Sunday, 24 July 2016

Go Pokemon Go

I feel sorry for The Young don't you?   not today's young primarily but The Young .... there are brownie points for the best collective noun you can come up with, suggestions can be logged in the comments at the bottom of this page, management retains the right to censor all entries and steal any royalties hereby endowed.... I have seen "a grunt of youth" suggested but that seems less than charitable when i consider how voluble my sons were, and the young'ns who worked for me, when i had my bizniz, could debate for England about every issue you could conceive of more knowledgeably, and with far greater passion, than most of my customers .

Why my solicitations for the young?    Well, it appears that us crumblies believe everything ill under the sun is their fault, when all they are doing is living up to the job description.   They are SUPPOSED to rattle cages, annoy their elders, be inconsiderate, driven by sex hormones, wear outrageous clothes, have an opinion on everything. just ask a 1920's parent's opinion of flapper dresses and the Charleston or the following contingent who ranted and railed when rock'n'roll rolled into town !!!

Every generation has used adolescence as a launch pad for change probably since the stone age, and every generation's parents have struggled to adapt.  prehistoric daddy comes home to find his offspring has painted a bison on her bedroom wall.... "A BISON FOR HEAVEN'S SAKE!!! no respectable cave has paintings inside, what will the neighbours say.... bison are for hunting, eating not daubing.... and while you are at it go scrub off that woad, no daughter of mine is being seen in public with body art.... antediluvian? go wash your mouth out with soap.... what do you mean 'it hasn't been invented yet'  go invent it why don't you?"    like i said, it's the job description.

I was a 1950s baby and no surprise that the Age of Aquarius called to my cohort.   the wounds of conflict were still raw and we wanted to move on from war mongering and xenophobia, the world had seen enough bigotry and intolerance it was time for liberality and the acceptance of difference.   the time was ripe for a Summer Of Love and the freer the love the better, to the horror of our parents. how ironic that those who still remember post war austerity and a divided, desolate Europe are the same ones who have voted us back to those dark and difficult times.   it's the young, the same ones who are accused of wasting their votes during an election year by not turning out,  who are now being berated for choosing unity and diversity over isolation and division in the referendum.    look at the stats:  75% under 25 voted to remain 61% over 65 voted to leave.   the generation gap made manifest.

Don't get me started on fashion, the only consistency is it's inconsistency and every time a hem rises or falls out come the predictable cries of moral degradation, youthful lack of self respect and the downfall of humanity encapsulated in a strip of fabric.  it was easy pre 20's as floor length was the only show in town.  then came the above knee flapper dress and from that point all was lost as every decade saw a rise and fall as predictable as the tide on the causeway of my old home of Holy Island.    i caused scandal at a family wedding one hot summer in the 60's by removing the lower half of a trouser suit and consorting with a cousin in a tunic that barely covered the fundamentals. 
So what are the poor children being accused of now?   Pokemon Go is what !!! the media is full of warnings of rampaging youth chasing computerised beasties on private property, bringing traffic to a full stop, risking life, limb and liberty in pursuit of Pikachu.   these supposedly pasty, spotty, overweight, sun deprived, gruntlings have found the temerity to leave their couch potato status behind and step onto our streets to pursue their fun in the real, via virtual, world.   and after all our complaints about their lying in bed till noon, watching movies till dawn, texting and surfing till the sun burns cold are we happy about it.... are we.... ARE WE ???  no we are not.   In stereotypical geriatric grouch it's all doom, gloom and downfall of mankind at the hands of angsty teens.....AGAIN !!!!

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Introducing Spoonies

Spoon Theory - or Spoonies as it's advocates call themselves.... have you heard of it? 

