The Moving Finger Writes

Posted on Updated on

I’m trying to tidy up the mess I’ve made of my desk these last few weeks. A proper mess it is too. I’ve put hundreds of notifications in a terrifying selection of “To Do” files on my computer, and left little scribbled notes to myself all over the place. I’m trying not to look at the 2 891 Unread Emails notice, although I’m guessing that they’ll just have to stay that way for a few more days. From a very wobbly start to the week, I finally seem to have my brain back to firing on most of its cylinders, and these little notes that I kindly sent to myself are looking more like the rantings of a crazed stalker than little old me. Most of it’s in red pen too. Very threatening indeed. A lot are mercifully illegible, but there are quite a few good story ideas in there. I’m not sure if they’re actually meant to be story ideas, because I honestly can’t remember writing them. It’s just safer to assume that they are, and avoid future therapy.

There was a dour and frightening epistle, which I’m guessing was meant to be my short story for our anthology group. That headed off to its rightful place in the bin on top of a dodgy tomato. There’s a dreadful attempt at poetry that also joined the tomato, and a sketch of what looks like a doughnut. There are two fairly lucid outlines though, that I’ve popped onto my computer for future use, so the weeks haven’t been a total write-off. Now to catch up with my social networking, and hold thumbs that life goes quietly on until after Shadow People and African Me are launched. You never know around here.

It’s funny though, that even though I couldn’t do silly things, like walk to the kitchen in under half an hour or keep both eyes open at the same time, I just carried on with the scribbles. I guess that must make me a writer. An author friend on Google+ was telling me that right in the middle of anaphylactic shock, on a gurney in the ER, all she could think of was to tell her husband to take notes, because there was something she wanted to write about if she made it through. The actual imminent possibility of actually dying didn’t occur to her – just the story. I think when writing is in your blood, you can never stop. It’s all consuming, and every little thing ends up on a page somewhere. We write not only to tell our stories, but sometimes just to share our joys or sadness. And sometimes to exorcise our demons. Write on my friends! We are a lovely, crazy bunch, and I’m off to dive back into the fray.

Till next time friends. xxx


Carry On Doctor

Posted on Updated on

Writers write. That’s what we do. Whether the result is good or bad depends on a lot of things. One being the physical ability to do so. I probably shouldn’t right now, but I’m nothing if not willing. I just hope that I don’t put anyone to sleep. Two weeks ago, slightly too late by medicating standards, I realised that I had a nasty dose of malaria. Eventually, I got the required drugs and popped them, expecting to be perfectly fine in the next couple of days. I’ve had malaria lots of times before, and that’s normally how things go. Not this time though. I kept on feeling quite bad. Then I was told that I should have been taking antibiotics at the same time. I’ve never done that before, but who am I to argue. Apparently these parasites have developed resistances to all the drugs we’re used to taking. So I took the antibiotics, and felt not too terrible for a few days. Then I woke up on Sunday morning, thinking that I hadn’t actually woken up at all. I had such a fever, that I literally couldn’t get to my feet, and conked hotly out again. Been doing a lot of that lately. Conking. Angus toddled in with Quinine, and more antibiotics. I’ve never taken Quinine before. I thought it was something in the tonics for my gin. I took them anyway, and eventually the fever subsided, and I was able to see to my most concerned feathered flock, wobbly being better than prostrate.

I’m guessing Quinine is the right way to go, although I’m feeling rather rough. Who am I to argue? Anyway. I don’t see the difference in feeling rough horizontal in bed, or a little more precariously on a chair. So here I am. What a rotten ailment. The guy at the local bush clinic said that if you leave these things too long, not only is it harder to treat, but ten percent of people who get “severe” malaria die! I checked on line and Google agrees with him completely. Really charming. Gorgeous as this place is to live in, I sometimes wonder if it’s worth the hazards. Plagues of everything, including bush rats, and deadly diseases with no doctors in sight. Roughing it is one thing, but dying because it’s a lot nicer in the countryside is another thing entirely.

I do feel a bit better than yesterday in the fever department. It seems to come in waves, although there’s a new form of fuzzy dizziness that I don’t understand. After all, now I have this new/old wonder drug, Quinine, I should surely be feeling better than this. It was probably not a good idea, but, yes, I googled it. It would appear that it’s just as nasty as the diseases it treats, and takes people out just as readily. Charming! Anyway. I couldn’t find any alternative on line, so life being what it is, I’ll take the remaining ten doses, and see what happens next. I’m not going to curl up somewhere and analyse all the things going on in my poor besieged bod, so I’ll hang around here as much as I can, and try not to whine too much.

