Sunday, 29 May 2011

Sun Beds, Premature Skin Aging and Melanomas.

Katie Price
I have a colleague at work who is twenty years younger than I am.  She is a sun bed addict.  She had crow's feet at the age of twenty five and now at the tender age of ??? – but definitely under forty! - she has more lines on her face than Clapham Junction.  I find it difficult to give her eye contact in that I am horribly obsessed with and focus on the deep lines on her face.

We have had talks in the past with her obsession with sun beds and I have pointed out to her that she is at high risk of melanomas as she is fair skinned, freckled and has many moles.  She has taken this on board but is unable to halt her addiction.  Oddly enough, even though I can discuss with her the high risk of skin cancer – I am unable to tell her that she looks old!

Last nigh I watched Grand Designs and I love this programme.  Youngest son has had his eye on a listed building in the city where I work and it is his dream to own it.  It is unoccupied and would make great upmarket flats.  I have taken on his passion and I want him to own it too – but it will need a lottery win!  A big lottery win!

However I digress, the female partner (who is incredibly beautiful) of the two who were breathing new life into a listed building, has the hallmarks of sun bed abuse.  The crow's feet and the lines around the mouth - and she could only be under thirty.

Why oh why do people – especially females – do this to themselves?  Today's 'suntan' is tomorrow's premature aged skin.

I am not 'into' vacuous celebs – but I know some (many?) folk are, so I would ask you to consider the vacuous Katie Price who at the ripe old age of thirty-four is to cease modelling – (hallelujah) as she considers herself old, wrinkly and fat.  Katie is a self-confessed sun bed addict who resorted to Botox in her late twenties in an attempt to eradicate the skin damage caused in her quest for a continuous tan.

Are you the next Katie?  Please read these articles re sun beds at Scot Sun, Cancer Research,  and the World Health Organisation  Read and learn!

If you are a sun bed addict – you may be lucky enough to escape melanoma – but it is highly likely that you will suffer premature skin aging.

Do you really want to look sixty in your early forties?

Anna :o] – the pale faced and almost wrinkle free one.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Romance Is Dead

Banquet Scene with a Lute Player
Nicolas Tournier, 1625
Our maiden
She now quite perplexed,
For he, her suitor,
Some months afore,
Appearing vexed
Had declared
"Madam!  Romance is dead,
For thee my lady, me
Up the garden path hath led!" 
And with that had strutted off
Leaving she (poor child)
With such sore emotion,
For why he had left
She had not notion,
Knowing only that
Her heart was broken.

Yet this morn
His calling card he had sent,
Her heart still full of him
(Which he suspected),
She did relent
And had accepted
This invitation for his banquet feast,
(An explanation she sought at the very least).

Perplexed was she
By his returned affection,
Why he had left
He would not mention,
Instead proclaiming
Undying love for her.

Wine flowed forth,
His tongue much loosened,
Blaming his departure
On dire financial straits. 
("A temporary nuisance,"
Was his pretence,
Stupidly mentioning
Her new

Alert now to his cunning plan
Our maiden, now much wiser
(She would not be used by any man)
And as he knelt upon one knee,
Proffered a ring and kissed her hand
"My lady wouldst thee honour me
And thee me wed?" 
"Me?  Why no sir," she sweetly smiled
"For in my heart romance is dead!"

Anna :o]

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales for the inspiration

Sunday, 22 May 2011

2015 "It's the NHS Jim, but not as we knew it."

My Hero - Not!
Judgement day came and went!  Phew!  Not the end of the world then - but unless we act quickly - as sure as eggs is eggs, pretty soon it will be the end of the NHS as we know it.

So yet again folks I would draw your attention the The Health and Social Care Bill or if you like, NHS reforms.  Only two weeks of the sham NHS "listening exercise" left and then we are doomed!

I know I keep nagging on and on and on and you may be bored to death of it, possibly don't even care - but it is up to YOU general public to get your fingers out, brush off the apathy and get YOUR voice heard!

A recent YouGov poll commissioned by 38 Degrees showed that 95% of the public have no idea how to get involved in the "listening exercise" and 1 in 5 believe that Lansley isn't listening.

