Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Apocalypse Then

[This was all written before I got pleurisy]

The plan, albeit tenuous, was for this year's blog theme to be... less trivial, more poignant, relevant and focused on the things that are appreciated. I kinda knew I was in trouble Saturday morning when I sat down to write my usual weekend blog and found I didn't have anything to talk about. My 'blog notes' had a scribble that was uninspiring and hardly the thing you want to launch a new year of blogging excellence with and I've had a couple of ideas floating around the back of the cranium, but I keep letting them slip whenever I need them. To add insult to injury, I tidied up my office and threw away a piece of paper that had notes scribbled on about something or another... Quel malheur as they say, quel malheur.

I have been reasonably busy in a blogging kind of way though, with the creation of http://atozofmushrooms.blogspot.co.uk/ I have two working, one occasional and one dormant blog. I view the A to Z of Mushrooms as something I've been itching to do for years. Back when I had that very first blog which eventually became a kind of on-line Movers & Shakers (the gossip column I wrote for Comics International for 11 years), one week, in September 2002, I opted to write something I called The Mushroom Report, which prompted one wag to suggest that my writings about mushrooms and my hunt for them was far more interesting than anything I wrote about comics. One reviewer said I had a real passion for mushrooms, the kind of passion he remembered me having for comics, once. A year later I did the same and sporadically I have continued with the annual update whenever I could be arsed. I always felt I could write a lot about them, but, you know, they're largely seasonal; unless I talk about varieties which can be bought in a shop (which I will touch on, but only the wild versions). There hasn't been one for a few years; this autumn just gone was remarkable. Our notoriously dry autumns of recent years usually caused their own problems, but thanks largely to dew and it being the autumn you could pretty much guarantee something growing somewhere. 2012's torrential and prolonged rainy season meant that the poor bastards were probably drowning in saturated earth.

[This was all written after I got pleurisy]

As I said in Ill, you can see that despite it being over two weeks into the New Year, I am relatively bereft of stuff to talk about, unless I want to talk about my health; that black cloud that has been getting closer and closer to destroying my life. Yeah, I really think that. I might think that you all think I'm some kind of freaky hypochondriac (I'm pretty sure my brother does), but I've had about four years of some kind of health issue - shoulder, back, chest and any inconsequential bug going round - and it's beginning to grind me right down. I know I sometimes seem to take almost a gleeful pride in my bad health, but I'm really beginning to miss being well...

It's Tuesday. The pleurisy has subsided a lot; I'm still coughing up blood, but that is probably due to the fact I got this bout less than a fortnight after having a chest infection, so there was probably still a lot of junk to expel and as everything was inflamed, I was sure to pop some kind of capillary and then not allow it enough time to heal. I feel washed out and miserable and I have had a headache since Friday that doesn't seem to want to go away, just sit in the background and burst out when I'm least expecting it - like a shocking moment in an Aliens film. The odds are that I'm more likely to be going back to the doctor's tomorrow rather than returning to work - who it has to be said have been unbelievably supportive and have given me no reason at all to feel as paranoid and depressed about my situation as I do.

The depressing thing is the way I'm witnessing my mates all suffer in the New Year - job suspensions, losses, pay cuts, fear of unemployment, more ill health, deaths in families - 2013 hasn't started at all like I hoped (or most others either, I'll bet) and to top it all off we have a prime minister intent on pissing off everyone, helping to screw the country up to a point of no return and seems to have proved, once and for all that the worst people to run the country are politicians. The weather is shit too.

Do you know, I almost seriously asked the doctor on Friday if she could put me down!

Still, mustn't grumble, eh?

Effercio et Ineptias

  • I am eagerly awaiting the new Ulrich Schnauss album, due out at the end of the month.
  • I am also eagerly awaiting the end of the month because of a number of good things: a family wedding! Not a funeral, but a joyous occasion, the kind of thing that doesn't happen enough in my dwindling family. Also me and t'wife will be celebrating 30 years together on the 29th. Sadly, as I've mentioned countless times in the past, the 29th is also the 15th anniversary of my mum's death, so you can't have it all your own way, eh?
  • I am up to L in the great AtoZ clear out. The wife and Team Squonk are off to the quiz tonight (without me) and she'll be taking over 50 CDs to our mate Colin to sift through and see if there's anything he doesn't want to throw away. I might not have to buy any jewel cases for a while.
  • Fringe finishes next week, I might shed a tear.
  • I am now as up to date with everyone else with The Song of Ice and Fire, so I can get as bitter, twisted and impatient as all the others.
  • I've been making a lot of soups.
  • I sat and watched Mission to Mars for the first time the other day, it's Prometheus without the pretentious bollocks and the embryonic Aliens. It's also made by Disney.
  • I don't know if it has anything to do with my recent health bollocks, but I am drinking SO much water at the moment you'd think it was going out of fashion.
  • There were other things, I've forgotten them. They'll be sure to pop back up.

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