Friday, 16 June 2017


I am, at heart, an optimist.

But there are times when having a positive outlook, and maintaining it, is a challenge.

With Brexit, Trump's appointment, the recent election, terror attacks and now the terrible fire in the Grenfell tower block, I'm struggling.

The fire has just made me so sad.  I keep saying I can't imagine what the victims, their families, the firefighters went through, and it's true, I can't.  But it hasn't stopped me trying, and that's what's making me sad.

I look at the responses of some of our politicians and it's all so cold.  I wonder if they are so far removed that they can't even try to imagine what it must have been like, or whether there's an emotional barrier they're maintaining to prevent the thoughts from entering their consciousness.

The raw anger and hurt makes complete sense and the contrasting, composed demeanour feels alien.

This should hurt and it should make us sit up and listen.  Sometimes, being sad is an appropriate response.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Fried head

So, today was the day I went for my very first MRI scan.

I wasn't worried.  I'd watched enough medical dramas to know that I'd be OK providing  didn't have metal embedded in my brain or eye.

It always seems like such a peaceful experience in TV shows like House; all is peace and quiet until the patient is discovered to have ingested metal and then all hell breaks loose.

I took the completely unnecessary precaution of removing my necklace and wedding ring; they were imaging my head so anything below the chin was irrelevant as far as the magnets were concerned.

I was told the machine would be noisy which didn't make sense because it's always silent on the telly.  They provided me with headphones to protect my ears (the reason for the scan) and asked me if there was a radio station I'd like to listen to.  It was just after Archers time in the afternoon so I asked for Radio 4.  I thought I might concentrate a bit more and keep still if I listened to the spoken word rather than music.

Well the machine was flipping loud but I managed to catch most of the Radio 4 Drama.  I should have chosen a music station because I found myself listening to a drama called "What will survive?" described thus:

"Kate and Ash are grieving the loss of their mothers. Ash lost his mum six months ago and is struggling to come to terms with her death. When Kate's mum Ruth is rushed to hospital and abruptly snatched away from them the family are thrown into the turmoil of grief all over again..."

The show included a scene in which Ruth is in the Intensive Care Unit attached to some life support machine that beeped a lot. Ruth dies when the beeping flatlines.

I listened to this, in a hospital whilst lying inside a noisy machine.  I survived.

They didn't tell me whether they found anything so I have the joy of going back to the crazy torture ENT guy in about 10 days.

The point of all of this is to recommend that for an MRI scan I recommend listening to joyful, happy music, not the death throws of an elderly lady in a radio drama.