Thursday, May 28, 2009

The excitement builds!

South Africa rugby team (the Springboks) versus the combined English Welsh Scottish and Irish team "The Lions" produces one of the fiercest competitions in world sport. For generations the South Africans dominated physically with outright violent tactics. In 1974 Northern Ireland police sergeant and Lions captain, Willie John McBride, devised a strategy to beat them at their own game- if a a Lion was punched (or kicked,stamped on, eye gouged) the cry "Ninety nine" went up and every Lion punched the nearest Springbok. Some test matches were battles but eventually the Springboks were pushed back and the Lions won the series. When the Lions beat the invincible 'Boks Nelson Mandela and his fellow prisoners on Robin Island cheered and street parties broke out in Soweto.
When the current Lions go to SA it will be as competitive but hopefully less violent and the new 'Boks reflect the new RSA: their biggest fan is Nelson Mandela.

Caregiver falsely convicted of murder.

If you can spare a moment for Susan please take a look.

For more info this is Susan's blog
Here is her web site

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

My inspiration

It has not been so good for Herrad in the last few weeks. Today was the first day in a while she woke just calling out in pain and not having a big cry. I have learned to ask if it is anything specific that I can help with or is it just MS. Just MS has been the answer. Just her body being slowly destroyed and her world limited to a bedroom. I stroke the bits that she can still feel and tell her that I love her. Fetch her some weed and then enlist the help of the dogs. The sunshine that has been streaming in from the window this month was replaced by a day best described in the words of my late Scottish granny; "Dreech an' druchit"(the Scots language has many ways to describe rain!). But today after the massage and pills Herrad opened up her computer- straight to her blog- and comments came flooding in bringing such sunshine into the day.
I am so glad people like Herrad. The things people say are so generous but I truly believe she deserves every compliment. I see her every day- good bad and indifferent and I see her being grumpy and sometimes she can be a down right grouch but she is never less than wonderful. She is always so very loving to me.
Some people commenting have religious views that colour their understanding and language, we may not share their beliefs but the kind sentiments show them to be such good sweet people. I like to be reminded that what ever the outside appearance of separation we are all one people and hold more in common than divides us. Herrad has always helped me to think kindly about people and not to loose my self in anger. I am so glad that other people see just how well she is handling this totally unacceptable situation just as she has gone through much in her life. Nothing can diminish her dignity. She is my inspiration and I am glad that she can share her brilliance with so many others. Without her blog she would be so lonely and making friends has always been her thing. I am so grateful to everyone in the blogosphere who helps me care for my darling. Love to you all.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This is just to say....

I bought a punnet of over ripe strawberries yesterday
and I ate them all absent mindedly whilst listening to the cricket,
sorry. I bought them for you!
I feel like a monster.

Before the first coffee!

I should have written this before I read Herrad's blog and left my comment there.
Not the quiet Sunday awakening I had hoped for. It was obvious there was a problem with Herrad's catheter- not enough in her urine bag (we refer to it as "the wet purse")so I knew it must be blocked. I detached the wet purse and tried to flush the catheter with a brine rinse- nothing was coming or going. Herrad called the doctors and they arrived just as I was returning with the dogs from a relief mission. It was all very quick and civilised. What made it work was Herrad taking the initiative in making it a friendly and co-operative enterprise. Relaxed doctors work better so Herrad always tries to make it easy for them. She was pushing at an open door today because they were a very nice team. The doctor was a very nice friendly professional and the para-medic one of the special breed of gentle giant Dutch men. His head almost scraped the top of the door frame as he came through and he was quite sporty in physique but he never felt to be dominating. In England I would say he was definitely gay but in Amsterdam he was just probably gay. Shame he was gone so quick 'cos I have a friend looking for a boyfriend and he was quite a catch for some one!
It has been a bit more restful since then and despite the rain falling down outside I feel warm and sunny within. Herrad was great.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Cake and custard

