Nepal Dan: Day Five (ish)

Blueberries and yoghurt for breakfast, that can only mean one thing…I’ll be hungry in about three hours. This is not an issue as I am jumping off the fast train at lunch time. The idea was to do the full five days, I have flexi-time owing to me that I am going to take this afternoon. This will probably result in me playing the guitar all afternoon in between bouts of watching CSI. Sounds like bliss to me. Before that, I shall walk down in to Ormskirk at lunch time, go to Greenalgh’s and get myself a beef steak pie – of course this will then require me to walk the nine and a half miles home in order to burn the thing off, but hey, well worth it!

What have I learned? Well, for one, going without water is just stupid! Okay in Winter it’s manageable – just. But at all other times of the year, given that our brains are over 75% water – it’s just stupid. I’ve had at least one headache every day – which is why I’ve had water, once the headache has kicked in. Net gain, nothing! Another thing I’ve learned, going without food makes me (I am not going to speak for anyone else) incredibly moody and touchy, it annihilates creativity (my book writing has really taken a knock this weak!) and in short I have really not enjoyed myself whilst fasting this week. (You don’t say!)

Would I do it again? The short answer is never outside of Winter. I am more than happy to do this again in November to February, outside of that, forget it!

I really hope more people donate to Jenny’s Just Giving page at:

Jenny has really done well at this with nothing at all consumed during Sunrise to Sunset so please give generously.

Nepal Dan: Day Four

Not long to go now, thank goodness!

At times this fasting business can get a person down. When I did the winter version, whilst I would hardly say it was a breeze, however, it was easier because the length of the days were much shorter. When for example I eat at 04:30 and eventually reach lunchtime, I go for a walk, to take my mind off food – and because it’s good for me and the realisation hits me that it’s eight and a half hours until I can have a good cup of coffee or something to eat. Hmmm, worse still is that right from day one I have said – “I’m having water” – anyone who knows anything about me will probably recall that I am prone to dehydration headaches. I get really bad ones, and as such at this time of year when the weather is somewhat warm, well my body needs water.

So, as you can see, it’s got to me a bit. This is the last Spring / Summer fasting that I ever attempt. I am more than happy to do the shorter day ones.

{updated at: 12:55} Okay, on reflection, I have had considerably less water today than other days. This is down to the fact that the Just Giving website have me down as doing this without water. Jenny and Taz are doing this dry…I’m not. Sorry but I never said that I would.

So, yeah. Onward…

PS: Here is the link to Jenny’s Just Giving Page:

Nepal Dan Day Three

Fasting for Nepal:

Well after attempting one Blog Post on the bus – stupid IPad and its’ ‘I’ll put in my clipboard what I want dear human, not you!’ – I thought I was doing really well managing to type two handed on a moving bus. Ah well!

In a good mood today even though at 4:25 I couldn’t finish my meatballs breakfast, I did have a lovely cup of coffee though whilst listening to Cheryl Fernandez…(something Italian sounding?) singing Only Human, little pleasures make all the difference. The 44 to town (hey it was raining okay!) was so quiet that I was glad I would only be on it for a few minutes. Then it was a case of not singing in the rain at the East Bank Street stop for the 385 – a good thing too as I was astounded by how many people were at the side of me whilst I was gazing off into the distance, completely oblivious – now does that sound like a wound up man?

The 385 was busier than normal, people attempting to avoid the rain I figure, which meant steamy windows…one day I will do a drawing on them, I just know it, need to have an empty bus though and the passengers just keep getting on. I digress.

I had my first hunger pang on the 385 – only three hours-something since I ate, so that isn’t a good thing.  I’m not looking forward to tomorrow, it’s my long day from 08:00 – 18:00 – I will get to have this on Wednesday (my least favourite day more often than not) sooner or later, just takes some manipulating (evil). As for today, I have only three more days doing the three hour technical services secondment, it really isn’t standing around feeling like a tool for ages, nooo it isn’t! I should be able to get to the gym tonight, not planning on having anything major for tea, maybe just yoghurt and blueberries who knows.

Okay signing off now.

Do jutra!

