Saturday, 26 April 2008

sometimes a big cigar is just a big cigar

I think I know myself pretty well. I have been therapied to within an inch of my life, after all.

Every now and again my unconscious throws me up a dream, just to remind me that I'm not quite as in charge as my rather smug observing self believes. It's the usual stuff - car brakes won't work/being chased by scary people/naked on toilet in lift...... 

(The 'naked on toilet in lift with doors about to open' is the mother of all anxiety dreams, and if you've never had it I suggest you have a long hard word with your psyche right now.  It's something that everyone should try at least once in their lives, rather like taking acid or going to a Kylie concert.)

Every now and again my unconscious throws me something entirely random - just to take the piss probably - which I then feel utterly compelled to make some sense of.  It's my job, innit?

So, to last night's offerings.........

I visit the local farmer, riding my giant dustbuster. Apparently it's a very green mode of transport and is surprisingly comfortable. It's just an added bonus that it cleans the roads as you ride. 

I park up my oversized but ecologically sound dustbuster,  to be greeted by his giant hamsters. I am pleased, for it is indeed the giant hamsters which have prompted my visit. We have a weasel problem, you see, and the giant hamsters provide excellent weasel control. 

Of course I can borrow them, he says, and whilst he sorts out the paperwork - which is all in Spanish - he tells me about the Blues band he plays in and when they are next gigging. I make a mental note. 

He harnesses up the hamsters - the last thing you want is these things running wild - and I ask for his phone number in case something goes wrong. He gives me it in Spanish, French and Italian and I mount my dustbuster, musing on how educated these farmers are.

Pure randomness. 

My sister once had a dream that she was riding a Netto carrier bag in the parents' carrier bag race at the school sports day. She won.  

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Lambing around.....

Today it is lovely and warm and all the lambs are frolicking in the sunshine, so I took the opportunity to take some photos of them.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Badgers wheezy stay in MAU...

During my stay in the Medical Assessment Unit I was situated by a window which looked out from the front of the hospital. I was pleased to have a window. In fact now I think of it other asthma people were by the window as well, maybe it was in some hope of getting the smallest scrap of breeze slip through a window and save you from the ever choking heat being circulated around the building.

As my view was to the front I watched all the buses tooing and frowing when I decided I would create a bus chart/time table, and like anything Badger related when I set my mind to something it is VERY important the job is done properly. Once I did not finish my science exam because I HAD to count all the tiles on the ceiling in the school hall. There are a few gaps in my chart I can only assume due to it being a saturday so maybe some buses were less frequent.

Being in hospital was very dull albeit safe and being that I had driven for 6 hours before I got sick I landed up in a southern hospital, I noted I got dinner in the afternoons and not tea which made me happy indeed (until it arrived of course!).

There were a lot of very elderly people in MAU and they were all either very deaf or not with it at all. There were routine questions for the confused ones and I have learnt that WW2 was 1939 - 1945. I did say to one doctor when she came to me next after seeing a very confused old lady "Please don't ask me when World War 2 was, I am not confused but my general knowledge is lacking in historical dates"... she smiled. All the doctors were lovely. All 8 of them that I saw over my 70 hour stay.

Its good to be out!

Friday, 11 April 2008

Get Well Soon Badger!

Little Badger is all wheezy and has spent the night in hospital having oxygen and things to help her breathe.  She is all the way down in Surrey so Ms M and I can't visit, and Frank is most disappointed not to be able to go and see her.

I'm quite glad she was down in the town though in some ways - it's a good hour and a bit round trip to get to A&E in an ambulance out here.  There is a helicopter during the day but at night you're in the back of a 4x4, though I suspect Ms M and I would have whisked Badger to the hospital much sooner if she had been here.  I certainly wouldn't have waited til her peak flow was only 70!  (For those who don't have Asthma, it's advisable to phone an ambulance for anything less than 50% of your top flow - in my case that's anything under 250).

We shall have to be sure to take better care of her when she returns.  It's a tricky thing, knowing how best to care for a Badger.  Mostly they care quite well for themselves, but from time to time they need a bit of looking after.  I spoke to the head nurse on Badger's ward this morning and asked if Badger had mentioned that she has tourettes and is Aspie ... she thought she hadn't, but was very understanding about why Badger might not have and also glad that I had told her.  

Mostly Badger's little ways and misunderstandings simply make us laugh and smile - a recent classic being that Badger thought Ms M had said she would prefer her chicken inbred ... she was most relieved to find that she was talking about a sandwich - but sometimes I do worry about the potential less sitcom-like consequences of little confusions. 

Badger isn't unique in needing a bit of looking after - I think most of us are similarly able to manage 90 - 95% of our lives perfectly well and a bit flumoxed by the other bit. And I'm sure I'm not unique in wondering where the line is between helping and interfering!

The book I'm working on a the moment deals quite a lot with this - a very western problem around the illusion of individualism. We are encouraged to be 'independent' and to mind our own business, being needy is an insult and self-containment is a goal. And yet it's all bollocks. Anyone who uses a supermarket is dependent upon millions of people involved in the processes that put those products on the shelves. 

The subject-object-verb nature of our own language shapes our world into one in which the individual person is central and we do things to each other.  The anthropologist I'm working with on the book is married to a wonderful woman who's first language is Japanese.  She speaks in generalities, often skipping a subject altogether.  It can occasionally be confusing (my friend often finds himself having to directly ask for the name of the person being discussed!) but it does lead to an entirely different understanding of the meaning of being.  Apparently there are some cultures in which there is literally no way of saying "The doctor does xyz to the patient", and instead they would say that the doctor and the sick person were working together to increase wellness.

So, I hope when Badger reads this she is feeling better and on the mend, we are looking forward to having her home safe!

Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Cat friendly Pub...

It would seem that our local village pub is not only dog friendly but it also cat friendly.

Last night, young Frank followed me to the pub, its not far, maybe 200 yards. Now normally he would potter off home once seeing me off inside safely.

However last night he was insistent that he too wished to come in. He spent the first half hour embarrasing me by mieowing at the door like some sort of deranged animal. He was so loud that everyone in the pub could hear him shouting. In the end the landlady said I should let him in, so in he came and sat next to me while I finished my pint. We then trotted home together. Bless him, Frank the pub cat.

While I am here I would also like to mention my secret magic place I have found in the village. It is up a beck and no one goes there, especially not tourists as it is not a footpath and some what of a hairy climb in places to get to it, but as I rounded the corner I found this opening and I could picture myself lying here in the summer, next to the river (which is, as you will see some what a dry river in this picture), but I shall come here and watch the wildlife and read my books. On my walk up I saw a Kestrel tormenting a Tawny Owl, I saw Lapwings and lots and lots of Rabbits.