ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Archive for December, 2008



Deck the halls with hivine and holly – fa la la la la la la la la
Happy Christmas to all hiviners    







Well, would you like to hear the good news or the bad news? The good news, at least for me, is that after worrying myself silly for six months about my impending hysterectomy, I’ve just been told I no longer have to have one. The bad news however, is that all positive women are likely to have abnormal cells and are therefore at risk of cervical cancer at some stage in the game as a result of being HIV positive – that’s why for us, regular smear tests are so important, as indeed they are for all women. However, HIV specialists have apparently been chatting amongst themselves and come to the conclusion that as long as these cancerous cells don’t get any worse (as mine thankfully haven’t) drastic treatments such as hysterectomies will no longer be deemed necessary.


This of course came as a huge relief, but in a way, I knew that mine hadn’t got any worse because of the healing crystal I’d placed, metaphorically speaking, inside my womb, a bit like a healing chandelier, but not an ostentatious one like those you would find in a stately home, more like the modern minimalist type you would find in Ikea. Anyway, no matter what kind of interior lighting I’d put in place, the powers of visualisation had obviously worked. Nevertheless, I was still concerned when I went to the colposcopy clinic for the dreaded examination, per chance I had been too economical with the electricity supply, as psychologically we’ve all had it drummed in to us to be more economical in these challenging times by keeping lights, especially in wombs we weren’t using, turned off.


Whilst my colposcopy specialist was wielding his trusty camera, the two lovely nurses positioned at my side like royal guardsmen (minus busbies of course) whose job aside from stopping me from escaping was also to distract me from the agonising not to mention humiliating proceedings taking place down below on my own busbie, if you’ll pardon the comparison, chatted to me about earrings. Hairdressers talk about holidays, nails and possibly even busbies, or at least their equivalent, but colposcopy nurses talk about earrings. I was prepared for this topic to arise, so I’d selected my earrings accordingly. In fact, I have bought a selection of earrings for this very purpose. Maybe like Jamie Oliver I should come up with a designer range of pendants as well as in his case pans and spice grinders, and call it the ‘Colposcopy Collection’ – although on saying that, pans might be a bit unwieldy to wear, not to mention grinders, however pan lids might be an option, depending on the size of your ears of course.


The conversation, if that’s what you could call it, between me and the nurses went something like this –


“Could you just shuffle your bottom down a bit lower, ooh, I like your earrings.”

“Thanks, aaaaaAAAAH got them at Mat-AAAAAAH-lan.”

“You’re doing really well, just take nice deep breaths. Matalan has got some lovely earrings in at the moment and they’re very cheap.”

“Yes they aaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrHHHH.”

“I’ll tell you where they’ve got some really cheap earrings, Primark.”

“So does aaaaaAAAAASDA  and I also got some from arrrrrrrrhhhhhgos in the sale.”


There’s only so much you can say about earrings and after a while the conversation ground to a halt, although not alas my teeth, at least not until what felt like the equivalent of ten red hot pokers had been removed and I was informed of the good news, at which point I felt my face, as well as my ears probably, light up.


Ears are funny looking things and I don’t know why we bother to draw attention to them by adorning them with jewels and the like and least of all pan lids, but then again, I suppose they are the only available human appendages to dangle things from, at least in public. I did some investigation into ears when I got home and discovered that the normal earlobe averages about 2cm long and apparently can be free, as in hanging free from the head, or attached, as in joined to the head.




Freely hanging earlobes are known as ‘dominant’ and attached earlobes are known as ‘recessive’ and whether your earlobe is free or attached is entirely genetic. On one site on genetics the following question was posed – “Are your earlobes attached or are they free – to determine your earlobe phenotype may require help from a neighbour.”


Well, I rely on my neighbour to sometimes put the bins out, but I don’t think I am familiar enough with him, other than to enquire as to whether or not it’s recycling day, to ask him to examine my phenotypes, whatever they are.


But what did these geneticians mean exactly by ‘dominant’ or ‘recessive’ lugs? Apparently I wasn’t alone in my confusion.


“If attached lobes are recessive,” writes one puzzled surfer, “why do I see so many people with attached ears and hardly see those who have free ear lobes when free ear lobes are dominant? For instance, most celebrities have attached ears. Can anyone explain this phenomena?”


