Sunday, 21 December 2008

For Laura.

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Okay, I know that I have not blogged for a while and I apologise. In my defence, I have had exceedingly sore testicles and this had lead me to pursue pursuits in my spare time which lean less towards the typing and more in favour of curling up, grasping my genitalia and moaning softly.

In the past I may have been less than sympathetic to the trials of those who have injured gonads. Getting a chap drunk and betting him that he cannot house both his bollocks into a standard sized Marmite jar was a favourite pastime.

This is, incidentally, an easy feat, one simply pops them in, one at a time. Unfortunately there isn't room for both a plum and a digit, negating the chances of removing said testicles.

As I say, in the glory days of my youth, nothing made My Lordship happier than watching a grown man's face as he holds a claw hammer aloft and contemplates smashing the glass jar which houses his goolies.

This has changed.

I am not sure why I was surprised. After all, a soldering iron was plunged through my scrotum and I could have reasonably been expected to foresee that this may cause at least some level of pain, but the stories from those jaffas who had proudly gone before me were all of joy and pride.

I know, only now, that they were merely eager to be sharing their woe.

The initial agony was far from unexpected. No amount of localised anaesthetic was ever likely to entirely dull the pain and there is a limit to what measure any pain relievers are going to effect upon freshly seared testicles. I was, if anything, pleasantly surprised by how little things hurt once the anaesthesia had worn off.

What worried me was the residual pain which remained with me for weeks.

Now, when things first failed to settle I took it on the chin. It is hard to be anything but stoic when one has voluntarily submitted to such an intensely invasive procedure after all. When it became apparent that my continued discomfort was out of keeping with the advertised norm I had to admit some of the responsibility, after all I had been warned that 7-10 days of rest were called for, whereas I went straight back to work, attended a children's birthday party and generally failed to rest at all. As for the week of abstinence, well - I am sure that nobody really meant for me to remain celibate for a full seven days. I personally was rather proud that I had held off until the day after the operation, although I have to admit that this was more through Jim's protestation than my own self control.

Whatever the cause, after a few weeks I felt I had no choice but to toddle on back to visit Dr Watson to address the issue.

A bit of a prod around discovers a small amount of bruising around the area of the procedure in the right vas deferens, which happens in about 10% of men - nothing to worry about there - and a level of bleeding into the left of my scrotum which has left the poor little orb positively radiant with a ruddy hue and which appears to be unusual in the extreme.

I have the utmost faith in Dr W. (obviously, really - I let the man loose on both my testicles and my future family planning with an instrument which was clearly designed more for minor repairs to a transistor radio than for the severing of a sperm thoroughfare) and he is confident that the bleeding has now past, so I return to base camp.

The pain has yet to abate, but hopefully it will eventually subside. As things stand (and thankfully they still do) the pain is not unbearable, but the idea of living with it for my remaining share of eternity is not one I cherish.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

The Vasectomy

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Okay, so it is vasectomy time at last. The day started with the youngest Manley throwing a whole large tin of golden syrup on the floor (which was harder to clean up than I had thought) which served to take my mind off the oncoming procedure rather well.

The eldest at school already, the lovely Helen came to collect the younger brace and took them off for a picnic, so there was no real excuse to do anything other than press on to the surgery.

It's a fair old walk down to Dr Watson's dungeons, but I am legally excluded from driving home afterwards, so a walk it is. Normally it would be no problem, but I have a fairly nasty cold and my knee is playing up, not to mention the ever increasing feeling of impending doom.

Of course the receptionists are expecting me and all have a bit of a chuckle - you would think that, by now, they would be used to this sort of thing? Anyway, i settle down for a read of HEAT and associated pulp dross. I did find a nice article about retreats for the famous, which appeared in two seperate magazines, each professing to be from a seperate publishing house, with the same imagery, decoration and words.

A good rant about the improbably low quality of today's print media does help a little, but then Dug arrives. Dug is my boss and, if you want a top Search Consultant, Dug's the man. He also has a new car, so whether his readiness to collect me from the surgery was entirely down to his decency as a human being and his excellent man management has to be questioned when measured against his glee at now having a manual gearbox. Either way, Dug is here to collect me and I have not even gone in yet. I do a little jig as I go to meet him and there is a level of forced jocularity, although we both know that today is not going to be about fun.

