You might not be aware that Naked Blog is regularly pored over by Health Professionals, seeking our advice about a variety of matters, so that they might pass on the wisdom to their patients. We make no charge.
Take this from Nurse David in my yesterday comment box:
"117/78 that's bloody amazing! almost as good as me! Hope you are well other than the botty thingy"
And of course David is right. Such low blood pressure readings are indeed rare in Olde Persons such as oneself.
But YOU TOO can have Ideal Blood Pressure. All you have to do is meditate daily for twenty five years, combined with twice-weekly strenous hillwalking.
You could commence right away. Should. The alternative will be to end up in the Chest, Heart and Stroke ward. (But even I will die eventually.)
I've tried and tried to get the slightly fatcat Darling Zoe onto the new health devices but to no avail. She just won't press her paws on the body fat monitor electrodes, and as for blood pressure, well the cuff is clearly far too big for her skinny legs. I tried putting it round her whole body, but she was having none of that either. Words like: "Keep doing that pal and you can find some other fucker to chase yer mice" were issuing midst her miaows.
Today I must clean and clean like there was no tomorrow. So far I've done six hoursworth, taken out four binbags and cleared about two square metres of living room floor. We're now down to the "perma-filth" on top of the carpet - the ten years of unvacuumed morass comprising tangled hair, grease, coins and other such detritus. It's disgusting, but has to be done. Very occasionally.
Teatime today I have the Well Pensioner Clinic, and tomorrow comes the Central Heating Surveyor. It's a busy life, but I can cope thanks to my 106/77 blood pressure and 28.7 percent body fat.
Much on the news lately about Burmese monks. You must not fall into the trap of comparing them to home-grown monks, the sort who potter about selling jam, brewing Buckie, and showing parties round their abbey. (When they're not doing hygienic masturbation for their prostate glands.)
No, these Buddhist monks (and I'm being serious for once) are at the cutting edge of human experience, the very cosmonauts of consciousness. Look on with awe. They are other than us. They must be heard, and obeyed. Dharma is the Law.
Das glaub Ich und das weiss Ich
Has Blogger been acquired by the Messerschmitt company? Or BMW? Every time I publish my blog today, I get: Blog anzeigen (in einem neuen Fenster) in large letters. I thought we won the damn war. My old dad would turn in his grave.
In view of my recent capitulation to the temptations of the NHS, namely getting my bottom poked by a nice lady doctor on Monday, I've decided to abandon my earlier "stand-offish" attitude to the Health Profession. By this time next month I confidently expect to be on fifteen tablets a day, just like my bingo ladies.
There will be tablets, and then tablets for the tablets. After I've taken those, there will be tablets for the tablets for the tablets... and so on ad hospitalitum.
Did I tell you I've booked in for a check-up at the Well Pensioner Clinic tomorrow? Oh yes. If you've paid for it, you might as well have it, that's what I say. And of course, still to come there's the Bowel People, somewhere in the future. Got to see the Bowel People. Imagine what fun they must have at dinner parties! "So, Justin, what do you do for a living?" "I'm a Bowel Person, actually. The pay is rather good, if the conditions a little smelly at times." I can just see it.
To further my descent into rampant hypochondria, as if weighing myself and writing it down every day for 112 weeks wasn't enough, I've recently purchased a couple of gadgets for home health monitoring. The first was a Body Fat Monitor. Turns out I'm 28.7 percent fat. Should roast quite nicely then. And float in any Titanic-style disaster. Emboldened by that, I bought yesterday a Blood Pressure Measurer, on the way to the Village. Which was fun.
Get Thee Behind Me
I told this guy there that there was no place in Christianity for promiscuous homosexuals. (We were discussing a particularly rampant Port O' Leith queen. The sort that gives gays a bad name.) My acquaintance was was black affronted. "What about promiscuous heterosexuals..?" he eventually spluttered. "Them either," I pronounced, bullish. "I've read the manual. Marriage or chastity. No middle road. Christianity's not Pic n Mix."
Back home after the pub my blood pressure was magnificent. 117 over 78 which is "Ideal". This morning however, sphygmoidal disaster! 139 over 89, which is "High Normal". So the moral is clear. Avoid Christianity (unless you're married or chaste) but drink lots of booze.
Home medical equipment purchased from Lloyds Pharmacy. Fiver for the fat gadget, and tenner for the Blood Pressure. I'll put up pics when I can persuade Darling Zoe to pose with them. All NB recommendations are genuine and unsolicited, and all products and services paid for at the going rates. The only advertisements are the two obvious ones above the posts.
