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Beginning of the beginning March 26, 2009

Posted by markswill in Navel Gazing.
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Having decided to join the lemming-like diaspora away from ink’n’paper, or rather ink’n’paper having essentially decided to jettison another mouthy old fart from its serried ranks of shiny young media studies graduates, there comes the problem of what to write about.

Blogging is, like the conventional publishing world I find myself increasingly distanced from, a multifarious theme-park and choosing which ride to jump on is a vexing matter. But the advantage of this medium with its instant exposure and easy gratification means that one can change topics from day-to-day so that’s what I plan to do. Responses, should there be any, will perhaps determine certain subjects that merit regular attention and consign others to the dumper, so we shall see.

Today’s topic is something of a test, linked as it will be to my website, www.markwilliamsmedia.co.uk and concerns my health. (You can tell this is yet another Grumpy Old Git polemic coming up the Swanee, yes?). For the past ten days I’ve been suffering from cellulitis, or blood poisoning, depending on what mood my doctor’s in, but the symptoms are inarguable: a very red and very swollen right foot which is painful to the touch.

At first I feared it was gout, but having restricted myself to just two bottles of port a week these past 20 years, that was surely implausible. Instead it seems that I got infected when I cut my finger clearing out my friends’ Alex and Helena’s garage (wherein my ancient Lancia now snuggles),  and the toxins went straight to my right foot which, having long suffered from varicose veins and crap circulation, was eminently vulnerable.

I’ll spare you any more tedious details, but suffice it to say that the local doctor here in Presteigne, being as typically risk (and cost?) averse as most NHS quacks are these days, prescribed me the minimum dose of antibiotics. After three days of increasing pain, inflammation etc., I hobbled awkwardly back to the quack (I’m told I look good with a walking stick) who said, “My, my, better up the dose, um, four-fold”. Which is why I’m now swallowing no less than four grams of penicillin a day plus more painkillers than you can shake a catheter at and feeling distinctly weird… however not in a ‘let’s-all-take-acid’ good way. But at least the swelling and pain are subsiding, albeit very, very slowly and I get to watch lots of daytime t.v. with my leg in the mandatory slightly above horizontal position. Given the relentless dross on the box these days, this is only really made bearable  by re-runs of 30 Rock that I recorded from Fiver US these past few weekends.

The doc refuses to send me for a course of intravenous antibiotics which he admits would speed recovery because, get this, “they only really work if you have them every few hours, which would mean hospitalising you… and you wouldn’t want that, would you?”

Well actually three meals a day and nice young nurses in starched uniforms, plus plenty of reading time away from e-mails and creditors does sound quite appealing at the moment. But of course the subtext of his caveat is one of cost. And with the recession rapidly turning into a full-on depression, one wonders how long it’ll be before the hospitals run out of drugs and salaries.

Talking of the economic mess, I see from today’s Guardian that Britain’s national debt as a %age of GDP is a mere 49%, way behind the USA (60.8%) and hardly noticeable when it comes to Japan’s whopping 170.4% (how do they manage that?), so that’s alright then. Which brings me to what I think will be the subject of my next rant, Gordon ‘No more boom and bust’ Brown’s handling of our financial ills. Well mine, anyway. Bet you can’t wait.