Sunday, May 27, 2012


This post is probably self indulgent clap trap and more for my benefit. I'm not sure. 

Friendships come in different forms. It's not always about seeing each other and going out for coffee or popping round each others houses to see how the geraniums are flourishing. It's not always about seeing how much food little Billy can fit into his mouth without choking. Sometimes it is just friendship without the hassle.

I'm talking drivel because a good friend passed away last week and due to the constraints of our health (Cystic Fibrosis) we couldn't see each other socially. We did meet up a few times and often bumped into each other at CF clinic. Back in the real world it was texting, scramble and words with friends. 

I'd known him for about ten years. He had the blackest humour that I'd ever known in another human being apart from myself.

He taught me a lot though. He taught me how to look at the prospect of death and accept it. He taught me that taking down a christmas tree in temper wasn't a good idea and told me to put it all back up before my family came home. He tried to tell me that country music was good.  He decided to only ever use my maiden name because my married name 'confused him'. Ha. 

I shall miss the insomnia texting. I'll miss the random cooking questions. I'll miss sometimes not knowing whether to take him seriously or not. I'll miss his complexities.

Even in death he was far more eloquent than I could ever be.

His final blog post and video:

Take care Rich. 


Monday, May 21, 2012

Song Titles


My handy guide to song title names and their consequences/definitions. Or something.

It's Raining Men - The Weather Girls

As a result of it raining men there are dead and injured bodies everywhere. It's chaos. When the sun comes out the whole lot will start rotting. It's going to be horrendous. 

Twist and Shout - The Beatles

When you try and dance, put your back out and shout out in pain. You should know better. You need deep heat and some Nurofen Plus.

Club Tropicana - Wham

An 18-30s holiday with a guaranteed STD at the end of the week.

Working My Way Back to You - The Detroit Spinners

You dumped me and now I'm stalking you. This is now made much easier with the invention of Facebook, twitter and any other available social network sites. Plus the fact I'm outside your house with binoculars helps immensely.

Tainted Love - Soft Cell

I caught you wanking over porn. Again

I Want to Know What Love Is - Foreigner

I'm a virgin

Stickwitu - Pussycat Dolls

I have trouble with spelling and pronunciation

Don't Cha - Pussycat Dolls

I have no actual concept of the English language

A Little Less Conversation - Elvis Presley

Stop talking through my favourite programme

The Tide is High - Blondie

Thanks to your terrible navigation/orienteering skills, we are now trapped on a small island, the sea is rising and we will probably drown. Fantastic.

The Long and Winding Road - The Beatles

You should have turned right

Let's Hang On - Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons

Having survived the high tide in some miraculous escape we are now clinging to the edge of a cliff thanks to your terrible navigation/orienteering skills. My fingernails are peeling from my fingers with the effort of holding on and I'm bleeding. Stop moaning that you need a weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee. Oh. Dead.

Another One Bites the Dust - Queen

If only I'd finished medical school

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

To be honest if you have to ask such a question in such a colloquial manner then I'm guessing the answer is 'no'.

Two Little Boys - Rolf Harris

Best to leave it there. Leave it. LEAVE IT.

Light My Fire - Stevie Wonder

I can't find the matches. I thought they were in the third draw down in the kitchen. Have you moved them? HAVE YOU? Why can't you just leave things alone. 

Have photo of Mount Vesuvius

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Appendix and Bread

I think it is time to tell you about my son's fourteenth birthday which was last year.

So a few days before his birthday my son complained of stomach ache. Being a good and attentive parent I assumed  that he had eaten too much and was suffering the consequences. I told him to eat less and get on with it. The second day he came into the room clutching his stomach so I agreed that he could have a day off school. I kindly said 'But don't be thinking you can lie there playing games and watching TV all day'. The third day it became serious because I had a full loaf of bread and no cereal covering the kitchen floor and most of the work surfaces. Yes. He had stopped eating. You heard me. Stopped. Eating.

I called the doctor.

The doctor laid him on the special  doctor bed that is covered with that blue paper roll in case of leakages. Eugh. I told the doctor the symptoms 'The problem' I explained 'is that my kitchen isn't covered in cereal and I have a full loaf of bread. What am I meant to do?  The loaf goes off tomorrow and the cereal will go stale.'

The doctor prodded around and then declared my son to have a grumbling appendix. Great. A bit inconvenient to be honest because it meant I had to be nice to my son for a bit. We were told it could go away by itself and if the loaf of bread remained untouched then I was to take him back the next day.