I would go a bit further by informing that when attempting to discuss NHS reforms with my colleagues last night - not one of them knew what I was talking about.  Depressing isn't it?

38 Degrees are asking for donations to run ads in The Times, The Mail and The Guardian to alert YOU as to how Lansley has ignored the Save Our NHS campaign.  Donate, do SOMETHING!

Read this article that shows the "listening exercise" is a stunt, read who is worried, read these excellent blogs:
Bad Medicine, The Cockroach Catcher, Witch Doctor, A Betternhs's Blog and all blogs directed to on these same blogs.  Read and learn!

Please do SOMETHING because as sure as eggs is eggs, if you don't, come your dotage and you need your hip replacement - you won't get it!


Anna :o]

Friday, 20 May 2011


I don't have a problem with drink,
She has a problem with my drinking.
It is her problem, not mine.
I can take it or leave it
But why should I leave it?

Whisky, whisky my friend in a bottle
Warming and welcoming,
Never judgemental,
Soother of stress
And calmer of chaos.

She has her white tablet,
Her friend in a bottle
That she takes as she says
She is depressed by my drinking.

The miserable bitch
Blaming me for her problems.
Could I take her or leave her?
It would be easy to leave her.
No wonder it is that I visit
My friend in a bottle.
Always warming and welcoming
And never judgemental,
My friend in a bottle.

Anna :o]

With thanks to Poets United for the inspiration
and also apologies as it just needed a title!

With very special thanks to Addy at Alcoholic Daze
and Linda at Immortal Alcoholic for increasing my understanding
of sharing your life with an  alcoholic.

Monday, 16 May 2011

The Open Door

The open door
A Wandering Jew
In artificial light.
Its trailing leaves
Touch dusty books
Like searching
Eager for
The knowledge
That lies

Anna :o] 

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder


Rituals, rituals,
Damn, damn rituals!

Must get out of bed on the right side,
Quilt folded just so, pillow fluffed.
Gotta do it!  Gotta do it!
Why have I gotta do it?
I really don't know.
But if I don't...
O God it doesn't bear thinking about,
Something terrible will happen...
But what I don't know.

Open bedroom door with elbow.
Hands bad luck.
Knock twice on the architrave.
Must get the rhythm right!
Must get the rhythm right!
Touch picture on wall with right index finger
(Then twice left cheek).
Four steps forward, two steps back.
Four steps forward, two steps back.
Made it to bathroom!

Open door with elbow.
Hands bad luck.
Knock twice on the architrave.
Must get the rhythm right!
Must get the rhythm right!
Turn on taps, wash taps,
Wash soap, wash me.
O God it takes an eternity.
Wash me, wash soap, wash taps, wash sink.
Wash me, wash soap, wash taps, wash sink
Over and over again.

O God the stairs!
Touch wall with right index finger for luck.
Four steps down, two steps up.
Touch wall with right index finger for luck.
Four steps down, two steps up.
O God this is screwing me up!
Will I make it?
I can't bear the thought of going back up
And starting again.
Touch wall with right index finger for luck.
Four steps down, two steps up.
Touch the wall with right index finger for luck.
Four steps down, two steps up.
Finally made it!

O God!
I need to go to the toilet!
I have to go back up!

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) presents with obsessional thoughts - words, beliefs, ideas; doubts - e.g. did I turn the tap off(?); rituals - e.g. repeated hand washing; convictions, ruminations, impulses, images, all of which lead to an anxious and/or depressed state.

OCD rarely occurs in early childhood.  The age of onset peaks at 12-14 and 20-22 years old.  The onset is usually earlier in men and very few - men or women - develop OCD after the age of 35.  Onset may be insidious or acute and a precipitating event is clear in approximately 60% of cases.

Minor obsessive-compulsive symptoms account for 17%.  Personally, books are placed on shelves in order of height and content, dishes on the drainer by order of height, clothes hung in the wardrobe as divisions of colour and crookedly hung pictures drive me nuts!

Is this minor OCD or just part of who I am?  Looking at a bookcase now - books half read are not placed back where I took them from, there are dead leaves on the trailing plant on the bookcase top - and it doesn't bother me.  But what if it did?