Nepal Dan – Day Two

Well, I couldn’t finish my lovely tea (roast beef and various veggies and stuffed mushrooms, nom, nom, nom) last night and today I wasn’t able to finish my Tesco’s Spanish Tortilla this morning.  This happens to me every so often – though not often enough for my liking, whereby my stomach effectively slams a door shut and waves a finger in a “no way” kind of gesture. Of course I am hoping that you (dear readers) are reading this with a symbolic as opposed to literal head on. For the record, my stomach has neither a door or a finger! Incidentally, the first time that I can remember this happening was when I was just fourteen and had started ‘courting’ (can you believe my parents used to call it that?) my first ever girlfriend, Alison Brabbin. Alison, if you’re reading this…get off you stalker (only joking, blame the lack of caffeine, I know I am).

Yesterday, I had three separate headaches, all easily aborted by paracetamol but they’re still a bit of a nuisance. I’m putting this down to my severely reduced caffeine intake – I haven’t had any regular coffee since Saturday in Marks and Spencer’s café at Chester and with these quite petulant mood swings…I can tell!

Tonight I have my guitar lesson with John, he makes a really good cup of coffee, which I’ll miss, but I can still have water…I think I’ll buy a big flask as ‘the thirst’ which I remember from 2013’s Winterdan, once it starts to kick in on a regular basis, is a real pain in the backside (again, not literally!).

Tonight I won’t be breaking fast until roughly nine o’clock, it takes that long getting back from Ainsdale on the 49, hey maybe I could catch the 44? Nope, all three Ainsdale buses arrive within five minutes of each other at night and the 49 is nowhere near the 44 and 47 stops.

And another hunger pang has just smacked me in the stomach. Think I’ll do the Wigan Road loop for my lunch time walk. Until tomorrow…


Just an update, for the ‘walk’ I went through the Hub (only means anything to Edge Hill staff and students) down St. Helen’s Road into Ormskirk, through the town centre, back up Wigan Road, Mill Street, Ruff Lane, Work. Probably about an mile and a half in 37 minutes.

Nepal Dan Day One

I know it’s a crappy title, but I’m trying to follow a theme here, so just bear with it ok?

Right so I have now been awake since 4:10 or thereabouts. I had a huge breakfast of one of Tesco’s Spanish Tortillas at 04:41 and a cup of coffee – decaf. Since then I have pretty much stuck to nill by mouth, with the exception of two paracetamols on the bus as my left temple was beginning to sting – I don’t think this is anything to do with the fasting yet…that might well kick in at either at lunch time or around four this afternoon.

Sunset tonight, for London – I haven’t found one for Southport yet, is at 20:50 – ouch. But I have said that if I am thirsty I will drink water, mild sugar and food cravings I can fend off but dehydration is a really horrible condition so I’m not going to go without, plus this means I can go to the gym tonight!

Okay, so I may be back with an afternoon post. If not then I’ll be back tomorrow, oh goody, guitar lesson day 🙂


Next week, both myself and my line manager from work will be showing our support to the wonderful country of Nepal who’s residents have been hit hard recently by not one, but two devastating earthquakes.

Between dawn and dusk, or sun rise to sunset we shall be consuming no calories, no food, no alcohol…in essence nill by mouth, each day. This will end on until sunset on Friday. I am looking forward to this one as it will be coming up to the longest times of daylight and should be a real challenge, which aim to meet. Let’s hope that I can stave off the dehydration headaches. Damn! I’m going to have to turn down one of John’s cups of coffee at Tuesday night’s guitar lesson…oh well, it’ll be worth it.

So, expect a blog post every night, next week folks.

Here are the reasons why we’re doing this:

Nepal’s recent earthquakes are the worst disaster in the country’s history with more than 8500 people dead with many still missing, thousands injured. The UN estimates 8 million people affected with 2.8 million people displaced.

One estimate suggests 8000 Rohinga refugees (mainly from Burma) are floating in the Andaman Sea (between Bangladesh and Malaysia) in a desperate state of hunger while no country takes care of them as yet.

Doctors without Borders/Medicins Sans Frontier (MSF) are one of the few international organisations which are delivering care to the stranded Rohinga people while Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) with an impressive track record of responding to disasters worldwide, have launched a massive campaign to raise money for the earthquake victims of Nepal.

Edge Hill University’s first year Geography students periodically raise similar campaigns of ‘Fast for Disaster Funds’ with their tutor Dr Tasleem Shakur. Last year they raised around £900 for the Philippines disaster. This year while the students are back to home for their summer break, Tasleem launched a similar campaign with his colleagues in IT department joined by Jenny Jordan and Mark Wild with a fasting pledge (sunrise to sunset without food or water for around 16 hours a day) of at least 5 days between 17 and 26 May 2015. They expect others will either join such fasting campaign or donate money.