No, neither had i till a week or so ago.  it was after one of "those" nights when the combined efforts of toast, cocoa, music, book, relaxation, even the example of this somnolent, fur baby cutie had failed to nudge me into the  universe of Slumberland, where most sensible mortals spend the hours of darkness.  indulging in a rare moment of dejectedness over breakfast the next morning, and with my spoon deficit hovering around the level of the National Debt, the link below popped up on Facebook.   what a high fiving, air punching, fist bumping epiphany.    a contemporary allegory existed for a conundrum faced by the many who endure invisible, chronic illness, ergo.... how to describe something that is one hundred percent subjective and lacking a common vocabulary.  

The term spoons was coined by Christine Miserandino in 2003 in her essay The Spoon Theory, which is posted on her website But You Don't Look Sick. In it she recalls a conversation in which her close friend and roommate asked her a vague question about what having lupus feels like. The two were in a diner and Miserandino took spoons from nearby tables to use as a visual aid. She handed her friend twelve spoons and asked her to describe the events of a typical day, taking a spoon away for each activity. In this way, she demonstrated that her spoons, or units of energy, must be rationed to avoid running out before the end of the day. Miserandino also asserted that it is possible to exceed one's daily limit, but that doing so means borrowing from the future and may result in not having enough spoons the next day.

Special considerations

For some people spoons may be replaced after rest or a night of sleep. However people with autoimmune diseases, other chronic diseases, and various disabilities may have concurrent sleep disorders which result in a particularly low supply of energy. Some disabled people may not be fatigued by the disabilities themselves, but by the constant effort required to pass as non-disabled.
Chronic illness often has no obvious signs, no plaster cast, no bandage, no sutures, just an inconsistent, sometimes non-specific, set of symptoms with little or no chance of improvement.  one of the hardest things for a Spoonie to hear is a cheerful "oh.... hope you feel better soon".  that's the problem with chronic, it's    C H R O N I C   IT  AIN'T  GOING  ANYWHERE ! ! !

The Spoon Theory offers no false promises of miracle cure no transformational technique, no master plan for overcoming debilitating disease, it's simply a life style management system made manifest.    a spoon equals a unit of energy, and those with chronic illnesses tend to have a seriously curtailed number of units/spoons to use in a day, also our spoon doesn't hold as much as yours and that's before you add in the pain and fatigue quotient common with most invisible illnesses.   

When we were well if we used all our spoons it wasn't a disaster, a good night's sleep replenished our cutlery drawer and off we launched into the feast of life again full of bounce and with energy to spare for dessert.... once the coffee kicked in.   but for Spoonies sleep, if it can be found at all, doesn't revitalise in the same way and leads to physical and mental exhaustion accompanied by a menu of nasty, toxic symptoms that  can flatten faster and more comprehensively than a bout of e-coli in a fast-food deli.   sadly spoons don't come with a refund option.

The Spoon Theory suggests we have twelve spoons to use each day and certain tasks/actions use up a spoon.   so.... i use up one spoon simply by the Herculean task of easing my hurting body out of bed in the morning, putting on a kimono and feeding the cat.   a spoon is used making breakfast, another eating it and clearing away.   showering and getting dressed consume a spoon and lunch can use two or three depending on what i have.   so that's over fifty percent of my spoons used up and the day isn't half done yet.   when i was well i could tackle an entire day's employment using less.  the secret lies in using your spoon allocation wisely.   for me that means ready meals so i can have coffee with a friend.   paying a cleaner so i can potter a little in my garden.   breakfast in bed in order to do the laundry.   there are no winners in this game only trade offs.

It's abundantly clear that when the Great Cutler In The Sky was dishing out tableware some were bestowed with ladles, others teaspoons and even the ladlers can become Spoonies at any point in life as we are all just a mis-step away from life  changing infirmity.   i didn't say it was "fair".... it's simply the way it is.

Me ??.... i'll continue to count my utensils every day in an effort to avoid feeling like an Eton Mess and be grateful that there's enough in the rack to have an acceptable, if severely limited, life.   i can still shovel coffee into a cup and sit with my toes touching the grass in the garden whilst day-dreaming of world domination.   it's still a pretty good life, far from a dog's dinner.