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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Anthony, not Dick

That's the artist Van Dyck, not the actor Van Dyke. Sounds the same though.

For nearly three decades the BBC had produced a programme called Antiques Road Show, in which antiques experts tour the country, and in prime locations film them examining and valuing people's treasures. I believe it also exists in other lands - Canada, Australia, possibly the US too. Certainly they have done "specials" from those places and achieved a following.

Occasionally they find a total gem of exceptional monetary value. One such was the rare slipware jug  Ozzie the Owl, who sold for over £20,000:


A few months ago a priest brought in a painting he had bought for £400, hoping to find it was worth more, so he could sell it to get his church bells replaced. The experts thought it just might be a lost Van Dyck, which would make it worth rather more than the man thought.


Turns out it is - and it may be worth £400,000! Much restoration and research seems to reveal it might be a sketch for a group portrait that was destroyed hundreds of years ago.

Don't know about you, but if I gambled £400 on an art work, it would turn out to be worth 40p!

The Insider

Nasty FBI guy. Lovely hint of tongue tip.  photo TheInsider43.jpg

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ten Years Later

Just been watching Zoonotic and A Person Of Interest. How did it take me 10 years and more to notice the header of the letter Nicole was shown raising doubts about her citizenship and whether it was obtained by bribing the judge? It said "Austrailian Ministry of Citizenship"! AUSTRAILIAN!!!

Very official-looking.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Inert Dwarf

How irresistible are the curls, the shoulders, the neck. Sigh. The man.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Remembrance of Things Past

 Back in 1606, a shipwright in Deptford in south east London called John Addey died and left in his will £200 towards "the relief of the poor people of Deptford to last forever". So says the tablet to his memory in the churchyard of St Nicholas', where both he and the murdered playwright Christopher Marlowe were buried.


How do you make £200 last forever? Well, the executors invested it in some land, and later the funds were used to open a school a school was for the children of the poor in the area.

In 1715 Dean George Stanhope, chaplain to Queen Anne, also founded a school for the poor children of Deptford. In the 19th century this building was opened in Deptford High Street:


You can see the boy and girl statues over the central window.

Towards the end of the 19th century the two schools amalgamated to form Addey and Stanhope school. Eventually it became a grammar school, which means pupils were selected on the basis of an exam at age 11. Eventually the education system changed again and the school, while maintaining its small size, became a comprehensive. Although it is publicly funded, it still has funds from the original endowments with which it can fund developments. It still owns the very small plot on which it now stands (not the original or secondary site) and has recently expanded by demolishing buildings on adjacent land that it also owns, and built a very modern extension.

The oldest part of the current building dates to 1899:


The modern addition is very futuristic:


This is where the old post office used to stand.
 

 
The top floor of the blue stripy building is the new sports hall.
The tarmac you can see is the only outside space the school has.
 
So why am I telling you this? Well, from 1964-1971 I was an Addeyan. As a representative of the poor children of Deptford, I was just the sort of pupil they liked to have. I loved it, and they did me proud. I was even Head Girl in 1970-1, and I appear on three Honours Boards.
 
Yesterday my agency sent me for an interview for a temporary post there. They wanted a full-timer, and I was supposed to have a job-sharer, but she pulled out at the last minute. But they still interviewed me as well as a full-time prospect. They appointed her for the interim post, but didn't want to lose me, so they've decided they can afford to employ me for two days a week for at least 6 weeks. This suits me fine!
 
It's the kind of school people stay loyal to, and many ex-pupils have always returned to teach there. When I was a child, the Geography teacher was a former pupil. He stayed for his whole career, only retiring a relatively short time ago, having risen to the post of Deputy Headteacher. He married an ex-pupil briefly, and later was romantically involved with two or three members of staff. Another pupil came back to teach PE, having always had a crush on the History teacher, and she snagged him!
 
The boy statue was lost many years ago - perhaps more than a century - but the girl still has pride of place, standing today in the entrance of the new building.


Monday, December 16, 2013

How did he make it to 81?

I was saddened but not surprised to hear yesterday of the death on Saturday of Peter O'Toole. It says much of the man's stature that he was top of the news broadcast on the BBC's most serious radio station, Radio 4.


