Thursday, 22 October 2009

The whistling halls of our neglected blog

I know this blog is whistling eerily in the wind, with tumbleweeds spinning through its echoing halls, but I would like to assure you that both Muriel and I are still alive and thrashing (well, I'm thrashing; Muriel, dear girl, is writhing).

She's still in bed, five weeks after slipping a disc in her back, and here is an SMS update from her: 'Not much improvement to back, alas - still unable to sit and battling to walk. One more week in bed and the doctors will "reassess". Still determined not to have op but fast running out of options." (No txt spk for our Mur: she writes full essays, with perfect spelling and punctuation, when she sends an SMS.)

She sounds sanguine enough, but if I know Muriel she is probably tearing tufts from her scalp, gnawing the headboard and swearing like a sailor.  No one wants to be pancaked for five weeks, but for an energetic tornado of a gal,  it must be, well, terrible, Muriel.  She is definitely not the languishing sort. 

I know she will snort  if you offer her syrupy sympathies, so here are some suggestions about how to gladden her heart:

- send lots of email chain letters, appeals and petitions.
- forward any Nigerian scam emails you receive; she loves these and always sends fat cheques, which place not the slightest dimple in her bulging bank account.
- phone her at midnight, and every two hours thereafter, for a heart-to-heart. Use her land-line number, not her cell number.  We do not want to encourage laziness in Muriel.
- send the Jehovah's Witnesses to her house, and tell them to knock repeatedly on her bedroom window, because the doorbell isn't working.
- park your car outside her bedroom window and pump up the volume!  Muriel loves music, especially rap and boeremusiek.

An orphaned, feeble puppy or kitten placed on the kerb, and pinched hard so that it whimpers all night, may also do the trick.

If all else fails, send a group of young, perfect mothers over to Muriel's place, and encourage them to bring their toddlers!  There is nothing she appreciates more than a gang of feral toddlers exploring her house and its cupboards, and the louder they scream and perform, the more cheerful she becomes.  Muriel believes that parents should take an entirely hands-off approach to young children and frowns on parents who selfishly try to discipline their offspring.

I have nimbly avoided explaining why I've not posted for so long on this blog. OK. Although my excuse is not iron-clad, like Muriel's, here it is, anyway:  I'm moving, with my kids, to Cape Town in five weeks' time, to join my dearest, who has been living and working there for the past few months.

The sheer amount of admin involved - packery, throw-outery, house-sellery, change-addressery stuff - has kept me on the hop, and I'm also studying for the matric exams of my eldest son, who writes his first proper exam in a fortnight.  So I'm pretty busy, but I will be back here, and blogging wildly, once the dust settles and we are all snuggled together in our new nest in Hout Bay.  (Which will only be ours if we sell our existing house, and soon.)

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Muriel has a hernia

If you fans of Salmagundi are wondering about the yawning Muriel-shaped hole in this blog, I am sorry to tell you that she has been arrested, deported and flung into a filthy prison on St. Helena, where she will rot in despair for the rest of her days, and good riddance to Her Terribleness.

Okay, that's not strictly true, but I am sure Muriel would prefer gnawing her own wrists in a squalid cell to what she's going through now. Muriel has a herniated spinal disc and has damaged her sciatic nerve: she is now mostly immobile, in excruciating pan, and has to be crowbarred off the ceiling every few hours to be force-fed a new dose of painkillers. Here's more from her email:

"It has been endless rounds of docs and specialists and piles of meds and mainly staying in bed. And also spending about two hours a day standing at my computer – I can’t sit and can only lie on my left side, it is too dire – to try to get the most basic work done so I can keep earning some kind of paltry living.

"Having been offered an operation that will cost 'up to R100 000' (said the spine specialist, casually), I have completely abandoned mainstream medicine and am now under the care of a chiropractor who pummels and yanks me and hangs me upside down twice a week. He thinks he can get me right but has warned that it will take a long time – maybe up to two more months – I am going mad with frustration.

"The pain is unbelievable so I am on constant pain meds that make me a bit stoned (which is actually quite nice) but it doesn’t make for a clean brain.

"Thank God for my amazing friends and my amazing daughter who have kept the household running and have been doing all the running around and transport, etc, including lifting and carrying me to docs all over the bloody province (a genuine downside of living in the middle of nowhere!)."

So, how can we cheer her up? Grapes? Filthy jokes? Normally, I would advise sending a few crates of tequila, but perhaps we shouldn't encourage her to mix her meds. Big kisses, Mur.

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