Blog 88 – 6.8.17. On the train

I remember thinking this before…maybe it was when someone else died…I could see myself on a train…and on this train I’m chugging along and I’m looking out the window and people get on and I am with them and after a while they get off….but I’m always on the train…I don’t get off. Continue reading

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Blog 87 – 26.7.17. What’s the point?

4.30 am. Wake up. Cry. Brush teeth. Cry. Breakfast. Cry. I don’t want to wake up in a world without my beloved in it. The beloved that is only a cat. Shower. Cry. A lead ball where my heart should be. Continue reading

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Blog 86 – 20.7.17. Living like Troy…

There are times in everyone’s life when something happens that marks a boundary…when things will never be as they were; when things are going to be different. Continue reading

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Blog 85 – 15.7.17. The privilege of…cleaning litter trays?

This morning, this arrived in my inbox: Continue reading

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Blog 84 – 9.7.17 Thank you Tony Adams

I was late for church this morning. Dashed in and sat down to hear the guest speaker suggest that we speak to our neighbour (if we felt able) about any ‘God’ moments we’d had in our lives… Continue reading

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Blog 83 – 8.7.17. Where’s my breakfast?

Cat Troy has not been up the 13 or so steps to the first floor of our house since about April – it’s a painfully slow, one-step-at-a- time process, for a cat who used to race up and down the stairs and skid down the corridor chasing paper balls and pencils (he never bothered with ‘bought’ toys). So I got a complete shock this morning when I heard a single, drawn out, roaring meow and saw him standing at the top of the stairs glaring down the corridor at me. This was a very loud reprimand.  It was 8.45 am, he had not been fed and the back door remained unopened. My behaviour was clearly unacceptable. Over the last couple of weeks, having been pretty much a relatively immobile, indoor cat for the last year or two…he has been going out into the back garden; just on the patio, usually under one of the chairs. And he has also been asking for rain water from the water butt.  As he seems a tad better for all of this…(I mean, he’s just climbed up the stairs!)..I’m wondering if he knows something I don’t. And I’m reminded of my research into Earthing (https://www.earthing.com/what-is-earthing/) a few years ago. Long story short, with the Earthing research and the increasing evidence that seems to point to ‘inflammation’ as a cause for all manner of auto-immune disease (from types of arthritis to cancer and even Type 2 diabetes http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-2-diabetes-guide/inflammation-and-diabetes#1), I’m wondering if Troy is using the Earth to heal himself?…or at least make himself feel better. I’m also wondering if he can detect what’s wrong with the tap water we usually give him?…dunno…

Having previously been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (I ‘undid’ it with regular exercising, making slight alterations to my diet, reducing portion sizes and chocolate/biscuit consumption)…I’m feeling I want to focus on less inflammatory (i.e. less processed) foods, as my weight has begun to creep up again. And should I spend more time, barefoot, outside? …ideally on grass – or a slightly wet concrete patio, as Troy does? As I understand it ‘free-radicals’ are the enemy of good health and aging well..and antioxidants from food (as opposed to supplements) are worth adding to your diet (but research seems somewhat inconclusive (http://www.berkeleywellness.com/healthy-eating/food/article/how-antioxidants-work). Maybe it’s time for a body/food audit… and a few tips from wise boy Troy….or anyone else with a view on this….

 

jx

Hmmm... which breakfast?.jpg

pancake and strawberries in breakfast bust-up..

Troy on the patio.jpg

It’s water…butt not as we usually drink it.

 

 

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Blog 82 – 5.7.17… Brave boy Troy…

The indignities of old age. Your bowels and bladder have a mind of their own, everything aches, you are unsteady on your feet and you can’t hear any more. I’m guessing this is what our cat, Troy was thinking when we had to resort to giving him a bath… Continue reading

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Blog 81 – 21.6.17. All will be well…

It’s quite rare to get a really decent summer in the UK…Wimbledon (starting week after next) is invariably marked by torrential rain…that’s how you know it’s July.

Continue reading

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Blog 80 – 17.6.17. Out of the ashes….

I know the smell of fire…a small but damaging one broke out at home when I was young. Now I’m imagining my lovely house as a charred, blackened, unrecognisable space…and several members of my family missing. How would that hole in my life be? Continue reading

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Blog 79 – 7.6.17. London 2017 – just how bad can things get?