I was not even 10 when Lawrence of Arabia came out, but I saw it when I was very young, and was bowled over. At some point I even requested T. E. Lawrence's book, The Seven Pillars of Wisdom, as a school prize.

His performance as King Henry II in the film Becket, with fellow hellraiser Richard Burton in the title role, just confirmed my admiration for the man. When he reprised the role in The Lion in Winter, the only thing that made me cringe was the appalling Katherine Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine (though on the plus side, the identity of that Queen's spouse was the £1 million answer the first time the quiz Who Wants to be a Millionaire was won, and so I knew the answer. Sadly not me answering though, someone else got the £1 million). O'Toole was wonderful.

In my young days the horn player from the English National Opera's orchestra (I was a regular attendee) became a friend. We even shared a birthday, and at his 50th anniversary party the cake had a corner for my 29th. Later that year he was going to his old mate Peter O'Toole's 50th birthday party. He was considering inviting me, and made the mistake of telling me this while giving me a lift home on the night itself. But he was too protective, and didn't want to subject me to the kind of rave-up his pal would be having, so my begging was in vain. Grrrr!

Given the life he lived, it's miraculous that O'Toole made it to 81.

Another film star has also died this weekend aged 96. Joan Fontaine didn't feature on my list of famous faces I could put names to, but her estranged big sister, Olivia De Havilland (the great wartime aircraft...) was always a favourite. And she is still around aged 97.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Ahead of their time

I half heard an interview with someone who helped arrange the 1988 Nelson Mandela 70th anniversary concert. Apparently Paul McCartney was upset he hadn't been invited to perform, and said The Beatles had offered to do a Mandela concert in 1965.

The interviewee said he thought this was just an empty boast. After all, who'd really heard of Mandela in 1965? He'd only been in jail for a year.

Well, the guy later found that the people The Beatles had made the offer to had rejected it because he had not heard of them! I mean, who had?

In 1965? Only everyone else in the world!

I must say that this story made me happy to be a lifelong fan of the band.

Today was Mandela's funeral, and for some reason one of my old poems came back to my mind. I wrote it in 1972, and it was written from the point of view of an oppressed black person in a place like South Africa. It ended with a dream of future freedom. The poem may still exist in a box somewhere, but all I recall is the last two lines:

Then shall we say that white men have brains of dust,
Or let them hold their heads high, as we must?

Gosh, Truth and Reconciliation ahead of its time! I hadn't realised how forward-thinking I was age 19!

Ill Bred

Not a favourite episode, but my, how hot is he?

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

No Sign

If you get the chance to watch some of the Mandela memorial speeches, do watch out for the sign language interpreter. I was a bit puzzled watching him do almost nothing, and none of it meaningful, so I was reassured today to find he seems to have been a complete fraud (no shit, Sherlock) and no one knows quite how he got the gig. Even upstages the selfie Obama let himself get into, much to Michelle's disgust.

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Death of a Hero

I cannot let the death of Nelson Mandela pass without comment. His inspirational life should be something we all wish to emulate in our own small way, though few of us would have his courage and perseverance. Given the state of the world we could certainly do with his help right now. I wish I believed in an afterlife where his spirit still exists.

I spent many years boycotting South African produce in the supermarket and signing petitions outside South Africa House. It all seems so small now.

Identity Crisis

I think it's true to say that we did not in general like Season 8. But there's no denying how enticing those curls were.

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Sunday, December 01, 2013

Homo Homini Lupis

Oh, I  miss those days of Bobby's disgusted looks when he's just got someone to admit to something nasty.

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Ambush!

I wish I could say I was ambushed by a tiger in my meeting at London Zoo on Tuesday, but it was just by animal director David Field.

There were two other (unannounced) people at the meeting. I would have taken someone else along had I known.

However, his technique quickly showed his tactics - attack and discredit me. And I kept bringing the discussion back to the important thing, the thing I was there to discuss, the animals.

I can see why the treatment of the gorilla baby and the lion cub went horribly wrong. It wasn't anyone's responsibility. Certainly not his. He's answerable to all sorts of organisations. They are all there for the benefit of the animals.

And yet the animals died.

The decision was made to give the tigress and cub access to the pool enclosure because there were high structures in the "dry" enclosure that Melati could have taken the cub up into, and if it had fallen, they thought that would be more dangerous than the water.

