Friday, October 30, 2015

More Odds and Ends

It is hard to write anything intelligent when your head feels like it is stuffed with sawdust.  My head may BE stuffed with sawdust and my writings may NOT be intelligent at the best of times but as long as it doesn't FEEL like it, I am good to go. I walked the dogs on a cold rainy day, dressed too warm got all sweated up and wet with rain.  Instead of changing into a dry shirt when I got home I fell asleep.  When I woke up my sinuses were plugged solid.  Some days I should not be allowed out without a note from my wife.

I can breath now but it is moving into my chest.  One more week to go.  All cures for the common cold work in about two weeks. Treating the symptoms only goes so far.  Oxymetazoline works great as a nasal decongestant BUT if you use it to often the sinus tissues develop a rebound effect.  So I can't use it anymore.  And I used the last of my extra-strength  Fisherman's Friend cough lozenges which I haven't found here yet.  My son is mailing me a half dozen packages.  I trust I will no longer need them when they arrive but they will be here for next time.

Winter seems to have arrived for keeps now with night temps well below freezing and day temps barely reaching +5.  The dogs' water dish freezes up at night so I take them a pail of hot water which cools off when it hits their dish and stays liquid for the day at least. The cats are still going out at night, though Tigritsa waits until 3:00 am.  She is a wuss.  Scared us the other day; lethargic, wouldn't eat anything etc.  Went out at her usual time and we saw her next morning eating a mouse.  She prefers to hunt her own food, I guess.

It is hard enough to concentrate when I can breathe so I did no useful work but watched a few old movies instead.  I now prefer Charles Bronson's westerns to John Wayne's.  In 1970 (?) Richard Chamberlain made a couple of Allan Qartermain movies based on Ryder Haggard's "King Solomon's Mines.  Atrocious doesn't begin to describe how bad they were.  Indiana Jones movies were far better.

Since Oct 21 was the 210th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalger, I watched "That Hamilton Woman". The 1941 movie was apparently Churchill's favourite during the war and he watched it several times.  The parallels are striking.  England standing alone against a dictator who has conquered all of Europe and preparing to invade England.  Emma, Lady Hamilton, Lord Nelson's mistress, was quite a character.  A recent biography "England's Mistress" is on my to-read list. The movie ends happily for England but not of course for Nelson and certainly not for Lady Hamilton who died in abject poverty in Calais in 1815.

Last Friday evening I went to "English Club" as a special guest, a native English speaker.  Two groups met at 5:30 and at 7:00.  About 10 or 15 in each group.  Ages from 13 to 50+.  The two organizers were fluent in English.  The participants had all studied English and English Club gave them practice opportunity to speak and listen.  The first group spoke about things they feared and things that inspired them; the second group about hobbies.  They would ask me questions and I would answer them as best I could.  No interest in cows but lots in history so I could still pontificate. Two of the girls were in Masha's class and were so excited when they figured out who I was.  They immediately called Masha after Club.  Another girl was Tanya's great-niece.  We had met a couple years before but I didn't recognize her.  She had grown up a fair bit.  I will got back once in a while to future meetings.

Turkey has a national election on Sunday, five months after the last one that did not give Erdogan his majority. Lots of violence between PKK (Kurds) and Turkish state which may or may not backfire on Erdogan.  I do not see a peaceful resolution to this at all.  If Erdogan fixes the results all hell will break loose as people will take to the streets en masse.  If he does not get his majority again and the moderate party gets over the 10% threshold, I see things getting really ugly for the moderates.  Their leader has already had death threats. Erdogan could easily tar them all as terrorists.  We'll see.

Happy Halloween.


  1. So sorry to hear you're sick. Amazing with all of our medical advances, we are still laid flat by a common virus. You are ahead of us with the cold weather. I am just fine with our 50F (and up to 60F this weekend) days. Only a few mornings with frost so far. Are you that farther north than us? When my daughter lived in Italy for a year, she found that the demand for native English speakers was quite high. She even found a job as a nanny/companion to two young children, as the parents wanted the kids to be exposed to English At that time, her Italian was limited. We Americans are so stupid at language, and yet everyone seems to want to learn ours. Crazy.
    Take care of yourself. Hope you feel back to normal strength soon.

    1. Thanks for commenting and for sympathy. Usually if I want sympathy I need to look it up in the is between "shit" and "syphilis".
      The common cold virus morphs constantly into new variants, much like the flu. Consequently it is impossible to develop an effective vaccine.
      Thanks to the British Empire and American economic and technical might, English is the world's "lingua franca".

  2. Hope your cold clears up soon.

  3. I too take Fisherman's cough drops and swear by them.
    We have a late fall this year and day temps are in the 50' s (F) and night temps just above freezing. When the cold comes it will come all at once. Haven't had to light the wood stove yet. At these temps the wood stove would drive us out of the house. I normally don't stoke it unless day temps are below freezing.
    take care
    November 1st. Where did October go???
    the Ol'Buzzard

    1. Fall in Maine must be lovely. Your photos are beautiful.
      Nov 1 it is. Not much left of 2015. Time goes.

  4. Hope you feel better soon! It's a snowy day here today - great big golf-ball-sized flakes floating down. A perfect day for baking bread, and I've already got three loaves in the oven. Now that we're officially into November, I don't mind the snow. It's a nice change from the dull browns and greys, but after the first dozen times I have to shovel, I'll probably change my tune. ;-)

    1. Thanks. I declared myself better today and took the dogs for a walk as they had not been out of their yard since I got sick. Surprisingly enough our weather has warmed up again. It has not frozen for a few nights now. I am not looking forward to cold and damp. But every day is a day closer to April.


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