All the rare side effects…

Whenever I have been prescribed a medicine, even for short term use, I almost always have the rare side effects.

You know, on the information sheet, listed as ‘uncommon’ or other terms to express unusual. I get them. So I never read the sheet. That way I can’t imagine myself into having them. In this case, for me, ignorance is bliss.

I did check while I was breastfeeding my daughter. Mainly anti-histamines. I took no medicines during my pregnancy.

The last medicine I was prescribed was earlier this year. It helps my lungs stay clear. It changed my life, as I was getting so many chest infections. In the summer, I noticed rash on my face. It is that medicine. There were other side effects too, but I didn’t realise until I read the sheet. It was an ‘ah’ moment.

So I repeatedly get a rash on my face. Every time I thinks it’s cleared up, around three weeks later it starts again. I cause met feel icky, like things on your face do.

I’ve decided to stop taking it again. (I was taken off it and then given a child’s dose.) I will contact my doctor and go from there.

It seems there are no easy choices in life. But I’m breathing, I’m keeping well, and life is good. I’ve been going drinking with a friend. It’s nice to sit with a drink of any kind, and natter.

Do you ever make complaints?

Have you ever made a complaint? Did you feel satisfied afterwards? Who benefitted?

I have been known to make a complaint. I tend to choose them carefully, as they can take a lot of time. I also don’t want to pick on someone who’s just having a bad day. I generally chat to people who are serving me, so I tend to be able to know if they are faking cheerfulness. I have never complained about anyone who was faking a smile. They may be recently bereaved, or just divorced, they might have just lost their home. Even if they had given me awful service, I would not make a complaint. I would give them my smile.

When I have considered making a complaint, I consider who will benefit. Not just me, it has to be for others too. I will not complain just for me unless I have been caused injury or financial loss. I may make a comment if someone is rude, or late etc, depending on the situation. I will complain if I am treated differently to others.

Having worked in the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (there is no equivalent in the U.S.) I’ve seen all kinds of complaints. Some were very worthy and others weren’t legal, and the majority fell somewhere in between. I did a lot of work for solicitors during this time. For civil actions they are incredibly expensive, but those who 0ffered hours with the C.A.B. often asked me to do the majority of the work. (Only 1 in 11 interviewees get to work for the CAB, and there is six months training.)

I complained about the place my mother put my Dad. It was appalling, rude, self serving, no training, and dangerous. As soon as my mother died, I moved him and he blossomed.

Last year, when my sister was dying of sepsis, some of the staff did things that I found incredible. I don’t wish to go into detail for my sister’s sake. I made two complaints because I felt no one should be treated like that, ever. Under any circumstances.

Then early this year, my former neighbour decided to dream up a complaint about me. So I made a very real complaint about her. Her complaint was seen as being non existent, but mine was very real and involved the police. It still isn’t over. My former neighbour told a parcel of lies to her letting agency, and thus came the wind chimes.

Don’t tell lies about people. It is cruel. Unfair. Malicious. Evil.

Make a complaint if you need to, but please bear in mind this blog post.

Bright sunshiny day…

For those of us with no thanksgiving meal, let us give thanks anyway. If you don’t live with gratitude in your heart, you will never know real happiness.

I spent today with a friend who is blind. He is cheerful and good company. We went for a drink, and then had to find grass for his dog. I actually saw a tiny part of my town I have not seen before. I was surprised. Nearby, are the offices of what was Dorset PCT, whom I used to work for but no longer exists. That brought some very happy memories. Part of the NHS.

This is always going to be a hard time of year for me. My mother’s funeral, my Auntie’s death, the aftermath of my sister’s death. My dog’s death. The brief relationship. I don’t think I would say no to him if ever he knocked on my door. But I would point out who he was before he went off with the woman who says he’s a complete idiot. I know more than he realises.

My closest friends, who live just outside Richmond, Virginia, became grandparents for the second time today. Their son, Michael and his wife, Laura, had their first child today – a boy. I’m thrilled for them, as their daughter and her family are working in Jordan. What a great day to be born.

I have been threatened with legal action by a letting agency because a story about how the wind chimes next door made the national press. People have been contacting them. I made my views on this perfectly clear. I am not responsible for an item in the press. And I remain cheerful. That letting agency is the worst I’ve come across.

If you don’t feel grateful, start with being alive. If you feel suicidal, don’t do it. Things can only get better and they will. You see, hear, walk, run, touch. If yu live with hope, you attract good things. Not karma, but what you sow is what you reap. Sow happiness, and you will happiness. Sow kindness, etc.

W all have days when we feel low, but they go. Unless you have depression. We talk about that soon.

Do you have insomnia?

First of all, I need to say that if anyone has been contacting Quay Living because of sympathy for me due to the wind chimes, please stop. Thank you.