Er, sorry? Aren't young mammals a bit like rubber? When they fall, especially on to soft grassy surfaces, do they not often bounce? OK, still a danger, but not necessarily a fatal one. Drowning? ALWAYS fatal, certainly in circumstances like these, with no possiblility of rescue. A greater risk. Obvious, in my opinion.

The relationship between Melati and JaeJae has become calmer, which I saw for myself. Apparently, when separated, they call for each other. So they will consider letting dad in with Melati and any future cubs.

Other zoos do this with other species of tiger. Not convinced it will work for these two. So be prepared for the next lot of cubs to be murdered by dad.

I hope I'm wrong. Certainly, despite them trying to play the blame game with me over my outspokenness, I'm pretty sure they will be more circumspect next time.

Meanwhile, the reaction to Zoo Check (part of the Born Free organisation founded by the stars of the eponymous film, and now run by their son) was that Mr Field would never speak to them, they are animal rights extremists. He seems to think this is a bad thing. Of course, I let them know of his views when I got home...

I also asked Mr Field how he thinks I came up with his name for my campaign against the incompetent treatment of animals. He seemed to think I'd seen him on the telly! I had to tell him that it was months of building up information by chatting with staff and volunteers, till finally someone named him. I had never seen his face till the day of the meeting. Sorry if I wounded your vanity, sir.

Unfortunately, a programme on the history of zoos and zoo visits aired the next evening, and there was his mug. Spoiled the whole programme.

Happy Family

I really dislike this episode. Love Bobby though.

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Sunday, November 17, 2013

I'm going to have a Field day!

Those of you who have suffered with me the negligence and arrogance of some staff at London Zoo, which led to the death first of the baby gorilla, then of the tiger cub, will be pleased to know that I have managed, through scathing emails and tweets, to secure a meeting with the Big White Chief, David Field, a senior member of the zoo staff, one time designated Animal Manager, but promoted after the gorilla's death. This death happened when, as related to me by various staff and volunteers, against all advice, this man insisted on making the baby and its mother share space with the new silverback, who was not the baby's father.

My initial inquiries sent me on the trail of the European endangered species programme after the zoo with the studbook for gorillas ignored me. The person I dealt with at the endangered species programme turned out to be Mr Field's wife. No action. No blame attributed.

Well, on Tuesday I am finally meeting with Mr Field. My concerns now are huge. AS if losing the cub wasn't enough, my most recent observations make me think they could sacrifice the tigress to their nonchalant conduct.

Someone has to speak for animals who cannot speak for themselves. It should be David Field doing so. It looks like it will have to be me.

Grow

For those who hate the blonde hair, just concentrate on the gorgeous face.

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Great Barrier

No curls, but my, how handsome.

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

By The Numbers

Apparently today, 9/11/13, is the last time till 2105 that the date will figure three consecutive odd numbers.

Yes.

Who keeps track of these things?

Of course, in the US, where you do dates backwards, this phenomenon happened back in September, on the 12th anniversary of the Attacks, so I guess people had better things to be thinking about.

In Britain we also refer to this date in the US way as 9/11. But would the US do us this courtesy with the London attacks? I suppose we should be glad they can't be turned back-to-front, as they were, of course, on 7/7.

Oh, and the last time the dates will be three consecutive even numbers is next year, on 10/12/14. That's December for us and October for the US.

Divided by a common language.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Crackle, crackle

For several weeks now my phone has been crackling badly. My broadband, which arrives via the phone line, has become more and more unreliable.

The company, BT (short for British Telecom, which used to be a publicly-owned monopoly) installed my first telephone line 40 years ago. My current line was installed in this house in the mid/late 1960s. It was my school friend Lesley's number. I later bought the house from her parents. The line enters the house from a telephone pole across the road. To me it is obvious that the line outside is really vulnerable, but when the line started to fail I couldn't persuade BT of that. They wanted me to commit £129 before they would book an appointment. Someone on the other side of the world, who had no idea what was outside my house, insisted it might be a problem inside the house.

So after 40 years, I left BT and let Sky take over responsibility for my phone line. Gradually the problem got worse, so the other day I booked an appointment to have the repair done. If the fault was found to be with my equipment, I would be billed £99 after the fact. Knowing what I knew, it was a deal I was happy to go for.

