ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Archive for September 18, 2008

Losing it

Of late, usually very late and often well into the early hours, I have been burning the midnight oil whilst over taxing my dubious computer skills trying to improve the look of the hivine website. Regular hiviners might have noticed that in the process some things might have gone a bit awry at times, like my blog roll for example, which like its counterpart Andrex the never ending bog as opposed to blog roll, rolled right off the page at one point and disappeared into cyberspace. Talking of bog rolls, do you think that singer Lou Rolls called himself after a roll of Andrex on purpose? It’s only just dawned on me, but I can be a bit slow at times, especially where computers are concerned.

Luckily, without the help of a cute golden Labrador puppy or even a Labradoodle, I eventually managed to retrieve my blog roll, only to find some things had mysteriously duplicated themselves and when I tried to delete them, they all disappeared, Tommy Cooper style – just like that. I always believed this kind of thing couldn’t happen on a computer and that nothing was ever truly deleted, or lost, but not so. In fact I got a telling off from wordpress my blog host – you were warned that if you delete a post or link on your blog it will be lost forever.

Was I? Like my ageing lap top I must be out of memory at stack one – whatever that means.
Stack of what? Well stacked in slang terms means a woman with big bosoms, which thanks to lipodostrophy I may well be, but big bosoms are more of a hindrance than a help, especially when it comes down to computer skills where they are no earthly use whatsoever. Someone recently emailed me a poem by Pam Ayres entitled, “Oh, I wish I’d looked after my tits,” which in one verse goes like this –

“Cos tits can be such troublesome things, When they no longer bounce, but dangle and swing
and although they go well with my Bingo wings, I wish I’d looked after me

I know exactly what Ms Ayres means.

The reason I started the whole tortuous procedure of trying to improve my blog in the first place was because a regular hivine reader mentioned that the lay out of my posts made them difficult to read, especially for someone with bad eyesight. So rather than tell her to go and get her eyes tested, I had a look at the other wordpress themes available to me. However, the one I use is the only one with four columns, which meant if I decided to stick with it, I would have to start messing around with my widgets.
Because my sister originally set up this site for me, I didn’t really know what a widget was to be honest and always thought it was some kind of gadget in a beer barrel or something that put the fizz in Guinness – or was that a penguin?

My sister, when she calls me on the phone, now refuses to talk about widgets, or even to me if I mention them, or in fact anything at all to do with the computer. So I was forced to twiddle with my widgets alone and finally managed to add some mysterious headings that seem to have no purpose in life, (rather like love) other than to disappoint, because when you clicked on them nothing appeared -and still doesn’t.

I have since written my own version of the Pam Ayres poem, “Oh, I wish I’d looked after me tits,” in relation to widgets –

“Oh, I wish I ‘adn’t twiddled me widgets
I should have sat on me fidgety digits
Cos with one flick of me finger
I hit the wrong pinger
And lost the whole bloody thing-er”

The burning (although not of CD’s) question still is, whether to change themes or stay with the devil I know. As you may have gathered from my previous blogs, being a Libran I am highly averse to change and therefore at times can be a decidedly unpositive (I wish) woman. Sometimes, as my mother always said, it is best to leave well alone and in the case of playing with my widgets, or anything else for that matter, she was probably right. There are some things I would like to change of course, like the weather for example, or my sticking out tooth, not to mention my positive status – and now and then my only son, who at times can drive me mad. In fact, he is so unlike me that I sometimes wonder if we are related at all. If it wasn’t for the fact that he is the living reincarnation of his father, without even having the dubious pleasure of having him around to act as a role model, I would be seriously forced to consider the possibility that he might have been a changeling.

A Changeling according to ancient folklore is the offspring of a fairy, elf or troll that has been secretly left in the place of a human child. A troll is described as being a fiendish giant who lives undercover, either in caves or underground and are easily recognizeable by their oversized ears and noses, which just about sums up his dad, especially in relation to having to live undercover. According to Nordic literature most trolls live in a far northern land called Trollebotten, which I believe is twinned with a small village in Yorkshire, which funnily enough is from where his dad originally heralds.

But beware – trolls are not only fiendish ex husbands from Yorkshire or any other northern county for that matter, they can also live in cyberspace. To “troll” means to allure, to fish, to entice or to bait, so not only are they living in cyberspace they are also walking around in our midst cunningly disguised as fishermen, in which case watch out next time you meet a man in waders, especially if he starts slinging his cyber hook in your direction.

Internet Trolls can inflict a great deal of damage, one website warns, such as disrupting your email list or online groups, stealing money or the rather quaintly put caddish behaviour of building false hopes. The term “troll” can mean a number of different things, but in essence, a troll is a person who aims to have ‘pleasure’ at your expense. Yet more caddish behaviour forsooth.

