness' sake, although some of us may prefer that it wasn't. This is precisely the same myopic mindset that brought about the 'Satanic Verses' furore/fiasco.
Richard Dawkins argues, why do we allow religionists the prerogative of being allowed to complain that their feelings have been offended when we don't allow the same unique privilege for any other facet of life? If members of a political party said that certain remarks aimed at their views were 'hurtful' they would, quite reasonably, be the object of derision. My observation also informs me that more often than not such persons who maintain their right not to be offended are also those who mock so-called 'political correctness'. Of course we hear about the cases where the latter has been taken to extremes but I think that in many such circumstances the heart is usually in the right place viz. not wishing to hurt people by abuse aimed at what they are, which cannot be changed (even if it was wished) rather than the opinions they hold, which at least can be argued about. But what is 'belief' but opinion? So why the special "you're not allowed to offend me" treatment? With religion it goes even further. It's selective. Included are only the three Abrahamic religions plus Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism (There may be a couple more - though what I know about Buddhism in particular is that in the West at least they take little notice of being criticised. Would that the others were so mature.) But I would defy the others to defend Paganism, Animism. Humanism and other polytheist or atheist beliefs with the same zeal that they moan about their own 'persecution'. Oh well, I'd better stop now before my blood pressure hits the ceiling.

Still wa(i)sting away. Hallelujah!

Just a week and a half ago I was bemoaning the fact that I couldn't get into some army pants I was wearing regularly only last Summer. Well, rejoice! I've got them on right now! Admittedly it's a tight fit but 11 days ago couldn't even envisage getting anywhere near doing up the waist, so if progress continues they should be comfy to wear again soonish. Phew, it's certainly been worth the effort! But recently I started getting a new feeling - a 'buzz' from feeling hungry. This is uncharted territory for me, something totally different. I wonder if this is what anorexics experience. I don't think for a moment that I'll succumb to this condition, certainly not at my age, but it is helping to avoid eating anything my body doesn't really need.
My regime - Breakfast is either a bowl of cereal or a small sandwich. Lunch - a small sandwich with a cup of soup. Dinner - a 'proper' meal, but about 2/3 of size that I'd have had before + for dessert a small yoghurt or piece of fruit, usually an apple or banana. Add to that a mug of (decaff) tea first thing in the morning and 3 mugs of coffee in the rest of the morning/early afternoon + about 2 litres water throughout the day and voila! = my total intake. Seems to be working - and well, too. Now seeing just seeing the result is giving me another buzz. Happy, happy, happy!

Wednesday 15 April 2009

re Mel Gibson and his religion- just a thought.

Reading about the possible financial consequences to poor(!) Mel Gibson on his impending divorce I am actually wondering about another aspect of the split. Being the rabidly devout Roman Catholic that he is, one who apparently considers the last few Popes since John XXIII to have been 'too liberal', I assume that he will in no circumstances re-marry while his ex-wife is still alive. My understanding is that divorce in his Church (also formerly my own) may be permitted in particular circumstances as long as the Roman Catholic party or parties do not re-marry before the former spouse is deceased. (I remember Jackie Kennedy being openly condemned by the Vatican as a 'public sinner' because she married the divorced Aristotle Onassis while his former wife, Maria Callas, was still alive.) Of course I don't wish to prejudge the man as he may well adhere to the inviolable tenets of his Church and remain celibate but I shall be watching his romantic attachments with more than a little interest.

Tuesday 7 April 2009

Remembrance of things past

Just looking for a 'decent'(!) pic of myself to post here, I found this golden oldie taken in Amsterdam in (okay, okay) 1985. Time was when I had looks which some, at least, thought worth exhibiting. Ah, plus ca change!

Monday 6 April 2009

What a bummer!

To go out this p.m. decided to wear some green army pants which I don't think I've worn since last Summer. Could I get it fastened? Could I hell! Not even close. So with time getting on thought I'd better put on a pair of combats instead. Same outcome. So disheartening. After weeks of going hungry every day, re-starting occasional morning runs, my waist is still nowhere near what it was just a few months ago. Must have really let myself go during the Winter. Why doesn't the extra fat get distributed all over instead of all going to the belly? (Everyone's asking that question, I know.) Looks like my intention to submit an entry to Mr Bristles' Undie Monday will have to remain just that for longer than I'd hoped. Oh well. But got to keep going. (Boo hoo!)

Sunday 5 April 2009

Who accused me of being a bitch? I did actually.

