Tuesday, 22 April 2014

100K Views





My blog has just reached 100,000 viewings in slightly under two years.
Thank you so much to everyone who has contributed, be it as a reader, guest blogger, advisor, morale supporter, etc.
Many, many thanks.

Mi blog ha acabado de llegar a 100.000 visionados en poco menos de dos años. 
Muchas gracias a todos los que han contribuido, ya sea como lector, blogger invitado, asesor, partidario de ánimo, etc 
Muchas, muchas gracias.

Mein Blog hat gerade 100.000 Viewings erreicht in knapp zwei Jahren. 
Vielen, vielen Dank an alle, die dazu beigetragen hat, sei es als Leser, Gast-Blogger, Berater, Unterstützer Moral usw. 
Vielen, vielen Dank.

Mon blog vient d'atteindre 100 000 visionnements en un peu moins de deux ans. 
Merci beaucoup à tous ceux qui ont contribué, que ce soit en tant que lecteur, blogueur invité, le conseiller, le moral partisan, etc 
Merci, merci beaucoup.

%D

Liechtenstein



[Image description: flag of Liechtenstein]


My blog has just notched up several visits from someone(s) in Liechtenstein. Don't recall seeing Liechtensteiner visitors previously, but could just have missed them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liechtenstein. (By the by, a female citizen is known as a Liechtensteinerin.) The country is sandwiched between Austria to the East and North and Switzerland to the West and South.


[Image description: map of Liechtenstein;
courtesy Wikipedia; commons ©;
author Maximilian Dörrbecker (Chumwa)]

Whilst Liechtenstein is in continental Europe, it is not part of the EU, the European Union. Nonetheless, it is a signatory to the Council of Europe (since 1978), Schengen, the free movement agreement, EFTA and EEA.

Thanks for visiting, whoever you were. And how exciting to discover more about parts of Europe one knew next-to-nothing about!


My Sabbatical Sojourn Is Over

This morning I awoke in pain. As I came round I realised I was rather stiff too. Was it the two-and-a-half hours of light gardening I did yesterday?

I turned on my laptop and noted that many of the facebook entries reference the rain in England. After a nearly three-and-a-half months sojourn in Spain, I had all but forgotten that damp weather completely floors me. In my time on the Costa del Sol I had three wet days and there also I was confined to lying prone until the weather ameliorated. For most of my three months I was barely aware of the nagging pain that daily, hourly, minute by minute drains one's life-force here in the UK.

More than a decade ago, my then GP advised me to either move to warmer climes or at least winter abroad. My current hospital consultant, an endocrinologist, who specialises in M.E. and C.F.S., advised me to do similarly. This year, facing the stark choice of winter in the sun or be referred to an orthopædic specialist for surgery, I plumbed for the former.

And I do not regret having done so. Gradually, I was able to exercise more and more using the pacing techniques I had been taught by the now disbanded specialist Manchester M.E. & C.F.S. nursing support service. From needing a wheelchair, to hobbling with two walking-sticks (canes), to shuffling with just one, to walking unsupported on the flat (but not slopes or steps), I felt my body re-awaken. Muscles strengthened. Arthritic swelling reduced and reduced until it completely disappeared. My fine motor skills partially returned. For example, I could write again using a normal sized pen. I could sign my signature instead of just a squiggle. The more I got out and about, the less I was affected by hyperacuity and photophobia as my body's senses re-attuned to normality. I was less troubled by allergic re-actions to this, that and whatever.

Unfortunately, my vision, my equilibrioception, my forgetfulness and my susceptibility to muscle cramps did not improve. On the twenty-first of March I forgot to take my phosphate medication - the only time I did so. I suffered a massive cramp in my right calf whilst walking without a stick on the flat esplanade, paseo marítimo, in Benalmádena where I was staying. However, had I taken the aid with me it would have been of no assistance. The cramp completely felled me. I fell backwards, hitting my head on a wall before hitting it again on the ground. Thankfully, Spain is not Britain and folk came to my assistance. A passing male nurse checked that I was not concussed and later telephoned for a taxi to ferry me back to my apartment. This serves as a reminder, that how ever much my body might ameliorate, I shall never have back all the faculties I once had.

Taking into account the Christmas holiday period, I have taken a sabbatical of four months from my political campaigning activities for WoWPetition (now transmuting into WoWCampaign). After eighteen months of slogging nigh on every waking minute, usually abed, my brain, my psyche was completely frazzled. I attempted to refrain from getting involved, although came out of retirement for the February WoWDebate in Parliament.