When you double check whether you have locked your front or car door or wonder if you have let the cat out, set the alarm and so on - consider what it must be like to filled with doubts all the time.

Anna :o]

With thanks to writer's island for the inspiration.

Superstition:  a credulous belief or notion, not based on reason or knowledge.
                     Some superstitious actions are said to bring good luck:  such as
                     knocking on wood, crossing fingers, etc.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Holy Poverty

St. Francis of Assisi
Patron Saint of Animals
Merchants & Ecology
Magpie 65

St Francis of Assisi

Born in Assis in Umbria, in 1181, the son of an affluent cloth merchant, Francesco Bernardone, as he grew, enjoyed a very rich easy and permissive life.

Aged twenty-five he had a dream in which God told him his direction in life was wrong.  Across the years he began to shed his life of privilege and adopted a life of poverty.  He became a preacher - never a priest - but was not a reformer.  He preached of returning to God and obedience to the church.

His life of poverty led to ill health and he became blind.  He responded to his blindness and suffering by writing the Canticle of Brother Sun.  He never recovered from his illness and died in 1226 at the age of forty-five.

Francesco had never sought to eradicate poverty - rather make it Holy.

It could be argued that to achieve Holy Poverty, Francesco depended on the goodwill, charity and toil of others in that they provided for him - thus their toil and labour denying them this same Holy status.

Millions are born into abject poverty each day - does this make them Holy by misfortune of birth, or to achieve this Holy state, impoverished as they are, do they have to relinquish what little they have?  Their life?

St. Francis endorsed a very specific kind of poverty that only Christians of means could embrace - so does this mean that he encouraged the stealing of the one spiritual advantage, that is, their poverty that only the poor could have?

A Mother's Prayer

Brother Sun                                                                   
You shine down
Upon us
Scorching this arid land;
Drought and famine.

O Lord
I beseech thee.
Cry for me
And all your children.
Let your tears
Fall as rain
And bring life
To Sister Earth
To sustain us.

Lord I entreat thee;
Save my children
From Sister Death.
Deliver my children
From the despair
Of their lives
And make this their
Heaven on Earth.

O Lord
How can I pardon You
For the sickness and trial
They bear as they
Die a lingering death?
How can I
Endure in peace?

Lord show me the way.


This perhaps controversial take on the prompt was never intended - it just happened that I remembered having the same unanswered questions as a child and wonder what your thoughts might be.

Anna :o]

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales 65

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Time Is Running Out


C'mon folks - time is running out!  Only 290883 have signed the 38 Degrees 'Save the NHS' petition so far - what a miserable amount!

Okay reforms are required - but not as envisaged by our dear coalition government.  Don't be fooled by Nick's sudden U-turn - listen to this little snippet of Mondays Today programme and learn of the Lib Dems real plans for our NHS.

Don't be fooled by Labours supposed interest in our NHS and their failed motion - New Labour were the original architects of steady NHS privatisation.

Don't be fooled by the 'Pause and Listening' exercise - the reforms will progress unless we shout out and stop it!

Follow the Guardian's NHS Reforms live blog to discover the real news.

Support your GPs.  Listen to the Chair of the Royal College of GPs Dr Clare Gerada here voice her concerns and visit here to learn more - click on 'accompanying report.'

Most importantly support your NHS by signing the petition.  Email it, Tweet it, put in on FaceBook.

It is time what we the general public got off our backsides and fought for something precious - have you got off yours?

Anna :o]

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

My Son

Smoldering Fires.  Clarence Hallbrook Carter
1904-2000.  Columbus Museum of Art
My Son

You were born into poverty
Where every crumb on the table
Is torn from the flesh
And toil of your father;

Where each penny ill-spent
On the needs of today
Is at the cost of tomorrow;

Where every tomorrow
Is more daunting
Than the hell of today;

Where hope is just a dream
And hopelessness
A reality.

Mother Nature
Spewing fire from her mountain;
Our vista a vision of Hell.

Misery, all pervading
Casts a long shadow
And we become as one.

Anna :o]

With thanks to Tess at Magpie Tales