Category Archives: Uncategorized

The 2021 Christmas Song

Christmas seems to be starting a little early this year, so as everybody else is cashing in early, I thought I might as well join in, so here’s the Dioclese Christmas offering for this year –

It’s my usual annual collaboration with my good friend Chas Crane which he’s making available on iTunes, Spotify and all the usual haul of streaming sites. 

So while you’re stuffing your face with sherry and mince pies, spare a thought for the poor bloody turkey and bung Chas a few Christmas royalties. Last year’s offering got 38,000 plays on Spotify so let’s see if we can beat it this year. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it…

COP-OUT26

What a farce the latest and greatest climate change conference in Glasgow is…

China’s Premier isn’t coming. China produces 28% of the world’s greenhouse gazes and is currently building a new coal fired power station every week. At least they have the good grace not to be hypocrites by turning up.

Putin isn’t coming. The second largest pollutor on the planet isn’t being a hocrite either. At least that’s something.

Biden is coming. The third largest pollutor on the planet is keeping up its side by flying in no less than 1,500 delegates spewing out greenhouse gasses all the way across the Atlantic.

All to be met in Glasgow by striking garbage men and giant rats which, according to Sturgeon, is no worse than any other large city anywhere. We’ll, not in this country darlin’ so get back in your box.

But Boris will be there, waving the flag and showing the world the way to net zero by driving us all off the road and into electric cars that will cut emissions by standing idle because there’s nowhere to charge them up.

Electricity has to be generated. That just moves the pollution point up the supply chain. Wind farms only works when the wind blows. Solar only works when the sun shines. Turbines and panels all have a production process that’s emits carbon. But let’s build loads and pretend we’re making a difference, bearing in mind that we qare responsible for less than 1% of the global total. So, it’s all worth while and we should remember that when the lights go out.

COP26 will achieve fuck all other than to cause a hole in the ozone layer when all that hot air hits the atmosphere. Remember that humans breathe out CO2, a greenhouse gas.
If you really want to cut emissions, stop fucking breeding!

COP26 is an opportunity for photo ops and showboating. That’s why Biden is coming and why the Queen has had the good sense to avoid the megaspreading Covid conference.

If this is what the world’s greatest leaders have to off, then the human race is truly fucked..

The big seven oh, no!

…or maybe just old and fucked. Anyhow, definitely one year older and nearer to death however you look at it.

Fuck knows how I got this far. All around me are dropping like flies or dropped many years ago. Like my friend Phil who dropped dead on Waterloo station in his thirties when an aneurysm in his brain just decided to pop. Or Jim who used to play rhythm guitar in one of the several school blues bands and fell out of the sky in a hang glider accident. Or my old friend Paul who died a year or so back from unknown causes but knowing him as I do probably drink related. Then there’s Keith who popped his clogs from cancer last year. The list goes on so I suppose I should quote Chas’ song “Everybody’s fucked but me” ?

So today I am supposed to be luxuriating on a lovely little boat called Hebridean Princess half way up Sognefjord in Norway. Except, of course, I’m not because Covid got in the way and they cancelled it, offering instead to take me around the wilds of Shetland and the Hebrides. Except I’m not there either because dear Wee Kranky Sturgeon decided that no cruise ships would be allowed into several of the ports we were visiting – even though it was a Scottish ship sailing from a Scottish port and never leaving Scottish waters. I got the distinct impression from  a somewhat unamused tour operator that she was just being a bitch who had to not be seen doing what the hated English were doing.

So they offered me a trip around Lundy and the Isles of Scilly instead. Very nice except that we were already booked to do it with Noble Caledonia the next day. Never mind. Nice big refund to spend on something else.

So where am I today? Well I’m luxuriating on the north Norfolk coast in a very nice boutique hotel in one of my favourite spots, Brancaster. Very pleasant but not exactly the Norwegian fjords. Still, I shall enjoy a few days here stuffing my face with excellent food and wine and celebrating not being dead with a nice bottle of champagne.

Fuck Covid for buggering everything up, but when life is shit – and believe me it is lately – then you just have to get on with it, and at least for a few days I can not worry about my upcoming sleep test although I can’t forget about it altogether because part of the test is that I have to keep a sleep diary for a fortnight before checking in to Papworth.

The section that records alcohol consumption should prove interesting… 

Beyond Cell Block H

I’ve written previously about my experience with mind altering drugs (see my pre Christmas rant) so I won’t bore you with more details of that. Suffice it to say that my expectations of getting clear of the withdrawal symptoms of Citalopram were a little optimistic. After a couple of weeks off the stuff by which time it should have been out of my system, I’m still getting bouncing legs and twitching arms so after a chat with the GP, we decide to go back on the stuff.

Bad decision.

The bouncing legs are getting worse and now I’m getting what effectively about to full blown fits. I’d suspect epilepsy were it not for the fact that I’m fully in command of my mind, it’s just that my body won’t do what I tell it. Thankfully they don’t last long but I never know when they’re going to hit although I have become convinced that my kitchen chair hates me as that’s a common site for the problem. 

