Tomorrow will be March…

I started to shield on the 6 March last year. I had to go the hospital and I was astounded at how casually people walked past the soap dispenser. I knew we were in a pandemic. So I went to the store on my way home and some shelves were bare. I decided that my socialising would stop.

March is my Dad’s birthday and the anniversary of his death. I found last year so difficult. I hope it will be easier this year. I miss him.

I have been enjoying the warmth of the sun and came up to my bedroom, where it’s streaming in. I am reminded that it’s sunlight through glass that causes most skin cancer, not just too much time in the sun.

I was reflecting on the some of the very bizarre events in my life. Loads happened in California, main due to the nature of my work. But since then there’s been incidents like when I picked up some litter and ended up sitting in a bush. On the way to the hairdresser. Yes, I know.

There’s all the various times I’ve had to be pushed home because my battery ran out. The most bizarre, the prize winning, the totally out there event, was Mike arriving in my bedroom at 3am. “oh, let’s not go that way cos that man got into my room at 3am”, that is not exactly a normal sentence. Neither is, “he invited me over to eat as part of his making amends, and we ended up in the same bed when I asked to be given a blanket”.

None of this is in any way normal, until you add that alcohol is a big factor in his life. The last time I saw him, I thought ‘how sad, he’s heading for a heart attack’. And it really is sad.


I had my vaccine…

Very reluctantly, but because it’s the right thing to do. I knew it would make me unwell, but I didn’t bargain for how unwell. I became very feverish, and every bone in my body hurt. I didn’t bother to take my temperature as I was far too unwell. I was very hot indeed.

I also had trembling and muscle spasms. This is what I had feared most – the effect on my nervous system.

56 hours later, my temperature is down, most of the aching and bone pain is gone, but I have nerve pain and earlier I had sharp pain in my left shoulder.

I am fully aware of what pain in my left shoulder might indicate, but I’ve had it on and off for a long time. I frequently get pain in my chest. I know my heart is affected but not sure how. I am not ready to see a doctor about it yet. I have other concerns.

Most of us here are staying at home, if we can’t go to work. I have become aware of people jaunting around the country to hear/see concerts. I am enraged because two weeks ago our fourth paramedic died of Covid. 41 years old. Doing his job.

The NHS is so stretched. People who go for jaunts risk having accidents. That’s why they’re asked to stay local. This is a pandemic. It’s a virus with which humans have no immunity. I give up on people being decent and doing the right thing.

It’s a bright sunny day today but I shall probably fall asleep. In rugby, the Triple Crown will be fought for. I hope I get to see it.


Undo the lid with your left hand…

It is not about strength, but the direction of the spiral…I am frankly amazed at how many people don’t know this. I have opened jars and bottles that men have given up on. That’s a life hack for you all.

I am constantly amazed at how many people come here to read. The only part of the world that hasn’t it the Sahel of Africa. It is so full of poverty and corruption. My heart goes out there.

Some people who come here do so to make mischief. Only one or two, and they are so detectable. People like this have no purpose in life. They have nothing to do in lockdown except be a nuisance and break the law.

I saw the man I felt love for recently. His face was red and lots of stubble. The redness is caused by binge drinking. He lets stubble grow because his skin is tender. This is counterproductive though. He should use a face balm or moisturiser to protect from the weather. His growing girth around his neck worries me. It’s a sign of bad health due to heavy drinking. I wouldn’t be surprised if he has cirrhosis of the liver.

I have deliberately slept a lot today, although I’ve been productive too. I feel so chastened that I have caused harm to someone I respect. That they had time to let me know to do otherwise seems not to be a factor. Nevertheless, I feel terrible.

England lost the second test match to India. Rafael Nadar lost at the Australian Open, and Ireland lost to France last week. Not a good sporting week for me.


No sleep…

Last night I got no sleep at all. I may have dozed at around midnight.