Please donate money to the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) here to help the desperate earthquake affected people of Nepal.

Source =

Return of the Stereo

So, who’s going to guess what this post is going to be about then? Yep, the fall of the wax and taking with it, its’ co-conspirator, the evil screaming Tinnitus.

In essence, I had the Hydration (that’s my terminology, by the way) done at the wonderful Ainsdale Health and Well-being centre yesterday at around 13:45. I would have probably not struggled too much to find the (somewhat oddly shaped and coloured)  centre as it’s in a bit of a grotty estate parallel to Liverpool Road in Ainsdale – actually, most places in Ainsdale can be described as parallel to Liverpool Road, as it’s a bit huge, anyway, I did a ‘reccie’ on Monday night (I really don’t do surprises any more do I?) and found it straight away.

Anyway, the nurse was lovely (and damn it why did I not remember her name?), the process went smoothly – IF A BIT LOUD in my left ear – the less bunged up of the two! The effect was immediate, I could hear the radio in both ears, resultado!

I walked outside and the whole world was suddenly a much nicer, marvellous place. Of course it did help that I had the afternoon off work, and that the sun was out, and that Chris and I were going to go out for a meal, and WHAT’S THIS ECHO EFFECT I CAN ALL OF A SUDDEN HERE IN RIGHTY? Yes it’s true, I could get a less than a second, less than half a second’s worth, but definitely a slight echo, which was a real bonus, and kind of tinny (aha, a play on the old tinnitus adjective/noun/adverb/thingy). I’ve had this before after a really bad cold back in ’97 – yes my memory is still as awesome as ever (no credit, I don’t have anything to do with it).

The bus ride home, on the 49 was excellent – when I found a stop which hadn’t been discontinued, I mean why make a bus stop redundant and then leave it there? Why was the bus ride so good? Well because I could hear people, laughing, coughing and talking. Honestly, you don’t think you are going to miss these things, but when they are gone, life gets all sucky! The buttons which we use to tell the driver that we want to get off at the next stop, have a delightful ‘ting’ to them, I’d forgotten how tinny they are. All was great.

This morning, Iv’e come to work and although my hearing is as good as I can remember, the metallic echo has gone – boo! I’ll miss it but it was only ever a temporary present from my body, my body’s weird! So, from now on, I am never wearing those bloomin’ I-Phone, earphones/pods/instruments of torture – as it’s common belief that they cause the wax to harden by compressing it (we’re now all thinking gross yeah?) I’ll just stick to wearing my ‘Dre-clones’ which although do look daft, have much better bass response and don’t give people ringing in the ears – unless you keep ’em on for too long, which is kind of your own fault!

Chris is happy too, as now she doesn’t have to say everything twice! I’m ecstatic, as for the first time in a long time, and I’m not talking moments, hours, days or even weeks here, I can now hear nothing in moments of silence. Maybe I was misdiagnosed with Tinnitus or maybe it’s hiding in the background just waiting to be let loose again. We can’t know that, there are no tests other than if you can hear whistling that others can’t, you have it. At least now I can sit there and play my guitar, badly, and hear just how bad!



Ear, ear, (part ten million)

Okay the hyperbole angel has blown her dust all over me with that title!

It’s a really poorly kept secret that I have had this hardened ear wax on top of Tinnitus for the last fortnight. I’ve been all over Facebook about it – bloody drama queen! In essence, if I had to live the rest of my life with it, certain coping mechanisms would (hopefully), come to the fore and I’d just deal with it.  I’m hoping that doesn’t happen, though and that today’s visit to Ainsdale’s Health and Well-being Clinic for a ‘Hydration’ will cure at least one of the problems and thus be somewhat illuminating with regards to if the other problem, (Tinnitus, are you keeping up?) is actually in existence – so to speak – I really don’t have the perspicacity to word that a better way!

Certain things have come to light whilst I’m been having radio Pluto (sorry but after two weeks the description whistling really underplays things) scream down my right ear:

  1. Why, oh why, can Ainsdale Health Centre (not the Health and Well-being one, but the full blown surgery) do Hydrations and my own G.P.s not – shame on you Norwood Avenue!
  2. Although it’s kind of interesting being able to identify all of my colleagues footsteps from a distance, ‘cos they really do all sound different. There is no practical application for this – we’ll rule out the possibility of us all having a zany game of Giant’s Keys one day!
  3. Concentration really can be improved upon, I always thought that it was kind of fixed, but apparently not.
  4. I really miss stereo!