Yesterday my next door neighbour had an engineer at her house for hours. A couple of weeks ago the people next door to her had an outside repair done. While my chap was working today, an engineer came to look at another line two doors away. Gosh, I wonder if maybe these ancient lines ALL need replacing?

The wear on the piece of line he removed was appalling. It's a surprise it worked at all. In fact, just before he arrived, I had lost the dialling tone, my line was dead.

But now everything appears to be fixed! Cross all fingers.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A promise is a promise

I 've been trying to get my friend Julie to the zoo for ages, but her work schedule is very difficult.

We were in two minds about the date we set when we heard about the tiger cub, but Julie hadn't seen the new adult tigers, so we decided to go along on Halloween so she could see them.

I must say that their stewardship of the animals continues to worry and astonish me. Both were in the half of the enclosure where the pool is where the cub died. There seemed to me to be no reason why they shouldn't have free access to both halves. What's more, they usually only keep them together with keepers looking on in case of aggression. None were in sight.

Jae Jae had of course hogged the covered area where there is a heater. Melati was out in the cold and wet grasses.

Later, she took a chance and was warily lying near Jae Jae in the heated area. She didn't look very relaxed, and when she decided to try and move closer to the overhead heater she did so very cautiously.

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Graansha

As usual, I had forgotten that the pictures for this album accidentally got uploaded somewhere else, and I can't remember where.

Since my internet connection is being rather temperamental thanks to a very old line and that unusual autumn weather condition, wind and rain, not to mention the impossibility of updating the payment card for my mobile iPad SIM, I may be difficult to get hold of at times till I find time to sort things out.

Meanwhile, here's some GGG to cheer you up.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Beano, Essence of Cat, is gone

My beautiful boy Beano came to me with his "brother" Dandy after being dumped in a park. He got into so many scrapes from the start that Your Cat Magazine published his tales on two occasions.

Bitten by a bullying tom when tiny, Beano had gone missing on a freezing January night when only 6 months old. A canvass of the neighbourhood led to whoever had taken him in letting him out, and he appeared warm and fed at my bedside at 2.30 am.

At 2, his normal cheery nature disappeared, and a vet check showed that he had a crumpled shoulder blade, probably from the womb. Steroids built up his muscles, and he became a sturdy young adult cat. Beano did all the normal cat stuff, only more so. Always a good hunter, a neighbour spotted him 30 foot up a tree creeping towards the fragile-looking end of a branch in pursuit of a bird.

When he was 4, Beano developed a problem with his right eye. It had to be removed, and tests showed that it was a neurofibroma, which meant it was isolated and unlikely to have spread.

Having only one eye did not deter him from hunting, as many a hapless bird or mouse discovered. He would always run from the camera, however. I think the flash might have made him think his remaining eye was having problems. So I don't have as many pictures of him as I would like.

A few years ago Beano had his second published adventure, when he went missing for four days over the new year. My canvass turned up nothing at first, and I was resigned to the fact that he was probably roadkill somewhere. I just hoped he wasn't lying injured and in pain. On the fourth day I got a phone call from some people in the next street who thought they had him behind their sofa. He'd only announced himself when he left them a calling card at the top of the stairs. While they were in, he hid, while they were out, he obviously drank and fed - he was neither hungry nor dehydrated when I got him home.

In 2004 Beano lost his zest gain. The white tip of his tail was no longer waving like a banner, and he seemed depressed. An x-ray revealed no injury, but over the years his spine has shown signs of nerve damage, and he has become less and less able to walk comfortably. Recently he had become doubly incontinent. My house smells like a urinal. People who don't like it can keep away. Beano's the important one.

He'd also been worrying at his mouth when eating, and when he had his latest check-up at the vet's last week, they found a lump. On Monday they removed it, tested his kidneys and thyroid, and sent the lump off for analysis. His organs tested as fine, and I was waiting for the biopsy results to come back. Once back from the vet's Beano was on great form (though I was over £500 poorer. Worth it though. I thought so, anyway.)