Nobody did, so I thought perhaps after my in depth research I could possibly shed some light on the matter. Anyway, it’s logical really and only common sense if you think about it. Many celebrities and especially musicians are known for having a good ear for music, although I’m not quite sure what they do with the other one. Some of them can even play by ear, which I imagine is a bit tricky, especially if it’s attached. But after all, that’s why they are famous, isn’t it, because they can do things us lesser mortals can’t. Although we can also do some pretty amazing things with our ears; we can let things in one ear and out the other; walk with our ear to the ground, but only if we are double jointed; pick things up by ear and also lend them to other people if we feel so inclined. In these troubled times we all need to get things off our chest and are sometimes pressured to ask other people if we can borrow their ears. Fortunately, there are many people who are happy enough to lend you theirs, such as barmen and counsellors. There are also people who allegedly are all ears and for that reason would probably be more than happy to lend you a couple of theirs – and there are some sadists who will quite happily bend them for us.


Further lug confusion on the worldwide web followed under the title – Have I got mutant earlobes?


Q. “Me and my friend were talking about who has the biggest earlobes and when I came to look at mine we discovered that I didn’t have any. Is there any way I can stretch them at all?”


A. “Don’t worry about it – yours are obviously attached.”


What she failed to add was, unlike you, if all you’ve got to do is stay at home comparing lugholes with your mate.


“This means the fleshy lobe of your ear doesn’t dangle free or waft in the breeze, it’s attached to your head. About a third of us have earlobes just like yours and the rest have free lobes. Neither type have a biological function they’re like male nipples.”


Speak for yourself woman, my ears are nothing like nipples and neither are they male and talking of males, are free lobes anything like free willys? They’ve made a film about them I believe and there has even been a campaign to support them.


“Whether our lobes are attached or flappy is in our genes and there is nothing we can do to change them and remember this: We can get attached lobes even if both our parents are flappers.”


Flappers? They were around in the roaring twenties weren’t they doing the black bottom and the Charleston, so hardly applicable, although possibly recessive. The article ends with this consoling thought for recessive lug owners-


“Attached earlobes are so much tidier, therefore better for swimming hats and less likely to snag on necklaces.”


Well, checking mine out in the mirror, after first untangling them from my necklace, I’m relieved to note that mine are decidedly flappy, but as the average ear grows 0.01 inches per year and progressively droops with age, I am now concerned, depending on how long I live, where they will finally end up. Drooping earlobes have also become a concern for many New York City socialites who have now found a new body part to obsess about – their sagging earlobes.


“Do your ears hang low do they wobble to and fro,” quotes one website, “You might remember that silly little ditty from summer camp? If they do, instead of a boob job you may well be in need of a lobe job.”


I have to say, I don’t remember singing that particular ditty at Butlins and the way the unemployment figures are rapidly escalating in the UK at the moment, some of us are in need of any kind of job, even one to do with bosoms, which I’m sure would suit many of the out of work British males.


If you’ve already had cosmetic surgery and as they say in America you want the handles to complement the vase, perhaps, they suggest, it’s time to revisit the surgeon to get your ears plumped. There is some debate however as to how long the effects of this type of surgery will last. As in ear today and gone tomorrow presumably.


Creased lobes might also indicate certain health problems I discovered on diagnose me dot com. Earlobes are normally smooth, but occasionally exhibit creases. Creased earlobes are associated with genetic disorders, however, since earlobes become more creased with age, this can cause unnecessary worry, so I suggest you get your tongues on them, although I realise this may be a physical impossibility, in which case why not try the straighteners. There are some very efficient ones on the market these days which unlike your tongues (well, depends on how much you talk I suppose) emit steam and also condition as they straighten. Failing that, if the worst comes to the worst, you can always iron them.


In Western cultures, earrings have traditionally been worn by women, although in recent decades, ear piercing has also become popular among men. Common locations for piercing, other than the earlobe, include the tragus and the helix and apparently you can also get your rook pierced.


Is that like tagging your homing pigeons?


According to the website, rook piercing is known as an extremely troublesome piercing as they will normally migrate a bit before settling down and rejection is not uncommon. About 10% of rooks reject.


To be honest, rooks are an agricultural pest, so would you really be bothered if they chose to migrate. Solitary rooks often ‘sing’ to themselves apparently, uttering strange clicks, wheezes and almost human-like notes. If they stand in doorways they could well be mistaken for rookers.