We are all different in our sleep patterns, though generally we are forced to conform to a rhythm that suits the work place, school, our children. Few people know what sleep depravation is until their first baby arrives. That is a real game changer.

We tend to fall into two categories, famously known as the owls and the larks. I am naturally an owl, but at times my baby, or my work, forced me to become a lark. We are able to adapt from our preference. I must say that I have always loved early mornings when I had them. The light is special, the dew, the last stars etc. Being up before anyone else is a very peaceful time, when one’s mind is alert.

Insomnia is the inability to get to sleep over a sustained period of time. It can become an interference with work, study, relationships, and just enjoying life. What is important, is that an established bedtime routine is in place, preferably from very early childhood. This tells the brain that sleep is needed and desired.

It’s not always clear what causes the inability to get to sleep. Often it is after bereavement, divorce or loss of a relationship, a change in location, newly noisy neighbours, or stress.

There are may theories about curing insomnia, and I don’t subscribe to any particular ones, but here are some that might help.

Eat some food When your stomach is full, your blood rushes there and you are likely to become relaxed and fall asleep. Doctors generally don’t like this idea, but I know many health professionals that employ it and it works for me.

Make your cover heavier or lighter You can be not warm enough without realising it. Adding a layer to your bed covers may well help you sleep. And the reverse is true.

Have a milky drink Milk contains tryptophan which induces sleepiness. It also fills ones tummy.

Inhale deeply and slowly repeatedly This is a remedy for tension caused by stress, and relaxes the body. One can do this at any time that one feels anxious or tense. It is a good habit as part of stress relief.

Do mental arithmetic This may sound counter-intuitive, but the boredom of doing times tables can send one to sleep. It is also good for tuning out pain, and useful for men who need to delay ejaculation during sex.

Play soft music Music that is soothing can really help one to sleep.

Get up and start over Some people find this helpful. Leave the bedroom, do a task and then go back to bed. I’ve heard it works.

If you have tried some or all of these, and you still cannot sleep easily, or relatively easily, please see your doctor. There may be clues in your medical history, but a chat may reveal a niggle on your mind that you hadn’t thought of or had ignored.

Things that cause insomnia are, worries, a bad conscience, a trauma, nightmares, bad neighbours, and anything that makes you feel uncomfortable, physically or mentally.

Happy adventures…

Today has been a happy day, or perhaps contented day is better.

I dealt with emails and invitations, and then contacted the gardener who is making alterations is my garden. He was caught up with his son, so I decided to grasp the time and visit my godmother.

I haven’t seen her for a while, for one reason or another. The bus journey is not long, but takes me to lanes that see more tractors than cars. I took the wrong turning to her house, a problem I have whether driving or on the bus. It is pleasant though, so I did not mind.

She did not know I was coming, as she naps every afternoon. I love her company because she is so positive and adores me. It’s lovely to be with people who think the world of you, isn’t it?

I often have no reason to visit, but I have been wanting to give her a book of poetry. She is one of my greatest fans, which is another lovely thing.

Her cottage, which about four hundred years old, is on the estate that her nephew now owns, and just a bit further north is the estate of Antony Rockley (Lord) who is a really lovely man.

At the bottom of my godmother’s garden is the Beech tree I planted for my Dad. I tried to spot it from the lane, but failed as I’m not familiar with her garden’s gaps in the hedge. I will have a plaque made soon, to be visible on the lane side of the hedge.

We spent a couple of happy hours drinking tea and chatting, and talking about my Dad, whom she also adored (everyone loved my Dad), my English home town, where she has lived also.

When I left, I turned down the lane, although it’s name is road, and found myself in pitch-black. It was hard to avoid the ditches on either side, though I did, because otherwise I’d probably still be there. I took the correct fork in the road, and tried to stay in the middle. A runner frightened me as he overtook me. He was wearing a head torch which seemed to come out of nowhere.

The light pollution from where I live was shocking. I’ve not seen it so starkly in a long time. The bus came on time.

I was thrown back a couple of decades as there was a young guy sitting opposite who looked just like a boyfriend I had. I burnt my leg on his brother’s motorbike exhaust (skirts on motorbike are not recommended), and I used to change gear for him when we were out. Once we took my sister out, and she suddenly said, ‘I feel sick’. He said to hang on for a moment, but knowing my sister, I told him to stop at once. Too late. My sister had thrown up on the back of my seat. Thankfully, there was one of my sweaters in the boot, and a blanket. So I protected her modesty as she put on the sweater and then turned the blanket into a skirt.

I spoke on the phone to this ex relatively recently. He said I don’t laugh like I used too. Well, I laugh a lot.

