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CFM Babs from Chorley FM


Local Accent

Posted by CFMBabs , 22 November 2006 · 672 views

Listening to the radio this morning made me smile, I even laughed. The subject was Lancastrian English. Okay, so what's that, you may ask. Well here in Britain we have local dialect for just about everything. It's said that in Lancashire you can pin point the exact street in which a person lives by the way in which he/she speaks.
My Uncle was unique in many ways. His accent so strong that he sounded foreign.
He'd start a conversation which had you wondering what the **** he'd said two hours later. My Grandparents were no exception. And if you weren't local forget it!
My Father in Law hails from Wigan, now that accent is far stronger than mine, but typical Lancastrian. His word for something he can't remember is "Doings", Wotsits" or "Thingy me bob". So if he's talking about someone who's name evades him its " Y'know -- Thingy" or something he needs or wants " pass me that Doings" Sometimes he says " Whatsi me call it" and the ironic thing is, you know what he means! Now that's worrying.
My Mum worked in the cotton mills from a very early age, my Uncles ran the farm.
The mills were so noisy they couldn't talk to each other, so they lip read. That was called Mee Mawing. So if someone was talking to another in the mills it was to Mee Maw.
Nowadays accents have changed with integration. My own daughter speaks with a different accent to mine as her school promotes elocution.
I've been told many times on answering the phone "That's a good Lancashire accent you have there". I can remember the days when it would not have been considered so. Fact is, our dialect is diminishing and soon everyone will sound the same and that's a shame because it's our identity. I love to hear a local accent no matter where I am in the country. It makes Britain unique.
I had a friend who unfortunately died aged just 36. I met her whilst in hospital. She was from Dudley. The Black Country. I just loved to hear her talk. Sometimes we laughed because we didn't understand each other and we had to talk slowly. But I still remember that accent and smile whenever I hear it as it reminds me so much of her.
I'm sure that most of you will have an accent of some sort. Love it, nurture it and keep it a part of you because it's what makes you special.


Family Roll

Posted by CFMBabs , 21 November 2006 · 639 views

I hate early mornings. I know I'm not alone, but it's not the getting out of bed bit, it's the daily routine of making sure the family unit gets to their given destination, namely school and work on time safely.
I feel like their personal chauffer-- give me a hat and uniform and I'll fit the bill perfectly. It doesn't matter how I feel, but I guess that's the beauty of being a wife and mum, soldiers to the cause.
My routine begins before 7am with the roll call. I can hear the geese making their presence known outside. It was so much easier with a cockerel but Mr Fox saw to that! The response I normally receive from their pits is generally unprintable especially on Mondays. Monday has to be the worst day of the week. It's the beginning and so far away from the weekend. My daughter does a great impression of the girl in the Exorcist movies and my hubby comes out the bedroom like a scene from The Shining, Y'know the one! "Johnnie's Here!" minus the axe of course --more like his hot water bottle under arm. I'm the big bad mum for waking the dead, even though I feel pretty much like a corpse myself.
7.30am sees me organising the lunches and recieving my chore list for the day ahead. My hubby has a list of things to do and people to call, my daughter has one too and I find myself nodding to each one of them like a donkey. I feel like a personal assistant to both, my list is endless.
I find myself asking the same questions, day in and day out. " What would you like for dinner?" The reply is usually a grunt or an answer of " We'll leave that up to you -- whatever!" Then the outcome is usually a meal of my choice but obviously not theirs and I get two sour looking faces at the table when I serve them something I thought they would like -- obviously not!
We leave for my hubby's place of work shortly after 7.30. Luckily it's only a short drive and I'm home just in time to take my daughter to the bus stop in the next village.
8.00am, my time, phew! Time for a coffee and a break from the morning madness. Both safely at their destination thank goodness! I'll be thinking about visiting my parents later but for now I'm just coming down!
My own routine will start shortly. I'm on an enteral feeding regime so I'll be packing my rucksack for the day. I used to go out to work, now I wouldn't have the time. My day goes so quickly, I don't know how I fit it all in and I amaze myself really! And whilst I'm praising my energy and willpower, I'll come crashing down to earth as soon as they arrive home, the question is nearly always " What have you done today, did you get, did you do, have you called?" I get out my memo pad and begin answering all the questions in robotic fashion. Give myself a star for each chore successfully completed and brownie points for extra work not on my list. I'll get "The Woman of Britain Award" if I manage to please their appetite with something I thought up and made with my very own brain and if they thank me afterwards I'll frame the expression.
I'm not alone am I? I'm not complaining either. Without them my life would have no point and I'm glad that for that all I've been through, I'm still a useful family member.


