Awake in the small hours again, just me and the birds and the sun coming up as it does this time of year, as though we’re living in the first days. “Blackbird has spoken, like the first bird”. With me again, my old companion migraine, not the full-blown thing but the beginnings, which I knock on the head with a couple of those lovely pink pills. Drugs, eh? Reasons to be cheerful, as if I needed to look for them, can be found in any number of chemical substances that enhance the quality of my life by blocking or modifying nasty symptoms that are part of the package that is M.E. A respectful nod in the direction of homoeopathic and herbal products that have a significant place in the house of Signs, but what I really have in mind is the magic bullet effect of allopathic substances that go to work predictably and immediately. Of course their effects are temporary and they cure nothing, but they and I have an honest relationship. I do not ask for more than they can deliver. I am particularly happy that Co-proxamol, a combination of the humble paracetamol and an opioid called dextropropoxyphene, has been granted a temporary reprieve, having been withdrawn from the market. What they give is a few hours respite from muscle pain, and the difference this can make to how one manages a day is hard to describe. I don’t want to give the impression that I am a pill-head. It’s just good to know they are there for the times you really need something more than inner fortitude.
There are things I want to do in the next couple of days: another poetry café event to be prepared for and attended, a whole day’s workshop on the poetry of Sappho and some writing to get done for a workshopping session on Monday. I won’t manage all this without drugs, caffeine and sugar and yes, the system pays for it later. But it is, as I have said before, worth it.
Speaking of substances, I have been reviewing the hair colour situation and, though not exactly chickening out of my recent decision to let the grey shine out, I have put it on hold by using a bit of temporary colour while I mull things over a bit. It may be that for a while I will be neither one thing nor the other before I properly come out or it may be that I carry on being in the closet for a few more years. I know this sounds lame after my brave words about doing cold turkey and possibly starting a revolution but the Signs character is inclined to be fickle in some respects and is, in this season of strange, exuberant and unnaturally warm spring, not inclined to be wintering down just yet