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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Babelfish Translations Of Shakespeare!

OK on-line Babelfish mis-translations seem to have caught our imagination for a while.

Please read my previous short post first - otherwise this won't make any sense. Press HERE

Suppose Shakespeare had this facility available for him to present his masterpieces to non English speaking countries.

As in my last post I translated from English to French and back to English.

Let's see what emerges when I apply this to the Bard's very well known piece from Richard III Act 5, Scene 4. lines 7-10

Another part of the Field.

[Alarum; excursions. Enter NORFOLK and forces; to him CATESBY]

Rescue, my Lord of Norfolk, rescue, rescue!
The king enacts more wonders than a man,
Daring an opposite to every danger:
His horse is slain, and all on foot he fights,
Seeking for Richmond in the throat of death.
Rescue, fair lord, or else the day is lost!

[Alarum. Enter KING RICHARD]
A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Withdraw, my lord! I'll help you to a horse.

Slave, I have set my life upon a cast,
And I will stand the hazard of the die:
I think there be six Richmonds in the field:
Five have I slain to-day instead of him.
--A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

. . . . sorry to all Shakespearean buffs but here is the result!
Did I hear a few of you shouting, "Heresy"? LOL

Another part of the field.
[Alarum; excursions. Write the NORFOLK and the forces; with him CATESBY.]

Delivery, my lord of Norfolk, delivery, delivery!
The king issues more wonders than a man,
Audacity opposite each danger:
Its horse is massacred, and all with foot it fights,
Recherche for Richmond in the throat of death.
The delivery, the lord right, or the day are lost!

[Alarum. Introduce KING RICHARD.]

A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

Withdraw you, my lord! I'll help of you with a horse.

Slave, I placed my life on cast iron,
And I will hold the risk of the matrix:
I think there is of six Richmonds in the field:
Five have I massacred today instead of him.
-- A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!


Well it did get, "A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse" right. Well done Babelfish - you have done Shakespeare proud, in part!

Just time for another well known quote, again from Richard III but this time from Act 1, Scene 1, lines 1-4, the opening of the play. I wonder what Shakespeare would have thought!! I can feel his bones shaking in his winter of discontent!! LOL

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low'r'd upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
I know a battle is coming but Babelfish does a pretty good demolition job too.
English to French and back to English.
Now is the winter of our glorious dissatisfaction
Made by this wire with York;
And all the clouds which low'r'd on our house
In the deep chest of the ocean buried.
Not sure where 'the son' went! Perhaps to York or to the battle!

But what about the other languages?
From English to German and back to English.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Education of splendourful summers by this son of York;
And all clouds the low'r' d to our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean bury.
. . . . . and Russian:
Now depends on this son of the yoke
Which is the winter of our dissatisfaction and can do beautiful summer;
And all clouds low' r' d in our houses
Of the chest where the ocean which is buried is deep.
Hmm! Lost a bit of the Bard's original intention! Something sadly amiss here. Will would most certainly be not amused!
. . . but what about Traditional Chinese:
RICHARD:The present is in the winter our discontent
The brilliance summer which does by York's this son;
And all cloud low' r' d in ours house's
The sea profound bosom which buries.
'Wong' again, Mr Wong! Doesn't quite have the same 'ring' as the original does it?
I shall spare you the torture of what Babelfish does in Greek, Polish and Spanish.
And just imagine what would emerge if I discussed Macbeth's meeting with the three witches, his wife's sight of the dagger before her, Burnham Wood marching, Juliet's rendition of, "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
The mind boggles!
Shall I treat us to some more one day?

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Something Lost (or found) In The Translation

Have you ever heard of Babelfish?

It is an on-line translation service. Well I use the term loosely because it is hardly an accurate means of communicating to our friends with limited English abilities.

Our family has a dear French lady friend and we communicate with her regularly. Trouble is both Mrs Bluelights and I are rather rusty at French. So we resort to using babelfish and risk sometimes sending rather inaccurate dialogue.

Last Christmas we sent our friend a French translation of our latest news and of course as normal practice we called on the services of Babelfish.

I entered our English letter and requested translation into French and then I had an idea of asking it to translate back into English . . . . . and the result was a hoot!

Here is part of the letter we sent in original English:

Thank you very much for your recent letter and the Christmas photographs.
We are pleased that you are looking so well and we notice your son has not changed very much. What a handsome young man he is isn’t he?

Before Christmas we were invited by our daughter to attend a production of her pupils performing the school’s annual Nativity play. Our daughter and her colleague teacher were congratulated in front of the whole assembly by the Head Teacher for a very professional performance and all the hard work they had put into it. About 200 parents attended the performance which was really most enjoyable.

The weather has been very harsh this year with all the snow, ice and freezing temperatures. The roads have been very treacherous and the main motorways have been at a standstill. Many schools were closed, including our children’s schools and everywhere you looked there was an army of snowmen on patrol!

Our son and 9 other friends rolled a huge snowball almost 2 metres high and it was so heavy they could not push it any further. All the snow and winter scenery look very nice and we have taken lots of photographs.

. . . . and here is the English translation back from the French translation. Glad our lives don't depend on the accuracy of translation:

Thank you infinitely of your recent letter and the photographs of Christmas. We are happy that you look at so much well and we note that your son did not change much. Which young man beautiful it is, is not it?

Before Christmas were invited to us by our daughter to witness a production of his pupils carrying out the annual nativity of the school play. Our daughter and her professor of colleague were happiness in front of the whole assembly by the main teacher for a very professional execution and all the hard labour they had put in it. Approximately 200 parents attended the execution which was really most pleasant.

Time was very hard this year with all snow, freezes and temperatures of congelation. The roads were very unfair and the principal motorways were with a stop. Much of schools were closed, including the schools of our children and you looked at everywhere there was an army of the fellows of snow on the patrol.

Our son and 9 other friends rolled an enormous snowball almost 2 meters in height and it was so heavy they could not push it to promote. All landscape of snow and d' winter look at very nice and we took a good number of photographs.
I'll be posting some more news about my post hospital situation soon but allowing for another setback things are progressing well and I am sure I won't need my remaining stick for long.
Looking at some of your comments it appears that Google translate is much more accurate, at least into and out of French - thank you! But it's nowhere near as funny.

Saturday, 27 March 2010

The Sunday Roast

Watch Out! This Bunch Of Fives From Knucklehead Will Most Certainly Knock You Out For The Count! And listen folks - his sense of humour is awesome!! This guy really means business!

