Saturday, 10 October 2009

Collections come obsessions..

Amongst my nearest and dearest it is pretty common knowledge I have a penchant for the wonderful world of Disney and have, since amassing my own income or at the least being at liberty to consume consume consume, been bent on expanding my Disney DVD collection... I refer more specifically to the 'animated classics' range opposed to the more general Disney produced family features (although I am slowly working on that...)

I have finally acquired those films on DVD most people perhaps wont be so familiar with.. in particular early animated featurettes from the 1940s that place an emphasis on music and also the 'exotic' nature of the USA's continental neighbour: South America..

Sunday, 13 September 2009

words to send a shiver..

There's No I In Threesome (Interpol)

Through the storms and the light
baby, you stood by my side
and life is wine
but there are days in this life
when you see the teeth marks of time
two lovers divide

sound meets sound, babe
the echoes they surround
and all that we need is one thing
now what is there to allow?
babe, it's time we give something new a try
oh, alone we may fight
so, just let us be free

and baby tonight
I see your lips are on fire
and life is wine
now the windows are open the moon is so bright
there's no one can tell us what love brings for you and I

sound meets sound, babe
the echoes they surround
and all that we need is one thing
now what is there to allow
babe, it's time we give something new a try
oh, alone we may fight
so just let us be free, tonight

Through the storms and the light
baby you stood by my side
and life is wine
you feel the sweet breath of time
it's whispering its truth not mine
there's no I in threesome

and I am all for it
babe, it's time we give something new a try
oh, alone we may fight
and feathers bend like trees in the moonlight
babe, it's time we give something new a try
oh, alone we may fight
so just let us be free tonight.

Check out the official video here!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

a more preferred escapism..

I have rediscovered a desire to read, to consume eagerly and relentlessly those little black, purposely formed letters printed in books, leaflets, essays and even when, in a somewhat modern turn, illuminated by some manner of back light. I have concluded a number of factors that have contributed to this welcome state, most significantly not only being in a position to be quite literally undertake a literary tome of any size, stature, substance or genre, becoming free from certain academic confines instigated by an undergraduate degree. Secondly, the literary musings of one Amory Blaine, having already graced past entries, do nothing but on the one hand inspire and on the other become aware of ones belletristic ignorance. Finally, embarking upon a short break in the Lake District with my family, who have all now themselves become entranced by the magic of words, allowed me to devote myself entirely to exploring new avenues.
During the past few weeks, therefore, I have completed (albeit with regards Byatt's 'Possession' am currently undertaking) significantly different texts but are united by the fact each author is female. I must admit that the majority of literature I read heralds from male authors, through no conscious alienation of women I assure you, and therefore reading the below selection of books holds special consequence for me. 
Angela Carter, 'The Magic Toyshop', Heinemann, 1967
Jean Rhys, 'Wide Sargasso Sea', Deutsch, 1966

Ursula Le Guin, 'A Wizard of Earthsea', Parnassus Press, 1968
A. S. Byatt, 'Possession', Chatto & Windus, 1990

Monday, 7 September 2009


It was quite perverse,
one may consider,
that closet you kept me in.
Impossible to be fully contained,
or effectively shut out,
but still under lock and key.
Illuminated through cracks,
allowances for whispers,
slithers of light,
opportunity to stumble, even to fall.
You tried your best, I'll grant you that,
to scatter the pieces,
stop the draught,
rape my sensitivity, abuse my weakness.

Do it again.
Catch the twenty-four hour show,
may seem old now, out of style, but still striking in black and white,
a thriller, edge of your seat,
twisted curiosity, I can't look away,
not wanting to miss a moment.
I absorb every minute. I know everything.
I only feign humility,
fascinated, excited by disgust,
steadfast in anger,
my heart turns to dust.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

a need to quote..