Eventually I am called in and Jim comes with me. She is needed to take video footage and photographs, as well as there being the reasonable chance that she might faint, which would lighten my mood considerably, but she is sent out by the nurse. Apparently the first stage is mine to suffer alone.

First off I am placed behind a curtain and invited to strip from the waist down. I have got my massive padded cycling boxer shorts on, so I am a little bit pleased to have privacy, but I have always found it most odd that I get to hide whilst undressing, but then the nurse comes back to prod around with my goods.

Anyway, I get a hot water bottle to apply to my freshly shaven testicles and the doctor arrives. Making a loop in the end of an elastic band (questioning unearths that these are just normal elastic bands and that, indeed, he asks his postman for them) he slips it around my ever shrinking penis (by the time I lost sight of it I essentially only had a tube of skin left, as my willy disappeared back into my spine to escape the hell of surgery) just below the head.

This slips off and I have to reattach it myself, whereupon a pair of scissors shaped clamp is passed through the loop and the clamp attached to my shirt, serving to pull my phallus up onto my stomach and keep it out of the way. A green sheet with a small hole is placed on me, with the target items on the outside and Jim is finally allowed in.

To be honest the nurse was a bit more upset when I showed the elastic band to my wife than I was expecting. She was positively horrified, from what I could gather, but as far as I am concerned, I am doing this for Jim and she has to put up with seeing it, warts and all. I have no warts on my penis or elsewhere.

The next problem is losing cameras - the nurse is quite keen on removing them beyond my reach, but I am adamant. Many people do not understand, but if I am going to go through this then it is important to me to know what happened. It is also worthy of record, just so that, when my memory fades and I recall a 40" blade and searing pain I am able to correct myself.

Then it's the injections. They really hurt. Here, look for yourself:



How much does it hurt? The "Little scratch" (and I was most disappointed that there was no "little prick" joke) was not too bad, but the actual injecting of the local anaesthetic was bloody awful. You are aware, no doubt, of the pain of a dental injection, when it goes all the way to the back of your throat? This is the same. Yes - the back of my throat.

Next comes the vasectomy itself.



I can hear it burning my flesh, I can see the smoke and smell the singe. You hear in that clip how the doctor says there 'It's not a soldering iron'?




Soldering iron?

Soldering iron.



Here the vas deferens has been brought to the surface and Dr Watson is burning through with the soldering iron:



The tube serves to take away the smoke and the smell.

The hole has been clamped and the vas deferens burned, so it is time to locate the other vas deferens now (the left one was first, then the right).

There are two clamps in this image - the sharper, more standard clamps, which are used to seperate the tissue and find the vas (the scrotum not being a sack, but a series of layers of tissue) and the special device used to seperate the vas from everything around it, with the curved ends:



After another round of anaesthetic, it is time for searching for the other vas:



And there it is! (although actually this is the left one again - the right side proved harder to work on and needed a second run - when the second run started I had an active nerve and Jim had to put the camera down to be with me.



All in all, it was not as bad as it might have been, but still considerably worse than I had hoped. I have a couple of giant containers for samples and Dug drove me home so that I could get on with some work.

I'll update on the recovery later.

To give you an idea of what is going on down below during those videos, here's a bollock shot. This chap cuts and ties the Vas, but mine was burned with the soldering iron:

I am a Jaffa

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It hurt and it hurts, but it is all over now, bar the wanking.

Vasectomy consent: Given.

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Surprisingly it seemed to take Jim more summoning of nerve to sign the forms than it did me. I still feel terribly put out that Jim has to be involved in the decision.

As it happens this is her idea, although she is going off it as it comes near, in case I blame her in later life if she dies and I cannot sire children by another woman.

I am waiting with two children whilst Jim takes the third to school and yes, I suddenly can see all sorts of reasons to have a fourth. I wish I was dim enough not to realise that I am looking for outs here, so that I could legitimately bottle it, but to be honest I never want to shave my 'nads again anyway.