What!! He's just knocked the Ref, the MC and Eddie clean out of the ring - and demolished the entire roast in just 6 hours - what a record!! My this is going to be fun!! . . . . so glad he didn't bother to put on his knuckle dusters.

Eddie has just crawled back into the ring -dazed and reeling and seized a microphone from the bewildered MC.

And here is the face behind the fist! Beware! He's an expert in humour and he'll quickly find your chuckle muscle! . . . .

He'll have you in stitches and then leave his familiar calling card with his comment!

This week's interview is with Chris
who writes the blog,

Chris lives in Southern California but was raised in New Jersey and says he will always be an east coast guy at heart.

Thank you Chris - I've been looking forward to treating the folks to his one!

A very warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

The answer to that question is the same as the answer to why men climb mountains. Because they are there. Wait, that doesn't make any sense at all, does it? Let's try again. Why do I blog? Mostly to work on the craft of writing humor and to have actual people read my stuff and provide feedback. At least that's why I started. Once I got into my blog, I discovered that the blogosphere is a fun little community, and I enjoy visiting other blogs and interacting with other writers and various riff raff -

(I'm looking at YOU, Suldog !!!)

LOL Great stuff, Chris, may I suggest you present Jim with a riff raff award? About time he got another!!!.

What's the story behind your blog name?

I've seen lots of blogs with really long names for example, "It's Gonna Take More Than a Hamburger to Make Me Happy" which is actually a really good blog, but the name strikes me as being a tad unwieldy. So when I was working on the name for mine, I decided to go with one word, that everyone could immediately identify with. After discarding things like "Crap", "Rash" and "Pain" for what I'd hope are obvious reasons, I thought of the word "Knucklehead". To me, it's a term of endearment, as in, "Ah, get over here ya big knucklehead." It seems to fit with the kind of nonsense I usually write.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Obviously, the millions of dollars that I make on an annual basis. Okay, seriously, it's the opportunity to get feedback from readers and to continually work on my writing skills. It's one thing to write stories that no one ever sees, but once actual people have access to your material it really raises the stakes a bit and keeps you honest (sometimes brutally honest). I've noticed that most comments readers make, not just on my blog but on everyone's, are 95% about the content of a given post That's fine, and I guess it's what most people are looking for, but I for one would appreciate some input regarding style and voice. I know that's tough to do, because you're never sure how someone is going to take constructive criticism, but I'd like to take this opportunity to invite my readers to share their thoughts on the "craft". Just try to be nice about it, okay? I also enjoy the blogging community. I've met a lot of wonderful people and great writers. You know who you are.

What key advice would you give a newbie blogger?

Never eat at a restaurant called "Mom's". Don't play cards with a guy named "Slick". Avoid Will Ferrell movies like cats avoid wood chippers. As for blogging advice, focus on quality rather than quantity. Specifically, make sure that you take the time to edit and revise your posts as necessary so every piece is the best it can be. You don't have to put up a new post every single day, in fact, I've discovered that it's better to space them out a bit so that your readers have a chance to see all of your work. And get yourself out there...commenting on and following other blogs will build your readership. Be patient!

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I've read a lot of great posts, but one that really made an impression on me was a post by Suldog entitled "The Beer Train". It's simply fantastic writing, and it opened my eyes to what blogging CAN be about. Seriously, go read it. It's like Stephen King's "The Body" for the Blogosphere. Anyway, before I read "The Beer Train", my blog was fairly unfocused and random. Sully's piece inspired me to take the writing seriously and strive to create solid work.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

Since my main goal is to write coherent stories that make people laugh, I'm not sure that "significant' really comes into play. That being said, my favorite piece is one entitled "Evel Knievel, Role Model From Hell" that tells the story of me and a couple childhood friends entering the world of daredevil-ism. It was a lot of fun to write, and it was probably the first post that I looked back on and said, "Hey, that's not bad."

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Oh, man, there are so many good ones. I think Jeff over at " Jeff Tompkins" would be a fun interview. His blog is one of my absolute favorites, brilliantly written and hilarious. And Mike W-J at "Too Many Mornings" is fantastic also.

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

What three things could you not live without?

"I can't live . . . if livin' is without you. I can't live . . . I can't give anymore." Thanks, Eddie, now that song's gonna be stuck in my head all day.Okay, first of all, I can't live without books. I love reading, especially crime fiction and courtroom drama like Scott Turow, John Grisham, Michael Connelly and John Lescroart. I also enjoy the humor of Christopher Buckley, Chris Moore, Carl Hiaasen and the inimitable Dave Barry. For Christmas, my fiance Theresa (author of the blog An Officer and a Garbage Can . . . she'd kill me if I didn't mention her) got me a Kindle, which is my new favorite toy. It's awesome. I don't think I could live without ESPN or sports in general. I'm a die hard Yankees and Jets fan. Yeah, this makes me a pathetically stereotypical guy, but I honestly don't care. And finally, there's no way I could enjoy my life at all without the company of my family and friends. All together now: AWWWWWW.

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

I'd make a horror-flick entitled "Nightmare at Blog Cabin". At the first annual Cyber Woods Blog Festival, a zombie slasher named Quirkyloon (played by Halle Berry) starts picking off bloggers one at a time. The rest of the cast: Knucklehead: George Clooney (come on, who did you THINK I was gonna cast as myself, Don Knotts?) Suldog: The guy who played the dad in Juno. Candice (Life According to Candice): Kate Hudson Moog (Mental Poo): Seth Green Jeff ( Jeff Tompkins): Vince Vaughn Mariann (Blogged Down at the Moment): Jamie Lee Curtis Mike (Too Many Mornings): Luke Wilson Also, Mike and Candice would be a married couple. They will outsmart the evil villain Quirkyloon by killing each other themselves. Those of you familiar with the recent Knucklehead Blog-Off will find that amusing.No one would survive the horror at Blog Cabin.

If you could live your life again, who would you be and why?

Hugh Hefner, in a landslide. Let's be honest, is there any better evidence that humans can make deals with the Devil? The guy is 140 years old and he's still surrounded by beautiful women all day long, he's worth a bazillion dollars, and well, what else do you need? Does that make me shallow? Probably. But since I'm using my first life to be somewhat productive and contribute to society (such as it is), why not use the "bonus life" you're offering as a vacation filled with wanton lust. And won ton lust. You can never have enough Chinese food.

Hmm! See what you mean Chris, you would have fun for a while - but what happens when you reach 140? Still the end, isn't it! Think I'd rather back eternity - just my personal choice though!.

