Thursday, 13 November 2014

Things that make you cry!

It's strange the things that can set you off crying.  Tonight I was just about to add cheese to the mashed potatoes when I remembered that I should put some aside for Cliff without cheese.  Then I burst into tears.

Saturday, 1 November 2014


I didn't realize that I would be feeling so much guilt related to Cliff's death.  In his final days I decided to check online and see what I could find out about post-operative deaths in patients who had the PEG procedure.  What I discovered, shocked me and led me to question why we had ever agreed to Cliff having this operation.  I know that I am beating myself up a bit more than I should but I am a research librarian.  Why didn't I research this procedure sooner, before it it took place in fact?  If I had, I would never have allowed it to take place!  I knew that we couldn't trust the NHS to do the right thing based on on their past history with Cliff.  Why would I think that this was any different?  I do feel as if I have failed him and I think it is going to take we quite a while to work through that. And I am left with the question whether he would still be alive if I had done my research sooner.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Brief Observation

I think that my cognitive abilities are improving.  Thank heavens!  Though I don't suppose I should celebrate too soon.  Instead, I find I am being overcome by a sort of lethargy.  I can sit for long periods of time, thinking of nothing in particular, doing nothing in particular.   Either that or I sit and play solitaire on my I-pad for hours on end.  I've had to ration the card playing but I find myself still reaching for my tablet with the intention of playing again!  If Naomi, my daughter wasn't here to tell me to do certain things, I wouldn't do anything.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Once More unto the Breach, Dear Friends

How many times have I said that I am going to start writing in this blog again and how many times have I failed to do so?  Don't answer that question, I certainly have no intention of doing so! However, I do intend to start writing here again.  I have come to the conclusion that I wrote here in the past because I had a need to do so and stopped because I didn't.  My husband of 37 years died 10 days ago and I have rediscovered the need to write again!  If what I have gone through so far is anything to go by, I have a lot to explore, examine and puzzle about, and as I have discovered in the past, writing helps me do that.

I suppose I will have to make some changes on this blog first.  It is no longer about surviving cancer, though here's hoping I have.  I think the focus will have to be on surviving the mourning process and whatever may happen to me next.  And even in that last sentence, there is a kernel of what I don't want.  I don't want things to happen to me.  I want to make sure that the next stage of my life is a series of events orchestrated by me, not by others and not by circumstance alone.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Slavery Conditions in the Paphos Detention Centre

I did promise to start writing regularly but it just hasn't happened yet!   However in trying to work out how to disseminate the following document from a friend in Cyprus.  Here it is below:

Slavery conditions in the Paphos detention centre
By Marios Demetriou, Simerini, 14 April 2014
The non-governmental organizations, Cyprus Stop Trafficking and Future World Center, have filed another complaint regarding squalid conditions of detention of aliens for the purpose of deportation. It involves a 17-year old Somali, Abdi Rasak Ome Mohamed, who has been held for almost 5 months at the Paphos police station, almost in complete isolation, wearing the same clothes he was arrested in last December, with insufficient twice-daily food provisions.
Arrest at the Paphos airport
The President of Cyprus Stop Trafficking, Androulla Christofides Henriques, informed SigmaLive that representatives of the organization, accompanied by a Cypriot lawyer and a Somali translator, visited the Somali minor last Friday, 11.04.2014. Ms. Christofides told us that until last Friday, he had not been allowed to contact a lawyer or any member of his family.
The youngster, who is not 18 yet (born on 02/11/1996), came to Cyprus in October 2013 and was arrested in December 2013 at the Paphos airport when he attempted to travel to Norway using a fake passport. He also carried his birth certificate confirming his age, taken from him by the police. He was arrested and incarcerated at the detention center, after being accused of possessing false documents; on January 14, 2014 a detention order and deportation were issued.
He had been beaten by El Shabab
The young Somali says that the reason he left Somalia was because he had refused to enlist himself in the outlawed Islamist terrorist organization El Shabab (which forcibly recruits teen Somalis, mainly from rural areas of the country). A member of the organisation threatened to kill him, he was severely beaten and lost 70% of his hearing.
Ms. Christofides told us that although he asked to see a doctor, he had not yet been transferred to the hospital for the necessary tests. He was refused even painkillers! The youngster complained that an officer of the Social Welfare visited him twice, the first week of his detention and three weeks ago, without the presence of a translator, and ignored his request to seek political asylum.
Living in an impoverishment situation
The 17 year old Somali told his visitors that he was allowed to go out in the courtyard of the detention center for 20 minutes every 3-4 days and he was always accompanied by a police officer. The rest of the time he is locked in his cell, alone. His clothes and his personal belongings were seized on the day of his arrest at the airport and have not been returned to him. He wears the same clothes for almost 5 months now (!), has not been provided with the basic toiletries such as toothpaste and shampoo (they were given to him by his visitors last Friday). There is a toilet in his cell and he is allowed to clean it with water only 3-4 days. Because of the stench, he is unable to sleep. He is given food twice a day, once in the morning and at noon, but not in the evening. As a result, he lost a lot of weight and his clothes do not fit him any more. He ties his clothes on his body with a plastic ribbon as he has no other clothes to wear... He also complained that officers in the detention center often force him to clean the cells of other detainees.

Request to Mr. Hasikos to free him

Ms. Androulla Christofides Henriques, president of the organization Cyprus Stop Trafficking wrote “Am Epos am Ergon “- “dictum factum, in a note to the Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos.”Dear Minister, you suggested that we should work together and I accepted that with enthusiasm! As part of this cooperation, I am sure that you will solve the problem of the young Somali boy who is being held at detention center in Paphos soon, (Easter is coming and it's a shame to make him stay in). In the context of our cooperation, our organization can take care of him and deal with the problem of his hearing."