Self-Isolation

I self-isolated first.

Late last year I deleted, or thought I deleted, my Facebook page. With that act, I cut myself off from over 90% of my daily social interaction. I had not realised at the time how significant this was.

I kept my Eric TDuck page, and my blogs, but they do not involve any conversations with others. That’s just me talking. I really don’t think many are listening. There is very little feedback, or indeed much indication that anyone reads my blog. Most of the ‘likes’ I get are from self interested bloggers pushing a product and farming followers.

It was not until a visit from my best and oldest friend, followed pretty quickly by the Coronavirus issue, that I realised how much my sanity depended on social interaction. Chatting, joking and exchanging views. And it was appalling to realise how much of the social interaction in my life was now virtual, with friends scattered across several countries, and very few physically nearby. That is, less than a week’s drive away.

Social distancing as a result of COVID19 did not change my life one iota.

If I plotted the location of all the friends with whom I stay in touch on a map of the world using blue dots for all those I have at some time actually met and interacted with, and green for those I’ve met through Facebook and never seen in person, by far the greatest number would be green, and the greatest concentration of blue would be around the great southern area of Western Australia. How did that happen?

Even so, it was through Facebook and Messenger that I had stayed in contact with most of these friends. I speak on the phone to only a few. I don’t write letters, and only a few emails. So. By deleting my Facebook page I had cut myself off from almost all of my friends, as well as the sexist, racist, fascist, ignorant twats who had driven me to despair.

The old nose and face conundrum.

I was surprised when, after following a news link which led to a Facebook post, I was offered the chance to log in as Eric TDuck (expected) or as myself (not expected).

So I got my page back. It seems I hadn’t deleted it. And with the return to sharing my thoughts, jokes, photos and political opinions came immediate conviviality and good wishes plus a little bit of the sanity I hadn’t realised I was losing.

The Rare Queensland Quacking Frog

I was sitting quietly, reading, when from somewhere nearby I heard what seemed to be a duck quacking in synchronised time with the frogs in the trees outside. At least, it sounded very like a duck. The call was so constant I figured it had to really be a frog. Besides, there are no ducks here. I was excited. This might be another new species for me.

It was very close by. I could tell. I grabbed a torch and a camera, just in case I spotted it, and went outside. Everywhere I searched, the sound seemed to come from somewhere else. But it never stopped. The little bugger wouldn’t shut up.

No matter where I looked the call always seemed to be coming from the other side of the caravan. Then I realised it was actually inside the caravan. This was exciting. I hurried back in to search for it.

Then I realised it was a duck. Coming from my iPad. I had set the alarm to remind me to take my evening antibiotic. The alarm sound was “duck”. I had forgotten.

My mind, once as sharp as a really, really sharp thingy, is definitely slowing down.

Self-Portrait

The Fifth of Seven.

Eleven external, and five internal ,stitches

Yesterday the sixth, on my right shoulder, was excised. The last to be done will be the largest of all and in close proximity to it, so we must wait ten days for it to heal before cutting again. The area is one in which the skin is under tension as the arm and shoulder work. To have done both at once would increase the possibility of the stitches tearing. Mehdi doesn’t want to cut any corners.

He says he likes cutting me, because I feel no pain, and don’t bleed much. He tells me I’m a surgeon’s dream. I’m pretty sure I feel no pain because of the lignocaine. Apparently it doesn’t work for some people. It seems that no one can offer a full scientific explanation of how and why anaesthetic works.

As for the bleeding, I’m surprised, given the amount of aspirin I take.

Song for Ireland

https://youtu.be/oRdDnpkR3AQ

Amhrán d’Éirinn

Walking all the day near tall towers where falcons build their nests

Silver winged they fly, they know the call of freedom in their breasts

Soar Black Head against the sky

Between the rocks that run down to the sea

Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets, asked for more

I stood by your Atlantic sea and sang a song for Ireland

.

Talking all the day with true friends, who try to make you stay

Telling jokes and news, singing songs to pass the night away

Watched the Galway salmon run like silver dancing darting in the sun

Living on your western shore saw summer sunsets, asked for more

I stood by your Atlantic sea and sang a song for Ireland

© 2008 ARF

Drinking all the day in old pubs where fiddlers love to play

Someone touched the bow, he played a reel, it seemed so fine and gay

Stood on Dingle beach and cast, in wild foam we found Atlantic Bass

Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets asked for more

I stood by your Atlantic sea and sang a song for Ireland

.

Dreaming in the night, I saw a land where no man had to fight

Waking in your dawn, I saw you crying in the morning light

Lying where the Falcons fly, they twist and turn all in you e’er blue sky

Living on your western shore, saw summer sunsets asked for more

I stood by your Atlantic sea and I sang a song for Ireland

Phil Colclough

© 2008 ARF

Toilet Rolls

Where have all the toilet rolls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the toilet rolls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the toilet rolls gone?
Hoarders bought them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?

I’ve had a colostomy!” said the angry man at the checkout.

“Then you don’t need to wipe your bum!” said the old woman clutching the last pack of toilet tissue.

There’s still plenty of baby wipes.” said I.

There was a stunned silence. Then everyone abandoned the checkout queue and rushed down the aisle.

People.

When I’m Not Eating the Body Parts of Little Lambs…

I swear that corn is genetically modified.

It was so sweet I should have it with custard for dessert.

You are looking at $1.99 (AUD) worth of asparagus from Mexico. What a world we live in.