A So Special Friendship

Posted by CFMBabs , 21 November 2006 · 667 views

Oh, Y'know I love a chat, so much so that we had a mute budgie only because he couldn't get to practice. I do rabbit on, my hubby say's so.
I have a friend, Yes, I do actually have one, believe it or not! And she can talk under water without coming up for air, how about this? She rang me earlier to tell me about her weekend trip to a haunted mansion. It sounded great but all I could manage to comment was "Oh and Yeah!" She waffled on for an hour. At one point and in the same breath, she inquired about my health and then without waiting for a reply, carried on about cooking potatoes! Phew, I had a headache before she rang, I have a migrane now!
This same friend also likes the odd tipple, Y'know the fiery stuff! I've arrived home from some of her girlie get togethers very much worse for wear many times, unfortunately no more. I remember once visiting her on a very bad day. She was in such a state with her TV set. She'd changed the plug, fuse and was about to take it apart when I stopped her screwdriver in hand.
" Have you tried changing the batteries dear!" I asked politely with no sarcasm intended. " What" she scorned " Do you think I'm stupid?" Well she was a primary school teacher and she is sometimes a bit scatty. I took hold of the remote to find that the battery cover was off and on closer inspection -- no batteries! They'd somehow fallen on the floor with no explanation. I inserted the batteries without her knowledge, where apon the TV magicaly came to life just as she pushed the plug into the socket for the hundredth time. " See" she shouted triumphantly. " I'm not daft?" Mmmm, leave it at that shall we?
The same friend also managed to end up in the ER every Dec 26, why? you may ask. Well, she always threw a party in which the whole street was invited. The first year she ended up with a fractured foot after walking an elderly relative home. The second year she fell and broke her wrist and then the final straw was when she attempted to retrieve a ladle from a pot of boiling soup with her bare hand, yes you guessed it!........ ER. They fixed her up with a little yellow bag which was to keep the burn clean and dry by placing it over her hand like a glove puppet.
It wasn't long before the thing came off. She opened a tin of beer, it bursted the bag and she ended up with a bag full of Boddingtons Best Bitter until the New Year.
I could go on all day about my friend but I won't. She's the kindest, loving genuine person I have ever met and she's my best friend. She may waffle on and she may be scatty, she might even be the worst cook I ever come across, but she's my rock and my confidence and I wouldn't know what to do without her. Now that's friendship!


Endoscopy Awareness

Posted by CFMBabs , 20 November 2006 · 616 views

Of all the procedures I've had over the last 10 years, an endoscopy has to be the top of the list for avoidance.
I dread the very mention of the 'E' word as it brings back two years of hospital stays and illness and I thought I was through with all that!
I can't think of a worse procedure, I'm sure there are plenty and I'm sure that in my last 10 years there have been far worse situations but, an endoscope is my worst phobia and we all have one, don't we?
It's not that I'm frightened or the fact that I might throw up all over the doctor, not that he doesn't deserve that for putting me through it, it's the awareness of the whole thing. I don't know what's wrong with our hospitals these days? They prefer you to have no sedation and be totally awake during the whole thing. Well, pardon me, but I'm the one who's on the bed having a thing the size of a garden hose pipe shoved down my throat, not them! I can't find a single reason to be totally aware of my situtation during the whole episode! Sure you can go straight home afterwards instead of hanging around for the mercy of a ride home, but I'd rather my hubby drive me than drive back home myself after what I feel has been a traumatic ordeal. You may agree with me, you may not, but I know which decision I'd make and that's sedation.
Going back to the hospital thing, Yes, I was in hospital for the best part of two years, incredibly for the same thing. I lost count of how many times I was asked to swallow that tube and believe me I went through some very tough times. I'm sure the procedure was used in the medievel ages-- I mean sticking something down your food pipe and blowing up a balloon which someone forgot to take the protective wrapper off, is nothing short of a nightmare in itself. Then to have had three bouts of surgery on top of that and then a feeding tube inserted four separate times on different occasions, I think I have just cause to moan.
I've just recieved my letter, you may have guessed, for yet another to be performed on the 27th Dec. They sent me a letter requesting me to make my own appointment with them, mutually convenient I think it said, Huh! do you call an endoscopy convenient whenever it may be, next week, next year, it's never convenient, what a laugh!
So what is it for this time? Well, I may have some surgery residue, answers on a postcard please! What on earth is that? Anyhow at a guess it could be that he's left his wedding ring in there or his wristwatch but speaking from experience, it's probably just another mess up and another chance to have a fiddle. I'm a laboratory specimen I'm sure! Anyhow, grin and bear it as my Mother always said
Grin, yes! bear, well we'll see?
Here's to life with scleroderma, and another dabble with the hospital.


