The design principle

I’ve often looked at the idea of using life as a canvas… some people go for tattoos in a way of showing their feelings, loves or thoughts.

So, today I was pondering about how I can use my own extensions as a canvas.

Wheelchair canvasAs part of this I was curious – what would I display on my wheels?  I then got to researching – how would I get it there?  LEDs firing depending on the position of the wheel?

It’s an incredibly geeky moment – one I decided to document so that I wouldn’t forget to come back to.

The Annual Anniversary Anomaly

CandlesBelieve it or not, I’m supposed to be celebrating another milestone in that timeline known as “getting older”[citation needed] soon.  I am struggling with this though.  It’s not even a number that’s considered important in the scale of celebrating a particular date in the calendar.

I’m struggling with it in part because there isn’t the magic there – no build up, no excitement. I’m not even convinced that its going to be much of an event on the day.  I didn’t even realise it was approaching until someone reminded me yesterday – it still feels like its an age away.

My point in all of this is that pretty much I suspect this year is going to be just cake in the office and a few messages on my Facebook wall[citation needed].  I guess actually I should be grateful I got this far enjoying each year as much as I could.  I don’t even know why I’m missing the magic – I hate being the centre of attention when it comes to blowing out the candles.

I think it is probably down to a simple fact.

I’m getting old and very possibly grumpy.

The Stamina Induction Experiment

EphedrineIt’s been about six months since I started taking some medication to assist with my stamina levels since re-diagnosis.  This drug is called Ephedrine Hydrochloride.  Sound familiar?  It should – it is used in asthma medication a lot.

It is little known though that if taken as a tablet it doesn’t just cover the lungs.  In my case, it acts as a stamina agent to encourage my nerves to communicate a little bit longer than they could if I didn’t take this medication.

What has this meant?  Well, now I can actually stay awake past 22:00 for one thing.  My speech doesn’t go as slurred as it once did when I hit a point of energy depletion in my day.  I am able to concentrate more.  I can coordinate some of my movements better.

Its given me a bit more quality of life that I didn’t have before.  It has made my life better because of minute changes.

Worth it?  Definitely.

The Linguistics Engagement


Prep: indicating contrast

A little while ago I went on a difficult conversations course. It was ran by an HR support company and I went along because at the time I was beginning to work with new people who I didn’t know as well as I knew the people I’d previously been working with.

Aside from picking up some useful bits about body language, I picked up one good point – use of the word ‘but’.

The word ‘but’ is quite negative in its day to day usage.  It suggests by its very definition that it is about to contrast away and usually is used to put a negative into the conversation. For example:

I really like what you did with the planet but I would have preferred it with more ozone.

The question was then raised of what word do you use instead?  ‘However’? It’s still a but, using none of the same letters and instead seven new ones.

The answer is ‘and’.  Coupling a positive with another thought maintains the positivity in what you are trying to convey.

I really like what you did with the planet and I would love to see more wind farms.

I’m still suggesting there need to be more wind farms and I embracing the idea that it would be positive to see more.

So, my new years resolution about 2 and a half months ago was to stop using the word ‘but’ and instead switch to using ‘and’.  It has to say the least been a challenge.  I have enjoyed it though for I like to be nothing but a cunning linguist.

If I’d thought about it, I’d have suggested this to others for Lent… maybe next year?

The Omnibus Ownership Query

Bit of a short one this – but almost sad, too – I am close to saying yes to taking on a bus and preserving it. Sadly, however, its a little beyond my means and far beyond my own capabilities to say yes.

Someone mentioned they had some Optare Solo’s available to preserve. Someone else has told me that they could look into getting it here – someone else offered it somewhere to live.

Quite gutting really, then, that I know sensibly, I’d have to say no.

Almost in tears…

Travel methodology

It is dark outside and I am currently repeating a journey I have done many times before, hurting along the track towards big city lights.

There is a realisation that now I escape and returns under the cover of darkness, a spy for the children of the night, a few more time linear events and soon the daylight shall grace us if not me with its presence over my journeys once again.

In the meantime I sit in my tunnel of nocturnal travel, intermittent breaks of intermediate stations where my train has no desire to call, Underworld and Orbital for company, dreaming until the fabled announcement of my arrival.

This is Stratford

The Reboot of Religion Methodology

Each year Christmas comes around.  Now, some people could claim they are being fooled that Christmas is looming on our calendars by commercialism or religion or the fact that the chocolate industry appears in cahoots for 24 days with the cardboard door-on-a-box industry, but for me there are several tells that it could be Christmas fairly soon:

  1. People keep saying “it doesn’t feel like Christmas”
  2. It’s December
  3. I keep getting drawn to crap in the Esso service station shop.