Perhaps the most disappointing thing which can happen at the doctor's is her saying, "Tell me again what the symptoms are?" In a tone which really means: "It's not yet nine on Monday morning, and I've just had my finger up your arse and I'm fucked if I can find anything wrong with it."
Ho-hum. It's not as if I overload them with complaints. This must be my second visit in more than ten years.
She was pleased I'd stopped smoking. (They all say that.) She was pleased at the rate of weight loss. She said the recommendation is one stone (14lb) a year. So mine was about right. She said what I'd thought were external haemorrhoids were in fact polyps, and that might mean I had polyps up my bum also. And some polyps up your bum turn into cancer.
But not to worry! Just keep on doing what you're doing. I should see the "bowel people", she suggested then. Exactly in which NHS decade wasn't mentioned. She said my prostate felt OK, perhaps a little enlarged. We discussed weeing for the over-sixties. I said masturbation was the best thing for the elderly prostate. (But as a woman of around forty, I wouldn't have expected her to necessarily agree with that, and it turned out she didn't.) Probably thought "any excuse for a wank."
So that was how my week has begun, with a blonde woman's finger up me jacksie just half an hour ago. Now the Scottish Government are on the blower again wanting to come and give me central heating. So far they've phoned five times, sent one brochure, and on Saturday even a video. (Note video, not DVD: it's the elderly we're talking about.)
Plus I must contact the walking group and grovel over my no-show yesterday. We don't have much money, but we do see life. How are things at your end?
I'd thought I'd missed the equinox, due to lack of attention. 9.51 it said. But then I realised - just one moment ago - that that was Universal Time aka Greenwich Mean Time. And we're still on British Summer Time. And it's 10.49 BST, as I sit and type. This means the equinox will happen somewhere in the next paragraph.
Live typing. You couldn't get much more live than that.
(OK... mebbe this paragraph.) Me, I'm not too alive. Had to miss the walking group today - the first one I've missed since March or May or some such month. Bottom trouble still, you see. Deffo something doubtful in my derriere.
(OK... mebbe this paragraph.) I went to not one but two pharmacists on Friday, for some opinions. The first one was Lloyds Pharmacists at the Foot of the Walk, next to Woolies. But I'm convinced he thought I was a mystery shopper/mystery patient. He kept looking over my shoulder for the hidden camera, and would recommend nothing, nada, despite my description of the exact symptoms of appendicitis.
Equinox over. We're in the winter now, baby. Nights getting dark already. It's started to rain. How fucking appropriate.
Pharmacist two was in Boots, just beside the hypodermic sculpture. (Leith has its main plaza adorned with two statues: one of Queen Victoria, and the other of a hypodermic needle to honour Irvine Welsh. It overlooks the very station where the title Trainspotting arose. You couldn't make it up, and I'm NOT.) There are seats provided in the plaza, for alkies and various down-and-outs. Just how they're hoping to keep those people off the posh new executive trams in anyone's business.
Executive. Scottish Executive, now called Scottish Government. They're dae'in ma heid in, to borrow from the seated parlance. Having had my entire summer marred if not ruined by the Council and their fifteen-year-old tax demands, the next fly in my increasingly delicate ointment is the Scottish Government, and their determination to come here and give me a central heating system. Determined.
This would entail:
(a) letting them in
(b) proving I'm over sixty (I have no birth certificate, passport or driving licence.)
(c) proving I own the gaff (Yer what? How tf am I supposed to do that? I haven't the slightest idea about such matters. Not the slightest. Thirty years of paperwork are in binbags scattered around the rooms.)
(d) ageing twenty years whilst gangs of tattooed young men traipse around my sanctuary, installing central heating, smoking cigarettes and swearing in Polish. (Poles hate poofs. Their government tells them to. That's why we let them into the EU. It'll be the Turks next, and their wonderful human rights.)
But I digress. Pharmacist two was in Boots, beside the hypodermic sculpture. She was about thirty, power dressed, with power eyes behind power spectacles. You felt she'd bang like a shithouse door once she took that lot off. But not with me. Because I am sick. Where does it hurt, she asked. I vaguely pointed to my belly, hitting it gently to show it wasn't THAT BAD. Like pharmacist one, she said she had nothing to sell me. But unlike number one, she INSISTED that if the pain got worse, I contact NHS24 and get a doctor toot sweet. For that (fairly obvious) recommendation I thanked her and left.
