Thursday, February 24

outlaw rides again

A week ago, the mother-out-law suddenly developed dead bowel syndrome. I'll spare you the anatomical details. Apparently it can happen to anyone, but in someone old it's often fatal. Even if it doesn't kill them, they may never eat again.

The cellmate made a mercy dash over there, while I shopped around for a black suit.

The poor old woman had four operations over four days, and it was a distressing time for everyone, even me. But she surprised everyone including the medicos, by pulling through, and may even be able to eat again eventually. A tough old bird.

Meanwhile the dog has rallied too, and is eating. Here's how I got her interested in food again. You take a pound of ox liver and put it in the blender. It's best to do the liquidising outdoors, in case the top flies off and sprays gore around the kitchen. Pour the resulting blood goo into ice trays, and freeze. Then you can pop a cube of thawed offal paste into each dog dinner, and stir it through. The dog will eat anything coated in it. Even her hated heart pills - dipped in liver juice, she wolfs them now.

In fact all my females are thriving. The pension fund has no ailments for once, and the old dear is enjoying her grub so much, she doesn't want to attend her husband's funeral.

To balance things up, my stepfather died last week. He had lung cancer for about four years. An achievement surely, surviving that long. His memory was shot, but he enjoyed all his favorite TV shows right up to the end. Never complained, and only accepted morphine for the last week or so. He was cremated a couple of hours ago. The lawyer would have attended, but possibly nobody else. I wasn't close to him, but he turned the old dear's life around and made her happy for 35 years.

Saturday, February 19

helpful dream

The smoke from bushfires is coming in the bedroom window now. It's a bit much when you can't get to sleep for coughing.

Great dream last night. I was lying on my back in some kind of hospital. I was doped up, but I could still see. The nurse was very sportingly working nearly nude, probably because of the heat. Whenever she came near, her bum would brush against my hand, and I was able to stroke her cheek while feigning unconsciousness. She seemed to like it, or maybe she just thought it would help me. A natural Florence Nightingale.

Amazing how a pert female bottom can be the best thing imaginable. Tragic as well. You'd think one could raise one's consciousness a little above the trouser zone. I gather females nowadays can be equally fixated on a guy's bits, but it's hard to imagine why.

Wednesday, February 9

vibration negotiation

Only a sore hip this morning, after yesterday's wee run, but the vibro massager will fix that. After breakfast I'm taking the dog to the vet for a prognosis. I'm taking a half sickie, then doing yoga in the office in the afternoon. Clients tonight, but I'll send them home early. Life's too short now to knock my pan in. The guy who repaired the bedroom roof a few years ago, dropped dead recently, just a month after inheriting ten houses from a relative.

I gave Cap'n Kev a present, a vibrating condom to use with his Japanese cabin girl. Because of the language barrier, he was unsure how to negotiate its use, but I suggested not telling her, just springing it on her. If she says anything, just say it's your new pacemaker.

I find it's best not to discuss things beforehand. I once wore a Dracula mask in bed with the lights out, then switched on the light half-way through the proceedings. That always adds to the excitement.

- iPod post

Tuesday, February 8

progress report

Hello to all our recently pensioned readers. I've discovered that watching Glastonbury Festival videos while you're on the step machine makes the exercise just whizz by. And makes the music sound better. Three people called Muse make a huge, rich sound, like the Dr Who music if U2 had a go at it.

A lot of these bands can actually play their instruments. It's almost like the 60s and 70s again, though the tunes now are such bleak misery. I suppose to a young audience with no worries and endless chemical ecstasy, gothic doom would sound attractive.

After my Glastonbury gymnastics I went for a run. I did a mile without getting out of puff. It would have been unthinkable a few days ago when the heat wave was still with us. I'm sore now but nothing's damaged. The stretches and warm-ups pay off. And I avoid early morning runs.

The dog trotted gamely behind me today - when I got her eleven years ago the roles were reversed.

While the heat wave was on she was in a bad way, and I would keep hosing her down. To persuade her to eat, I've been cooking all sorts of casseroles using chicken or pork. She also enjoys cheese, and pate. These days the dog's meals are more decadent than mine.

Saturday, February 5

white rabbit again

I'm getting a bit concerned about Albert's drinking. Here's what he says in his email:

This week I had to go back to the same pub with Cap'n Kev. If we take Erdinger as a reference point, with a score of 5 out of 5, here's what I drank:

• White Rabbit again, still easily the best brew in the place. Like an Erdinger watered down with fruit juice. Great in the hot weather. 4 out of 5.

• LIttle Creatures Pale Ale. Lovely smell. Gentle. Would be my recommendation if they ever run out of White Rabbit. 3.5 out of 5.

• James Squire Amber Ale. Like an English Real Ale, except chilled and with a froth. Nice, but it's not White Rabbit. 3.5 out of 5.

• Charlotte's Hefeweizen. In a bottle. Expensive. The label is pure adspeak, ambiguously phrased to suggest it's pure wheat but I don't think it is. Disappointing. 4.7%. 3 out of 5.

• Blue Tongue Pilsener. In a bottle. 4.5%. Clean hoppy German style. 2 out of 5.

The lesson I learned was that when you find your favourite, you should just stick with it. Treating life as one big sampling opportunity is just a distraction. It's the same with women: if you're fortunate enough to find a White Rabbit, stick with it. If it's not an Erdinger, so what!

Of course the analogy breaks down here - to get a real fraught Erdinger you'd have to go to Bavaria, and who could live with a Bavarian woman?