I am finding the rain resistant jacket that Mike left behind very useful. It is lighter than my Dad’s which great for dog walking, but this reaches my knees, like Dad’s, and doesn’t get to too hot.

Thanksgiving is coming…

By now, all my American friends will have frozen some dishes in advance for Thanksgiving. Even if they are travelling to friends or family, they are bound to take something with them.

I have cooked for Thanksgiving, and mostly have been a guest. It is my favourite holiday as no gifts are involved. It is a sense of togetherness. I love the holding of hands around the table, praying our thanks to God for blessings and the goodness of life.

My favourite dish is candied yam, and pecan pie. I love the whole meal.

If you are receiving guests, here are some ideas to welcome them.

Add ginger to hot chocolate and coffee. It is very warming and delicious.

Add cinnamon to those drinks if you find ginger too strong. Or give a choice.

Make the dairy free cake I gave the recipe for in a previous blog of that name.

You can make Gluhwein, although this is traditionally a Christmas drink.

Please invite people you know will be alone. They may be friends or folk in your road. Or a homeless person you see in town.

Once, while walking my dog early one Christmas morning, I met a homeless man and invited him home to have dinner with us. People thought I was mad, that we would be burgled etc. Ftt! I’ve had worse behaviour from my next door neighbours.

If you can, why not volunteer at a shelter for the homeless? It’s very rewarding.

Feeling fulfilled and other blessings…

Receiving my copies of One Hundred Memories yesterday was a completion of a long process, and I have come to know and love the editor very much. Her services to poetry are tremendous and I admire her greatly.

I read my poem a tear came to me. For no longer being a child, for all those things Dad did for us that I took for granted. For losing my Dad twice, once to Alzheimer’s and then to death. Although the Alzheimer’s helped me rediscover my Dad, as he forgot the chains my mother had wrapped around him over many years.

I am so grateful that my Dad died in my arms. My friends have found this hard. To me it was the most natural thing in the world. I cannot tell you how much I loved my Dad. He was always there for me, always calm. While my mother got hysterical and self centred, my Dad remained peaceful and strong. When my head had two openings, he never flinched, though he teared up. And while I was recovering, with akinetic mutism, he carried me.

Now that my sister has also died, it is likely that I will die alone. I do not have a partner, I have not wanted one for fifteen years when a long term relationship failed. I remember saying to someone last year that I don’t want involvement with a man, and then one crashed into my bedroom.

In all truth, it is better to be alone than to be in a relationship in which you have to pretend, lie, or not be your truly authentic self.

Never make do. I say this to all young people. Don’t settle for hamburger, when you can have steak.

Make sure you are on the same page about almost everything.

Today, a fellow blogger said I had given them inspiration. That’s humbling and reason for much gratitude. I feel such joy that they are inspiring others. That is why I stated this blog.

One Hundred Memories

Is published by Dream Well Writing. So many thanks to Mel Wardle Woodend.

The Buzzard

Remember those late afternoon trips

to the beach? You would almost

always spot a bird of prey

hovering, watching, before diving

The day I recall is a buzzard

hanging in the sky. You pointed

and we chorused ”where? where?”

clambering around the car to see

You pointing, and still driving

Always calm, you gifted nature

to me

This anthology is in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society, on the 25th anniversary

Our amazing Earth…


I copied this from Phys.org

Earth’s magnetic song recorded for the first time during a solar storm

by European Space Agency

Earth’s magnetic song recorded for the first time during a solar storm
In this image, Earth is the dot to the left of the image and the large arc around it is our planet’s magnetic bow shock. The swirling pattern to the right is the foreshock region where the solar wind breaks into waves as it encounters reflected particles from the bow shock. The image was created using the Vlasiator model, a computer simulation developed at the University of Helsinki to study Earth’s magnetic interaction with the solar wind. Credit: Vlasiator team, University of Helsinki

Data from ESA’s Cluster mission has provided a recording of the eerie “song” that Earth sings when it is hit by a solar storm.

The song comes from waves that are generated in the Earth’s magnetic field by the collision of the storm. The storm itself is the eruption of electrically charged particles from the sun’s atmosphere.

A team led by Lucile Turc, a former ESA research fellow who is now based at the University of Helsinki, Finland, made the discovery after analyzing data from the Cluster Science Archive. The archive provides access to all data obtained during Cluster’s ongoing mission over almost two decades.

Cluster consists of four spacecraft that orbit Earth in formation, investigating our planet’s magnetic environment and its interaction with the solar wind—a constant flow of particles released by the sun into the Solar System.

As part of their orbits, the Cluster spacecraft repeatedly fly through the foreshock, which is the first region that particles encounter when a solar storm hits our planet. The team found that in the early part of the mission, from 2001 to 2005, the spacecraft flew through six such collisions, recording the waves that were generated.

