Saturday, 19 December 2009

ramsay street happenings

Ramsay Street has been full of excitement of late. It's all worthy soap-opera material.

Firstly there's the neighbour who beats her maid in the street. The other day the two of them were walking from the mosque store; maid in front and woman in local dress behind. The maid walks and cowers while the other woman walks and beats. It's a distressing sight.

Then there was the episode involving the teenager girl who lives with the woman (daughter? sister?). Woman is out. Car is parked on the street. Boy is at the wheel. Teenage girl gets out just as the woman arrives home by taxi. And it's on. Woman wails and screams as she beats the car and throws herself on the bonnet beating the window. Car speeds off. Woman falls to the ground screaming, gets up and begins beating the girl. They come inside the apartments, beating subsides for a few moments. Girl walks up stairs carrying her broken glasses and nursing her already bruised head. Apartment door closes and beating resumes.

The other excitement on Ramsay street is flooding after the recent rains when the street turned into a river as raging torrents of water swept past the buildings. People couldn't get to work because the water was too deep to drive through. White water rafting was an option. Hours later a Pakistani man was seen wading waist deep through the water manually attempting to unblock a drain. He was ultimately successful and within hours of his effort the water had mostly drained away. However, we were left with 6-inch deep mud and sludge. Next day the same man was out there with a shovel, shovelling away a lot of the mud. It took days to dry and now the street still looks like a dirt road. Huge dust storms are whipped up as 4-wheel drives from beyond tear up the street, honk their horns at the grocery, gather their goods and speed off again.

Dinner on the balcony now includes a healthy serving of dust!

Friday, 18 December 2009

star trek

We've been watching the original Star Trek series recently. It's a an interesting study in history. The story line is incredibly slow moving and all punches are telegraphed - no surprises. It is soooo slow, the sets are quite silly sometimes and the story lines are plain juvenile for the most part. It's hard to imagine that it was ever taken seriously in the first place - though I do remember being glued to the set each Thursday night as a kid waiting patiently for the next thrilling installment of the voyages of the Star Ship Enterprise.

The actors are interesting. From his first appearance Captain Kirk has that trademark twinkle in his eye and it's been interesting watching as the writer has been playing with the characters who will soon emerge as the key players. The gulf between Spock and McCoy is beginning to become apparent by about Episode 3. Uhura and Zulu are still fairly background. Spock is becoming more like the Mr Spock that we know and love today. Scotty seems to spend most of his time in the transporter room at the moment whereas later he'll be elsewhere. It all makes interesting watching - if a little tedious.

There's just the one fairly flat, juvenile storyline per episode. It's funny to compare it to something like Seinfeld (which came 30 years later) where there are three separate story lines interplaying every episode. The writing is world's apart.

The one thing that I keep looking for, but can't see at all is how Captain Kirk 40 years later becomes the Denny Crane of Boston Legal. The glint in his eye and his confidence carry through, but it still seems such a gulf. I watch him eagerly for signs of his later alter ego.

lousy doctor

Well, I'd make a lousy doctor. My diagnosis was all wrong. Coke was stopping my sleep. That bit was right and the problem has largely, but not entirely been conquered. Schmenopause had nothing to do with anything. I figured that out when my temp was 40 degrees ... it began to sound an awful lot like a fever. So I'd been dragging mysefl to work for days with a fever and exhaustion - what a hero.

Spent endless hours on two different days to find out a range of things that weren't the problem, but never did get an inkling of what was the problem. The doctors at the local hospital here make lousy doctors too!!!!! Only remaining symptom - headaches.

Friday, 11 December 2009

of coke, lack of exercise and womenopause

The problem
Several factors have conspired of late to bring me to a situation where I had a thumping headache and broken sleep for 3 days followed by a mild headache and sleep deprivation (2 hrs a night) for 3 or 4 days. Once awake there was no way that I could get back to the land of nod. My joints ached/ache too. To compound things I've just been doing some experiential learning about night sweats. Come evening water just oozes from every pore in my body and I need someone walking behind me with a mop to ensure that the floor surfaces are safe for others to walk on. If you invite me to your place in the evening, throw canvas sheeting on the furniture or park me on the verandah! I've never sweated in my life. Even intense exercise barely raises a drop. So it's completely new to me. The big splash is followed by shaking and feeling intensely cold. Switching between the two goes on from late evening until the morning and is accompanied by an elevated temperature. All of this has enveloped me just in the last week.

How did this all happen?
Well I have to confess that some of this at least is self-inflicted. I was a reformed coke addict for a couple of years (the fizzy kind). Two years ago, after drinking two and a half litres a day and not sleeping, I went through a week of withdrawal headaches and gave the stuff up. Then a few months ago I had a coke and I was postively buzzing - a personality transformation. That was pretty good. So over the months it's built up again to a couple of cans - though the buzz has gone by the wayside! Again I'm not sleeping and again it has increased my anxiety. At the same time for the last couple of weeks I haven't been doing daily stretches which I know that I need to do for my back and I haven't been going to the gym or pool. And of course the third factor is my gender and age.

What to do?
1. give up coke (done as of yesterday! and currently suffering the consequent headache)
2. start stretching again (done as of a few days ago!)
(Result: slept from 12 - 8 last night. Woke up a few times, but got back to sleep again ... sleep ... it feels so good!)
3. dive into the pool again (that's hard to do when feeling achy breaky and headachy, but ... maybe tomorrow).

Caffeine and stress are triggers for symptoms of womenopause - so hopefully I'll be back sleeping regularly soon and ideally the big splash will pack up and leave too!