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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Gentle Reader. . .

A largely irrelevant picture 

A bit of a strange collection of thoughts here, but come with me, if you will, out of the city, up the path and over the hill and down to the water’s edge.

I try to imagine you; as you read, eyes jumping from word to word. Outside the window, maybe a city, or a lake, or a desert or perhaps a small town near the sea. Who knows. . .

I wonder what questions you have and what brought you here, and where you are on your journey. Your journey is always and only your journey, and this is mine and mine alone.

My room is a dark one in the centre of the house, but light filters in through the music room and is diffused by the curtains Clare has put up. I have a fireplace and a mantelpiece. Two reclining leather chairs, a worn out rug that needs chucking away and a load of boxes containing lights, cameras, electrical junk, magazines, photos, and . . . well a lot of junk I suppose; stuff I find interesting.

I wonder what kind of room you read me in. What sounds seep up the stair or in from the street, or out of your computer. I wonder what questions you are trying to answer, or what function reading a blog can have for you?

Some people must get here by accident and others are specifically searching. Some seeking to buy a hunting knife may suddenly find themselves here and wonder what all this crap has to do with the adventure they plan. Others may be seeking answers questions like what is life like after a colectomy, what is butt burn, what is surgery like and how do you deal with it. Some may seek an optical device with very sharp focus.

I read other people’s blogs as you can see from the side panel. Speaking for myself, at first I read them for information, scouring the net for signs and clues as to the path that I would take. I now realise it is not for information. It is to visualise other people and understand how others – you – deal with the dread disease.

In our separate journey’s I look for something common to us, some sign that we can survive and overcome and step forward.

I think it is mostly for connection. I think that’s why I read them. That and the fact that I’m a bit nosey to be honest.

Anyway you see the question I pose

“What are we looking for?”

Monday, 21 March 2011

It is with great pleasure. . .

You may, if you've been reading my blog for a while,remember that as a result of the dread gut disease I became interested in Hypnotherapy. 

The other day we were presented with our certificates. I am very satisfied and excited about this.

New things from bad things.

I am now a qualified Hypnotherapist.

If you'd like to see my website - here is the address.

Monday, 14 March 2011

An almond, and the world.

In The Souk

“La Personne citée sur ca certificat a subi une opéeartion churgicale  pour retirer le colon et a une iléostomie . . . .”

“. . .Se fosse necesarrio esaminere la sacce, é richiesta la presenza di medico qaulificato . . .”

“ . . .Cualquier interferencia puede causer fugas y que la persona sufra molestias e incomodidad. . .”

The certificate firmly clasped in my hand, I stepped through the metal scanner at East Midlands Airport. No problem. Apart from the certicificate itself being scanned (unread) and I was waved through.

I had been slightly wary in anticipation of this moment for a few days now. The certificate checked and re-checked along with a letter from the doctor as often as my passport. It was the first time I had flown since my operation in 2009.

I had, in the midnight madness of dreadful dreaming, imagined being escorted to a small room and ordered to disrobe, de-bag, explain, undergo searches, and finally suffer several years of imprisonment in solitary confinement. Such is the leaping power of imagination in the dark hours.

But there was nothing to it.

Marakech is a place of smells, satellite dishes, colour, mopeds, spices, noise, snakes and monkeys. It is also hard to get away from from cous cous, chicken, olives, peppers, tagines, and salted almonds.

I love salted almonds. I love them a lot. The mysterious taste of almond which is not quite sweet or savoury. Mmmm. I wanted more and more. There is something in animal nature that knows when the body needs more of something. My mum, for example, ate coal when pregnant. There is something in almonds that I want.

After a few days of Marakech in which I am eating a low fat, low alcohol, low danger diet my body is right up to the mark.

Eventually it’s time to go home and in Marakech airport I face the security procedure again, and again I’m nervous.

I’m waved forward through the metal detector, and subjected to a thorough pat-down. I am going to jail for sure. I point out that I’m still wearing my money belt.

The man dismisses this explanation and starts feeling around my middle with methodical hands. He is giving the top of my bag a bit of a squeeze. I am feeling a rising panic about this, and reaching round to my back pocket for the travel certificate with widening eyes. This is momentarily quite invasive - I mean who wants their bags felt in public by a stranger.

“Passe”  he says.

I Got home last night late, and realised that my gut was becoming blocked.

So if you are in a similar situation; don’t worry about international security, worry about the almonds.

By the way: 
You can obtain a Travel Certificate from National Office. Either e-mail, or telephone IA free on 0800 0184 724

The certificate is printed in English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Arabic and Chinese.

Also getting travel insurance with a medical condition is tricky; without moving into advertising I thought I would just point out this company actually know about insuring people with pre-existing conditions.