Saturday, 30 April 2016


    Hurty teeth, not getting enough sleep with the lighter mornings, not having enough time for anything any more.

    That's the reality of pulling in a bit of contract work. I mustn't complain really, it's a really interesting project, and though my business had reached the point at which it could support me anyway it's always good to do something that brings in extra money.

    It was something I'd always thought I'd do at some point, set up an online dating profile. I did a lot of research to pick the right site to avoid TERFs, and to decide what categories to select and what info to put in it. It's never been something I've looked at before, some people certainly put all their wares on show. Had a long chat with my friend who could give me her experience of doing online dating as a lesbian, a bit different from my path but still interesting. She and her partner hit it off so well in the first instance because their profiles had pictures of them outdoors walking  rather than trying to look like low-budget porn stars. Very good turn of phrase, this particular friend. Damn, she's taken, and probably wouldn't be interested in me anyway.

   So, I've picked my site, got my nice outdoorsy photo, and figured out what I want to say. And done absolutely nothing. It's a big step to set up a dating profile, but it seems it's an even bigger one to give up on your wife even when she's given up on you.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

It pains me to say this

   There's a very old and very stale joke that goes along the lines that the Inuit have fifty different words for snow. It's probably based on highly dubious source data and belongs in the dustbin of history, but at least it's spawned the much funnier joke in the linguistic community that the Inuit have fifty different words for "Visiting ethnolinguist".
    I sometimes feel as if I have fifty different words for pain. I've probably mentioned this before, but I have a periodic chronic pain condition. Atypical facial pain has something to do with a malfunction in your facial nerves, and its effect is that the slightest nerve stimulus is amplified a million-fold and appears as a sensation of intense pain. I'm extremely lucky on two counts, in my case it responds to painkillers and other medication, and for me it's a periodic thing, I get attacks that last for a week or ten days every few months. Some people have it continuously, and for others it doesn't respond as well to medication.
    How you judge the annoyance of something depends on your level of exposure to it. I'm pretty relaxed about noise from trains and other machines for instance, because I grew up under the approach path for a fighter airbase. Sorry people, a high-speed train is quiet compared to a Phantom in reverse thrust. So it was a pleasant surprise last year when the mutt sank her teeth into my hand and I was warned by the surgeon who cleaned it out that it would hurt when the local anaesthetic wore off, that my pain tolerance was pretty high. There I was, sitting with my arm held up in a padded sling, wondering when this pain was going to turn up in my gently throbbing hand, eventually realising that the gentle throbbing *was* the pain. When the time comes that I head to Brighton or Charing Cross hospital for *that* operation I'm hoping the chronic pain experience will stand me in good stead in that way.
    So what are those fifty words then? Not quite fifty, but entertaining as I come off the pills for my latest attack to recap. There is the "Pliers", in which someone with a monster pair of gas tongs has your gums in a death-grip. Or the "Hot needle" in which amazingly the white stuff on your teeth hurts. That's dead, it's got no nerves, it shouldn't be possible! Pain's funny stuff. It's probably the "Full jaw" that's the worst though, the one in which everything on one side of your mouth is turned up to 11. Very weird, the pain stops abruptly right at the centre, the other side is absolutely normal.
    In fact, that's the silly thing about AFP, there's nothing wrong with you. If your teeth hurt the doctor says go to the dentist, the dentist says there's nothing wrong so you go back to the doctor, then the doctor scratches his head and labels it atypical because he can't find the fault. You get given a box of carbamazepine space-out pills, and get on with your life. In my case a week later it's all gone, and I'm left wondering when the roulette wheel of hurty mouths will next come up with my number.
    One thing about having a periodic window into the world of chronic pain has taught me is very important though, I take it seriously in other people. There is a certain type of unpleasant person who imagines everyone ill is malingering unless they are (a)them, (b)have cancer, or (c) are a wounded serviceman. I think a periodic shot of AFP would do some of them a bit of good.