October 16th, 2004


And a happy birthday to atreic!

Have a great day, Sally, and a wonderful year to come.

The food, as it turned out, was vegetables (onion, garlic, red yellow and green peppers, cucumber, and so on) flash fried and then braised in the stock; fried chicken in lemon sauce; and sesame rice. Very nice indeed.

I can't usually cook stuff that takes a lot of standing at the stove because of the strain that it puts on my back. Perhaps I need an Alexander lesson or two in standing still for half an hour at a time? So things like the above are fairly easy, in that almost all the preparation can be done sitting down; the stock pretty much makes itself (I just leave everything to infuse in a Pyrex jug covered with a double layer of food wrap); the sauce, being arrowroot thickened, and a small volume, takes only a couple of minutes standing and stirring; the vegetables are flash-fried and left to simmer; and putting it all together takes five minutes at the most.

How do other people with disabilities or other chronic conditions optimise their cookery? I'm wondering, because one of the questions in the UK when the government is working out whether you need help with things is "Can you cook a full meal?" My answer to it has to be "Yes, but I have to be pretty selective about what goes into it and how it's cooked". Which is pretty much in line with my general gimp-philosophy of "Do what you can; there's no point in hurting yourself trying to do what you can't just because people seem to expect it, or because you wish that you could."

That kind of leads off from thinking about things due to the recent death of Christopher Reeve. Why did he want so much to be able to walk again before he was fifty? The way I think of things, not being able to walk is fairly down the list of inconveniences of spinal injury, as such. Not being able to use my hands, not being able to breathe unassisted, things like that, would be so much worse for me, but they never seemed to get talked about in his context: it was always the "I'm going to walk again" that was the preeminent topic.

I suppose people just have different things that matter to them, with different priorities. Which makes me wonder, when people are designing QoL (Quality of Life) scales, who gets to set the weightings? In terms of sheer impediment to my enjoyment of life, the depression far outranks the back problems, but often people seem to think that somehow the back problems are more dreadful, and ought to distress me more than the depression. The difference is that while I've been able to accommodate my activities and the ways in which I do them to minimise the interference from the back problems, I've not found an effective way of doing so for the depression.

This is probably quite different for other people, so I'm not trying to make any generalisations: just saying, you know, just letting you know what's going on in my head.
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Gacked from angelofthenorth

When you see this, post a bit of poetry in your journal.
A secret loue or two I must confesse
I kindly welcome for change in close playing,
Yet my deare husband I loue ne'erthelesse,
His desires, whole or halfe, quickly allaying,
At all times ready to offer redresse :
His owne he neuer wants but hath it duely,
Yet twits me I keepe not touch with him truly.

The more a spring is drawne the more it flowes,
No Lampe lesse light retaines by lightning others :
Is hee a looser his losse that nere knowes ?
Or is he wealthy that wast treasure smothers ?
My churl vowes no man shall sent his sweet Rose,
His owne enough and more I giue him duely,
Yet still he twits mee I keepe not touch truly.

Wise Archers beare more than one shaft to field,
The Venturer loads not with one ware his shipping ;
Should Warriers learn but one weapon to wielde,
Or thriue faire plants e'er the worse for the slipping ?
One dish cloyes, many fresh appetite yeeld :
Mine own Ile vse, and his he shall haue duely,
Iudge then what debter can keepe touch more truly.

("A Secret Love" by Thomas Campion (1567-1620).)
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