The new analysis shows that, during the collision, the foreshock is driven to release magnetic waves that are much more complex than first thought.PausePlay% buffered00:0000:13UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlayThe magnetic waves measured by ESA’s Cluster mission in the magnetic foreshock above Earth – the first region of our planet’s magnetic environment that solar wind particles encounter – during calm space weather conditions. The video contains a ‘sonification’ of the magnetic waves in the undisturbed foreshock, obtained by transforming the frequencies of these magnetic waves into audible signals. In the undisturbed foreshock, the sounds are very low pitch and monotonous. Credit: ESA/Cluster; L. Turc et al. (2019); Audio: Martin Archer, Queen Mary University of London, CC BY-SA 3.0 IGO

“Our study reveals that solar storms profoundly modify the foreshock region,” says Lucile.

When the frequencies of these magnetic waves are transformed into audible signals, they give rise to an uncanny song that might recall more the sound effects of a science fiction movie than a natural phenomenon.

In quiet times, when no solar storm is striking the Earth, the song is lower in pitch and less complex, with one single frequency dominating the oscillation. When a solar storm hits, the frequency of the wave is roughly doubled, with the precise frequency of the resulting waves being dependent on the strength of the magnetic field in the storm.

“It’s like the storm is changing the tuning of the foreshock,” explains Lucile.

And it doesn’t stop there because not only does the frequency of the wave change but it also becomes much more complicated than the single frequency present in quiet times. Once the storm hits the foreshock, the wave breaks into a complex network of different, higher frequencies.

Computer simulations of the foreshock, performed using a model called Vlasiator, which is being developed at the University of Helsinki, demonstrate the intricate wave pattern that appears during solar storms.

About losing weight…

First, I want to stress that no one has to conform to a certain size or image. Forget what certain advertising tells you, or what you think men/women want. Be who you are. We are all designed differently. We need to celebrate diversity in body size, shape, and height.

That said and stressed, if you can take an inch or more of your flesh between your thumb and forefinger on your tummy or thigh, you probably need to lose some weight. The best way to do this is to put away scales, throw out calorie counters, and change your eating habits.

Choose a change that will suit you. It might be

Cutting out beige food. You can decide to stop eating cake, pastry, biscuits/cookies, pies and puddings. This will instantly remove a lot of unnecessary carbohydrates.

Cooking less food. If you have less food on your plate, and no leftovers to pick on from the fridge, you will lose weight.

Stop eating processed and precooked food. If you stop using cake mixes, microwave dinners and other processed foods, you cut out a lot of sugars.

A healthy diet of fresh vegetables, fruit and less meat will provide you with all the nourishment you need. We do not need to be swallowing vitamin tablets. Our diet should give us sufficient.

Some good things to add to your food intake are hemp oil, ginger, turmeric, liquorice, and local honey. Hemp oil is good for every system in your body. It will help you maintain and improve your circulation, sleep, joints, all your internal organs, breathing, and digestion.

Ginger and turmeric are both anti-inflammatory and decongestants. So is liquorice and honey is an antibiotic.

Fresh lemon juice everyday has an enzyme which protects against colds, flu, and other viral infections like mouth ulcers.

By doing away with the scales, you protect yourself from feelings of failure, unrealistic goals, and wanting to give up. Just knowing you are eating more healthily will make you feel good, even as you begin to notice feeling great physically.

Brisk walks, cycling, swimming etc are good to add to your change in lifestyle if you are not already doing so. We all need at least 20 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week. Start where you are now and build it up. Exercise is good for your mental health too. I know people who go for an hours bike ride before their family wakes up. They feel and look good, whatever their build or size.

When we make changes that are behaviour related, we are far more likely to succeed than if our goal is a number or weight. You will feel your clothes loosening, you will notice that you feel good.

The first fat that your body loses is that which surrounds your heart, lungs, liver and kidneys. This is the most important fat to lose. You will not notice the loss of this, but your body will.

Fat gained by alcohol can be harder to lose. Especially if you don’t reduce your alcohol consumption. A glass of wine can be the equivalent of a jam donut, a burger, a plate of desert. Alcohol related fat often sits around the neck and face, as well as the stomach. Especially in men. I can often tell if a person drinks a lot, just by their appearance.

I have talked about alcohol in a previous blog and will probably discuss it again, so I’m not going into detail here.

Never shame a person about their weight. There are medical conditions that cause weight gain. Never make an issue of weight with your children, just teach them a healthy life habit. If you have an overweight child, talk with them and make their journey to health a joint one.

I hope people find this helpful. There are so many ‘diets; out there and some lead to malnourishment and most lead to failure. A change in behaviour is for life, so you cannot fail.