Caress / Ache

Berlioz1935's Blog

Yesterday my wife and I went to Sydney to see a play by the Australian playwright Suzie Miller, “Caress / Ache”.

We like those little outings as they give us the opportunity to see the “Big Smoke” and leave our humdrum existence in the outer reaches of New South Wales behind. We take the train as we would have trouble parking the car in the city.

The train is a modern double-decker one. The trip is comfortable and provides us with a view of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the towering escarpment on the other. Later, before we reach the outer suburbs of the Metropolitan area, the train is snaking its way through a dense forest. It is always a pleasurable  trip up the coast. Nature is touching us!

Train departing Thirroul on the way to Sydney Train departing Thirroul on the way to Sydney

Tucked away in  an alley behind busy Victoria Street, Darlinghurst…

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Counter-Terrorism’?: Two Decades after 9/11, New Interactive Map Details Footprint of US War Machine in 85 Countries

By Brett Wilkins

Global Research, February 26, 2021Common Dreams 25 February 2021

“The map raises a number of questions. Why is the United States militarily active in so many countries? Are these operations meeting the stated U.S. goals of reducing violence against Americans?”

A newreportpublished Thursday details United States so-called “counterterrorism” operations by the U.S. military in 85 nations since 2018 as part of its “Global War on Terror,” the open-ended post-9/11 campaign that has seen over half a dozen countries attacked or invaded, hundreds of overseas military bases built, hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent—with no end in sight.

The report—published by the Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Institute andUSA Today—features aninteractive mapshowing U.S. military operations on every inhabited continent on Earth, including combat, training, exercises, and bases.

click map to access interactive map…

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Uta’s Diary

Last year, on the 23rd of December, I wrote about Plans for the New YEAR 2021 and I copied it here today:

https://auntielive.wordpress.com/2021/02/27/utas-diary-towards-christmas-2020-and-the-end-of-the-year/

This is what I wrote in this post about how our climate seems to becoming somewhat tropical:

“Conditions seem to be becoming rather tropical this year, meaning warm temperatures and constant precipitation makes everything grow enormously. I find it hard to keep everything a little bit in check. I feel like I live in a jungle. Up to a point I do like this lush greenery. But then comes a time when everything needs to be trimmed for the space on my property is limited. I intend to apply for reasonable help in future, because the work I am still able to do myself is quite limited. I quickly get out of breath, and if I am not careful, I am in danger of falling. I am so glad that I can still do some walking, even if it is slow, and I have to do it with the rollator, it is still very good to be able to walk outside and enjoy nature!”

So, now towards the end of February conditions are still very much the same, and a lot of weeding has to be done!

“I also wrote the following: The last few days I have been totally on my own in the house. I am still not quite used to have the whole house to myself after the hectic times when any number of people were involved in looking after my dearly loved Peter. Palliative care to moderate the pain of a dying person, especially when it can be done at home, is mind boggling. I am so grateful that this could be done for Peter.”

Well, I am still not quite used to being on my own in the house most of th time!

Thursday Diary continued

This friendly man on the phone, sounded very human, and he had such a pleasant voice! When I found out that I had the wrong date, I could not help myself, I had to laugh about it. This is true, I very much laughed about my blunder!
After this refreshing phone conversation I had yesterday a very rainy but extremely enjoyable day all by myself!

So, then today was Thursday and Olivia came right on time. She rang Hammond Care and asked for permission to take me to the Dapo Shopping Centre, where I had no problem paying my bill at the Post Office.

Then Olivia and I had a very good coffee sitting down at the Shed cafe. I was in a talkative mood and told Olivia a lot about how my life is going now. And she was a good listener!

Then she helped me to do a bit of shopping. Before the two designated hours were up, Olivia took me back home and had still some time to do a bit of vaccuming. Since it had started to rain again, I was glad, that this week no washing had to be done, and that Olivia had been able to take me to the Shopping Centre instead.

Today, a bit after 1 pm, daughter Monika picked me up. She had the two little ones in the car. We were on the way to lunch at a Chinese restaurant, where Natasha was waiting for us. After lunch Natasha had to go to work, but Monika and the kids came then to my place for a little while. All in all, a very wet but very enjoyable day with good food in good company. 🙂

Thursday, early Morning

https://auntyuta.com/2021/02/23/february-diary/

This is what I wrote on the 23rd of February: “Today is Wednesday. At John’s place, Nr. 5, there is a Strata meeting this afternoon. Tomorrow, Thursday, I am going to have two hours of Hammond Care again.”