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

I'd have to go with a charismatic leader, someone like Jerry, of "Ben and Jerry's" fame. Not many people know this, but Jerry is really the brains behind that whole operation. Ben is actually a slacker who only got a partnership in the company because his mom was friends with Jerry's mom, and she pulled the appropriate strings. While Jerry is spearheading the whole company, Ben spends most days sitting in his office watching Gilligan's Island DVD's. Jerry is the one who created Ben and Jerry's signature ice cream flavors such as "Chunky Monkey" and "Cherry Garcia". If it were up to Ben, we'd have flavors like "Crunchy Flatulence" and "Rash Berry". There's no substitute for great leadership.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer?

I would be "Crunchy Flatulence".

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

My cell phone rings, waking me up at 10 AM, and the person on the other end informs me that I've won 100 million dollars in the lottery. I'd have to play the rest of that day by ear.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

A fictional writer, as in, a writer that didn't really exist? In that case, I sure as hell wouldn't be Paul Sheldon, the guy who gets his feet cut off in Stephen King's "Misery" (they changed that for the movie, and it was just as creepy). I wouldn't want to be Martin Stillwater, from Dean Koontz's "Mr. Murder" either, having to deal with an evil twin and all. I can't really think of any fictional writer whose life wasn't full of drama and stress. Now, if you're talking about a "writer of fiction" who DOES exist, I'd have to go with Dave Barry or maybe John Grisham.

And finally if you have answered all these questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

Eddie, that was great fun.
Okay, here's a question for you Eddie. If you had access to a time machine, what moment in history would you go back to in order to make one change? We're going to disregard Dr. Emmitt Brown's warning about the whole time-space continuum thing.

Now that's a great question, Chris, and I am glad you asked it. Time has it's fascinations for me but I do have a serious answer for you. Now I know how to travel backwards in time I must return to Monday 2nd January 1905. I know the exact venue, some of the background circumstances and I know I must arrive well before before 2pm. My mission is to find my great grandfather and persuade him not to take his own life by hanging in one of the lofts in the factory in which he was manager. I want to know the full facts. What was his state of mind? When an Ambulanceman I arrived at the scene some 102 years 3 months late and a time machine would enable me to be far more punctual. I know that when I arrive I will have my work cut out to persuade him to change his mind. I hope I am successful. Also I cannot help wondering! Were there any underhanded goings on? Was he bumped off? Who knows? I think I need you to come with me Chris with your knuckle dusters just in case we find some hocus pocus. Well, you did ask! The full story to this is posted HERE.

If you'd like to know more about Chris there are some FAQs on his blog which are interesting - press HERE

Thank you Chris for your highly entertaining roast.


Today's Sunday Roast with Knucklehead is the 109th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ___________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press

Next week's roast - a lady who seems for ever to be Eternally Distracted

Monday, 22 March 2010

Discharged From Hospital and Convalescing

"How Do I Get Me Pants and Trousers On, Love?"

Little did I know I was soon to answer my own question by cleverly adapting The Hokey Cokey dance.

I was back home and I found this task to be the most difficult operation since my hip replacement because I was not able to bend down far enough to reach my left foot without a major risk of hip dislocation. Two other things I could not do either - wash my feet and wash my hair and so Mrs Bluelights helped me out with these.

Hair washing was akin my wife aiming a powerful jet of water from the shower straight into my ears. which I always hate! I cannot wait to be able to do it myself the old way, under the shower.

Then I pioneered putting on pants and trousers and was inspired by the Hokey Cokey dance for some reason.

"You put your left leg in, your right leg in, in out in out and shake it all about!"
I used the curved end of the walking stick to hook the trousers and at floor level, aimed my improving left foot into a trouser hole and, just like catching a fish, bingo, "Got ya!" I knew I had a 50% chance of getting the correct leg into the correct trouser, thus ensuring I was facing the right way round enabling me to walking forwards not backwards eventually. I proceeded to hoist my 'quarry' up my leg, wriggling my foot as the dance says, "Shaking all about!", to assist movement upwards. Then the same for the right leg and with luck I had my trousers on the correct way round. Several dummy runs caused me to place two legs down one trouser, on one occasion a foot appeared out of the zip fly and I did get them on the wrong way round sometimes - but I soon perfected the technique with a 95% success rate. I shall spare your blushes about how I managed to get my underpants on but needless to say I pioneered and equally ingenious and danger free technique and I am pleased to be here, alive and able to tell the tale.

Before all this and back at the hospital, it was day three and I saw Ed the physio who showed me a set of 10 exercises designed to strengthen my legs and buttock muscles. (Don't laugh! - I'll allow you a respectful grin. I will not show you a photo because I might make a complete arse of myself LOL.) I managed to do all the exercises quite easily and was able to do the maximum 20 repeats straight away. Ed said I would in all probability be discharged that afternoon. I remarked to him and his next patient on the ward, an elderly gent who had been hospitalised for over a week, that Ed would make ballet dancers out of us yet!

During my stay I found out I could email from a local device and I was able to send and receive emails from a few of my blogging friends. This lifted me a bit further. All this time I did feel as though I had been in a fight with Mike Tyson but I was relatively pain free which was wonderful. Visitors were amazed at how well I looked but in reality I was much weaker than normal and well below par.

I was indeed discharged that day after saying my goodbyes and in a way I was quite sad to leave. They had looked after me very well and I totally respected them all, as indeed I always do to all the nursing and hospital staff I meet everywhere. I was wheeled to the departure lounge and there I saw two Ambulance Men I knew who worked for another Ambulance Service. They were amused and surprised to see me as a patient for a change. A friend of the family, an ex-nurse, who worked at the hospital had visited me earlier and she said she would take me home, so there was no need for Mrs Bluelights to drive all the way to the hospital.

After a few days at home I was aware that my left leg was swelling unnaturally and when the district nurse visited she was a little alarmed to see I had developed an infection at the base of the wound. I felt lousy and a course of antibiotics was prescribed. Fortunately, these did a wonderful job and after a few days we knew they were effective.

Well I think I have run out of space and shall conclude the story next week and by popular request I will including a You Tube of the enire operation for those who like blood and gore. I am having difficulty finding it right now. I would quite understand anyone who declined my kind offer but for those masochists who revel in imagining it is Eddie as the patient, please be my guest next week LOL.