So, as said before, I’m off (finally!) to get the wax removed today, I am more than a bit sick and tired of dropping Extra Virgin Olive Oil down my ear, tilting my head for five minutes, then having Extra Virgin Olive Oil slowly trickle down my neck – believe me, it’s not as erotic as it sounds! The tales of “Oh put Olive Oil down your ear, that’ll sort it out” are largely cobblers and should be reduced to the bin labelled “General Myths, heed ye not!”

I’ll let you know of any success or failings, though to be honest if you are in the Sefton area and it does fail, you’ll probably see me kicking a can around the streets and swearing at the sky.

Everyone needs a hobby!


Listening with one’s eyes

Some of you may know that over the last two weeks I’ve had a bit of an ear thing.

Originally, a few years ago, when I had a similar ailment- whistling in one ear and a feeling that something was trying to get out, I was diagnosed as having Tinnitus. Even though this is a chronic condition that can stay with a person for life, I was okay with it, mainly because that’s not how it had been, doctors occasionally get things wrong – don’t get me started on Chris’s cancer misdiagnosis, and well cluster headaches are supposed to stay with one for life and mine have duly buggered off. Not that I would want cluster headaches back, thank you very much! My point is that the boundaries between chronic and acute ailments seem to have blurred, the one thing I’ve come to understand about my body is that only the eyes can read the “rule books” the rest of it does its own sweet thing!

Back to the ear. As I say, I was diagnosed with tinnitus a few years ago, and when I made time for it, it would be a pain in the arse and no two ways about it, but, and here’s the thing, my tinnitus really did have quiet spots when it really didn’t bother me at all.  After watching the gorgeous (oh come on, she is!) Suzanna Reid divulge her own Tinnitus life I once again noticed some differences between what I have and what she has.

Okay so now we’re almost up to date, and kind of at the point of the post, this bout of whistling has been with me for more or less two weeks, it started two days after watching Dirty Dancing at the Empire. I’ve been to the doctor- it has to be said that Norwood Avenue ‘s Doctor Aldihira is far and away the best G.P. That I’ve ever seen, principally because he listens to me describe the problem, then, he asks me what I think might be the cause and then offers me an opinion on whether he agrees with me or not and a relevant course of action.

Essentially, that’s pretty much all we need from G.P.s, and yet go on, think back when was the last time your G.P. acted the same? I can already tell that  Doctor Al-Dahira thinks my original diagnosis from the same, surgery, is utter cobblers, but is hedging his bets by waiting it out until I have finally had my ears syringed at Ainsdale Health and Wellbeing centre on Thursday next week. Talking of which, I think that i  can justify getting a bit pissy over the decision taken by Norwood Ave to no longer perform the syringing procedure themselves- it was always carried out by a nurse, never a G.P. but now it’s a case of “book an appointment with these clinics” subsequently when you try to book an appointment with the clinics, it can be four weeks wait for a syringing!

A couple of days, perhaps even over a week ago, I posted on Facebook about the one advantage this condition has highlighted, the low frequency gain, although it isn’t really a gain , it’s a paying attention to! Tonight, I’ve come to notice another, it’s more about positive thinking, because it’s nice to listen to people, when they speak to you (as opposed to listening into them with the aid of a glass tumbler up against the wall) ,  I now find myself paying much more attention to people when they’re speaking to me than when I have the regular stereo hearing, which most people enjoy. I can’t lip read, but I am giving serious thought to learning either British or International sign language.

This revelation, has opened up my eyes, more importantly, my mind! I’ve always fobbed off my chances of striding into Academia as not really practical, as I’m not Academic…that’s come to be a bit of a cop-out, you are what you want to be. I’m not saying that I’ll sign up for a degree course tomorrow, but I now feel more empowered to perhaps take a few more courses in the very near future, I already have the level two Counselling Course to look forward to enrolling for in June, perhaps I could do another as well?

Well, that’s enough waffling for one night, I could have done this so much quicker on my laptop, so will probably never do another IPad blog. Sorry for the rambling folks, I got there in the end. Here’s hoping that Thursday gets here quickly and that soon I’ll be able to appreciate stereo once more.


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