Vote in the new poll, and see where you rate.
Sunday, 30 September 2007
Saturday, 29 September 2007
This is what you get when you submerse your camera (suspended on a very small float that really should be called a sink...) press record and try to swim in front of the lens...
The two almost evident people in the video are The Frenchman and myself.
I really should just call it something more like "study # 3", install it in a gallery of modern art projected onto a 30m wide screen, and hold lectures discussing it... but perhaps I'm being just a little bit cynical.
It's a long weekend here - and I want to be a little creative. Of course - it's when I am feeling most creative that I'm committed to other things, and when I have the time , I have not the inspiration.
Today was a hellish day at work - I'm not one to ever lose my cool - but I found myself telling a patient's relative off today. I'm tired of people who just don't listen - but are very ready to complain that they're not getting what they want (which, if they listened, they'd realise they were actually going to be getting exactly that) - I felt like changing my mind after their complaining. Last night I also had a nurse calling me for advice about a patient - and when I didn't answer my mobile, phoned back 3 minutes later to complain (to my voicemail again as I still didn't answer her) that I hadn't called back and that as I was on call I had to be tied to the other end of the phone waiting for her to call. Of course, I was in the shower at the time, and called her 5 minutes after her initial call. This time she didnt answer, so I called again and again for 10 minutes eventually getting her , explaining I was in the shower and not getting any kind of apology from her (she expected one from me and yes I was too kind and gave one as soon as I returned the call.)
Why are people so impatient and so unkind?
Friday, 28 September 2007
The past few days have been good for the soul. I've spent time with a few friends with whom I have a strong connection, but for various reasons haven't been in touch with at any great depth for some time.
Thursday morning one of these friends came and visited. The day was one of those unforecast perfect days - the weather report had said stormy, but not a cloud in the sky it was sunny and delightfully warm. And so we decided to venture to the national park beach. Having not seen him for a some time it was like being on holidays, and walking through a place he'd not been before made it all feel new to me as well.
The beach was pristine, with barely one or two others there, crystal clear blue-green waves rolling in. The water was chilly but we dived in and stayed a while, thrown about occasionally by unexpected waves as we chatted, floating and meandering in the water like contented seals. We got out and lay naked in the sun and then I started shivering uncontrollably. Obviously the water was cooler than I realised, or my insulation thinner, but to sit in the warmth of the sun and be shivering all at once was strangely exhilarating. And to have the space to ourselves was priceless. I smiled and laughed a lot as we caught up on things we had missed.
We could have stayed there all day.
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
It's time for me to stop asking questions or suggesting plans, and time for you to start suggesting wild wednesday themes.
Maybe you've had a favourite wild wednesday experience - or perhaps you have an idea for one that would be the ultimate challenge. Make it known. It can be a theme for today or next week... it's up to you. If you've never commented on a blog - here's your chance to do it.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
As we go from childhood to adolescence we can go through phases, but the basic tenets of our personalities typically remain the same. You can do personality typing to find which category you fit - but classically these things remain true and unchanging throughout our lives.
Does that mean we should just resign ourselves to being who we are - without any attempt to improve ourselves? Or should we try to defy the statistics and make ourself into someone else? If we do change are we then just becoming a false version of who we really are , or is it a true improvement / modification? I certainly see a lot of people who partner up with someone with the expectation of changing them and moulding them into a form that they think is ideal - and it usually creates disappointment all round.
The saying goes that the only constant thing in life is change, so what happens to our personalities? Are they stuck in a pre-ordained path? I've been told I'm change intolerant but I think that's crap - perhaps by thinking that I'm not - in fact I am? Maybe I should change my personality based on popular opinion? But popular opinion is just as likely to change. Certainly I think we can improve ourselves in all kinds of ways. We can exercise regularly to be physically fit. We can look at ourselves and critically analyse the way we do things and question the reasons behind the things we do to gain an insight into our decision making, and nut out ways to make our existence a better one.
But is ignorance true bliss?
And is change for change sake reasonable? If it ain't broke don't fix it?
I work with people trying to modify their lifestyles all the time. Sometimes a major life overhaul is needed, and in order to do that people need to break their routines. It can be very comfortable being in a routine - and change can be serious hard work, at least to start with. People need to be convinced that they really need to change, and even then actually making it happen certainly isn't guaranteed.
I guess it holds the same for our personalities - but is it really possible to become someone different?
Monday, 24 September 2007
Destination Calabria: Alex Guadino - 3min 4sec
Sunday, 23 September 2007
Saturday, 22 September 2007
Kind suggestions from people are always welcomed in the sense of “I enjoyed this – you might like it too…” – but I’ve noticed a lot of people INSIST you take their advice – there really is no alternative, like you’ll die if you don’t do it.