I, Richard Manley of XXXXXX
Hereby consent to undergo the operation of bilateral vasectomy, the nature and purpose of which has been explained by Dr M B Watson.
I consent to the administration of a local anaesthetic.
I have been told that the intention of the operation is to render me permanently sterile and that there is a very small chance I may become fertile again, even after two negative sperm counts.
I understand that two negative sperm counts must be obtained at 12 and 16 weeks after the operation to confirm my sterility. Until this has been confirmed my partner and I must continue to use a method of contraception.
I have been warned that the operation has a low complication rate usually due to infection or bleeding into the scrotum. I have been told that men occasionally experience some scrotal pain following vasectomy but due to the technique used by my Doctor this is considered to be unlikely.
Date.................... Signed....................................................... (Patient)
Date.................... Signed..................................................... (Girlfriend/Wife)
I confirm that I have explained to the patient the nature and purpose of this operation.
Date.................... Signed....................................................... (Doctor)

Vasectomy day.

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My freshly shaved balls are itching, my heart is aching and my hay fever is perverse.

I am sitting contemplating the vasectomy consent form before me.

I will sign, but I do need to consider it for a while, none the less.

The first half of this is terrifyingly appropriate.



Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Vasectomy shave 3

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This goes on a bit, but it is probably worth watching me cut my own testicles twice.

Vasectomy shave 2

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A second attempt - the scissors worked well, but I just lose my nerve part way through and need a break.

UPDATE: The final instalment of the shave

Vasectomy shave 1

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Not much to say here - the beard trimmer simply did not work, so I have to find some scissors somewhere.

I am nervous as hell.

Sound quality is poor (well, very quiet) so you need headphones - although, to be honest, it is not worth watching really.

Update: I continue my shave.

Vasectomy instructions, an analysis.

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Padded pants, requests for sex and raw fear.

Instructions for a vasectomy

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BEFORE YOUR OPERATION

Please attend for your vasectomy on 16/10/2008 1115
Please note that you will need to come to the back door of the building through the car park as the main doors will be locked

1. Please shave the hair from the scrotum with a safety razor but it is not necessary to have a complete shave of the pubic area

2. Please wear tight underpants, which give support to the scrotum.

3. When you attend for the operation, please bring someone with you who are able to take you home. For legal reasons you must not drive yourself.

4. Please bring something interesting to read whilst the vasectomy is being carried out.

5. Be prepared to rest for 48 hours after the operation and if you have a very heavy job please arrange for some days off work if at all possible.

AFTER YOUR OPERATION

1. Please take it easy for at least 3 days avoiding heavy lifting and rushing about.

2. You may shower in the evening following your vasectomy but avoid bathing for 3 days.

3. Some pain and bruising is usual. Paracetamol should help but if you are worried in any way please contact us Tel: XXXXXXX. Urgent advice over the weekend: XXXXXXX

4. Please make love when you feel comfortable, for most men this is at least 7 days after vasectomy. It takes about 20 ejaculations to clear active sperm left in your system.

5. Remember to use other contraception until you have had two negative sperm counts and a letter stating that you are sterile.






The chances of failure of vasectomy are very small (less than 1 in 2000 vasectomies), but even after being confirmed sterile there is stiii a remote chance of the tubes healing together. We emphasis that pregnancy occurring after vasectomy is however a rare event and as a comparison vasectomy is 10 times more reliable than a sterilisation operation for your wife.

HOW TO COLLECT YOUR SPERM SPECIMENS
Two specimens of semen are required: the first at 12 weeks and the second at 16 weeks after the operation. The whole of the ejaculation needs to be collected in the plastic container provided and posted through the letter box beside the door of the pathology building at RD&E Wonford Hospital before 9am. Please do not take specimens on a Saturday or Sunday as the laboratory is closed.

After your second negative sperm count has been received we will write to you within 10 days and confirm that you are sterile. Please remember we cannot under any circumstances give results out over the telephone and we appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Monday, 13 October 2008

Vasectomy shave.

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Well, I have to shave my testicles prior to the operation and I thought it best if I had a dry run.

I won't spoil it by explaining it all here, I shall just let you see it for yourselves (SFW except perhaps for the manic hippy in it).



Right, well I think that covers everything.

Having shaved the area with my beard trimmer I shall move on to a cut throat razor and clear the area of any stubble, ready for the vasectomy on Thursday.

Also, I think it is noteworthy that I would never do this outside of a medical scenario where I absolutely need to be clean shaven in the testicle area - bald balls are just not my thing.

Update: The actual shave.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Vasectomy leaflet.

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Well, I have a leaflet explaining my vasectomy to me.

