Used to be that I could go from undressed to out in about 20 minutes, including a shower and a shave, but I’m slower these days. After the stroke, it could take me easily over an hour, and now it is somewhere in between.

I’d had a conversation with my wife about going shopping today – I was tied up with my charity work this afternoon, so I said that if she went in the morning, I would go with her, but I had to stay home after lunch.

This morning, about 8AM, my wife came and said that she was going shopping at 9:30AM. So just to give myself as much time as possible, I stopped what I was doing and got into the shower. I was done and dressed in 30 minutes. I made the mistake of saying that I was dressed to my wife.

Thinking I had an hour before we went out, I set about uploading my blood sugar data from my glucometer to my computer. That’s a manual process, reading the numbers off the monitor and typing them into the program, plus I was behind a couple of weeks. Still, I had an hour…easily long enough. So I started copying numbers.

Unbeknown to me, however, my wife had got dressed (I bath at the start of the day, she at the end) and in fifteen minutes she was out waiting for me in the car. Needless to say, nowhere near enough time, so I had to abandon my task.

We got the shopping, and my plan was that when we got home, I’d take my meds and eat my breakfast – my insulin absolutely requires that I eat breakfast, lunch and supper. My wife had other ideas – she wanted me to join her doing some gardening when we got home. I had a window of just a couple of hours before I had to start calling clients, so was not best pleased. I ended up gardening and cutting my hand. With the meds I take after the stroke, cutting myself is not good news. One of them comes complete with a black skull-and-crossbones on the label, for exactly that reason. This bloody scratch took an hour before it stoppedcbleeding.

Tick tock. As it was, the gardening I got done was minimal, but I got my calls done okay. But one of the effects was that I didn’t take part in a couple of prompts today. Shit happens, and I’m wanting to scale back my posting anyway.

The calls complete, I went to the fridge to grab a snack. The fridge, of course, was full after our shop. And the thing I wanted was behind a couple of other things. Try doing this one-handed! I had to take things out of the fridge and find somewhere to put them, just as pre-cursors to getting what I wanted.

This happens a lot now. I can’t do this, because first I need to do that, I can’t do that because first I need to do the other, and so on. And I end up with this whole daisy chain. It really pisses me off that I have to do all these tasks, unrelated to the task I actually want to perform. I guess I’ve just been doing this my whole life and just coping, but now I notice.

Like today. I’m carrying all of this food, one-handed, but there are no surfaces available. So I have to put all these things back in the fridge, then find myself having to first clear a space. When I finally get to what I want, I then have to put everything back into the fridge!

I don’t normally write about my stroke effects these days, but I do get value from looking at posts from years ago to see how I’ve improved. Let’s hope that one day, this post will be one of them!

When I take part in prompts, by the way, one of the things I like is to read the posts of the other respondents. I mean, put a 1,000 word post in front of me, or a ramble, and I’ll pass, but mostly, I’ll at least attempt to read things. Taking part is not just a committment to write something, but a committment to a fair amount of reading, too, especially when some of the prompts I take part in can have forty other respondents. I suspect that’s just me, I don’t know if anyone else does this. But at least by not writing anything, I don’t feel so bad about not reading anything. I guess I’ll never know… Tonight was strictly an evening for chilling by the TV.

Tick Tock Tuesday (14 July 2020) – France

I thought I’d create a new challenge. It is a challenge primarily for me, because I’m new to this platform, and because you don’t really know me yet, nor I you. As my name suggests, I am recovering from a stroke, and I like to push myself in all kinds of little ways… including getting to know the Wonderful World of WordPress. Although this is something I will be doing, I invite you, if this idea takes your fancy, to play along with me and share with me some of your own selections.

My plan is: each Tuesday, until I run dry, I shall post some piece of art with which I have some connection – which has helped to mould me, which makes me tick. Okay, a piece of art is a bit vague – it might be a piece of music, a movie, a book, a painting, or ???? – so my phrasiology is deliberate. It might be anything – I will play this post by ear, so I’m not sure what I’ll think of each week. And, I’ll keep posting on the theme weekly until I run out of ideas.

My rules? Well, I’m not big on rules! My choice will be something with which I feel a connection. That’ll be the important thing, just having some kind of fleeting affection for something probably won’t be enough, unless I’m using my choice as an example of something bigger.

It will be one choice per week – I’m aware that long posts can be quite onerous to read, and I’m in no hurry to complete this so if I have two ideas, I’ll probably hold the second until the next week.

In that same vein, I’ve created this block as a Reusable Block, which I intend repeating for every post on this theme. The block ends with a full-width separator, so if you want to skip ahead each week it doesn’t really matter.

I probably won’t post any lyrics, or any kind of analysis – if you like my choice, the information will be out there for you. But I will try to briefly explain why I feel a connection to my choice, just to try and enhance readers’ understanding of what makes me tick.

I will tag my posts TTT and I will go looking for other posts with that tag. If you’d like to join in, please do the same, or comment, or pingback to this post, and feel free to reproduce my graphic. Lastly, I look forward to reading about what makes you tick.

It is July 14th. Does that mean anything to you? It will, if you’re French.

Throughout this series there has been kind-of an elephant in the room. I’ve realised that anybody who reads these posts is (mostly) part of an English-language audience, and so I have deliberately steered clear of the French language, which I also like. In fact, I did consider a movie clip a few weeks ago, but the clips on YouTube were not subtitled so might be difficult to follow.

But I can’t just ignore this, so I’ll cover a couple of these things today. In fact probably my favourite film, ever, is French, called Le Bonheur est dans le Pré. The Wikipedia link translates it as Happiness is in the Field, but frankly, that’s a poor translation. The film is about an under-pressure businessman, who, by a quirk of fate, starts leading a totally different life as a farmer. The title would more aptly be something like “Contentment is discovered by getting back to nature”.

In the film is also one of my favourite actors, a guy called Michel Serrault. There’s a chance you might remember him from the original Cage aux Folles, and if you have ever heard of an ex-soccer star called Eric Cantona (who was the best player I’ve ever seen), this was his first acting role.

Another favourite film is the comedy Les Visiteurs. A knight and his servant (Jean Reno has been in several Hollywood movies too, and Christian Clavier is a big name in France) from around the millenium are zapped forward to the present day, with unpredictable results!

Musically, my favourite French artist, no doubt about it, is a guy called Tonton David (Tonton is a familiar word for uncle). Another reggae artist. Or nowadays, a retired reggae artist. I followed him from before the internet, when it was really only possible to get hold of French-language music by walking into a shop in France. Now, of course, all his material is easily available on the web.

Until last weeek, I was going to present something by Tonton David today, but I’ve presented reggae the last couple of weeks, plus this would be a foreign language song to us.

So, I have picked a song from another artist instead, he’s normally a bit too “poppy” for me, but some of his tracks are okay. He couldn’t be more different from Tonton, but I liked them both. I suppose I like this song naturally because it sounds very Irish, with his tin whistle and Irish dancing, although the artist, Jean-Jacques Goldman, is from Paris. You probably won’t have heard of him but he has written plenty of material for artists you will have heard of, including Céline Dion. And the piece is far more “music” than “lyrics”.

The song is called Et l’on n’y peut rien, which loosely translates as And there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s a long clip but see how far you get. Just two more post to go in this series, so I’ll see you next week. In the meantime, have a happy Bastille Day and remember – liberty, equality, fraternity!

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