The next day (the day before my son's birthday) the loaf of bread remained intact and so I took him back to the GP. A different doctor prodded about. He decided that I must take my son straight to hospital. Oh. The thing is I had the floorboard man at home ripping up half of upstairs and the dog running around the house, stumbling over the gaps, licking the floorboard man (rather her than me) and generally getting in the way. Plus the floorboard man had to go out for spare parts. Adam looked a bit sickly, the loaf of bread was going mouldy and my husband was fifty miles away in London. I gave the floorboard man a spare key and his money and hoped he wouldn't clear the house as well as the floorboards. I then called my dad to pick up the dog and tried to remember the way to the hospital.

I called my husband who said he would come home and would be there within an hour and a half which was fine because everyone knows you wait at least six hours in A&E before getting seen to. Tim could have walked there in that time. The fact that trains were available was an unnecessary bonus.

A few hours had passed and there was no sign of my husband. I discreetly checked my phone despite the fact that other people in the waiting area were all talking on their phones loudly and telling their friends/family their ailments. That day I learnt that little Courtney had swallowed all her mothers birth control pills and had grown a beard and Edna had been violently sick all over the cat, or the cat had been sick over Edna, I can't remember now. The whole room consisted of limping men, red faced toddlers (some with beards) and people throwing up. Plus it was one of the hottest days of the year due to freaky late summer weather. A great combination don't you think? I had a quick sip of bleach and tried to ignore the chaos.

Meanwhile I had a series of texts from my husband. The first one said 'On my way', the second one said 'Train just got in, I'm walking to the car now' the third was the following photo with the words 'I shit you not'.

He was driving to the hospital and the tyre blew. Tim was now stuck trying to change a tyre. I was dying from heat exhaustion and Adam was slumped on the chair clutching his stomach. I half expected the floorboard man to call to tell me that the upstairs of the house had collapsed.

After a period of time had elapsed my husband wandered through the doors of A&E holding his arms in the air doing a zombie impersonation. It was no time for jokes, people were ill and didn't need to be reminded about death. It was then I noticed his hands. The blackest, dirtiest hands I had ever seen. He looked like a coal miner who had decided to go to work in a shirt and tie.

At that very moment Adam got called in to be seen by an actual doctor. Tim continued his zombie impersonation through the special doors where real doctors exist. A harassed doctor also prodded about a bit and I had to explain about the loaf of bread again. Maybe bringing it with me for evidence was a bit too much but they needed to know how serious this was. Bread isn't cheap and it won't toast by itself. Meanwhile Tim was trying to keep his hands off his suit and off everything else. Im sure the doctor muttered that hand washing shouldn't be left until someone gets that dirty. Tim went off to clean his filthy hands and it was decided that Adam should be admitted to the children's ward. I think the doctor did this for Adam's own safety due to Tim's filthy hands/ zombie impression and me squirting myself with bleach every few minutes. You can't be too careful with cross infection.

Off to the children's ward we went.  Unfortunately Adam filled the whole of the bed because he is so tall.

Meanwhile a ward 'play leader' wandered over to us called Agnes. She peaked round the curtain and said 'Oh, oh my, we've got a big one here.' She looked suspiciously at the hairy legs (Adam's not mine) and asked Adam if he wanted a colouring book or some dot to dot puzzles. I pointed to his hairy legs and suggested that my son was too old for such frivolities. 

After more waiting it was decided that Adam should stay in for observation. We greeted Adam in the morning with birthday wishes and a surgeon came round and had a more vigorous prod (I was beginning to think that the prodding methods were a bit overused) and decided that he would operate that day and take out the the appendix.

Fast forward anxious hours of waiting and filling forms in. Adam got called down to surgery and I was absolutely having a nervous breakdown inside my head. I did my best false smile and we all joked that it would be a birthday not to be forgotten while I mentally wanted to projectile vomit on everyone.

You could not make the next bit up.

We got in the the anaesthetic room and everyone in there shouted out 'Happy Birthday' as if I had arranged some sort of secret macabre birthday party. They might as well have yelled out 'Surprise!!!!'
Now for the next bit. Never mind the state of the house, the tyre blowing up and Tim's zombie impression....the fire alarm went off just as I had to leave Adam in the anaesthetic room. My emotional departing words of 'You could have brushed your hair' and 'Did you remember to clean your teeth?' were lost in the screech of commotion. My brain went into overdrive. Adam had just been anaesthetised. Would they drag him out and operate in the car park? Or would they continue with the operation whilst battling through the flames? How good did barbecued appendix taste? The timing was impeccable.

We were evacuated except for the operating theatre department. I was expecting scenes outside of mayhem akin to those in A&E. I hoped that little Courtney wasn't half way through having her beard shaved off. It was the weirdest moment ever. I was assured that different sections of the hospital had different sections of fire alarms. No one had to have surgery outside and no babies were born in the car park. There was no fire either. It was all a mistake apart from the bit where Adam was being operated on.

