I thought I was giving birth. To dragons.

comics-bc-forchronicheartburn

Heartburn woke up me up in the early hours of yesterday.  Just like the burglars who broke into our house a week before.  (That’s another story)

At first I thought it was my Mother-in-law’s cooking as we had dinner there.  Turned out it wasn’t because my heartburn was so severe there was no way it could be caused by a mortal’s cooking.  It made me think I was able to give birth to fire-breathing reptiles, turning into Phaleesi, the Father of Dragons. Continue reading

The good old days

Older people always reminisce about the good old days. About how great things were back in the day.  They can’t help but comment on how different things are today. ‘Different’ being used as a synonym for “it’s-really-gone-to-shit”, off course.

As kids we were bombarded by tales and urban legends of how awesome and simple things were when our parents grew up.  We used to roll our eyes when they would start to talk about all the stuff they did, around the time when dinosaurs roamed earth.

For everything we don’t know about the meaning of life, the one thing we do know is that life has a twisted sense of humour.  And the more things change, the more they stay the same. Continue reading

Laugh with me – Episode 1

Is there anyone out there who, like me, enjoys a good hearty laugh every now and again?  Is there anybody out there who doesn’t agree that a good laugh makes everything better?  (If there is, I would humbly suggest that you consider the surgical removal of the stick from your arse. You will feel better, I promise.)  Back to laughing.  I’m not talking about an idle giggle or a friendly, condescending smile, like the one you give to the office clown, who only turns into a bigger clown when he’s drunk. I’m talking about the serious kind of laugh, the kind that kids developed acronyms for.

You know, the LOL and ROFL and LMAO kind of laughing.

Life is tough (unless you’re Kim Kardashian, but hey she’s married to Kanye, so everything balance out) and the only thread holding the scraps of reality from falling to pieces, is our human ability to experience periodic laughing sprees.  Continue reading

Four years is not. Long. Enough.

Two guys were standing outside having a cigarette oblivious to the storms of anxiety raging in my soul.  I sighed deeply, but timed it badly, as I managed to inhale seventeen tonnes of second-hand smoke.  I squeezed passed the smokers, as they were courteous enough NOT to make any space for pedestrians.  I wasn’t in the mood for a confrontation.  I could have killed them with my one-touch-Ninja-jab, but decided to spare their lives.  I had bigger fish to fry.

I grabbed the handle of the glass-door and swung it open.

The disgusting smell of nicotine was replaced by something worse.  An odour straight from a troll’s armpit, attacked my nostrils.  Somehow I suppressed the urge of flight and made it to the counter.  The rude receptionist barely looked up.  What a great day I was having, being ignored twice. Continue reading

Laughter is the best medicine

Let’s all take some time and realise what’s important in life… On this edition of Newcastle night (4) copy.

Ah dad...

P1000905aI laugh often.
I laugh at myself.
I laugh at my wife.
I laugh with my wife.
I laugh with my friends.
I laugh because of my friends.
I laugh because my children needs to see me laugh.
And I make damn well sure they see me laughing often.

If laughter really caused a six-pack then I could have been built like Ryan Reynolds in any movie since Blade: Trinity.  It doesn’t, believe me.

But it does pick me up, it lifts me up by the back of my neck and shakes me out and any worries that might be lying scattered on the floor.  Laughter grabs my soul and shoves it into the stratosphere. It’s my drug, and I have OD’d a few times.  My blood/laughter ratio is probably not measurable at this point.  The problem is I constantly need my next fix.  In moments where laughter seems inappropriate or unprofessional, I will look for…

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Laughter is the best medicine

P1000905aI laugh often.
I laugh at myself.
I laugh at my wife.
I laugh with my wife.
I laugh with my friends.
I laugh because of my friends.
I laugh because my children needs to see me laugh.
And I make damn well sure they see me laughing often.

If laughter really caused a six-pack then I could have been built like Ryan Reynolds in any movie since Blade: Trinity.  It doesn’t, believe me.

But it does pick me up, it lifts me up by the back of my neck and shakes me out and any worries that might be lying scattered on the floor.  Laughter grabs my soul and shoves it into the stratosphere. It’s my drug, and I have OD’d a few times.  My blood/laughter ratio is probably not measurable at this point.  The problem is I constantly need my next fix.  In moments where laughter seems inappropriate or unprofessional, I will look for the cracks, the loop holes, the little opportunities to brighten the day, or at least force through a smile.

The sound of laughter is the echo’s of positive thinking. A child’s laughter is the definition of joy. The laughter of my own children is like summer rain, drenching into the foulest mood, sprouting joy and life. My wife’s laughter stirs my soul, it penetrates my being and enforces my love. It’s music for my heart.

