Posts Tagged ‘Sickness’


Just to say the Beth lasted all of one Kung Fu lesson! She went, loved it, then cried off the next lesson citing lack of money. I’ve told her the offer is still open.

I went to the second class and Sifu was having a self-defence lesson, specifically how to deal with knife attacks.

You grab the attacking arm, grip the hand that is holding the knife, elbow them in the face, carry it through so the knife cuts their throat, reverse their hand then gut them.

Ohhhhhh K.

So that was fun.

He explained that way you are never losing control of the hand holding the knife and, as an added bonus, never putting finger prints on the knife. If you’ve just cut someone’s throat then lent into them (to stab into their guts) you’re going to be covered in blood anyway, so the finger prints might be superfluous.


If someone has just tried to attack you with lethal intent the first priority is stopping them. Legality comes a very distant second.

So that was what Beth missed. Good, clean fun.

Also, whilst I’m here I should mention an incident from last week. (I mentioned it on Twitter but omitted it from my last blog.)

Wendy, her brother (Pete), his wife (Emma) and I(Buck!), went to see Avatar 3D at the local flicks. Which I should mention in passing was rather spiffy, first good 3D I’ve seen. Plot was massively predictable, but really well done.

Anywho, it was still in the midst of the snow and ice. I gave  Pete and Emma a lift to the flicks. Apparently they really are gay about my driving! All the slipping and sliding, which I thought was fun, was a bit unsettling for them.

After I’d dropped them off and they were self medicating with stiff drinks, Wendy and I came home. I was chugging up to the lights on Cromwell ave which were on green, so I put my foot down to make it, then, as I had to do a right turn through the lights, went to brake.

Not a bloody sausage.

Micra locked up, slithering all over the place. I said to Wendy "We’re going to crash, sorry." Then by some miracle of mighty Micra mastery, I managed to save it!

That was a hell of a rush. More so for Wendy, I suspect.

I returned to my sax lesson.

Hate it.

Wish I could just get the basics down so I can quit the lessons for a while and learn by practising all the songs I like. That will be more fun and less pressure.

Damn these baby steps I am forced to take!

I did a work out at home yesterday, my first for two months, and how it shows! My tendons were a foot shorter! I ended up totally done in, and today my legs are really sore.

Then to add to my joy I had another headache. I woke up with a bit of pressure in my head,it got worse all day, (despite all the painkillers) so that by seven o’clock I had to go and lie down and that was me for the night. Not how I wanted to spend my day off.

Fine and dandy, hale and hearty today.

Wish it would go away though.  It’s every few days I have some form of headache, generally at least once a week it’s so grim I just want to lie down with a eye mask on in a dark room.

Chin up.

Not lying under a building in Haiti.

So that’s it, just a quickie. It’s because of Twitter. It happens, I put it on there, then forget to put it here.

Live long and prosper,


Sax and bugs, not even dole.

The nasty enervating illness I have been labouring through is waning. To prove that every cloud has a silver lining (and that where there’s a will there’s a platitude) it seems to have sapped my will to worry about work. If I get sacked I’ll just have to deal with it, at least I’ve got a week off, paid. And if I’m not sacked I didn’t have to work through that nasty cold. It was weird, I didn’t have a runny nose, or anything much except a little bit of a cough and tired eyes, but I just felt so weak I barely felt able to stand up. That and a temperature. Bad, but brief. Three days, and I was on the mend yesterday.

Which reminds me, I need to swab out my sax mouthpiece now, in case it’s possible to reinfect myself!

The sax is coming along apace. I have two books; "Learn as you play saxophone", and "A new tune a day for tenor saxophone." The former is the one my sax-sensei Pete teaches from, the latter is more challenging. Both want me to read music and play at the same time in chapter 1. That really is challenging! Pete asked me if I had any musical experience, I said I could play the triangle but subsequently confessed I could not read music. He said it was alright, that people often learnt as they went along, but I sensed an inward sigh.

I think I’m doing well though. In the space of a week I’ve gone from blowing like mad and being pleased I got something that sounded like a note, to expecting to hit each note of the middle (damn, lingo breakdown! Not sharp or flat, the middle bunch of notes! Damn , damn, damn!) octave, and worrying about keeping to 4/4 or 3/4 time!

