ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

HIVINE is written by HIV positive women but still with a sense of humour

Archive for December, 2007






On the first day of Christmas my truelove gave to me, a jar of anti wrinkle cream and a book by Jeremy – Clarkson that is, who for un-explicable reasons has become my new crush, so much so that I have taken to avidly following ‘Top Gear’ instead of ‘Eastenders’ and I’m not even interested in cars. But at least on ‘Top Gear’ people aren’t snivelling all over the place, crashing maybe, but thankfully, unlike that miserable Christmas soap, not a tear or a snotty nose in sight.                                                                                                                                

Well, I didn’t get a labradoodle in my stocking, but my son did present me with one of those toy puppies curled up in something that looks like a flatfooted sheepskin slipper and is supposed to breathe, only mine didn’t, even when we performed open heart surgery and implanted new batteries in its plastic pacemaker. But at least, I suppose, I had something to stroke that didn’t need to pee on the carpet or chew the furniture. The partridge in the pear tree was a bit of a washout as we got the tree at the very last minute from B&Q. It was the only one left in the cage and we felt sorry for it and took it home. It was so thin it was anorexic, but had managed to sprout a weird eccentric crown of sorts on the top of its head, which made up for the lack of branches on other more vital parts of its anatomy. Anyway, it didn’t look too bad with all its bits and bobs on and it only cost five quid.

There had been the usual turkey crisis, as in I’d left it too late and suddenly there were none left on the shelves. I thought I would have to resort to three French hens but luckily M&S came to the rescue with an organic stuffed breast, which cost a fortune but at least I didn’t have to stuff it. My sister, who lives in Holland, had a far worse crisis because hers still hadn’t defrosted on Christmas morning, so she had to sit it in the bath and give it a sauna with a towel draped around its parson’s nose. However, back in my tiny house, the twelve drummers were out in full force, thanks to the new motorised turntable Mamma Santa had foolishly given to her son, which afforded him the opportunity to air all his old techno and trance records and thus drive her mad. The poor neighbours, in fact the whole street.

But sanity was resumed by the hasty concoction of a batch of snowballs, or golden balls as this traditional Christmas cocktail has now been christened after David Beckham. ‘Golden Balls’ are made by mixing advocaat, or avocado as my mum would call it, and champagne. After ingesting a few golden balls I was suddenly feeling decidedly friskier and spent the next hour or so, till they wore off, dancing around the anorexic tree all by myself to ‘Monkey man’ by Amy Winehouse – aye aye aye, aye aye aye, huggin up the big monkey man – whilst impersonating a monkey. At this point I had to sit down to catch my breath and caught the Queen’s speech at the same time on the telly. And guess what, she was talking directly to me and about me, about people with HIV, although of course she didn’t say it outright; but people such as us, who are on the edge of society and feel cut ‘orf’ and disadvantaged. ‘Fortunately,’ she went on to pontificate, ‘there are many groups and individuals, often unsung and unrewarded, who are dedicated to ensuring that the outsiders are given a chance to be recognized and respected.’ I immediately thought about all the wonderful, caring people at Body Positive and how they fit that description. At this point, I started to get a bit emotional and maudlin and had to put ‘Monkey man’ back on to cheer myself up. Meanwhile, her Royal Highness was still squinting at her autocue and refusing to smile.

“Each one of us can also help by offering a little time, a talent, or a possession,” she pontificated.

Well, Your Majesty, I will definitely offer my time and my talents for what they are worth. I might even offer my lifeless puppy, but you’re not getting your hands on my anti-wrinkle cream.

I would like to end this royal blog with the following blessing, nicked from the Queen herself.

“Wherever these words find you and in whatever circumstances, I want to wish you all a blessed Christmas.”



I missed my dentist appointment yesterday and not acci-dentally on purpose, as usual. In fact, I argued vociferously with the receptionist when she pointed out (politely at first) that it was madam who was at fault by getting her days mixed up, therefore inferring that I was suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s. ‘You are quite wrong,’ I insisted stubbornly, ‘It was definitely this time today and not this time yesterday. I know because I wrote it down in my filofax. ‘  Maybe I should have said I pod or MP3 player or something, because she looked as blank as next years unwritten pages in my as yet unbought refill for my ancient antique filofax and the difference in our ages became uncomfortably apparent.  ‘The computer says yesterday and the computer is never wrong,’ she patiently pointed out, ‘But if madam would like to go home and check,’ she humoured me, ‘and it does turn out to be wrong, the outstanding forty pound fine for a missed appointment, during which time the dentist could have treated another two patients, will not have to be paid.’  This was obviously intended to make madam feel guilty as well as stupid and she might well have done, had she not considered all bills relating to dentistry to be nothing less than daylight robbery. Madam did check her quaint old fashioned filofax as soon as she got home and sure enough, the computer was right and I had to pay the 40 quid over the phone, otherwise she wouldn’t give me another appointment. What did this befuddled confusion of getting my days mixed up say about the state of my brain I worried. Was ‘madam’ in fact suffering from brain fog, one of the many nasty and surreptitious symptoms of HIV infection. My brain does feel a bit foggy at times and today, it feels like a veritable pea souper. The worst thing however about the whole sorry experience, aside from having to fork out the forty quid, was that I’d psyched myself up unnecessarily all day for the pneumatic drill and the roads works in my mouth. Now I will have to live with a gaping unfilled hole over the Christmas period and right until January. So the words to the Beatles song ‘A Day in the Life’ are no longer applicable. Instead of the legendary 2000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire, there is now another one – in my tooth.

