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Bat Rescue

On Sunday last, 27th August 2017, I walked along the passage from my flat to the road. I saw on the wall a huge slug, or so I thought. At seventy five, my eyesight isn’t too good, but it looked the shape of a slug.

However, as I drew closer to it, I realised that it was covered in fur. On closer inspection I realised that was used down. A bat, I said, to no one in particular. I do sometimes talk to  myself.

At this point I would like to say, I love animals. All of them. I’m aways ready to help one in distress.

Not knowing anything about bats, I assumed that it would fly away in the dusk. But. As the day progressed, I was getting more alarmed. It shouldn’t be there. It was small and could be a baby. It should be with it’s mother. What to do?

I had heard of the Bat Conservation Trust so thought I would ring them, to get some advise. Ha! That was easier said than done. I phoned fourteen times without getting a response. Either the phone was temporarily out of order, of it rang, then emitted the engaged tone. As if someone had picked up and pressed the discontinue button. So that was fourteen times I dished a premium number, on my mobile phone.

I sent a Twitter message and the reply was, you guessed it, phone for some advice. The number? That’s right. I had already called it.

I continued this on Monday and, although I was asked not to leave a message on the voicemail, I did asking them to phone me back, which they eventually did, and Debbie spoke to me. She gave me three telephone numbers to call in my area. Yeah, right! The nearest one was ten miles away, the furthest, just over twenty miles.

I phoned the nearest and got an answerphone message. I left a message, but no further response came. It is now Tuesday night.

I called the next nearest, getting on for twenty miles, and was answered by a guy who was drunk. His advice? get a a cotton bud and tease the bat’s nose wth it, to try to make it drink. If it didn’t work hope for the best and take it to a vet the next day. But. Don’t be surprised if the bat is dead.

Not what I was expecting for a caring person who purports to be on the side of bats. Perhaps his bats are made of willow.

I had done what the website said needed doing: putting the bat in a shoe box with a cloth placed in a corner, punching small holes in the top and leaving a milk bottle top of water for it to drink, then place it in a warm and dark place.

There is a small spinney next to our flat and at dusk I took the box there, placed it with the lid open and prayed that it would be safe from predators. Cats in particular.  It had drunk some water, so I topped it up and made sure it was comfortable, with the cloth hiding it.

This morning, at first light, I crept up to the box, fully expecting it to contain a little brown body. I noted the water level had receded and then lifted the cloth gently way from it’s corner.

I felt so much joy, because he had gone. He had flown away, I am sure and not been the prey of some other animal as nothing had been disturbed.

I saved a living creature and feel absolute joy that I was able to.

As for the Bat Conservation Trust, they need to get their house in order. I know they are volunteers, but members of the public should not be placed in the position whereby we have to phone a premium number fifteen times before anybody responds. Whoever answered my Twitter message should have taken control and been more helpful. I WAS TRYING TO SAVE THE LIFE OF AN ANIMAL THEY ARE SUPPOSEDLY PROTECTING. Yeah, right!!!

People

‘The more people I meet, the more I like dogs’, is a recent quote from a television personality. You know what? I agree. Whole-heartedly.

For some time, now, I have despaired of the general behaviour of, what seems to me, the majority of people. Even those who are of a certain age and were taught differently, have caught the disease.

There are no boundaries anymore. The laws are flouted, openly, and the police forces are inadequate, sterile and unfit for purpose. Unless it is a serious crime, such as murder or terrorism, they appear unable to cope.

There was a time when anti social behaviour was considered a crime of society, but even that is ignored. People travel in their cars, windows down, playing noise at a very high decibel rate, which to those of us who do not like it, is anathema. I don’t want to hear what other people find likeable. Mostly I don’t. Like. It.

My favourite music is Swing, Jazz, Classical and Latin. I like it, but I don’t impose it on anyone else, because it might not be to their liking and irritate them at a particular moment when all they want is time to think or to have a conversation.

My generation, and those before me, were taught consideration to others. You don’t interfere with other people’s lives unless they interfere with yours. Okay by me. Also, there is general lowering of standards, from when I was young and learning, which I do not understand. Many situations I could quote, but one of them is dressing for occasions.

For example, when going out to lunch or a dinner. One of the things we used to love to do was to go out for a meal. The ladies would dress in all their refinery, looking fine and fair and their escorts would be suitably dressed, in suit and tie, matching the beauty on their arms.

The acceptance, today, of wandering into a restaurant in what they have been wearing all day, jeans in most cases and a top that could have come from a charity shop, sends out the message of, I can’t be bothered. This’ll do. I think a lot of it stems from a generally lazy attitude which is prevalent, certainly in the UK, but I think a lot of the Western World.

And jeans with massive holes in them! What on Earth is that all about? Clothes that I would send to the bin people pay a fortune for. In the name of fashion, probably, but I really don’t get it. Those of you who wear such ridiculous clothes have been conned. It reminds me of the story of the King who paraded in front of his subjects in invisible clothes. He believed what his tailors told him.