(You go girl!)

Wendy, whilst appreciating the rate and degree of my improvement, is less than ecstatic about my practising. Hearing someone try over and over to get the right time and notes of ‘Chanson de nuit’ and ‘Au clair de la lune’ whilst you are trying to have a quiet chill must be irritating.

Did I mention the soundproofing was a flop? The egg-trays are apparently an urban myth, they give you wonderful acoustics, but don’t stop next-door from appreciating them. Genuine sound insulation relies on density and thickness. I briefly examined a professional soundproofing site, worked out that one wall of a soundproof box would cost around £500, then gave up. I have resorted to the old standbys of a thick pair of socks down the horn, and practising my fingering without the mouthpiece in (on top of the hour’s blowing). The socks are, at best, a token gesture. There are that many holes in a sax that the horn is just the final projecting bit.

I’ve taken to sitting in the hall upstairs, with all the bedroom doors, the bathroom door and the front-room door downstairs shut (so there is at least two walls between me and next-door, and a door and double glazing between me and the outside world) with the airing cupboard door open, playing into that!

It’s still really loud, but it’s the best I can do. I’m also trying to train next-door into realising that it is only for an hour, and at set times. This should help. The worst thing about having someone making a racket is the feeling of helplessness, not knowing how long they are going to be at it. If  you know they are going to be having a party until 1am, at least you know that it (should) be quiet after that. It’s lying in bed at 1245, music booming, grinding your teeth and whetting your axe that is detrimental to your chi.

Not that I would practice at such a time, I was thinking along the lines of 12.30 am -1.30 pm on 2-10 shift, 5-6 (pm) on 6-2.

I’ve been up nearly two hours and I’m not overcome with illness. I’ll go and get some grub and if I’m still OK I think I’ll have a workout. My next Taekwondo grading is in four weeks (if I’m not sacked/ can afford it) and I’ve been remiss through illness this last week.



Days off, huzzah!

Today is my first of five whole, glorious, non-working days! Big yay!

I’ve sorted out a bunch of videos, (all the TKD poomse -required patterns- for all of the grades to black belt) numbered them, put them in sequence, chucked them into a file with the photo’ of my badge on the front, (you still wish you had one) and now have written about it.

Sad, sad, sad.

I have also been making the most of the non-torrential moments to do a bit about the garden. Many’s the suspected weed that has felt the pitiless brutality of the dark side of my gardening. Also I collected a nosegay of sweetpeas and roses, an eye-candy of crocosmia and dahlia, and a touch of hosta and butterfly bush to make an arrangement. I call it ‘Summer in a glass’.

Nice, don’t you think?

Also I decided to try an idea I’ve been mulling over. For a while now I’ve fancied putting some plants out the front of the house, but we have no garden and the local pre-convict youth would have trashed any plant pots with their relentless football. Now however, the darling youth have mostly moved their delinquency to some other poor bugger’s domain. Mostly. It would only take one hit to knock a plant over, possibly to break the pot. Then I noticed I’ve had to start weeding in the 10" gap between the house and the pavement. It is covered in large stones, with more of the same and sandy gravel below. I thought it would be too inhospitable a terrain to support plant life. But if weeds can do it, why not try some of the hardier plants?

So today I’ve been excavating small holes in the stones/ gravel, filling them full of compost and heavy soil, then planting lavender. I had one small lavender growing independently, but the other two were just branches I’d pinned down to root (layered). They were still attached to the mother plant until today. I’ve just snipped them off, cut them right back (to encourage rooting and decrease water loss through the leaves) and stuck them in the front. Watered them in, obviously. Now we wait. If anything can take it it will be lavender. Hot, dry, and poor (to the point of non-existent) soil. Nothing lost, I’m layering another bunch of branches now.

While I was at it I potted up one of my dwarf firs and buried the pot in a whole I made in the stones. It’s a nice fir, but I can’t really find a home for it in my garden, so it’s an ideal experimental candidate.

