Thursday, 16 October 2008

Mambo Italiano

Further to the last post:

1st half performance in Minsk: England are malfunctioning in midfield again, the ball is passed around with some aplomb at the back and then hoofed forward at Heskey, circumnavigating midfield, in the hope that he can hold it up for Rooney to produce the preferred outcome. Meantime Walcot tears up and down the right channel with pace, but is messy in his final delivery. A brief lead is undone by more fragility in the middle as Belarus slip the ball neatly through.

Wednesday morning: following, by now, a near 48 hour gap between toilet visits, all early hubris is undone at 9am. During a, thankfully, free period I have to undertake that hilariously familar run to the toilet - hilarious because I can only imagine what it must look like to the casual observer as I run and desperately clench my buttcheeks at the same time. What better place to indulge in this weird stiff legged run than in a school, where nobody is on the lookout for reasons to undermine you... Upon reaching said toilet something approaching a heinous McDonalds thick shake is delivered in the nick of time.

2nd half in Minsk: a little Italian jiggery-pokery at half-time sees Gerrard push forward in midfield and suddenly Belarus are on the back foot. England still regularly lose possesion, but there's menace in their attacks - even Heskey is taking on and running at defenders. Rooneys game suddenly comes alive, slick passing ensues, then goals. The last 15 minutes are a cakewalk.

Thursday morning: the toilet beckons at about 10.45. But there is no urgency or cramps. Rather that, I hesitate to say this but, 'pleasant' full colon feeling that tends to preceed a proper log. What arrives is probably best described as initially log-like and then stodgy. A hugely improved outcome.

Like I said, inconsistency. Weird.

Maybe, as I sleep, Fabio comes and talks to my bottom.

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

A New England

I know how Fabio Capello feels.

A few weeks ago he was watching his England team perform at first caustiously, then with growing confidence and finally exactly how he wanted them - with a more than satisfying outcome (Croatia 1 - England 4). He must have been extremely pleased (if not completely, 100% convinced it was going to last). And so was everybody else. So, imagine his dispair when they delivered an utterly demoralising performance when faced at home with the mighty Kazakhstan: unsteady at the back; malfunctioning in midfield; and with a forward line that did not inspire confidence and did not produce anything solid... OK, they won 5 - 1, but the point is they are unable to produce any kind of consistency even from one game to the next. How can he ever rely on them? How can he ever relax to the degree that he can stop thinking about the likelyhood that their next performance may be another that pains and potentially embarasses him?

Now consider my stupid bowels. A few weeks ago they were working in perfect harmony: no dodgy pains or twinges/flutters creating nervous apprehension; good, slow digestion in the middle, and a pleasing solid outcome at the end... All was good. I even started to experiment (non-alcoholic beer, curries, olives: the gastro equivelent of the christmas tree formation) - all was functioning satisfactorily. Then... all of a sudden, no explanation forthcoming, things go wrong in mid-colon and everything gets sloppy (ok, forgive that turn of phrase, I'm trying to maintain an analogy here). So now I'm under the pressure of an underperforming colon and despite all my best efforts (tactical use of preds, substitute bland food, not eating etc etc) I cannot engineer a change. Until...

Today, I had to go a school fieldtrip. I won't bore you with the details, but it essentially meant a day miles away from a loo. So, I went to school early, hoping the current urgent morning poo would arrive whilst still on school grounds. Nothing. I reluctantly boarded the bus, fearing the worst. Nothing. I eagerly alighted at the one short stop of the day (I was even prepared to use the public loo!). Nothing. I am sat here at home at 8.30 in the evening. Nothing. That means I have been something like 36 hours - no pain, no urgency, no... nothing.

So, just like Fabio, I sit here contemplating the inconsistency. Why is it there? What can we do? Why can't Gerrard/my bowels and Lampard/my immune system work in better harmony and produce a nice solid end-product? And where does Theo Walcott fit into a weak international-football-as-ulcerative-colitis metaphor?

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Walk on the wild side

"Whisper it: I've only gone and done a number 4"

Such was the start of a post I almost put up yesterday. Then I thought better of it. Too late - merely thinking it was enough. I am still wavering around the upper 5/6 area of the Bristol Chart. I haven't decided whether to change my pred dose or not yet - its a case of ensuring I've got enough to last until the next hospital appt on the 4th November. I have been having sustained thoughts of embarking on the azathioprine... but it really depends on the mood I'm in when that hospital appointment comes around.

And so to other matters. Until the recent mini-flare-up, I had begun to appreciate the restorative powers of (the once anathema) non-alcoholic beer. Yep. Thats what I said: NON-alcoholic beer. Far be it from me or my blog to become a vessel for capitalist advertising, but this is the stuff I'd been drinking:

In the formative years of my drinking life the main contributors to the world of alcohol free beer were Kalibur and Barbican... hoho, remember those: "Bar-be-can... alcohol free beer...??!" Cue californian prohibition era policemen with the feeling of redundancy dawning on their faces as in the background others smash up a speakeasy... ah, I used to love that advert. However, when it came to drinking the stuff i) never in a million drunken years would you be seen dead with one of those clutched in your lifeless hand, and ii) everybody I ever knew, including me, claimed they tasted disgusting "euuugh nuffink like 'real' beer". Even the efforts of Sean (I am an adult, honest) Bean couldn't get us to drink em.

However, needs must when the Devil lives in your bottom. And so, with weary reluctance I dutifully tried a gulp when offered by a pregnant aquaintance recently. And, blow me, if it wasn't pretty bloody good. Now I have to temper this sudden embracing of contemporary alcohol free beer with the footnote that I haven't touched a drop (your honour) for 42 months... which may mean my beer tasting buds have gone wonky, but really the stuff tasted wonderful. Just like the real thing! Lordy, a glimmer of hope! Upon closer inspection it seems that the brewers achieve that authentic beery taste by brewing it first AND THEN removing the alcohol. Marvellous.

Two points to note, however:

1) After 3 bottles, I had to try to ignore the hollow feeling that was starting to grow... Maybe one or two is enough.

2) I woke up with a bloody hangover! Can anyboy explain...?