I am very grateful that my friend Judy helped me sellotape a package and took it to the post office for me. I had ordered a replacement laptop, which turned out to be cheap rubbish, and half of the charger was missing. A substitute was sent, but that didn’t fit. So I sent it back. I have my eye on a better one. I am so grateful to my daughter for lending me this. I just discovered it detects that I’m typing in German and automatically uses the letters that English doesn’t have. Neat. Maybe if my friend in Dubai tells me more secrets, I’ll stick with this.

I have been chewing the fat with a close friend in Virginia about how to tell someone some news. I’ve know him since I was twenty. And his wife. It’s hard to chew the fat on WhatsApp. With a five hour time difference. I’ve kind of spilled out while he was sleeping. I know he’ll not be mad at me. The worst is that he’ll be firm.

And I’ve accidentally hurt someone I employ but esteem highly. I can never get over it. The unintended consequence is too much too bear. I can’t undo it.

So I’ve not had the best weekend at all. I feel wretched physically and in my soul.

To love mercy,
To do justice,
and walk humbly before my God


I have had a shock…

I decided to try to find out how many people have the disease I have. It is not known but less than 1:2000 000.

Thrown up in the results was a book, My Life With Dystonia by Cheri Tannenbaum. Like me she is Ashkenazi Jew. Her dystonia has made her body very stiff, immobile and unable to speak although there has been improvement, I don’t know if this was with the help of drugs. Most importantly, she never had OPEN BRAIN SURGERY.

So the atrophy on my left side might have been totally unnecessary. All the pain it causes me….

I can’t dwell on this. It does me no good. But I am shocked to my core.


How to write a Haiku…

I am not that much of a purist with poetry. But I get a bit of a sinking feeling when I see a three line ‘poem’ with seventeen syllables and capital letters on each line.

In Japan, a Haiku is almost like a prayer, such reverence they have for the form. However, in most poets views, the seventeen syllables are not as important as the content of the lines, which are not capitalised. So,

blossom on the tree is bright
the breeze chases petals
my thoughts are scattered

is a Haiku. Each line is stands alone. The first two are poetic, the third is a thought.
So let’s do another,

stormy waves break on the shore
sand is swirled in patterns
arms embrace me

The pattern is clear. Two lines of throw away poetry, and one of a thought. The thought often is in contradiction to the first two lines.

Haiku are always about nature. If you write one about people, cars, streets, planes etc, it’s called a Senryu.

I hope this is helpful.


It could be better…

I am still using my daughter’s MacBook. The laptop I ordered came with an incomplete charger. I contacted the seller. They sent me another charger. It doesn’t fit. I want to send the whole lot back. They need to take up to 48 hours and will email me.

My consumer rights are being breached, but when you are on a very slow ‘chat’, it is less frustrating to just go with the flow.

Flow is one thing I don’t get with a MacBook. No moving effortlessly from one tab to another, copy and pasting, highlighting. Well, I can highlight on this. I just hate Apple. They use cheap Chinese labour, and I detest that. South Korea is at least a vague democracy, with human rights.

I missed a zoom meeting with SWASFT because of all this. I am so embarrassed but my boss is so sweet and laid back.

On Monday night I fell asleep within minutes of going to bed. I woke at 5.30 and napped in the middle of the day. Wednesday night I woke at 2am and fell asleep at 11am. I need to get a handle on my sleep. But my neurological disease needs controlling and that makes me very tired.

I’ve skipped three poetry zoom events. I guess I’m feeling my introversion at the moment. I am an introvert, but can extrovert fairly comfortably except in a group. It’s known as maturity. Being able to do both. In my teens I never said a word.

So now I need sleep and to rest.


Why do I get unwanted attention from men?

I’m a member of a community website. Lots of people use it, and some players in my life have tried to make problems for me there. They get removed. But a man joined, and he messaged me. I ignored that message for days. Then he joined again. As it was I who clicked on his arrival, I commented that he was already a member. Then he messaged me and asked me to phone him to sort out his two profiles. I said that was unnecessary and told him where to find the deactivation. Today I logged in and he is asking to meet me.