Also next time, I shall cover some of your encouraging words including a kind observation that my surgeon had recoupled my leg the right way round and not facing backwards, about me soon being able to pole vault, triple jump and ice skate with triple loops - plus my attempts to walk to the local shops, please tune in then.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

The Sunday Roast

Heather's Blog Is Simply Peaceful

This week's interview is with Heather who writes
the blog,
Simply Heather's Blog .

Thank you Heather
(Since this roast Heather has moved to her new blog, Memoirs & Offerings . However her existing blog, although no longer updated, will remain open as archives. Good job too!)

A very warm welcome to you, Heather, and to your followers

And listen folks! It's Heather's birthday on 25 March. All together, "Happy Birthday to you!"

OK - let the Roast Commence

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

When I began blogging, I did so under the familiar myspace profile. It was a simple sharing of my thoughts and the little things that happen daily. One thing led to another, through thoughtful consideration and prayer, I found myself entering into blogspot; knowing there is a greater purpose than little me needing to write.

What's the story behind your blog name?

Well, I've always been an easy going gal..for the most part, who tries to live simply. I tend to describe everything to the littlest of details in my writing, which doesn't sound very simple, but allows others to understand. A friend once told me that when she described me to another person, she said that I was simple; not in a disrespectful way but in a way that I do not complicate situations....I don't complicate life.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

In this world, I rarely find others who are similar to myself in the "introverted" ways that I am. Most out and about people tend to be strong personalities. I'm strong in my faith, and strong in areas...but not a "forceful on others" type of person. I've found kindred spirits here in blogland...some that I cherish very much and who will remain in my heart.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Advice? I'm not big on giving advice, but I'll share something that I have learned :) Always be true to who you are when you're blogging. Don't follow what everyone else is doing or become discouraged when someone comments negatively on your posts.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

Oh boy - I don't know about this question, Eddie. The most significant blog post, huh? There are too many for me to mention, much less remember but the one that first comes to my mind was when I began following Jen. She was sharing her life and the love for her reminded me SO much of my husband and I when we began our lives together.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

This one is easy for me but it isn't just one blog post, Eddie, it was a series over the time that my mother had left here with us. The entire story from beginning until my most recent feelings can be found here, if anyone is interested. I shared my feelings in depth throughout the entire time that we knew my mother was living with breast cancer.

On my blog there is a link for my writings about my mother. You can find them all here, and as blogger lists them, they appear from my latest feelings back to the beginning of it all. I wrote her testimony and shared it with our church in the women's ministry magazine six years ago...just after mom came home from the hospital the first's titled When We Knew My Mom Had Cancer . My Mother's life REALLY is a testimony to God's faithfulness and love, His care for those who truly love Him.

My dear Mother passed over on August 21, 2008

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Two blogs...hmmmm. My first choice would be Dan Felstead from Wood and Pixels Narratives. Dan is an extremely talented photographer and is able to stir up emotions as he shares his prose with each photo in his blog. I've been following him close to the beginning of his blogging days. Another choice would be Kate from Chronicles of a Country Girl. From the first time I visited Kate's blog, she made me smile. Her honest sharing and beautiful photos win me over...and her sweet brown eyed dog, George...well, let's just say it was love at first sight with him :).

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

Three things I can't live without. That's easy - but they are not things: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are three in One that I could not, would not, should not, will not - ever - live without :)

What a great answer, Heather

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

Well, Eddie - you got me on this one. I have no clue here, so I will just have to answer your two penalty questions because I'm determined to get to ask you a question. Bring them on, Eddie!

If you could live your life again who would you be, and why?

I would have to be Me, Eddie. Not that I think I've done everything perfectly or could but simply because God chose to make me for a reason and I couldn't make a better choice than He.

You have been given a wonderful talent from above. This causes you to make your mark on humanity and be world famous. In which area would prefer: a best selling novelist, a brilliant artist, a gifted musician, a fantastic singer, a charismatic leader, anything you choose, and why?

Well, Eddie...I would be a Writer (best selling novelist) and a Brilliant Artist - both are sewn within me now...the thing is that I can't seem to get out of my own way in this life - but I know that I am right where I need to be for this time.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

I'd definitely be black raspberry ice cream....mmmmm. About the licking part - nah :)

Quite right too about the last part - surprised it's still in the script! What a silly question! But some people elect to answer it I suppose! LOL

Describe in one sentence your perfect day.

My perfect day would be filled with laughter, love, hugs and quiet, revelational moments soaking up the Son :)

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

Oh, well this one is easy, Eddie, I'd be no one other than Me, Myself - I love to write...couldn't be anyone but me, not to mention that I'm not a reader of fiction really...just an occasional writer of it; oh, unless you are including childrens books into this category :)

And finally if you have answered so many questions I invite you to ask me one in return - it's the least I can do. OK fire away!

Me ask a question?! Okay, Eddie. Let's see.

It is rare that we find the opportunity in life to live what we love. Most people do what they know or what they've gone to school to learn, finding themselves living unsatisfied days. If you were able to live what you love, Eddie...tell us, what would that be? Now, if you could choose to be that with all of everything you'd ever NEED provided for you OR do what you know and make so much money that you could have all that you need and WANT - which would you choose?

Crumbs - that's a really tricky one, Heather, and no doubt I shall surprise many with my answer. Heather, you are obviously a young lady of Faith, so I shall be totally honest with you - I am a person of Faith also. Of course we would all want to be financially comfortable in this life but that is not at the top of my list. I entered the Ambulance Service not to chase the nurses like one or two people think, but because I wished to help people - sick people. However, I want more than that. For the last 25 years my true desire in this life is to be an instrument of healing for The Lord. Above anything else in the world I would wish to be granted the gift of healing and be a channel from The Lord to heal the sick - to have authority and responsibility to lay hands on mortally sick people, pray for them and help to restore them to good health, by the power of The Lord. And there are a lot of people on the list - all struck down with cancer including my wife, my sister, her husband and many friends. I shall write a post one day about several occurances when on Ambulance Duty. On two different ocassions I was approached by sick people in the ambulance who almost unbelievably asked me to pray for them - completely out of the blue. I still wonder whether someone was trying to tell me something but I guess I am still waiting for that audible voice from above.

Thank you again Heather for your very beautiful and thought provoking interview.

Today's Sunday Roast with Heather is the 108th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. ________________________________________________
This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
Next week's roast, Knucklehead

Watch out folks!! He'll knock you out!! and find your chuckle muscle!