And that just about sums up my son's fourteenth birthday.

It all went well and my kitchen went  back to having bits of cereal lurking around even when you think you've cleaned it properly.

The loaf of bread? It got squashed and sweaty after its time in A&E and on the ward so I gave it to a poor child who had a sign saying 'nil by mouth' above their bed. The poor thing looked really hungry.

Little Courtney? She now only has to shave once a week.

The appendix? Let's just say there was some suspicious looking 'meat' in the hospital food.

Have a picture of Adam's actual day of birth.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My Handy Teenage Phrasebook

I've taken the time to compile this highly obvious guide to teenage speak. No need to thank me for my findings.

I know
I don't know and now I'm annoyed you've told me

I'll do it later
I have no intention of doing it later

I haven't got much homework
I've got loads of homework

I can't find it
I've not looked for it

I've tidied my room
I've put everything on the bed and covered it with the duvet

I'm watching telly in my room
I'm experimentally watching porn

I'm doing my homework
I'm experimentally watching porn

My homework doesn't have to be in for two weeks
It's got to be handed in tomorrow and I haven't even started yet 

But I had a shower yesterday
Showering every day? Are you mad?



I walked the dog all round the meadow like you said
I sat on the first bench, got my phone out and checked Facebook for a bit

But this is clean on
I've been wearing the same top for the last two weeks

I got myself a salad baguette for lunch
I had chips

I'm going to have something to eat
I'm going to eat the entire contents of the kitchen/fridge/freezer and then have an extra snack afterwards

I've emptied the dishwasher
I've put everything away in the wrong place

That's all I can think of for now. Feel free to add your own.

Have a picture of a view from August 2010. (wedding holiday)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Animals and Humans

 I did this on my previous blog. Let's all read it together again.

How is it that animals like dogs and cats manage to escape the protocol of what is considered socially acceptable?

If you have a dog or a cat or even if you don't, then you know that these animals are like furry lodgers who in time will adapt  into your way of living and become a loved member of the family.

However let's make up a person who is a lodger but yet has also managed to become like a family member. His name is Gordon, he is a 45 year old moccasin slipper wearer from Croydon. His last girlfriend was Debs who worked at Boots (the chemist) on the condom advisory counter.

Ok, so we we will have Poochie the dog, Tiddles the cat, Gertie the hamster and Gordon the 45 year old moccasin wearer from Croydon. Then we will look at what animals can get away with as opposed to what Gordon could get away with:

Example 1:

Poochie: He watches you and waits for you to start eating dinner before deciding to lick his arse clean with a great intensity. With the job done and triumphant, he pads over and tries to lick your hand.

Reaction: You say ''Euugh' and try to ignore it (but secretly wish you could do that) and keep your hands up on the table to avoid a bum lick/hand lick situation.

Gordon: He watches you and waits for you to start eating dinner before deciding to lick his arse clean with a great intensity. With the job done and triumphant, Gordon walks over and tries and lick your hand.

Reaction: You ask Gordon to leave the house and never come back.

Example 2:

Tiddles: Steps into the kitchen all smug looking and deposits the corpse of a mouse on the kitchen floor.

Reaction: You scream and  shoo Tiddles out of the house and dispose of the dead mouse and then give Tiddles a more appropriate meal.

Gordon: Steps into the kitchen all smug looking and deposits the corpse of a person on the kitchen floor.

Reaction: You scream loudly and call the police. Your house gets sealed off due to a murder investigation. You ask Gordon to leave the house and never come back.

Example 3:

Poochie: Whilst you are out walking Poochie decides to sniff another dog's bottom, gets excited and engages in frantic dog humping. In front of all the children. At the park.

Reaction: You tell the children who are all pointing that the doggies are play fighting. You try to dismount your dog without getting too involved (you don't want dog juice on your hands), then go home quickly and give your dog an appropriate meal.

Gordon: Whilst you are out walking, Gordon decides to sniff another person's bottom, gets excited and engages in frantic humping. In front of all the children. At the park.

Reaction: You explain to the children that you are beginning to suspect that Gordon has 'issues'. Then you call the police. You ask Gordon to leave the house and never come back.

Example 4:

Poochie: Sits under the table at meal times, and places his head on your lap whilst trying to look innocent and adorable in the hope of receiving tit bits.

Reaction: You sneak Poochie some food and then tell him to get down in a stern voice so Poochie won't think you are a total pushover (even though you are).

