Unreliable and possibly off-topic


Wednesday, April 30, 2008


We're getting there. The finger is much better, if (inevitably) sloughing. A certain kiddo self-reports no smoking of reeking burning vegetable matter for 2 weeks. Both kiddos did a sponsored swim in aid of kidney patients last weekend, and raised £50 between them. Big Wan did three lengths before copping out, the wee wan sixteen.
Unfortunately for her, she was communistically sponsored by family members on the basis of merely turning up, and not magnitude of achievement. That's the problem with communism, I'm told. Tomorrow Big Wan starts a month of exams- an unnecessary cruelty at 15 yrs- but he has shown evidence of study and hopefully can do the necessary. He's not short on smarts but sometimes lacks application in the skill of jumping hoops.

I gave a not-lecture yesterday at a local 'new university', recently moved to a new campus: an exercise of many benefits.
1. Forced to update knowledge on recent publications in my field
2. Required to take bus, thereby meeting my wonderfully eccentric ex-aunt
3. Enjoyed the inside-out feel of the architecture at the new campus
4. No students turned up for my lecture
5. I will still be paid
6. Was courteously asked not to smoke in the square afterwards, making me feel young again


Saturday, April 26, 2008



I injured my right index finger sometime early last week. It could have been Monday night when I carried heavy shopping home in plastic bags suspended from multiple fingers, or Tuesday night when I took a pizza out of the hot oven while pissed up.

On Wednesday the finger was a bit painful and developing small blisters- no big deal. Thursday morning the back of my hand was starting to feel sore and my arm heavy and painful. Thursday afternoon the wee blisters at the injury had merged into a single penny-sized and throbbing pus-filled blister, I could trace a phlebitic route of pain up the hand to my armpit and I began to feel achy and feverish. Thursday night I slept badly with feverish dreams, waking each time my arm or hand moved. The finger was fat, purplish and looked dislocated because of the blister and associated swelling. Friday my personal physician dropped me off a prescription for a wide-spectrum antibiotic, started that day, and I spent the day dozing in a fever dream.

Today it's already improved and nearly normal (see photo). The Badfinger is still a little discoloured and swollen, but much better than yesterday, and no fever and little pain. Thank god for penicillin!


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cigarettes, Ice Cream, Figurines of the Virgin Mary

Alas, alack! A horrible work day today. The poor slug from last night was unexpectedly very poorly, and I've spent most of the evening researching his heart rhythm, which sorely concerned me. My colleague took offense at an ill-advised joke about her rigid body language, and laid into my 'yapping'. I have many faults, but unfiltered stream-of-consciousness is not one of these, except here.

It gets worse at home. A close friend of the Big Wan finds herself pregnant at 15 yrs. She's in the kitchen when I get home, but confidentiality means I cannot speak as an auntie, as I would wish. The sperm donor doesn't love her, has another 'proper' girlfriend and wants to keep this embarrassment conveniently under wraps and discreetly dealt with. I feel heart-sorry for the lassie and her vulnerability, and worry that her teeter-totter status will encourage a devastatingly wrong decision. All I can do is pull out resources for the Big Wan to pass on, since I'm officially in the dark. There but for the grace of god went I.

I caught one of the kiddos smoking cigarettes last night, which broke my heart. Of all the stupid things you could do, this is one of the worst; to buy into an addiction from an evil-minded corporate grabber who recruits you at 15 for a lifetime of enslavement and ill-health. It killed their grandpa in Feb. I'm sick and guilty, for where did it come from but me? I wish I could protect them.

I've made a new friend at the all-night garage, though I don't yet know his name. I've so far discovered he's of Pakistani origin (with fluent and purple English), has a love for Milton and a flagrantly camp manner. He declares that I have a 'lovely temperament', but I rather think this issues from him since he allows me in to buy tobacco, Pick-Me-Up and milk even when they're closed for cashing-up. He's officially joined Smiley's and the Chinese veg shop in my local community.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Having joined the evil bourgeoisie, I've lost the blogging habit and instead watch Judge Judy, Single Mum's Mansion and read fiction, Pick-Me-Up and The New Yorker mag. If you too succumb to a subscription (TNY mag, I mean), do it half-price through their website. The dollar is ridiculously cheap just now.

A small amount of time between these and work is dedicated to arranging the dear departed dad's memorial celebration next month. It's not a 'service' because the only officiates are family, friends and colleagues, with little of god(s) and more about a man. Mum has negotiated a most splendid, religiously-neutral and architecturally harmonious space for it.

The programme chops and changes as we try to achieve a balance- permutations of different speakers, dance and music. Currently, I've finagled (with permission) these favourites as music or text:

Emma Goldman
Tom Paine's Bones
Father's Song
Wild Mountain Thyme

Spring is definitely springing. The local magnolias burst out earlier this month and the early dwarf rhodies have followed. To the Botanics this weekend!