Monday, December 10, 2012

Join the conversation.

.Roberto Matta.

It is very good John is staying here with us, it is nice to hear Richie talking with him in the front room, that is when he is not in the here with me.

My physiotherapist Matilda was here this afternoon 1400 for my Monday physiotherapy session.

She left at 1430 and I've been trying ever since to get my post dictated to the voice recognition software which was not easy.

Mainly because either the Dragon voice recognition software just did not cooperate with what I was dictating and just seemed to invent words.

Or because John was in the here wanting to talk and Richie would come in as well and before I knew it was a wonderful three-way conversation.

I'm going to stop now and look for artwork by Roberto Matta I will publish this on my blog and join the conversation.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

A Special Occasion,

Roberto Matta.

Yesterday Richie was very busy all day with me, the dogs and shopping for us and for our visitor who we were looking forward to a lot.

It was very exciting waiting for 20.00 when John said he would be here, and he was, it was very nice to see him again after so long.

We came to the conclusion that we had not seen each other since 1998 when we were still living at the Haarlemmer Dijk, before we moved in 2000.

Seeing John again was so natural, it did not seem like 14 years ago it felt like we had only seen each other a few weeks ago.

Good to be able to relate to each other just like we always did, nice to feel so relaxed in each other's company.

Richie is cooking dinner for the three of us, John brought us some vegetarian haggis, most of it is in the deep freeze, Richie has made some for us tonight.

Which we will eat with mashed potatoes and swede which is what is traditionally eaten on Burns night in January on Robert Burn’s birthday.

It really is lovely to see you a good friend like John again, I'm so very glad that he is here visiting us, this really is a special occasion being reunited with such a good friend.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Happy Anticipation .

Roberto Matta.

Two weeks ago we suddenly got a phone call from John a good friend of Richie's, from the oil rig where he is working, telling us that he would be coming to see us for a visit.

The visit was planned for the 8th of December for a week, which he hoped was okay with us, as he did not want to make problems for us.

We immediately reassured him that it was not a problem in fact it was the opposite; it was excellent news that he was finally coming to visit us after all these years.

it is absolutely not a problem to have such a good friend of both of ours, visiting us here, in fact it is the opposite it is a pleasure to have him visiting us in Amsterdam after all these years.

On Wednesday John phoned us to tell us that he was still on the oil rig due to the fact that unexpected snowfall meant he could not get a flight back to Glasgow.

He hoped that it was going to still be possible to get a flight back home to Glasgow, but may be it would have to be postponed until a later date; he promised that he would keep us informed.

We didn't hear anything more until around 1200 today when the phone rang and it was John to tell us that he would be arriving approximately at 1900 this evening.

Now we are both looking forward to seeing him again, how very typical of John to suddenly come and visit us, I think it is going to be a very good weeks visit.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Not gone to plan.

Roberto Matta.

It is amazing how today has totally not gone according to our plan; we were going to be ready for a good friend Anja visiting us around 15.00 this afternoon.

Anja rang just after lunchtime to say that because of the unexpected snowfall, where she lives there was over 20 cm of snow.

Apparently the bus service was not working at all well so she would not be able to get into Amersfoort in order to catch a train to Amsterdam.

Sadly the proposed visit had to be postponed until next week Friday when hopefully the weather will allow Anja to get to us in Amsterdam West.

My plan had been to get my blog posts done so that I could concentrate on other things, now I'm just going to do what I can and enjoy the evening.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

A relaxing night.

Roberto Matta.

Amazingly today has been a very pleasant looking day, with blue skies and weak sunshine sadly none of the snow that fell last night remained on the ground this morning.

Yesterday it rained all day and our three dogs did not like going outside, they seem to think that it was all Richie's fault that it was so wet outside, that they were almost refusing to go outside until it was dry again.

Yet when they went out later on and it was snowing they were delighted and jumped and played exuberantly in the falling snow, according to Richie it was a pretty sight seeing them play so happily.

Richie has taken them to the Rembrandt Park so that they can run and play to their hearts content and get rid of some of their excess energy, then they will come home happy for their dinner afterwards they will be relaxed and content dogs.

No sooner had I written this when the door opened and Richie and three dogs were back from the Park, by the sound of the dogs running around they had a good time which is good news for all of us as tonight will be very relaxed now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

What a relief.

Neither Richie now I were looking forward to the catheter change, especially Richie was not looking forward to having to do it once again.

I did not realise that he was having such dilemma about it otherwise I would not have asked him so very late on Saturday whether it could be done on Sunday.

Later on I realised that gone one o'clock Sunday morning was not such a good moment for that question.

