Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Mad journey

With the landscape a winter wonderland the smartest thing to do would have been to set the alarm for mid morning and hide from the winter. How was I to know the weather would be so ghastly when I was asked if I could get friends to the airport because public transport was going to be a real struggle for their early check in.

Woke at six to find a fresh fall of snow on top of the compacted snow and ice! Getting up onto the icy road was not something I had ever bothered trying so the test was to drive up a ski slope with front wheel drive and turn onto an icy road then try and slide down the hill onto the gritted main road. Getting back again I did not even want to think about.

I could have dug down to the ice beneath the snow but what use would that be? Instead I got as far back in the garage as possible and with six feet of secure dry ground I made the quickest start I could and hit the slope as a ballistic missile into the snow storm and just reached the entrance and no more. From there it was slipping and sliding at less than one mph just to survive, thank goodness the rest of the town was still asleep.

I told my passengers not to worry too much about the conditions since my first proper job had been driving Santa's Sleigh! You probably think I am joking but for once I am not!

The 130 mile round trip through falling snow and freezing fog was quite an adventure and with heavy snow forecast for the high ground of my return route I decided not to take advantage of a visit to Edinburgh. The scariest bit of the journey was the last 200 yards especially reversing off the ice into a steep driveway which now had even more snow over the ice so I was thankful that my aim was true and I slithered half out of control back into the garage where the brakes finally worked.

We will have to walk about half a mile to get our Christmas dinner so I hope for a thaw otherwise not going far for the next week!



Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Letting go

Out for morning coffee with girl friend which led to lunch and a walk back for four. Day gone again! Was not much of a day so well worth missing for a bit of cheer. Amazing how the smell of smoke gets in your clothes even though nobody has smoked, she is practically the last one we know but still needs an occasional fix. What a change from when I first came to this country and had to go to movies in the middle of the day to be able to breathe. Little wonder I was so bad at socialising, clean air was unheard of.

Good excuse to heat up the sauna and loose myself for an hour. This has been one of the places where project “ In Search of Lost Time” has been undertaken. The other has been lying in the wakeful hours in the middle of the night. Memories locked away and frozen over for decades have been thawed and analyzed. I had to be in this new state of happiness to deal with this and it has been fascinating how much I had deliberately locked away, mostly melancholic or just plain sad from decades in limbo, occasional moments of joy else I suppose I should have been long gone.

There was the constant drip drip sound from the moisture oozing from my pores then suddenly there were extra drips added as I was hit by a wave of emotion which had an untold number of facial muscles aching then the achey feeling spread like a spiders web down the neck shoulders and arms. It was like the final purge of negative energy leaving and the body saying “that was some torture, thank goodness it’s over” I have done with the past. It has been suffered and is gone, time lost, wasted but lessons learned. This last year has been a revelation. I never thought that I should ever feel this degree of comfort within myself, emotions freely expressed, with tears if necessary and mind clear and free of the poisonous testosterone which had so tormented me. The fat redistribution has been a positive side effect which is also enjoyable though I am sure many out there would say that compared to them there are no soft curves at all. This is the end of one leg of the journey, another birthday looms then a few weeks of socialising into the start of next year when I reencounter the Nasty Hamsterwheel of Suffering or NHS as we call the UK health system. Typical nothing which I have been told would happen is happening but I have the mystery appointment which entails over two hundred miles of unpredictable winter travel to the other side of the country rather than the ten I was promised. Not to worry, anything could happen but something is going to change and who knows they may get something right for a change! I have never fitted into boxes but if they want rid of me they have to give me the drugs I want to try. Two years ago I knew one step I needed to take but could not have imagined how I would feel at this moment in time, to not try the next step would leave me for ever wondering so unless health intervenes another goal is now in sight, another leg of the journey commenced.

The Proustian search for lost time is past, now hopefully I enter the new book in the series, Time Regained. This is now about a year since I started to post to the blog. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to write about even though I had hardly written more than a shopping list for over thirty years. Some have commented that they enjoy reading which has given me an unexpected joy. I feel as if this is a moment of weightlessness before the gravity of the new phase starts to tug at me unencumbered with the irritations of the past. Where will I be on the journey at this time next year? I can’t imagine...

Saturday, 5 December 2009


It has been staring at me for a week now.

A simple questionnaire about my experience of the general practice which I attend for health care. This is not a new problem and is really down to the fact that I read the questions written by highly paid fools and realize that they cannot be answered in a way which is unambiguous because of the way a question was phrased or I just do not fit into ANY of the boxes options. The classic one, and I am sure most of my readers are ahead of me here, is the “M” or “F” box. Most have just been put in by unthinking fools who do not even need to know, It was even on the online guarantee registration for a camera which I purchased even though they first declared that they did not require to know your GENDER! Then they made it a required field to be filled!

Q21 on this questionnaire ABOUT HEALTH CARE asks:-

Are you male or female?

Please tick ONE box only

Exactly as you see it!

They clearly have had or expect people to tick both!

So much for the answer my wife said to give!

What exactly are they asking me here? Was I born with and still have the reproductive apparatus as expected for “M” or “F”? Or, What is your perceived gender expression? Or what?

No doubt the thing will be fed into an automatic reader and all “answers” will be mangled into statistics bent to their will. If I create a third box of my own it will be ignored as will any not of approbation for their gall and stupidity!

Q22 is just age at last birthday, better finish this soon then or I shall gain a year!

Q23 Which of the following options best describes how you think of yourself? Please tick ONE box only.

(Clearly the bold capitalized ONE shows their paranoia )

1 Heterosexual / straight

2 Gay / Lesbian

3 Bisexual

4 Other

There is clearly an attempt to ignore the wide range of human expression here without clearly having the understanding of sex and gender. As a group we will vanish! Will not even register as 0.01 % of the population, we will not exist and how we see ourselves will not be discovered!

On the other hand there are 11 choices for religion and 21 for ethnic group!!!!!

Perhaps I should respond to Q28 Do you need an INTERPRETER or other HELP TO COMMUNICATE?

Please tick ONE box only.


Simply, yes GP service is quite good once you get past the appointment system. Where it goes wrong is when they pass you into next stage of mismanaged health care.

For a year my loverly GP has been trying to get the local teaching hospital to see me about possible HRT and has been messed about like you would not believe possible, they even suggested testosterone! Then after nine months said:- “hey we don’t do that you have to see someone else but luckily they come here for outreach clinics”

This translates into a winter round trip of over 200 miles to a city on the other side of the country to see someone about who knows what in the middle of January. Must be part of a cunning plan to kill us off in winter crashes to further massage the statistics!