In my current mind set F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise appears to offea continuous source of poignant, and immensly pertinent, turns of phrase. One becomes blind to the empirical, the simplicity of blank ink on biege page, and instead wanders mental landscapes fit for the musings of the most contemplative of European continental philosopher - and here I will share some abstracts, a random collect that is by no means complete or indeed coherent in existing as a whole composition - enjoy, as I did and will forever do.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

e. e. cummings

i like my body when it is with your
body. It is so quite new a thing.
Muscles better and nerves more.
i like your body. i like what it does,
i like its hows. i like to feel the spine
of your body and its bones, and the trembling
-firm-smooth ness and which i will
again and again and again
kiss, i like kissing this and that of you,
i like, slowly stroking the, shocking fuzz
of your electric fur, and what-is-it comes
over parting flesh . . . . And eyes big love-crumbs,

and possibly i like the thrill

of under me you so quite new

Weekend treats..

On Saturday I finally managed to accompany Chloe to the Gallery..a vegetarian/vegan cafe adjacent to the Museum of Childhood.. Taking weekend liberties I had both raspberry ice cream and very berry smoothie, both of which were vegan and amazing..although over far too soon..

Sunday, 12 July 2009

sums it up


(KM Barber, JE Allen, D Collett and J Neuberger)

On behalf of the UK Transplant Liver Advisory Group, UK Transplant, Bristol, BS34 8RR, United Kingdom

Background: Liver transplantation is associated with a substantial improvement in length of life for patients with liver disease, but how the long-term survival compares with that of the general population is unknown. The aim of this study is to compare the life expectancy of liver transplant recipients to that of the UK population.

Methods: Data were obtained from the National Transplant Database on 4,322 non-cancer recipients who had survived the first 6-months after their first elective deceased heartbeating liver only transplant in the UK (1985-2003). Patient survival time was calculated as time from first liver transplant to patient death. A parametric model for the survival times was used to estimate the median life expectancy for different combinations of patient age, sex and year of transplant.

The life expectancy for various age, sex and year combinations for the UK population were obtained from The Office for National Statistics1. Using these data a regression model was developed to predict the life expectancy for age, sex and year combinations within the range covered by the liver transplant data. The predicted life expectancies were weighted according to the distribution of age, sex and year of transplant of patients in the liver dataset.

Results: Since the 15 year survival estimate of the 649 paediatric recipients in the liver dataset is 82%, it is not practicable to use statistical models to estimate their median survival time. The analysis was therefore based only on the 3,673 adult recipients for whom the 15 year patient survival rate was 58% (95% CI 54-62%).

Although no account has been taken of improvements in the management of recipients and the changing pattern of liver disease, results suggest that adult liver transplant recipients have an average life expectancy of 22 years. The average life expectancy of the equivalent UK adult population is 30 years, and so on average 8 years of life are lost. Furthermore, female recipients lose fewer life-years than male recipients, and younger recipients lose more life-years than older recipients.

Reference: 1The Office for National Statistics (2004) Table 5.1 Expectation of life at birth & selected age. Population Trends [online], 117 (V2), 62. Available from: [Accessed 01/11/2004].

liver liver links..

Here's some information I found relating to tacrolimus

And another link here.....

Time well spent.....

Who knew battersea park had a mini-zoo?! Waking up early and making the most of the days you have off is definately the way forward - so are disposable cameras and bargains.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

A little liver..

I feel like I should post something about the liver or, more specifically, 'my' transplanted liver - it has, particularly in more recent times, become an increasingly pressing issue, bearing upon my consciousness in a way never experienced prior and as thus I have come to further explore the implications of my 3-year old transplant; what this means, in terms of the medicine I take and how this will effect my future..

A diseased liver

Prednisolone (steroids) side effects:

Your steroid medication needs may change if you have any unusual stress such as a serious illness, fever or infection, or if you have surgery or a medical emergency. Tell your doctor about any such situation that affects you during treatment.

Steroid medication can weaken your immune system, making it easier for you to get an infection or worsening an infection you already have or have recently had. Tell your doctor about any illness or infection you have had within the past several weeks.