Saturday, 13 March 2010

The Sunday Roast

Mr London Street - putting the Reading into reading

This week's interview is with Mr London Street
who writes the blog
Mr London Street

Thank you kind Sir, and straighten your tie LOL

A warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

It started out as a New Year’s resolution, actually. Initially, I meant to keep a diary - if only to exorcise the ghosts of my painfully angst-ridden diaries of days gone by. Sitting over a journal scratching away with my fountain pen it didn’t take long before I realised that the outcome was going to be exactly the same i.e. a load of introspective twaddle, although hopefully without the recurring themes of twenty years ago which seemed to be - in no particular order - whether I’d ever get to see a girl’s breasts and how nobody could truly understand the torment of being me. Let’s not even get on to the horror of the poetry I wrote back then; my toes are curling with shame just thinking about it.

So, no diary and it was back to the drawing board. A month later, I was at a party and was telling a story of some kind. One of my friends said “Go on, tell the one about the swinger with the artificial leg” (don’t ask).

“You’ve heard that story before.” I said.

“I know.” she said, “But it’s still funny.”

“I should just write them all up and number them, and then I can just go to parties and say ‘Story Number 2’ and everyone can laugh and we can save lots of time.” I said.

“Or you could print out handouts.” she said.

And then I thought Or I could do a blog and that’s how it all started. The odd thing is though, that may be why I started a blog but it’s not why I blog now. One of the great things about this is that what you write and why you write changes all the time. Initially most of the stuff I wrote was supposed to be funny, just random stories about my friends, goings on at work, that sort of thing. The first time I tried to write something a bit more serious I felt more than faintly silly, like I was going to stick my head above the parapet only for people to say “this is all very well, but where are the knob gags?” But to my amazement and enormous relief, nobody did and I find I do a lot more personal stuff now than I used to. I write things now that I would never have dreamed of putting on paper back in the beginning, and that’s not just about the act of regularly writing but also about the lovely feedback that you get.

So I suppose now I blog because there are stories I want to tell and because I like doing things with words, and because I would love to see something of mine in print one day (though maybe not the story about the swinger with the artificial leg). That ambition finally came true this month and is an absolutely amazing feeling. Funny to think that it all stems back from that decision to start writing and telling stories just over a year ago.

And, of course, I also blog for the same reason as everyone else - a gargantuan ego which is in almost constant need of validation.

What's the story behind your blog name?

It’s actually very prosaic indeed - my blog name has confused lots of people into thinking I live in, or am from, London but I’m not. I actually live in Reading, a big town not far from London (I suppose if you live in a country as huge as Canada, or the States, it might as well be London). The area I live in in Reading is around London Street so I took my name from that. It’s stuck, and now I’m really quite attached to it. More to the point, somebody did me an ace blog banner and I could hardly not use it after they went to all that trouble.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

Well now, the best thing about being a blogger (as opposed to a writer) is undoubtedly all the other people who blog. Blogging is great for encouraging you to write regularly and giving you the discipline and letting you try out all sorts of different things. But it really comes down to the interaction with other writers, reading some extraordinary stuff and both giving and getting feedback.

Hmm. I’ve read loads of Sunday Roasts and everyone always says that, don’t they? Of course, it’s because it’s true. But there are other great things about being a blogger. That feeling when you hit the publish button, the hush before the first comment comes in. Knowing that you managed to say something exactly how you wanted to say it and hoping people like it. When someone tells you they were moved by something you wrote, or that it made them laugh out loud. Feeling like all those words you tap away have touched someone that you’ve never met.

And of course the emails offering you a free titanium wedding ring in return for a small advert on your blog. People can be so thoughtful, can’t they?

Last of all, I suppose there’s one incident last year which most perfectly encapsulates some of the magic about blogging for me. I wrote about it here.

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

I know a lot of people say “write for yourself”. Not a fashionable thing to say, but I don’t agree. If you want to write for yourself, you may as well keep a diary. If you want to write a blog, think about what you want to say and who you think will be interested. Write like you’re talking to someone you like. Find blogs you like, read them, comment on them. Bloggers are incredibly friendly and there is no blogger whose day isn’t made when you comment saying you like something they’ve written.

Don’t be discouraged in the early stages. Also, don’t feel like you have to post every day. There’s no shame in writing more stuff than you publish and keeping some things in reserve for later on. One day, you will have plenty of followers and find yourself thinking “it’s not fair, I wrote all this great stuff at the start and nobody will ever read it” so pace yourself.

Don’t write a blog post saying “I can’t think of anything to write today.” Just write something the next day when you can.

Your children may not be quite as fascinating to everyone on the internet as they are to you, however adorable they undoubtedly are.

Oh, and there’s no place for block capitals in this day and age. Or multiple exclamation marks. Just say no.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I read a lot of bloggers and never cease to be amazed by the incredible ability and range of all the writers out there. It’s quite spectacular that in a single day I can see amazing photography from Norway, beautiful vignettes of romantic life from NYC, hilarious writing about sex and singledom from the Deep South and all points of the spectrum in between. Really, we’re all lucky to do this.

My favourite serious piece of writing I‘ve read in blogland is probably a big thing by Friday I‘m In Love. It’s small, perfectly formed and stunning, a lovely post about happiness in relationships. Beatrix, who writes the blog, has a great understated style and never beats you over the head with anything she’s trying to say.

The single funniest post I’ve ever read is probably Undercover Newsdesk by Barry Newsdesk. In it, Barry plots to uncover his mother’s new boyfriend as a closet Nazi. It’s one of the most side-splitting things I’ve ever read in my life. Barry appears to be on a bit of a sabbatical lately but his blog is well worth an extended read, whether he’s talking about his complicated professional life or his quest to become a proper citizen journalist and fully-fledged cult of the personality.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

This is a really hard question. Once a post is written and gets published it sort of acquires a life of its own. The ones people are going to react to are never quite the ones you think - I’ve had posts I’ve dashed off quickly on a weekday evening which get plenty of comments seemingly out of nowhere.

I feel bad for cheating and picking more than one, but I’ve had a quick look through the other interviews and I’m in pretty good company because people often do, so here goes: out of my less serious posts, I’ve often been told people liked one called Raymond Babbitt walks the dog which is one of the very earliest things I wrote. Out of my more serious posts, the one which has got fantastic feedback is one of the most recent things I wrote called Happy pills.

That aside, I suppose the post which has in some ways the most personal significance was the one I wrote as my hundredth post, called Mark. It was about a friend and colleague of mine who died, it was one of the first serious posts that I wrote and was far more difficult than I ever thought it could be.

