Category Archives: Health

Monochrome Monday ~ Dystopia

are we doomed to live in the dystopian dictatorship forever?

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

international travel is banned

our borders are closed

Songs on Saturday ~ Say What You Want

climbing over walls at my age is not a good idea

It seemed like a good idea at the time, but I sprained my ankle climbing over a sea wall.  I got it strapped up at the walk in centre, but I’ve been only sitting with my feet up listening to music and taking pain medication.  I like this song from Texas, I must have played it a dozen times, dozing, trying to sleep.

Please listen responsibly.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the beaches here are not as nice as that one

Rethinking Life

without struggle success has no value

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Here in England normal life has been on hold for 438 days.  With varying degrees of severity we have been prohibited from doing most things that make life worth living; from meeting family and friends, to going to any and all places of business, entertainment, and worship, and even following our chosen trade or profession.  Face it ~ most of us have been locked down at home, suffering that most terrible of punishments; imprisonment and solitary confinement.

And personally, not much good has come from that.  On the upside I haven’t been sick with the coronavirus.  On the downside the list of bad and really bad things is long, pathetic, disturbing, injurious to my health, and life-threatening.  All in all, I would say that the policy of shutting down the entire country for over a year is the worst thing supposedly civilised and ‘liberal’ governments have done since 1914.

The worst of it is that I haven’t lifted myself above the morass, the slough of despond, and done something useful with my time.  I haven’t had a robust programme to improve my physical, mental, and spiritual health and fitness.  I haven’t written a book, taken up a new course of study, or routinely practiced something like meditation, tai chi, yoga, or even moon-walking.  Basically I’ve felt sorry for myself, put on weight, got myself a prison pallor, and spent lots of time aimlessly staring at the TV.  Some of the time I drank too much.  I was utterly unmotivated.

BUT, now that there is a light at the end of the Stygian lockdown tunnel, I feel the need to get a hold of my life and make it better than it was before all this fucking coronavirus crap began.  So what to do?  Big, meaningful changes take a hell of a lot of effort.

Step One.  Cut out all the bad things I’ve been doing just to fill in the empty hours.

Step Two.  Get out of the garret into the fresh air and sunshine, lose the prison pallor, get some exercise.  Yesterday I walked 8 miles, and meditative walking is really good for the body and soul.

Step Three.  Make a plan, some lists, some aims, goals, targets, dreams and desires.  Use all the skills and techniques I’ve learned about project planning and start a project to make myself and my life better than ever it was before.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

travel and adventure are on the agenda

Covid Inoculation

they say that it’s safe
and you can’t get safer than safe

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I had my second covid shot yesterday, and there have been no obvious side-effects.  The one and only reason I have had these injections is because I want to travel, and going anywhere ‘abroad’ seems like it will only be possible if you can prove that you have been vaccinated.

As I stated in my earlier blog about governments’ misleading statistics, the chances of me testing positive for the virus are less than 1 in 300, and the chances of me getting very sick from covid are less than 1 in 500.  Far more people will die from cancer than will from the coronavirus, (and all cancer treatment and testing has been stopped for the duration of the alleged pandemic).

NOBODY knows what the long-term effects of these vaccines might be.  But, what the fuck, I’d rather enjoy whatever time I have left than live as an isolated and frightened hermit.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

of course I could go crazy later and marry a dog

Monochrome Monday ~ The Line of Beauty

real beauty comes from being true to oneself

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

beauty only exists in the mind of the beholder

great legs and stiletto heel do it for me

Exercise ~ Walking

walking is the most ancient exercise

Despite the manky weather, and the fact that I’m supposed to be in lockdown, I am back to taking a long daily walk.  Actually it’s illegal to walk along the railroad track here, but hell, it isn’t illegal to take a meditative walk by the tracks.

Only Marmaduke would want to have a rest sitting on the track.

Right now a long walk is about 3 miles, pretty soon I’ll work up to 5 miles a day.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

walking alone with your thoughts is cool

Food on Friday ~ Rosemary

redolent of Mediterranean mists and sea-dew

Rosemary grows wild on the shores of the Mediterranean, and is widely cultivated in the more temperate areas of Europe and North America.  This glossy shrub can be seen in decorative borders, kitchen gardens, herb gardens, and physic gardens, wherein medicinal plants are grown.

In Greek mythology rosemary is said to have been draped around the otherwise naked figure of Aphrodite when she came out of the sea.  A more Christian legend is that the Virgin Mary draped her blue cloak over a white rosemary bush while she was resting on her way to Bethlehem and the flowers turned blue.  The shrub was henceforth called ‘the Rose of Mary’.

Most decent cooks are familiar with this herb as an addition to meat dishes, lamb in particular.  However, it can be used judiciously as a seasoning to a wide variety of recipes; soups, casseroles, salads, and stews.  Use rosemary with chicken and other poultry, game (especially as its strong flavour enhances the strong flavours of game dishes), lamb, pork, beef steak, and fish, especially oily fish.  It also adds flavour to otherwise bland grains, mushrooms, peas, potatoes, and greens, (especially good with spinach).

If you a drop of strong drink, then perhaps try this rosemary pomegranate grilled meyer-lemon sparkler.  But beware, it’s much stronger than it looks.  For some reason rosemary adds a lot to the taste of pomegranate juice.

Rosemary also goes very well with gin, try putting a sprig of the herb into a fresh bottle and letting it stand for a week or so.