Talking of firs, whilst we were in Scotland we were surrounded by the buggers. One particular flavour caught my eye. I went rooting around for pine cones, trying to find one bearing seeds, but they were all wide-open, dried husks (due to it being totally the wrong season). Not to be put off I ripped a few cones apart to try to find any recalcitrant seeds (ones with issues) and amongst the few runtish looking seeds I found one that was rooting! I quickly ripped it out, put it in wet bog-roll, and left if for the rest of the holiday. I brought it home and potted it, not really expecting a result, but check this out:

Oh yes! Verdant growth! To put it into perspective that is a 3" diameter pot, but still, it’s not dead.

My other gardening thing of note is that, as I predicted, the ground cover is filling out:


I’m going to sort my push bike out while I’m off and start biking to work. No more tickets, improve my stamina, strengthen my cardio/ vascular, stretch my tendons (apparently) and save us some money. All good.

I wanted to do it before, but it is about six or so miles each way, and when I was in de-kit I simply didn’t have the excess energy to waste. Now would be the perfect time to start.

Which reminds me, after getting kicked out of de-kit I put on half a stone in about two weeks. This is bad news, for, unlike Wendy, I do not have it in me to diet. I work hard, sweat buckets at Taekwondo, and eat like a pig. Dieting and further exercise are anathema to me. So I was worried. I went from around 10, 6 to 10,12 ish. The worrying thing was; would I ever stop or just balloon into the thirteen stone bloater I was when I was drinking?

I cut out the odd cream cake, weighed myself quite a bit, and over the course of a few weeks have got back down to 10, 7. That was this morning. Briefly. I had a cup of tea and was probably back up to 11 stone. But I’ve not seen 10, 7 for quite a while so I am cheered. The overall good thing is that I’ve stopped banging it on.

Sah bum nim was banging on about her flab fighters when last I was able to attend. She was saying she went for a forty mile push-bike ride before class on Sunday, had been for runs before the other classes, then when she went to flab fighters, she had lost a pound! "A POUND!" she was going on. Apparently some of the other women there had been saying things like "I went for quite a long walk" "WALK?!" "WALK!" "A POUND!"

It was quite funny, for us at least.

My other news is irksome. I have been playing with all the add-on’s you can slap on the bog-standard Firefox browser. One of them is called Lazerus. It sits quietly in the background, supposedly securely storing all the forms you fill in, in case of data loss. Supposedly you just put in your password and it will retrieve the document on which you were working. I’ve had it for weeks now, snooping on me. Then when I was three quarters through typing out my blog I lost the bloody page. The only place it happens to me, and the only reason I installed Lazerus. After ten minutes of trying to remember what password I’d set I finally got into it, only to find it doesn’t do it for My-bleeding-space!


Uninstall Lazerus? Yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

To finish on a positive note, I think I have a control system for my headaches. I take that nasal spray every day as a preventative and I think it decreases the frequency and severity of the headaches. As a first line of defence when I feel one coming I take ibuprofen, which helps. Then if it does kick in I take some decongestant with paracetamol pills, and, hey presto, the sick feeling goes off, the pain eases and eventually stops. Marvellous!

Happiness is the illusion of control.

Off to practise my poomse, class tonight, big lie-in tomorrow!


Did anyone get the number of that bus?

Well, what a couple of days I’ve had. I had been a bit tickly for a few days, nothing serious just the odd cough. I started feeling a bit rough on Tuesday night, thought no more of it and toddled off to bed. When I got up Wednesday morning at 5 I felt like death. Hot and cold sweats, massive headache, thoughts not quite right, just holding my head up was an effort. I ‘phoned in sick, had a Lemsip and went back to bed. I was taking paracetamol every four hours, then I was sick, started with diarrhoea, was a bit delirious, and still in massive pain from the headache.

I decided my body was trying to tell me something with the evacuation, so set to starving myself for 48 hours. This was exceptionally easy given how I felt. I barely got out of bed Wednesday or Thursday, I was having pain killers every four hours around the clock (screw the ‘do not exceed four doses in 24 hours’, if that’s what they want, make stronger pills)! By the middle of Thursday night the pain was so severe I couldn’t even wait the full four hours.

