Tag: 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!