There are also “psycho trolls”, people who pretend to be someone that they are not – and I’m sure we’ve all met our fair share of those in our time, whether in cyberspace or sitting on the banks of a canal (or Canal street for that matter) looking for bait. Then there are the “Playtime Trolls”; so not even the school playground is safe, in which case try to keep a healthy distance from dinner ladies and lollipop men, not to mention keeping an eye out for the Domination Trolls, who are also most likely to be found on Canal Street – unless you like having your bottom smacked of course.

Just as in a park or a zoo where you see the sign, “Do not feed the animals,” on the web you might come across the warning, “Do not feed the troll” as part of a follow up to troll postings – so best to save your stale bread for the ducks and not your lap top.

In days gone by it was most often thought it was faeries who exchanged children for changelings, and simple charms, such as an inverted coat, were thought to ward them off. Well, it’s no good finding that out now. Why didn’t someone tell me sooner. It’s far too late for me to start wearing my coat, my cardigan or even my pyjamas inside out. Although it has been known.

The best way apparently to get rid of a changeling if like me you think you may have been saddled with one, is to make them laugh. Although, in my son’s case, I fear this would prove to be an impossible task, especially first thing in the morning.

There is a legend in the north of Spain about the Xana, who were female fairies who could deliver babies, or “xaninos,” that were sometimes swapped with human babies. So that’s what Abba were singing about in their song Xanadoo. The legend says that in order to distinguish a “xanino”, or in Abba terms a “xanadoo”, from a human baby, some pots and egg shells should be put close to the fireplace. A “xanino” or a “xanadoo” would then say:

“I was born one hundred years ago, and since then I have not seen so many egg shells near the fire!”

Which if you think about it sounds very similar to another Abba song, “Knowing me knowing you – ah ha.”

“I was born one hunderd years ago – ah ha -and since then I have not seen so many egg shells near the fire – oh ho o.”

I know the words don’t quite fit but it might be worth trying to sing along with them at your next kareoke session at your local pub or at the cinema when you go to see ‘Mamma Mia,’ especially if you are a mamma who wants to get rid of a changeling – or even if you don’t.

I don’t think my particular changeling would sing along to anything as he only likes techno and hates Abba and on seeing the egg shells would be more likely to remark, “ Mum, I told you I wanted boiled eggs and soldiers.”

If you are having similar doubts about any of your own offspring being changelings, according to the
website, changelings can be easily identified by their voracious appetite, malicious temper, and other unpleasant traits – although that sounds like any normal teenager or obnoxious child to be honest. Changelings can also be identified by a greenish tint to their skin, but that’s usually after drinking ten pints of lager or the equivalent number of alcopops.

Changelings are apparently picky eaters unless offered something they like and they also dislike shoes. Well that rules out my son then, as he lives both for and in ridiculously expensive trainers.

Changelings allegedly are also very wise and will talk with highly intelligent words when they do speak – so that rules him out as well.

You can also identify one by their hair which is usually very messy – no doubt whatsoever there though.

In one tale of the Brothers Grimm there’s an account of how a woman, who suspected that her child had been exchanged, started to brew beer in the hull of an acorn. The changeling uttered: “now I am as old as an oak in the woods but I have never seen beer being brewed in an acorn”, then disappeared.

Changelings speak quite posh don’t they – but my problem is, I’ve got a can of lager, but where can I find an acorn?

In Wales the changeling child (plentyn newid) initially resembles the human it substitutes, which I would imagine would be very confusing, especially if it calls itself Jones, but like many Welshmen, or men in general, it gradually grows uglier in appearance and behaviour and is often bad tempered and given to screaming and biting – especially whilst playing rugby. The common means employed to identify a changeling in Wales, according to the information I acquired on the net, is to cook a family meal in an eggshell.

How, pray, does one cook a meal in an eggshell? I will have to consult my dear cousin who lives in Wales and is married to a Welshman, who I hasten to add is neither ugly nor bad tempered. Perhaps Jamie Oliver could shed some light on the matter, or Nigella might know. That Delia’s no good because she openly admits in ‘How to Cook: Book 1’ – that she can’t even boil an egg, thereby publicly admitting that she knows nothing about them and even less presumably about their shells, so for all she knows she might well be catering to a whole nation of changelings. After presenting the meal to the changeling child, it will then allegedly exclaim, “I have seen the acorn before the oak, but I never saw the likes of this,” and vanish, only to be replaced by the original human child.

Alternatively, if this doesn’t work the age old advice is to mistreat the child by placing it in a hot oven or by holding it in a shovel over a hot fire, as the fire would cause it to jump up the chimney and return the human child, but please don’t try this at home or you might find social services at your door. On saying that it might kill two birds with one stone as they would presumably take the changeling away and put it into care.

Another ancient remedy was to bathe the changeling in a solution of foxglove. I haven’t got any foxglove to hand but I’ve got some Radox and I think there’s an old bottle of Badedas in the bathroom cabinet – do you think that would do? Maybe that’s what they meant in the advert- things happen after a Badedas bath. What kind of things I always wondered and now I know.

When changelings are detected in time, their parents have to take them back. Unfortunately, if like me you would desperatley like to take yours back, the website didn’t give me an address.