Changing gear

A bit of a life statement, given there’s some fascinating speculation on my well-being, only some of it accurate.

Just checked out of hospital after my 3 month cancer check-up. Cystoscopy show the bladder still clear but there’s an 8mm anomaly in the liver. Doctors think it’s a glitch or reflection on the CT scan, so there’s no cause for anxiety (they say). Seem to be making small progress on my big question – “If all the signs are good, why do I feel so bloody ill all the time?” I’ve come off bladder drugs and now use self catheters 4 times a day. We’re trying to make this routine minimally intrusive rather than dominating and structuring the day. Have to be so careful as re-infection risk is very high. After the gastroscopy I’ve got new treatments for the stomach damage caused by months and months of antibiotics & other rampant drugs.

It seems I have depression, triggered by nearly a year of illness and surgery and an inability to see any real hope of improvement. I’m on Xanax for a while. At first I didn’t like it, it was as if I’d been photoshopped out of the picture, erased from the surroundings. But they gave me the least terrifying taxi ride into the Bangkok hospital ever, with me just sitting in the back staring slack-jawed out of the window. Pretty neat. The CT scan shows that the constant blinding headaches are not brain-damage but probably stress-related. Yeah right.

Going with the depression, I have retired from the business. “Ousted in a boardroom coup” might be nearer to it, but Helen is right. I’m just not fit to deal with constant Thai lies & deceit, lunatic tourists and their inane questions, and the day-to-day grind of a job I now hate. It’s not good to be permanently furious over minor things. The business is up for sale, lock stock & barrel. Helen’s plan is to find a house to rent and get me off-site as soon as possible. It’ll help me for sure, but also her if I’m not around going Supernova every time a Thai gets her head stuck down a toilet or puts noodles in the tumble-dryer.

We had a short break by the sea in Hua Hin and I thought “Helen really needs this”. I was shocked to discover how much it was me who needed it. I just loved being “Somewhere Else” and was most unsettled about having to go back after it. I even felt the same when I came out of hospital. Now that’s not good, hence the plan to move me out.

Helen has stood by me every inch of the way. There are times when I’m possibly not the most co-operative patient (screaming ‘You vicious bitch’ at gormless nurses and hurling water bottles at them.) and I must admit that I’m pretty demanding with rapid mood changes, hourly plumbing problems, nighttime megabelching, almost total memory loss and almost total memory loss. I have to admit that I would be helpless without her and have to take my hat off to her for putting up with nearly a year of this, yet still striving daily to make things better in many ways. She reminds me of the areas where I’m making progress – I forget or just don’t see it – and she sketches out nice glimpses of our future life once the business has been sold and entirely new options and vistas become possible. She’s played a blinder, over and above the call of duty.

[Actually I was so proud of her in the last hospital stay when she lost it with a thickoid nurse and yelled “You mad cow” at her. This is the strongest language I have ever heard her use to someone (apart from me) and I’m delighted that in some small ways she’s coming round to my point of view. The nurse was asking for it & got off lightly, in my considered view.]

So that’s about where I am. I’ll need these 3 monthly check-ups for life and it seems clear enough that self-catheters will become a regular feature of my day. I think the depression and associated blights will subside once I can get away from the business (and of course Helen too). I am finding it so hard to be positive but I’m getting glimmers and have to hope. I have a new doctor who looks at the whole person rather than the mechanistic view of the specialists and surgeons and she’s actually co-ordinating between these disparate actors to find all-round cures. Amazingly, she even phones me up to see how I am (and tells me off if I’m not being a good boy). I like her a lot.

So it’s life changes, slowing down, snipping away unhelpful control freakery and stressing over things that just don’t add up to a hill of beans. Time to sit back and enjoy the sunshine, reach more beach, and just let it all go. I owe it to Helen to make every effort to make sure I keep at it & succeed.

Published in: on September 16, 2011 at 11:29 am  Comments (29)  

Never mind the Warhols

Purple people

By our ephemeral correspondent Delbo

15 minutes of fame is too much for ’em. These people in the public eye who are famous for nothing at all. They have no talent, no skill, no charm but they are celebrities.

If you had a Delete key, who would you say had outstayed their welcome in the Celebrity Hall of Fame? Who would you dump in the Wells of Oblivion?

Published in: on August 1, 2011 at 10:38 am  Comments (68)  

I blame the parents

By (sensibly-named) Boxo.

Just watched Wimbledon, in particular a player called Mardy Fish. I mean, what kind of a name is that? Maybe the father was ‘a boy named Sue’ fan & wanted to make his son tough.

As stupid names go, can anyone beat this? Usual point to the winner.