But last night, he suddenly got off my lap with a cough. I waited for it to go, but it didn't. After a while, I called the emergency vet's. But I've lost a cat to that practice before, and I wasn't even sure he was strong enough to make it. So I stayed with him into the small hours as he gasped for breath, trying to help him to get comfortable. At 4.30 am he lost his brave fight for life. My beautiful, unique boy is gone. He was 17.

 photo DSC02046_zps0e034abd.jpg Beautiful Beano, Essence of Cat

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Good Child

The hands, the face, the little duck's bum of his hair...adorable.  photo TheGoodChild45.jpg

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pablo the Pilgrim

I used to feed and fuss a gorgeous silver tabby cat in my street. He had a home, but he was a bit of a free spirit. His owners didn't object. They told me they had adopted him from an apparently vagrant life a few miles away. 

Pablo didn't change his ways. He took himself across several busy roads to make himself at home on the other side of our urban village, and it was only after two weeks, when his new "owners" took him to the vet's for a check up that his microchip was found, and he was reunited with his owners. 

I myself scooped him up in the next street playing chicken among the cars and took him to his home. They didn't even know he'd got out.

It's been months since I saw him. I guessed he'd gone wandering again, or maybe a car had got him.

But it turns out he's been on a real long-distance adventure. He's turned up in Scotland. That's about 450 miles away. 

He's being flown back. He may already have arrived.

Can't wait to see him again.

I hope this link works for everyone so you can see Pablo and read the story.

http://metro.co.uk/2013/10/17/pablo-wandering-cat-turns-up-450-miles-away-after-year-on-the-run-4150845/

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gone

Bobby looks energised, if you just look at his body language. His face tells the story of his Season 4 exhaustion, though.

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Close London Zoo

You may remember how London Zoo's incompetence and negligence caused the death of their first gorilla baby in over 20 years. I could make no headway because David Field, the animal manager responsible for putting the baby in with an unrelated male, was married to Lesley Dickie, the person from the endangered species programme who should have dealt with it.

Field was later promoted rather than sacked.

Now the useless bastards have done it again. The new-born Sumatran tiger cub has drowned.

The tiger enclosure has two halves, one with pool, one without. Any sensible person would have made sure Melati and her cub had access only to the dry enclosure. But no. These idiots who would apparently let their own small children loose near water have sacrificed this wonderful little baby to their own ignorance and negligence.

In a few months my membership will be up, and I cannot imagine they can do anything to persuade me or the other disgusted members to renew.

Close now, ZSL, you are just a bunch of amateurs who should never be let loose on vulnerable endangered species. As for the Sumatran tiger stud book,it's just a travesty to let you keep it.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Fingers Crossed

Because I have to have a one-and-a-half centimetre raise put into my left shoe to even up my odd-length legs, I am limited as to what shoes I can buy. I only get two pairs a year adapted by the hospital's contractors, so I have to be careful about comfort. They slice off the bottom of the sole, whack in the raise, then glue back the sole, so that the tread is the same on both shoes. It's a long time since I had any heels (apart from some ankle boots a couple of years ago that can't be adapted, so rarely get worn) so I was quite excited to find some wedges that incorporate apparent comfort and adaptability. I'm also keen on Velcro fastenings because they make it easier on my creaky joints.

Wins all round. If they really are comfortable...

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The Gift

This was the first time I'd come across Bobby Canavale. Don't like him one bit. This Bobby, however, I'll take any time, anywhere.

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Sunday, October 06, 2013

Ultimate Squee

The thing I miss most about being under par is my regular visits to the zoo.

Then on Wednesday I heard the news - Melati, the little Sumatran tiger, had given birth to her big boyfriend Jae Jae's cub.

They still don't know the sex. But they had cameras set up to keep an eye on things, and filmed the birth, Melati's first maternal actions, and the cub's scrabblings to join mum while she watched in apparent disbelief.

They say she's being a great mum, and will bring the baby out when she's ready.