And that's why I'm not currently trekking in the post-equinoctal rain across the wilds of Scotland. Imagine yer bowels busting halfway up a Munro. That would sure put the drama into drama queen, n'est-ce pas?
Oh I know. Shut up Peter. Other people have no arms or legs. Moan, moan, moan - that's all we ever get here.
THE FUTURE OF BLOGGING
Is there one, now that mainstream media have so successfully ambushed and hijacked the endeavour? Every time I see Billie Piper in that trailer for that movie (the one of Belle de Jour, where not even the title survives), I think... they've shafted us at last.
At first, it was a level playing field, and everyone could play. But not any longer. Now it's a matter of constant popularity contests, magazine and newspaper mentions, book deals, and now the first movie even. There's really no place for amateur tippy-tappy any more, methinks. Time to reconsider. I can write - just here I don't really bother, as the medium is more disposable than toilet paper. And in blogging, content is everything. Style and literacy you can get in the Grauny.
And that neatly brings us back to where we began. At my anus.
But will a handsome doctor be at that anus tomorrow? With his shiny steel dildo for looking up? Will my life forthwith be measured in weeks rather than years? There's a lot of life-threatening bits up an old man's bum, you know. Remember Big Al?
Regular readers (and there are a couple) might recall my mention last week of the Scottish Government's Central Heating Scheme for the elderly. How I wanted one.
Well what should happen only this week, but Wendy Alexander, the new leader of the opposition hereabouts, chooses THAT VERY TOPIC for her maiden First Minister's Questions against Alex Salmond. That very topic - out of all the world.
It was interesting, looking back through the early stuff I linked to below, at the sheer infrequency of the entries. In one year I gaily take off six months no less, and then breeze back with little more than a hiya.
Changed days now, with the constant pressure to post at least daily, and the salivating sound of fresh young bloggers constantly snapping round your ankles. Times I feel just like the Jimmies Young and Savile.
There's something wrong inside my bottom. A few days ago there was a distinct "ping" feeling whilst sitting on the crapper, and now I'm vaguely tender "down below". Vaguely. Like all over. And like not having much appetite either.
Oh, the drama queen inside me (never far away) is convinced it's colorectal cancer. I mean - what else could it be, now that I've at last found a little happiness in my life. Dying quite quickly and in agony would seem compulsory. Look at the BBC's recent "gay week".
But the realist thinks internal haemorrhoid or anal fissure, and starts flinging up Anusol suppositories with gay abandon. Wow was that first one so tricky. After fifteen years of nonsuch. (Gay male readers (and there are a couple) will know of what I speak.)
Talk about spit and shove. For a half inch suppository. Oh well.
Yesterday I took Babs for a belated birthday meal to the Glasshouse in Musselburgh. Nice. I don't usually patronise restaurants due to poverty, but Babs guided me in the correct etiquette. That I would have to take my hat off, despite being bald. That closing your menu means you're ready to order. And so on. It seemed quite a swish place. Ladies who lunch were in abundance. So we were two more.
Babs just wanted a starter, as she never eats. So she had Asparagus salad, but there were only three bits of asparagus. Me I plumped for the rump of lamb with Nicoise salad. Well - I spend much of my life amongst sheep, so it's good to see how the poor things end up. Shame. You got four little bits, each the size of a plum. At least in Musselburgh one sheep would provide lots of meals. And that was my venture into "poshdom".
Then we went to the Regent. Dave the writer and Drew were there. Some things never change. Oh - yes they do... Babs' teenage son came in to say hello. What a handsome young man he's turned in to. Seems just like yesterday I was snapping his baby pics for Babs.
This weekend it's Lochgoilhead, but I'm not feeling desperately well as I mentioned - even though I ascended 1048 metres on Monday. And got soaked again.
Have a lovely weekend y'all. Thanks for your kind comments. Glad you enjoyed the pics. I will survive.
Here at Naked Blog we don't do birthdays, as well you know. Too depressing. But you can read my first ever published webpage (as then they were called) here. It's undated, but from the clues definitely pre-March 1997. Ten and a half years I've been at it, by the looks of things. You see, unlike most of you, I had my newspaper articles before I took to the internet, as we called it in those days.
I quickly found it was more fun inventing the on-line diary form. Pioneering, at the very least.
It said in the Guardian yesterday that Facebook are going to sell their subscribers' details. We've come a long way, and not all of it good.