We took my parents to my local restaurant and family friends who were finishing their meal there told us “you must order the …(food that they had ordered and was sitting unfinished on their table) it’s really good – it’s called..” (and they spelled it out in detail). It was a command…
I’m thinking… Um, I’ve eaten here more than once, no I don’t really feel for that today and, if it’s so fantastic – why have you left half of it?
A retired gent who swims at the Uni pool on Friday mornings, ALWAYS tells me how he shaves while in the shower, with a "proper" razor, not an electric one (which I’m using at the time) and that I should do that too, he also seems astounded each Friday that I’ve “only” swum 1km or so (it’s my morning wake up swim in between work and work – not a serious training session) and seems surprised every week by this fact. Do I suggest to him he has early dementia, or just repeat my same responses every week? (and should I tell him we have a water crisis in this country?)
I have an uncle who will always tell me the best way to get to a destination – I may have driven there a hundred times, but he’ll assure me that HIS way is better, faster, less police, less traffic, awesome weather, more scenic… oh and he's also the guy who if I just bought something – he bought almost exactly the same thing at a garage sale last week so much cheaper… What was I thinking?
Gay men will always have an opinion on cutting, trimming, shaving, waxing or lasering hair… (quite possibly different for each location) and it’s rarely “I prefer it this way” it’s almost always “you have to be XXXXXed” , like the world will fall apart if you’re not the way they prefer. Bugger off I say.
Perhaps I’m just not good at taking advice.
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
Monday, 17 September 2007
Friday, 14 September 2007
While in the waiting room, be sure to talk loudly, cough over fellow patients, and ensure your children jump up and down over the seating and other patients while you wait.
When greeted with "How are you today?" respond with: "I wouldn't be here if I was well.", or alternatively: "That's a stupid question!"
Ensure you say exactly what you think your condition is - especially if you don't really know - and tell the doctor how they should be treating you (for example "I have the flu, I need antibiotics") - debate the medications they are prescribing particularly if you have no idea what pharmacology means, or if you heard something on current affairs TV about a new drug that you think you should have.
Return with a problem that you had before - but for which you didn't take the doctor's advice - and complain that it didn't get better.
If you're coming for a planned medical examination - make sure you haven't washed for a few days, or have just done a really heavy duty exercise session with a smelly old pair of shoes.
If you've come from work on the farm/workshop, be sure to wear your boots complete with track marks detailing your every muddy, or better still greasy step over the carpet. Laugh when you see them.
If you have a cough and fever - cough directly over your doctor unapologetically - it's sure to work wonders. Similarly if your kids are coughing in the direction of the doctor - don't discourage it - and certainly don't give them a tissue and ask them to cover their mouths when they cough.
When your kids start to run about the surgery pulling apart medical equipment, books, papers and trying to turn off IT equipment, laugh and encourage them. If your kid is looking for something to play with - give them the doctor's pen, and if you return it ensure it is mucus coated.
After you've been through a list of a dozen or so complaints that you have, report at the end of the consultation , "Oh and by the way, I've got this chest pain now, it started when I was walking up the hill...".
Arrive late when the surgery is about to close, report "It's only a simple problem - I'll only be a minute" or alternatively "it's really urgent" and proceed to detail your life history of medical and family problems, none of which is urgent, and ask for a medication prescription you need that you've been aware of for the past 3 weeks, but that requires an in-depth medical review to continue.
On a similar note, if you've been sick all day and know you need to see your doctor, wait until just before closing time to turn up for review.
In the middle of your consultation send text messages from your mobile phone.
When your mobile phone rings (loudly please) be sure to ignore the posted signs and answer the call in the middle of your consultation, then continue a prolonged, inane conversation with your loved one while your doctor waits.
Your doctor is sure to value you as a prized patient who will get very special treatment every time you turn up.
I've experienced all of the above. It's truly a joy.
Wednesday, 12 September 2007
Ok it’s probably happened before – but I’m usually so oblivious to it that other people have to tell me what I missed.
I was in my own little bubble heading for the water cooler between sets, when this decidedly cute, blonde and brand new staff member at my gym stands in my way. I initially think that maybe I’ve been doing something wrong with my training that she might want to correct, but she doesn’t. She asks me about my day, about how things are. I tell her I’m comfortably exhausted, having also just done a swim squad session, and am now working through my weights. She tells me she loves that feeling of comfortable fatigue after exercising, but that she can’t swim more than 12 laps. She’s more a runner. I tell her I have started to run recently, but I’m more a swimmer. She asks if I compete, and I tell her I do ocean swim races in summer, that they’re a good focal point for training. She asks me about what swim squads they have for adults at the pool and if they have stroke correction. While I tell her, I’m thinking – *um shouldn’t she be able to tell me this?* And she then says – ‘I should be the one who knows all this’. We move on to the prospect of doing triathlons and the complexities of same… Somewhere in this she has asked my name, and given hers, when I confirm again at the end of the conversation she recalls that if you repeat a new name 3 times you’ll remember it – and goes on to repeat mine and use it repetitively in the parting few sentences where she finds out I come to the gym regularly on days she works…
I make it to the cooler and back to my weights, and wonder where that all came from. But I like the interaction, more than I get with most people at the gym these days. I’m left wondering if she was being a really friendly and helpful staff member – or was it possibly more?