Really though, if anyone came over to mine from your blog to read any of my posts I would be very pleased indeed (and, given my answer to one of the later questions, it would probably class as a minor miracle).

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Apart from the blogs I’ve already mentioned?

First of all, Alyson from Calling People Names . She’s a terrific writer; she manages to combine being extremely funny and vulnerable and is one of the first bloggers I look out for in my blogroll every day. A good example of her at her very best would be found here .

Secondly, it would have to be Jules from The Gravel Farm. I absolutely love his writing style, he could write about pretty much anything and keep me hooked right to the end. He’s utterly hilarious and the conversational way he takes you through a topic makes it easy to forget what an excellent writer he is. Any of Jules’ astonishing posts make this pretty clear but my personal favourite of his is probably this one .

That concludes the formal aspect of the interview but it would be nice to get to know you a little better while you are slowly turning on the roasting spit. So while you are screaming in agony above the open fire here are a few more questions for you.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

Chocolate. Ideally really good stuff, but if it comes to it Galaxy will do nicely. Who am I kidding? I’d take choc drops for dogs if they were all that was on offer.

My camera. I think photography and blography aren‘t that far apart in a lot of ways. We all want a record of things, sometimes we want to zoom in on a single detail, sometimes we want to step back and see the whole landscape.

Last of all, this sounds exceptionally lame, but my wife. Without her I’d have nobody to roll their eyes at my bad jokes, tell me that I’m being a hypochondriac or let me know whether I’ll need a coat on spring days. Plus I’d hear songs on the radio without the best backing vocalist of all time.

She makes pretty decent tea too, as it happens.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

I am a big fan of Anne Tyler. I love her effortless style and the beautiful way she writes about people and their relationships to one another. Nothing is simple, or schmaltzy, or sentimental but it’s all incredibly human and quite brilliantly done. I suppose the other writer I really admire - and I know Anne Tyler did too - is the English novelist Barbara Pym. She wrote a wonderful, and not very fashionable, series of novels often about frustrated romance and lives of quiet loneliness and disappointment, but with flashes of absolutely stellar observation and wit. It might not sound like an incredible sales pitch but really, check out Excellent Women if that sounds like it could even remotely be your sort of thing.

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

I would have to be chocolate - sometimes a little dark and bitter, sometimes a little lighter and sweet.

I know some people have struggled with the idea of picking somebody to lick them Eddie, and I know some people have even chosen not to answer this bit of the question. My answer is simple. You never specified the quantities, so I think I would be enough ice cream to fill an Olympic swimming pool. And why be selfish? I would allow every woman I’ve ever even remotely fancied in there to have a lick, since there’s enough to go round. And if it happened to degenerate into some kind of wrestling shindig I guess personally I would be all right with that.

Sorry, but you did ask.

Well. I did ask for it didn't I? But I must say you are rather a greedy lad, aren't you!! LOL

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

I am unable to attend Chris Moyles’ funeral because I have to go and do a book signing at Shakespeare and Company in Paris.

Thank you for your roast interview - it was great fun

Today's Sunday Roast with Mr London Street is the 107th in a
weekly series of interviews with bloggers from around the world. _________________________________________________

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE _________________________________________________

Next week's Roast - Simply Heather

Finally, early this week a dear blogging friend, Renee, sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer. I wish to pay my respects to her and her family. We shall all miss Renee, who wrote the blog Circling My Head. As a measure of her popularity and the love bloggers have for her there are many tributes and accolades on her last three posts, published by her daughter.
Renee was a lovely lady and was very kind with a great sense of humour. I regret very much she was too ill to appear on The Sunday Roast. God bless you Renee.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Hippee Hippee Shake!!

Well, perhaps the "Hippee. Hippee Shake" may be a little premature right now but I am determined to do the twist again one day!! Yet it seems strange to have one of these contraptions inside me!!

"That should see you out!", said the consultant, laughing! as he inspected me after the operation. It all went very well and lasted just under two hours. We have fitted the most durable implant available to us and you are doing well."

By popular demand I am writing part 2 of my hospital experiences during my three day stay - not long for a major operation and you have all inspired me to write yet part three to round it all off.

First I thank you for all your kind wishes and prayers and suggestions as to how I might emulate Steve Austin as The Bionic Six Million Dollar Man. I will deal with this in the third episode but for now I will recall when I was a prisoner in my hospital bed, quite unable to move independently, wired up to all these gadgets and wearing that awful catheter, which I hated.

I was about to experience my first night after the operation. I was blissfully aware that there was no pain in my hip and I just could not understand this because I had been cut, sawn, chiseled, hammered, drilled, pulled about, sewn and stapled with 37 steel clips. I drifted in and out of consciousness and was awakened for my 2 hourly check ups for Blood Pressure, Pulse and Blood Oxygen tests.

"Breathe deep breaths Eddie!", said the night sister, "you're breathing only 14 breaths a minute!" I responded with deep breaths and the oxygen content shot up. "That's better! - you are a lazy breather!" My hearing aids were not adjusted correctly and I took this to mean, "You are a lazy bleeder!" I laughed aloud and thought how right she is. For some inexplicable reason a joke sprang to mind and I said as she was taking my temperature, a sensor in my ear for a few seconds. I had to remove my hearing aid first and said, "I have a joke for you!", to which she replied, "Yes?"

"What's the difference between an oral thermometer and a rectal thermometer?", to which she replied she had not the foggiest idea and "What might that be?". "The taste!" I replied and she went into hysterics saying she would tell her colleagues during the switch over. "Seriously", I said to her, "I really appreciate you looking after me. When can I get rid of this catheter?" "Maybe tomorrow! but it's doing a good job for now, so you do not have to get out of bed yet. The physio will get you up tomorrow." "Really!" I said. "Yes!", she nodded, "You're doing well but make sure you take deep breaths or we may have to consider giving you a blood transfusion to boost your oxygen blood count. "I'd rather not because I am a blood donor and I have donated 91 units and want to reach 100 if I can. If I have a transfusion I cannot donate any more." She was suitably impressed I think and said I would have to make sure I took deep breaths. Anyway my oxygen count improved significantly the next day so my fears were unfounded.

I drank copious amounts of water, as instructed, and it was a blessing really that I was catheterised, yet I would not agree that at the time of course. Until recently the procedure after a total hip replacement was for patients to wear graduated pressure stockings which helped to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, perceived as a serious risk after such surgery and this could lead to the possibility of a pulmonary embolism (a blockage of the circulatory system in the lungs, which could be fatal). In the last three months they changed this procedure and instead fitted pulsating slippers which must be worn for the first 72 hours. This radically reduced the risk of DVT because it simulated the action of walking and improved the circulatory system to the legs enormously. I was taking blood thinning drugs as well, which I continue and will do so for the next few weeks.

