ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Archive for May, 2010

Positive Angel

In memory of my dear friend Marc Rushton who passed away tonight after a sudden brain haemorrhage that would have left him paralysed and possibly brain damaged had he survived.
The news that his life support machine was about to be switched off came to me by way of a text message from his distraught mother as we were having the first AGM for Thrivine our HIV support group for which he was a founder member and also a trustee. We were re-electing the trustees at the time and I had been unanimously voted in again as Chair.
Marc was what I described as my ‘main man’ in regard to Thrivine. I was aware that he was seriously ill and that this was likely to happen, I was ready for the bad news, but where there was life there was hope I believed. I am sure that Marc chose his moment, that he was with us at that point saying goodbye to us all. To his positive comrades in arms.
Only days before we’d been talking and laughing on the phone about our plan to start an old folks home for people with HIV. We tried to come up with a name incorporating Thrivine or HIV – HIVEN, CLOSER TO HIVEN, HIVEN ON EARTH. We decided it would have to be in Blackpool so that we could ride up and down the prom on our mobility scooters and go to ‘Funny Girls’ and all the drag shows, play bingo and eat fish and chips wearing our “Kiss me quick if you dare,” HIV hats.
I know how much Thrivine meant to him and how important it would be to him that we carry on. We always laughed together even when he was going through what to other people would be considered as insurmountable health problems. On the many times he was laid up in hospital he even managed to do things for Thrivine, in fact he signed the new constitution when he was having a blood transfusion – and me so squeamish sitting at his side. I could only do that because of his optimism and sense of humour. He could always make me laugh even when I was at my lowest ebb by doing his Dame Edna Everidge impressions. Marc had an unfailing optimism that denied how ill he really was. I knew how ill he was but somehow I thought he’d survive.
“We made it through the rain,” was Marc’s theme song and we adopted it for Thrivine as our group rallying song. We sang it at my sixtieth birthday holding hands in a big circle. Sadly Marc didn’t make it through the rain, but like his name he did make his mark and I will make sure that his mark, that this Marc, Marc Rushton will never be forgotten. Thrivine will go on and do what we set out to do, which is to raise awareness and combat HIV related stigma.
Marc very bravely spoke out on World AIDS Day and revealed his positive status to the media in order to raise awareness in the hope that it would stop other people contracting this terrible anti social disease. In the newspaper article he said, “I feel like I’ve been given this for a reason and I have to talk about it now.”
I think he knew in his heart he didn’t have much time. His time may have run out but his legacy will never be forgotten. I will make sure of that.
Marc missing you already possum. 

Like a Virgin

Like a virgin

Beardy Branson promised it would be seamless – leave Sky today he beckoned from every magazine page, bill board and flier, we will even write the goodbye letter for you. In the interest of economy I made the call. Never trust a man with a white beard – look at father Christmas, he doesn’t even exist.

But how pleasant the young virgin on the other end of the line, how polite and concerned she appeared to be about my bills, how everyone, even she, was forced to downsize these days to cut the costs. She was so nice I agreed to everything white beard had on offer, even the mobile phone. “The engineers will be there on Saturday to change you over – no you won’t need to do a thing, just relax and enjoy your new package.”

Relax? Virgin woman lied, beardy Branson lied, the changeover was anything but seamless. First the engineer lads from Liverpool tried to escape without giving me the HD box included in the package. Luckily caught them in time before they scuttled off like rats up a drain. Unfortunately they’d gone before I realised my upstairs computer wouldn’t connect to the modem.

“Plug in cable,” bad tempered woman with non comprehendible accent residing on other side of world screamed at me. “But my computer has wireless connection built in. Do I have to have wire trailing from downstairs?” scream back in disgust. Must admit at this point I was a little confused about the difference between a modem and a wireless router – blame it on the meds or my age or both.

“Plug in cable.” she keeps repeating. “Where I plug cable? My computer upstairs. I didn’t have to plug in cable with Sky,” sulk petulantly, “And can you please put another virgin person on. I don’t like your attitude, besides which I can’t understand a word you’re saying.”

Next virgin even more bad tempered than first. “Have to buy wireless router?” I ask horrified. “We are putting wireless router in post you silly old not computer literate English woman.”

She didn’t actually say that, but it was obvious that’s what she was thinking.

“How long have to wait?” I enquire. “Four to five days,” bad tempered virgin informs me. “But beardy promised changeover would be seamless. Now will be left without computer for five days. This unthinkable want to speak to complaints department.”

“Complaints department closed madam.”

“Closed? When open?”


“Monday?” scream. “Right, that’s it, I want to cancel package right now. Don’t want to be a Virgin anymore, want to go back to nice trusty dependable sky.”

“Must call back Monday.”

Finally, five virgins later got nice Scottish man with almost comprehendible accent. Turned out I needed a separate wireless router which Liverpool lads weren’t allowed to install or even carry in van for some legal reason about not touching new virgin customer’s computers.

Result was I’ve been offline for a week, hence no activity on blog or anywhere else for that matter. I now shudder at the sight of red. Everything to do with Virgin red. Seeing red. Red rag to a bull. Even gone off the red ribbon because it’s bloody red, besides which I’ve been turned down for the positive women twinning programme for this years International AIDS conference. Will not be going to Vienna after all, only women from the eastern block, not women from the northern block as in Blackburn with Darwen. Us northern pozzers are out of the picture, but at least our support group thrivine got funding for the Positive Picture.

Talking of pictures, have to say my new HD TV is fantastic. Maybe I should approach Beardy for funding? I’ll write him a note and send it up the chimney. And just to be on the safe side, in case he’s reading this, actually now I’m finally online, the mobile cancelled and the picture absolutely brilliant it was worth the changeover after all. Added to which customer services called me today and as a good will gesture knocked 25 quid off my first bill.

Like a virgin? – yes, I do.