Monday, 15 June 2009


It hardly seems like seven months since I had a big snip and dumped the wee bag of excess rubbish and started a life of unbelievable calm. Life up to that point was a torment of regular misery and dealing with the “health service” had only made it worse. I would have even fewer online contacts if I had started blogging before the snip.

Before the operation I requested no resuscitation and was indifferent as to the outcome probably somewhat in favour of an easy end, I had no idea just how much better I would feel afterwards even if they sewed it up badly and left a bleeder and had to redo it…

The doom laden surgeon was wrong about EVERYTHING he said would happen, I went back to disappoint him!

Now I am off on my first and probably last summer holiday within easy reach of the Mediterranean. Julie is not good in the heat but the idiots who disorganise her work were adamant that something which she was to oversee would happen in May so we booked flights for June instead. No sooner was this arranged they changed their minds and said it would happen when she was not there! Not to worry the way they are going it will not even be done before she retires and we are plunged into poverty in August.

If we manage to drive through the forecast torrential rain to get to the airport and if I get through security with my terrorist photograph in the passport once more we are headed to two weeks sipping wine and sampling the menu of our sisterinlaw’s new restaurant. Would have hired a car this year but the new cautious me wanted proper insurance cover which nearly doubles the price. The insurance was not far short of what we pay for cover for a whole year to drive anywhere in Europe, some scam! Ordered new windows for bathroom instead!!

We have visited a few of our oldest friends and family in the last week and we leave in some trepidation. Frailty seems to come on swiftly in the elderly and mobility suddenly reduces, another not so old is being slowly killed by a parasite from her husband’s cat! What will we return to? Then there is the networld, so much happened when we went away for the weekend, two weeks with no contact... It will be strange to be out of touch.

It will be strange to be warm again and I shall have to savour my time on the beach since in future we shall travel only when it is cheaper and cooler. On the bright side, this is the last time I risk skin damage from strong sunlight, shame my nails are always at their best after a sun cream spreading holiday. This is the first holiday for the new improved happier me, this is going to be interesting.

Shall compensate by blogging oldstyle on postcards.

Sunday, 14 June 2009


Must be something in the air but several recent posts have mentioned some coming out, sometimes after much agonising sometimes unintentionally.

I had my first experience of online chat, quite something for someone who has dyslexia and can’t type too fast and has no idea how it works. Someone wanted company and to chat until the birds began to sing so I happily joined in until about 3:30 am. By now I was wide awake so I wrote an entry and posted it before going to bed at 4:00.

The door bell woke me in the morning and I realised that I had forgotten a rearranged gardening morning with my teenaged helper. In the well darkened room, it is reasonably light all day at this time of year here, I grabbed the first dressing gown and ran downstairs to catch her before she gave up and left. The quizzical look she gave me was understandable when you consider that I had grabbed Julie’s pink toweling gown and had freshly shaved everything and painted all nails Chanel gold the day before. It would have been a lot more interesting if I had worn my own slinky pink floral silk dressing gown, then there would have been little doubt...

She has known me all her life and we used to have nail competitions when we went round for a meal but gave up at about seven when she realised that she would never win. Everyone knows I am a wee bit unusual, perhaps she has a better idea than anyone else just how unusual.

I am completely honest and out to whoever asks, well I would be but still nobody has!


The new ultra calm me has been through an extreme test today, there were times when I wished I could bring myself to swear at the screen just to relieve some of the frustration but that is not part of my software.

Several days ago while printing labels for the latest exhibition the printer croaked, nothing but streaky mess which no head cleaning would fix. Knowing such a day would pass I took advantage of large reduction on a printer when buying this computer last year. I was so desperate to see how good it was that I left it hidden in a cupboard! Unopened!

Nice to have a spare I thought, just unpack it and plug it in and go.

First few steps worked and it buzzed into life, the instructions are so unclear and small they are almost useless, the text needs a 10x magnifier and you have to fiddle about in very dark holes of black plastic to find strangely named parts. Eventually inks loaded it grinds and buzzes again for two minutes to spit out the expensive ink.

Must be ready to go now I thought but no, it needs to spend 13 minutes aligning it’s heads, just insert the two sheets of special paper which HAD NOT BEEN SUPPLIED!

