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Quote Unquote: Hate and Islamophobia

September 10, 2010

Quote Unquote: Hate and Islamophobia | Indecision Forever | Political Humor, 2010 Election, and Satire Blog | Comedy Central.


September 9, 2010

I can recall about 10 years ago, saying to somebody in passing that I had never been an inpatient in a hospital. Foolish boy!  A year later I had started my new career, moving from consultant to consultant and hospital to hospital. Yesterday I had once again to travel up to London to Kings College Hospital to see the pain consultant who had, in her turn, referred me to St Thomas’ Hospital for specialist treatment. I only see her every 6 months, just to give her an overview. Pleasant she was, no doubt of it, professional and expert as well. But I find all of them don’t fully appreciate what patients have to go through. To get there for 3.30 pm, I had to plan the day. I have a routine, like most disabled folk, which takes in dressing and washing, medication, eating (which has to be matched to the drugs) and so on. I suffer from chronic pain as a result of 2 failed back operations. My pain killing drugs have affected my pituitary gland which means I need to take various hormone preparations to compensate for that damage. But I can’t avoid the drugs because they are the only way I can face life.  To help me reduce the damaging medication, I have had to have a spinal neurostimulator inserted. But this takes an hour a day to charge up. Thus, I have to plan the day backwards from the appointment to allow sufficient time for everything.

Of course, I could ask for a later appointment, although doing so means that I am still travelling home when the next round of drugs is due.

Yesterday was the Tube strike in London and with all the turmoil, I found myself on a slow, all station, train. Standing all the way was somewhat uncomfortable, but 30mins from my home station, I noticed a couple of worried glances coming my way. I knew what it meant, and lifted my hand to my forehead. The sweat was running fast. My hair was soaked. Yup, cold turkey!  I began to shiver, although the train was hot – and when I staggered off the train, I was so cold in the slight warm breeze that was blowing down the platform. It’s a 10 minute walk usually, but the tremors meant I had to be careful not to stumble.

It was then that I realised the wonder of the mindfulness meditation I had been trying to practice for pain control.

 “Don’t think about the distance, think about just this step, feel your foot go down and your weight roll from heel to toe. Switch to the other foot and move it as gracefully as possible past the first. Try to feel the sensation of movement in your ankle and foot. Follow the breath, inhaling so that it travels down each leg in turn and meets these sensations. Stay in the moment.” Time after time I must have gone through that routine, but there is no counting in the moment, there is no last step or next step, there is just this step.

I got home, but even that one hour delay in taking the meds meant that the pain broke through and I knew that today would be a grand effort to get it all back under control. Sad really! But you have to laugh!


September 9, 2010

Do people want to read biographical details? No, it can always be covered in the profile bit! Most folk seem to want to see “Today’s thought/experience” and so, if I want to set the stage for what I may chose to type, I shall have to start with today, 7th day; 9Mo: 2010, as my ma would have written it.  Even writing that says something: clearly there is some Quaker floating about here.  And, it turns out, while I was researching a little family history, my mother’s family (or at least her grandfather) was disowned by the Quakers for “marrying out”.

Funny how things go round, as I had, independently of this fact, become a Quaker (or more corectly, a Friend) some 3 years prior to the surfacing of this tidbit of family shame .  Quakers are a little more tolerant nowadays or they wouldn’t have let me through the door!  Why had I become a Friend? That might be relevant to a blog, Ian. 

Well, I have always been interested in religions, philosophy and spiritual things, veering from frank atheism, via Hinduism (thanks to the Beatles) to High Church Anglicanism, but it was listening and observing Friends in action that made me curious. It was eventually my time working with young offenders that brought me into contact with Quakers and the Criminal Justice System, Quakers in the Personal Social Services and this kicked me up my inquiring bum. I found them great folk, just as bad as anybody else, but, when good, they did it in a very unique way that captured me. 

Thus, in this blog you will find references to issues of belief and thoughts about the function (good and bad) of religion and philosophy in the world. Strange, really, when I started out as a schoolboy with a bent for science, a technologist (in the now nearly defunct Paper Industry) and a Safety Engineer – in other words, a path of applying rational measures and hypotheses to  experience.

September 5, 2010

OK, so here I am, blogging. I have joined the mass of egocentric, attention seeking folk who expose themselves to the world, hoping for applause – or at least no recriminations, death threats or skeletons rattling in cupboards. I guess that means all the libellous epithets above now apply to me and, looking at my life in review, I can see I have projected all my character flaws and anxieties on them!

So, as is common, I ought to write something about myself and what I intend to put down in writing for the world to happen upon as it Googles it’s way through the day. You know, I am not sure. Perhaps my next post should be a brief bio? We’ll see.


September 4, 2010

Well, they convinced me to get a blog, bear with me while I play with the customisable stuff.