I wonder why humans are prone to so many diseases. I know animals get sick, but they don’t have nearly the selection of ailments to choose from. Maybe that guy from Ancient Aliens – the one with the hair – is right, and we are not indigenous to this planet. Crosses between chimps and aliens. The alien bits being got at by the foreign germs here. I certainly feel rather alien today.

Till next time friends. xxx


Pink Elephants And Chickens

Posted on Updated on

Talk about a sucker punch! I really never saw that nasty bit of illness heading my way. I have heard around here lately that you should take antibiotics with anti-malarials these days. But living here, it’s easy to forget that this disease is a killer. Being all-knowing and obviously immortal, when I got stopped short by malaria last week, I never did that. After one fairly perky day after my course I was properly taken down. I’ve had quite a few days of fever, aches, and no logic to the fuzziness of my brain. I’m still far from being in any way perky, and quite nervous now of disease comebacks. I don’t think that I’ve ever felt worse in my life. But I believe I’ll change my stubborn ways now, and pop pills left, right and centre forevermore. The eight hour round trip to a new and unknown doctor isn’t going to happen either, unless I keel over and get carried out. I have my feathered flock to worry about. Who will they have to abuse if I’m not around? So I’d better just get better now, and that’s that really.

I’m pretty sure that delirious is the word for my frame of mind yesterday when I stumbled my way to the kitchen for some water. I peered out the window, as you do, and saw three distinctly chickeny looking things zooming across the lawn towards the enclosure where Jack and Diane (the turkeys) sleep. I fished my cellphone out of my pocket. I was fairly convinced that they weren’t real. These have been some strange fevers, and my eyeballs seemed to not be firing on all cylinders most of the time – they’re still not on top form really. Not trusting them at all. I took a few pictures to verify that these fowls were really real, and not the product of some gross little parasite munching away at my brain cells. I headed on out, and there they were, munching on turkey leftovers. Three funny looking bush chickens with standing up feathers on their heads. They glanced up at me, obviously feeling right at home, then carried on munching. I ran out of steam at that point and went back in to conk back out.

Anyway. It transpired that they were owned by a guy called Sunny Boy, who is in charge of the big generator here. I said to send a message to him, that his chickens were here, and when he came to get them, he eyeballed me sympathetically, and said that if I liked them, I could have them, no charge. I almost took my phone out to record him, again doubting my senses. The people here can’t afford to head on to town to buy chickens or anything else for that matter, and they have very little money. Their livestock is very important to them, and they don’t generally give it away. These three chickens would have been kept for his family’s special occasions, or sold to buy some other essential. I’m thinking that they are chicken, guinea fowl crosses, which would explain their interesting looks, and is quite a common mix here. As I was saying, I knew that he couldn’t afford to give them to me but I didn’t want to insult him by not taking his gift. My reputation for being ruled by all things feathered, my wild hair, and probably rolling eyeballs must have invoked his pity. “No, no,” said I, “I would love to buy them from you.” “No, no” said he, “They are my gift to you.” For once cultural niceties would have to be forgone though. Of course I absolutely refused accept his noble gesture. I insisted on paying, and I did, and I don’t think this upset him too much after all. I’m just really amazed at this weird little happening. Three odd little chickens moving in all on their lonesome, and settling down to stay.

As those of my friends who had the courage to read my previous terrible blog will know, I have had chickens on my mind of late. Not to mention my most cool Naka in Shadow People, chicken looking scientist guy of note, who gave me some trouble to begin with, as to the place of large clever chickens in science fiction novels. To be honest, the things that I’ve recently discovered about chicken “farming” have seriously depressed me, dented my belief that people don’t do cruel and terrible things unless it’s unavoidable, even though it’s for profit, and made me consider the facts of size and availability. Of course I love my big gorgeous elephants, and am right behind anyone lobbying to stop the shooting of them, but it seems to me that if you are small, and easy to breed you are insignificant. The smaller you are, and the more you breed, the less likely you are to feel pain apparently. There aren’t a lot of people fighting for the rights of the humble chicken. Although there will be one more from now. Me.

I am a little amazed that the universe gave me chickens, here and now. These three little guys, or girls, we shall have to wait and see what they turn out to be, have cheered me up no end. I have no clue how they got in, and Sunny Boy has no clue why they left, but that’s what they did. They headed on over, and moved right in, just when I couldn’t have done with anything better. Jack has been strutting around, showing them how gorgeous he is with his feathers fluffed out, and Diane is appalled at the very sight of them, so they’ve been given their own house to sleep in.

