Author: Alex

Day #80: The World is on Fire

I just can’t … seriously, I can’t.


Understand why the colour of someone’s skin makes a difference to some people. Why skin? Why not take offence based on the colour of their hair? Their eyes? How thin they are. Or how fat?


Why, do you hate so much and so deeply? Why?

What is wrong with you?

Please, I need to know. I need to understand how you can think less of anyone, anyone at all, based on the colour of someone’s skin?

Why not with how stupid people can be. Or how greedy. Or how vein, or mean, or crass … but no, that would mean looking in the mirror and seeing the truth reflected at you. A truth the rest of us see as plain as the light of day.

That doesn’t work for you. Does it?

No, of course not.

But don’t you see … You, you are the abomination. YOU!

Day #78: Supply & Demand

After yesterday’s chat with the doctor, I got a follow up call from the pharmacist confirming receipt of my new prescription with them. They could have it delivered and charge again the credit card on file, which was really good to hear. And, by the way, said drug was delivered about 10 minutes ago. So very happy with that.

What I wasn’t happy about, and have no control over, is whether I get my usual brand name blood pressure meds, or a generic version. The pharmacist called me at about 8:30 last night—they fill delivery orders in the evening for the next day, ergo, working very long hours. They open at 8 in the morning too. Anyway, she called to tell me they couldn’t supply my usual brand name. It’s been on back order with them, and across the country, for the last 3 months. And that they would have to issue me with a generic version. I said that was okay (although me and everyone else will have no choice in the matter, it’s that or end up in hospital. Or worse.)

After her call, I went online to find out that it’s not just here in Canada, who are having problems, but all over the world. There is 4 key drugs that are becoming scarce, as the pharmacy association pointed out to the Canadian Government. Drugs for blood pressure, diabetes, and insulin mostly.

It comes down to the fact that key ingredients are mass produced in India and China, mostly, and they’re unable to supply these key components. This is, of course, going to have a ripple effect. And, I can see, the next wave of people dying, unnecessarily, will be those heavily reliant on any of these drugs, should the shortage become critical.

And believe me when I say, I hope we don’t come to that, as I might be in that group, the way things are going.

That said. The further I researched, the more confident I am that here, at least, in Canada, our current government is willing to look at manufacturing generic versions, on Canadian soil. And or ramping up production through aid to companies who already produce either the chemicals necessary, and or the drugs themselves. Thereby getting ahead of what could become a huge problem.

I sincerely hope that Trudeau follows through on this, and I’ll be following along to see if he does. Because I think we’re going to find this happening across the board, not just here, with drugs. But many other items we have taken for granted, that we import from elsewhere. Everything from here on out, is going to be different. So that in-country manufacturing, and growing food, is going to become a key focus over the coming few years, if not, permanently.

From food, to drugs, to general manufacturing of everything from clothes to household items. We might have to rethink how we produce, what we produce, and where we sell those products: at home, or abroad. Is profit going to be a factor, or survival?

Yes, the SF writer in me plays out scenarios, looking at ‘what ifs’ and analysing possibilities. I hope it doesn’t come to worse case scenarios, but it just might, if we don’t start planning now for eventualities.

Time to plant my balcony garden, I think, and start saving seeds.

Regardless of where ever you are in the world, stay safe and take care.


Day #77: The Doctors Appointment

We had to get up at 4:30 this morning. Well, my partner mostly, as they’re the native French speaker, in order to go online to fill out a lengthy questionnaire in order to book an appointment, for today, with a doctor. I lay in bed answering them, bleary eyed.

Yes, you read right. 4:30 AM. It’s ridiculous the hoops we have to go through, these days, in order to just book an appointment. And then, there’s no guarantee by the time you’ve filled in the form, of being allocated a slot.