Don't miss last night's somewhat liquid post celebrating Diamond Geezer's fifth. Well done, sir.
I shouldn't be sitting here, writing to you like this. It's something past nine at night, and Friends is on (are on?) on E4 plus 1 in the sitting room, and that's just about the only Plus 1 thing left on Freeview. And my overseas readers won't have a monkey's what I'm wittering on about, and does this look like a face that cares? Really - does it?
It's always fun to read "blogging about blogging".
No, it isn't.
It's only fun to read "blogging about blogging" if the dude in question goes back a bit. Quite a bit, preferably. As does Diamond Geezer.
These things, these reminiscences take you back to those early, glory days. The days you're sick of hearing about here, but wtf. What do I know, only a two-time Bloggie Lifetime Achievement finalist. Finalist. Against Hollywood actors. And triple book-dealers.
I linked to Diamond Geezer - clearly a rising star - back in those early days, but nothing ever came back. I was one of his top twenty referrers for ages, but nothing ever came back. Just some thinly veiled abuse, inspired by that mad woman in Southern England. A (very) few of you will know of what I speak. Blogging! I could write a book about it!
Happy fifth anniversary, DG. You have contributed loads, although since then I never read you. Too much contribution, in fact. Makes the rest of us look lazy. And o boy you must be regretting all your Olympic support. What was that programme last week all about, eh?
Diamond Geezer's blogging series. Start here and work upwards. A Grandmaster of Britblog. (Monday September 3 if the link doesn't work.)
TAX ME MENTAL
I've ended the horror of the Council Tax threats by the simple expedient of deciding to pay them. A small sum. For a large number of months. With any luck I'll die before it's paid off, and then I truly will have beaten the system. That indebtedness ruined my summer here, as the discerning reader will realise. Every hillwaking day was tinged with, "I shouldn't be doing this - I should really be sorting out my Council Tax."
So now we can relax!
NOT SO HOT TIN ROOF
Well, not really.
I made the silly mistake of contacting the Scottish Government about an over sixty heating entitlement I'm entitled to, and now they're wanting to come to my house and survey it.
That would mean letting them in.
And here we just don't do visitors.
So I stand to lose an entire central heating system very shortly. (Dolescum readers (and there are a couple) can just shut their lazy fat gobs. I've PAID for this fucker - thousands - over the years. Just like I still pay for your fucking drinks and waccy baccy. Gits.)
Other than that - not much to report. Darling zoe had a reasonable trip to the vet, but she has to lose half a kilo. That's just over a pound. Oh - if only one's own figure was as svelte as that.
Take care. It's a jungle out there. Today from my kitchen window I saw a white-haired man, pensioner, physically fighting with a schoolchild. Teenager. I'm assuming the youngster had abused the man and his wife who stood and watched. He'll end up in court, the white-haired man, pensioner. His life is ruined as of this day. So the kids can all laugh and post it on YouTube.
Mebbe you should buy a new car. Renault Megane McCann. It's so spacious you won't even know if the children are in the back.
It's always difficult, coming back to you after a break. You think... can I still do it... will anyone read it... wtf have I got to say that would interest a gnat?... and so on. (The break was all about nice things, incidentally. Very nice.)
It's doubly difficult when a few short days ago you had the most vivid experience possibly of your life. The day you've been training for these past few years, sweating and grunting your way up so many hills. The day which will significantly add to your life's happiness, for ever.
That would be a bit tricky to write, n'est-ce pas?
"I want to walk the forest path, and then, if it's within my range, I want you to walk it with me." Me, some years ago
However, these hills, mountains, call them what you will, are beyond words - my words at least. They DEMAND pictures. And - once again, the trusty Olympus camera jumped to the rescue, despite being almost drowned. As were we all. "It would take a diving suit to keep dry on a day like this," quipped one of my companions, damply.
SHOCK AND AWE
There was scene after scene any filmmaker would have given his left arm for. I tried to gather as much of that as I could for you, despite being scared some of the time, and wet all of the time.
Oh, that's enough for now. Enjoy the slideshow. The first half dozen are from inside the bus, and show a spectral camera reflection, which kind of adds to the mystery.
If the slideshow is slow to load from that link, try my flickr page and click on the set directly.
Buachaille Etive Beag (Stob Dubh) (197) 958m. South of Glen Coe. Sunday 9 September 2007. Twelve in group.
The most EXCITING mountain pictures you've ever seen!
But right now, darling zoe has the vet again.
And I've sorted the council tax.