Over the next few weeks and months I hope to gradually increase my efforts for the cause of we disabled folk, the poor, the downtrodden; but I cannot put in the level of effort I previously did - my body just cannot take it. To this end, please do not take umbrage if I: do not get back to you instantly; do not post every important update; do not sign every petition; do not forward every email; etc. I shall do my best, but must be a little more constrained in my input. I hope and trust you will all understand.

[Image description: via Peaceful Mind, Peaceful Life;
an image of a solitary key & a quotation which reads,

Don't give up.
Normally it is
the last key on
the ring which
opens the door. ]

When feeling down whilst alone in Spain, the above was posted on my facebook pages. I hope it instils in those feeling downhearted a sense of "carry on; we can do it"

Thanks for reading, folks.

Colin
%)







Monday, 21 April 2014

Bisexual Blues



Does anyone notice anything striking about the above chart? No, I am no tart: I have not experienced coitus with half the men mentioned (some names may have been altered), but there has been physical contact of a sexual nature or a declaration of love/lust from the gentlemen concerned. With the exception of Manuel, I have not even physically met any of the chaps in the 2010's as I have been too ill/disabled to do so.

So, any conclusions? Would you agree with me that there is ever such a slight bias towards the closeted bisexuals? I seem to attract them like bees to the flowers in my garden. Is it my man-musk, my pheromones, my epicene features, my psyche, something else? Well, whatever it is, I find it difficult to attract out gay guys.

For the last few years I have been doggedly refusing to entertain non-out bi guys with the result being zero sex. During my three month sojourn in Spain, all the non-out men who wanted sex, also requested discretion as their wives & families did not know. I excused this behaviour in a facebook posting a month or so ago:
I am surprised just how many young(ish) Spaniards are still closeted here. More than half the locals have no image on GAYDAR and most of the rest post images of parts of their bodies (thankfully rarely the rudey bits!). Spain is one of the least homophobic countries in the world; but the machista/macho culture is still very strong here. Straight (rich &/or connected) men are the hegemony! Such a shame for lives to be blighted…
In a similar vein, I noticed that nigh on all the GAYDAR entries are either for non-out bisexuals or bi-curious, only a minority openly declare as gay.

Pondering on the issue has also brought me to the conclusion, that these men are intrinsically weak however physically strong they are with all their show-off gym-work. Where is the strength of character to be true to themselves, to honour themselves not just 'honour' their parents? Perhaps some of it is down to peer-pressure, but again I counter where is the demonstration of inner courage?

Mostly what irks me though, is that I am going to have to get off my high ethical horse and accept offers from non-out bisexuals - otherwise I am likely to go to my grave without ever having sex again!

Sunday, 20 April 2014

A Visit to Santander in Holy Week

Whenever taking the car to Spain, I pass through Santander and have an overnight stay in Hotel Chiqui at the very end of El Sardinero esplanade. On this trip I had two nights in Santander and so had time to explore the city for the first time: it did not disappoint.


View from Santa Clara towards the Cathedral.


The grand Plaza Porticada (porticoed square) - though avoid coffee at the terrace café as it is terrible and the service poor!


Santander Cathedral or in Spanish, Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción de Santander.

We were fortunate to arrive during Holy Week, Semana Santa, which saved us touring the churches of the city to view the various ecclesiastical statuary that make up the Stations of the Cross, as they were laid out in a marquee, and we watched as many were decorated with fresh flowers in preparation for being paraded through the streets.



The above images give an overview of the display.


The plaque for El Flagelado, the Scourged Jesus.


Jesus surrounded by iris, symbol of the Virgin Mary, and red carnations, which in Christian iconography, iconolingüística, means love.


The plaque for Nuestra Señora de la Merced, Our Merciful Lady.





The above statue, or imagen, recalls Penélope Cruz to my mind: stunningly beautiful. It just fascinated me, and hence I took a fair few photographs. These four give an impression from afar and then approaching her.


The plaque for Nuestra Señora de los Dolores, Our Lady of Sorrows.






The plaque for El Santo Entierro, the Entombed Jesus.




The effigy of a recumbent Jesus surrounded by statues of the faithful is incredibly realistic, and I personally found the ensemble rather moving. My two companions also enjoyed the experience and the artistry, not just of the sculptors, but also of the embroiderers, the florists and silversmiths.


Wishing all readers
a very happy Easter!
¡Feliz Pascua!


"Él era la luz verdadera
la luz que ilumina a todo hombre,
y llegaba al mundo"

Juan/John 1:9

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