Saturday, 30 January 2010

The kindness of (non-)strangers

Do you ever wonder how much people care?

I am not talking about one's parents, one's children, tied as they are with blood. Or even your soul mate, the person you love, and who loves you, more than anything else in the world - except maybe the children you create together.

No, here I'm talking about those people you call your 'friends', your acquaintances, your work colleagues. How much do they truly care? How much do you merit any care?

What has been so illuminating. so enlightening, so enchanting is, however moody, miserable and, to be blunt, how downright obnoxious I can be, is people still do care, despite my best efforts at dissuading them otherwise! From the spontaneous boycott of the 'office party' the day after I was suspended from work 9 days before Christmas (for failing to perform miracles - the impossible we do almost immediately, miracles take a little longer, especially when you are as tired I was) to the good wishes I have received via email and by post, both before and after the stroke, to the hugs, both metaphorical and real, I am truly touched by it all. It is truly heartening, I think, that when push come to shove, people can display such affection for one's blighted soul that it brings tears to your eyes just to think about it.

Even Mugwump climbed on the bed and lay beside me, five minutes after I went to bed for the first time since coming out of hospital as if to say 'I missed you'. (Yes, I know that is anthropormorphising and he was only trying to get warm after my friend had opened every window in the place, while I was hospitalised; and it is bitter here right now! but still).........maybe cats have a rationale, emotions we cannot connect with. Maybe he was genuinely pleased to see me, and not just for a warm torso to lie up against. It would be nice, I think, to believe that were so!

And so to my friends, my colleagues, I say thank you from the bottom of my too shallow heart. To those who have gone the extra mile (and you know who you are), I hope I have rewarded you in an approproriate fashion, to those who just send your support, I value and treasure it. I am not an easy person to go the extra mile for ...:) You will never know how I feel right now, but you are a large part of it!#


Friday, 22 January 2010

Fits and starts and short circuits

Hi MG here.

Many apologies for the both the penguin’s silence and mine from the beginning of the year. The penguin is perhaps understandable, they lost little Wotan at the beginning of October. Both Fricka and the Penguin were there, and the whilst he was well fed, little Wotan seemed to waste away until he seemed a mere shadow of what he had been in September. Finally he died.

Fricka immediately headed off to the sea. The Penguin was mindful of his obligations to do the blog, irrespective of the pain, just as last year, when little Fricka was in the most mortal danger, but still he soldiered on. This time it was different. Perhaps for the last time, he emailed me with the news that he was going back to sea immediately, without finishing the blog and in the hope that I would take up the cudgels in the event that he would eventually return....... or did not.

Nothing is certain, all one can do is pray to a nameless and faceless god, and a largely faithless one at that, and hope for the return of the Penguin and Fricka.

Well I as I have finally got round to it, it has been a stressful time, I thought I would take as my subject, failure of expression. The complete inability to get across your message. The way a deaf person attempts to sign without the other parties being able to. To speak Finnish to an English speaker and to not find one word cognate. All you have is expression, gesture, waving off heads, and all so ambiguous. One mans handshake and is another mans insult. Anybody’s who headed to a country, whether for business or pleasure, who has not got a word of the language, finds that they‘re cut off, from everything, unless they can find someone who speaks their language. And what if language they speak is gobblydegook?

Well, I suffered a stroke 5 days ago (I don’t know if it is the same in American, possibly cranial infarct). I had the good fortune I didn’t suffer paralysis all down one side, merely a little one on the right of my mouth, but in the initial stages, I could not speak a word. That’s not to say I did not know how to speak, it was simply what was coming out wasn’t even gooblydoogook, these meaningless sounds as much akin to human speech as to a baboon’s cry of pain. Eventually about half an hour later I could manage ‘My name is Malcolm Goodson’. What was strange was that all the time the internal voice was working, it could say what ever it was wanted, it just went seriously awry when you speak it aloud. Seriously weird! I of course ended up in hospital!

I am getting better but I guess it will be bit of a haul to get me back to anywhere like I was, and I might not even make it. Just don’t make me come down and beat you up because I might be barely intelligible. I may talk like I am Celebral Palsy victim, but I still have the brain the size of planet, and don’t you forget it !