I'm not an advocate of astrology. How could it be when I've had a passion for AstroNOMy since a kid? They are mutually exclusive and incompatible pursuits. But somewhere tucked in the memory is my reading that Librans are supposed to be the ones who find it most difficult to forgive others when crossed. That certainly is true of me. Wish I didn't bear grudges but the fact is I store them up, leaving them to fester for maybe a liftime long, and I fantasize about how I'd get my revenge. One frequent such flight of imagination is that I win the top prize in the National Lottery - say at least £4,000,000 - or even several times that figure in the weekly European Lottery which I also enter. It goes without question that I'd be as generous as I reasonably could to my surviving family members and the few friends I have. But most people would do that anyway so it's nothing special . No, the 'fun' would be had in trying to trace those past affairs which both myself and the other party would prefer to forget. But with me, forgetting is not an option. With maybe a few of them I would, in fact, offer them a fair sum of money - just enough to embarrass them but simultaneously to make them think how magnanimous I was. (I'd say to them "Well, you'd only be doing the same for me." while knowing full well that they wouldn't.) But there are at least two guys from my past whom I'd want to make certain knew that I was in the money and that I was giving out part of it only to those I considered 'deserving' of something - and to make sure that they were aware that they were losing out because of their previous conduct towards me. Oh, that delicious feeling when I would see their faces! I'd really like to tell them personally and watch their expressions fall. If they felt like lashing out at me (which I hope they would) I'd be protected by the bodyguards I could afford to employ. Then I'd go back to my fortified luxury mansion and laugh myself silly into my G&T. Aren't I THE prize bitch? Ooooh, scratch yer eyes out!

Saturday 4 April 2009


Feeling upbeat today - helped by it being sunny and quite warm, which is hopefully a portent of the coming Summer, so variable in this country. Also by my really being drawn into the Proust, much more so than last time - some of the images are just astonishing, jumping over the translation barrier with ease. Then there's the presence of my two cats, lying in the sun and soaking it up as only cats can do. Shortly I'll be doing my main meal for today (in fact the only one) - a purchased-as-ready mushroom & veg. stir fry - being almost the height of labour-intensivity as I ever get to be in the kitchen. Mmmmmmm! (To be candid, felt I owed the Blog this happier entry to balance the rather negative one of yesterday. But it's still honest.)

Friday 3 April 2009

Vatican appoints anti-gay Archbishop to lead England's Catholics.- What a surprise!

But they could hardly do otherwise since any member of the Catholic clergy who expresses even mildly pro-gay sentiments can be certain that his future promotion chances will have vanished. Archbishop Nichols, currently Archbishop of Birmingham, has today been appointed Archbishop of Westminster, the most senior position of the Catholic Church in England. No doubt his credentials in sternly and vociferously opposing civil unions, gay adoption, repeal of gay discriminatory legislation as well as defending the teaching in schools of homosexuality as 'sinful' and telling our Members of Parliament that measures proposed to combat homophobic bullying are unnecessary, all of which would be music to the ears of our 'Beloved' Hol(e)y Father, Pope BeneDICKt . Why should I care? Well, the last 10 years or so has seen in this country a gradual but distinct marginalisation of homophobia, particularly in institutions and public bodies whereas up to then homophobia had been definitely mainstream. Of course anti-gay feelings still exist both in society and certain media organisations (e.g. in Rupert Murdoch's press), but it does seem to me that in this country the tide has turned, and not before time. But the Churches, particularly the conservative strand (majority?) of the Anglican Church, as well as the entire Roman Catholic Church, still hold firmly to their bigotry, which just postpones the inevitable complete marginalisation of homophobia. I won't be satisfied until such prejudices are, if not entirely expunged, then at least reduced to a small gang of 'crankies'. Progress is slow, but it's getting there - though moves like this appointment, further evidence that the Catholic Church is irrelevant, still have the capacity to fill me with despair.

Thursday 2 April 2009

Proust et toast au fromage.

Embarked on a re-read of 'A la Recherche......' (in English translation, alas) which I'll do at the rate of one book per month. It's only 5 years since I first read all 7 books but, somewhat morbidly, I'm more and more aware of wanting to do things before my number is called, and a second read of this is high on the list - and a third, or even more, if granted the time. But it is a remarkable work and the language, even second-hand, deserves to be savoured - every bit as much as when he tasted his madeleine dissolved in tea, even if the result isn't quite as spectacular. So, 50 pages down - and 3,000 to go.
Now I'm off to 'cook' my main meal of the day - cheese toast. (Oh, this pesky dietting!)