Earring components may be made from any number of materials and designs range from small loops and studs to dangling items and large plates. However, heavy earrings worn over extended periods of time may lead to stretching of the earlobe. So I would advise try to retrain yourself to one plate at a time, or maybe just a saucer to start off with. But do be careful if you are thinking of getting your ears pierced because in some cultures, depending on which ear you chose, it denotes your sexual orientation. In the late sixties it was said that Left is Right and Right is wrong – left ear being straight and right ear being gay.


And both ears? What would that make you?


You can also get your conch pierced if you so desire, but if you fancy blowing one instead the 47th annual Conch Shell blowing contest, sometimes called the “Conch Honk” will be held next March at Sunset Pier, Key West. There is no cost to enter or to compete and no experience is necessary. Conch shells will be available for purchase for those who do not have their own. Enthusiastic contestants, from children to seniors, will have the opportunity to polish their conches, pucker up and demonstrate their blowing skills. Entrants are judged on the quality, duration and loudness and novelty of the sound they produced. The afternoon festivities include entertainment provided by Auwina Weed, widely acclaimed virtuoso on the conch shell, who for many years has performed such difficult numbers as the “Grand March from AIDA” for the assembled crowd. The contest receives wide national and international media acclaim.


I’ll bet it does.


One final note in relation to lugs, the earlobe contains many nerve endings and for some people is an erogenous zone, but watch out, as in all matters pertaining to love – they may have been deceiving you.




It’s been a very snowy and bleak week up here in the north, especially financially, which was not helped by a visit to the “Chill Factor”, the huge indoor snowdrome in Manchester. This was mainly for my son’s benefit, who was born to ski and snowboard, but not alas his mother. I am not good on skis, or anything that moves for that matter, not even a moving staircase due to the vertigo from which I now suffer, a known side effect of the meds. Sometimes, I can’t even move myself (as in off the sofa) yet another well known side effect of the meds, or even walk in a straight line; let alone soar (or in my case pathetically slither) down a mountainside. I like coming to a stop when I decide and not by falling over in the snow, usually in a heap; although this could also be caused by other things aside from the meds or the vertigo, such as a few too many glasses of wine.

As for those chairlifts, even a rocking chair is too much for me these days and can set me off balance and as for sticking one of those heavy metal poles between my legs, out of the question, no matter what their musical tastes.

Neither can I be doing with heights or steep inclines. Those cable cars and funicular railways terrify the living daylights out of me. Anyway, I’ve had to give up winter sports because thanks to lipodystrophy and my fat stomach, my ski suit won’t zip up anymore.  Although having a fat stomach didn’t exactly stop Pavarotti from enjoying frolicking around in the snow did it, or riding up and down on those feniculars, because he was always singing about them –

funiculi fenicula feniculi feniculaaaaaaaaa.

The origin of the word ‘ski’, pronounced ‘shee’ in Norwegian, is derived from the old Norsk word ‘skith’ meaning to split a piece of firewood. But before you get out your axe and start attaching bits of kindling to your shoes, or sawing the breadboard in half, you can actually buy ready made skis these days which are much more efficient.  The first skis were apparently ten feet long, which made it nearly impossible for the skier to turn or jump while in motion, which is a good job really because according to one website the early skiers were hunters, midwives, priests, and others who had to travel across deep winter snow, dragging a single long pole to slow themselves down. However, I don’t suggest trying this at home, even though there may be a surfeit of poles in your area, although not all of them are tall and most of them are probably already married, at least the good looking ones.

In 1856, a Norwegian farmer named John ‘Snowshoe’ Thompson responded to a plea from the U.S. postal service for someone to carry mail across California’s Sierra Nevada range in mid-winter. Thompson allegedly made the ninety- mile trip in three days, which puts the Royal Mail and our dozy postmen somewhat to shame. Thompson’s legendary treks apparently inspired many miners to take up ski racing as a diversion during long snowbound winters where apparently they experimented with ‘dope’, early ski wax concocted from cedar oil, tar, beeswax, sperm and other ingredients to coax more speed out of their skis. So not dissimilar to today’s snowboarders then, who also have a propensity to such diversions, especially dope and speed.