Life is funny enough to supply countless moment of hilarity.  You need to remember what tickles your funny bone, you need to remember what brings joy, as it is different for everyone, but you need it because…

There are moments when life pushes you around, a bully on the playground.  And you might find your bravery and optimism failing you, tired of holding your fists up, those times when you just walk away bruised and hurt.

And other times you might feel like a survivor on a raft, escaping an island only to be stuck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. With waves crashing violently against your feeble construction, threatening, to first dismantle and then sink what’s left of it.

Or when you feel like part of a crowd that’s fighting for the only exit when the building is ablaze. And you have lost your sense of direction and there is danger everywhere and you are left to fend for yourself when everyone around you is screaming and shouting and desperately seeking their loved ones.

Those moments when life steals your joy, placing it in a bottle of formaldehyde, keeping it on display as a memory of what you were.  Then you must fall back on the places and memories and reasons to laugh.  You must break that bottle and empty it with one swig.

Know that laughter will save you.  And when you can’t laugh, when you battle to break the lid, surround yourself with people who can, for they will teach you, they will infect you and you WILL laugh again.  Laughter is a healer, a comforter, a change agent, a positive injection, a mind wiper, a re-programming tool, a great companion and a life changer.

Laughter is all that is good and pure and blissful in this world. It is absolutely awesome.  It’s my medicine. My daily tonic, but more than that; it’s my anti-depressant when I find myself in the darker moments of life, like we all do from time to time.

Death by bedbug

I alluded to the fact that I was almost eaten alive by a rogue gang of bedbugs during a recent business trip to India.  (You can read all about that and the other “fun” things I had to endure  in my previous post)

Ok, I might be exaggerating slightly, as the bedbugs only tried to chew of my lower right arm.   Have you seen what they look like?  Disgusting.  What is not known to the reading population is the fact that I develop flu like symptoms during the trip, two days after the biting episode.

I understand that this would the death of a hypochondriac, as I can easily imagine going to the dark place, thinking you might be infected with a unique mutated bedbug-carrying form of the bird flu.  To be honest, I never considered the two incidents to be related, having had the flu once or twice before.  It really never occurred to me that the coughing, sneezing, headaches and tiredness was as a result of the bites, until returning home, and a friend mentioned the possibility.  Being a rational man, I still had arguments to defend my state of disbelief, but they all disappeared when the friend uttered the now famous words, in front of my wife and daughter.  It changed everything.

Their concern seemed heartfelt and flattering at first, asking politely whether I shouldn’t consider going to the doctor.  Now, this was Saturday, with two big games scheduled and a couple of friends coming over.  There was no friggin way.  I faked my wellness right until Sunday morning.  Then the flu decided to fight back, gloves off.  So the wife’s concern turned to borderline annoyance, and the daughter’s concern turned into nagging.  I know it seems harsh but remember when a man is sick, the actual sickness and the extensive overacting, drains all the resources, patience and kindness included.

My reluctance to go?  I am not a big fan of GP’s.  Don’t get me wrong, if I am on a plane and my heart is missing a beat, or when I am choking on a chicken bone in a fancy restaurant, I will take any doctor in the house.  But a GP is a person I visit only to receive antibiotics, cause I got tired of fighting the virus alone.  I mean, I tell him what’s wrong with me, and he gives me medicine.  Strictly speaking he should pay me for making his job simpler and for waiting, as one always does.  The only other benefit is if there is a sick day or two in the mix.  That’s why I think veterinarians and pediatricians are the best medical practitioners, because their patients cannot tell them what is wrong.  They actually have to figure it out themselves!.  Sometimes I think we should just walk into the doctor’s room and say nothing.

Bottom line I don’t like to be billed for giving someone my own opinion on what might be wrong with me.  For that I can get a shrink and I work with consultants.  It has to be said, not all doctor’s are the same…

The reluctance for going to the doctor melted quickly when my daughter’s asked me this morning with teary blue eyes.  “What if the bites make dad even more sick?  I really want you to get better.”

So with that in mind I phoned my GP, who lives down the street and asked to see him.  Turned out, times changed and he actually knew a few things.  Tweak my opinion… The bites were indeed bedbugs, and the flue I have is actually a sinus infection.  Who knew?  Some deep part of me was really, really relieved and I am convinced there is a hidden hypochondriac in every one of us.  Like Gollum hiding in the dungeons of our unconscious mind, ready to leap and cause havoc as soon as we feel or see something on our own body that we cannot explain.  So thanks to all medical practitioners who keep a lid on Golllum.

And so I will live another day, ready to fight negativity and despair.  I used a roaring “YES” when my little girl cautiously asked me this afternoon: “Daddy will you be ok?”