with apologies to Thomas Hood
No pubs - no gyms -
No bars - no swims -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day -
No sky - no sunny view -
No distance looking blue -
No sag-aloo – (unless for take-away) -
No shopping just for fun -
No picnics in the sun -
No coffee with your mum with cake and biscs -
No film night with the gang -
No jigsaws with your Nan -
No meeting kith nor kin, no Rule of Six -
No galleries, no plays -
No Homes and no Aways -
No birthday celebrations -
No romantic trysts in stations -
No rousing hymns in chapels -
No bobbing for no apples -
No visiting things pastoral -
Not even Barnard Castoral -
No sooner up, it’s dark -
No kickabouts in park -
No travelling at all - no friends to stay -
No where to hang the washing
No thing to do but noshing –
No place to go - it’s raining anyway
No buses, so the car but there are jams - nowhere to park it (PARK IT!))
No loo rolls yet again - no friendly caff - no Christmas market (MARKET!)
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No cinema, not even for a member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, -
It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re facing some tricksy decisions, ActorLaddie and I.
A.L. has been canvassed for his views on re-starting practices for – shall we say – his Interpretive Cross-stitch Group. And I have been asked where I am on this Sheep Scale:
An answer is required from ActorLaddie, so we mull. On the one hand, there has been a full risk-assessment of the school-hall used for practices and the Cross-Stitch committee are happy with it. There will be much gelling and the group will not share needles.Continue reading →
“It was a dark, black mask and I thought it looked OK, it looked like the Lone Ranger,” says Donald Trump.
ActorLaddie looks up from his book. “Surely the Lone Ranger wore his mask over the eyes? And anyway, why on Earth are you watching Donald Trump?”
“I’m not – I’m watching Sarah Cooper. I went onto YouTube to check some face-mask stuff and I got side-tracked. Wanna watch?”
ActorLaddie joins me at the table and together we watch Sarah Cooper lip-syncing to Donald Trump talking about masks. Then one of our old favourites: Trump talking about injecting disinfectant. Then – oh, there’s a new one! Trump talking about ‘acing’ the Montreal Cognitive test.Continue reading →
If it’s true that we are but toys for the Gods, then my sister-in-law is definitely their Etch-a-Sketch.
I guess you could say that it all started with the Golden Giraffe.
Tasteful, or what? One of my brother-in-law’s finest creations: essence of plastic giraffe, with an artisanal wooden mount and golden overtones. Such simple beginnings; such magnificent results.Continue reading →
Right now – Boxing.
Alex holds up to the camera a notebook on which he has written the word ‘Boxing’.
Two forward, two crosses, two up. And I’m looking for eight out of ten from you. I want to see eight out of ten for effort. Ready?
Ready, I say. Though as we’re all Muted, only the cat hears and she’s too polite to listen. The bell rings and we’re off, PD Warriors together, bashing the hell out of thin air, at a rate of eight out of ten for effort.Continue reading →
It’s threatening to be a day of hiding under the duvet and reading about people doing stuff, rather than actually getting up and doing stuff myself.
Specifically, I’m about to tackle a Guardian article Shelf isolation: stylish reads to keep your spirits up. This is by way of window-shopping really: my actual reading in lock-down has stalled at Harry Potter. I do love a good school story. I hated school, mind, but I have memories of a blissful week in bed with some childhood disease, working my way through a pile of June and Schoolfriend annuals bequeathed by my slightly older cousin.
So, now, essentially, I’m hiding in Hogwarts: back on the school stories but with the added resonance of being books I read aloud to YoungLochinvar and the InfantPhenomenon in happier times.Continue reading →
The best time of day is just after waking: sun streaming through the curtains, birds dawn-chorusing and me, eyes closed, pretending that none of this is happening. Nothing to see here; move along please. My sleep tipped me into Day of the Triffids, perhaps, or A Midsummer Night’s Dream. and shortly Puck will come and restore amends.
Just before I turn in at night can be a bit grim. I tend anyway to late-night fretting when over-tired and, let’s face it, there’s no shortage of source material. Eventually I wrench myself away from the news and go to sleep listening to Radio 4 comedy. At the moment, I’m mostly mainlining P.G. Wodehouse and John Finnemore.Continue reading →
Eek, the pressure!!
When I first started writing this blog back in October 2012, it was oh so easy to find things to say. My friends and colleagues, on the whole, knew as little about Parkinson’s as I did and seemed interested in walking the journey with me. The hardest thing about starting the blog proved to be taking the actual Jellywoman photo: my lovely colleague Amy and I struggled for ages with tubs of Hartley’s finest strawberry flavour and various playdough accessories. It turns out that jellies are not as stable as one might think and the resulting grizzly mess of plastic limbs and collapsed gelatine suggested a particularly obscure episode of Endeavour.Continue reading →
Long, long ago in a blog far, far away (well, nearly two years actually), I told you about my final lumbar puncture on the Ambroxol drug trial. And I promised to let you know as soon as the results were out.
I hope you weren’t holding your breath!
About a year ago, we few, we very few – well, about eighteen – trial participants were called for a meeting to share the initial findings. This ‘Stage Two’ trial had gone well, we were told, in that they had ascertained that the drug was tolerable in the doses they wanted to give. Also that lumbar punctures had shown Ambroxol does cross the blood/brain barrier, reaching the relevant parts of the brain. This is what they were hoping to find. So that’s all good.Continue reading →
“I dinnae ken what they’re doing,” says Josie.
“Ay, they’ve got it wrong,” agrees Jim. “We should go straight ahead here.”
The hearse is about four cars in front of us, just about to turn right at a road-sign saying Cemetery. In truth, I can’t help feeling that our best move is to follow. But what do I know? I’ve never been to Fife whereas Josie and Jim – BraveHeart’s siblings – grew up here.