Wednesday 30 September 2009

Kissing makes it better.

Ever wondered about ‘catch and release’ fishing?
Fishing has always had the nod, even JC himself had a soft spot for fishermen. Truth is, we were ‘designed’ to eat meat and fish, being swamped in omega 3’s gets full marks.
However, one can eat only so much fish, so catch and release was invented as a sport.
We buy expensive tackle and race the outboard to where they’re biting and spend the day fishing. Very acceptable, or is it?

Ok, so we put a bit of their favourite nosh on the hook. Fishie swims by, goes for it and whoops! This prawn, squid, mullet or weed won’t go down properly. Suddenly it hurts like hell and something else is in there, jerking into the flesh.

Then the fish is lifted from the water, where for the first time, its full weight is felt and all that weight is concentrated into the spot where the hook is biting deeper.
Imagine being lifted by a hook through your lip, as often as not coming out through the eye socket or even stuck in your throat. Along with the pain is the panic of being dragged into a world where you can’t breathe.

Then, while the fish is gasping the equivalent of a mammal drowning, jerking around on the hook, we have the photo opportunity. After all that, the hook is removed.
That is the cruellest part, dragging the barb backwards through the flesh. And kissing ‘makes it better’? Hello!

So, what’s the point?
Well, I used to hunt too. Rabbits mainly, but I sold my guns long ago. Too many bad feelings watching animals die. They may be feral and they may be pests, but they don’t know that and they feel pain just as much as I do.
I still fish, but always use a landing net and never, never catch more than I can eat. Every time I go fishing the joy decreases and the guilt increases and the time is coming when I’ll be getting my omega 3’s from olive oil.

We can’t help stepping on ants and spraying flies is a necessity, but to wilfully inflict that level of pain on one of nature’s creatures, once you realise what we are doing to the fish, is just plain bastardry. Of course, very few see it that way, so maybe I’m wrong. Bull fighting, cock and dog fighting are still acceptable to some, but they all make me want to throw up. Here, if we wilfully inflicted that sort of pain on a dog, a cat or each other we’d be jailed!
But we still torture fish in the name of sport. What do you think?

Tuesday 29 September 2009

Anna Bligh's treatment for Atrial Fibrillation

What can I do with the bloody woman? After Noosa Markets, as I said, IXL was up before 3am, had a long day on her feet serving and selling, then fronted up yesterday at the kitchen at Warana to fire up her huge combi oven to bake more cakes. But what cakes they are! So much brown Muscat you should need a liquor licence to sell them!
I decided to have an easy day and stayed at her house to make heaps of spag bol sauce to freeze for those days when there’s no time or energy to make dinner. Just add spaghetti, a bit of salad and presto!
So she staggered in after another full day, had the usual Jammies on ice (add a little water, not too much) and sat to watch Kerry sweat the pollies at 7.30. She stopped eating after a couple of bites and said she didn’t feel well. I thought the food wasn’t that bad, but it wasn’t that, she was having a heart turn.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been staying with IXL and had to ring triple O.
She was in AF (Atrial Fibrillation), causes partly known, but mainly dehydration and stress. (Probably too much coffee too, but who’s game to tell her that? Not me the congenital coward!)
There she was in the ambulance, heart trying to jump out of her chest at 160 RPM and we hit a bump on the Bli Bli road.
Hey, Anna please leave that bump right where it is. The ambulanced jerked and IXL bounced on the gurney. Suddenly her heart went into normal rhythm again. We continued on to Nambour where the handsomest (her word) doctor was wonderful, as were the nurses and paramedics. Full marks Queensland Health. But apparently a bump will do it
Blood tests came back and all’s well, so we finally fell into bed just as the coach returned to being a pumpkin.
She’s already up and buzzing about! (Expletive omitted) By the way, she could have been receiving the pension for at least ten years, if she’d ever stop working! What can you with the bloody woman? All I can do is love her and hope.
See you at Noosa on Sunday.

