Tag Archives: alcohol

Excess All Areas

I have had an excellent Christmas. It may be getting harder to squeeze into my jeans, but you can’t go to a family get together and suck on celery sticks, can you? I have eaten thousands and thousands of calories over the last few days and have enjoyed every single one of them.

The Teenager rolled up his sleeves and helped serve Christmas lunch to forty-odd pensioners on Christmas Day, bless him. He was a bit shy to start with, but got into his stride and was soon happily scooting round, doling out roast potatoes, slices of turkey and carrots. Everyone agreed that he was ‘a very nice young man, very nice, and ooh, so tall, what was I feeding him, Baby Bio?’

There was only one awkward moment. We all had to gather in the hall and sing along to carols. A woman went round with a box full of musical instruments and feeling very Christmassy, I grabbed a couple of plastic maracas and enthusiastically shook them along to ‘Jingle Bells’. Unfortunately, I was still shaking them in tune to the next carol, the sombre  ‘In The Bleak Midwinter’  and The Teenager was mortified.

On Boxing Day, I went out for the newspapers early and had to pick up some wine for a party later on. Believe me, it’s very embarrassing paying for two bottles of wine at 8am when everyone behind me in the queue is buying satsumas and milk. Especially when my hands are playing up again and the wine bottles rattled in my bag as if I was having tremors from alcohol withdrawal.

Anyway, MS-wise, I’ve been more tired than usual and have spent endless  hours lolling around on the sofa, wrapped in a duvet. My feet have been buzzing more and the foot drop is driving me mad. I also had a spectacular argument with my bookcase. The bookcase won and my upper arm is covered in a violent purple bruise and throbs incessantly.

Apart from that, I am looking forward to more days of too much of everything. I have two very large boxes of chocolates that I feel compelled to eat and a bag of Twiglets in the cupboard, just in case. What more could I possibly need?

Tagged , , , , ,

Starting a Book Club…

MS does funny things to your mind. I used to be a voracious reader, but since being diagnosed the most complicated things I read were the instructions on a microwave meal or the telly guide. I couldn’t seem to concentrate and my mind wandered all over the place.

Happily though, I am now back to reading two or three novels a week and the local library is once again staggering under the weight of my book orders. With this in mind, I was chatting to a fellow MSer yesterday and we have decided to start our very own MS book club. I have offered to host and The Teenager will be bribed with a packet of biscuits and bottle of pop to stay upstairs, bless him.

I have past form on the whole book club front. I used to run one years ago, but the clash of personalities was the final nail in the coffin. Once the wine was flowing, arguments would break out. Not about the book we had all read, but about politics of all things. It was ugly. So with this in mind, we will plan things a little differently.

First and foremost, we will all have MS, so concessions will need to be made. Fatigue could cull one or more of us on book club day so we might have to hold it by Skype, each of us on our respective sofas. We will all have a lowered tolerance of alcohol, so we need to be careful (like that’s going to happen…). And we really need to think about choosing short-ish books, just in case. Topsy and Tim anyone?

I am childishly excited though. After months and months of fatigue and general couldn’t-give-a-damn attitude to life, it’s good to be reintroduced into society. Rather than just reading about the world I was missing out on, I will be taking part. Touch wood, I’m on the up and up and life has never looked better.

Any book suggestions would be gratefully received so if you have a brilliant book you’d like to recommend, let me know. Something that will make me look cultured and intelligent would be just fine…

Tagged , , , , ,

Long, Dark Nights

I love autumn, the crisp, bright days, the leaves, the bonfires, but it passes all too quickly. Winter? I’m undecided as yet. I’m turning the lights on earlier and earlier and soon it will be dark by 4.30.

I am torn. On the upside, it’s not hot, so no bright red face, sudden weakness or behaving like a demented vampire. I can now stay outdoors for longer than an hour without melting. And when I get tired, there’s no shame in curling up on the sofa with a good book and the remote control come 6pm, as it’s just what most of us do in the winter. I am glad the summer nights are over. It’s unspeakably sad to watch the world go by with your nose pressed against the window.