Before I get back to catching up on all that I’ve missed these last few days, I must mention that Kewpie the baby weaver has been practicing his flying, obviously because my older weaver bird has had more opportunities to assault him while I’ve been sick. She’s turned into the real Angry Bird with her jealous tantrums. To the tune of, “Ack, ack, ack,” Kewpie now zooms off quite nicely when she heads on over to bounce on his little head. Although he is still scared of her, as are we all. I’m starting to think I need a bird whisperer. How do you control two inches of screeching feathers that feels she can chase the dog away all by herself, and actually can? Here she is glaring from her grimy light fitting, which no one is allowed near to clean. Dear little Jelly the terror.

Till next time friends. xxx


No Ninnies Allowed

Posted on Updated on

I am most thankful to my friends, not only for all of your kind words, but also for not forgetting me during my latest disappearance. Booting up my old desk dinosaur this morning and seeing all your tweets, shares and mentions, when you really didn’t have to, has warmed my old heart, and made me come over all slooshy now. Thank you for being most cool my friends. I will get all of you right back.

It’s not easy to flatten me. This particular dose of malaria is a doozy. Going by my own track record, I should be feeling a lot better than I am today, so I’ll have to take a course of antibiotics too, and hope that that does the trick. I reckon that I recognised the symptoms just a tad late this time. Yesterday I was flattened. Today is better only in that my eyes are open, and I can sit on my chair without falling off it. The fever’s still hanging in there though, and I’m far from steady on my pins. Shake, rattle, and roll it is. I have the whole Morticia Adams look going on, and my kidneys feel like they’ve already done the steak and kidney pie route, and just been reinserted. Actually, the mention of any sort of food is really not a good idea. I’m not the best patient in the world anyway. I also have a terrible aversion to needles in veins. A good old injection that doesn’t involve arteries is no problem at all, and I tend to doze off at the dentist – so I’m not an actual ninny. It’s just the thought of the whole needle, vein intrusion thing that I don’t like.

As soon as I could focus my eyes after my first caesarean section, way back in the mists of time, I really just couldn’t deal with looking at the drip attached to my hand. It gave me the willies. The nurses refused to remove it, as did the doctor, so I took it out myself, waddled off to the loo, and refused to come out until they promised to leave my veins totally unprobed for the duration of my stay there. I think that the speed that I zoomed off with so soon after major surgery must have convinced them of my indestructibility so they reluctantly agreed. Having a blood test for me is always epic. Even though the prick of the needle doesn’t bother me at all, I always have to cover my eyes. There is no way I could look at that vial filling redly. I have been conned in multiple ways, because I never go willingly. It takes a heart of gold and much patience to be my physician, so I generally forgive all the doctorly laughter and snide remarks about my cowardice, and the pillow on my face. Not so sure about bedside manners around here.

I’m one of those people most hated by medical practitioners the world over. When I’m confronted by any sort of illness or injury, I tend to research it first, and head off to my MD armed with my Google obtained knowledge. Actually, I also have my very own copy of the Merck Manual, which has over the years often convinced me that I’ve had everything from botulism to heart disease. I haven’t found and trained a new doctor yet since we moved here last year. I should probably get on to that, considering my current state. Some of them get quite beady though, point out all their certificates on the walls, and bang on about the years of study, internship, and sleepless weeks tending to the ailing and infirm. Well. I’ve read Sydney Sheldon, so I know what you lot really get up to. I’m missing my old doctor quite a bit right now. He was very sweet, and always listened patiently to my arguments for and against his own professional diagnoses. My medical chest is filled with all sorts of tablets that I bought only so as not to hurt his feelings. My suspicion of any medication other than vitamin c is huge, and I will indeed bite any hand that tries to force anything into my beak if I suffer infirmity when I get old. I doubt the infirmity thing though. I’m far too stubborn. I reckon I’ll be one of those tough old nuts that zooms around until one day they just fall over.

I’m back on track now, albeit very slowly for a bit. My feathered flock have relaxed too. Yesterday, every time I opened a fevered lid, I found myself eyeball to eyeball with a concerned parrot or weaver. The weaver was mainly intent on pecking my eyeball I think though. I wonder about our little Jelly sometimes. So now, before I begin to find out all that I’ve been missing, I invite you all to join our community of lovely warm people, talented authors, bloggers, and poets, for chats about anything at all.

Also, check out this little book I found on Amazon. I’m not sure if it’s always free, but it is today. Grab it for the basics on navigating Google+.

Till next time friends. xxx