ADRIENNE'S HIV BLOG – Hivine's Weblog

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

Archive for July, 2010

In a Spin

Feel like I’m out of control and spinning around like poor Kylie – don’t know whether it’s an age thing or an HIV thing, but can’t seem to keep up with myself these days. Either it’s because I can’t do as much as I used to in any given day, or that everything just takes longer – especially bending down. I’m sure Kylie doesn’t have that problem, otherwise the words to the song would be, “I’m gonna bend down, get out of my way,” which is what I have to sing, followed by, “Now, help me get up, my knees have got locked.”

Maybe the world is just spinning too fast and everyone, including me and dear Kylie, is trying to catch up with it, because aside from me and my mate Kyles, all my household appliances seem to be spinning around as well; the washer, the tumble dryer, the microwave, my wonderful Tefyl Actifry which should really by rights be worn out by now the amount of chips we consume in this household.

No time anymore for blogging, or anything that rhymes with it – will leave that up to you, but not a word starting with ‘d’ of course. Not really sure what that activity entails actually, think it’s having it off with a stranger in a parked car. How do these people find the time to get up to these extra curricular antics I want to know? I would be far too busy to indulge in such antics, even if I wanted to, which for the record, I most definitely don’t. I’m far too involved with my various projects; painting commissions, running Thrivine our local HIV support group, editing the video diary for the ‘Positive Picture’ project, no wonder my head’s in a spin watching all those clips over and over again and trying to line them up. Mind you, I think I’ve found my new vocation. Spielberg – move out of my way.

I even managed to cram in a quick interview for BBC Radio Lancashire, the day when older people being infected with HIV was hitting the headlines. I find all news reports much too fast these days, the newsreaders and radio presenters trying to cram too much in in too short a time. However, the presenter that interviewed me live on air had no excuse whatsoever for cutting me short when I was trying to inform the local public about Thrivine. Typical DJ, he preferred the sound of his own voice rather than informing the listeners, especially the older ones, about the new shocking statistics regarding HIV – probably thought it didn’t apply to the likes of his esteemed good self. Well, have I got news for him – or I would have had if only he’d of let me speak.

Luis, my Spanish counterpart, is temporarily back in residence so once again I’m forced to contend with the usual language barrier, which is all adding to the confusion in my spinning brain. I simply haven’t got the time to think in another language. I have to keep asking my son (who speaks Spanish like a native) to translate for me. It’s all too easy to get confused when not speaking your mother tongue and talking of mothers, my mum used to hate it when Luis and I spoke Spanish and always complained that she felt left out. “What did he say?” she would keep repeating. Well, she might well have asked, I don’t really know myself half the time. To be honest, I spend most of my time trying to avoid the men in my household. They sound so bad tempered when they are speaking Spanish and tend to growl at each other, and me – but that’s nothing new, in any language.

We attended my cousin’s belated sixtieth birthday party on Friday, which had been delayed due to the horrendous chemo she’d been forced to endure whilst undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. Thankfully she’d made it through, so I’d bought her a brightly coloured sarong and matching fan for when she goes back to Spain, the dream that had kept her going through the nightmare of chemo.

“Que regalo (present) es?” Luis growled at me.

“Eees un sarong,” I told him proudly, “And un brightly coloured albondiga.”

The brows knotted, the growl intensified and he became quite incensed – “Que dices Adriana? (what are you talking about you mad woman).

I should have said albanica, which means fan. Instead I’d told him it was a brightly coloured meatball. Luis was not amused. The Spanish take the matter of fans very seriously, especially in regard to football – champinones, champinones. I’d better be careful, I think that might mean mushrooms and it should have been campeones, champions. I’d better look it up. Don’t want to cause any more trouble.

The use of the Spanish fan is a whole language in itself, but if used incorrectly, it could get a senorita into a whole lot of trouble. For example, if you touch your right cheek with the fan it means yes and the left cheek no. A closed fan touching the right eye means, “When may I be allowed to see you?” But if you poke it in your left eye, or your right eye for that matter, you’d better go straight to the doctor.

