29 November 2011

I was in the kitchen, making chocolate pudding when it started,  my mother used to tell me. And it was really easy, hardly any labour. You were born just minutes after we got to the hospital. What a pleasant surprise, but still - the disappointment that you were only a girl. Ah well.

She really wanted this second baby, my father tells me today, she looked after herself, plenty of rest, she was very happy during the pregnancy. You know how she had this thing about sons, but apart from that, you were very much a planned , a wanted child. And she tried to enjoy having another daughter, she sang to you, give her some credit.

25 November 2011

It's back in my eyes, ok, just an itsy bitsy inflammation on the edge of the cornea of the right eye like I had before, and the liver values are climbing. Grrrrr, patience! I am staying home today, wrapped up with my cat and a stack of newspapers, eye drops and tea. And for the liver, silymarin, the Blessed Milk Thistle.

Another cold, very dry and stormy day and our big and mighty river is about to disappear. No more ships, no more ferries, just pebbles and birds picking through the debris. No rain forecast. We'll just dry up and shrivel down to brittle stacks of bones crackling in the freezing wind. Oh misery. Oh self pity. What would I do without you.

24 November 2011

Officially the driest November on record and the month isn't even over yet. Forest fires are spreading and not a single snow flake anywhere. Sun and more sun every day, cold and dry.
The river looks pityful, scavengers are crawling around the exposed riverbed and yesterday someone found live WWII grenades, together with other discarded rubbish, the odd bank vault - empty. I remember during the last serious drought in 2003 when a car appeared complete with dead driver - he had been shot before the car was pushed in.

23 November 2011

I am nodding my head just like the eager monk behind him.

20 November 2011

The river this morning is a shy little stream after 12 weeks of no rain. As I cycled slowly with R jogging beside me and the dog walkers and the tai chi groups under the trees and the geese and deer and a magnificent heron cleaning its feathers way down on the pebbled beach I tried to imagine the future scenario which has just been predicted again by another major conference (as usual without much media coverage) on the earth's dwindling natural resources (esp. water) and I hope I'll be dead by the time the glaciers feeding this river have disappeared.

18 November 2011


Sometimes the MTX nights are really odd. Last night I was tossing and turning in and out of sleep for the most part and this dream kept on resurfacing where I was giving a speech in front of a huge audience dressed like the guests in the Rocky Horror Picture show, all outrageously fake diamonds and tight dinner suits, while I was standing there in my washed out jeans and R's scratched old Blundstones holding up a gold coated Superman figurine, shouting at the top of my voice, "From the people who gave you Bad Bank and Greed, from the producers of Outsourcing and Landgrabbing, here is their new blockbuster: Vulture Funds!" And the crowd went ballistic. And I woke up in a sweat.
Think I better try and watch more silly romcoms for a while.

16 November 2011

ca. 2 years

Doesn't feel that long, really. Obviously also due to skype and fb and cell phones. I even walk the way from her house along the sea and into Wellington on google earth from time to time. My Heidi Klum colleagues are all oh my god, you poor you oh no how saaad  and I wonder, should I feel miserable? But no I don't, most of the time. There are occasional moments of intense physical longing, so heavy I want to hit something. But not unlike the menopause flashes these are quickly forgotten. Most of the time, I think I can catch the reflections from her shiny sparkling life no matter how far away she is. Maybe even better. Also, I don't see the grubby bits and I can smile when she tells me, you would't believe how organised I am now, Mum, no, seriously.

15 November 2011

So maybe I am just too watchful, too geared towards disaster happening again. So maybe this is not the volcano rumbling louder and louder below the surface. So maybe I am just stressing the finer details too much. I need distraction. I need to concentrate. I know I need to act really fast if it is an eruption but all I want is to let it happen and anyway, shit happens.  Who cares.
Last night for a short while I think my good ear went out or maybe my bad ear got better or maybe the evening at home noises to my right stopped for a moment, like a short power cut. Off. On.
This morning my tinnitus orchestra has reshuffled and some noises have gone, others have joined and all have changed seats it seems. My head feels heavy, too slow when I turn it and the world moves at delayed speed. And I feel wobbly. Creepy. Sleepy. Flu-ish.
First frost last night. The nasturtiums and the last cosmos are still flowering bravely. I picked a good handful. Another night like this and they will be gone for good.
R tried out the paraffin heater in the greenhouse and it stinks but the lemon tree is alive and happy, it seems. I think it'll die from the fumes. R laughs at me, plants don't have noses, silly.
It is so very bright outside, if this were summer, we'd call it a drought, no rain for over a month and none in sight.