Sleeping on my back was the only option, as indeed it is to this day, because after a total hip replacement there are three things I must not do do prevent dislocation of the hip. I must not twist my torso in relation to my legs, I must not cross my legs and I must not let my torso to thigh bone decrease to less than a ninety degree angle. So sitting I have to make sure the angle is safe. These three rules must apply for at least two months until the cut muscles and tendons have repaired sufficiently to keep the joint together. That is all holding our natural joints together as well, which is interesting.

Next morning I woke hungry and and they sat me up and I enjoyed my breakfast of toast and then cornflakes. The physio arrived at 10.30 and got me up, drilling me with the three golden rules. I found getting out of bed very difficult - my left leg would not move too easily and I had to shunt myself round in a sitting position, making sure the angle always appeared with my injured leg slightly open. The physio presented me with a zimmer frame and hooked my catheter bad over it and asked me to stand up, locking my legs. There I was standing upright after just 18 hours. He helped me to take a few steps and I asked if I could go further and he accompanied me. I went into the next ward to see a lady patient who had her operation just after me. She was amazed when I said a quick hello and then headed back to my ward. The physio was well pleased and my confidence returned. The hardest thing I had to do was to get back into bed and get my injured leg into bed. I had to do it because they wanted to see if my technique was safe and it was.

Boy, didn't I feel hungry!! "Nurse, I could eat a horse!" "Eddie, your supposed to wait until there is something on your plate first! There's some cottage pie coming!! No need to eat the plate!!"

I ate meals regularly but was aware I had not yet been to the toilet. I knew my alimentary canal was completely empty and reasoned that it would take some time to work through.

On day two I was asked by a Staff Nurse, "Have you had your bowels opened?" To which I replied I felt I wanted to - so she assisted me to the bathroom and I managed to sit down. She left me there and said I should pull the alarm bell when I was ready so she could help me. My feelings were justified. There was a violent explosion! but no result. I pulled the bell cord as instructed. "Well", she said, "any result?" I replied in a humorous way and asked her if she had ever heard of The Four Elements, Earth, Wind, Fire and Water?" She smiled inquisitively and I proceeded, "Well it was All Wind and Water - lots of it, with no Earth yet but boy had there been a naked flame around you'd have all heard the explosion!" She laughed and I could detect her thinking she had a right one here!

On day two another physio called Ed got me out of bed and he liked my safe technique and watched me cruise around on the zimmer along the corridor. "Time for sticks!" he said. I said I had one and he found a matching stick. He taught me two ways of walking, the easy way, putting both sticks down as I put my bad leg down to take some weight off. I mastered this straight away and asked if I could do the other way. He was rather taken aback and agreed no harm would come of it and he was amazed I did it straight away and walked the full length of the corridor.

Next day Ed taught me two ways of going up and down stairs. The easy way, dragging the bad leg up after the good leg. The rule for this was "Good leg moves first up the Heaven" and going down, "Bad leg moves first following stick to Hell!" He said after a week I would be able to walk up the stairs one leg after the other. I asked him if we could try it now and he said, "Well, technically you can do no harm so if you are sure I'll follow you and make sure you don't fall."

I did it straight away and it was relatively painless. He was amazed I could stand the pain and I told him the real pain was before I had the operation - in comparison this is nothing.

That afternoon I was pleased because a sister removed the catheter which was a huge relief for any man. The problem now was that I had to get up in the night to visit the bathroom and before I could do that I had to ring the bell, rather apologetically, and ask the nurse to remove my pulsating slippers.

Next time - I leave the hospital, a setback at home followed by gradual improvement.
And for those who like blood and gore, like Ethel Mae LOL, I will include a YouTube of the operation (grab your sick bowls first though). See you soon and I shall try to get around to visit you soon.

For those who missed part one press HERE

Saturday, 6 March 2010

The Sunday Roast

Sanna Is Canadian And Therefore Is Very Nice And Kind

And we all know Sanna's little motif

This week's interview is with Sanna
who writes the blogs
Violet Sky and Sightlines .

Thank you Sanna

A warm welcome to you and your followers

Here's the first of the standard questions. Why do you blog?

I say in my sidebar that I blog because my cat does not listen to me anymore. There may be some truth to that. I find as I slowly get older that I am talking to myself more and more but have fewer people around to answer my questions or tell me to shut up. I had all manner of conversations going on in my head while I was working the night shift, and blogging seemed a good way to get them out of my head. Then I found several photoblogs that took my breath away and inspired me to take more pictures. Eventually I needed somewhere to put the best ones, so I started SightLines.

What's the story behind your blog name?

Violet Sky
evolved from trying to find something that included a colour in the name and wasn’t already taken. Most of my blog posts came to me while I was working nights, where I am always looking at the sky to check on the weather. I used to work until dawn, so I was able to see the changes in the sky while it was waking up. When this name popped into my head, I thought it sounded almost poetic without being too cutesy. Later, I needed a place to put all my photos of the sky waking up. SightLines took a little longer to come up with, and when it came to me it seemed so obvious that I was surprised it was still available. Just as sightlines are important for the stage in theatre, so is it important for the staging of a photograph through a lens.

What is the best thing about being a blogger?

I have found inspiration and encouragement in subtle ways from my blogfriends and discovered a community of people who are so supportive, who may or may not even have that much in common, except for a shared sense of humour, or craft and, of course, a liking of each other..

What key advice would you give to a newbie blogger?

Comments are an important part of blogging. Most of my blogroll and favourite blogs were found through the comments section. So if you want new readers leave pithy comments on blog posts you like and respond to comments left on your posts. And really, ask yourself why you think you need comment moderation (and word verification).
Don’t be afraid to ask questions of other bloggers. If you see a feature on their blog that you like, ask how they did it. Bloggers are extraordinarily generous with sharing information. Not so much with photos and posts though – so always ask first and give credit, or better yet, a link to their blog.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever read?

I can’t think of one specific post, but almost anything that XUP writes can leave me choking with laughter or leaving me with new insights to the insanity of life.

What is the most significant blog post you've ever written?