Gordon: Sits under the table at meal times, and places his head on your lap whilst trying to look innocent and adorable in the hope of receiving tit bits.

Reaction: You tell Gordon to sit back at the table like everyone else and didn't you ask him to leave the house ages ago? For the love of God, he is 45. Why is he behaving like this? You ask Gordon to leave the house and never come back. Again.

Example 5:

Gertie (that hamster): Plays in her plastic see through ball and runs all round the living room in it. As she does so, she does lots of poos and it all tumbles around with her. Run, plop, run, plop. Run plop, rattle, run, plop, rattle.

Reaction: You laugh lovingly at Gertie as she runs round with her poo in her plastic ball. You aren't keen when the pellets of poo escape out of the air holes, but generally, you feel smug that your hamster is getting such good exercise. Plus, it looks quite fun.

Gordon: Brings home a massive plastic ball . He climbs into it and rolls all round your living room. Naked. As he does so, he excretes lots of poo and it all tumbles around with him. Run, plop, run, plop.

Reaction: The smell is disgusting, your living room is carnage and splats of poo have escaped through the air holes of Gordon's huge plastic ball. It will take weeks to clean this lot up and how the hell will you explain this to the insurance company? You ask Gordon to leave and never come back. And get an injunction out on him.

So you see.... pets get away with far too much and yet we insist we love them and we carry on as normal as they continue to push the acceptable social boundaries. Why? Why? WHY?

Have a pic of the lovely May weather. Hmmm.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


So, this is more serious than usual. As some of you know I have Cystic Fibrosis which means that the lungs, pancreas and digestive system don't like to work properly. It basically affects all the major organs in the body but we'll stick with the most obvious for now. For example my current lung function stands at about 35% which on a good day is a pain in the arse. CF is one of the Uk's most common life threatening inherited illnesses.

Now I was born in the early 70s when a cure was around the corner. Haaaaaaa. Haaaa. Thirty eight years later the cure is still stuck somewhere. Sorry for the flippancy but this has always amused me. It must be a massive corner. Etc.

Now for a bit of background information.  Most people do not know that they carry the cf gene and only find out when their child is diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis. One in twenty five of the population carry the faulty gene that cause CF. If two people get together who happen to have the faulty gene then there is a one in four chance that the child with have CF.

When I was born and it was discovered that I had CF my parents were advised not to have any more children due to the risk of having another child with CF. For the most part I think they were advised correctly.  There weren't the options that there are now. For example now there is PGD (pre-implantation genetic screening).

Now then, I have something to say so please bear with me. Yesterday I was directed  to a posting on a Cystic Fibrosis forum. It was from a mother whose first child is healthy and their second child has Cystic Fibrosis. This person was asking for opinions on whether she should risk having a third child knowing that the next child could also have CF. Here is what the person in question said:

 Obviously we know that there will be a chance that the next child would also have cf. If we did go ahead with another pregnancy I wouldn't try to find out if the child had cf I would just wait until its born. But I wonder if its selfish to go ahead with a 3rd pregnancy. The child would be very much loved and I do not feel like it would be an issue if the child did have cf, except for the obvious cross infection. Any views would be appreciated. 

This is where I get a bit uppity with what this person has said. It isn't directed solely at this person because I've read many similar things. Before we start I'm aware that people are allowed to make their choices etc. However when someone says 'I do not feel like it would be an issue if the child had CF' and 'The child would be very much loved' then I start to question their reasoning. It's all very well stating that it wouldn't be a problem for the them as parents. Well done. What about the person purposely being born with the risk of it having CF? What about how it will be for the child? As an adult? My own CF couldn't be helped and that is something that just happened. Like I mentioned previously there are now options available like embryo screening and I personally feel to go ahead and risk having a second child with CF regardless of any possible screening is selfish. Saying things like 'I can cope with a another child with CF' make me want to be sick into my mouth. I hear that phrase time and time again. It's wrong and it is selfish and I'm sorry if that offends anyone.

I really think that if I had parents who had ignored a serious issue in order to take a chance to have a child no matter what the consequence and blatantly shunned the chance of new methods such as PGD  I think I'd be a bit cheesed off at some point.

Don't get me wrong, I have a brilliant life but over the past few years my health has become more and more difficult to deal with. My worst fear is leaving my husband and son behind. My husband's worse fear is that I won't be able to cook for him if I'm dead. My son's worst fear is that I won't be able to wash his socks if I'm dead. The dog's worst fear is that I won't walk her if I'm dead. I jest of course but a serious health condition isn't something you can put on someone just because you will still 'love that child no matter what' and because 'you can cope'.  I just don't think that attitude is right.


Have a photo of my dog.