If the fan is held over the left ear (note to self – I might need to remember this, especially if he keeps on growling at me) it means, “I wish to get rid of you.” If a senorita suspects her man is being unfaithful, she touches the tip of her nose with the fan, meaning, something doesn’t smell good round here (other note to self, that might come in useful too in regard to men in households feet).

I note they don’t call girls Fanny anymore, which is a good job really as it is now a slang word of course for women’s bits. I looked up the origins of the name and it derives from a book by Fanny Hill called, “Memoirs of a woman of pleasure.” I also discovered that Jack and Danny is the cockney rhyming slang for Fanny.

Equally confusing was trying to explain to Luis what another cousin was saying when she said, “I were agait,” which in the Lancashire dialect means I was saying, or I was talking about.

“Why she say she khis gate? She not gate – gate fence.”

“Well she could be a fence actually,” I began, but decided it wasn’t worth the effort.

The other day, Luis was lying prone on the sofa watching the bicycling (yet more things spinning around) as is his wont, when he suddenly leapt up shouting and shaking his head from side to side and growling like a mad dog. “Got us Adriana – got us.”

“Got us what?” I replied, thinking he had finally mastered the vagarities of the Lancashire dialect. But he meant gottas (drops) gottas were dripping from the ceiling and landing on his head. Panic stations. Where was the water coming from? Turned out to be a leaking radiator valve in the study.

Never a dull moment!

No time for hula hooping these days. When I was telling my cousin about the acupuncture points on my hula hoop, she asked me aghast if I meant needles. Hardly, you would end up with a perforated waist, which would make it easy to tear yourself in two I suppose, which I feel I’m having to do these days twenty four seven. I’d better be careful I suppose not to keep overdoing it, otherwise I’ll make myself ill and end up at the doctors – the spin doctor of course.

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Lettuce be Silly

Lettuce be silly!

I am new woman – have just returned from holiday in Ibeeeeza with my sistah, where in pursuit of more brain power and flatter tums we eat nothing but feeeesh whilst at same time (like the silly or mad cows we often is) chomp our way through a veritable field of frilly lettuce leaves. Was amazed by the many variations and spectacular colours of lettuce there are these days;  curly bleached yellowy strands like tangly permed hair, vicious looking pointy green arrow spear heads, girly frills resembling voluminous ballet dresses. A new slang word for frilly lettuce – the desmond tu tu?

I decided I didn’t know enough about the not so humble lettuce so had a quick Googledoo when I got back. Many different names popped (or cropped) up, sounding more like Brazilian call girls – Lollo Rosso, described as highly attractive and heavily frilled, usually sporting saucy pinky leaf margins. Lollo Biondo, a bright green version of Lollo Rosso. Lovina who is more ‘bolt’ resistant and her mate Loma, deeply toothed with loose leaf tip burn. Sounds painful, I’d stay away from her. Then we get on to the more ominous or masculine sounding names such as the Black Seeded Simpson – he doesn’t sound very appetizing but depends on your taste in lettucemen. Of course we have the more familiar Iceberg, the overrated (at least in my opinion) Rocket, and not forgetting Little Gem (ah bless!) and the Royal Oak Leaf, which unlike me can stand for longer without getting a yellow bottom.

Lettuce is a source of vitamin K which we all need for a healthy immune system, especially people living with HIV. I’d never actually heard of vitamin K- I thought alphabetically the list of vitamins stopped after vitamin E, but apparently Dam and Doisy (distant relations of Dam and Buggerit) shared the 1943 Nobel Prize for medicine for their work with this lesser known vitamin. Another thing I didn’t know about lettuce is that it is an opiate and produces a milky fluid known as ‘lettuce opium’ which has sedative quality. Those ‘know it all’ Romans ate it at the end of meal to put them to sleep, so you know what to do next time you have trouble sleeping, forget the mug of Horlicks, counting sheep or popping pills, nibble away on a few lettuce leaves instead.