And so it goes. On and on

Still having wound problems, this time the left boob is infected and not healing. Wouldn't be surprised if that one needs another going over. My bank took a month to get me a new debit card, meanwhile the old one had expired, causing all sorts of problems. My complaint has been answered, but nothing is really to my satisfaction, so I will still change banks, and I am going to write to the Ombudsman. And then there's the phone. Two weeks ago I tried to report it as crackling, but they have tied their website into so many knots all I could do was send an email, which received no response. Last week I found the correct path to report a fault, and by this time the phone was cutting people off mid-call. I received no updates. I could not access my account because none of the four or five numbers on my bill was apparently my account number, and there was no other way to get in there. So I phoned up BT, who insisted my line had been tested and nothing was wrong (crackle, crackle). But if I would promise to pay nearly £130 should the fault wbe inside my house (oh I bet it would be, too) they would come and check the overhead lines outside. I refused, and then called Sky to transfer my line account to them (I already pay them for calls). BT still has to look after the line, but doesn't get the size of rental fee they used to! And guess what? Since I refused to pay the blackmail fee, my line has stopped crackling. Almost to the minute. Poor BT. You know what they say? Tough titties. Though of course, mine are not so tough at the moment... And to make up, there's a post of Bobby below.

Gemini

Just a little taster of early, stern-looking Bobby.  photo Gemini184.jpg

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Halifax - the bank from hell

Some of you will remember how, back in May and June, my bank allowed fraudsters to take large sums of money from my account. They lied about what they could do to prevent the second incursion, something they could suddenly do when the second attempt was made.

Well, they've topped that.

Knowing my debit card was due to expire on September 30th, I kept on top of the arrival of the replacement card, especially knowing I was due for surgery. Sadly, this has led to all kinds of incompetence and rudeness, to the extent that even the person supposed to be handling my one written complaint (there have been lots of phone ones) has become subject to a complaint. Yes, that's you, Fallon Naylor.

And still I have no card, so cannot pay bills in the shops or online, nor access my cash through a machine.

The public paid money to save this bank from financial ruin. Apparently it wasn't worth the effort.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Getting there

Well, I had my second surgery last Monday, and the surgeons checked up on my progress on Friday. They seem pleased that the debridement of the infected and necrotic tissue went well and we all hope that this time my recovery will go swimmingly.

My surgeons really have been top notch, the breast nurses too, and there were some lovely staff on the ward.

Even the patients (two of whom I've seen again at subsequent check-ups) were absolutely great.

But most of all my dear friend Susanna, who gave up her life for a week at a time to keep me and the cats fed and watered. I'm very lucky.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as I can stay awake long enough.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nipple and Tuck

Interesting visit to the breast clinic today. Apparently my nipples have died. The surgeon nipped off my nipples and booked me in for further surgery next Monday.

He's talking about reconstructing them or tattooing them on later. But I told him from the start I didn't care about losing the nipples, it was all about reducing size, not aesthetics.

Thing is, he's more upset than I am. Apparently he's never had this problem before, even though he warns about it.

Well, he's never operated on me or my unlucky family before. If it can go wrong...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Normal Service Will Be Resumed

Sometime soon.

Very tired from recovery and working a full week.

Also have wound infection and some very nasty bits detaching themselves. You don't want to know any more.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Frame

I feel a need for neck-nuzzling.

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Friday, September 06, 2013

FPS

Not sure why this sequence of photos appeals...

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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Folie A Deux

No matter how big he gets, that little nose is still a button.

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It's a record

I had my wounds redressed by my surgeon on Monday. He said the amount of tissue they took from my breasts was the most they had ever removed in a reduction operation. JJ/K cup down to C.

This is not just any old breast surgeon from some backwater, but one the the top breast surgeons from one of the planet's top hospitals. So I'm guessing it's probably not an actual world record, but pretty close to one.

No wonder he's remaining so hands on.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Family Values

Very unpleasant episode. And no curls!

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Before, After and a little Ahhh Bonus







The stomach's still there, but the boobs are noticeably gone.

Just to take your minds off the sight, here are some otters I saw last week relaxing in the sun. I hope it gets bigger if you click on them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

4 X 4 X 3

Before and after pix (clothed!) will follow, when I feel less shit. Suffice it to say it took four surgeons four hours to remove 3 kilos of tissue. Lots of anaesthetic poison to get out of my system.

Fantastic treatment. Just got called in for wound check on Monday, they are obviously concerned about the amount of stuff they removed. Really couldn't have been looked after better.

When you consider staff were doing 13 hour shifts, makes you wonder how they cope.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

False Hearted Judges

Poor baby's so tired he can barely keep his eyes open.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Faithfully

Season 8 was not Bobby's greatest look. but this picture is rather lovely.

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Faithful

 Iconic Bobby pose.