A rosemary gin fizz is a very refreshing, if potent drink.

Rosemary tea is easy to make and is said to have a host of health benefits, try sweetening it with Manuka honey.

The main active ingredients in this herb are tannin and saponin. (There is also a little thujone, which is the active ingredient in wormwood, used to produce real absinthe.) Technically this adds up to rosemary being good for the immune system, blood circulation, reducing cancer forming free radicals, as an aid to digestion, enhancing memory and concentration, (especially after a stroke), staving off eye problems, and staving off aging of one’s brain, (dementia).

Rosemary can have a beneficial psychoactive effect, it will not get you very high, but it will make you feel both relaxed and alert, at one in the same time.  As a sleep aid it can give you wild dreams.  (Actually rosemary is a very mild ‘legal high’.)

Rosemary is best gathered in spring and summer, but as an evergreen it can be collected fresh at any time of the year.  It dries very well.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

the flowers are very much favoured by bees

Rejection in Relationships

a healthy relationship doesn’t drag you down

misery is never acceptable

Who here has never been dumped?  I have, more than once, and it hurts.  However, I firmly believe that what hurts worse than being rejected and dumped is being rejected by your spouse or partner while the relationship goes on between you.  You are still mostly living together, but that’s the most you can say of it.  You may even be having sex, but it’s lacking in intimacy and is nothing more than satisfying some animal lust.  Bad sex is worse than no sex at all, and in a toxic relationship sex is all about power.

Everything in the world is about sex except sex.  Sex is about power.  ~  Oscar Wilde

Some signs of being rejected inside a relationship are that you avoid being together, you hardly ever talk and when you do there is no real communication, communication descends into arguments, recriminations, and raised voices, you don’t trust your partner at all, one of you drinks far too much, and the chances are that you are being cheated on.  Anyhow, if your partner is rejecting you then you already know.  Being rejected can hurt for a while, being rejected inside a relationship makes you miserable forever, or until you find the courage to walk out.

If you don’t trust your partner / spouse, if you don’t let them anywhere near your money, if you go to counseling alone or to a 12 step group, if you are being mentally, psychologically or physically abused, if you feel like a doormat, if you are always walking on eggshells ~ then it’s time to have an escape plan.  The thing is that, anyone who can subject someone they profess to care for to the misery of rejection is themselves a deeply damaged person.  In psychology Anti-Social has some very specific meanings, it describes someone who has no conscience, no empathy, no sense of right and wrong, no guilt.  Anti-Social people are promiscuous, often abuse alcohol and drugs, they cheat and steal, are narcissistic, and often they will break the law; things like petty theft or driving under the influence.  Someone who will reject their partner or spouse is deeply Anti-Social.

And beware because simple rejection can escalate into Gaslighting, a form of extreme psychological abuse.  If you suffer from anxiety, depression, question your own sanity ~ then you are being gaslighted.  If that is you, and you sometimes fear for your own safety, or even your own life, then it’s not time to walk away, it’s time to run.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

feeling like a prisoner is never acceptable

Food on Friday ~ Thyme

I know of a place where the wild thyme grows

Thyme_Common

Thymus Vulgaris, garden thyme, is one of the four great medicinal and culinary herbs; parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme…..  A herb is a plant where the leafy green and flowering parts are found useful in cooking and natural medicine.  Whereas, a spice is produced from other parts of a plant; seeds, bark, roots, fruit….  Ergo ginger is a spice, whereas the ash tree is used both as a herb and a spice.

Trust me, thyme is most definitely a herb and an important ingredient in Mediterranean, Indian, and Caribbean recipes.  Thyme is also a basic ingredient in perfumery.

In medicine, thyme should be treated with caution because, like all herbs, it contains some very powerful and complex chemicals, especially thymol.  Interestingly the antiseptic thymol is a major ingredient of Listerine mouthwash and most alcohol-free hand sanitisers.

Other major and powerful compounds found in the common or garden thyme are; borneol, carvavrol, eucalyptol, menthene, thymene, and tannin.  The major effects of these compounds are; antibiotic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, balsamic, carminative, and soporific.  (Balsamic really means ‘elixir’)

Thyme tea, (usually made with dried leaves), is calming, helps most people to sleep, fights off coughs, reduces inflammations, and much reduces embarrassing night-time flatulence.  As with most natural herb teas women of child-bearing age should take care as it increases blood flow to the uterus.  Thyme in wine is good, and I use sprigs of thyme in both olive oil and apple cider vinegar, (makes a fabulous salad dressing)  Thyme tea is a potent female aphrodisiac.  Thyme and marijuana cookies should be treated with very great care indeed.

A sprig of thyme under the pillow is an aid to calm sleep, and a good bunch of thyme in your bath will help kill off very nasty things like toenail fungus, athletes foot, and the hookworm ancylostomiasis.

Thyme of any variety is easy to grow, it prefers a well-drained gravelly soil in full sun.  Collect your thyme in spring and early summer.  Bees love thyme as the flowers are nectar-rich ~ real thyme honey has all of the properties you can find in the plant.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

if you have a scrap of space, grow herbs

Mindfulness

we must live in the present and not dwell on the past

Arise early to enjoy the dawn.

Live with intention.

Walk to the edge.

Listen hard.

Practice mindfulness and wellness.

Live with no regrets of the past.

Do what you love and not what others want.

Live as if today is all there is.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Dream spiritually

Take time to smell the flowers

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