But the 23rd was actuallly Tuesday, not Wednesday. So, I did go to the Strata meeting on the 23rd, thinking that it was Wednesday already! How very stupid of me!

The following morning I waited and waited for my home help in vain. I rang Hammond care. The kind man, who answered the phone, quickly established that my home help was only due on Thursday, and so he pointed out to me very politely in a very calm, friendly voice, that it wasn’t Thursday yet!! Gee, I was so embarrassed! But it reassured me, that I was spoken to in such a friendly manner.

So, yesterday was Wednesday! I had the whole day totally to myself, which was good, I did not even go for a walk, since it was rainy all day. I just felt like staying at home for the day. But I had my meals outside under an awning protected from the rain. I did not see any neighbours around. However, in the distance I could hear a tractor, that was probably mowing the soccer fields in the light rain.

After I found out yesterday that it wasn’t Thursday yet, I took a long shower, washed my hair, and then thouroughly cleaned the grout between the tiles in the shower, which took ages . . . . I did not mind, that it took so long, for I knew I had time. I could spend the day any way I wanted . . . . !  🙂

It’s not rocket science, or is it?

If you, dear Sean, come up with so many problems. does it surprise you, that I, a newly widowed 86 year old. just cannot cope with everything that is coming my way? I often wonder, is it just old age, that makes me feel like I don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone anymore. There is just too much that is confusing for me. But reading what you, a much younger person are experiencing, I wonder now, is it just my deteriorating mental alertness that makes incapable to exist calmly in this super modern society, or is society as a whole getting ‘too smart’ for a lot of us?
I think, I would just like to reblog your thought provoking post to see, what my followers, and especially my family, have to say to this!
Rocket Science? What for? Couldn’t life be a bit simpler, please!

wake up and smell the humans

I’m in the middle of a bureaucratic goose chase with a government department. It’s hair pulling out stuff. I have supplied said department with the exact same information through five different channels and still, somehow, the situation has not been resolved to the bureaucracy’s satisfaction. It’s a hungry machine, devoid of empathy. It’s a Tower of Babel!

I’m not surprised that people vote for politicians who tout less regulation and smaller governments – private enterprise and the free market are the solution for a smoother ride – NOT!

I say this because I also find myself on an insane merry-go-round ride with my telecommunications/energy provider. Ironically, a government website helped me to find this particular provider! We’ve all heard how you have to shop around to get the best deal.

Saying that, have you shopped around to find a better bank deal? I mean you’d have to be a fool…

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February Diary

It is two months now that Peter has left me. Four months ago we knew already that he would not have much longer to live. His bladder cancer had spread to the bones, and a few weeks later he was gone. . . .

Gradually I seem to cope a bit better with having to live on my own. So far, it has been ‘only’ two months that I had to live on my own most of the time. Why does that feel like such a long time? Maybe, because I know, that Peter is not coming back to me, not ever. When in the past Peter travelled to Berlin without me for a couple of months or so, he would ring me every day. So, there was still a connection, and I knew on a certain date he would arrive back home. Yes, it is very different now.

Today is Wednesday. At John’s place, Nr. 5, there is a Strata meeting this afternoon. Tomorrow, Thursday, I am going to have two hours of Hammond Care again. Last time Irina came instead of Olivia. Whoever it is tomorrow, I might ask, whether a bit of shopping could be done. Preferably I would like to go along with my carer, so we could do the shopping together. I hope, Hammond Care does allow this!

There was a lot of washing done last week. This week there is none, since I insist in doing my bit of personal washing by myself. It is mainly the large sheets I find difficult to handle. Fitting new bedsheets onto my bed gets done every week. This is a great help. And it is great too, that all the floors get cleaned for me every week.

Usually Olivia comes to do all this work for me. But a few times I had some other woman instead of Olivia. I find, they all do a good job! And they are very friendly and talk to me a bit. They all do the cleaning of the floors very, very quickly: vacuuming and mopping! Usually they have also time for a few odd jobs like taking my bins out to the kerb. When they arrive, they always ask me, whether I need any shopping done. But usually I have already been able to do lots of shopping with someone else.