Monday 28 September 2009

Provence at Noosa

Close your eyes at Noosa markets on Sunday and you could have been in Provence!
Beautiful day, cool breeze and so much real food. (Good coffee too).
IXL got me up at 2.30am to help. With her van full of product and my old station wagon stuffed to the gills with tables, artificial grass and the marquee etc. etc.
But what a day! Apart from selling out of some lines of charcuterie, IXL couldn’t stop smiling as she cooked stacks of her bacon steaks for sampling and was rushed with people buying and asking questions. Next week more product and more variety.
Someone forgot to get change so we got away a bit late and were hurrying along somewhere north of Mudjimba when we were stopped by the cops parked across the Sunshine Motorway. Breath test, I thought, looking forward to counting to ten with a completely clear conscience, but it was just the road blocked by fire. Not a problem after the baking and dusting we got last week.

Friday 25 September 2009

A well balaned life-not!

What do you do when the love of your life (IXL) says ‘You should do nothing but write’, then loads you up with so many jobs you have to ask for time off to pee?
Well, I get up really early, like yesterday 2.30 to read your blogs and check the mail. Today, slept in til 4, so half the day’s gone.
Poor old Tiziana is being neglected but with SS (second son) arriving with family for a floating holiday in a week, she just has to get the priority. SS has other connotations and they apply just a little. It must be a virus they catch at copper school that makes them arrogant know-alls! Then again, he is a loving, loyal and caring person. He probably inherited the arrogance from me. Oops!
The Wide Bay bar is no joke as IXL tells anyone who listens and that’s where we are going. So if we don’t make it across, it will be in the news. Any sailors out there?

Monday 21 September 2009

Carer Blues- One

Calling all carers. Did you know that about 75% of carers suffer depression within two years? Of course you did (if you've been there)!
My old mum died on my birthday last year at 93 after suffering a severe stroke two years earlier that left her mind in perfect condition but her body useless.

To stay sane, I wrote poems and stories and was partially successful.... at remaining sane, that is. I don't invite second opinions about my sanity, but do invite you to share your carer stories with me and each other. Meanwhile, to kick it off, you might find my stories and poems interesting. If so, please give encouragement, if not shut up! :-)

This is her story of Marjorie, her stroke and her carers. She was a local, living in Atkinson Rd Nambour for many years, helping out at Bli Bli primary school around 1967-72.
Marjorie before her stroke surrounded by grandchildren.

Whatever convinced Mum that she would rather live, I will never know and I suspect, neither will she. Whatever it was, she agreed to let the doctor re-insert the cannula and thread a plastic tube through her nose so she could be fed. She knew what was in store for her but agreed anyway. I guess women are more used to having other people, usually men, prod and poke their private bits and pieces, in one way or another from an early age.

Be that as it may, she did decide to live and of course, that is the test. If they want to live, we are bound to support that decision regardless of the cost to the common weal in money and to loved ones in time. I don’t
know what I would have decided if I had been facing death after ten days of starvation following a serious stroke that left me with no control over my tongue, no swallow and no speech.
I remember a mate of mine interviewing a rather beaten up old bloke of eighty-five. He was complaining of his medical woes, bent over with arthritis, sans teeth, sans hair and apparently sans everything else. My mate Spike said he sympathised with the old fellow and remarked that he doubted if he himself would like to live to be eighty-five. The old fellow came back, quick as a whip.
“When you’re eighty-four you will!”

Well, with staph lurking in most hospitals and never enough spare beds to accommodate the average road smash, they push them out as soon as acute care is no longer essential. For Mum, that meant Bega. Bega has a lovely caring home for older citizens requiring twenty four hour care, but it is so far from Mum’s home in Eden that she would be unlikely to be visited regularly once the guilt rush was past and all her busy offspring and friends had returned to their already over-committed lives.

We decided that Mum could be cared for at my sister Jennifer’s house. Of course, there would be professional help, a nurse to bathe her most days, a speech therapist three times a week, a physiotherapist twice a week and a little cleaning help if required. It all sounds wonderful, but take an hour a day out for the professionals and that still leaves twenty three, seven days a week and no prospect that the outcome will be anything to celebrate in the long run. We are dealing with a ninety two year old person who has already suffered one stroke eleven years before and is, notwithstanding her survival of the latest treachery visited upon her by her ageing body, on the skids.

To be continued?