And by the way, to any mothers who read this, I looked it up on the Internet comparative pain guide, and it said "Yeah, you wish you were in labour! This is proper pain, not one twinge every five minutes."

Which is to pre-empt my sister. When Wendy was telling her how the doctor had to try to talk to me to stop me from passing out from the pain of not properly anaesthetised vasectomy, she said "How long was he on the table for, 15 minutes? I was in labour for 38 hours!"

I was that desperate I even considered praying! I was thinking on the lines that it couldn’t do any harm, but then I got to thinking it must surely end sometime, and I didn’t want to be that hypocritical.

Then I tried a few of the Buddhist Jedi mind tricks, and whilst they do allow you to accept the pain, the effort of holding the concentration was as tiring as the rolling around whimpering (manfully, you understand).

Anywho, the headache finally broke at 3am today (Friday).

By that time I’d been in bed for two days, and necked a hell of a lot of pain killers, so when my head stopped hurting I was fully able to appreciate the degree of discomfort the small of my back was in. So still no restful sleep.

I’ve been on tenterhooks since about 7 this morning, which is when the last lot of pain killers should have ran out. It’s 10.11 am and still no headache. Please let that be it. It wasn’t just the degree of the pain, it was not knowing when it was ever going to end. I was actually going to go to the doctors this morning. It had come to that. Though they never treat me I was going to beg! I thought the way it was going I was going to be in dire pain all weekend, and possibly do myself a serious mischief what with the cavalier overdosing and all.

So now, it’s sit up straight, try and ease my back off, drink plenty of fluids to flush my liver, and hope like buggery I never get that again.

I am a deathly grey colour at the moment, and I’ve lost four pounds in two days, so every cloud does indeed have a silver lining.



I owe, I owe, so off to work I go

Merry bah humbug to one and all. Well, on the bright side it’s fifty one and a half weeks to xmas. Another one out of the way.

Damn this six day working lark. OK, so I’ve not done as much as some, what with the driving test and time off sick, but it’s buggered my days off over this (not so) festive period. I should have been on my long weekend now, so it would have fallen: Thursday off for xmas Friday, Saturday, Sunday days off, then off Thursday for New Year’s day. As it is I had Thursday and Friday off, worked Saturday, off today, working Thursday and all the way through until next Tuesday or Wednesday. Big bum.

As it happens I do need the overtime, well the money, to make up for being off sick and the general impoverishment of the season. But at this time of year you can’t help but think ‘ I shouldn’t be in here grafting, I should be at home watching Wallace and Gromit, and The Great Escape’.

I’m getting cheesed off in that department already. I have to keep reminding myself I’m not in the freezer therefore I should be smiling. I have a definite feeling that I my face doesn’t fit in de-kit though. Not with the boss, so far he has been fine and dandy with me, but his lads (who think they are bosses because their dad is) are still thinking like the school bullies they so obviously recently were. If you are not a teenager who kisses their arse they don’t like you. One particularly.The other seems to try to make an effort. But they don’t get me at all, and I think they find the fact of my practising martial arts a challenge to their ego’s. Big shrug.

Anyway, it doesn’t make for a good working atmosphere. I really am thinking of looking for a driving job as soon as I get my class two license. I was going to go straight in to training for my artic license, keeping a relatively well paid and secure job, but it would not be a bad thing to get some driving experience in a rigid. We’ll see how the American biscuit crumbles. on the one hand, staying where I am I have the luxury of being able to take holidays when I need them (for further training and test -s-) and it is a safe, paying job. On the other hand, nothing would prepare me for a driving job like a driving job! And it has the potential to be better paid. See how it goes. Safer where I am, but if it’s going to become stressful…, well, time will tell. Got to pass the bloody test to have an option!

Still, I seem to be over that nasty cold, as is Wendy, we’ve got xmas out of the way and we’ve done all the socialising (not that we are anti-social. Hell, who am I trying to kid? Of course we are. But beyond that, it can be a strain when everyone around you is drinking and you’re not, and as tonight, someone you don’t really know is holding forth in the mistaken belief that they have anything to contribute to your entertainment this side of a grisly death.)