A recent pre-election chat with my 23 year old journalist niece, H, made me realise that some young people are pretty angry and think that things can barely get any worse…we are in a dark place she said.  The terror attacks are…terrifying. Different to other terror attacks, she says. H also says the baby boomers voted to increase university fees and effectively tax her generation’s education, while they themselves received a free tertiary education…but have left her £50,000 in debt. I guess that does sound pretty bad. She says her generation will be the first to be poorer than their parents, and will never own their own home. Not great. I’m not claiming to know any more than anyone else..but age does give you some sort of perspective. Husband Jay is fantastically good at history, so when I told him this, we decided to review the last century or so and find out just exactly how bad things are now. Imagine a huge expanse of calm sea …with the shiny tip of a shark’s fin in the distance…the news is the fin (cos it’s unusual!! that’s why it’s news!)…the everyday reality is surely the mass of calm water…

I’ve researched(!) the stats and present them here…but I’m also going to go anecdotal/from personal observation over my 50-something life. So – UK 1900: Male life expectancy – about 47. By 2010, it’s about 79…that’s better…and worse – cos it impacts the pension and elderly care cost burden, so – a double-edged sword. But even those 20-somethings will be happy that they are likely to live to 79 rather than 47, no? World War I (1914-1918) – the first German Zeppelin raid over London bombed Stoke Newington, Dalston (including Balls Pond Road), Southgate Grove, Hoxton, Shoreditch and Leytonstone…all very familiar places to me. In all about 900,000 British soldiers were killed and about 110,000 civilians (wikipedia)…1 million Brits killed over the 4 year period of WWI. Imagine that happening now. WWII (1939-1945): 380,000 soldiers and 67,000 civilians killed – even war deaths are improving – but still horrific. 43,000 Londoners died in The Blitz of WWII (1940-41). 43,000 Londoners. Yep, 43,000 (wikipedia). That’s bad. When you walk down the streets near my house, you may wonder why the odd block of 1960s flats breaks up an otherwise beautiful row of Victorian terraces…then you realise that these blocks coincide with the map of WWII London bomb sites (http://www.bombsight.org/#14/51.5049/-0.0900). Bombs. Right smack on my doorstep. Both the then residents and my house would have literally shuddered with fear and terror. From the 1960s through to the 1980s – nuclear attack was a distinct possibility – check this government produced ‘Protect and Survive’ leaflet http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4319466/How-survive-nuclear-war-1980-Government-leaflet.html if you want to scare yourself. The Irish Republican Army (IRA) regularly bombed London from the 1970s through to the 1990s. In the mid-1970s as a teenager, I left my little handbag in a fashion boutique on Oxford Street in London’s West End. I nearly shut down the whole street as police were called to deal with a suspect bomb until I wandered back to collect it.  They bombed Harrods in the 1980s….but didn’t stop us going shopping. My husband was regularly warned as he boarded planes alone as a youngster in the 1970s and 80s, to be aware of possible hi-jackings. But here’s some interesting information – the number of people killed by terror attacks in the UK has been going down: http://metro.co.uk/2017/03/24/terror-attack-related-deaths-are-actually-decreasing-in-the-uk-6531750/.  How likely are you to die just by being in London? Around 2000 people were killed or seriously injured on London’s roads in 2015 – about 130 of which were fatalities. Apparently around 10,000 people in London die each year from air pollution..10,000. Maybe we should be afraid of that and take immediate action.  I could go on…and I’ve posted this link before I think…but if you want to see the reality of just how much better things are generally – you really need to check this Hans Rosling video out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo. A Brazilian friend of mine lives in London and forgoes the beaches and constant glorious sunshine of her home country because, aside from the fact that she has greater opportunities here, she feels far, far safer and more protected than being in Brazil. The immigrants know what we’ve got.

My behaviour has changed as a result of the terror attacks….I now make absolutely sure that I kiss husband Jay and tell him I love him before he leaves for work…and the best bit is the lovely smile I get when I do so. We can of course choose to believe that things are significantly worse/more dangerous/terrible. We always want to be right, don’t we? So we will heat-seek and focus on and click on links that support our beliefs.  The terrorists are very, very unlikely to kill us, so they (and most newspapers) want to do their best to at least depress us (and sell more newspapers). People say ‘be safe’. I regularly venture into central London…and to very famous possible terror targets. But we have absolutely amazing security services…and so, there’s a vast expanse of calm sea, and I am aware of the shark fin, but I’m in the boat…and in reality, I am overwhelmingly safe.

calm sea & boat-2137770_640.jpg

jx

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