I'm keen to find the bits that people like of themselves - we all know the bits of others we like - but you can find that anywhere.
If you're happy with your entirety - then send a photo of all of you! There are no limits. Use a camera phone, edit an existing image, jump on the photocopier at work - I don't care - just SEND ME THE IMAGE!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org anonymity guaranteed unless you want your name up in lights.
And I can do lights!
Monday, 10 September 2007
Basking in the glow of an evening of warmth.
Sunday, 9 September 2007
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Friday, 7 September 2007
Thursday, 6 September 2007
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
I’m in the shower, finally having succumbed to the alarms (or more likely woken up because they’ve turned themselves off) and while I’m lathering up I’m visualising Me, dressed in something appropriate for the weather happening outside today, and in rapid succession I’m seeing Me running at lunch time – cut to a close up of my new asics running shoes pounding the pavement of the Sea Cliff Bridge – a glance at the Molten Brown shower gel (that I look at more than use) and I’m re-living the conversation a recent guest initiated, centred on the decadence of same, I can hear his voice, see his face... smell the shower gel, which I’m still not using.
My day has started. It’s filled with pop up windows in my head – they’re usually high quality video and the download speed is lightning fast.
I’m at work, and in the middle of writing notes on my computer screen, patient sitting besides me answering my questions, I pause, it looks like I’m contemplating my thoughts for the next question or my next written sentence, but a big pop up window has opened, it contains the plans for the evening ahead visualised in detail, maybe even images of the food, it comes to a natural end and closes, and I’m wondering if my last question was what I think it was. It usually is and it seems I'm the only one who has noted this slight absence.
I’m in the process of commencing a pap test (sigh), and bloody hell, a thousand pop up windows have all turned up at once – they’re viral windows and each contains a photographic image of a prior pap test or similar examination from the past. I’m in a horror movie and I’m starting to sweat. I right click in my head – CLOSE ALL WINDOWS - and continue working. If I’m lucky, half way through a conversational reference (you have to talk your way through these things – it makes everyone feel more comfortable) a window will pop up with a widescreen holiday scene – it might be alpine, or beach, but it’s welcomed and the rest of the procedure goes by in a flash.
From time to time a patient will arrive and automatically all other windows are closed and Abercrombie and Fitch LIVE commences in 3D, no visualization required… But then I have to watch out for an x-tube window popping up at the wrong moment… in which case I then need to summon a visualisation that I have saved on hard disc for just such an event. But it doesn’t come automatically like all the others and I'm glad people can't read my mind right at this moment.
Every day is a movie – or in my case – a couple of hundred of shorts. But there's no guide, no scheduled programming, it's all random, apart from one or two selected intermissions from time to time...
Today it's time to get wet with someone. At the beach, in the pool, in the shower at home or maybe at your gym?, in bed, at work, at the water cooler, at the bar. The location is yours to choose. For top marks do it clothed (even if the clothes do come off at some point, that's bonus marks). A water balloon, yeah that works.
On Wild Wednesdays, anything goes.
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
It was a tight finish in leg 18 of Superchilled Race Around the World, and Jessica beat everyone to identify Bahnhofstrasse in Zürich as the location for the photo. Yarravillepaul won the popular vote, intoxicated and in the gutter of that same street, he just didn't know where he was.
Monday, 3 September 2007
Saturday, 1 September 2007
(be patient with this flash animation - it may be slow to load)
September 1st is our anniversary - the day when we declared that we had fallen for each other back in 1995. It was also the day we came out to each other. A big day.
We were of course on the telephone at the time, something like 2 or 3am after a 4 hour plus phone call. I was working in the country - The Frenchman studying back in my home town, and it was to be a week or so before we'd actually be together to say it live, face to face. Needless to say it was a long week! It was the first time I'd had that sensation of my heart being ignited that I knew I was waiting for. It just felt right. And now 12 years later it still feels right. There have been times when that's been questioned of course, but they have obviously been transient.
I'm not sure where I'd be if it weren't for my mum bringing him home, all those years back, for dinner... (thanks mum) . It's been a fast and fun 12 years. So much seen and done, and continuing to happen. Our relationship has morphed through time but keeps strengthening. I did a 'facebook' likeness quiz someone had sent me this week - and it turned out Sylvain had entered details for it too - we got a 98% score - 'twins' which is a little spooky as I don't think were THAT similar, but I guess there are certain essentials that are there that work, as they have for 12 years. Perhaps we've grown more alike as couples tend to. Regardless of the analysis it has been a great 12 years. I'm looking forward to the next 12, though I really have no idea what they will bring.
Happy Anniversary Babe!!