My Sister & Other Phenomena

My sister breaks things.

It’s a fact—a family fact.

She doesn’t just break ordinary things like you or I might do; dishes, glassware, bones in our body, no. My sister breaks things like, the internet.

What? Oh, okay, so maybe it wasn’t her, per se, who caused Google to have a nervous breakdown, thereby causing everyone one on the planet to collectively hold their breathes. But we, that is, our family, on hearing of another Google outage immediately think, Sis! Yes, we actually text and or messaged one other asking, did she do it, did she break Google, again?

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To Combobulate or not to Combobulate

Yes, yes, I know there is no such word as combobulate even if there is a DISCOMBOBULATE—meaning, confused, upset or disconcerted. But don’t you think that for one gosh, darn minute there should be? 

Why can I not combobulate as happily as the next person alive on this planet? Who has seen fit to deny me my combobulating rights to being clear headed, and focused, that’s what I want to know. Damn you Mirriam-Webster, snafu you Oxford English Dictionary. You both need to get on this, and ASAP! 

Especially as those pesky Americans have taken to using the even more outrageously silly recombobulation in, of all places, airports. Pictures of signs have been shared across social media pointing out these new fangled Recombobulation Areas, where travellers having passed through customs can reassemble themselves. Yes, Re Assemble Themselves—as in, putting their shoes, ties, and belts back on, after Security has frisked them.

If the dandy Yanks can have a recombobulation area, then who’s to stop me combobulating with everyone I meet, this year? 

Here’s to combobulating with you all.

I’ve been Pricked!

We walked to the pharmacy on Wednesday for my vaccine appointment. We scheduled it because the pharmacy in question is only a short 20 minute walk from us. And I figured I also needed the exercise. You see, I haven’t been outside our apartment since Sept. 1, last year. Yes, that’s right. I have been shielding for the last eight months and, prior to that one trip out to see the doctor, I had been shielding for the previous six months as well.

First up, there was no way, given I’m in a high risk group, that I was going outside last year during the height of the pandemic when people were even more defiant about following protocols than they are now. And I had no desire to find out firsthand whether I’d survive COVID, or not. Add in that my partner was, by then, working from home, and we didn’t really need to go beyond our balcony or front door. We could order in most of the things we needed, including our groceries.

So, going outside for the first time in eight months, but knowing it was for a life-saving vaccine, made me quell most of my fears and use them instead as momentum. I double masked just to be safe, wore disposable gloves, carried a small bottle of hand sanitiser in my jacket pocket, and with my partner making sure I didn’t have an anxiety attack, we set off.

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No matter who you are, you need two kinds of friends in your life. The first kind is one you can call on when something good happens in your life, and you need someone who will be as excited for you as you are. Not a fake excitement veiling envy, but a true and real excitement. You need someone who will actually be more excited for you than she would be if whatever had happened to them. The second kind of friend is somebody you can call on when things go horribly wrong—when your life is on the line and you only have one phone call.

Who is it going to be?

This comes up today, because I was thinking about a friend back in the UK, we’ve known one another since 1992. Yes, almost 30 years. But I’m not so sure if we have any more years on the clock because, for the very first time, I didn’t receive the usual Christmas card in the post, this year.

To say I was unsettled is an understatement. Not because I felt slighted at the time, but because my first thought was for my friend, and worrying that something has happened to her. After all, neither of us is getting any younger and with COVID you never know. And, with each passing year, I ask myself will there be another one because, shit happens.

Now I’m fretting, because, thousands of miles apart, there’s no one answering my emails, and I don’t have a working phone number. I haven’t been able to contact her family or the one other friend I know we have in common. And already, we’re in April, and more time passes, and I wonder.

Has too much time passed by and the fact is, we’ve just drifted apart? It’s hard loosing a friend to that ‘drift’ and something I will just have to accept but, without knowing, I’m worried because we now live in the age of Covid.

What’s a friend to do?

You Nasty Little Prick

Some common side-effects to being vaccinated

Once again I’m seeing a lot of people over on Twitter discussing their symptoms from having had their first (and second) vaccine injection of whichever vaccine they’ve been administered. With everyone having a broad cross section of minor reactions — some that are worrying to the recipient mostly due, I am sure, lack of any solid information.

As someone of an age that has traveled, extensively, and gone through and almost yearly routine of having vaccines for this or that, I have a good knowledge of just how my body reacts to the average, and oft administered pricks, from tetanus to hepatitis and yes, smallpox back in the day.

So I’ve made sure to read up on what facts are available, plus, listened carefully to those who have had their shots, so far, and have a fairly good idea of what most of us — and I emphasise that this is an average though not necessarily a norm — can expect.

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