Posted by: purpleandrew | October 31, 2010

We are the baldies!!

A big fantastic thank you to all those who came along to our Macmillan fundraising event yesterday at St Brides Hall in Douglas.

The baldies!!

It was really great to see you all, in costume or just to support this cause.

A special big thank you to all those who gave up their time and money with donations and help for the event,

Mane Attraction for a raffle prize and coming along to do the hair shave off

Raffle prizes also from

Douglas Co-op

Spice of Life Indian Takeaway Douglas

Farrens Pharmacy

Morrisons Lanark

Tesco Lanark

Arran Arromatic’s Toiletries

Diageo Drinks

Martine McFarlane – reflexologist

Fiona McLaren – sound therapist

Jeanette Addie – loads of stuff

Gail Addie – tarot readings

and anyone else i have missed

The hair and beard shave off was a surreal experience, i now have a cold head when i go out!!

The preliminary figure for the amount raised yesterday is just over £450 taking our total so far well over £1100. 

Don’t forget you can still donate to macmillan via the www.justgiving.com page, look for Andrews close shave for Leslie

Take care all
the bald purpleandrew
Posted by: purpleandrew | October 30, 2010

It’s D-Day, the hair and beard shave off for Macmillan

It has been a hectic few days getting ready for the event today. In between bouts of resting and laying down we have collected donations from local shops and supermarkets for the raffle and made a few things for the stalls.

Friends and family are preparing to gather at the Douglas Arms Hotel for 11am followed by the fundraising event at St Brides Hall in Douglas from 12 noon until 4pm.

Come and join us as we raise as much money as we can for Macmillan.

The hair and beard shave off is at 2pm,

Leslie and I hope to see you there

If you can’t make it, you can still donate to Macmillan at the just giving page

www.justgiving.com and look up Andrews close shave for Leslie

Thanks all

purple andrew, soon to be bald andrew!!

Posted by: purpleandrew | October 28, 2010

Countdown to the shave off

Hi all – Its FUND RAISING TIME FOR MACMILLAN

it is only 2 days to the great event and the hair and beard shave off at St Brides Communiuty Hall Douglas South Lanarkshire

Event starts at 12noon, head shave at 2pm

Medaeval fare with lots of stalls,

sound therapy

tarot reading

reflexology/massage

stalls with cakes, sweets, biscuits, chocolate (lots of chocolate!!) AND LOTS MORE

kiddies pumpkin carving competition (bring carved pumpkin)

raffle

lots more

come along and enjoy the fun, chuck your money in the buckets and have a great time

fancy dress would be fantastic

Check out page 3 of this weeks Lanark Gazette for an article on why we are doing this

see you soon

purpleandrew

Posted by: purpleandrew | October 20, 2010

Autumn’s Siren Song

Well, I’m wondering what is going on.

Like a sunrise, there is a growing vibe inside my head. It is a good vibe. It is the home straight and I’m on it.

It is coming up to cycle 6.  The final chemo shot; the end of the line for the voluntary intake of poison and the platform from which all things will spring for the future.

I’m on the brink again.

The brink, now there is a verdant place to be. So many choices are available all we have to do is choose to take them.

Notice if you will, that I am not limiting us to only one. Nah, why just take one when there are so many available?

I woke up yesterday, after a reasonable sleep, (yes I am noticing a pattern here) and outside the sun was high in the sky and it was bright and crisp and fresh. It just seemed that the whole season was shouting its presence with great joy and abandon.

A little glow began to grow in my heart as I heard the Siren Song of Autumn and began to dance a little bit in my Soul.

I did a little bit of sewing and it worked out really well. The day before I had made the first loaves of bread since just after the surgery, all very small things but each day has been a little triumph of oomph!

I kind of mislaid my oomph just for a while there. I put it on the back burner to concentrate on this getting better thing. It stayed there and I forgot all about it.

Getting better is much easier with a bit of oomph behind it for sure.

I’m sitting here writing this and there is a bubble of a giggle just permeating through, oh there it is, excuse me while I wallow in this for a minute or two…

You see, wallowing can be a good thing. Now I have an endorphin thing going on its all good.

Time has folded in on itself and if I try to think of how long ago it was that I had the diagnosis, or even how long it was from the time I knew there was a problem it seems all at once ancient and current. The one thing that is clear is the knowing that then was the expectation of what is happening now. After all what is time but a concept of state?

This is what I decided I would be feeling at this time. This is how I wanted it to be.

Now I have what I wanted and now I want what I have.