I really do need to start going to the Buddhist temple in Manchester. I find it really hard to be a nice person in the face of such provocation. That’s for my next blog: a summary of the year past, New Year resolutions, and hopes and plans for the year ahead.



What doesn’t kill you…(delays the inevitable.)

I think I’m going to live. Not forever you understand, just through this cold. I am thinking of risking going back to work tomorrow even though they have said if I go in, am too ill to work and come home again, that will be counted as two absences. Three absences in six months qualifies you for an investigatory hearing.

I really can’t see who that particular rule serves. I dare not go back until I am absolutely sure I am peachy (and this cold seems to be getting better only to return with a vengeance) which means they are going to lose at least one shift when I could have soldiered on through the fag end of the bug.

Whatever. I’ll try to go back tomorrow, even if I can’t work very fast and am a bit weakened it’s only for two days, then off for two.

Wendy’s got it also (with the cough component, from which I seem to have been spared, so far!)

I am also suffering from a creaking tendon/ buggered leg. It’s over my right shin. When I move my foot up it creaks, like tendonitis. It is going better now as I looked the symptoms up on t’interweb and the it was something I can’t remember. However the cure was; rest, ibuprofen and ice packs. Work seems to exacerbate it, but hopefully I’ve been off long enough for the healing to have taken effect.

I think I caused it by actually tearing my muscle/ tendon a bit in my stretching exercises! Go me! OK, I’ve not been able to stretch (and barely been able to walk) since, so will actually be a step backwards by the time I’ve healed, but there’s no knocking the commitment. The amount of pain stretching puts you in, it takes a fair degree of determination to actually physically damage yourself. Determination without common sense. A recipe for greatness. I think I’ll make it my motto, something like ‘no brain, no gain’.

Anyway time to limp to my snuffly bed



If you’ve not got your health…

Bummer. I’m coming down with the lurgy. I’ve been dodging that particular bullet for weeks now as all around me people have been dropping like flies. No longer I fear.

Sah bum nim was ghastly with it the weekend before last, didn’t catch it, the lads at work have been getting ill and I remained impervious, the boss succumbed and has been off for several days, but I thought I might just hang in there until after xmas, but no. I’m ill and getting iller.

Bum, bum bum!

Yesterday I came home from 6-2 and had an hour in the afternoon, got up had my tea, then felt too bad to go to, TKD (even though it was the last lesson until about the 6th of January) moped for a bit, then ended up going back to bed for 9pm. Normally I have to force myself into bed before 12. It wasn’t that I was tired, I just wanted the day to be over.

I made it through work today by dosing myself up with paracetamol (although I was late for work, even after all that sleep, as I’d forgotten to change the alarm back to my time of 5am, and it was still on Wendy’s time of 7! Bum, again.) but it was hard going, by the end I was weak and sweaty, and just wanted it over.

Then I had to attend a family gathering tonight, as my uncle had come up from ‘darn sarf’ for a flying visit to exchange xmas prezzies, and have a quick get-together.

It was in a pub (Wendy and I don’t drink) with predominantly omnivorous fare (I’m a veggie) and everything was to the standard of oven chips. I bravely and resignedly plumpled for a veggie lasagne. Dear god, how do these people sleep at night? It was a best edible, at a push tolerable.

Obviously whilst there I smiled and said it was not bad, but here in the privacy of my own rantings let me own it was bad. Deeply bad. It didn’t even pretend to be making the effort to be adequate. It was fare aimed at people who had drunk so much they would have rolled up the beer mats and complimented the chef on the tortilla’s. To add insult to injury, they charge about the same as a pub we found in the lake district where every mouthful was a celebration of the culinary art, where epicures could be seen swooning in their rapture, and oven chip salesmen were regularly burnt at the stake.

Still we got through it, nobles oblige -ed, and now I just have to worry about the fact that I have until xmas day before I have a day off. If it doesn’t get any worse this is controllably unpleasant. Alas I fear this is just the prelude.

Right, enough whinging, time for bed.