Published in: on July 12, 2011 at 9:12 am  Comments (49)  

Gael Cliche

It’s linguistic correctness gone mad! It’s Delbo.

Somebody somewhere coins a catchy phrase and next thing you know it’s all over the web. Or its gone viral through YouTube or cable TV. Everybody down the pub is using it and it makes me heave. I’m glad the football season is over so I won’t have to hear ‘park the bus’ (they have a good defence) until August.

Or when some filmic autobore … Hang on, filmic??? This abomination means ‘it’s to do with films’. Where was I? Ah yes. Or when some filmic (spit) autobore says a film ‘pays tribute to bla bla’ all he means is that bla bla has been shamelessly plagiarised as the script-writers wouldn’t know a fresh idea if it crashed their iPad. Post-ironic (grrrr) my arse, they’re just clueless copyists.

Cliches, that’s what we’re on about here. They’ve got to be severely limited in their useage with severe mediaeval penalties falling on persistent abusers. Take the chronically overused suffix -gate. Watergate OK, that’s the origin. But in the last week I’ve endured Blattergate, Clegggate, Obamagate, Pippagate, and the simply inexcusable Giggsgate. (Surely that’s an alleyway in York?)

Due warning. This is going to get bloody folks.

What I’m asking for is your top 3 worst cliches. I want to see flesh creep and bilious eruptions here. You can cherry pick the low-hanging fruit  and move forward to claim the point. Yes, that’s right, it’s a point-tastic bonanza here at Minggate but remember folks, it all goes to charidee.

Published in: on June 27, 2011 at 8:02 am  Comments (77)  

Vote Nobody

He’s got a Masters in Politics, you know.

I am quite taken by a new development in our current general election campaign. A political party that realistically has no chance whatsoever, has developed a movement for people to vote for ‘none of the above’, as the ballot slip allows. Their campaign posters show a series of unsavoury animals in suits with the slogan ‘Keep the animals out of Parliament’. Predictably the national vets association has complained for comparing innocent animals with politicians.

It reminds me of the old anarchist slogans – ‘don’t vote, it only encourages them’  and ‘whoever you vote for the politicians get in’.  But it goes beyond this to actually attempt to motivate people to vote, but actively vote for nobody at all.

It is an idea whose time has come. Plucky little Belgium has spent a year watching their bickering political parties attempt to form a coalition and fail, with the result that there has been no government for this period. And the sky didn’t fall in, regardless of the siren screeches of the doom-merchants.

So here’s your challenge. Imagine a ballot paper where you are invited to vote either for a politician (living or otherwise) or Nobody. Name that politico who so gets your hackles up that voting for Nobody is a distinctly rational choice. A point or two for the most compelling case, with credit given to pungent and intemperate language.

Meet the new boss/ same as the old boss//

Published in: on June 13, 2011 at 7:05 am  Comments (49)  


To remove all doubt, this post may or may not be written by Emperor Ming, but you are not entitled to pass an opinion nor are you permitted to consider other options.

Being insofar as the plaintiff XXXXXXXX does hereby exercise all liens and rights to XXXXXXXX  Giggs and XXXXXXXX Pippa Middleton‘s arse. XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXX Cheryl Cole‘ accent may not be counterindicated and XXXXXXXXXX Donald Trump‘s hair. It may ipso facto  XXXXXX prerogative of the rich and XXXXXX totally Clegged.

XXXXXXXXXXXX nullifying Barcelona midfield threat and XXXXXXXX Adele XXXX Obama ping pong.  Furthermore XXXXXXXX volcanic eruptions XXXXXXX under Simon Cowell. Andrew Marr XXXXXX and XXXXXX and XXXXXX Beatrice’s hat. Any infringement of such XXXXXX may well result in XXXXX and full-blown Blatter.

This post does not exist and may not be read under any circumstances.

Published in: on May 27, 2011 at 10:32 am  Comments (38)  


So the Rapture didn’t happen yesterday. Pity.

Just imagine a world where the religious fundamentalists suddenly disappear into the clouds, leaving rational, sensible people behind. Rapture indeed.

Published in: on May 22, 2011 at 11:23 am  Comments (10)  

Towelhead Down

By our man in the Black Hawk, Repoman Jack

Osama Bin Laden done got his ass busted real good. The Seals knew just what they’re doing and our C-in-C is tuned in realtime to watch the show (thought Hilary looked kinda queasy tho). Obama comes outta this looking real fine, he wanted the sucker killed and killed he was, hiding behind wife #3 like a real macho. Navy boys done ‘buried him at sea’. Yeah right. Bet the Marines drew up a real reverential service. American justice.