To take my mind off the fact that I’d wasted forty quid, which was destined for this weeks roll back food shopping at Asda, I logged on to the web and paid one of my customary visits to the Labradoodle site. This is something I do at regular intervals, mainly to torment myself it has to be said, because as much as I would love one, there is no way I can afford one. The Labradoodle is a designer dog especially bred for celebrities such as Graham Norton and the likes and came into existence by the mating of a Poodle with a Labrador, hence the name. There is also another new designer breed of dog called the Spoodle, a cross between a Spaniel and a Poodle. If the same applied to mixed marriages amongst the human race, the offspring of a Scottish father and a Welsh mother for example, would be a little or a big Scwelsh. A Croatian and a Dutch – a little or a big Crutch – and so on. 

Apparently, this deep rooted longing for a dog to stroke and fondle is typical of an HIV infected person, because like everyone else, we desperately need something to cuddle and as so often happens with this disease, no one wants to touch us with a barge pole.

So perhaps my HIV brain fog is playing me up after all and it isn’t really a labradoodle I’m longing for – its a canoodle instead.  






In today’s crazy mixed up world, celibacy is fast becoming the mode for certain groups of people and perhaps the fear of contracting HIV is one of the reasons for choosing this abstemious way of life. But surely they would be better off practising safe sex rather than choosing the lonesome path of abstinence and self denial. But who I am to talk, sitting as I am on the HIV shelf in a dusty forgotten corner of the larder of love, which begs the question – am I past my celibate date as regards ever having another intimate relationship? 

On the other hand, do I really want one, or would I rather clean my house?

According to a recent article in a Canadian newspaper, women allegedly prefer cleaning to having sex. Now, I don’t know what’s going on over there in Canada, and neither do I particularly want to if that’s the case, although I am familiar with the expression ‘chastity begins at home’, but this is a ‘sweeping’ statement by anyone’s standards. However, I do appreciate the fact that having a good bristle brush close to hand is probably top of the agenda for any sexually active Canadian woman, in order to clear her driveway of snow, otherwise she would never be able to leave the house, either for a bit of the other, or a trip to the supermarket.  

The ongoing debate of sex versus cleaning does not only include our Canadian sisters but women worldwide. There’s this chap called Wolsk for example, who pontificates that those women who enjoy cleaning more than sex would do well to tackle their bedroom activities the same way they tackle housework.

The clue to Wolsk’s obviously confused and misinformed mind, clearly lies with the word tackle. Perhaps he has a problem with his – or alternatively should change his wording from tackle to tickle. Maybe if I adopted his philosophy and tackled my love life the same way as I tackle my slovenly approach to housework, I wouldn’t be sitting here celibate on the HIV shelf and way past my sell by date.   

Celibacy has been around for a very long time and apparently dates way back to the fourth century and is down to some bloke called Ambrose, but not the same Ambrose from ‘The Archers.’ Even though ‘The Archers’ seems to have been going since time immemorial, I don’t think it goes back quite as far as the fourth century. Adapting Ambrose’s monk like ideas into this century are a group of dedicated followers who practise something called the ‘Ambrosian Way’, which advocates a life of celibacy and little else and has nothing whatsoever to do with rice puddings. By practising celibacy Ambrosians promise us that we will find eternal youth and longevity. Although I am all for eternal youth and I have certainly eaten enough rice puddings to warrant life everlasting, I am not entirely sure that abstinence in any shape or form is the right message for today’s hedonistic youth, nor for the silver surfers, or Saga louts – or positive women for that matter.   

Sex has been cited as the greatest reliever of stress, but according to some schools of thought, so is cleaning. Apparently, there is a new syndrome for women who use cleaning as an outlet for stress and worry. These Dyson addicts, cleaning fluid sniffers and mop wielders are now known as ‘cleanaholics’ and are obviously in desperate need of therapy, if not urgent sectioning and should be persuaded to sign up immediately to the C. A. or cleanaholics anonymous.