I am having what is called a 'No Scalpel Vasectomy', which is a Chinese practise and which scared the crap out of Manleys.



No Scalpel Vasectomies at St Thomas Health Centre
Available: You can get an appointment now for a vasectomy within 3 months
Local: At St Thomas Health Centre. Run by a local general practitioner for Exeter patients
Convenient: Procedure out of normal working hours. Minimal disruption to your job

Advantages of No-Scalpel Vasectomy over conventional methods:
  • Less discomfort
  • One small opening in the skin instead of two incisions
  • Faster procedure
  • Faster recovery
  • Less chance of bleeding and other complications
  • Just as effective


How Can I Be Sure I Want a Vasectomy?

Be absolutely sure you don't want to father a child under any circumstances. Talk to your partner; it's essential to make the decision together. Consider other kinds of birth control as well. A vasectomy might not be right for you if you are very young, your current relationship is not stable, you are having the vasectomy just to please your partner, or if you are under a lot of stress.


Well, I am not very young, so that's one anyway!




What is different about a no-scalpel vasectomy?
No-scalpel vasectomy differs from a conventional vasectomy in a number of ways. Instead of two cuts the doctor makes one tiny opening with a special instrument. The "tubes" are then blocked using a cautery method. There is very little bleeding and no stitches are needed.

The no-scalpel vasectomy was invented by a Chinese surgeon and is used throughout China. It was introduced in the United States in 1988 where it is now the preferred method because of its low complication rate. Dr Watson, a St Thomas general practitioner, is fully trained and accredited to perform the no-scalpel vasectomy.

Is no-scalpel vasectomy safe?
Vasectomy in general is safe and simple. Vasectomy is an operation and all surgery has some risks such as bleeding, bruising, or infection. However, serious problems are very rare; less than 1 in 100 cases have even a minor problem.

Does no-scalpel vasectomy work?
Yes. It is estimated that after a vasectomy there is less than 1 in 2000 chance that a man's partner will become pregnant. This is ten times more reliable than if your wife had a sterilisation operation.

Do I need a referral?
Yes. Please consult your GP first. Provided there is no medical reason would make it unwise or unsafe to have a vasectomy your GP will refer you to our clinic.

How long will the no-scalpel vasectomy procedure take?
You come to see us for a consultation at which we explain the procedure and answer your questions. Your partner does not have to attend with you but it may be helpful if she does. You then book in for the procedure to be done on another day.

On average the procedure takes about 10 minutes but you will be at the surgery about 30 minutes in all. You should bring someone with you to drive you home afterwards.


"Bring Jim!" Bloody sexism that is!





Will it hurt?
Before the vasectomy if you feel especially nervous, we can give you a mild sedative to be taken an hour beforehand to relax you. When the local anaesthetic is injected into the skin of the scrotum, you will feel some discomfort but as soon as it takes effect, you should feel no pain. Afterwards you may be sore for a couple of days and you might want to take a mild painkiller. But the discomfort is usually much less with the no-scalpel technique because there is less injury. Also there are no stitches. You will be provided with complete instructions about what to do after surgery.

How soon can I go back to work?
You should not do heavy physical labour for at least 48 hours after your vasectomy. If your job doesn't involve this kind of work, you can go back to work sooner.

Will vasectomy change me sexually?
The only thing that will change is that you will not be able to make your partner pregnant. Your body will continue to produce the hormones that make you a man. You will have the same amount of semen. Vasectomy won't change your beard, your muscles, your sex drive, your erections or your climaxes. And you won't sing soprano! Some men say that without the worry of accidental pregnancy and the bother of other birth control methods, sex is more relaxed and enjoyable than before.

Will I be sterile right away?
No. After a vasectomy there are always some active sperm left in your system. It takes about 20 ejaculations to clear them. You and your partner should use some other form of birth control until two samples of your semen have been tested and confirmed free of sperm,

When can I start having sex again?
As soon as you are comfortable, but remember to use some other
kind of birth control until you have received the letter to say that you
are sterile.


Well, that is less comforting. I might need a sedative and I will no longer be able to sing soprano.




Does vasectomy cause any medical problems?
Medical experts, including special panels convened by the World Health Organisation, have concluded that vasectomy is a safe procedure. A number of studies have examined the long term health effects of vasectomy and the research evidence continues to be reassuring and suggests that vasectomized men are no more likely than other men to develop heart disease, cancer or other illnesses.