For creationism, this is a chance when they get to shake evolutionism by the hand and by token of this, reboot their annual stories by saying “this little dude was born”.  In this case, they are not talking about the Baby Annabel or Baby Emmie, both variants of which were given to little people within my household by a jolly person (but was only jolly by virtue of the fact that she wanted to know what was in the big brown box).  I am talking about, of course, the baby Jesus Christ. 

Evolutionists, by correspondence of this, try not to appear bitter about this by giving gifts (such as Richard Dawkins books) and celebrate Winter Solstice, partaking in the large feast and biting their tongue when it comes to saying grace at the dinner table. 

After or before this, everyone embraces and takes the opportunity to swap gifts and for me, this is my favourite bit.  Not because I gain some more possessions which will shortly be available on my ebay shop (for I have never ebay’d a gift yet) but because I like to see how much thought or energy people put into gifts for others – its eye opening and it makes me grin at some of the gifts given.  It doesn’t matter if they’ve been hinted at by others first – its the sheer effort in one form or another.

So, without further ado – some of my favourites from this year:

woolyWoolly – a spider that appears on a children’s TV show called Woolly and Tig.  Monkey adores the show and loves the spider especially, so a nod was given to my Grandmother.  Come Christmas day, a smile lit up a little girls face.  Woolly has gone everywhere… well, her auntie’s, since.

My bus.  No, I kid you not.  MBW, who has for ages been telling me that she is not indulging this one, broke her vow of refusing to entertain me and entertained me… with a bus.  This one, a replica of some rolling around Wales, is a very cool little Transbus Mini Pointer Dart.  This will mean nothing to you unless you are a bus spotter or just very nerdy… but this is my bus.  I like it.first-bus-sm

Lastly, I was very impressed also by the wind up Thomas the Tank Engine toys that my mother gave me in my ‘sock’ (a family equivalent of a stocking only easier to source and keep your feet warm all day).  These have provided the Contwingent and I hours of fun racing them around the kitchen table to see which will go faster and who would win the race.


The Surgical Cogitation

I’m sat here still waiting.

And its beginning to really frustrate me, piss me off and get annoying.

I don’t particularly want to have the biopsy. I live quite happily in my life and get on with it – I’m doing it because MBW (bless her) wants some answers for the girls.  I think I’ve mentioned I’m petrified about needles and pain.

But its being delayed and I suspect that although very good, the surgeon doesn’t quite get that in my head I’m managed to psych myself up for this at the times specified. 

I recognise its his choice to juggle his surgical list about.  I recognise that he might be having a long-running morning.

However, it would be really nice if he could recognise that I’ve made a number of arrangements, I’ve managed to convince myself that I can do this – if he stuck to the timetable submitted last night.

Instead, I just feel really crap and I am beginning to consider if any of this is actually going to be worth it – mostly because they’re allowing me to sit here and stew.

I feel bloody sick and fairly close to chucking the towel in and going.

Although playing with the blood pressure charts is becoming fun.  I might have to seek some solace in that game.

The Aural Disappointment

Ice cream vans – they bring joy to many, sadness to the few who’s lactose intolerance means they regard them as a wind-creator on wheels.  You can guarantee not to find me near an ice cream van as Mr Whippy will leave me feeling rubbish and immobile for an hour.

icecreamvanHowever, my children have found out that these magical vans vend ice cream – I’m blaming their mother.

I have had to educate the children appropriately to counter this.  My friend Bruce had the best idea.

“Blinkity blinkity bongly bong…” sings out the tune of the Frozen Lactose Van.

“Oh,” says one of the three. “It’s the Ice Cream Van!”

“No,” will observe another. “He’s ran out again. I wish he’d come to us first…”

The Socio-Endorphin Correlation

For me – Saturday is a day of rest… if it isn’t shopping, visiting family or cleaning the house.

This particular Saturday was slightly unusual – MBW was going to a fitness workout thing, I am more tired than usual and Monkey has done a full week in School.  The Contwingent?  Full of beans.

I knew what was needed in this instance. Only thing for it to give those so tired they need a pick me up.

Depositing said beans and the bodies they inhabit with the Mother-in-Law, Monkey and I were left at the Great Cathedral of Sainsbury’s.  For future reference, there is:

  • The Greek Orthadox Church of Tescos
  • The Field Chapel of Somerfield
  • The Quaker Co-Op
  • The Seventh Day Advent of Asda

Back to my endorphin lift – and Monkey’s.  Having arrived at the Great Cathedral, Monkey and I made a bee-line for the one thing we knew we each needed: Beans on Toast and a pot of tea for Monkey; and Sausage, Mushroom and Toast with a mug of black coffee for me.

Payment was swift.

Cultlery and condiments acquired.

Table chosen, set and ready.

We cleared our plates, emptied the drinking vessels and took stock.

“We mustn’t forget socks, Daddy” mumoured a content Number One of the Three.

Endorphin pick-me-up – completed.