Sweet day- nothing much to report. Just having a nice relaxed day when every chore is a delight. We had a conversation about comfort food last night. We both remembered motorcycle journeys in English Spring weather when an old fashioned transport cafe and a cup of hot tea with milk and sugar got life back into dead fingers. I remembered a place just North of Carlisle on the road to Scotland. When I hitch-hiked this was often a place I would get stuck. If I had any cash I would go in and have cake and custard- enough calories to fight off hypothermia and fuel me for last hundred miles home. After sharing this tale with Herrad I knew that it would be compulsory for me to make cake and custard tonight.
I am her very favourite husband now!
My flowers in the window boxes and in the tubs on the balcony are coming on nicely, the dogs all crashed out and floppy. One last walk round the block with them in a minute then off duty. Sweet day.
ps. Banana cake and lemon and coconut custard.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sad twisted minds and dead dogs dicks.

My friend has received anonymous hateful comments on his blog. He is a sick man facing arthritis, MS, cardiac problems, and a bad back. He is also the full-time carer for his elderly and increasingly senile mother.
He writes infrequently but touchingly honestly. He is always quick to leave a kind and supportive comment on other peoples blogs and has large following of men and women around the world who have been touched and moved by his simple story of triumph over circumstance. He is loved.
Somebody has sent him hurtful and stupid comments. He is a tough old bird and quite up to looking after himself so I wont go into the detail.
We open up and share our lives to make for a better understanding of the human condition. I write this blog to let go of pain and to contact other people in the similar circumstances so we can learn from each other and support each other through the bad times. Malicious and disturbed individuals are part of that condition and we have to deal with them. I moderate my comments but have never had cause to reject one.
If I received a hate comment I would maybe use it as a foil to write about but I doubt if I would publish it. If you want to have go have a go I love argument but I will not get involved in a slanging match with some one who I have no respect for. Put forward your thesis and defend it- that is how we learn what is sound and what is false.
On the other hand I love to have a go at people and organisations I do not agree with- I love a good argument but I have to have at least some respect for my opponent. Insult trading is a poor substitute for demolishing an argument.
Oh and if you want to have a go at insulting me my old colleague Mick Connelly set the bar quite high when he covered the West End of Glasgow with the legend "Richie Maguire Sucks Dead Dogs Dicks" I wish I still had a photo to show you!(of the graffiti not me and a dead dog!) If you read this Mick lots of love.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pain and law makers

It has been a better week. Sense of humour still struggling to hit old levels but more is becoming amusing and less is seeming horrific.
Wobbly yesterday due to over tiredness. It was a wobbly and not so good but I knew all the time what was wrong and a good nights sleep seems to have been the remedy. A week ago I would have felt as if it was all a great cosmic abyss into which I am descending. As it is I knew it was a bad day 'cos I was knackered.
I got a big fright yesterday from Steve and BR on
Subsequent posts have proved more optimistic but at the time it hit me just how fond I am of these two men.
I am so angry that prejudice stops BR getting the medication he needs. I see how Herrad gets relief from THC vapour. The THC reduces the spasms that cause the pain- other painkillers numb out some of the pain and a big chunk of conciousness. We use weed 'cos it works and because the Professor of Neurological Medicine we consulted recommended it.
It is strange that Americans are refused the best treatment available when it is herb that grows for next to nothing.
Rationality must prevail over prejudice and the law must change. I do not care how it is organised- I would not mind if it was the Devil incarnate or even Donald Rumsfield got the contract to supply but MS sufferers must receive the relief! The position of the US in world politics allowed small town prejudice to get weed put on the UN narcotics list- time for the supertanker of US opinion to turn round and bring about the change MS sufferers need.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day to workers every where... and gumboils to the rich!

“How many wrathful people, young people, will be with us when the red and black banners wave in the wind of anger! What a tidal wave it will be when the red and black banners rise around the old wreck!

"The red banner, which has always stood for liberty, frightens the executioners because it is so red with our blood. The black flag, with layers of blood upon it from those who wanted to live by working or die by fighting, frightens those who want to live off the work of others. Those red and black banners wave over us mourning our dead and wave over our hopes for the dawn that is breaking.”