Avoid being near people who are sick or have infections. Call your doctor for preventive treatment if you are exposed to chicken pox or measles. These conditions can be serious or even fatal in people who are using steroid medication.

Do not receive a "live" vaccine while you are taking prednisolone. Vaccines may not work as well while you are taking a steroid.

Do not stop using prednisolone suddenly, or you could have unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. Talk to your doctor about how to avoid withdrawal symptoms when stopping the medication. Carry an ID card or wear a medical alert bracelet stating that you are taking a steroid, in case of emergency.

Short-term side-effects, as with all glucocorticoids, include high blood glucose levels, especially in patients that already have diabetes mellitus or are on other medications that increase blood glucose (such as tacrolimus), and mineralocorticoid effects such as fluid retention (it is worth noting, however, that the mineralocorticoid effects of prednisone are very minor; this is why it is not used in the management of adrenal insufficiency unless a more potent mineralocorticoid is administered concomitantly).

Additional short-term side-effects include insomnia, euphoria, and, rarely, mania (particularly in those suffering from Bipolar I and II).

Long-term side-effects include Cushing's syndrome, truncal weight gain, osteoporosis, glaucoma, type II diabetes mellitus, and depression upon withdrawal.

Tacrolimus (the biggie):

Taking tacrolimus may increase your risk of developing certain types of cancer, especially skin cancer. The risk may be higher in people who are treated over long periods of time with drugs that weaken the immune system. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk.

Avoid exposure to sunlight or artificial UV rays (sunlamps or tanning beds). Use a sunscreen (minimum SPF 15) and wear protective clothing if you must be out in the sun.

There are many other medicines that can interact with tacrolimus. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor. Keep a list with you of all the medicines you use and show this list to any doctor or other healthcare provider who treats you.

Do not consume grapefruit or grapefruit juice during treatment with tacrolimus unless your doctor has told you do. Tacrolimus can have a dangerous interaction with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.

Tacrolimus can lower the blood cells that help your body fight infections. This can make it easier for you to bleed from an injury or get sick from being around others who are ill. To be sure your blood cells do not get too low, your blood will need to be tested on a regular basis. Your kidney or liver function may also need to be tested. Do not miss any scheduled appointments.

Some people receiving tacrolimus after a kidney transplant have developed diabetes, most often in people who are Hispanic or African-American. Talk with your doctor about your individual risk of diabetes.

A day at the museum..

Fun times at the British museum albeit but short my having to go to work..

Monday, 6 July 2009

non merci..

Selfridges: Stop Selling Foie Gras

Selfridges, the largest department store on Oxford Street, prides itself on its imaginative displays and aesthetic contrasts, but its decision to continue selling foie gras not only lacks imagination but is extraordinarily cruel. Waitrose, Sainsbury's and all other major supermarket chains refuse to carry the cruel product in the UK. Despite this, and despite several meetings between PETA and Selfridges executives, the retailer has refused to stop selling this delicacy of despair.

Ducks and geese raised for foie gras are force-fed until their livers become painfully diseased and enlarged and, in some cases, their organs rupture - abuse that would be illegal if dogs or cats were the victims. Foie gras production is so cruel that it is, in fact, prohibited in 15 countries, including the UK, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Luxembourg, Israel, Norway, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and the Czech Republic. An RSPCA poll showed that 63 per cent of Brits favour banning foie gras, and the Prince of Wales as banned it from the menu at his residences. Sir Roger Moore, the Duke and Duchess of Hamilton, and countless kind Britons are boycotting Selfridges until the company stops selling the diseased livers of abused animals.

Selfridges claims it has "developed a welfare-friendly alternative to foie gras so customers have a choice". Of course, animals are never given a choice in the matter, and they would never choose to be killed after being force-fed until their livers become diseased. Because Selfridges is exploring other options, the company must think, as anyone with an ounce of compassion does, that there is something terribly wrong with force-feeding ducks and geese. Please inform Selfridges that it is unacceptable for it to continue selling foie gras – a product which the company, on some level, recognises is produced in horribly cruel ways.