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No Comment

Just in case anyone has recently left a comment that would have benefited from a reply from me, may I apologise for a breakdown in service. Your comments are not appearing in my mailbox. At least not on my iPad. So until I check on the blog posts, I think no one is commenting.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Faith

How handsome can a man be?

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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Blowing Hot and Cold

I seem to have been in full hot flush for 10 years. For most of that time, I've assumed that meant my body temperature must be higher than normal.

A while ago, though, I reached a more logical explanation: the world feels hot to me because my body temperature is LOWER than usual.

Yesterday at my pre-op assessment my temperature came in at 36 degrees, which is below the bottom end of the normal human temperature range.

So now I know why I'm always hot, but there's still nothing I can do to keep cool!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

What Price A View?

If there's one thing the rich like more than having a view, it's building something that obscures someone else's.

When the ultra-rich move into offices or appointments in the new tallest building in Europe, the Shard, or stay in the hotel to be opened inside it, they will find one side obscured a fair way up by the neighbouring tallest hospital building in the world, the tower of Guy's Hospital (one of the oldest hospitals in the world).


The Shard
 


Guy's Tower
 

So what are they doing? The owners of the Shard are paying to have the 1960/70s brutalist tower reclad!

Sadly, my surgery, which will take place next Wednesday in the Guy's tower, and my brief stay in a ward there, will not offer me any views at all, as I will only be on the first floor!

Meanwhile, I have had my pre-op assessment, where I bought a couple of the bras I will have to wear after surgery. Glamorous they ain't! But there are velcro shoulder straps and front loading hooks AND a zip, so I guess they'll be pretty effective in keeping my boobs compressed till the stitches heal.


The Extra Man

Ah, the joys of the raised eyebrow.

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Monday, August 19, 2013

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Eosphoros

Those expressive hands...

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Friday, August 16, 2013

Making a Difference

It's difficult to see what you can do in this complicated world that will make any kind of difference. There are quite a few small possibilities: feeding the garden birds; leaving a patch of weeds for the bees and butterflies; not using throwaway carrier bags; reusing and recycling. Small actions making small but significant differences that, if we all did them, would make a real dent in what's going wrong on the planet. No one else may know about them, but they give you a real glow.

But doing something others can see - even if they don't notice, and wouldn't know you did it anyway - is harder to achieve, but so satisfying.

For a couple of years I have been trying to make the Environment Agency take notice of how London and Quadrant, a local housing association slashes the newly naturalised bank of the stretch of river that runs through one of its housing estates. No one had really bothered to take my concerns seriously. As a consequence, the environmentally illiterate contractors employed by the similarly ignorant association had been severely cutting back the greenery on the banks from top to bottom and from end to end.

Last September I found a young man doing what he had been told, massacring every growing thing on a section of the bank. I stopped to talk to him. I told he was destroying the habitat and any winter shelter and food from seedheads that the wildlife might need. He agreed, but said he'd been told to do it. I appealed to his good sense, and when I returned some hours later, there was no further destruction.

As spring approached, I was concerned that the next people sent might not be as intelligent as this young man, and that I might not be lucky enough to catch them at it, so I phoned the Environment Agency to express my desire that they take London and Quadrant to task for their mistreatment of the environment entrusted to them.

It took a while to talk the man round. He'd been familiar with the area since the floods of 1967, he said. (At that time the local council had put the river in a concrete tunnel to avoid further flooding, and it was only opened up a few years ago.)When I corrected him that the floods had been in 1968, he realised I had been as familiar with the area as him for as long as him, and he took notice. He told me that the greenery should not be cut back in spring at all, and that in autumn only one third should be cut back in any one year, and then only a yard or so up from the river's edge, to avoid the colonisation of willows.

He arranged for some officers to meet with L&Q to advise them on the care of the banks. So now, every time I walk along the opposite bank (which has its own problems, but one thing at a time) I smile proudly at the results of my intervention.


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In the middle of each picture you can see the compromised verdure of the section that was cut back last autumn. The rest of the bank is lush. If that young man had not heeded my pleas, the whole bank would look like the slashed section.

Job well done by all concerned, and a real sense of achievement for me. It would be nice if others knew, just so they could see that they too can make a difference.

So, if there's something bugging you near your home, think how you could help - then do it. You won't regret it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

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Starsign - Aries Chinese Year - Snake