My Bi-Annual Bloodletting, 2021-Style

Since my brush with cancer in 2013, I’ve had a blood-test every 6 months specifically to make sure my TSH hasn’t gone all squirrelly on account of not having a thyroid anymore, and the radiation therapy immediately proceeding its removal from my person.

Last year I escaped the bloodletting altogether. Our local hospital where I’d normally get such things taken care of didn’t want anything to do with me, and I certainly didn’t want anything to do with it.

I call 2020 the Year of Covid, and 2021 the Year of Consequences. Consequentially, last week I had my first blood-test since 2019, and because of this delay I was getting tested for everything I’d missed out on. Fasting was required.

(I don’t know about you but I find it a bit of a challenge to go out into the world after I’ve been crook for an extended period of time and I wasn’t completely myself after my vaccine shot)

This how it went down …

Clothes – Shoes and socks are weird.

In the car – OMG!!! Why is everyone driving so FAST?

At the hospital – Where’s my mask? Why won’t it fit properly? (trying to put the mask on over my glasses and my hearing aids) Also, I can’t breeeeeathe!

Waiting room – I’m #82. The display is stuck on #75, and I haven’t had anything to eat or drink (except water) since yester-bloody-day!

Bloodletting – Just exactly how many vials of blood are you taking? (answer – 7)

Back in the car – Mrs Widds had packed a thermos of tea, made just the way I like it. I love her.

Blast From The Past

On the 3rd of June 1967, William Joseph MacAalister died.

It was a senseless death born of the sexual repression and religious intolerance of the era and geographical location. (not that a lot has changed in the intervening fifty-plus years)

His body wasn’t found until some four days later. Given the time of the year he was interred with pragmatic haste. No autopsy was performed.

The local sheriff’s department conducted a cursory inquiry, questioning his peers and staff of businesses he was known to frequent. No further information was forthcoming.

His death was judged a suicide. No further action was taken.

in 1976 his story achieved world recognition and from that moment he became an icon for tortured youth, along with many other young men and women who lived and died in the shadows.

P.S. All of the above was made up, except that the movie ‘Ode to Billy Joe’, came out in 1976, and Bobby gentry released her song of the same name in 1967 … and of course, today is the 3rd of June!

Mrs Widds Eviscerates, Too

Mrs Widds is known far and wide, at least to long-term readers of this blog, as a baker of extraordinarily tasty sweet and savoury dishes.

However, on one memorable day towards the end of 2019 our heater broke and Mrs Widds put her culinary skills to a darker, more nefarious pastime – evisceration!

She eviscerated, she repaired, she reconstructed, until the heater worked again, and continues to do so to this very day.

In 2018 Mrs Widds acquired a dashing scooter to pootle around the highways, byways, and backroads, of our tiny corner of the world.

And pootle she did!

The thing about vehicles, of any sort, is that after a certain age, things start to deteriorate. (as it does with all of us) And so it was with the shiny little scooter.

The battery died, the carburetor had a hissy fit and turned up its toes, other assorted ills came to the fore, until Mrs Widds was forced to do this …

The Eviscerated

The Eviscerated

The Eviscera

The Eviscera

Mrs Widds assures me patient will recover in the fullness of time.


In other news …

The editing continues, slower that I, perhaps unrealistically, hoped, but none-the-less moving along happily.

Editing starts with a print copy

Editing starts with a print copy

I have recovered fully from my interesting week, but it’s taken me another week to get back on my feet. Mrs Widds even had to take over my lawn-mowing/weed-whacking job the other day.

Summer has arrived. The temperature yesterday was a tolerable 25°C but by this afternoon my poor antique thermometer had a fit of the vapours when its mercury topped 33°C  …and presumably got hotter. I don’t know how much hotter because the thermometer refused to countenance any further indignities. I don’t blame it one bit. It always takes me a few days to adjust to these sudden shifts from one season to the next. Which is how they’ve turned for the last five-or-so years now.

Well, the sun is now well under the yardarm and it’s time I put on my editing hat and get to it!

An ‘Interesting’ Week

I had …

… an, ‘oh gawd, I feel like I’m about to keel over’ reaction to my vaccine shot.

… a migraine cluster. (of the galaxy-busting variety – I rate them as planet, then solar system, then galaxy, then universe-busting)

… and at least more three layers of physically debilitating craptitude … that I won’t go into here because …

… I am done with this week!

The only saving grace was that my brain was still fully functioning-ish, and I managed a few hours of editing in every day. (my typo’s however are hilarious due to pain meds interfering with the connection between my brain – super slow, and my fingers – used to typing super fast)

Even with these delays, I still just might be able have the final product all tied up with a polka-dot bow by the end of June.

Which would be truly awesome – to have a novel go from first word to finished product in six months.

Who’d’a thunk it!!?

Phat Gus Rides Again

A while back this science guy had a problem with squirrels raiding his bird feeder so he built a maze to confound their ambitions. Needless-to-say, the squirrels, being squirrels, laughed at him and ran the maze to claim their well-deserved reward.

The science guy is back with a new and improved maze, but is it a-mazing enough? We shall see …

World Penguin Day – 25th April

I meant to post this yesterday …

Into Spirit…

Bon Voyage dear friend.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

Sue Vincent

14th September 1958 – 29th March 2021


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The White Stuff

The view from our back door this afternoon.



Science Plays Catch-Up

A headline in my daily news feed caught my attention today. It reads thusly, ‘The full moon may influence sleep and menstrual cycles, scientists say.

OK, they’re not actually sleeping, but this is too good an image from Clip Art to pass up

OK, they’re not actually sleeping, but this is too good an image from Clip Art to pass up

Fancy that! Looks like what people have been saying about their sleep patterns and women have been saying about their menstrual cycles, for eons, can now be added to the roster of SCIENCE FACT

I could go about the irony of ‘science’ ignoring ‘folklore’ to the detriment of those same folk, until ‘science’ gets off it’s monolithical arse and admits it might’ve got it wrong, but those of you who know me know that I would never gloat like that! Suffice to say I had a good chortle.

(in all honesty it’s not all ‘science’ practitioners, and since a good many scientists have moved on from that delightfully Victorian/patriarchal-centric view of the world, ‘science’ has the process of reforming itself well in hand)

The interesting thing the article revealed, which in itself is another ‘duh’ moment, is that the effects of ‘moon-sleeping, and moon-menstruating’ (I just invented those terms) wane with the introduction of, and prolonged exposure to, artificial light.

I’m not knocking artificial light though. If it wasn’t for artificial light my writing binges would not go well, and I’d be one very cranky writer let me tell you!

This isn’t me being cranky about not being able to write, this is me being cranky about not being able to write and not having had my first cup of tea in the morning

This isn’t me being cranky about not being able to write, this is me being cranky about not being able to write and not having had my first cup of tea in the morning


It’s cold enough to snow.

There’s enough moisture in the air to snow.

The forecast is for snow.

I look out my window and the Winter tree is covered in … raindrops.

This wee duckling is a lot happier about the rain than I am, but thanks Clip-art for the cute image 😊

This wee duckling is a lot happier about the rain than I am, but thanks Clip-art for the cute image 😊

I’m sure I have some pictures from the Snows-of-Winter’s-Past (2017, I think) around here somewhere to console myself with …

Ahh, that’s better

Ahh, that’s better