I did not ask him again until Monday afternoon when I enquired whether I should ask is that our general practitioner or the district nurse to do the catheter change.

Richie said that when I asked him too late on Saturday night it had not been a good moment to him as he was panicking about doing the next one.

We agreed that Wednesday would be a good day to change the catheter, and today that is just want Richie did.

Last night a sleeping tablet allowed me to sleep without any worry about the change of catheter, this worked very well and I had a good nights sleep.

Half an hour before Richie before Richie inserted the new catheter I took a valium tablet which relaxed me for the procedure.

The whole catheter change went quickly and well, before I knew it was done; afterwards Richie and I were both extremely relieved.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

First Tuesday with Jools Holland on TV.

Roberto Matta.

The first Tuesday without the prospect of good music on Later with Jools Holland was not such a nice one, but I soon took my mind off it by listening to music by Bach.

Listening to Bach’s music is always an uplifting experience for me, I do like the classical composers Beethoven's is one of my big favourites.

I remember years ago when there was a sale at a WH Smith shop in Reading when everything was so cheap that I bought over 40 LPs.

I had a wonderful cross-section from Richard Wagner to Jimmy Witherspoon, Bessie Smith and many other wonderful artists.

I also bought a lot of rock 'n' roll, some rockabilly and punk music so great range of music which is what I enjoy listening.

In the afternoon I had an appointment Peter from the rehabilitation clinic, he was here to discuss the wrist supports which allow me keep using the Motomed.

As well as the exercises which I do in bed utilising the handle that dangles over the bed which I can no longer use to pull myself up with.

I now have two new handles to use in bed which will be easier for my hands to hold onto, a good appointment which was very useful for Richie and myself.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Keeping in touch.

Roberto Matta.

This afternoon a good friend Christoph came to visit us, we both met when I got a job working at a Sykes call centre.

It was not the worst of these call centres, which often resembled industrial milking parlours and had no care whatsoever for their workers.

Sykes certainly did get everything they could get out of their workers without giving very much back to their workforce.

When I started work there Christoph was one of the first people I met, he was a very supportive and friendly colleague, whom it was good to work with.

One thing that I did get from working at a Sykes call centre was a very good friend, I'm so glad that we are still in touch with each other.

At most places that I have worked I have kept in touch with people I've met that I like, it is nice to still be in contact with colleagues who have become friends.

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Enjoying Life.

Roberto Matta.
Yesterday was the first time since I began writing my blog every day in February 2009 that I did not write a blog post.

This was because I was getting too involved in introspective thoughts, thoughts which would just go round in circles.

Yesterday I wanted to do something different to break the cycle, and it worked instead of writing I spent the day relaxing and enjoying the world around me.

It reaffirmed again for me why it is important to enjoy and make the most out of each precious moment.

Enjoying the moment is really what life is all about; sometimes like yesterday I need reminding that it's not a cliché but reality, it is important to enjoy life.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Brilliant last edition for 2012 of Later with Jools Holland.

Roberto Matta.

On Friday late Richie and I both watched the last edition for 2012 of Later with Jools Holland on BBC2.

The performers were the following: Soul 2 Soul, Tift Merrit, Nona Hendrix, Lana Delray, Tom Odell, The Weekend, and Palma Violet.

The only ones I knew were Soul 2 Soul and Nona Hendrix who I remember from the wonderful La Belle, with Patti La Belle, sadly I can't remember the name of the other member.

I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Soul 2 Soul again, their singer Karin has a wonderful voice which I remembered as soon as she started singing, they are an enjoyable band to watch.

Nona Hendrix was absolutely glorious to hear singing again, she has not lost her magnificent voice, and I enjoyed watching her and her two wonderful backing singers and her excellent band.

Tift Merrit, Tom Odell, The Weekend, Palma Violet were all unknown to me which was good because it's always enjoyable to be introduced to performers you don't know.

Tift Merrit was absolutely wonderful, what a wonderful performer, she has it all, voice, guitar playing, songs and performance Richie and I could have watched and listened for much longer.

It must have been quite difficult for Lana Delray to follow three such good female vocalists as the singer from Soul 2 Soul, Nona Hendrix and Tift Merrit when you do not have a voice to match.

I have seen Lana Delray a couple of times and did not like her act, I was hoping she would be better this time, but despite a good band again I found her to be lacking, she has not got a voice.

Tom Odell was also not my cup of tea, but on Friday night I did enjoy listening to him singing and accompanying himself on the piano, for all those who like piano they will undoubtedly enjoy listening to Tom who is a charming young performer.