So five months bounces along (see what I did there?). I’ve been for a consult with a cardio consultant and an ECG but apparently it’s not my heart although I’m not entirely sure why they thought it was. Then we go for a neuro consult who thinks that these are panic attacks. No they’re not and I say so. In the meantime Doctor Google has been consulted and I’ve tried Ashwaghanda which is supposed to calm muscle control and it helps for a while until things get worse. I’ve also tried potassium supplements which is an ongoing experiment. Not sure if that’s really doing anything… 

So in the middle of May I’m back to the GP who refers me back to mental health. They have an intermediary on site as a result of all the Covid related drama so I go for a chat with her. As a result we decide to come off Citalopram and see how it goes in  six weeks time. So a staged withdrawal starts and 3 weeks later I’m off the stuff. Whoopee. Hopefully all will now start to get back to normal. Except it doesn’t. 

Mid July it’s the six week follow up. The initial interest seems to have waned and we seem to be back to ticking off boxes. So I’m duly ticked and dismissed but at least I’m referred onwards to neuro. 

I’m the meantime I’ve developed a strange ability to talk to the dead. Mainly this consists of extended conversation with my parents in law, visitations from my mother and various odd people popping in and out. Suffice it to say I didn’t have a very good childhood in that my mother used to discipline me with a riding crop which, these days, would have been called abuse. My father was more interested in his job than me and I have been told by another dead person that he’s not my biological father which might explain why he never pops in for a chat and my, other is fairly aggressive in these little visits. 

Anyhow, I’m not a great believer in these things but they’re pretty intense so one Sunday after noon after a chat with the in laws I get the idea to see if there is a spiritualist church in town. Google says there is and there’s a service in 2 hours time so I give them a ring. Numbers are restricted but they just had a cancelation and there’s one place if I want to come. Coincidence or just plain spooky. You decide. 

I spend an interesting 90 minutes sat in the meeting hall with my dead parents-in-law stood behind me with a hand on each shoulder. 

A few days later I’m off to Addenbrookes in Cambridge for a consult with the neuro consultant who specializes in tremor problems. She’s impressive and seems genuinely interested especially in the fact that these spasms also happen in my sleep which, I gather, is unusual. I’m rererred for a scan and more tests. At last someone seems genuinely interested! 

In the meantime my better half and myself go to the spiritualist church for my second visit. I ask John to talk to his daughter just to convince me that I’m not actually losing my mind and all this is real. When the medium stands up to do her stuff, she goes straight to my wife, says that her father is here and tells her things even I didn’t know, never mind the medium. So great. Now I’m bloody psychic. 

A couple of weeks after the neuro consult and back to Addenbrookes for a scan. I have to have a radioactive tracer injected and get my brain scanned in a very strange machine. It’s quite intimidating but thankfully I’m so exhausted through lack of sleep that I doze off for half an hour while they do it all. 

Rather intensely the next day I have a video consultation with a neuro psychologist that alst nearly two hours. At the end of it, I get an appointment for a couple of hours of yet more tests. That’s today so let’s see what happens. 

I’ve been to the spiritualist four times now and I’m convinced that some mediums are more genuine than others, but it’s an interesting experience so maybe I’ll keep going for a while and see what happens. I’m not getting as many voices in my head but the in laws seems to drop in for a chat every now and then. 

I’m writing this at 4 in the morning because, guess what? I’ve spent the last two hours spasming in bed, some of it while asleep so as is common these days, I’m up and about unable to sleep because every time I lie down my body objects and starts jerking so I give in and get up. 

So let’s see what brilliant insights yet more testing brings today before I bugger off for a few days to celebrate getting a year nearer to death, and look forward to September when I have to go to the Papworth to be wired up for an overnight sleep test. 

Happy days… 

Getting old

Image

 

This month I have a big birthday. It’s one of those moments that prompts one to reflect on past and future life. This is especially true in my case as the last couple of years have been a bit of a bastard. 

It started when my memory started playing tricks on me. It first manifested itself by my having problems stringing two things together. I’d set off to do something simple and not notice that there were actually two things that needed doing. For example I’d go to fetch something out of the garage and walk past something blindingly obvious that needed taking to the garage. No big deal you’d think. It just getting old. A senior moment. Until it happens multiple times a day. 

So we talk to the GP, a lovely woman that I’ve been going to for years. She suggests I talk to a shrink but before that can happen she needs to run loads of blood tests to rule out other things first. No problem. Off to the legalised vampires, tests done, and we’re good to go. 

So in March ’18 the man from mental health comes to our home to assess me and scares the shit out of my wife by telling her that I have dementia. He leaves her info on support groups and she toddlers off to attend some meetings anticipating no doubt my inevitable decline to a dribbling wreck. 

Except we’re wondering why this guy hasn’t reported back so we go back to the GP who is equally appalled. Eventually after much chasing and my wife attending more support groups the GP eventually extracts a report from the mental health man. It’s now August ’18 – 5 months later. 

Seems I don’t have dementia so I’m referred to a local shrink in down the road in Cell Block H. If you’d seen the building you’d know why we hung that label on it. I have a session with a consultant psychiatrist who seems to be very efficient and decides I don’t have dementia and would like to run some tests. Our reaction is a mixture of relief and wondering what the fuck the problem is then because it ain’t getting any better and I’m doing stupid things like forgetting why I went to that kitchen cupboard, forgetting why I opened the fridge, why I got up to do something, standing blankly in the middle of the kitchen floor. Those sort of infuriating things. 

And there’s a new manifestation too. I can’t see things that are there and do see things that aren’t. It like I looked at the kitchen table and my mind retained a snapshot so the next time I looked at it, my brain decides that it knows what that looks like so doesn’t need to reprocess. Very odd and very worrying at times. 

Anyhow this rambling on a bit so I’ll tell you more in a later post…