Friday, August 26, 2005

Caffeine. Caffeine. Caffeine.

I am a caffeine addict.

I will freely admit it, I am not ashamed.

I'm also not a morning person, ask anyone who's ever had the misfortune of trying to converse with me first thing in the morning. My housemates tend to steer clear of me, it took them only several days to realise that I wasn't actually ignoring them at that time of the day; I just don't have the power of speech and my favoured communication is a non committal grunt. Which is why I have never been involved with anyone remotely chipper in the morning; I am sure it would end with their blood on my hands unless, of course, they soothed my morning antipathy with a steaming cup of freshly ground Sumatra.

I get the shakes. I get irritable. Bleary eyed. My tongue feels fuzzy and I get faint. I need to wrap my hands around that divinely frothy cappuccino, I need to feel that sharp espresso coursing through my veins. There is a profound joy in taking those first few sips, only then can I feel a desire of any sort to function. I read somewhere that in Saudi Arabia a woman can divorce her husband if he doesn't keep her supplied with coffee. I say "go girl!". I'd certainly react against any fool who came between me and my morning fix.

I think this may be the result of my canadianess, maybe like my fondness for crispy bacon and blueberry pancakes. Together.
I'm actually offended by tea, unless of course it's green. Or white. But none of that brown stuff. Doesn't do it for me at all. Dusty nasty tea leave shite. Nope. Give me that perfectly beautifully brown roasted coffee bean.

And am not sure where this is going at all.
I have a hangover.
I missed my run.

And I've not yet had my morning coffee.

Monday, August 22, 2005

August grey

It's August.

It's the silly season.

And it is a cold and grey London afternoon; which wouldn't be so bad if there was more to do instead of stare glumly out the window at the streets of Farringdon.

I have tried though, really I have. I'm completely up to date and organised with all the tedious jobs I leave to the last minute.

Yes. It is that bad.

It's the same as everyone else around me. We're just all staring blankly at our screens.

Blinking when we need to blink.

Drinking when we need to drink. (well, not really like that, the ouzo went home with me the other day and no longer graces my desk. I can only think that that is a good thing otherwise I may be tempted)




Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Buck up, buttercup!

Last October proved a turning point in my life.

It wasn't serious, in that it wasn't life threatening. If treated, the chances of it ever developing into cancer were miniscule. But there it was. On the form that called me in for a biopsy. In the voices of the doctor and the nurses.

It was just a word, after all.

My body suddenly felt hollow. I felt betrayed. I wondered why I didn't feel any difference in my body. There were no aches or pains that alerted me to the fact that there was something wrong with me.

I have always been terrified of cancer, I don't know why. It is the only illness that as a child would fill me with dread, I remember a girl from our neighbourhood being diagnosed with leukaemia when I was 6; and then asking my parents if it would happen to me too.
Could you get it from touching? From climbing the same tree, or drinking from the same glass?
For several months I knew that I too would one day get sick, that I too would lose my hair. It was the romantic musings of a child, but I played it out in Technicolor dream in my mind. My parents around my bed, my sister holding my hand, the neighbourhood holding candlelit vigils while I, brave, heroic, pale told them all in hoarse whispers that it would all be okay before I faded off into a gentle death. If I had at that time been introduced to Dylan Thomas, I am sure that "Do not go gentle into that good night" have played a key role in the above scene, while I bravely fought off the invisible demons inside my bones.
To tell you the truth, at that age, I most likely had no idea of what leukaemia really was, all I knew was that it was cancer and when I finally plucked the courage to tell my mother I suspected that I too had caught this leukaemia, she told me in no uncertain terms what I would have to go through just to diagnose it.

Years later, I heard the tale of one of my closest friends' partner who has had multiple bone marrow transplants, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and who lightly joked that the worst thing he could ever hear was the doctor telling him that a) he needed a bigger needle and b) he needed another stronger doctor to help him push said needle in.
It made my childhood romanticism of dying seem almost insulting to him.

And so in October last year I had treatment to remove the abnormal cells, and I healed.

And waited 8 long weeks for results which I knew would give me an all clear; and in these 8 weeks I made a pact to myself that I would get healthy, that I would set myself a challenge that was both physically and emotionally demanding.

I have never been a runner. I have never liked to run. But somehow I was inspired to make it my mission to run the London Nike 10k in October 2005.

So where am I now then? I've been called back for another screening as at my last check up they found more abnormal cells but I'm not worried. I have been told that this is normal. I start running next week and I'm fairly excited about it.
I'm going to have the sort of discipline I've never had before.

I've told friends.

I've told my sister.

I've made pledges

I need to keep to my schedule and do it.

And if I ever feel the need to slack off, I have the words of my sister "Buck up, buttercup!" to keep my feet flying.