I must admit, I don't really think of my blog posts as 'significant'. They are mostly for fun, like this one.
Though, perhaps this one could be considered my most significant as it led to a wonderful weekend meeting up with two other bloggers. The most significant post, in terms of google searches, is by far this one. And as for the sky waking up photos, this one is my favourite (so far).

If you were to suggest two blogs for roasting who would you pick, and why?

Punkin's Patch who has introduced me to a whole new world with adorable sheep.
Pinklea who has an ability to poke fun at herself, something I still aspire to.
And may I add a third? Windy Skies. Anil found me somehow and when I checked out his blog, I spent a whole weekend reading through all his posts back to the beginning. He doesn’t post often, but he is a superb storyteller who draws you in to the street life in India.

Pick three things you can't live without (no you cannot have ice cubes to cool you down)

I am assuming you are not looking for tangible things like family, friends, food,
Or ethereal things like humour, music, love.

*Body lotion

If we were to make a movie about blogland, what would it be and who would you cast in the leading roles?

This one had me stumped as to how you could make a movie of blogging. But then I started thinking about how I have a worldwide tour in my head planned that involves visiting several blogfriends. There have been stuffed animals like bears and elephants that make the rounds of bloggers and even Olga the Travelling Bra (who sadly has gone AWOL). I see something along those lines with a cute object being sent to various out [blog[ posts and losing all control over her life while having amusing and enlightening adventures with anyone willing to take responsibility…

If you were an ice cream cone, which flavour would you prefer and who would you most want to lick you?

Pralines and cream and it would be in a waffle cone
David Tennant.

Describe in one sentence your perfect day

A warm day by a lake with a boat nearby and trees overhead for shade and a friend or two sitting with me on a dock and several good books beside a cooler filled with liquids and snacks and a duck or two swimming along the shore for amusement.

If you were a fictional writer which one would you be and why?

Ruth Rendell or PD James because I love British mysteries and the idea of delving into the psychology of a crime is far more intriguing than the CSI forensic stuff.

And finally if you have answered all these silly questions I invite you to ask me one in return

How do you plan to amuse yourself during your upcoming recuperation?

I am pleased to say I have my total hip replacement operation out of the way and the wonder of it is that I have instant and significant pain relief. The pain from surgery is nothing compared the arthritis beforehand. I am already amusing myself because I am fairly mobile after just 3 weeks post op. So far I have walked half a mile using two walking sticks but I was slightly taken aback when an old lady with a walking stick overtook me LOL. I am keen to get back to normal life as soon as possible. No doubt Mrs Bluelights will find some household chores for me soon.

Thank you Sanna for your delightful interview


Today's Sunday Roast with Sanna is the 106th in a weekly
series of interviews with bloggers from around the world.

This interview will feature in The Roll of Honour
for all published Roasts. To view press
HERE ________________________________________________

Next week's roast, Mr London Street

Monday, 1 March 2010

Hospital, New Hip Operation and Convalescence

On the mend at last and getting stronger.

I am writing a two-part account of my stay in hospital for my Total Hip Replacement Operation.

Just look what some kind person sent me!!!! . . . . and inside the cards was printed, "The term 'normal' is loosely used of course!" Gee thanks, Lynn. She is a nurse friend of mine who also wrote in the card, "Hope the Physio showed you how to run up a ladder!" Er thank you, so much, Lynn, and I did seem to remember you promised to visit me and give me a bed bath, but you never showed up! Promises!! Promises!!!

Well folks! Life has been very eventful since I had my Total Hip Replacement on Saturday 13th February. Not being at all superstitious I am rather grateful it was not Friday 13th. After just a couple of post operation days I was so relieved of the Arthritic Pain I had to endure for the past 3 months - total agony on occasions. Quite frankly, all the post operative trauma of cut muscles and tendons, drilled pelvis and femur was a piece of cake for me in comparison to my pre-operative experience.

I remember smiling to myself on the Saturday morning just prior to departing to the hospital in Bath. Should I write on my leg, "This one!" to make sure they do the correct one. As it turned out I remember chatting to the anaesthetist just outside the operating theatre and he asked me to verify which leg!! I told him what I nearly did and he laughed and said, "Why didn't you? We are always game for a laugh, but had you done so and not drawn an arrow upwards we might have changed your left knee for an artificial one!" Laughing, he proceeded to take out the sort of pen I had in mind and drew an arrow pointing upwards on the correct leg, the left one, still grinning.

Earlier we had debated whether I should take my hearing aids with me to theatre so he could talk with me. We decided I would wear them and take a small container with me and he would take them out during the operation. I was rather surprised he wanted me to wear the hearing aids and he noted this, saying, "I mean we will talk pre-operation of course, I have no intention of discussing with you The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire during the operation!" My he was a character and I think he thought I was one as well for we got on like house on fire. I saw the surgeon and some of his henchmen and they waved to me and smiled.

The anaesthetic procedure was an Epidural plus strong sedation which meant I did not have a General Anasthetic which is much kinder to the system. They sat me up inside the operating theatre and I felt a feint prick in my spine and my body gradually froze from the waste down. They kept prodding me and asked if I could feel my legs which I could not but I was aware of someone inserting the dreaded catheter and I looked longingly at the anaesthetist and asked him to put me out for that, which mercifully he did.

The anesthetic was brilliant because I woke right at the end when they were pat sliding me in theatre onto a trolley. I was awake sufficiently to say a clear an audible thank you to everyone and they all nodded in appreciation. It seemed rather strange for me to be able to do this and I smiled to myself. They pat slid me again onto a bed in the recovery room and I was aware of someone holding my left leg very carefully and then I passed out again.

I was awakened in the recovery ward by a very charming and lovely nurse and I remember saying, "Am I in Heaven or are you Aphrodite?" She laughed and laughed remarking that no-one had ever said that before. I asked her to excuse my rather over-developed sense of humour. She was very anmused and did look after me very well. I observed that it felt as though my left leg was up in the air when it obviously was flat in bed. She explained that my brain remembered the position it was last in before I went unconscious and it was in the sitting position for the epijural injection. She said I would soon get used to the new position. And then I passed out again and woke up on my own ward. I was very pleased that I had remembered to thank her for her kindness before I became unconscious again and left the recovery ward.

I did see her again when she accompanied the next patient back onto my ward. She saw me and waved and that's the last I saw of her.

I must say everyone looked after me very well during my stay in hospital and I am very pleased with the high standard of patient care within the National Health Service. A lot of people knock it and in my opinion they should not do so - we are very lucky to have it.

Next time - some amusing incidents and getting to grips with walking again.