Dreaded Endoscope

Posted by CFMBabs , 20 November 2006 · 656 views

That letter finally dropped through the door, my endoscopy date
I dare not even open it, coz it's the one most thing I hate
Having a tube stuck down your throat is really quite an ordeal
And to say you can't eat beforehand you miss that little meal
First they get you to drink some stuff, I'm sure it's meant to calm
And the performance that goes before it assures you of no harm
They don't tell you half the story and that can make you suspicious
But you know that deep down inside the procedure's quite malicious

I remember from the last time how they tried to locate a vein
Then tried to make me have no sedation assuring of no pain
But I know which one I prefer and that's to take the shot
Coz ramming tubes down my throat really bothered me a lot
I'll stop if you say I'm hurting you! But how can you speak,
When you've got a plastic dummy thing stuck in your beak?
I remember grunting and groaning but the doctor carried on
I'd just been to the dentist, new teeth had cost me a bomb
I was afraid that they might break them and then I'd look a mess
So I grabbed for his jacket, I couldn't have cared less
The nurse quickly grabbed my hand and patronisingly said
Soon it will be all over, please lie still on the bed

I hate to say that I'm afraid and I don't really want it done
I've watched others enter that room and come out with run
The bravest ones who go in first vow never again
And opt to have sedation if they can get a vein
Oh yes, I'm sure of one thing and that's what I will do
I'm not going to be brave this time I've really thought it through
No sedation, no treatment they can postpone it if they like
And if they miss the vein this time I'll shout, On yer bike!
So here I go to make the call, an appointment I will book
I hope it's for someone else and for me they mistook
I've been messed with far too much and I'm overdue a rest
So they can hang on for me instead and keep their awful test.


Moving Home

Posted by CFMBabs , 18 November 2006 · 749 views

This old house is getting me down and I'm finding it hard to cope
You'd think we'd taken on a bit too much and it's being built on hope!
For this old house is ancient and hasn't been touched since then
It was home to the English Roundheads, all of Cromwell's men
I think they left in a hurry coz they sort of trashed the joint
And no one thought to fix it, there wasn't any point

I grew up playing inside that broken house with dreams of being Mum
And my friends all thought it was brilliant, they played around for fun
Little did I know it was part of our history, a capsule in the past
And by the time I began to care, the house was falling fast
I fought the authoritories daily, the council and the judge
Their decision was to demolish and they wouldn't even budge
So finally a compromise, half old with some materials new
And we began to rebuild every wall and roof, brick and beam anew

For four long years we lived in a trailer, affectionately tin can
The cramped small living spaces were enough for any man
No water in the winter coz it always froze the tap
And even the electricity went off with every mishap
And when the wind howled, the tin can shook and swayed
We questioned every decision that we ever made
Were we wrong to spend four years living like hermits
Just for the sake of obtaining building permits
Me with scleroderma and afraid of being cold
Living in a tin can was awfully bold

Now we're nearing completion, the plaster is on the wall
The house looks like a mansion standing tall
My dreams of seeing an old house back to it's original state
Has me coming out in goosebumps, we hadn't left it too late
The ghosts that haunt the building, yes! we have a few
They approve of the surroundings I've heard them "boooo"
And I think they'll be quite happy, to have a new home
But I'll be quite nervy being home alone
I think they'll be kind to me but then again not
It was my family that caused the house to rot
But this generation rebuilt it and will love it from now on
And all the rot and deprivation has long since gone