Council Rates are due this week. Monika and Natasha are going to be here tomorrow, probably very early afternoon, bringing Roxy’s kids along which is always something to be looking forward to. Maybe the Council Rates can be paid at the Post Office? Or maybe Monika can find another way of paying. Also, I do have to mail a reply paid letter to the Roads and Maritime Services at Grafton, NSW, of all places! They were notified of Peter’s passing, I think by Birth, Death and Marriages. They sent a condolence letter and want Peter’s Disablility Parking Permit back since after Peter’s passing it is not anymore valid! So, I can return it in a reply paid letter.

Friday afternoon we are going to play games again. I invited Erika and Irene to my place. Barbara is still going to be in Melbourne. She left one week ago. Seems like the borders to Victoria are going to stay open now. So it wont be long now before Martin will be here for another visit! Caroline and Matthew are in Noosa, Queensland, right now. I hope they have an excellent holiday. This coming Sunday Erika and Brian are going to give me a lift to Church again. I am looking forward to this!

Yesterday, on Tuesday, I again spent a lot of time outdoors. Doing weeding, weeding, weeding, mostly in the shade, but relaxing a bit in the early morning sun and then sitting outside with a good cooked morning meal.

I did not do my usual early morning walk yesterday for I was too busy with all that weeding, and after that I needed a good rest. And there is still lots more weeding to be done! Things just grow too quickly in this beautiful late summer weather, for we have this year plenty of rain and luckily also quite a lot of sunshine! I very much enjoy this kind of weather. I don’t actually mind to do a bit of weeding here and there. That I cannot keep it in some kind of good order a lot of the time, well, that is just too bad. I do only as much as is possible, and the rest can wait for another day.

As long as I stay healthy, can still do a little bit here and there, and mostly enjoy the days that are still left to me, I am very happy! But often it is also a rather lonely existence. Being able to still write a bit, does help to overcome this feeling of loneliness when nobody else, just nobody is around me for hours on end. I guess, I just have to keep myself busy. Making some kind of use of the time that is left to me, I feel is very important. Every hour is getting more and more precious, really. For who knows, any hour can be close to the last one, even though so far I have no terminal sickness that I know of. However, my body is telling me that I am very, very old.

Everybody is always so kind to me when they see me creeping along. This kindness is a blessing. Whenever possible though, I aim at keeping some kind of independence. My rollator is a great help in this regard. I am so happy, that this is available to me. And the trolleys for doing the shopping are a blessing too. I can walk very well with just a shopping trolley to push along. Maybe I should eventually get a motorised wheelchair? Then I could use public transport again like our Gaby did! I say, Gaby was indeed a very determined quadriplegic! I often think of her how she managed her life . . . .

Easter is not far off. Maybe I can spend Easter in Benalla with son Martin. That would be good. On the other hand, seeing the great-grandkids collecting Easter eggs, would be fun too. Still, I would not be surprised, when the grandchildren would take their kids away on some holidays. They always like to do a bit of travelling when there is a chance for some holidays away from home. And why not? Peter and I always enjoyed a bit of travelling too. These were the days . . . .

WHY POLITICIANS AND DOCTORS KEEP IGNORING THE MEDICAL RESEARCH ON VITAMIN D AND COVID

18 February 2021 — Jonathan Cook

By Jonathan Cook

It is probably not a good idea to write while in the grip of anger. But I am struggling to suppress my emotions about a wasted year, during which politicians and many doctors have ignored a growing body of evidence suggesting that Vitamin D can play a critically important role in the prevention and treatment of Covid-19.

“. . ..For many years, limited studies – ones that Big Pharma showed no interest in expanding – had indicated that Vitamin D was useful both in warding off respiratory infections and in treating a wide variety of chronic auto-immune diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis by damping down inflammatory responses of the kind that often overwhelm hospitalised Covid patients.

But many doctors and politicians were stuck in an old paradigm – one rooted in the 1950s that viewed Vitamin D exclusively in terms of bone health.

The role of Vitamin D – produced in the skin by sunlight – should have been at the forefront of medical research for Covid anyway, given that the prevalence of the disease, as with other respiratory infections, appears to slump through the sunny, summer months, and spikes in the winter.

And while the media preferred to focus exclusively on poverty and racism as “correlative” explanations for the disproportionate number of deaths among BAME doctors and members of the public, Vitamin D seemed an equally, if not more plausible, candidate. Dark skins in cloud-covered northern latitudes make production of Vitamin D harder and deficiency more likely.

MAGIC BULLET PREFERRED

We should not be surprised that Big Pharma had no interest in promoting a vitamin freely available through much of the year and one they cannot license. They would, of course, rather patent an expensive magic bullet that offers the hope of enriching company directors and shareholders.