Another thing I discovered whilst on my hols was that I’d missed my true vocation. Against my better judgment (I’m not keen on water sports of any kind apart from bubble baths) I was forced by my more adventurous sis to venture out on the high seas on a bright yellow pedalo, which we christened Daffodil. To my surprise I found I was a natural pedalower and what’s more I liked to have, in fact insisted on, total control of the rudder. I think this must go back to the time when I was first diagnosed and hallucinating on sustiva or was it efavirenz? I can’t remember now, that time like the sixties, is a bit of a blur to me. Coincidentally, like Daffodil, the huge impossible to swallow pills were bright yellow. After downing those first anti-retrovirals I remember informing my mum that I was a paddle steamer peddling down the Mississippi wearing huge boxing gloves.

This was a typical conversation between me, captain Daff and my even Daffter sis on our bright yellow pedalo – tanks for taking me out today captain Daff – you’re very welcome misses (for some reason Captain Daff was Irish) however da waves are a bit lively today to be sure, so weasil have to be careful, so it is, not to end up in Morocco – I khav no fear, you very good captain Daff – this is sistah’s politician/banker speak and use of crafty motivational skills to make me do all the pedaling whilst she lies prone on back of pedalo sunbathing. I’d like a swim now captain Daff – she informs me. Hang on misses, will pedal you to da blue waters. Whilst sis swims in deep blue waters, pedal protectively round her like big yellow mother duck employing newly acquired rudder skills till sis gets tired. Seriously consider leaving her at one point and hot-pedaling back to shore – legs getting bit tired, but am good trustworthy captain, so don’t abandon her to health freak German swimmers, sharks etc – but oh oh, ship or pedalo ahoy, other pedalo on horizon. How very dare it. All able bodied pedalowers back on board shouts Captain Daff, other pedalo captain maybe not know how to control rudder like me.

Narrowly miss head on collision but me very good captain. Safely steer vessel back to shore. Get off Daffodil and go to eat promised bribe of nice healthy lunch. Oh no, she looking for feeesh again. We look heverywhere in every bar for menu del dia. Many weird sounding feesh. I order sardines because at least know what they are, but they hiss enormous. Chop off heads, one by one, then much spitting out of wiry bones, wiry bones wrapped round teeth like braces. Oh well, always wanted straight teeth.

What we do now asks sis? We tourists so we go shop-hing of course. We go to Spanish version of pound shop, which used to be hundred peseta shop. Sis think I say hundred potato shop, then we laughing and singing and doin arm movements to song, Oh Macarena – but instead singing, Oh las potatas. We think very funny but is because we drinking whole bottle of Pescara.

Last day of hol we back on Daffodil, imagining people on shore watching every day daft hingleesh sistahs. Maybe looking at us through binoculars – pedlophiles says sis an we laughin again.

Sis going back to Holland but Luis comin to hingland with me so course have to eat final steeenky feesh before we get on plane. Bit fed up of feesh by now, but what first thing Luis and me do when get back to hingland – h’eat feesh and cheeps of course.

I am now back in casa continuing the good work by making healthy miracle juice with cabbage, spinach and lettuce leaves of course for vitamin K supply. Put too many lettuce leaves in juicer and it gets pegado – stuck in Spanish. Miracle juice containing all those lettuce leaves supposed to detoxify body, purify system and clean out colon. Lettuce just hope is not a case of colonic irritation – or eat shites and leaves.

I saw this on face book – “If you have a passion for pedalo sign up.” 

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205 now.

You also like to pedalo and want to raise money for worthy charity? Take part in Extreme pedalo 2010 16th – 18th of July.

An endurance pedalo race along the Thames for ‘City Gateway’ a charity supporting disadvantaged young people.

www.citygateway.org.uk.