Hangin On The Phone

Posted by CFMBabs , 17 November 2006 · 633 views

Yikes! My head is in a spin, my nerves can't take no more
My patience all but broken, my fingers becoming sore
I'm trying to make an appointment and I'm going round the twist
For everyone I talk to has gone out for lunch -- I've missed
Now I'm a sort of mellow and normally quite polite
But I'm finding this poliva a task I need to fight
I only want an appointment, I dont care when or who
But to make a date with a hospital is a very hard thing to do

The reciever on the telephone is ringing in my ears
Then I'm put on hold to the sound of Brittany Spears
"Oh Baby Baby I shouldn't have let you go"!
I found myself humming the rest I didn't know!
This song was never ending, it was grinding in my head
Then the record ended and they put Jacko on instead
'Thriller nights' is tolerable but not when you're hanging on
I almost had an answer but then they must have gone
Please, make me an appointment I'm losing my very wit
How much more can a person take I'm just hangin on for it

I'm clinging to a piece of paper, my name address and number
I'm sure the operator has gone off to bed to slumber
I've been sitting here for so long now my bottom's going numb
And then another catchy tune begins for me to hum
This time it's Kylie Minogue with a happy kind of tune
But I'll be hollerin Eminem if they don't answer soon
A sigh and the tapping foot aggravations setting in
And my very good intentions are starting to wear thin
Where are you Mrs receptionist? I really need a date
They'll have found a cure for me in the time I have to wait

The music stops abruptly and then a little voice
Can I help you today madam and I finally get a choice
I want to make an appointment, I need to see someone at the double
I need to see a speciallist for my spot of trouble
Will January be alright for you, it's the earliest one to date
Should I book you in for that one-- January O Eight
January when my dear, are you having a laugh and a joke?
I could be six foot under then, she never even spoke
Are you being serious, I asked with a little moan
I nearly had a heart attack on this ###### phone
She replied with a solemn voice, I'm afraid that's the only date
And if you want to be seen before, you'll have to ###### well wait
This appointment thing is useless, I'll suffer this pain instead
Coz waiting for a speciallist you'd end up being dead
I think I'll leave the conversation and back to the doctor I'll go
And make another appointment in a year or so

If I'm still here that is!


Gastro Man? Mr Bean Lookalike!

Posted by CFMBabs , 14 November 2006 · 689 views

My trip to the hospital was fraught with endless traffic ques and frustrated drivers. I'm sure the wind has something to do with it! It drives everyone to the brink of madness. My school teacher friend once told me that kids go crazy in the school yard when the wind gets up and I think I'm beginning to see her point.
Anyhow, I arrived just in time for my appointment with a red face and worried expression and I had a right to be so.
I sat in the waiting area, observing people walking by. It's never been a pastime of mine to watch people, but I was finding the whole thing quite amusing. This world certainly is full of characters and none more than in an hospital waiting room. I was asked at one point the way to the morgue. Me, know the way to the morgue? I hope not. Anyway I directed them to the desk at the front entrance, seemed perfectly logical to me.
My doctor peeped his head round a white gloss door and shouted my name with a huge smile. I walked into a blue room about the size of a cupboard and sat on a little chair. He jumped on the couch swinging his legs to and fro. His suit was hanging off his frame and looked as though it had been handed down through the generations. Mr Bean came to mind as he began to question the purpose of my visit. I explained that I was refluxing and choking and my rheumatologist was interested in him taking a look at me. He was very thorough and quite marvelous really, joking throughout his examination. He paid me a compliment by remarking that I had a figure most woman of a certain age would pay for although he frowned when he realised that I was much smaller in size than when he performed surgery on me two years ago.
The upshoot of the visit is that I'm having an endoscope just to check how things are getting along. I got away quite lightly in the end and the whole appointment wasn't that bad after all.
Not a single sign of a white coat and I'm back home with a reasonably good outcome.