We, in that I mean, my partner, scored me a slot for 9 am. At around 8 am, a nurse at the practise called to then ask prelim questions, as if the 23 we’d already answered at 4:30 AM were not enough. She went through practically my entire medical history … again! In order to prep the doctor, who agreed to an over-the-phone consultation, as I’m not sick, just needed more guidance and advice.

Well, nine came and went, as I expected it would, and at almost a quarter to ten the phone rang.

I got a young female doctor who has just started at the practise who sounded 12 years old, asking me, get this, almost the same questions. Damn, I know I am a patient person, this just tells me exactly how good I am at this.

I sucked it up, explained all over again what was going on. About the latest trip to the hospital, and the fourth change in my drugs that have, once again, acerbated my camps problem. What was an occasional occurrence, and usually only twinges in my feet, has gotten out of hand. It’s now happening 3-4 times a week, and can be one or other calf muscle and the feet.

To anyone who’s had cramp, they know. They know how excruciating and debilitating it can be. You cry, you cry because there is nothing you can do. Absolutely nothing.

It’s been a week of getting up, here and there, at this silly time, to try get this consultation. Especially as I stopped taking my cholesterol pills which were also causing problems, and making matters worse. I was worried, worried because the cramps, while they had subsided, were still not going away. And then, of course, I’m not taking a pill for to help lower my cholesterol, so what effect is that having? You start to get antsy.

Anyway, the doctor, after much back and forth, agreed. I had to stop the cholesterol straight away, and agreed to change the dosage on my blood pressure medication—it had been changed at the hospital to include a diuretic. And it’s that which seems to be the problem, causing further dehydration, therefore cramps, and while making me pee more through the night (4 times at least) also means I’m flushing essential nutrients out. AKA, potassium and magnesium.

All of which causes the cramps.

So she’s faxing my pharmacist with a new prescription, which I can have delivered in the next day or so.

So this is me going back to my old drug from before the initial trip to the doctor, Feb 19, that started this whole debacle to begin with. But, since then, not only have I lost 35 pounds, I’ve also (once again) readjusted my diet and exercise.

Wish me luck, because, I feel like I’m in my very own very version of Groundhog Day, in which things keep repeating themselves.

Damn, I need a coffee, like I need a sugar donut!

Stay safe out there, friends, and take care of you and yours, where ever you are in the world.


Day #76: Summer has Arrived!

Yep! It’s definitely here. I think we skipped spring altogether, and went from colder, to cold, to cool, and then: WHAM!

No, not the pop group of years gone by, with George Michael, but S U M M E R! Yes, all  in CAPS, because we went from single digits to low double in a weekend, and from low double digits to, mid and upper 20s just like that. And, in between, it rained, almost all of April, or seemed like it. But May?

It’s official, three days of over and consecutive 30 degrees plus, with excessive humidity thrown in for good measure, and it’s a HEAT WAVE!

It’s TWENTY THREE degrees already, and expected to go up to 30+ by this afternoon, and with humidity, about 34-36. You can feel the moisture in the air. It’s visceral and literal.

The other thing is, I can no longer see through our little park, or the church on the far side. We now have full leaf cover on the trees. Which are in glorious full spring colours, you know, that acid green that looks like it could melt metal.

I love this time, here, it’s beautiful, and deceptive. A herald of what’s to come in June/July. And early this year, by about a full month. It’s been over a decade since we had these kind of temperatures here, in May, even if it is the end of May.

Sad to say though, that this year, with the lockdown still, technically in place, though many are defying the rules, it’s still gong to be brutal for those locked inside. I cannot image being stuck in a nursing home at the best of times, let alone now, as the summer starts early, and the heat cranks up to full a month ion advance. And so many here, are without AirCon. We have none. We could get a mobile unit, which is permitted. But, so far, these last five years we’ve been okay, we’ve coped and survived. But I do wonder, how will it go this year?

Yes, we are lucky, we have a balcony to step out onto. But really, does anyone want to be out there, in 36 degrees, beneath a blazing sun? No, not really. It might be time to think of a sun parasol for the balcony though, just in case, because this is going to be our only source of outdoor activity, for a while yet, despite the so-called relaxing of the rules.

