I know I was out of the house for only a few hours on Thursday, but there were some things that struck me, things that you don’t see or pick up on from TV. In reality this is my 7th year of being housebound, during which time I have been out a handful of times for hospital appointments, all have been at the hospital less than half a mile from our home, but distance means nothing as I still required the ambulance service to get me out of my house and to my appointment. The system at the Victoria is very different from the Dental hospital, at the Victoria once you have seen the doctor you are taken to a closed weighting room, to wait for you pick up to take you home. Being locked away for most of the time you are out, means you don’t see people, the average everyday people that we all expect to see in our daily lives. On Thursday, I wasn’t locked away, I was sat where I could see everyone coming and going, patients and staff alike. I think it was within our first hour of sitting there that I had to ask Adam a questions, I had noticed to my surprise that the majority of the people I saw, including the staff, were all severely over weight, my question was quite simply was this average or was there something odd about the groups I had seen, Adams answer was average. To that point, I hadn’t really understood just why there was so much on TV about obesity and nutrition, in fact I did write about it the other day, but honestly, the difference in seven years is scary, I now fully understand why the medical profession and government are so worried.
That is one of the problems of being housebound that I hadn’t fully been aware of, or even felt happening, I am now locked in a time warp, yes I watch more news than the average person does, somewhere in the region of 4 hours each day and I have even learned an amazing amount about politics and history, that I never had the time to in the past, but I actually don’t know what the real world is like any more. Just like the appearance of an entire motorway and the changing shape of the human body, I haven’t been out there to see any of it, the world hasn’t stood still for seven years, I have. I was always a great people watcher, happy to be almost anywhere alone, as long as there were others to watch and a world to take in, I was happy. In a strange way I still thought that I know people and understand what drives and fills their lives, much of it I am sure has and will never change, but clearly the world out there is no longer the world I knew. No matter how much TV I watch and how much Adam talks about the real world, my view is time warped and things that I thought were just Adam, like never being apart from his phone, was proved to my yesterday to a culture, not an individual change. Something major has changed and possibly my time-warp actually allows me to see what is happening in an odd way, putting together what I know of people and based on my own life.
Our nations changing waist lines I think can be pinned on just a few things and I will straight away put the blame on two things, the recession and technology. As mad as it sounds, I know that when ever I was short of money, I put on weight. The why is simple, the fattening foods are often the cheapest, you buy cheap and filling foods, rather than the more expensive healthy smaller portions, we want to see our baskets bulging, not just slim pickings. On top of that we will eat anything left by our kids, as throwing it away is a waste, just as throwing out those items that are going out of date, we stop seeing it as waste food, but as a waste of precious money. My age group and older will still have the “don’t waste because you don’t want” mindset passed onto us by our post war parents, I found it hard doctrine to brake, add in no money and the pounds roll on. Technology gets the next built, sitting has become our pass time, TV, PC’s and even phones now stop us from doing anything else, how can you live not seeing the next meaningless message on our phones. I don’t think I saw a single person yesterday who didn’t have one, even the medical staff, all had one clearly with them, people constantly checking their block of plastic. That time we keep saying we don’t have, to go on a walk or do something like swimming, is there in abundance if we just turned them all off. There is one other thing that I saw already starting when I was still out in the world, people were already not stopping, their lives where a constant rush in their cars, not on their legs. A rush between school, work and home, never stopping to cook a meal, to think what is in it and to enjoy the whole process of producing a family meal, then to sit and take time to eat it together. The fast meal on the hoof when each individual wanted it, no one eating the same thing, but each meal individual in every way possible, had already begun. The something ping meal had arrived, no thought, no planning, no attempt to control what they ate, just the fast microwave what ever the cheap stuff is, gone in a second longer than it took to prepare, cardboard filler had been born.
I don’t know why but one of the things that I thought I would see that had changed, was fashion, but it hasn’t. I didn’t see a single person who if they had been walking past my seven years ago, that would have made me look again. Jeans, leggings, mini skirts were all still there, just as the big scarf draped, rather than tucked in to keep you warm and all the other oddities of style, have remained the same. I know I wasn’t in a club or any of the places fashion are most visible, but ordinary was the name of the game, even in hair styles, usually the most visible statement. I know that fashion isn’t something I follow, but as a past watcher, I was disappointed. It was my hair that I noticed the most, having hair to below your waist, doesn’t work well with seat-belts on stair-climbers or ambulance chairs. It also caused one of the few laughs of my day as when I was being pushed out to the ambulance to go home, the wind caught it and throw it all into the face of the ambulance attendant pushing me and a passer by, turned right round to watch my purple hair fly. I will remember that moment for a long time to come, not just because the poor man had to untangle himself, but it was the first time I have felt the wind like that for far too long. My last few years of going out, were simply from home to work and back again, my hair just touched my shoulders by then, as I had given into convention and cut it. It hasn’t been cut since and I actually don’t intend to ever cut it again, even if the odd outing means I may loose several strands to strapping and men.
Seven years away from the world, people do change and I have just seen it, I saw yesterday just how damaged our lives can be by time and fashion. I live on line, I have no other way of joining in with the world, but I will tell you right now, if I could suddenly get my health back, it wouldn’t be spent watching TV, or connected to a phone. I am suddenly old fashioned, but I think I would rather be that, I would rather be part of a world that has time for people, the real breathing ones around me, before the rest of the world. Yes, I would still be here, I couldn’t give it up any more than I think others would give up their phones, the world has changed, but the old fashioned me, well I show that daily on twitter. It’s all about caring and sharing, about people and loving them, where ever they are or who ever they are, whilst not loosing sight of those closest to you, an amazing number of people seem to agree. Is it just nostalgia, or is it we all really just want the same.
Please read my blog from 2 years ago today – 08/11/12 – A plan is formed
It was and is pride that wouldn’t let me ask for help and my writing it all down, then posting yesterday with the knowledge that Adam would read, had the effect of me bulling myself, and it worked. Adam and I spoke last night and we are going to try something between ourselves to see if it will make any difference to……