Friday, June 24, 2005

Four Hours Too Late...

So she didn't wait for me - as so often in her life she did things her way...and I see it as her last act of love to me that she didn't want to put me through the pain of watching her die - though I would gladly have been with her.

The staff at the nursing home were so desperate to get me there in time that they sent a car out to pick us up from the airport...they were all heart-broken...she had been so popular there; never complaining, a smile for everyone.
She so often used to say, "well, you just have to get on with it" and that was the principle with which she got through these last awful years.

Last time I was here 3 weeks ago she was drifting away and coming back and it seems on Tuesday she drifted away again but this time just didn't return. She died peacefully in her bed with my cousin holding her hand...

I did get to hold her hand again but it was already cold and there was no squeeze back.

I am glad for her sake that this horrible end phase of her life is over and that she is now at peace but we are all wracked with grief and if the depth of your grief is the measure of the love you had for someone you have lost then she was very loved.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

UK Songwriters' Thingy

It happened just by chance...I was looking for freelance writing jobs and there was a link to this songwriters' competition...the "UK Songwriting Contest" which is unbelievably famous all around the world and which I have never heard of.
And just by chance the closing date for submissions in not February this year or April, it's June 30th - i.e. not yet!!
Anyway, that makes 2 lots of "just by chance" and I thought, "well, why the **** not?"
So I am going to enter 2 songs from my CD - 25€ per song - and see what happens. I will keep you all updated...until of course I win and make a fortune at which point I will start a new gloatblog aimed at all you losers!!
If you want to hear what I am entering, here are a couple of links to snippets from the songs...

1) Shining Light
2) The World Is New

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Just Once More...

I am flying to Liverpool in about 12 hours. I got a call from the home that my mum is really poorly and the doctor said her condition is deteriorating.

I just want to hold her hand once more - and I am sure she will wait till I get there...

Monday, June 20, 2005

UK Songwriters' Thingy - Step 2...

Ok, I have entered my two songs! Took a bit of messing about to get them in the correct format but they finally went skedaddling down the aether - along with $64 - to enrapture the lugholes of the judges whom I hope really do exist!

I have by nature a suspicious turn of mind and it it very difficult not to imagine that this whole "contest" is just a big hoax and thousands of songwriters around the world - or maybe just ME - send their mp3s to some bogus address where the files are immediately and automatically deleted and that the money simply arrives in the bank account of the people who were devious enough to set up this scam in the first place and that they stuff it all in their suitcases and trip off to some exotic island in the South Pacific where they spend carefree lives far into the distant future.

However, if (or let's just say when) I win then I will have a little tiny bit more faith in the competition...

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Things Don't Go Away

I noticed that when I was in my home town at the end of May I did not blog anything about my mother. I think it was on the principle that if you ignore things they go away...well, they don't.

She has lost more weight, was just as confused and not-there as last time...and it is really hard to experience this. She didn't really recognise me when I arrived and didn't really react much while I sat there. The closest we got to communication was squeezing each other's hands.

Except for day 9, the day before I left. I went in to her room and she looked at me...she managed to say what sounded like, " I haven't seen you for ages." She was there - and I could talk to her and she obviously understood most of what I was saying...

Later when I got back to her house I found myself babbling to the neighbour about it on the phone...I hadn't noticed that I was so excited...

And? The next day?

When I went in to say goodbye, I walked slowly to the room...I knew what was coming - as I expect you know what is coming - she was back to being not-there again.
But at least she had her day at the beach.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Bad News for Beer-Bellies

No news is good news - so they say - but most news is bad news.
And this is BAD NEWS...

You know that beer belly you are developing - or your partner/boyfriend etc is developing? Well, it is nothing to do with beer! All the jokes about six-packs - forget them.

The quintessential beer-belly, that protusion of midriff, that strainer of trouser belts, that pinger of shirt buttons, is all caused by your testosterone levels! Your declining testosterone levels

After the age of 25 or 30, your testosterone levels start to go down and this has of course many effects on the male body - just look in your junk mail folder - but it has ONE particular effect on your stomach. The firm muscular tissue there you have always been so proud of (oh really!?) turns to flaccid flabbiness without testosterone to support it.

I am truly sorry about this, chaps!