According to recent statistics, the housework habit has got totally out of control for many women and a survey by ‘Discovery Home and Health’ found that 46% of women wished they could cut down on their scrubbing and dusting. The instant and short lived remedy of taking away their dustpans, mops and brooms, will simply not work, because like any addict, these women are extremely sneaky and as soon as you turn your back, they will be off to the nearest off-licence to buy another bottle of Domestos or Cillit Bang, then hide all the empties under the bed along with their disgusting Kleeneezee catalogues.  

I fear however, as we speak, that I may be falling party to this particular syndrome, because instead of spending hours at the perfume counter at Debenham’s choosing a seductive fragrance to entice a new man into my life, I am more likely to be found down on my hands and knees at Asda, furtively unscrewing the lids off fabric conditioners and sniffing the ‘Lenor’ or ‘Comfort’ bottles instead. I’ve heard about comfort drinking and comfort eating, but comfort sniffing? What does this say about me in relation to my non existent sex life I’d like to know, especially if I cause spillage and possible stain havoc to my fellow shoppers by failing to screw the lids back on tight enough. This anti social and addictive behaviour of mine also applies to the sniffing of furniture polish and air freshener cans and is that much harder to disguise, because first there is the sound of the hiss as you have a crafty spray, then you have to waft your nose from side to side in order to follow the direction of the scent, like that old Bisto advert.

I think I may have started to obsess somewhat about aerosol cans, because when I pulled into my local Asda car park today, my eyes lit on a huge advert proclaiming ‘Polish available here’ and I got quite excited, thinking there might be roll back on Mr Sheen. But to my bitter disappointment, they meant Polish sausages and comestibles.  

Well, I still haven’t answered my own question about if I am past my celibate date, or whether or not living with HIV if I still have the sex factor, or the X factor, which is the only date I have tonight – or if I am about to turn into a cleanaholic, which is highly unlikely apart from being over choosy about the aroma of certain cleaning fluids. And talking of cleaning fluids and the X factor, that white haired, overly pale Riddian fellow, however you spell it, looks like he’s been dipped in a bucket of bleach and left to soak overnight. On saying that, he’s bound to win so there’s a moral there somewhere. 

During my lengthy research for this blog, I chanced upon the lyrics for this topical song entitled, ‘The Celibacy Blues’, for which, if you felt inspired, you were invited to add a line after all the yeah, yeah yeahs. After consulting with my muse, I came up with the following – “I got the celibacy blues think I could use a Cillit Bang.”

I also wrote a few new songs of my own adapted from the popular classics and movies of the day.

“Cillit Cillit Bang Bang” – instead of chitty and “Cillit with a Kiss.”

Move over Andrew Loyd Webber – I may be past my celibate date but perhaps not my celebrity date.







World AIDS day is now over for another year and I feel a bit like the come down after Christmas or my birthday and I suppose in a way this special day has become a birthday of sorts, because every year for me is now an achievement as well as a gift.

I spent the day at Body Positive in Manchester where we played host to various dignitaries, including the Mayor and Mayoress, as well as a select group of politicians, counsellors and people who work in the social sector. For me it was a magical day and hopefully, for our honoured guests, an informative as well as an enjoyable experience. They were certainly offered a  truly warm welcome, the kind of welcome BP can be relied on to provide.

Us positive hosts and hostesses wore a badge with, ‘I know my status do you?’, in order to encourage people to feel free to ask us questions about what HIV is all about, for those of us who have to live with it, or should I say have the misfortune for HIV to live with us.

It was an uplifting experience for everyone who took part and the food was fantastic, so well done to the chefs. It was also a very emotive experience and when all the guests had gone, Phil in her role as CE presented us all with a present – an HIV angel. This was a typical gesture from someone who has so much heart I am surprised her body has room to house it. I feel honoured and privileged to be part of such a caring organisation, one  that is working specifically for me and positive people like me. We were all moved to tears by Adela’s touching speech on behalf of asylum seekers and the African members of BP and how they’d been made to feel so welcome, which proves the benefit and value of such a necessary service.

Afterwards, we went to the town hall where the quilts people had been working on throughout the day were on display and we participated in an awareness raising quiz, followed by questions and answers. Then we took part in the candlelit vigil where Geoff’s other choir, the Lesbian and Gay chorus, sang their hearts out in the teeming rain. Other people spoke out and bravely told their stories and although in some ways I was relieved it was not me this time, on the other hand, I wanted to get up there and join them.

People say that we are brave and courageous to speak out, and yes, it’s true, it does take a certain amount of courage, but when you think about what other people have done, especially during the two World Wars, it seems a small gesture in comparison.

In order to commemorate and remember the brave souls who fought and lost their lives in the two World Wars, my cousin and her husband have started a blog and website in regard to a monument in their small Welsh village, where the courageous and touching stories, at times can make ours pale into insignificance.

To view their site click on the War Memorials link on the blog roll.