ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Archive for August 16, 2009

Wheel Meet Again

 

picture:dad©adrienneseed

picture:dad©adrienneseed

First things first – congratulations to one of our lovely hiviners who tied the marital knot on Saturday, thus defying all the HIV odds. I’m sure that along with me you will want to wish her every happiness and a wonderful future. She has promised to write her story for hivine to give other positive women hope that they too can find love, even with a negative partner – so watch this space.

Next – congratulations are also most certainly in order and possibly a gold medal from the Queen of hivonia i.e. me, awarded to Willo, or Plinthia as we now call her, for being lifted up on that crane and deposited on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar square to raise awareness about HIV. Maybe also a knighthood or considering the unearthly hour, a dayhood. As it turns out the weather held so she didn’t need to wear a hood of any kind, or her umbrella hat – and aside from getting tangled up in the red and black spotted flamenco pinny I bought her last Christmas, everything went according to plan. You can still catch up with her performance on the one and other website.

The next person in line for a medal, or a hoody, albeit in lycra if his sudden penchant for strutting around in garish colours and skin tight cycling pants is anything to go by, is the gallant Eifion, husband of my cousin Viv of ‘Viv Lives’ survivor of cancer fame, who is about to get on his bike in order to raise awareness and money for another very worthy cause, The Royal British Legion. Eifion, as you can probably guess from his name, is a rather dashing Welsh man and as far as I am aware and judging by the lycra, is the only biker in the village, apart from possibly the odd loose Welsh woman.  

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Why are loose women Welsh or otherwise known as the village bike? I suppose the obvious answer is because everyone gets to have a ride on them and the Irish always describe having sex as having a ride don’t they?

When we lived in Ireland my son had a girlfriend called Gronya who we cruelly nicknamed gerronyer bike. Sadly the relationship didn’t last – I wonder why?

I obviously come from a family of bike riders (not I hasten to add loose women) as well as campaigners and survivors of terminal illnesses. That must be where my own compulsion to raise my head above the parapet (as my health advisor describes it) and speak out about HIV comes from. But Eif will be doing more than raising his head; he will be risking permanent damage to his manhood (allegedly) by raising  his bottom, mounting the saddle and riding all the way to Paris, which is notoriously full of loose women. However, he won’t be in any condition to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity, not that he would of course, because by the time he gets there he will probably be suffering from extreme lycra burn, which is even worse I believe than carpet burn.

Some helpful advice for Eif gleaned from other bikers – shave legs in order to go faster, always have some bikearbonate of soda immediately to hand and refrain from wearing the obligatory string of onions round neck as sported by traditional French bikers as these will only serve to slow him down.

But, according to the fearless Eif anything, even long lasting lycra lash is worth furthering his worthy cause. And worthy cause it most certainly is, as every day we have to witness the heartbreaking news that yet another young British soldier has been wiped out in their prime. You may be opposed to our involvement in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, but there are times when we depend on our armed forces to fight for freedom and justice and the sake of world peace. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t think about my dad who was a navigator on the old Lancaster Bombers in the Second World War and how brave he was and tell my son that if it wasn’t for his granddad and great granddad, he wouldn’t be enjoying the freedom that he has today – not that he listens to me.

I have recently completed two new paintings of my dad, trying both to re-find myself as an artist (as opposed to an activist) and also to conjure up his spirit and braveness as I face my own daily battle with this bloody disease. When I was first diagnosed seven years ago I was told to think of my highly toxic pills as my ‘little soldiers’ who would help me wipe out the deadly HIV virus that had invaded my body, or at least keep it under control. Some days, even seven years on, I still have trouble getting them down and then they do the cowardly thing by coming straight back up.

picture:dad©adrienneseed

picture:dad©adrienneseed

“Get back on the front line,” I order, “and do your stuff,” I bark at them like an army commandant, although I am the biggest coward in the world and could not face what our brave soldiers are forced to confront on a daily basis. I know that I for one could not live without my own personal battalion of soldiers and unfortunately, in these troubled times, some parts of the world can’t live without ours – so let’s look after them and their families by supporting The Royal British Legion and Lycra Lash Eif in the momentous journey he has before him.

I don’t know, Willo on her plinth, Eif on his bike – and me on the meds. Some things never change.

Suggested songs for Eif to pedal along to as he leaves the White cliffs of Dover far behind him.

“Wheel meet again.”

“Lycra Rolling Stone.”

And not forgetting an old classic song for our recently wedded hiviner –

“On a bicycle made for two.”

And if he is feeling philosophical or about to give up, he can always contemplate this ancient Zen proverb –

“Seek and ye shall find there is nothing to be found, look here is a bike and the wheels go round…….

Unless he gets a puncture of course.

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You can sponsor Eif by visiting his website – here is a letter explaining all the details of his mission and how you can make a donation.

 

Dear Relatives, Friends and Hiviners,

I’m doing the Poppy Bike Ride!

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This is Eifion here, writing to you in the hope that you will support my planned big adventure in September 2009

I have a place on The Royal British Legion’s Pedal to Paris ride in September 2009 for which I’m already training hard! 250 cyclists will be taking part and raising funds for the Royal British Legion at the same time. We will start from Greenwich, London on 3rd September and finish 440 km later at the Arc de Triomphe itself on 6th September. It’s a long way, but I’m keen to take up the challenge, especially for such a good cause. Cycling an average of over lOO km per day is just one side of the story -I know that I will be helping men and women who risked their lives in many conflicts, including Northern Ireland, the Gulf War, Bosnia and the current campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Legion works so hard supporting them, their dependants and families and, like all charities, they need every penny they can raise. This has come into sharp focus recently with the terrible heavy losses and injuries in Afghanistan.

In the months leading up to the event, each cyclist has been asked to raise a minimum of £800 in sponsorship, but I will be trying to beat that. I would greatly appreciate any contribution from you, no matter how small.  Please note that the Chancellor of the Exchequer is very generous to charities when donations are made. If a Gift Aid form is completed, the charity receives about 28% more in tax benefit.

You can donate on line by clicking onto my donations page where there is a Gift Aid facility.

https://www.bmycharity.com/V2/eifion

If you want to learn more about the Poppy  Bike Ride then check out http://www.poppybike.org.uk

If you want to know more about the work of the Royal British Legion www.britishlegion.org.uk

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Take a look at my own website which has sparked my interest in the work of the Legion. It’s a Virtual War Memorial for Northop Parish where I live.  www.northopwm.com

Thank you very much for taking the trouble to read my letter and I hope that you feel that you are able to support this excellent cause.  Please pass on my details to anyone else you think might wish to help.

 Yours sincerely

 Eifion Williams