Archive | 21:38

An Open Letter To Gwyneth Rees, MailOnline Reporter

15 Mar

I am furious.

My husband has severe CFS/ME, and has had it since 1996.  I read your article in MailOnline.  You, Gwyneth Rees, gleefully suggest that your readers should use the new Skiver app to come up with a suitable illness to get a day off work:

You could just have a one-day migraine, for instance, or you may be struck down with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, accompanied by severe headaches, high fever, stiff neck and sore throat. Poor you.

I get that it is a light-hearted piece but it is inappropriate and insensitive to CFS sufferers – and they do suffer, believe me; I see it every day, pain etched into my husband’s face.  Try substituting Cancer/Multiple Sclerosis/AIDS for CFS in that quote, and see how many cheap laughs you get.  (And before you accuse me of being as flippant as you, a random search for ‘List of chronic illnesses’ threw up all of those and CFS, every time.)

I wonder how many migraine sufferers find your comment amusing?  Incidentally, migraine is one of the many symptoms CFS patients have to deal with.  Try having that on top of arthralgia, light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, sleep of such poor quality that all it gives is a respite from the daily grind of simply existing, and, of course, fatigue, which is not simply a case of feeling over-tired after a busy day, but prevents you from getting out of bed on your worst days and gives you an hour on your best day, if you’re lucky, in which to do the thousand things your brain wants to do – because there’s nothing wrong with your mind – but of which your body is incapable.

This is not a comprehensive list of CFS symptoms, by the way; merely the most prevalent in my husband’s case.  Every sufferer is different. 

Your article was crass and irresponsible and you bring shame on your profession.

Hole-Hearted Approval

15 Mar
Pothole, corner of Short & Neron Streets, Carr...

Image via Wikipedia

We take our dogs to Alexandra Park a couple of times a week.  It’s a twelve-minute walk from our house but all uphill, so the Hub can’t manage it.  To get to the park we have to drive down Dale Street.  A sewer collapsed and there has been a hole in the road, protected by a plastic barrier, since January (this is not a photo of the same hole; but it does prove to me that utility companies are the same the world over: uninterested).  It’s an access road, gets quite busy, and traffic status is ‘horrendous’ because of the hole, instead of the normal ‘horrible.’

We are quite fed up with it, but not nearly as much as one of the Dale Street residents: when we were there last week, there was a home-made sign up over the hole:

For Sale: 7 Week Old Pothole.  Contact United Utilities.  Open To Offers.

Next thing we know, there’s a picture of resident, hole and sign in the Stockport Express, and an apology from United Utilities, who promised to have their contractors begin repairs within the week.

A free press is a wonderful thing, especially when coupled with a man with a sense of humour.

Timing Is Everything

15 Mar
WordPress Logo

Image via Wikipedia

Having informed you yesterday that this blog will no longer support poetry, what does the WordPress Prompter throw my way?

Write a haiku about something that drives you nuts.  Remember: 5, 7, 5. [syllables]

Okay, WordPress Prompter; you asked for it (though technically, what you’re asking for is a senryu; if you want us to do something, at least try and get the terminology right):

In Response To A WordPress Prompt

Dear WordPress prompter,
you drive me nuts.  You can do
better.  Have some guts.


Just a reminder that I have a separate poetry blog now at I’m Not A Verse.  I have added a subscription facility today, so you can have an email to your inbox instead of having to search for me.

Go on!  You know you want to.

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