Big party stateside by all red-blooded Americans. Well not quite. Now there’s these dadbasted do-gooders all cringeing and crying that we never read him his rights or tried to arrest under due process. Due process my boney ass. If ever a man’s guilty as all hell its this varmint. Did we ‘violate his human rights’? Sure did, in spades. And then some.

Now I don’t recall him reading no rights to the victims of 9/11. Or USS Cole. Or them African embassies. Or them thousands of other muslims he killed for deviating from his fundamentalist version. No sir, he’s just a cold-blooded bastard hiding in his mansion while his flankers do his evil. He got his deserts.

The Seals go in

Even more hackling is them Pakistani bandits getting all  riled up and saying we violated their airspace and didn’t notify or seek approval for the raid.  Well tough talookie, buster. Here’s public enemy No 1 holed up a mile from their elite military academy and 35 miles from the capital for 5 years and they want us to believe they didn’t know nuthin’?? Per-lease! If he was a mile from West Point you bet your  ass the CIA would have twigged it pronto. We’ve been saying it for years, we pump in the aid and the military hardware but these hombres just aint our allies, and now we got us proof. So hang your moustache in shame Abdul, the whole world knows you as a two-faced rattler who shelters terrorists. And stuff that up yer violated airspace.

New York Times got it right on the money. Rot In Hell was their headline. And if that violates Satan’s human rights, well its just a risk we’re gonna have to take.  Nuff said.

Published in: on May 4, 2011 at 10:41 am  Comments (20)  

Fog lifting

Typical drug-induced vision

So then. After some check-up I have been taken off nearly all drugs, down to just 2 pills at night now. Helen took our sackful of pills to show the doctor and he seemed flabbergasted that he’d given me so much and took me off them pronto. The other possibility is that the bill-inflaters in pharmacy have just tripled the amount to triple the bill.

Anyway I’m home & capable of medium-length sentences that often make sense (at least to me). I’ve got a 2 month pass before I go back for this particularly grim internal examination to see if the cancers are regrouping. Bladder function has improved, but very slowly, and further down the line is the prospect of prostate surgery if bladder function stalls. The doctor tells me to be patient and remember I’m an old man with old mens complaints. I spluttered and protested at this as I still hold this self-image of myself at 27. But I suppose I must concede he has a point. To some extent.

Anyway, could be worse. I could be back in the hands of vicious sado-nurses and moon-faced dead-eyed nuns with halitosis.

So keep tuned, urinary tract fans, you’ll hear it here first.

Published in: on May 3, 2011 at 11:24 am  Comments (2)  

A day in the life

I read the news today oh boy. In fact I read it 4 times and had no idea I’d read it before.

Lets switch to internal dialogue

Beautiful sunny day again today. What shall we do? Let’s take the morning drugs, stare at the wall all day, take the evening drugs then sleep. Isn’t that what we did yesterday? You betcha. In fact I’ve been doing this a long time haven’t I? Over 50 days – you’re on a roll. I thought it was longer. It is, before then there was the nasal & eye surgery. You’ve been on various heavy drugs since November. When can I do something different? You can’t, you’re very sick. Better have a lie down and stare at the wall for a bit. OK but then I want some internet time. You’ll forget. No, I want to check the footie scores. It takes it out of you, you can’t concentrate for long, then you need to lie down – don’t forget to look at the ceiling cracks. Maybe go to Facebook. Forgotten how you panicked when you saw so many posts that you couldn’t reply to? Had to log off pronto? I’ll read the paper in bed then. You’ve read it several times. Done the crosswords too? Yup.

How long  do I have to do this? It’s not much of a life. You’ve been very sick. You are very sick. Most people take months. Longer. I get so frustrated at not being able to do anything at all. Sick sick sick. Tried reading a book but read the first chapter 3 times, forgetten I’d ever started it, then gave up. Sick. I like visitors and can be funny and engaging. Yeah but the next day you’re weak & exhausted. There’s times I get so ANGRY. Self-pity. Get so FURIOUS when things fuck up.TIT (This is Thailand) Blinding uncontrollable rages that upset loved ones She’s doing everything for you, ungrateful sod. Then I can’t remember what I said, only minutes later. I can’t understand why she’s upset. You try living with you, then you’ll see.

Then there’s the lows. So negative about every single thing.  Full-on depression. No way up. You had one yesterday and broke down sobbing. Yeah, I felt better after it, becoming more positive appeared possible. Had a glimpse of better times Have a lie down, take your drugs. So what shall we do tomorrow? Take the morning drugs, stare at the wall all day, take the evening drugs then sleep.  Isn’t that what we did today? You betcha.

Published in: on April 27, 2011 at 9:00 am  Comments (5)