I am still not sure I want to even walk in the park here, with so many still hell bent on ignoring wearing a mask, or keeping their distance. And there are still TWO HOTSPOTS in our local neighbourhood. One right across from our park, in the Jeffery Hale hospital—which has recorded way too many elderly deaths this last 2 months. 80 so far as we know.

So a mobile AirCon unit is probably going on the shopping list this weekend, along with a large parasol for the balcony. And a lot more bottled water too, me thinks!

In the meantime, before the sun swings around to the south, and our balcony becomes too hot for the lizard in me, I’m signing off to go and sit outside, and enjoy sucking up a little more VIT-D, and admire the trees in their leafy foliage.

Take care and stay safe out there, where ever you are in the world. And enjoy the spring/ summer weather, safely!


Day #75: Another Milestone

Milestone, or is that, millstone? Ha! Ha! Okay, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but that’s how it feels some days. I wonder if we’ll ever make it off planet (hey, I write SF for fun, I have dreams) and even with Space X launching (hopefully) tomorrow with a two man crew aboard. I have serious doubts humanity will ever reach the stars, let alone find enough unity to make it permanently off planet, start a moon base, let alone have a fully fledged colony (one day) on Mars.

My dreams go way beyond our tiny, insignificant little edge of a minor spiral arm, of the Milky Way Galaxy, to empires that span our galaxy and, who knows, maybe a few next door too. But these are but SF dreams of a writer who, lost in childlike wonder at the swirling heavens that surround us, wants to know more about ‘what’s out there’. And does that, via her writing.

The truth is, though, we fight, we squabble, we kill one another without recourse, remorse, or even at times, impunity, whether it’s a President through inaction, an army hell bent on eradicating ‘terrorists’ in a battle where it’s difficult to decide anymore just who the terrorists are. To bad actors intent on spreading as much misinformation, disinformation, and lies across the globe as possible, in an effort to disrupt everyone’s lives if not, kill people outright.

Why? Why are there so many people, despite level of education, who cannot rise above upbringing or politics, or where they are in life, to see beyond the resentment and hateful filled trench they’ve made for themselves and others?

What is the saying? There are none so blind as those who will not see. And never has that been more true than at any other time in our shared, sad history, than now.

There is so much beauty in the world that surrounds us, so much love and kindness, so much art and creativity, and yet, the darkness tinges the edge of these moments of light and brightness. But, I supposed, it’s also true that we cannot see the light, if not for the dark. And for the light to have meaning, the dark must exist as a backdrop to the light, for it to shine all the more brighter.

All I know is that one will never vanquish the other, no matter how hard the darkness tries to consume the light, or the light vanquish the dark, they will continue to exist for all time. Until, that is, entropy exerts her will and, as all things do, even a Universe of possibilities, must die.

In life there is death, in death there is new life. I wonder what waits for us beyond the veil?

Ah, yes, such deep thoughts, and it’s only Tuesday. I’ll be here all week, mulling the great mysteries of life, time, and space, catch the news at eleven, till then, stay safe out there, wherever you are in this beautiful, amazing universe.


Day #73: A Bit Of Sam Neill

I saw this yesterday on twitter, and Oh Boy did I laugh out loud. This really brightened my day by just being, well, a silly bit of fun. Watch Sam Neill and Helena Bonham Carter do a two-continent skit—DAS FONE HELL—that if it doesn’t make you laugh, well then, you have no sense of humour!

That’s it. That’s today’s post.

I’ve been out on my balcony enjoying a lovely, sunny, warm day (23 degrees) after doing cleaning and laundry all morning. I dragged the sun rocker out there, grabbed a grenadine and lime on ice, and sat outside making Vit-D to boost my immune system.

And you, what have you been up to this weekend, Friends?

Whatever you’ve been up too I hope you stayed safe.

Take care.