The Weekend was another act that weren't really my sort of music, whether the singer has a very good voice and I got drawn in to listening and enjoying the performance a lot.

Palmer Violet was a brilliant band who I liked when I heard them on Tuesday and Friday confirmed my opinion of them, they are a great rock 'n' roll band whose CD I'm going to buy.

It was extremely enjoyable to see the show on Friday, Richie and I are a little sad that Friday was the last show for 2012, on the 31st of December Jools Holland will be back with his Hogmanay show and next April the next series of Later with Jools Holland will be back on BBC2.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Optimism and Later Jools Holland.

Roberto Matta.

Yesterday in late evening when Richie took me to the bathroom to change my clothes for pyjamas, he had a look at my pressure wound.

He happily reported to me that the area around the wound was still nicely dry which was good hopefully it will mean that the wound will heal soon.

We are both happy about this and optimistic that when Milou returns on the 12th of December there will be progress which is noticeable to her.

Right now Richie has taken the dogs to the Rembrandt Park so that they can run and play before returning home contented.

Before he left Richie prepared our evening meal, on his return all you have to do is some finishing touches and then we can eat, I can't wait as it smells delicious.

Later on tonight there will be the last edition of Later with Jools Holland on BBC2 which both Richie and I are looking forward to immensely.

Sadly that will be the last programme until the on Hogmanay show on 31 December, which we and many others will be waiting for with eager anticipation.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Amazing difference in a day.

Roberto Matta.

Hopefully this time I will be able to dictate without any problems with the Dragon voice recognition software now that I've done a restart of my laptop.

It is Thursday today, when I was still working it was my favourite day because it was followed by Friday which meant glorious weekend free from work.

even though I am not working Thursday is still a favourite day of mine, and I still like the prospect of the weekend approaching, anticipation of a pleasant event is good fun.

Yesterday when I was put back into bed, Richie placed one of the torso supports on my leg just under the knee to lift the area of the pressure sore off of the mattress.

That evening when I was in the bathroom, sitting in the shower chair Richie had a look under the dressing to check whether anything had changed.

He was very pleased and reported that the area was much drier than it had been previously; amazingly the new procedure was having an effect already.

When I went back to bed Richie placed the support back under my knee where it stayed for the rest of the evening and during the night.

When Richie took me to the bathroom to put me under the shower, he removed the dressing and noticed that it was much drier.

How amazing that taking the pressure off the area has made such a difference in such a short time, it makes me feel optimistic.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Creative thinking for a solution.

Roberto Matta.

Last night I had a very unsettled night and kept waking up many times during the night worrying about the appointment with Milou, the wound nurse today.

Milou was here precisely at 1200 just as we had arranged, she said that the wound looked good but that the surrounding area was damp.

We have no idea what the cause is, Milou could only tell us that she could see that it started to happen mid-September, without the reason being apparent.

Richie has come up with a variety of ideas which he is going to try out and see if any of them provide a solution to the problem of the dampness around the wound.

One of the ideas is to use the extra supports that we have for my torso and place one during the day below my right knee in order to lift my right buttock from the bed.

The idea is to do this during the night so as to alleviate the pressure on the area where the pressure wound is located.

Richie is hoping to be able to come up with a resolution to this problem without having to turn me on to my side during the night, which causes painful shoulders and arms which trigger off spasms.

We are hoping that by trying different ideas we will be able to come up with a solution to the problem of the dampness around the wound.

Once the solution has been found hopefully the wound will be able finally to heal up so that once again I might be able to sit in my wheelchair.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More to look forward to.


Roberto Matta.

We had an early start today due to the fact that a supplier, Beenhakker was going to deliver the new cushion for the shower chair.

At 09.30 the doorbell rang and it was the engineer from Beenhakker with the new cushion, which he expertly attached to the back of the shower chair.

By the sound of his voice he sounded very friendly; Richie and he were very animatedly talking about the dogs that were playing around them.

Not too long after he left the phone rang and it was our friend John from Glasgow, telling me that he would be here on the 8th of December for a week.

He told me that if was anything we would like Scotland then I should send him an e-mail and he would see if they can get things we ask for.

We are both looking forward tremendously to seeing John in December, it will be special to see him again; we are both excited about the prospect.

Tonight Richie is going to start preparing the fruit for our Christmas cake as well as Christmas pudding, so more exciting things to look forward to.

I know I will have to wait a bit longer yet, but I do like the whole Christmas season my favourite days are 19, 20, and 21 of December.

Tonight I have another edition of Later with Jools Holland on BBC2 to look forward to, it is being quite day to day and it's not over yet.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Wonderful Surprise.

