Friday, 20 April 2018

The Hinterland of The South Hams

There are some things that I am good at.  It is affirming to acknowledge your own strengths.  I mostly communicate well, in writing and verbally, I can easily knock up a decent meal, I'm a competent clinician and a fair to middling parent......But my sense of direction is shocking.  I reckon I could get lost in my own home if I tried.

A case in point is a journey I make pretty frequently during my working life.  There's a shortcut through narrow country lanes to the villages that lie east of Kingsbridge.  There's  a fork from the A-road that runs from Totnes about  a mile after the turn off to Dartmouth.   Even though there's road signs and some distinctive features like farm buildings and a wonderful tree that's been bowed by the wind it's a bit of a lottery as to whether I'll end up in my intended destination.  Well actually the odds of winning Euromillions seem greater for I don't think I've ever got it right.   I head for the gorgeously named Frogmore and whoops!  I end up in Stokenham two settlements down the road.  I've only been working this patch for fourteen years.  Maybe I'll get my bearings sometime soon!

Thursday, 19 April 2018

On the Swedish Underground

Photo:  The Guardian
I haven't been particularly squeamish since I did a placement at Treliske Hospital with a supervisor who specialised in treating lymphodema.  Part of the time was spent with an enthusiastic tissue viability nurse who loved wounds.  There was some pretty gory sights in .a big county hospital I can tell you.  'Don't look away.' instructed the nurse.  'Look without preconceived ideas.  Look at the colours. take in the smell.  They can all tell you something about the stage of the healing process.'  This  detached way of observing has held me in good stead in the mental health as well as the physical arena.

So the depiction of menstrual blood with a streak of felt tip pen doesn't really bother me too much. But apparently it's been causing a bit of a stir on the Stockholm Underground which uses the station walls to host an informal type of art exhibition.   I read in the Guardian that the work of Liv Strömquist has been causing outrage.  'It’s not fun explaining to a four-year-old about the red between the legs,' the paper quotes one tweeter as saying.  It seems that one of the article's commenters  comment has provided the perfect answer to this.

'Well son (or daughter), every month a woman's body prepares itself for pregnancy.  If she doesn't get pregnant a body discharges a mixture of blood and mucus through her vagina.  It's all perfectly normal, naturally it happens to all women.  Now do you fancy that McDonalds?'

Wednesday, 18 April 2018


The hospital where I work is opposite a big Morrison's supermarket.   One of my colleagues discovered the wonky avocados, a snip at £1.56 for a bag of four or five of them and we all followed suit like lemmings.  I popped over yesterday evening and bought two bags of them.  For I love an avocado but normally balk at the price.  I threw a bag of wonky lemons into my basket too.  They're eighty pence for four of them.

As you can see they're a bit gnarly on the outside. They don't taste any different from the 'perfect fruit'.  As Morrisons say they are beautiful on the inside.  And guess what?  I not in the habit of eating the skins anyway!

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Anxiety Banished

I want to take Klaus the Knaus, my motorhome away for the May Bank Holiday.  Red Mel and I have some cycling to do. I hadn't been up to the campsite in yonks. But yesterday something suddenly occurred to me.  What if I hadn't emptied out the water tank before the winter?  Was I going to be confronted with burst pipes and a sodden second home?  A wave of panic set in and then a sense of realisation.   What a rare emotion that this is these days!  Only a couple of years back it was the all pervading backdrop to my life.  So ever present that I didn't actually appreciate that feeling like you're being chased by a tiger all the time isn't quite right.   Perhaps the daily meditation and giving thanks, being careful with words and thoughts and any other method of navel gazing that I've forgotten to mention is working.  I can't see any other reason.  Nothing in the outside world has changed that much.

When I got to the campsite yesterday everything appeared fine.  Apart from a six month old half dead coffee cup in the sink.   Oops!    It's a wonder it hadn't grown legs but as it hasn't so I brought it home for a good scrub.     On further inspection though I discovered that  something is up with Klaus' electrics though.  It's all as dead as a dodo.  That would have been enough to set off waves of terror in the past.  These days I'm nonchalant.  I'll look through the van manuals and see if I can come up with an answer.  Replacing a fuse is probably all that's needed.  If not I'll call a bloke out to have a look.  No panic, no fuss.  I'm liking this inner calm stuff!

Monday, 16 April 2018

Muscle Weighs More Than Fat: Doesn't It?

Nooooo!  When I weighed myself yesterday I'd gone up a pound.  No more choccy bars for me.  Well actually I lie.  I had a Tunnock's caramel wafer  with my afternoon cuppa to save Louis from himself because there's an eight pack in the food cupboard.  Jolly nice it was too.

On one count this demonstrates how sedentary my working life is,  driving about the Devon countryside, sitting around in people's houses and writing up notes.  Whilst I was on leave I was much more active.  Mind you this week I've done two reasonable walks and three runs.  That should been enough I would have thought.

There's another problem.  I'm not the comfort eating type but  I've been bloody hungry all week.  And as I love  food, eating it, cooking it, sharing it and thinking and reading about it, it's been impossible not to indulge when I'm ravenous.   It's one of the nicest of life's little pleasures.

I'm quite pragmatic about the lack of progress.  I'm still on target with weight loss of a pound a week so will keep going with my current plans.  Maybe another notch or two needs stepping up on the exercise front and a few less treats might do it.  If it doesn't I'll monitor calorie intake more closely  to see if it yields any clues for the longer term.   One thing is clear.   No  Butterfingers are allowed this week!

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Fancy Tickling!

I thought it was about time that I did one of my strange Pixabay picture posts again as the images are stacking up in a special folder that I have on my laptop.  I collect them as I'm looking for meaningful illustrations for blog posts  The OCD side of my personality is screaming,  'DECLUTTER!' and so I'll delete those I've featured here to keep her happy. 

The imaginative nature of the human mind never ceases to amaze me.  I hope that each and every one who sees this finds an image that tickles their fancy.  What a lovely expression that is!

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Bottle Top Inspiration

My collection of plastic bottle tops with which I plan to make something interesting is coming along quite nicely thanks to the naughty litterers that inhabit this land.  I picked up these four on the walking parts of my Couch to 5K run yesterday.  It was a pivotal point in my athletic endeavours.  I passed over the half way mark of the plan.  I've decided that when I'm back to running for thirty minutes non stop I'm going to do some of the local Parkruns on Saturday mornings.  That will make me get out of bed on a Saturday morning as they start at 9am.

I thought that  the lowest misshapen bottle top could make a good vagina on a blue lady!  Perhaps not.  My art doesn't normally head off in the direction of intimate body parts.  I'll  leave artistic interpretations of jubblies to other folks for the time-being but I'll warn you if I ever feel a Tracey Emin moment coming on.

This is more up my street.  My lovely chummer Aril from Gnat Bottomed Towers send me a link to the Facebook page of Not Just Trash.  Just the type of cheapo project to liven up the garden that I was talking about the other day.