30 August 2015

. . .  (migrants) are “exceptional people”. Over centuries, . . . , it has been immigrants and refugees who have been part of the alchemy of any country’s success: they are driven, hungry and talented and add to the pool of entrepreneurs, innovators and risk-takers. The hundreds of thousands today who have trekked across continents and dangerous seas are by any standards unusually driven. They are also,  . . . , fellow human beings. To receive them well is not only in our interests, it is fundamental to an idea of what it means to be human.

reading in the Observer today

20 August 2015

My sister is coming for a short visit in 48 hrs and I just finished cleaning the cooker. I made a list of what I need to do next: bathroom, guest beds, patio, lots of deadheading of flowers in the garden, washing the kitchen floor and getting rid of as many spider nets as possible. There will not be enough time to weed the flower beds, clean the fridge or the windows. Then there's shopping, she has celiac disease, at least I know what not to get. The last time she came, she called out as she walked into the house, aah that peculiar smell, like mould in Ireland.
As if she knows anything about that.

18 August 2015

Music for a massive gum inflamation, I wonder what keeps my teeth in place. There is nothing nice about the taste of your own blood. I have tried. Believe me.

14 August 2015

resignation vs acceptance
maybe I am not wise enough or not clever enough or maybe it's still too early but really, what's the difference anyway
someone who has just been diagnosed with my disease (it's getting easier to write that, at least) contacted me and after I had offered her my personal spiel on it she couldn't find enough words to praise me and how I cope so fantastically and how positive I am and so on I almost shouted at her to shut the fuck up
but instead I put on my generous smiling face and walked away and into the sunset at the end of the rainbow
thinking this is getting out of hand

Summer is over. We are back to work and those brief exchanges of when will you get home over breakfast. But outside of course, it's still summer, heatwave after heatwave, breaking one record after another.

I would like to be at the sea right now, running into the surf.

10 August 2015

. . . the lesson of Lacan is, living by your wants will never make you happy. What it means to be fully human is to strive to live by ideas and ideals and not to measure your life by what you've attained in terms of your desires but those small moments of integrity, compassion, rationality, even self-sacrifice. Because in the end, the only way that we can measure the significance of our own lives is by valuing the lives of others.

08 August 2015

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
That humour is the best answer in times of deep sadness.

Johnny Rotten/Lydon in today's Guardian. 

07 August 2015

Last week, my father explained to us his strategy for remaining healthy. When you don't think about it, he told us, the symptoms just go away. My brother sighed and later on, long after my father had driven away in his big silver car, we agreed that while he is doing quite well - considering his rapid weight loss and the blue-black bruises on his hands and shins - he must be scared shitless. Don't mention the d-word, my sister added. Not allowed.

Meanwhile, it seems that sitting seven hours in a comfortable air-conditioned car, looking at other cars, trees, hills, rivers, wind turbines and distant church steeples, while R drove skillfully and generally not too fast - it seems that this was the most exhausting thing.  So much so that I am reduced to lounging on horizontal surfaces, trying not to fall asleep. My latest lab report has arrived and I am completely healthy apart from one or two things. Nevertheless. Oh that word. Nevertheless, I have received orders for more tests and whatnot's. One of which took place early this morning and because I was only half awake, this carefree version of myself hopped on my bicycle for the half hour journey along the gorgeous river. By the time I got home, well let's say, I was not my usual youthful self. Oh dear. I had completely forgotten about that business with my lungs. Still, I am confident, sort of, that there is a plan B yet to be discovered because, no way will I give up cycling. No. Way. 

It helps, massively, to remember that less than two days ago, we swam in this glacial lake, morning, noon and evening.

03 August 2015

One of my grand nieces had golden sandals. When I told here that these were the best and most beautiful shoes in the world she decided there and then that we must climb trees together. We had a fabulous evening.  

The Alps always sneak up like the biggest surprise of all. Suddenly we are surrounded by towers of rocks and fog. And then the lake.