So I’m listening to and feeling autumn’s Siren song, it is familiar and you know I might just know the words so I will sing a little too. Then I might even get my boogie shoes on and dance about a bit just to see how it fits.

Who knows where that might lead?

Posted by: purpleandrew | October 5, 2010

Delayed chemo and the beginnings of a plan.

Hi folks

Well, last week’s planned chemo didn’t happen, Leslie’s blood tests were a little low, so now we wait for some new bloods to be done today and hopefully have the chemo on Thursday.

Do we wait and plod about moping??, no we bloody well don’t.

We have booked a hall for the event. It is at St Brides Hall in Douglas on Saturday 30 October. Meet at 11am in the Douglas Arms Hotel, have a drink then we shall process through the streets in our finest mediaeval garb to St Brides for 12 noon until 4pm.

There will be a raffle

Stalls with cakes and other foody things for you to buy

Dookin for apples

Sound therapy taster session

Kiddies pumpkin carving competition

All sorts, more details to follow

And of course the main event, the Great Andrew Hair and Beard shave off.

So, come along, bring all your loose change and a bulging money bag, coz we want to raise as much as we can for Macmillan Cancer Support

More details to follow, but already folk have started their plans and raided the fancy dress shops.

Helpers wanted for setting up and doing drinks and all the usual stuff, so please get in touch with either of us or as a reply to the blog.

Thank you all, we are gonna have a ball, so come along and help us raise lots of money for Macmillan.

Puprleandrew signing off

Posted by: purpleandrew | September 27, 2010

Rabbits Part II: the story

Stop the World…

Where were we? Ah yes, I just want to go back a little – to the ‘yanking’ episode – there I was, I assume that at least I was to all intents and purposes – like – there…somewhere!  I am making this assumption due to the fact that I have a memory of everything in the world stopping; just right out of the blue I’m aware of being ‘up there’ suspended in space and time. Totally safe, not at all bothered about where the meat and bones of me would be found, because to be sure, there would be no way I could be this light and still be in my body…could I?

 And, to get right down to it, who was I at that split second of freeze frame?  I had some kind of animation, I could sense myself being ergo I must be making some movement; we are never perfectly still, until of course rigor steps in!  And that sure as hell wasn’t on the menu, please and thank you to whoever or whatever, and wasn’t it just too perfect that that did not matter at all. 

Absolutely no concern for my predicament and the World was just there and I was – not…but yes…could there be another explanation?  Did I jump or was I pulled? Was this an out of body experience or was my one and only Soul about to discover the Thodol Bardo was spot on and there were things and places and spaces and times yet to be traversed. Was I about to get the answers to all the questions? Was there part of me out there to be met and returned to?

Had I dropped through the veils of realities and become suspended in limbo?  Too romantic even for me!  Or is it? Perhaps that is the whole point.

 The Universe had me, by the scruff of the neck – it had picked me up and held me aloft in this daze of space. There was a choice to be made and only I could make it. Oh it’s ultimatum time and you’re gonna leave here, I can see that glazing over in your eyes…( do you get pub singing angels??)

 CLARITY!  The Universe has the capacity to be a bit of a ‘tough love’ aficionado and as the time thing unravelled before my rapidly glazing eyes I began to see where I’d gone wrong…or at least I thought I had.

 Once upon an end of another bastard Wednesday, I trundled my way back home entertaining the idea on one hand of getting changed and going out and meeting up with the boys from Judo, on the other hand, however, the more tantalizing idea was to give it a miss, jump into a long hot bath and go to bed and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep until old Rip called Uncle and confessed to cat napping! The closer the bus got to my home the more I felt I wanted to stay there. I wanted to see the guys and once I got my lazy arse in gear I’d most likely have an excellent time, I thought, then I thought, no – you need to stay at home just stay at home see them on Saturday it’s not too long to wait.

 And so it went on all the way into the house, up to the bedroom, into the bathroom and while back on the bus to go back into town. 

 Closer and closer feeling more and more uneasy, just stay on this bus it’s the circular, you don’t even have to get off your seat, stay on, go home you will not be having such a good time if you continue on here…

I had another opportunity to leave afterwards when a friend called into the pub and offered to put me up for the night.  For some reason staying was the only option and so that is what I did.

 And, there I was, things getting dimmer below me, no feeling of trepidation just a natural kind of hankering to be going on…

 Until, just when I thought everything was going to be finally right, the Universe (or Universal Representative even) let me go!

 That’s right – it dropped me and I banjoed my brain off the tarmac of the pavement in one great WHAP!