Why? Why? Why do I get unwanted attention like this?

It isn’t just he and the one who arrived in my bedroom. I repeatedly get situations like this. I don’t want a relationship. I’ve known that for years. But I get such strange messages and attention that I really really don’t want.

My cousin phoned. That’s always good.


A day of frustration…

Some of you know that my laptop was badly damaged 18 months ago, and I’ve been using my phone mostly. Well, I couldn’t hack its anymore so my daughter gave me hers. This is very generous of her.

However, I have been trying to log in to the sites I use a lot and some of them have locked me out. Oh well, tomorrow is another day. I have achieved quite a bit.

I didn’t sleep at all last night so fell asleep at around 9am for a couple of hours. I am tired and somewhat tense – symptoms, not mood.

I already have lockdown hair. Nothing I can do about that. I do have some product to stop it being too unruly.

At about 2am, a taxi was in the road for my neighbours. I have noticed this before, and when I saw them I said I hoped no one had been taken ill. They assured me everyone was fine. It goes on. My curiosity is piqued.

It is still bitterly cold. I don’t like it. I can’t wait for some sunshine. I haven’t been writing as I ought, so must try to do better. The theme at one my poetry zoom meetings is, of course, love. I need to write some.


Next day…

I have been OK, even without the medicine. I’m suprised, as previously I got quite unwell. I felt it most last night.

I’m thankful for the friends I have who help me out atsuch times. I better not mention who they are or where they live as the poison pen may get busy again. One would think they have better thingsto do.

It is so bitterly cold. I feel it even though I am snug in my home. I hear the wind, and see the sky and know it’s 0/-1 C out there today.

I have not yet been summoned for my vaccinne. I thought I would get done with the vulnerable grouping. If they have me by age, I have a wait. I still am dubious about how my neurological disease will react to the chemicals that preserve the protein spike.

I am in a sleep cycle that isn’t great just now. I wake between 2am and 3am. I am drawn to my bed early though. I love my bed and in winter I just want to hibernate. Daffadils are beginning to show, and other spring flowers. I have seeds to sow in March. That’s not far away. I will have been shielding since March 6 last year so nearly a year. Of course, I have been out, but since Christmas only twice.


I am not well…

Earlier I found I had run out of a medicine. It was past business hours. I figured I could phone the pharmacy in the morning. Then I remembere my daughter is in Oxford and can’t get it for me.

I’ve just asked a friend because I already feel strange. I will be dizzy in the morning. I thought I had this organised. I thought this was not going to be an issue anymore.

This kind of unwellness is so unnecessary. My every day is enough to deal with especially in this freezing weather.

I am tired. I am tired of my mistakes which cause me distress, and inconvenience others.

I don’t like to ask favours of others because of what happened with M.


Ireland won!…

Ireland won their first match comfortably. I knew they would. By now, you know I like sports. Cricket and rugby in particular, but not in that order. I love athletics, and most any sport except football. I only watch football in company and if it’s a final or something like that. Yes. I know the offside rule.

I’m doing ok, except that I wake up trembling. I don’t know why. It doesn’t bother me much. It goes away. I’m not going to see a doctor about it. It will pass, and if it doesn’t I don’t think I will die.

We are still in lockdown here, and my daughter is in lockdown in Oxford. What a shame that her shining talent has twice been curtailed. If I needed her, she would be able to come, it’s about an hour and 40 minutes away.

Meanwhile, a poem of mine was well received at Exeter. A zoom event. They are sucha great group. And a member of a nearer group complimented me on a poem he had not heard before. This small things mean a lot. I try to compliment other poets whenever I can.

Last week, while I was typing, I saw my daughter dancing in a navy blue cape. I know it was real, and now I have even more questions about being synesthete, having 10% more IQ, and this disease. In fact, I’ve just had an idea.