Category: This and That (Page 1 of 2)

A Dastardly Complaint. From 2008.

Easter was a bad time for me health-wise. I was already suffering from a tight chest and a virus that wouldn’t surrender; giving me the lung capacity of a punctured bicycle tire. I had nose that could run in the Olympics and a sore throat that made me sound more like Rod Stewart than he ever sounded in his life.

I acquired a limp after I damaged my leg walking into a garden ornament; a terracotta planter in the shape of a grinning cat, whose grin seemed to grow wider the minute my leg made contact. Had it not been a gift from my daughter it would now be smashed to pieces and used as drainage material in the bottom of my bigger pots. It would be no more than it deserved.

I was just thinking that life couldn’t get much worse when I got hiccups. Not the common or garden variety either, when I do things I do things properly. These hiccups racked my aching body for nine days and almost drove me to despair.

I shouldn’t have had them really, they came to me by accident; A side effect of taking tablets to cure the other malady that been plaguing me. Acid reflux.
I had it bad too; I was waking in the night with a blistered tongue and burns on the side of my mouth where the acid had settled while I was asleep. There were burns on my throat, on top of the soreness that was already there from the virus I was suffering from.
I was in a bad way.

I went to see the doctor about the reflux. He gave me some strong tablets to stop the acid from forming in my stomach. I think it worked, I didn’t get any more acid attacks, but as they were repelled they sent in their best mate, hiccups.

What a nightmare. I was hiccupping every five seconds for two days non-stop. I could barely eat, had no sleep at all, my stomach felt like a very old, much kicked, over inflated football.
I tried all the tricks I could think of and many I couldn’t, to rid myself of the affliction. I consulted all the old people I knew, even the mad woman from number 47. (I’m sure she is a witch) I scoured the internet, I drank upside down, I held my breath. I got my wife to drop cold keys, lumps of ice and even a bag of frozen peas down the back of my shirt. I got my son to shout BOO at the top of his voice whilst leaping out like a mad, knife wielding burglar, from behind a door. I stood on my head and nearly drowned drinking pint after pint of liquid.
Then I went back to the doctor.

My own doctor wasn’t available, so I saw the locum. She took a look down my throat, had a prod at my stomach, listened to my wheezing chest and told me to stop smoking. (I haven’t had a cigarette in 10 years) She then gave me a lecture about my diet, suggested I made an appointment for a prostate check (aaaaaaaaargh) and told me to buy some peppermint oil.
I got the strongest I could find and believe me, finding it wasn’t easy. I hiccupped my way through five requests at five different chemists before I finally got my greedy hands on the fabled curer of all ills.

I also had a brainwave and purchased four packs of extra strong mints at the same time. If peppermint oil was the cure for this affliction, then super strong peppermints must surely hasten the end of my embarrassing problem.
Unfortunately, all that my flawed strategy succeeded in achieving was to morph my ordinary but annoying, hic, hic, hic, into hic, burp, hic, burp. This lasted for another two days. Stupidly I thought (hoped) the burping would be emptying my stomach of the gas that was (obviously) causing the hiccups.

How wrong can you be?

I went back to the doctors.

Her next trick was to prescribe some medication to stop the hiccups. This was a last ditch attempt apparently and does (I was assured) work on occasion. It is also a medication they give to psychotics and schizophrenics. I only had 25 mg’s a day, a genuine patient gets a whole gram of the stuff. I felt woefully inadequate to be honest.

The capsules didn’t stop my hiccups but at least they stopped me feeling paranoid about them.

Eventually the hiccups gave up of their own accord. I guess they got bored with me and went off to find a more deserving, appreciative host.

Nine tortuous days and nine hellish nights (which had seen me bouncing around like the girl in the exorcist movie) had left me totally shattered. I hadn’t been able to work, I could barely think, my fuddled head felt like I was wearing an internal balaclava.
The PCs I fix for a living were still sitting in a patient, orderly queue, on the floor of my workshop.

Sadly, after hearing of my plight, just about every customer who rang to enquire about the health of their ailing machine, burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter. Most of them did at least attempt a half hearted apology before a second bout of giggling forced them to hang up.

The Country Park

From 2009

The Country Park

By Ruddred0 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=33165150

I live in a village called Ruddington, part of the borough of Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire.

The village itself dates back to Saxon times, though a recent excavation on the perimeter found stone arrowheads dating back to 1500 BC. Looking at certain members of some of the older families of the village, I can well believe they have been here that long. Two spring to mind immediately. They both have beards, long straggly hair and the wife of one of them has a fur coat.

Close by the arrowheads they found the remains of a Roman villa. Try as I might, I have yet to discover any of their distant relatives. No orgies have been reported in my lifetime.

 Such is the gossipy nature of the village, that if as much as a threesome had been planned, the entire village would have heard of it before number three had taken his coat off. A full-blown orgy would have seen a horde of Ruddintonians peering through windows long before the participants got as far as second helpings.

Ruddington is home to the famous Framework and Knitters Museum. I have to shamefully admit that this is a place I have never visited. Maybe it’s the thought of those dark old satanic mills that puts me off, maybe it’s the anger I would surely feel when I saw the conditions those poor Victorian wretches had to work in. But mainly I think it’s because I would be bored rigid. Cotton and wool, whilst worthy commodities, do not do a lot for me.

The museum is situated just beyond the church in the centre of the red brick village. Ruddington may sound as if it is named after the colour of its soil, or the brickwork on show; but it is actually named after a Saxon called Rudda. The name Ruddington means “the homestead’ or ‘ton’ of the Ruddingas (Rudda’s people).

I believe an ex-village hairdresser is a direct descendent of Rudda. I’m sure she used an axe as a hair cutting tool, there is no way you could make it look that rough, using scissors.

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The Froggers

The Froggers

 My garden pond is teaming with wildlife at the moment. We have Koi Carp, Goldfish, a couple of Green Tench and a few dozen newts, frogs and toads. I also have two energetic Springer Spaniels. Both of them are accomplished frogger’s, Molly, my black and white Springer, could frog for England at the ‘frogging Olympics’ if such an entity existed.

She is so accomplished that she sometimes comes trotting into the house with three frogs at a time, her mouth gently but firmly closed over fat bodies, leaving a tangle of green legs hanging out of the sides. Usually though, it’s only one unfortunate creature that has been caught unaware s as it came out of hiding, thinking it’s safe to go about catching dinner.

Maisie, my liver and white Springer, isn’t quite as adept at catching them, though she could still be an international at the event. She likes to see them jump, so she’ll give them a whack with her paw, then chase after them and repeat the exercise until they are steered in the direction of the pond. She knows they live there; she saw them in the bottom when we dug it out a month or two back.
Once the escapee is back in its watery gaol, she’ll go in search of another, looking under shrubs, stones and bits of old log we have scattered about the place.

Occasionally she’ll pick one up and trot around the garden with it. If we spot her, a quick ‘leave’ will see her cough up the absconding prisoner. She will then guard it carefully until we, the warders, stroll up to return the inmate to its watery cell.

Molly doesn’t give up her prize anywhere near as easily. She is a hoarder, a collector, an expert on the species. It really doesn’t matter if she has a frog or a foul-tasting toad. Once they are caught, they don’t get released until they been carefully inspected, catalogued, sized and sexed. We always groan when we see her with one, as we know what a tough job we have ahead of us, trying to negotiate a ransom.

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