14 November 2011

alright alright

Many people think that patience is a sign of weakness. I think this is a mistake. It is anger that is a sign of weakness, whereas patience is a sign of strength.
Dalai Lama

13 November 2011

angry today

Bad night stuck behind a table with not so good food and a conversation dominated by a loudmouth too full of himself who dished up predictable xenophobic and misogynist prejudices. Why do I end up in these corners? Should have left much earlier.
Then there are the Sunday papers spilling over with hysteria about moneymoneymoney and old and not so old men (and that woman in the eternal three-button blazers) playing their power poker and another beautiful song gets screwed so that we spend more moneymoneymoney.
So what else is new?
Tell us again, Jarvis.

11 November 2011

What is your favourite word?
And. It is so hopeful.

Margaret Atwood in the Guardian

09 November 2011


The lab report arrived today and some things have gone up (the yuk things) and others have gone down (bye bye), a weird picture of health-illhealth and as Dr B said, all we know is that there is activity, too much to reduce the meds.
Yesterday I was too active, the day was too full and too long and too many things happened. I was knackered - I love that word, it reminds me of Knackwürste bursting in a pot of potatoe soup. 
It is pitch black dark now when I cycle home and until yesterday I found it utterly thrilling and exciting to cycle through the night forest. There are odd joggers and other cyclists but not many at this time. So yesterday suddenly this man appeared out of the dark, walking straight towards me, not attempting to walk by me or let me pass on my bicycle. I had this vision of him raising his arm and hitting me and I knew that there would not be enough time to press any buttons on my mobile phone (which sits inside a zipped pocket anyway) and so I hissed loudly the way I hiss at the marauding tom cats that come into the garden at times and I pushed past him and he laughed and my heart was beating so heavily I thought it would crack. I raced on and left him behind me. I keep thinking that maybe I imagined it all, that maybe I just blinded him with my bicycle lamp and he was startled. No, he laughed!? Whatever, it gave me the creeps and at least today I cycled a different route, which is longer and involves traffic lights and lots of cars and busses and I don't like it. I don't want this.
And then to top it all I was almost run down by some idiot who drove through a red light. I roared at him and he grinned and I memorized his registration like a mantra in my head and when I got home I went online and for the very first time in my life I reported someone to the police.
Sleep was a long time coming, too exhausted, too much activity in my mind.

06 November 2011

So if I were you, I'd have a little trust


Late this morning I cycled into BG and walked around for a little while, what a surprisingly mild day. Weird looking Xmas decorations here and there. I sat down at an outside table of the new French bakery with A and we had coffee in those big wide bowls and talked for almost two hours until our hands were cold and time was up. After we said good bye I quickly ran over to the whole food shop to get some tangerines and coconut milk and when I bent down to pull up my bicycle lock vertigo hit me like someone pushing me from behind. It got a bit better once I was upright again and somehow I cycled home in one piece. I sat down on the brown sofa and watched the embroidery on the Rajasthani wall hanging move rapidly to the left while my heart was skipping and my wonky ear started roaring intermittently. Too much coffee, said my prince and I took a deep breath.

I didn't move from the sofa for a couple of hours, eating tangerines and somehow I never freaked out and then I managed to make a lovely dinner - if I may say so - using the gorgeous little parsnips and celeriac that R harvested this morning (onion, parsnip, celeriac, sauteed in olive oil, some stock, crushed garlic, fresh rosemary, simmer for a while, mash a bit, but not too much, add some chopped  black olives and parsley before serving) and now I just finished watching Patti Smith Dream of Life on TV, back on my sofa. And I got all weepy about the fact that I will never ever again be able to go to a live concert which is bullshit because even before I got ill I hadn't been to one for ages and never felt tempted, too pricey, too loud and too late and so on. The last one was that UN gig with Bob Geldof and Hugh Masekela which anyway was for free because I did all that translation work for the  alternative summit and I remember checking my watch and yawning for goodnesssake.

But anyway, went back in my mind to the time when I first heard Patti Smith in Sylvia's kitchen in Heidelberg in the days when I rolled my own fags and had long long hair and we talked about travelling to Saintes-Marie-de-la-Mer next weekend or so, no big deal, only we never did. We were so cool and so broke. And Patti Smith, oh my, oh well!

04 November 2011

03 November 2011

waiting for the lab results

What I advise you to do is, not to be unhappy before the crisis comes; since it may be that the dangers before which you paled as if they were threatening you, will never come upon you; they certainly have not yet come.