Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Plodding along...

I am still recovering from the distress of finding my Elton CDs are missing...*sniff sniff* but life goes on, I guess.

I've not been around much lately. At work, I have been mad busy between panicking about being nowhere near my target N, with only 4 months left of PhD funding and sitting in on clinics with my supervisor.

Sometimes I love sitting in on clinics - it reminds me of why I do what I do and why I want to go into this career. I get to joke around with the kids and see how much they have changed and how they are developing into wonderful, bright, friendly young people. Other times, I sit and feel useless, realising that sometimes there is not a lot you can do for someone, and when that someone is a child, that is a really horrible realisation.

Sometimes hope is hard to come by. I realised today that when I was much more of a believer than I am now, that it was nice to pray for the "hopeless clients", because somehow I could entertain the fantasy that one day, some supernatural power would come and magically bestow happiness, joy and peace upon them.

Now that I don't believe in that sort of thing, I realise that part of what I have to deal with, is the realisation, not only of my own limits, but the limits of my profession and the limits of medicine.

I want to sum up this post with a helpful and inspiring little quotation to round it off and provide some kind of conclusion to my own frustration and sense of human inadquacy to fix the world. But there isn't one.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005


I cannot find my Elton John CDs....pray tell, what other cheesesome camped up master of the ballad is going to keep me sane during data entry??

Oh the agony....

Elton, where are you?!

Monday, August 08, 2005

Anyone living in the UK atm will be starkly aware of the growing argument over the government's proposal to deport preachers of hate...

I don't approve of preaching hatred, but I believe in free speech - if people have grievances with our country then we must be prepared to listen - and if those grievances and maybe even their hatred are unreasonable, then we must prove them wrong, not sent them elsewhere with their hatred.

I'm not convinced that deportation works anyway. Surely it only goes to confirm the preacher's suspicion that they are not welcome in our country and surely their followers will rise up to take revenge. But then again, perhaps its easier to get rid of preachers of hate than to prove them wrong by acting with impeccable justice and generosity.

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them." ~ JESUS (Luke 6: 27-31)

"Make injustice visible". ~Gandhi

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Seeking paradise

I love you without permission
Although the fingers pointed
My choice, your choice
Is to give ourselves freely
Maybe even a little recklessly.

Plunging our teeth into
Forbidden fruit
Sweet juices running down our chins

Human beings
Always did need a little
Forbidden pleasure
To take us out of paradise
And into the world together

But this time
We are not afraid
To fall

Because we are falling together.
Embracing one another
Intertwined together
With love
And forbidden passion.

Will God forsake us
Will be be smitten by his wrath
Like they told us?

I doubt it.

We will find our way back to paradise


Some natural tears they dropped, but wiped them soon;
The world was all before them, where to choose
Their place of rest, and Providence their guide.
They hand in hand, with wand’ring steps and slow,
Through Eden took their solitary way.

(Milton, Paradise Lost, XII, 645–650)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oompa Loompas and Quaker Meetings

This Sunday morning I awoke with a sense of great excitement - the long awaited day had come. Partner dude and I had pre-booked afternoon tickets for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I've been singing the oompa-loompa song around our house now with all the joyful inaneness of a six year old.

It was, however, Sunday morning. Time to laze in bed for a few hours. We have both had a busy few weeks with little time for stopping. Unusually, I woke up first, poked partner dude, 'Yo, oompa loompa zippidy dee, will you go to meeting with me?'

It was, I must admit, with some reluctance that we pulled ourselves out of bed this week, but we did it, deciding that we are almost always glad when we get up in time for meeting. This week was no exception.

It was a wonderful meeting, mainly of sharing our need to find solutions in our world. One woman spoke poignantly of the racist views her daughter's friends had expressed while staying at their house - saying that all Asians should be rounded up and sent to prisons for the terrorist attacks etc.

Such attitudes, I must admit, are alien to me. It further impressed on me how much we need to foster friendships between racial and religious communities.

On the 7th of July, when I heard the news the first person I thought of was a friend of mine who lives and works in London. I rang her - thankfully she wasn't in London at the time. Only afterwards did I realise the possible significance that the first person I had called was both Asian and Muslim, and how precious our friendship is in these troubled times.

The same friend contacted me again last week to say she was going to visit Mecca and before she went wanted to ask that if I had anything against her for my forgiveness and likewise, whatever I had ever done to offend her was forgiven. I was a tad unnerved, wondering what I'd done - but she quickly explained that before Muslims make pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina they ask for and offer forgiveness because God forgives those who forgive others.

I remarked on how similar this was to my own Christian background - afterall Jesus said that when we forgive men who sin against us, God also forgives us.

Perhaps we are not so very different afterall. How much we need to remember that.

And btw, Charlie and the Chocolate factory was very cool. Go see it.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Amnesics forget...

On Saturday mornings I work in a memory clinic - of course its not unusual for people to forget their appointments - it is to be expected I guess! But once, someone arrived for their appointment so I went to get my supervisor who said, 'WHAT? Ah, working with people with memory problems, if they don't come at all, they come on the wrong day! Ask them to check their appointment letter.' So I went back to the people and asked if they had their appointment letter with them. They did and indeed, they had an appointment. I had to go back to my boss and tell him, 'Guess what, you forgot!' Mw ha ha ha. The things that keep me amused!