January 11, 2021

Spaceship McGill

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:45 pm by Aleksan

Spaceship McGill, travelling through space-time at Warp Speed. Staff of every description wearing a variety of coloured uniforms, active maintaing life support systems, caring for the many wounded by age and events.

The war against the Covid aliens is well advanced, costing lives, and on a knife edge – may that terrible and costly conflict be victorious…Spaceship McGill, in the centre of a Nebular Storm, plays her part. Alarms sound…

January 9, 2021

In Hospital ..

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:42 pm by Aleksan

Thank you all for your continuing good wishes.

I am well looked after here in Winchester Hospital, awaiting results from my MRI scan, whuch is being looked at by an expert on “Discitis”, infected intervertebtal discs.

If I have this, I will require at least 6 weeks intravenous antibiotics, every six hours. This is possible. If not I go home hopefully. Or maybe I can have the treatment at home if needed…

This post was interrupted by a lady from the Dementia team – answered all her questions right, but she got mine wrong…

January 5, 2021

Knowle Hospital in the early 1970s…

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:50 pm by Aleksan

Hilary Hickmore As a Psychiatrist in training I worked at Knowle Hospital in the early 70s, and Penny and I lived in the grounds. It was formerly known as the Hampshire County Asylum. Before my time it was run on quasi military lines – the Superintendent and entourage visited each ward regularly, where they were saluted by the Charge Nurses, and saluted back. When I was there inmates lived in their wards, run by kind Sisters and Charge Nurses, and were encouraged to work in the gardens, very lovely, go on outings and do Occupational Therapy. There were concerts and other events but essentially we were self contained and self sufficient – fresh food every day, and one man worked in our garden for which he was paid. I loved it there and felt much part of a Therapeutic Community – it was said that you could not tell the Psychiatrists for the Patients!

January 4, 2021

Evil in the world…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:08 am by Aleksan

It is a cruel, unfair world, and I see no signs of improvement. The news today is appalling- Covid out of control, NHS exhausted, Trump on the verge of insanity, deluded. I suppose the vaccine is good news but it will take a while to mitigate Covid. As an old man, in the evening of my years I wonder what we have done? Conflict and inequality everywhere, climate change because of our exploitation of fossil fuels, and land exploitation. How much could be foreseen, but was ignored for reason of financial imperatives and selfishness? I am truly at a loss in knowing how to respond to so much evil…

January 2, 2021

Acceptance of the Limitations of Older Age…

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:28 am by Aleksan

I am beginning to accept my new status as frail and worn out old man, but reluctantly. I am still in a grief process – shock, denial, anger, sadness and to some degree acceptance. I now understand better what the older members of my family, and friends, had to go through, but at the time I switched off and showed little sympathy.

I now experience pain, lack of energy, disability as never before, and I see little improvement in the long run. I ether lie in bed for 12 hours every night, dozing and waking up for a Paracetamol, or I am downstairs in my chair next to the radiator with a blanket over me, drinking and eating a bit here and there when I can.

I am getting used to this and am not unhappy, but fear for the well-being of Penny and Sarah who I have become dependant on. My world has shrunk, but thank the Gods for FB and Social Media, through whom I can still feel part of a larger and vibrant Community…

January 1, 2021

All silent – January 1st 2021…

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:38 pm by Aleksan

Not even the sound of a twig snapping, or fox barking, a bird. All silent. No voices on the road above, no distant sound of a car or tractor. All silent. Looking out on a white landscape, frost not snow, no wind, nothing. All silent. Not a disturbing silence, but a welcome one. The silence of Nature resting, gathering energy. The silence of impending drama, Soon Nature will leap out of bed – and sing!

December 16, 2020

Covid and Christmas…

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:36 pm by Aleksan

I was surprised when the Covid social distancing rules were relaxed, against medical advice, for five days over Christmas. Covid rates all over the place are rising, Government is getting cold feet. Johnson and Whitty are politically unable to change the Christmas rules, and we have been told that they are not a target.

But we must take responsibility for interpreting these rules in a safe way – to make Christmas short, with a bubble less than three families if possible. A mixed message if ever there was one – you can drive down an icy road at 70 mph, but driving much slower is preferable for your safety, and the safety of others, said Whitty.

I have no idea how people will respond to this, but whatever, we must expect even higher rates of Covid after Christmas. Penny and I will remain in our little bubble for as long as we can, hoping that we can come out after being vaccinated – but we are in no hurry….

December 12, 2020

Surrendering to the Gods…my journey into old age continues apace…

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:32 am by Aleksan

Last night I lay flat on my back in bed from 4 pm to 8 am – interrupted by slow and cumbersome visits to the bathroom. This morning finds me sitting downstairs- for breakfast just an Aymes nutritional shake. For lunch I must eat something – hope I can manage a small portion of something.

My journey into old age continues apace. I have become more dependent, less able to be in charge of my life. In the past I could usually command my body, but now I have to take orders from it.
I have started low dose Amitriptyline for my back ache, first dose last night,and this may have taken the edge of the pain, but I am weaker, more prone to falls. These falls occur suddenly, and I am down with a crash. Then I have to climb back up, a painful process.

Days are more and more focussed on my disability – I need a Rollator to get about inside the house, and have not been out for days. I often feel that the Gods are playing with me, like a cat does with a mouse. I know that I have to surrender, and this experience was one my Ancestors had to go through.

The stripping away of Ego and dignity – easier to accept intellectually than emotionally, but why should I be different from others? This is a journey that we all have to take sooner or later…

December 4, 2020


Posted in Uncategorized at 1:55 pm by Aleksan

Penny, who was only just 18, took me to see Camelot in the West End, for my 20th Birthday present in 1964. It was a wonderful production, never to be forgotten. We got married two and a half years later. Thank you, my dear xxx

December 3, 2020

Letting go, Old Age, and Destiny

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:53 am by Aleksan

When old age comes it is interesting how the world shrinks, and the focus of life becomes more on ailments and body parts.

Yesterday my main event of the day was a visit to see a charming Consultant in Older Persons Health, and he referred me for a CT Scan of chest and abdomen. Today a visit from a Physio is due.

When two or more old people get together it is described as an Organ Recital. I have to say I resent this change, and would really just like to talk about Philosophy, read books, and ride my horses.

So much of our lives happen without us having any choices. Destiny is a strange thing, and I rely more and more on others as time goes on and less on myself. I guess it teaches humility and helps us eliminate pride, and falsely inflated egos. Letting go, is no longer a choice but a necessity.

But there is freedom too, trust of others, and an increasing feeling of belonging to the natural world and its cycles, preparing to join those Ancestors, Family, Friends and Mentors that have gone before, and still teach me so much…

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