And there's gets worse....! If you want to get rid of this blemish...reduce your waistline, banish the bulge, melt down your spare tyre, then you will have to do ridiculously more exercise than you would have had to do in younger days. I can't remember exactly how much more exercise because at that moment I was shouting abuse at the TV programme which was reporting all this - fronted by one of those slick, smiling, ingenuous presenters who you would really like to smack around the face with a dead chicken;
"...your beer belly is due to falling levels of testosterone," (mirthless smug smile which translates as - 'you impotent bastard')
"...and if you want to reduce it you will have to do SO much more exercise that when you were younger!" (gloating smirk which means - ' you lazy fat old slob')

And they do mean exercise, too. It's no good wrapping yourself in cling-film and sitting watching the football on have to get up and get out and shake your boody (what is a boody anyway?).

Well, I will leave you to digest all that and get going on my fitness training...I think I will start with my right arm...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Bad Ads?

I'm not sure if I'm glad or sad to have these AdSense Google links on my website - maybe when the millions start rolling in I will know.
But when I write a blog about Einstein and relativity and then find a link to a website promoting the "idea" that Einstein's predictions (and a lot more besides) are all there in black and white in the Koran, "Relativity in Islam"...well, words fail me! I had a quick look at the website...apparently it's the angels which carry the photons to that god knows what we are up to!
Actually, I suppose that now I have written "Einstein's predictions" there will now be a load of links to Nostradamus and then links to sites which explain how all his comments are also already in the Koran...and so on and so forth...
It reminds me of a story about Carl Sagan: when he was a little kid he was already getting interested in the sky at he went to the local library and asked the librarian for a book about stars...she came back with a volume about a group of those stellar inhabitants of Hollywood!

Friday, June 03, 2005

Ein Stein, bitte...

Germans do not say this…well, not if they want a beer anyway…if you want to order a stone then it is correct.

I have no idea why the expression emerges so readily from normal “linguistically-challenged” (i.e. totally useless at foreign languages) English/American/Australian tourists’ lips.

When I get into conversation with people in England and they find out (to their amazement usually) that I speak German (if I am feeling particularly unkind I can reduce them to paroxisms of admiration by telling thm that I also speak Greek) they tend to tell me proudly that the only German they know is “Hände hoch!”, “Achtung!”, and “ein Stein, bitte”. They seem to think that “ein Stein” is the name of these big litre beer glasses we have in Bavaria – they also seem to imply that these are the only phrases you are going to need in Germany.

Well, if you order “ein Stein” in Germany you will only get confused looks and maybe a stone!

However, ein Stein as in Einstein, as in archetypal image of mad scientist, as in most brilliant scientific mind of the 20th century, as in e=mc²…well, that’s quite a different subject.

I have been planning to blog something about Einstein for a few weeks seeing as this year is the centenary of his theory of special relativity which people have been struggling to understand ever since it was published in 1905.

We have had a hundred years now of not being allowed to travel faster than light, of knowing that mass is frozen energy and that time is relative. Quite why this last point about time going faster or slower has confused the quantum noggins out of everyone is a mystery. I have a good few relatives who make time stand still completely whenever I visit them.

But no, I jest! I have puzzled over this too – and I have found a way to explain it to myself logically at least even if I still can’t really visualise it…

Imagine you have a clock with a digital display – if you already have one then you don’t have to imagine that bit – and you go outside into the garden/street/wherever. Then you press the little button on the clock which illuminates the display…let’s say it shows 11.45. Now, you have been able to see the time due to the photons coming from the display; some of them have hit your retinas and the image they carry has been relayed to your brain. Lots more photons have not hit your retinas but have gone off hurtling up into the sky.

Now, what if we follow them…they go shooting off at the speed of light (because they are light) and, after a few hours, leave the solar system. Perhaps two years later some of them go down the tube of a telescope on a patrol spaceship in the vast frozen wastelands of interstellar space…what image do they show? A clock face with a time of 11.45 of course – but it is two years later for your alarm clock back on Earth and it will by now be showing a different time. For these travelling photons though, time has stood still and if you had travelled along with them time would have stood still for you too and although your clock at home had aged 2 years, you, like the photons, would not have aged at all!!

So there is another way to stay young without bottox.

Now it is time for a quick Stein before I try and market the idea in Hollywood.