I once saw an experiment with sheep. A bar was put across two hedges and a flock of sheep was driven towards it. As they approached the sheep jumped over the bar. As they were jumping the bar was removed, but still the sheep jumped.

Instead of being yourselves, you behave like those sheep, in that you all have to look the same. Pathetic, really. Fashion is fickle and appeals to those who are vulnerable and equally as fickle. Better to be yourself and lead. Not follow.

Lose Weight or Stay Fat-My Choice

I am overweight! That is a fact I have had to face. Every time I look in the mirror.

Weight Watchers; Slimming World; Hay Diet; Cambridge Diet, just a small selection from hundreds of diets that can be chosen from, but which to choose, or not at all?

They all seem to have the same goals: weight loss and making money from dieters, though not necessarily in that order. The market is saturated with information, so much so that it can be quite confusing. For every one who tries to convince us their diet is the ultimate weight loss program, there is someone else who tells us it is wrong to do so. If we ate properly, then we would not need to diet.

Then there are the experts. They tell us we should not be eating this or eating that, almost on a daily basis. If we took notice of everything we shouldn’t eat, again we wouldn’t need to diet, we would be so thin there would not be any need to.

The experts, however, in their expert ways don’t always agree, so what are we, the poor, ignorant, confused overweight members of  huge population supposed to make of it all?

I am twenty eight pends overweight. Ah, but to some, I am forty two pounds overweight, depending upon their viewpoint. Although, I must admit, that in my long-term memory, lies a satisfaction of being one hundred and fifty one pounds. At one hundred and ninety pounds I am far from satisfied with my present weight, even less so with my shape. What happened to my flat stomach?

It’s been replaced by a bulge which I try to ignore, but strategically placed mirrors, all over the place, are there to remind me.

I have been to both Weight Watchers and Slimming World. While they explain that their processes are not diets, but ways of life: somehow you magically lose weight and it stays off for the rest of your life, they don’t explain the mechanics of why people are overweight; why they eat as they do; hoe to get off the eating cycle they are on.

So, as far as those organisations are concerned, been there, done that. Not for me.

I picked up a book by Michelle May: Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. I thought, ah another platitude, but I started to read it and was hooked. It’s full of common sense, something of a shortage in our society at the moment and points out the obvious, which we all, instinctively know. Eat when you are hungry. Why didn’t I think of that?

What it all come down to, in the smallest of nut shells, is when I go to my local Costa for a coffee, three hours after I have had breakfast, I eat the toast I have ordered because I like it. I want it. It is a habit carefully cultivated and nurtured over the ten years since I retired.

But do I really need it? This is the question I should ask myself before the Barista asks, “Anything else?”when ordering Capuccino. Do I need it? Am I hungry? Michelle May points out that perhaps we forget what hunger pangs are, if we continually top up throughout the day. I know I am guilty as charged: at home when I am making coffee, out comes the biscuit tin. I promise myself that I will have just two, but then another two pop out of the tin and sometimes a further two, just for good measure.

Once I get that taste, I carry on. It’s a habit, nothing more, nothing less. The more cultivated it is, the harder to break. Being aware of this could be the start of a new life. A life when I only eat when I am feeling hungry and habits, like quitting smoking, which I did years ago, can be changed. It just takes a bit of practice toast myself, do I really need it? before I buy it and eat it.

So, it’s mindful eating for me, from now on. Watch this pace and I will update on a weekly basis. My aim, to lose between twenty eight and forty two pounds. Wish me luck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strange Times Continue

Having just gone through yet another Election, I wonder where this Country is, in this mysterious time we are living in, where nothing is the same, nothing is safe, everything is in a mess.

Theresa May, and the Conservative Party, must be reeling at this time, 9th June 2017 at 1245. Very much on the back foot, with no certainty that she can really form a Government, she claims she has the support of the DUP, but they say otherwise, and talk of yet another election later the year, please no, where on Earth do they go from here?

Mrs May started off very strongly, but over the weeks have shown a weaker front: less confidant, but with arrogance that the Conservative’s wear like a mantle.

If she takes the DUP as a partner, she is taking on people who are for Europe. Likewise with Libdems, and they, of course, want another referendum over Europe.

I would not have her job for all the money in the world.

Dear Blog.

I lived in Somerset and was a member of the Seaside Strummers Ukeists. I was with them for a short time and played some gigs, before moving to Warwick.

Since moving to Warwick, I have joined another, much larger group,  and have improved  very much in the two years, now, since I started playing the instrument.

I seem to have a problem with the leader of the group who, by and large, will not include me in the gigs they play, which are quite numerous. There is a bit of a wall between us, not sure why, and I cannot get past it. The feeling of isolation I have, is growing to the point where I think I might have to leave. This is a pity since I like and get on pretty much, with the rest of them.