The flip side though, is being the only adult in the house. The evenings are endless. The clock slows down. I flit from one thing to another, unable to settle properly. It’s astounding how dark it is outside. Darkness does strange things to the mind. Small problems are magnified and big problems seem insurmountable. Old fears seep out like vapour.

Perhaps I have too much time on my hands to think about everything and nothing. I am in an odd limbo-land; still working for two months for the company that sacked me (for having MS). I want to celebrate, feel free, take a deep breath and thank God I am no longer there. But that’s on hold right now until just before Christmas.

Mind you, I used to live in a Nordic country, where it was dark by 3pm in the winter, wasn’t light the next morning until 10 and alcohol was shockingly expensive. Now, that really was grim.



Tagged , , , ,

A Recipe for Changing Your Life

happy housewifeThis is best for the novice cook – the less experience you have, the better. But do make sure you choose your ingredients carefully!


  • A good few relapses – drop into mixing bowl, one after the other in rapid succession.
  • One firm diagnosis of multiple sclerosis – this could take you a while to obtain, so be patient.
  • Two evil bosses. If these are difficult to find, check under stones, where they are fond of crawling out from.
  • A liberal sprinkling of heavy-grade bullying at work, of the nastier  and more vicious variety.
  • For added panache, throw in an unfair dismissal along with a copy of the Disability Discrimination Act.
  • Finally, a good dash of steroids, MRIs and a lumbar puncture.


  • Mix all the ingredients together well. You are aiming for a gloopy, gungy consistency
  • Simmer at the highest temperature for just over a year.

Best served with

This recipe can be hard to stomach so make sure you have the following:

  • The best friends you can find (you know who you are)
  • A darn good support network – http://shift.ms/ and http://www.msrc.co.uk/  are amongst the finest
  • Copious amounts of wine, chocolate and laughter

After digesting, pick yourself up, dust yourself down and get out of the kitchen. There’s a bright, shiny new world waiting for you…



Tagged , , , , ,

How to Drink with MS…

Kermit DrunkOne of the more socially annoying aspects of having multiple sclerosis is that I am suddenly a very cheap date. A couple of glasses of my favourite tipple, dry white wine, and I’m zooming away into oblivion. Or more often than not, maudlin and tearful. ‘Why meeeeee’, I’ll wail, filling up my glass to the brim and wiping my smeared mascara all over my face. ‘Don’t wanna have MS, s’not fair’.

So, as with many other things in my life now, I have to be creative and think of new ways of doing things. I have now solved the alcohol conundrum. And I no longer argue with lamp posts.

I have cunningly switched from white wine to red. I can’t drink red wine quickly, so I drink far less than I would if it were white. Clever, eh? Plus, it gives me a much more mellow feeling than white, so rather than wailing, I simply ponder how my life has changed. Like a proper grown up.

On Friday night, with The Teenager at a sleepover, I put this new-found knowledge to the test. My friend took me out to a lovely old gastro-pub in the countryside. We shared a bottle of red. Lovely. And we had a very grown-up sophisticated conversation, catching up on our week. Sipping my wine thoughtfully, I made interesting and insightful comments.

At the next place, a cafe-slash-wine bar (car now safely deposited at home), we shared another bottle and had yet more intelligent conversation. And I even managed to go to the loo without stumbling. Finally, we had a night-cap at a pub, sitting outside. I felt smugly superior to the clearly-drunk women staggering around, clutching glasses of white wine, yelling at passing cars.

I was feeling very proud now, and congratulated myself on being such a responsible adult. So maybe we shouldn’t have popped into the late-night supermarket on the way home .

Waking up the next morning with a dry throat and slightly trembling hands, I went downstairs and found the previous night’s spoils. A packet of Hallowe’en cakes, two supersize bags of crisps, an unopened bottle of red wine and an exercise magazine. Muppet.


Tagged , , ,