Milk: A Cruel and Unhealthy Product

Cows who are allowed to roam free in pastures and care for their young form lifelong friendships with one another. They also play games, have a wide range of emotions and demonstrate characteristics, such as vanity, and actions, such as holding grudges, that are generally associated with humans.(1) But most cows raised for the milk industry are intensively confined and are not allowed to nurse their calves – even for one day. They are treated as little more than milk-producing machines and are genetically manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics that force them to produce more milk. Humans continue to consume dairy products, despite overwhelming scientific evidence indicating that cow’s milk is linked to heart disease, cancer, diabetes and many other ailments.

Cows Suffer on Dairy FarmsCows produce milk for the same reason humans do – to nourish their young. In nature, some calves suckle from their mothers for nearly a year.(2) One veterinary study explained that ‘during natural weaning, there is never complete and abrupt abandonment of the calf by the cow. In fact, the … cow and calf will maintain a lifelong relationship of social contact and companionship …’.(3) Another study found that a ‘strong maternal bond’ develops between a cow and her calf in as little as five minutes.(4) But calves born on dairy farms are taken from their mothers when they are just 1 day old and fed milk replacers (including cattle blood) so that humans can have the milk instead.(5,6) This forced separation causes cows and calves great stress, and cows have been known to escape enclosures and travel for miles in an attempt to reunite with their young.(7)

Female cows are artificially inseminated shortly after their first birthdays.(8) After giving birth, they lactate for 10 months, then they are re-inseminated, and the cycle starts again. Some spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors; others are crammed into massive mud lots. Cows have a lifespan of about 25 years and can produce milk for eight or nine years, but the stress caused by factory-farm conditions leads to disease, lameness and reproductive problems that render cows worthless to the dairy industry by the time they are 4 or 5 years old, at which time they are sent to the slaughterhouse.(9,10)

On any given day, there are more than 2 million cows living on UK dairy farms – about 2 million fewer than there were in the 1960s.(11) Yet milk production has continued to increase, from 12 million metric tons per year in 1961 to more than 15 million metric tons in 2003.(12) Although these animals would naturally make only enough milk to meet the needs of their calves (around 7 kilograms a day), genetic manipulation and antibiotics are used to force each cow to produce more than 6,000 litres of milk a year (an average of 16 litres a day).(13,14) Cows are also fed unnatural, high-protein diets, which include dead chickens, pigs and other animals, because their natural diet of grass would not provide the nutrients necessary for them to produce the massive amounts of milk required by the industry.(15)

1)Rosamund Young, The Secret Life of Cows, United Kingdom: Farming Books and Video, 2003.
2)Joseph M. Stookey and Derek B. Haley, ‘The Latest in Alternate Weaning Strategies’, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, 2002.
4)Frances C. Flower and Daniel M. Weary, ‘Effects of Early Separation on the Dairy Cow and Calf: 2. Separation at 1 Day and 2 Weeks After Birth’, Applied Animal Behaviour Science, 70 (2001): 275-284.
5)David Goldstein, ‘Up Close: A Beef With Dairy’, KCAL, 30 May 2002.
6)‘Mad Cow Casts Light on Beef Uses’, Los Angeles Times, 4 Jan. 2004.
7)W. Morrison, ‘Biker Death Inquiry Told of “Runaway Cow” Tragedy’, Aberdeen Press and Journal, 16 May 2001.
8)David R. Winston, ‘Goals for Heifer Rearing’, Department of Dairy Science, Virginia Polytech University, 1 Oct. 1996.
9)Anne Karpf, ‘Dairy Monsters’, The Guardian, 13 Dec. 2003.
10)Richard L. Wallace, DVM, MS, ‘Market Cows: A Potential Profit Center’, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2004.
11)Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, ‘Cow Milk, Whole, Fresh Milk Animals (Head)’, FAOSTAT Database, last accessed Mar. 2004.
12)Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, ‘Cow Milk, Whole, Fresh Production (Mt)’, FAOSTAT database, last accessed Mar. 2004.
13)Charles Kilpatrick, ‘Bigger and Better?’ Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, 27 Mar. 2002.