And Gay Week on BBC4 was wonderful, life-affirming! (They all either topped themselves or got AIDS and died!!)
What's worse than having Michael Jackson babysit your kids?
(Swipe) Letting the McCanns take them on holiday!
This is called a ridge. You can fall off on either side and die. This was quite a wide ridge, although just moments earlier I was in a terrified mode of, "Don't look down! Just look at your feet, nothing else!". Such fun.
The people you meet on the hills! There I was yesterday, floating along Princes Street in a bus towards my beloved Pentlands, when who should plop into the seat in front but Stewart.
That was all very well, and we soon thrashed out a route which would accommodate our differing fitness levels, yet leave space for sociability at the end.
Later, One Thousand Feet Higher Up
Looking back down at Stewart, I saw him chatting to this guy in a red top. Nice. Stew is the friendliest guy. An hour further down the line, and red top had left Stewie behind and was overtaking me. "Bit cold!" he shouted in the perma-wind, and I agreed. Then I had to let him go.
We met up again about ten minutes later at the top of Scald Law, and chatted our ways down the far side together. He told me about his son, and I told him about glucosamine sulphate. Then he was off up East Kip like a mountain goat again.
Long story short, because darling zoe's due at the vet in an hour for her dental check-up, back at the Flotterstone Inn we bumped into red top man again. Turns out his name is Russell. Turns out he's a Church of Scotland Minister. "I'm an evangelical atheist," quipped Stewart. "The poor man's Richard Dawkins," I agreed. Then, "But Stewart - we are converting to Christianity TOMORROW if it'll get us up the hills as fast as this man."
We laughed. Stewart invited Russell on to his radio show, as he does with almost everybody. I have to respect his nerve.
Oh yes. Have a nice Monday at work, why don't you. I'll think about you as I tramp the hills.
Derek Jacobi's Alan Turing was well worth a re-run last night, demonstrating so well the "joys" of homosexuality. I only wish my parents had been alive to see that, capturing as it does the "swotty little kid" type they spawned themselves. They'd have seen the similarities OK. Ah well. Things are better for gays now, so they tell me.
(This is apropos of BBC 4's gay week, Hidden Lives.) Another one. You can legislate till you're blue in the face, IMO, but that doesn't change straight people's feelings one iota. Not one. Anyway. There's only one gay as looks in hereabouts, so no point in dwelling.
Post Of The Week
Is up again now, and it's a good shortlist I enjoyed helping to judge. Browse at your leisure and pleasure.
Yesterday was a "stay in and lose weight" day. Round about tea-time I laughed when I found myself with a different "don't" just about every five minutes. (Don't eat, don't drink, don't even THINK of having sex or you'll either get murdered or catch something appalling. Etc. Etc.) So I penned the little ditty below. Enjoy.
*No Comment: Blogger was acting up yesterday afternoon, so there are at least three cached versions of the post. That's why your comment might have disappeared. Meanwhile, I've tried to hunt out the comment boxes and amalgamate them. Sorry.
**Naked Civil Servant on again on Wednesday! My cup runneth over!
Vaguely inspired by the last sentence of the post below, and feeling equally vaguely "good" after doing not one but three useful things this afternoon...
Cleaned the toilet. (Eventually you have to.)
Put duct tape on a bottom windowframe where the wood had rotted. (There was a quarter inch gap letting in the autumn elements.)
Needled one of those tiny white spots off my cheek. (Some blood for a few minutes, a baby scab for a few days, but eventually a virgin puss.)
...I felt like celebrating a little.
But how? And with what? My life has become one huge no-go area.
Don't smoke. (Or you'll rapidly return to the truly foul ill-health of five years ago.)
Don't drink. (Very much. It's got to go. A no-brainer.)
Don't take drugs. (An affront to the body and mind. Yet, perversely, sometimes not as unhealthy as either of the preceding.) And finally...
Don't eat. (As much as you want to, at least. For all your life. Some people were born either to go hungry or get fat, just as some are naturally thin as whippets and thrive on one packet of cheese and onion a day. "I just can't put any weight on..." "I can see that. And I fucking hate you for it.")
I suppose you could add to those the lesser evils of "Don't watch telly: it'll sell you stuff then turn your brain to mush". And of course, "Don't play computer games, because they've long since invented every one worth playing." And so on. No-go areas.
Maybe we're all overdoing the good health. Maybe we need a bit less Whitehouse and a lot more Winehouse in our lives.
"Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." Aleister Crowley