Roberto Matta.

Amazingly after the gloomy wet and windy weekend the weather today looks quite pleasant when viewed from my warm bedroom.

Especially after a delightful brunch of kipper and scrambled egg accompanied by two delicious oatcakes, it was a wonderful meal.

Happily I still have one packet of kippers waiting for me in the deep freeze, so whenever I fancy eating the last packet I will have another delicious meal.

The tasty kippers were brought here in September when Richie's sister Aud visited us for a wonderful visit, which went by much too quickly.

That is always the way when things are enjoyable, I'm sure that we will have the pleasure of her company again next year.

Something that can’t come soon enough as far as I'm concerned as it is lovely having Aud staying here with us, it is a shame we can't see more of each other.

Over the weekend a good friend of Richie’s, who also became a friend of mine, telephoned to say that he would be coming to visit us two weeks time.

So roundabout the 10th of December John will be visiting us from Glasgow, Scotland for a whole week, which will be wonderful I am sure.

We have not seen each other for 12 years so it will be quite reunion especially between Richie and John, how wonderfully typical of John to surprise us like this.

I was practically speechless on the phone on Saturday when he rang, now we have to wait to hear exactly when he will be here, how very exciting.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

No recognition.

Roberto Matta.

Today I've been having a dreadful time trying to get my Dragon voice recognition to start responding to my dictation.

It is now 20.06 and the English version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking finally is hearing my voice, it's a relief that I am finally able to write my blog post.

So frustrating because I've been trying to dictate a piece since not long after 1809 tonight, blimey that two hours lost trying to get the voice recognition to recognise my voice.

Ah well I guess once again all is well that ends well, I've nothing could moan about now that it's working again and I can dictate as much as I like.

Of course what has happened is that what I meant to write about is not going to happen tonight, not now because the recent events came in between.

I'm sure I will be able to remember tomorrow when I will endeavour to write about what was on my mind before Dragon voice recognition let me down so badly.

Richie has taken the dogs to the Rembrandt Park, they should be back any time now, in fact they are here now, they look ecstatic as well as very wet.

I'm going to stop writing now and look for another wonderful piece of artwork by Roberto Matta, as soon as I post this I'm going to relax and enjoy the evening with Richie.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Very Enjoyable Watching Later with Jools Holland

Roberto Matta.

Watching Later with Jools Holland last night on BBC2 was great fun; I really enjoyed myself tremendously listening to the wonderful music.

The performers were Sinead O'Connor, Courtney Pine, Biffy Clyro, Tame Impala, Lau, and Mud Morganfield.

I enjoyed every single performance, it was lovely to see Sinead O'Connor again she is a delightful performer and her band was good too.

Although I don't like jazz much I really enjoyed Courtney Pine and his excellent band, I could have listened to Courtney Pine for much longer.

Tame Impala from Perth Australia were magnificent; the riff they were playing was very reminiscent of Canned Heat, my favourite American band from the 70's.

Lau, a wonderful Scottish folk music trio who were playing accordion, guitar and fiddle who I enjoy listening to, good to hear more folk music again these days.

Jools Holland had a wonderful surprise for everybody by announcing the son of Muddy Waters, Mud Morganfield who was enjoyable to listen to.

My big favourites were Biffy Clyro, a band I've seen before on an earlier series of later with Jools Holland.

It was brilliant seeing last night edition of later with Jools Holland, I am looking forward to seeing the next edition on Tuesday next week which will I fear will be the last in this series.

The next time Jools Holland will be back is will be for his Hogmanay show on 31 December.

Friday, November 23, 2012

If Only Dreams Came True.

Roberto Matta.

Today I've been quite introspective which is not surprisingly given my situation of having multiple sclerosis and curvature of the spine.

Right now I don't want to be involved solely with my thoughts, that is why writing my blog has been and still is a very important part of my daily life.

Writing my blog has been crucial for me, I think it has helped to strengthen my resolve to enjoy everything that I can while I can.

It has put me in touch with lovely people from all over the world and that has been wonderful, it is so good to be able to get to know other bloggers.

The support I've received has been quite phenomenal and I appreciate all of it very much, I also enjoy being able to support other bloggers too.

I think that being able to support each other is absolutely essential for us as human beings; we need a society where mutual aid is central.

That would be much better than the society we have right now where everyone is competing against each other.

We all do so much better when we cooperate with each other for our mutual benefit, if only this were possible what a beautiful world it would be for us all.

Right now this is my dream hopefully it is one that is shared by others and it will be reality someday soon, for now I'm going to keep the dream alive.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Seizing The Moment.