 It took a little bit of time for me to realise that it was actually the pavement and not the middle of the road, which had been my last map reference so confusion ruled.

 Since I’ve always been the kind of practical type, my immediate thought after what the fu…??! Was to make a body check – wiggle toes, yes still ten, extend ankles – good no problem there though my feet were quite cold, the knees bent and in the right direction – big relief and then the back was fine but oh! Oh! There was this big, wet, lump on my head where it had – as only it can –  in Glasgow – kissed the pavement!

 Out of nowhere crowds of people arrived, where do they come from by the way? It was after midnight the streets had been empty, is there like a callout crowd, you know someone presses a button and an alarm goes off and beepers are beeping everywhere and all these people drop everything and rush to be instant rubberneckers at accident sites?

 The icing on the cake was the arrival of the police. I don’t get a panda car or a beat cop – no… I get a mini bus full of them going on duty, and they took my shoes from the middle of the road I’m sure that should’ve been evidence!  Of what I’m not sure, that the car was going so fast or that suddenly I can jump higher than Daley Thompson with a 10ft pole?

That the guy actually did see someone for a split second in his headlights a gal gone ‘tharn’!  (He hadn’t been so sure, he slewed to a stop and sent his passenger out to make sure – all I remember of that was ridiculously high heels and blonde hair and whining, not from me, I hasten to add!) That came later when they picked the tarmac out of my eyebrows and forehead with enormous tweezers while asking me how much I had had to drink.

 No other marks at all.

 And yes, I did remark to the Ambulance man that I was glad I’d listened to my mother and was wearing clean underwear!

When I finally got home… well that is another story and when I know you well enough to introduce you to my Mother, you will read it then.

 A couple of years or so afterward I attended a seminar given by the transport police on fatal accidents. There was a picture of a Volkswagen Gti with the windscreen smashed in when the body of the victim hit it on her way over the length of the car.

The guy in front of me said, ‘No way was anybody walking away from something like that’.

 I tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I beg to differ, it can be done, but it’s best not to try it without the aid of a Universal Representative on hand”.

See you down the rabbit hole…

Posted by: purpleandrew | September 27, 2010

RABBITS IN HEADLIGHTS PART I

Have you ever wondered what it would be like trying to get any kind of sensible conversation or just an acknowledgement from a rabbit in headlights?

That is what it’s like trying to communicate with someone who has retreated into catalepsy, the conscious mind in overload totally overwhelmed and unable to move.   That guy Adams had the name for it – going Tharn – now there’s a phrase; something we all know because we all go Tharn every so often.  Every time we get ourselves into situations where something we hadn’t banked on happening happens and in a split second BAM! There’s no time, no sense, no communication between the brain and the limbs – no communication between the brain and the brain.  Your poor unconscious mind clammering in the background trying to be heard but also entranced to the extent that on occasion it forgets to do the breathing thing, (that one thing that is after all, so important to our continued presence on Earth)!

 Meltdown can also be a positive place to start; although we find it hard to perceive this as so, it really is the beginning of everything.   The various meltdown soups that have resulted in life itself are mirrored occasionally in the creative drive of a lot of artists. 

So here we are, back in the headlights.   What is the positive thing?   Well, for the rabbit he’s probably frozen in terror and is getting ready to leap to the great warren in the sky.   I really couldn’t hazard a guess as to what would go on in a rabbit’s brain; I’m too much ingrained in the clichéd breeding thing.  Oh, and of course the good old stand by ‘What’s up doc?’ from Bugs Bunny.  I digress, but isn’t it fun? 

 This is what doesn’t happen during meltdown, the mind cannot meander down tangent-dental, (there go the rabbits again!), paths.  Everything becomes totally crystal clear, there is no past, no future, there is just this precise moment, and their will never be another like it.  I can attest to this, trust me, I have been in the headlights of a car and it’s the most bizarre experience that anyone can have.   Your imminent demise is hurtling upon you and the most inane thought goes through your mind.   Mine was ‘He’s shifting it a bit…’ Then there was absolute peace and a feeling of being yanked out of myself, like some massive force that gave no sensation of mass removed me from the space I had occupied just a nano second before the car was at zero point of no return.

And yanked I was!  I had been wearing little suede boots, with elasticated sides; this was after all the eighties! 

They were still in the middle of the road in a ballet stance position and me; well I was on the pavement over a metre away. 

