Sunday, December 23, 2012

set down this

I am speaking to you from the flip side of the Apocalypse.  You may think that it is all over bar the shouting and the fat lady singing on top of Mount Bugarach, but I have it on good authority that this is just the beginning of the end.  You may say that whatever point we are at, from there one can always say that it is the beginning of the end.  It may also, however, be the beginning of something completely different from the thing that the end was attached to.  What I can say with absolute certainty is that here on the edge there is much activity around celebrating the birth of a new era.  People are joining hands and celebrating the birth of a new consciousness which will, if I read my group emails aright (I am on a list that keeps me informed of such things) bring extraordinary transformation.  I am talking a new heaven and a new earth.  I have nothing to say to this or to those who hold fast to the idea that the Mayans simply ran out of calendar space or thought this would be a perfect way to wind us all up.  Meanwhile there is another Apocalypse date set approximately four years hence and I want to enjoy Christmas with my children, one of whom will be landing at Heathrow tomorrow just in time for the festivities.

Well I didn't keep to my plan of putting up a post a day between 24th September and Christmas Eve.  It was a bit of a long shot and I have been no'well.  Today I went to a friend's pre-Christmas party and had to leave the merry throng downstairs and sit quietly on a chair on the landing upstairs where the truth came and announced itself to me without fanfare - quietly.  Parties and attempting to make conversation in a room with many people talking are inflammatory to the neurologically compromised brain.  It is no longer possible to be involved in activities that include such things and might mean ruling out weddings, special birthday parties, book launches and eating in busy restaurants.  It is the beginning of the end, and a long journey it has been to get to this beginning.  There was a time when I would not have been able to contemplate it without tears.  But I can now.  I am grateful for what I still have.  It is, you may say, satisfactory.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Reader, I Ate Him

Happy Santa

Santa feels cold

- and another one bites the dust

Thursday, December 13, 2012


Funny thing about Christmas cards.  If you live at a distance from me you are more likely to get one during advent than if you live over the road or next door to me.  This is because when the weather is inclement, which it mostly has been this year - if not raining then perishing cold - it is often a step too far to deliver the cards by hand through the letterbox.  If you live in another country it is also touch and go whether the card will arrive in time because that means going into a post office and queueing.  For the rest, I can do everything from here: write, put in envelope, affix stamp - and then Mr. Signs posts them for me.  It isn't as though I never get out.  But when I do I have a kind of tunnel vision.  First I have to actually get to the car, which may be parked a short distance away because how things are in this road - it's everyone for themselves and you park wherever there is a space, which might not be near your house.  If the windows are iced up there is that to see to - back to the house for a bucket of hot water to chuck over the car or time spent scraping the ice off.  Then there is the car to heat up so as to make it bearable to sit in - if the car actually starts up, which is not always the case when it is cold.  If I go into the nearest town I have to find somewhere to park that won't leave me too far from shops or having to negotiate a steep incline.  The village is easy as long as you just aim to get to one place rather than attempt both chemist and health shop in one trip.  Bearing in mind that adventures of this kind have to be thought about when you are a few spoons* short of a cutlery set, you can imagine why I have finally succumbed and begun to do a bit of serious online grocery shopping.  It actually works quite well, though they didn't have the particular kind of celery and organic broccoli I ordered so substituted those for bog-standard kind which is fine but I was still charged for the more expensive items I asked for.  A quibble, perhaps, but something else to sort out.  Pleased to have got a fridge and vegetable rack stocked up without setting foot outside the house.  Not pleased that I forgot to cancel my Abel and Cole order so was completely vegetabled out yesterday until I managed to offload some potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, onions, turnips and green stuff onto my neighbour.

*spoonie = someone with a chronic, debilitating illness

Friday, December 7, 2012

Blue Light Show

One of my neighbours over the road has put up her blue Christmas lights.  We live on a narrow, uneven, unadopted country road and the lights are like a strong singer in a small, out-of-the-way nightclub where not many people come, but the singer has put on her blue dress made out of sequins that catch the spotlight, and you can't help but admire the singer but you also sometimes wish that this performance would stop, that she would go back into the dressing room or sit quietly drinking by the bar so you don't have to keep looking at her.

The blue light show will go on until the night of 5th January, breaking up the darkness of the holy nights.  There is something convivial about the lights.  They have heart.  You would miss them if they went, as you would miss the singer if she sloped off one night, never to return.

Monday, December 3, 2012

the day today

I don't know about you, but I can't wait to hear results of Rituximab trials for people with PBC and M.E.  If you don't know what I'm talking about that's probably a good thing.  There will be a time when people look back to this as a very dark age, before lovely Research blazed a trail that found methods of treating symptoms of those with delinquent immune systems.

Meanwhile, I am back in retreat-mode with post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion.  The view from the window is good but my camera is out of battery and Mr. Signs and his iPhone are not here.  Beside me are several packets of Christmas cards and the latest issue of Mslexia magazine.  Downstairs are rooms full of mess and muddle and a chicken that is hoping to be roasted tonight, but right now standing up does not feel like a good idea.  I am not sure if anything other than lying flat is a good idea.
Actually, yes - eating chocolate-covered marzipan is a very good idea, even if only in the short-term.
Poetry workshop tomorrow is out.  Choir practice is a don't-know.  Family party for my niece's birthday on Saturday.  If I am to make that I will have to pay beforehand with sufficient non-activity.

No vegetables to go with the chicken but no way to get to the shops today.  Damnation.  But perhaps there is a stick of celery, one sweet potato and a few beetroot.

Advent now.  I do want to send those cards.