I am sidelined for a gig which I am pretty sure, I put put my name down for, though not positive, it’s in a Church and I don’t really do churches, so feel I cannot challenge him over this one. The next is at the beginning of May. If I’m sidelined for that, then I shall definitely have a word or two.

Nosy

 

4th April 2017

My first appointment with a hospital consultant. Three o’clock.

She was an ENT specialist who asked me a load of questions appertaining to the problem, to determine my condition.

“What is the problem?”

“My nose continually runs into my throat.”

“How long has this been going on?”

“A long time.”

“Can you be more specific?”

“Mmm, at least six months.”

“Is one side worse than the other?”

“The left. If I sleep on the left I stop breathing.”

No comment.

Have you got any animals?”

“No.”

“Have you got any allergies?”

“Not that I know of”

“I need to look into your nose.”

“Okay”

“Head back, please.”

I tilt my head back and hit the wall behind me. She doesn’t react as I rub my head. She looks up my nose using a small light and a strange looking metal object that pulls my nostrils out of shape.

“I want to do and endoscopy. Is that all right?”

“Whatever you need to do…”

She leaves the room and is gone about five minutes. Upon re-entering she says that she is having to wait for the machine to be found. It is somewhere in the hospital.

I was dismayed to learn this. I envisaged a search party of one, scanning the entire building, which is considerable, in order to find a small machine so that I can have camera inserted in to my nostrils.

She sprayed my nostrils with a disgusting liquid that tasted of something found in a sewer. “Would you mind going back to the waiting room until we find the Endoscope? It shouldn’t be more than five minutes.”

I do as I am bid. I did think five minutes was optimistic. I long ago learnt that five minutes usually meant, ‘ Five minutes sounds better than, we haven’t a clue where it is but its better to give the patient optimism. Better than saying every silver lining has a cloud but in reality it will take as long as it will take but if I told you that, you would be less happy about it. Let’s have an easy life.’

As I await the dreaded moment of a foreign object being shoved up my hooter, and the pain it might bring, someone else was called in to the room to sit on the chair I was sitting on only a few minutes earlier. I thought of the wall.

The clock on the wall spoke to me in hours, not minutes, though really it was minutes that seemed like hours. Watching paint dry and all that. I wished I had brought my Kindle or there as something other than women’s magazines to read.

Finally, after thirty four minutes, I know it was because I counted every one of them, a nurse entered the waiting room with a case and put it into a room in the opposite wall to the first room. She tentavely knocked on the door of the first room. She announced the Endiscope had arrived. Hooray!

Five more minutes and the consultant left her room, crossed over the waiting room and as she passed me, invited me to follow her. She closed the door as I sat down on a seat. It was the wrong one.  A nurse entered and pointed to my seat, which was on the other side of the room, and sat. Staring at me. Not quite sure why she was there, unless there was likely to be a lot of blood about, or I was in need of some emergency treatment.

The consultant took out the implement of torture, got me to sit forward and tilt my head back, once more. A Light came on at the end of a tube and then it was pushed into my right nostril . As it went in, she gently twisted it and my right eye filled with water, which ran down my face. The nurse kindly leaned over to offer me a tissue. Ah! So that was her function.

“Thirty seconds,” said, the consultant, trying to pacify me.

Mmm, I thought, probably more like five minutes. Why am I so cynical. It wasn’t thirty seconds and it wasn’t five minutes. It was somewhere in between, but it was too long.

She repeated the procedure on the left nostril, which wasn’t as bad as the right and didn’t take so long, then withdrew it.

“Let’s go back into the other room,” she said. We returned to the first room. I sat inn my seat. “Do you have a cough?”

“Yes”

“Do you have any pain in your throat?”

“Yes, it sometimes feel like sandpaper has been rasping through it.”

“Does food get stuck in your throat?”

“No.”

She addressed her computer. Are you on any medication?

“Yes, Omeprazole.”

“You have reflux?”

“Yes”

“How often do you take it?”

“When I need it.”

She is taking notes. “You need to take the Omeprazole regularly to keep the reflux under control. I also want you to take this medication that I”m prescribing for you and you are to take it as directed. I will then see you again in two months. In the meantime I want you to have a scan to determine why you are having this problem.”

She then explained in great detail about how I should take this medication. I was to spray both my nostrils, then wait five minutes and lay on my back on the bed, with my head overhanging the end, and pump two drops of other medication into each nostril and stay there for a further five minutes. This I needed to do twice a day, for two weeks.

After that, and for a further two weeks, I have to spray my nostrils with another form of medication. After a further four weeks, I need to go and see her again. In the meantime, she will arrange for me to have a scan on my nose. I can’t remember why. Never mind. Something to look forward to.

Happy days.

28th April 2017

Had a sinus Xray at Warwick Hospital, followed by a CT scan. now awaiting results. Fingers crossed.