 I don’t know, I cannot answer that question to your satisfaction, because it has never truly been answered to mine.   The reason for that lies in my need for logical conclusions to logical problems – there are two of me in here, as there are for most people, (some have more than two but that then is a bigger state than Texas and I’m not talking about Alaska!) my logical self knows full well that the logical conclusion of this incident would have been fractures to the left leg and probably the skull and quite possibly the spine too – he was going quite fast; the man in the Volkswagen Golf Gti.

The other part of me, my little friend unconscious mind person, is quite comfortable with the not so logical explanation that takes us into the realm of Spirit and belief systems. 

I know what I felt and I know what I believe.

I also know that I have had quite a few ‘headlight’ moments and each one has had an element of not just ‘stopping the world’ but of some kind of recognition of choice; this is what is happening now, you may choose how it goes from here, how you will react and deal with what happens next, as before your minds’ eye your life flashes by in a nano second that would seem to last forever.

My rabbit may have gone ‘Tharn’  but me, I am looking at all those choices on offer and taking my time picking the best ones for this time in my life.

Posted by: purpleandrew | September 25, 2010

Blame

Interesting word, blame; someone somewhere is always going to be giving it and someone else will always be taking it.

 We are a culture of blame.

 Do you not agree?   Think for a second, when was the last time you mentioned something in the presence of another who immediately announced that it was not them or not their fault – whatever it was that you were talking about. You may have been innocently reminding yourself verbally to do something or other and to your surprise the other person jumped like a speeding lemming over a cliff.

On a social networking website there was a statement about illness and the body and how illness can be a by product of our emotional states as well as physical and that our immune systems are also influenced by those emotional states. We discussed the body as an example of the Gaia Principle and also the body’s innate talent for healing itself and for taking on and encapsulating interloping foreign bodies and virus’s etc.

Then suddenly the blame card was drawn from the pack.

“So it is my fault I have this incurable disease, is that what you are telling me?”

It is the ultimate in simplification. The discussion which before was on broad and quite spiritually global terms had become microscopically focussed on the ‘why me?’ question.

Let’s face it; this is entirely natural because the individual who reads these open statements is coming from their own individual perspective.

That is going to be a perspective from where they sit and the situation they are currently sitting in. If that situation is that they have an incurable degenerative disease or have just been diagnosed with cancer that is a raw and tender place.

There is a need to blame someone or something and there we all go searching for answers, searching for a whipping boy.

Ultimately, we turn things on ourselves; it is what we have been taught as a Western culture.

It must be my fault, I didn’t look after myself… this can be down to lifestyle choices it can also be down to genetics and to indifferent education not to mention environmental factors.

We deal with life with the resources available to us at the time. If we are not aware of those resources then we have less choice.

Eastern cultures are amazing; they have no sense of self. The Dalai Lama was once having a chat with some eminent Western psychologist types and he asked them what they did. Mainly, they reported back that they dealt with people’s issues with self esteem. “What is that?” he asked.

Our belief systems have a lot to do with it as well.

Actually they have everything to do with it.

From my seat on cycle 5 of chemo therapy, I see my Shamanic training and my beliefs taking me through this journey understanding the challenges put before me and knowing that death is the ultimate change. I have no fear of it and have visited with it, I will continue to do so until I understand it is time to go and stay. 

Each day becomes a new experience and something to be aware of, connected to.

I am aware of the lessons in my life that I learned in order to be able to understand what is happening to me now.

It is not my fault – though I did not do much to avoid the end result. I made a choice; I chose to wait to change my lifestyle. It may have made a difference had I chosen to work on my body at the same time as I began work on my spiritual health. Who knows?

What I do know is that all I have learned and understood is taking me through this journey more swiftly and easily than I would if I was in the world of hurt that is blame.

I chose to carry guilt of another, I believed at the time it was my duty to do so.

Understanding that I would carry that load, other loads were foisted upon me and I chose to take them.

A saturated solution will begin to solidify and become something else entirely, a whole new and densely heavy organism with its own energy that makes its own space and invading its environment.

Sit in another seat.

See a different view.

If you are sitting with cancer or another of those life challenging dis-eases, ask a different question.  Question the disease.

Why are you in my life?

What do you bring to my life?

How will you change my life?

How will I choose to be now that you are here?

Will I let you change my life?

Keep asking these and other questions then understand that your choice is to change the answer until you get one that fits.

Every second of every day there is a choice to be made.

Some of them are indeed life changing right away; some of them are just small changes.

Remember big old oak trees come from tiny acorns so every choice has consequence but consequence doesn’t necessarily mean that blame is involved.