Skiers these days can now take part in many Olympic events, such as the biathlon which combines cross-country skiing with rifle shooting, in which case I wouldn’t advise wearing a fur coat or even furry mitts if you are off on a winter break to the Alps in case you get mistaken for live game or a reindeer.

On the topic of live game, if you are a man wealthy enough to indulge in some winter sports this season, or maybe a woman who has recently been made redundant and is looking for a new career, you can either become, or order, your very own snow bunnie.

“Be the envy of all the blokes in the bar,” states the advert, “As your stunning bunny gets the beers in. Hand picked for their outgoing personalities and stunning looks (and long furry ears presumably not to mention furry tails) the snow bunnies are there to make your overall experience that little bit better. The snow bunnies are all highly skilled in the art of meeting and greeting, the pouring of refreshingly chilled champagne and the relaying of important information so that everyone knows exactly what’s going on and is aware of any given situation.”

How about the wives I say? Do they know exactly what’s going on. Bet they haven’t got a clue.

But don’t worry if you can’t afford your very own snow bunnie or to go on the piste, the credit crunch is affecting us all and in the long run it will be much better for you and your liver if you can manage to stay off the piste (at least during the week) and like the French, you could always use grass instead, although obviously this could have more serious long term affects on your mental health.

Grass skiing was started in France in 1966 using short skis that were actually rolling treads, or wheels much like those on tanks. These were attached to the skier’s boots then a grassy downhill slope was found. Depending on the skill of the grass skier (or the amount they inhale presumably) high speeds and jumps could be navigated. Many grass skiers have created their own pistes as an alternative to grass ski centres – in their own gardens perhaps? This area of the sport, not surprisingly, has not been as popular as others, as I would imagine it would ruin your lawn, not to mention crunch your bulbs and other areas of your body if you are not careful, and ruin your crop of daffodils for next Spring – or the hope of any future offspring for that matter.

Talking of crunches and not only in the snow, in an attempt to be more thrifty, although if the following supposedly helpful tips are anything to go by – more shifty – I came across these particularly anti-social ways to save money during this time of financial crisis.

1.      Pick the stalks off fruit and vedge before getting to the checkout to save cash on their weight.

2.      Buy the supermarket’s own brand cereal and secretly use it to fill posher brand-name boxes – no one will know the difference.

3.      Squeeze the loo roll into an oval shape so it doesn’t roll out so easily and your guests can’t use yards at a time.

4.      Get that 60’s mini out of the attic, pull it right up and wear like a tube top with cigarette trousers (fag pants?)

5.      Save laddered tights to wear under trousers or with boots (what if you get run over by a bus?)

6.      According to Mrs Beeton, use bicarbonate of soda to clean floors, baths, basins and more and you can make nice scones too (but not out of the dishcloth)

7.      If you live in a terraced house, turn off the heat and use the warmth from your neighbours’ houses (how mean can you get!)

8.      A third of the heat is lost through the walls so don’t forget to fill your cavities, something that could save you £90 on annual bills (depending obviously on whether your dentist is private or NHS)

Well, all I can say is you might save money but you well may lose friends, look stupid and possibly get arrested.

During my research, I also came across this article.

OOH LA LA: Brits find new ways to beat the crunch.

 UK residents are more likely than our European counter parts to take saucy energy saving steps by sharing a bath or cuddling up in bed in an effort to save energy and money.

According to the research, while the desire to save money is motivating us Brits to take energy saving measures, pressure on our time is stopping us from going further. That’s because we spend at least 10 or more minutes a week standing in queues, around 170 million hours each year waiting on hold on the telephone, at least 210 million hours stuck in traffic, and waste more than 10 minutes a week waiting for the kettle to boil. Whilst in Europe, almost half of the population of Spain spend 10 minutes a week taking siestas, (in my experience it’s more like half the day), twenty-one per cent of Frenchmen and women spend more than 10 minutes a week waiting for their food to arrive in a restaurant (lazy gits) and eight in ten Germans spend at least 10 minutes every week organising their desks.

Well, after waiting my usual ten minutes for the kettle to boil, in a valiant attempt to save money I am now thinking about getting the tea tray out to try a bit of sledging – although apparently sledging is slang in cricket terms for slagging someone off – something us Brits would never do and especially not me, I’ll stick to my snowbloggin!