Roberto Matta.

The day has positively flown by today before I noticed this was happening, right now looking outside I feel like it's the middle of the night.

Yet it is only early evening, Richie has gone off with the dogs to the Rembrandt Park so that they can let off steam by running around.

They will no doubt be back sooner than I think, elated and exuberant from their run in the park; they will also be excited about having their dinners.
I always have to make sure I turn off the Dragon voice recognition microphone otherwise all the excited  barking will be included in my text.

Then I will get rows of just two words are and the repeated over and over again, sometimes there are sentences which make no sense whatsoever.

We had a very pleasant evening yesterday with Lin when she came to eat with us, the three dogs were also very happy to see her when she arrived.

The fish and chips Richie made were delicious as were the salad as well as the plantain, onion rings and other tasty extras.

Lin is a very entertaining woman and as usual she had us laughing at her stories within minutes of arriving.

It was an enjoyable evening which we are going to repeat again soon, it really is nice to have friends around for dinner; it is well worth doing often.

Enjoying all the moments is really what life is all about, seizing the moment and making the best of it that you can, that's all that any of us can do.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Enjoying Life.

Roberto Matta.

Watching Later with Jools Holland last night on BBC2 was good, I enjoyed all of the acts last night, two of them were known the other three were new to me.

On Friday will be the extended version of the show which I'm looking forward to as it will be good to hear each of the performers doing two or three numbers.

This evening our good friend Lin, who runs the British General Store will be joining us for dinner at 19.00.

I'm looking forward to seeing her later on and hearing all her news, I'm sure she will have many stories to tell us.

It is always good fun having Lin around, she is such a good friend to both of us and the dogs positively her as soon as she arrives they will show off like crazy.

Richie is making fish and chips, with onion rings in batter, fried slices of plantain, peas, coleslaw salad, gherkins and pickled onions.

The condiments will be Geeta's onion chutney, tartar sauce, horseradish sauce, tomato ketchup, HP sauce, and a choice of Matauk’s Trinidad hot pepper sauces.

I can't hardly wait for Lin to arrive and to enjoy eating the delicious food Richie has made, his batter is delightfully light it enhances the fish.

I'm sure that we are going to have a very pleasant evening which we will all enjoy, despite everything I'm still convinced that life is to be enjoyed to the full.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful.

Roberto Matta.

Surprisingly after the miserable cold wet day yesterday that to day was a pleasant looking day to day with blue skies as well as sunshine.

Not the day I'd expected it to be, I thought we would get more rain seems we've got lucky.

It was very noticeable how difficult life has become for me recently, despite this Richie and I still manage to have a laugh which is wonderful.

The curvature of my spine is making everything more complicated; now that I have again managed to cope with being showered and dressed I am sanguine about life.

At the moment Richie is in the kitchen making dinner, which will be a delicious cottage pie with shards of cheese on top of the mash potatoes.

I'm looking forward to eating dinner and then not too long afterwards being able to enjoy Tuesday edition of later with Jools Holland on BBC2.

They are reasons enough for me to be cheerful about life on this very dark Tuesday early November evening, plenty of reasons to be cheerful.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Being Philosophical.


]Roberto Matta.

Roberto Matta.

It has been extremely frustrating to use Dragon voice recognition this afternoon as well as this evening, until now 19.35 I could not dictate my text.

What amazed me is the fact that I kept calm and cool however there was nothing I could do except wait for the Dragon voice recognition to work.

Which it has, finally it’s started to type in the words I am dictating, what relief as I was beginning to think that wouldn't be able to write anything today.

I was trying to be philosophical about it although that was incredibly difficult for me to do especially as I never like to miss writing my blog even for one day.

My other frustrations just now were with the fact that I could not pay for something using PayPal as they also seemed to have a problem.

I decided to stop trying to pay now and to return to it later on this evening and if that doesn't work then I will try to pay tomorrow.

The other thing that was not working for me was trying to ring a good friend, Gareth.

To let him know that we are thinking about him, his mother and his brother and sister now that his beloved father has died.

Over the weekend I had somehow added an extra digit to his telephone number which was the reason I could not get through on Saturday and Sunday.

Gareth has just phoned me, however I had to phone him back as he could not hear me, it was good to talk to him especially because of his dad.

Hopefully the last thing that was frustratingly will finally work with me in a minute and I can pay via PayPal for the item I have ordered.

I'm so glad that I have not let these annoying and frustrating things get to me much better to remain calm and wait for everything to improve.

Which it did do, then I received the phone call from Gareth, it was good to talk to him and let him know that Richie and I are thinking about them.