If you are carrying another’s guilt or burden, leave it behind, there are so many different paths to take on your journey – travel light take the path less trodden and find adventure at every turn. Be in the moment because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is yet to be decided.

Take your life in your hands and run wild and free with it. Laugh and be joyful. Change happens whether you want it to or not. Go with the flow.

For more info on the unconscious mind and the power to heal yourself see the works of Deepak Chopra and Dr David Hamilton to start you off.

Beard the lion of your dis-ease or that of your partners or family member.

I have discovered a lot about myself and others – it has all been good.

Posted by: purpleandrew | September 18, 2010

When things go wrong – or as you might say, it all breaks at once

Apart from all the normal stuff we are doing to help and care for Leslie as she goes through the chemo, life and all it’s wonderful mystery still goes on.

Recent things that challenge us are finding the bed is mouldy (UGH!) – yep, Leslie’s super sensitive nose got that at 10pm, at 10.05pm, the bed was out in the drive and all the bed linen in the wheelie bin.

On moving the bed we found the carpet was rank too…… that came up the next morning.

The toaster is possessed with the spirit of a flame thrower, man does it burn!!

The hoover decide to blow up last week, big flash!!

The wonderful weather we are having, you know rain and rain, some dry and sunny bits then more rain are particularly good at getting weeds to grow in ninja time and I now have a forest of weeks in the garden. Normally i could deal with this, but with my recently diagnosed ME I can barely pick myself up sometimes, so the weeds grow unabated.

We know we are in the middle of a big transition, but heck! give us a break, or at least lend us some strapping fit gardeners to come and help out!

Better go now, othwerwise this rambling will turn into a full on rant.

Purpleandrew signing out

Posted by: purpleandrew | September 13, 2010

Some stuff about Andrew

Well, it has been an interesting few days and somewhat surreal as i come to terms with a few words given to me by my GP on Wednesday last week.

Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, that’s what he said I had, or ME to those who have heard of it. But more of that later.

Where did it all start? that is a question I ask myself. It is not as though ME starts with a specific event at certain time and date, not like falling off your bike and breaking your leg, you can pin point that precisely. ME is one of those things that has no discernible tangible start point. You do stuff, feel a bit tired, have a couple of early nights or take it easy and hey presto, right as rain.

Or so that’s how it seams. Then it happens again sometime later, maybe months later, maybe next week. So you rest again, but when circumstances mean that you can’t and you carry on regardless, then you start bumping into things in the evenings or need to take a break when pushing the lawnmower.  “Hang on a minute?” you say to yourself, “I am only in my thirties, what’s going on?”

I remember one incident in my previous life. I was doing some gardening and just came over all dizzy and just about fell over. After pulling myself up and sitting down, I got some help from family and had a strong cup of very sweet coffee and 2 bars of chocolate. All this did was make my heart thump like it was going to beat out of my chest, I remained tired and dizzy.

This sort of thing continued and was added to by being very tired in the evenings and yawning a lot. Work was demanding and I had a lot of driving, but with 2 parents working and a young family, this was the norm, you just kept on going, banging it out and ever so gradually and imperceptibly you become weaker when the demands on you become greater.

Then there was the change, separation and divorce. Man that was tough. Don’t let anyone tell you it is easy it is emotionally and financially exhausting. It can’t be easy for either parent, especially with young children, but living apart from your children is one hell of a strain.

So, why all this stuff, well I am not sure, sometime it is good to just be able to release some stuff, get it out of your system and let it go.

Back to last week i suppose.

Even though I had in my own mind thought I had ME, it was still a bit of a surprise to hear my GP say it. Now, this is the funny part. Since then I have been in some kind of post diagnosis fog or more accurately release. I have been even more lethargic and tired and really can’t be bothered doing much. It just seems to be so much effort for such small tasks, then there is the payback afterwards, falling asleep but not sleeping, not being able to watch TV because you can’t concentrate or just don’t give a monkeys for it anymore.

So, here I am, forty six and have ME. As Brookes would say “ain’t that a kick in the head!”

But guess what, this is the good part. I don’t have to live up to anyone elses expectation of me anymore. I am Andrew, just simple and plain old me. I have discovered so much about myself in the last few years and this gives me great strength and hope for the future. I found Leslie, even if I was pushed into it by a big Bear (now, that is a another story!)

So, it is onwards and upwards, even if some days that is doing the square root of bugger all, then so be it, I intend to be around for a long time yet and will get done what needs to be done, eventually. The rest, ahh well it may not have been that urgent or important anyway.

This is purple andrew signing off, I need to go have a lie down.

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