A morning wasted seeking a supply of special paper, only available in PACKS OF 50! Take it home and let the machine play with itself while I cook dinner, will load software later I think, then finally print the rest of the work, I relax.

Late evening may as well finish by loading drivers from disc, all seems to go well so go to register with Canon site to get updates etc. It has been waiting since last April to get going! Try entering password, “ never heard of it” says machine, request new password. The same! But on third attempt with same it decides to stop fooling around and work. I watch a few demo videos and call it a night, print tomorrow, need large label to post parcel.

Next day print label by hand, printer not recognised! Pull plugs and walk away, go and socialise with friend who is leaving the street to go and live in a town along the coast, he brings back all my CDs. Even have lunch in sunshine, finish just as rain starts, return to hell. Get mac to recognise printer but they are not friends and will not communicate, incomprehensible messages come up on screen. Why do they do this? At least they do not just flash for half a second as sometimes happens but if it is meaningless why bother?

On and off through the evening everything imaginable is tried, plugs in and out, reload softrubbish etc., and search endlessly through the “help” section. At 1:30 Julie comes to see if I am still alive and I demonstrate how it fails to work and printer “pauses” locked and silent. “ Show me again” she says after everything is reset.


Great. Now I have a printer which may work, shame there is nolonger anything which needs printing!!!

Friday, 12 June 2009


Back at 11:30 (it is still light outside!) from the theatre where I have just installed an exhibition about the city in the 80’s, work done by a group of ten photographers who disbanded soon after this work was done. It was more work than I anticipated but the theatre people never imagined they would get such a god show and now want to keep it all summer.

I have wanted to organise a reunion for the group for ages but this was better than anything I could have hoped for. I asked for show tickets at the first meeting and got 20 for a fast selling show and the had a party after the show. Some photographs were taken luckily in poor light, some of us have far too much character these days even with digital retouching those lines will show. Everyone really pleased to get together again, nobody could believe how nearly two decades had passed.

Yesterday I was in for service. First teeth, hygienist then dentist check up with five days sparse hair growth round the mouth to be removed later in the day. As we walked chatting to the reception she suddenly came out with “ have we got your medical records up to date” giving me a good look, may have some interesting changes for her when I go back for a filling after my holiday in France which starts next week.

Next was a visit to my Doctor and we chatted about my recent exhibition of Scottish landscapes, she is now a fan. Eventually we got round to my pile of flash cards for odd questions, why can’t I eat grapefruit?, lumps which need to be cut off, usual thing. Then said it was time to tell the endocrinologists to get organised and get me some really interesting meds.The idiots last time suggested “testosterone” obviously completely getting it wrong, I only said flushes were a little inconvenient. Cheating the system has caught them off guard, you are not supposed to turn up and say I have a “medical need” for HRT, they just think, “how on earth did you get here without spending months being treated like a mental patient?”

I look forward to going through the post after I return from France.

Finally a rest. A whole hour just lying down. It is a long time since the last visit for electrolysis and the magnifier finds hairs you never knew existed, (but not for much longer). This will soon be finished and I shall miss Al and the girls who work with her, though I shall see them for occasional clearing of the dormant growth and I have to go back to do some photographs to improve their website! As I left, Al handed me a bottle of lilac nail polish because she thought it was my colour! Yes I really will miss them.

My weekend away was wet, not a drop fell here. Rain made it easier to just be sociable with our friends. I helped Martin search for somewhere to live when he first got his onshore job in the oil industry, we spent a week searching every place within the designated housing area within 30 miles of Aberdeen but nowhere was interesting enough for him to live in or for people to be enticed to visit. Working on the assumption that most rules are illogical and poorly written I helped persuade him to argue the merits of a home 38 miles out. It worked. Now I can visit some of my old pictures which live amongst some very expensive West coast American pictures which he collects.

The rain was not constant even though the clouds were dark and ominous so we were able to wander round the grounds of Balmoral Castle. Not bad for a holiday home though the Queen knows that only August can be guaranteed frost free so uses it then.

As a complete contrast, next wednesday we fly 1000 miles south to the sun for two weeks without access to networld. What shall we find on our return?

Friday, 5 June 2009


Off for weekend in Highlands visiting friends.

Not such a long weekend, wasted morning trying to see my Doc. As she requested, a week now, can’t get in so I am off.

No electronics where I am going, bye.