Burberry: When Plaid Goes Bad

Burberry may be best known for its distinctive plaid, but its use of real fur is making the design house synonymous with cruelty to animals. Burberry continues to use fur in its designs, despite the fact that leading designers like Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood and Tommy Hilfiger and others have pulled fur from their stores forever.

Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages, where they are exposed to all weather conditions. They often go without adequate shelter, clean water and veterinary care, and they are denied the opportunity to engage in natural behaviours like climbing, burrowing and swimming. The intensive confinement causes many of them to go insane.

Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruellest killing methods available, including suffocation, electrocution, gassing and poisoning. Many animals are electrocuted by having rods inserted into their rectums and 240 volts sent through their bodies. The animals convulse, shake and often cry out before they have heart attacks and die. Crude killing methods aren't always effective, and sometimes animals "wake up" while they are being skinned.

Burberry knows about the suffering that goes into every fur-trimmed coat, hat and bag, yet the company continues to use fur in its designs. With so many fashionable, comfortable alternatives available, there is no excuse for Burberry to continue using dead, tortured animals in its designs.

Find more PETA videos at

Sunday, 5 July 2009

home sweet home..

Am visiting my family in Coventry, therefore my brother and I have had the usual debate ('who is the better vegetarian?' besides the standard 'who is more disabled?') - in actually fact it does inspire me to become a stricter lacto-vegetarian... if it was not for somewhat spiritual call of ice-cream I feel I would be an all out vegan.


In my ensuing veggie/animal rights related research I then found out that apparently some Haribo sweets are in face gelatine free! I have been denying myself these sweet treats for 5 years now, but I feel a shopping spree coming on:

Also, again in reference to my brother, I am reminded of the programme we used to watch when we were younger 'Are you afraid of the dark?' - in particular Nathan, my brother, disliked the episode 'The Tale of the Crimson Clown' because of his childhood fear of clowns.. although, because of his autistic inability to say no, at a school function teachers suggested he should be face painted a clown, and let us just say not even his thickly painted faux grin could hide his disdain.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Friday 3rd July

"Now that the fog has lifted, sunlight blasts through the open windows, and every object in the room seems more defined, more vivid, more saturated with color. Our host is pouring out the sorrows of his life to us, but I feel remarkably happy just to be where I am, sitting in my own body, looking at the things on the table breathing air in and out of my lung, relishing the simple fact that I am alive.What a pity that life ends, I tell myself, what a pity that we aren't allowed to go on living forever."
(Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies, p. 179)

"Beauty and love pass, I know... Oh, there's sadness, too. I suppose all great happiness is a little sad. Beauty means the scent of roses and then the death of roses - "
(F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise, p. 171)

Red halo compared to green eyes,
Withered and dead, but still delicately held in your palm.
No white snow on green bamboo,
Simply waiting, casually noting the descent,
The colour of your innocence,
Unmentionable design: passive and hollow,
et it cover the horizon.
The Serum remains a binary abstraction,
Filling tome after tome,
A sizeable mythology, haunting them to death.

You wait for the whistle to blow,
For the journey to begin.
Will you release your grasp; let the flower fall?
Will you surpass the Aerial,
Moving on, manifest the Indecorous?
The fuchsia tips compared to white body,
Pure as you are.
Release it and it falls, carousing to the end,
In gentle spirals: benightedness.

Not so uniform.

Eager for that breath of air.
Your first breath.

Gently pushed by invisible fingers.
A gift, a curse, an understanding,
Where seconds are hours, certainty replaces complacency,
And everything is (can be)... Gold. "

Thursday, 2 July 2009