But that is why we have governments, isn’t it? They could have stepped in to pick up the bill for the research after profit-motivated firms had refused to do so – if not to safeguard the health of their populations, at least to keep their health budgets under control. Most developed countries, even those with lots of sunshine, have large sections of their population that are Vitamin D deficient, especially among the elderly and housebound, the very groups most affected by Covid.

But governments shirked their responsibility too. Most have not offered supplements beyond measly and largely useless 400IU tablets to the elderly, and they have failed to fortify foods. Those taking small doses are unlikely to significantly and quickly address any deficiency they have or maximise their resistance to Covid.

To give a sense of what was potentially at stake, consider the findings of one of last year’s correlative studies, done by a team in Heidelberg. Their work implied that, had the UK ensured its population was not widely Vitamin D deficient, many tens of thousands of lives might have been saved. . . .”

Diary

I had a wonderful busy and quite exhausting weekend. But maybe I overdid it a little bit, because yesterday, on Monday, I felt pretty crook and even vomited a bit. I slept most of the day, woke up only here and there to have something to eat. I slept right through the night, had a shower and feel very okay this morning. I’ll have some nice porridge soon. Then I’ll finish my laundry, and after that I’ll go for a walk. I am really looking forward to do some walking again!

What Will Happen to Your Body If You Walk Every Day

“Walking is a totally free, easy exercise that requires little effort, and benefits not only your physical but also your mental well-being. If you’re looking for a simple yet very effective way of losing weight and improving your overall health, walking is something just for you. People who are physically active throughout their life are much less prone to this disease than those who have a more sedentary lifestyle. And that’s because they have more volume in their hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for verbal memory and learning. A daily half-hour walk helps avoid serious problems, like coronary heart disease to name one, by lowering high blood pressure and cholesterol levels and improving blood circulation. Because of better-quality and deeper breathing, some symptoms associated with lung disease can show significant improvement thanks to walking. Muscle tone and weight loss is also totally achievable through simple walking. Find your optimal pace, but don’t break out into a jog. This sort of speed walking is low impact and doesn’t require any recovery time, which means no sore muscles to keep you from getting out and walking the next day. The Arthritis Foundation recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate walking a day to reduce pain, stiffness, and inflammation in the joints. Building strong bones will help you prevent osteoporosis and reduce bone loss. Walking contributes to better blood circulation within the spinal structures, pumping important nutrients into the soft tissues and improving posture and flexibility, both of which are vital for a healthy spine. A group of researchers at Iowa State University worked with hundreds of college students. Walking changed their mood for the better, even though no one warned them it could do so. If you still don’t feel motivated enough to start walking for your health, try joining a class or find a buddy who also wouldn’t mind getting all the benefits of walking. Another idea could be to hire a personal trainer. Music: https://www.youtube.com/audiolibrary/…​ TIMESTAMPS Brain-boosting effect 0:45​ Improved eyesight 1:44​ Prevention of heart disease 2:47​ Increased lung volume 3:14​ Benefits for the pancreas 3:51​ Improved digestion 4:23​ Toned muscles 4:59​ Sturdier bones and joints 5:45​ Back pain relief 6:10​ A calmer mind 7:04​ Bonus: the FIT formula 8:00​ SUMMARY -Walking prevents the early onset of dementia, reduces the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and improves your overall mental well-being by reducing stress and releasing endorphins. -Get on the road to improve vision and protect your eyes now from potential problems, such as glaucoma, in the future. -Walking is no less effective than running when it comes to the prevention of heart disease and stroke. -Walking is an aerobic exercise, which means that it increases oxygen flow in the bloodstream and helps eliminate toxins and waste, which is great for your lungs. -Walking for exercise is a surprisingly more effective way to prevent diabetes than running is. -Just half an hour of walking every day not only lowers the risk of developing colon cancer but also improves digestion and regulates bowel movements. -Just 10,000 steps a day can be just as effective as a full-blown workout at the gym, especially if you add some intervals or uphill walking. -Walking can provide more joint mobility, prevent the loss of bone density, and even reduce the risk of fractures. -Walking is a real life-saver for those who experience back pain during more challenging high-impact exercises. -Walking improves depression symptoms in patients with MDD, just imagine how easily it could help us cope with just feeling down or exhausted. -Keep in mind the FIT formula. It stands for Frequency (how often), Intensity (how fast), and Time (for how long).”

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