Gastro Man

Posted by CFMBabs , 14 November 2006 · 716 views

I'm playing the waiting game at the moment; just 'hangin' around before I go to the hospital for a check up. This time it happens to be my gastro appointment and one which I don't mind admitting to dreading! Why? you may ask. Well, this one is a requested visit as asked for by my rheumatologist. She's concerned that the choking episodes may well cause me to have pneumonia yet again and as I don't want that to happen, then the appointment is rather important.
There's the bowel issues too. Oh, yes! the dreaded bowel issue. Some days I'm fine and others just want to make me wish I was some place else. I am of course talking constipation here, not my favourite subject of all but there you go!
You spend days hoping to go and then avoiding the moment when it becomes inevitable. I'm sorry to be so blunt but there's just no other way of putting it.
I try to plan my day around it--can't think, can't do anything constructive, everything revolves around that little trip to the bathroom. It begins to rule your life, your daily routine and your sole purpose to function. You feel guilty for putting more stuff in with an in depth fear of exploding! I take liquid food and I feel as though I'm just filling up at the petrol station and not burning the fuel.
The trauma of eventually going to the toilet is one which put's you off going for the rest of the week and so it all goes again!
My gastro doctor will be very interested, if not lecturous this time. He gave me some suppositories which look like jellied bullets to use last time. I took them on holiday with me and they melted in the heat. I put the rest in the fridge and they solidified again much to my relief in more ways than one.

The long drive is putting me off slightly, rush hour traffic and all. It'll take longer to travel home than the actual appointment and who knows what shape I'll be coming home in. My guess is a 24 hour PH monitor attached up my nose and down my esophagus, that's the worst outcome! At best, I'll get away scot free, here's hoping!
So Gastro Man here I come. I hope he has some special powers lined up for me today!
Asta la vista Baby!


Little White Lie

Posted by CFMBabs , 10 November 2006 · 675 views

I've never been a fan of dishonesty or telling lies, but a little white lie told for the benefit of good, never does anyone any harm in my opinion! Take my little porky for instance, that's what we call little lies in Britain!
This story goes back to the days long before the rot set in with sclero. I've mentioned the fact I owned my own business so many times now that the line is becoming tired. Fact is, I have so little going on in my life now that memories of my heyday are all I have for a giggle.

We have a local radio station which for a time ran a special lunch hour programme about local businesses. They encouraged us to make up a quiz team and then each day would put us on the radio against another team from another business. Are you with me so far?

We entered as a small team as there was only four of us then. Unfortunately, the radio station required more than four people and told us to find another one to make up the criteria. I had an idea! What if I entered twice as someone else by changing my voice a little? After all we were on the radio and no one would see me. The whole thing was only for a bit of a giggle. No one who entered the competition took it seriously and it wasn't such a great prize in the end if you happened to win. Most of the entrants were being silly anyway and the DJ was encouraging them to be so, so what harm would I be doing impersonating someone else!

I entered as myself and my then, 76 year old mum! We began the week by introducing the team. Barbara, Steve, Collette, Sally and Mum. The first round was easy. I was to anwer the questions that day, Collette the next and so on. We did okay but we were losing points to a dental surgery who were very competitive and serious. Us on the other hand were being silly and causing a rumpus much to the delight of the radio station and listeners who phoned in to say they enjoyed listening to us. We were becoming quite a celebrity. The final day was to be my Mum, well, me really! The first question was about the film "The King and I", an easy one! I anwered it in a shaky low pitch voice and sounded about 101 years old! The next question was harder and I was stumbling a bit on it. Steve, my husband, dropped his pen behind me and I made a joke to stall for time by saying that I'd dropped my specs on the floor and was having trouble getting up quickly. The DJ thought I was hillarious. I was doing all the silly things my Mum would have done and said had she been there for real-- even making a joke about my false teeth and good for nothing Son in Law, who was standing right beside me with a shocked expression.

Needless to say, even with all my efforts we lost but the backlash was yet to come! After the show went out on air, the DJ rang me to ask if my Mum was still in the building as he had a proposition to make. The station had been inundated with calls from listeners wanting to hear more from my Mum on the radio and the DJ wanted her on his show. I was really in a fix. Do I come clean and tell him it was really me? or carry on pretending that I had the whackiest Mum in the UK?
I decided to save face by telling him that she was really quite a shy person and had been really brave to do the quiz for us but was too nervous to go on his show.
After the phone call I realised that I had in fact created a fictitious character who had managed to get a job on the radio. My mum would have gone nuts if she'd known what I'd been up to.

My Mum is the quietest, most sedate person I know. I created a person so far from the truth that it was almost the biggest lie ever told, but funny all the same. For many months after the show was aired, people rang in to ask where my Mum was and if she was ever to rejoin the show again. The DJ rang me almost constantly to plead for her to go on his show but I declined each time.
It still brings a smile to my face and that of others, especially the girls who worked for me at the time, whenever I talk about it and my little white lie.

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