August 31 , 2007


Uh-oh. Just when I thought I could forget about the invisible LOC I get a call this afternoon from the secretary of the specialist saying he wants to see me before I leave to discuss the results of the second biopsy of the lump-on-cheek done on August 22nd. That one was more thorough than the previous one and was done by a proper doctor rather than a technician so I felt quite relieved and didn't think I'd need to see the doc again until October, as arranged. So what's this all about now? Why won't they tell me on the phone why it can't wait? I have an appointment for Tuesday Sept.4 and until then I'll have to gag my imagination to stop it from, um, imagining things. Lalalalalala isn't much good in this case.


August 30, 2007


Helloooo again. I'm still alive. Been busy with visiting relatives and small children and related activities, none of which included sitting at a computer screen and I must admit it was good to loosen my dependance on this machine though we are still an item.

However there will be another longish gap before I get back to full bloggery because I am going to New York from September 7th to Sept. 19th and will not be taking any form of cyber communication equipment with me. I'll be meeting up with bloggy friends in the Big Apple and also trying to do a bit of promotion for The God Interviews and also taking a quick trip to Boston to see family. Hope to have lots of news and pictures when I return so you will wait for me, won't you? Probably one more blogpost before I leave.

Meanwhile, here's someone to watch over you while I'm gone. She was swinging from the rafters at London Zoo and stopped to survey the crowds pressing their faces against the glass barrier, an expression on her face which might have been disdain or bewilderment or sadness or none of those. Whatever it was, I felt sorry that this magnificent creature was so far from her home and condemned to be gawped at by the likes of us.

Gorilla at London Zoo, August 07


August 12, 2007


No operation, no hospital, no worries. Sort of. Though the lymph node on my cheek is not malignant it usually would be removed but the consultant was categorically against operating because he said that at my, erm, age there is a very high risk of damage to facial nerves and healing doesn't go so well as it would if I were, erm, much younger. Okay, I'm relieved, no operation. But the ultrasound biopsy has to be done again shortly because there was an insufficient sample last time. Why insufficient? Who knows? And I have to see the consultant again in two months.

Now I'll tell you what I've been thinking. For the past four years I've spent a truly ginormous amount of time sitting in front of of a computer screen, sometimes for twelve hours or more, continuously, day after day and many nights after nights, usually quite close to the screen especially when working on images in close-up. You can guess where this is headed, right? Non-ionizing radiation from computer screens, low-level electro-magnetic radiation, etc.There are three schools of thought on the subject:

1) Nothing to worry about.
2) The research is inconclusive.
3) Plenty to worry about.
The information is out there. You just have to sift through it and judge for yourself what, if anything, to do about it.

One thing is for sure: I'm going to drastically reduce the amount of time I spend sitting at my beloved computer. To get away from the dangerous beloved I went to see the Antony Gormley exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. The whole-body casts of Gormley standing on rooftops are wonderful, both in concept and execution.

Man on top. Gormley on the roof.

Two men on top

I was not impressed with most of the work inside the gallery where concept dominates and, in my admittedly hard-to-please opinion, falls flat. No way would I enter that Blind Light steam room - wet, cold, coughing, blinding disorientation comes under the heading of torture, or very bad weather, in my book. But it provides good pictures from the outside.

Blind Light, Gormley installation

The room of shiny spiky geometrics hanging from the ceiling looked to me like upmarket designer-interior Christmas decorations for a fancy office, regardless of their high-minded description in the exhibition brochure.

Matrices & Expansions, Gormley


August 7, 2007


Tht's me today


August 5, 2007


By the way, there's a new theme at OUT OF THE BOX to which I hope everyone will contribute. It doesn't have to be taken too seriously - just playing can have  surprising results.

Went to the beautiful wedding of my beautiful niece yesterday on the most beautiful day of this temperamental summer. After a moving marriage ceremony in historic Pitzhanger Manor House in Ealing, booked for the occasion, everyone adjourned to the park for picnicking and games on the grass.

Wedding toast The beautiful bride.

Thinking that I should post another chapter of the autobiography before my birthday which is in two days but it looks like I'll be late for that, as is my wont. Are you a late person? I am a late person. In school I got a lot of white cards for lateness. White cards were what you got if you did bad-ish things. If you were really bad then you got yellow cards but an accumulation of white cards got you sent to the Mother Superior for a serious scolding. My lateness was due to being unwilling to get up in the morning and then a very long bus ride to school. I would arrive when all the children were seated in the assembly hall, eyes closed for the period known as "Meditation" (nothing to do with anything that goes by that name nowadays). I would try to sneak in undetected but I was always caught by some eagle-eyed nun on sentry duty and out would come the white card. Somehow this didn't work as a deterrent because I have never quite overcome my tendency to be late. I'm sure there's a psychotherapeutic explanation but I'll put it off for later. Do you want to see what I looked like in school? Here's a blurry pic of the eighth grade, in our ugly dark green uniforms in the convent school I attended in New York. The sneaking-in late would have taken place a couple of years earlier than this photo. Rationally I can guarantee the small girl sitting on the floor is me but irrationally I have no idea who she is. The ribbons around our necks held medals but I've forgotten why though I know that the wide ribbons across the chests of the two middle girls indicated the class president and vice-president. Politics even then.

Natalie's school picture