Will it protect me from getting or passing on STDs or AIDS?
No. It will only prevent you from making your partner pregnant. If you or your partner have a sexual disease, or have more than one sexual partner, the best way to protect yourself and your partner is to use a condom.

Can a no-scalpel vasectomy be reversed?
No more than any other vasectomy procedure. Remember that vasectomy, especially by the no-scalpel method is quick, convenient and causes very little discomfort but vasectomies should be considered permanent. Reversal operations are expensive and often unsuccessful. If you are thinking about reversal perhaps vasectomy is not right for you.

To book an appointment, please see your GP.


Well, I had thought about freezing something, although that was more for future practical jokes than anything else.

I find it very hard too understand that there are poeple out there dim enough to think that burning through their scrotum (oh GOD!) will stop them from contracting AIDS and I wonder if we should tell them. Perhaps they deserve to be caught out?

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Sainsbury's car washes suck, part two.

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It is unfair not to explain.

I always understood that supermarket car washes only took "normal" cars, that is to say 5 door saloons and the like.

Anything high, or anything with odd shapes I had always thought were a no-no, but they have a large list of things to avoid.

I looked at the list and took the trouble to remove my rear parking mirror (which is part of the car and is factory fitted), since they stated not to have one, just to be on the safe side.

And it ate my car.

The first spray went okay, then the hard metal dryer bit came across, spraying.
It went up the front in front of the mirrors and, as soon as it cleared the top of my right mirror, which is slightly lower than the left one, it came straight for the windscreen.

It smashed straight through the mirror and then lifted up, but had got inside the frame and so it lifted the front of the car off the ground repeatedly.

I sounded my horn as soon as it touched, but it took the woman a good couple of minutes to stop it.

When it hit the mirror I was a bit concerned, but then it just exploded the whole mirror unit and I was really genuinely scared that it was coming through the window.

When the car started lifting up and down I was not so bad, but everyone else was understandably shocked, although I was becoming worried about what it would do next - with the sensor failing and knowing it could pick the front of the car up, I was worried it might come down on the back and crush the kids.

It took far too long to stop it - I sounded my horn and after a while a customer came over and stopped the machine, but to be honest that does not seem good enough - if a window had broken and water was being sprayed at a kid in a child seat they could easily drown in that time, not to mention being crushed or hot wax through a sun roof (if someone was daft enough to open their sun roof!).

I was going to drive to Milton Keynes tomorrow, but now I cannot as I cannot really go up the motorway with no mirror, a smashed frame hanging off the side and, hopefully not, but possibly, a bent superstructure, where the body rises beside the windscreen and the door hinges attach.

[UPDATE: David tells me it is called the 'A Post'.]

I guess it will have to be a hire car.

Sainsbury's car washes can eat your car.

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Try something new today, that is what Sainsbury's says.

Well it tried something new today, it tried eating a bloody Delica with one of its car washes.

I am far from pleased.

Saturday, 27 September 2008

It's a date!

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Well, I went to see the doctor last night for a bit of a pre-op chat. I discussed things with a friend who is already a Jaffa and he described things from his perspective and I felt very comfortable with things.

Jim came along, as my relevant significant other, to give her blessing and to make sure I did not bottle it. After all, as she keeps reminding me, we agreed that this was for the best.

I was allowed in early, but all the receptionists know that Dr Watson's late night Thursday surgery is the vasectomy surgery and there was an unnecessarily high level of mirth emitting from the denizens of the reception. I owe the surgery £19.99 for a letter from a few months ago, so I made another attempt to pay it, but was, as always, sent away with the mocking laughter of the receptionist's disgust. If I want to pay then I shall have to find the original invoice. I think that I shall probably simply not bother for now.

Dr Watson is considerably slighter than most doctors. He seems a little shocked that Jim is accompanying me and passes comment, before offering me a chair next to his desk and insisting that Jim occupies a chair in the corner, as far from his desk as is feasible.

The comfort which discussing a vasectomy with the doctor without Jim's input is short lived as a laminated diagram of male genitalia is produced and placed before me. Now, I have long since understood that the severing of the vas deferens before they reach the seminal vesicles is the basis of a vasectomy, but it is a very different matter when I am sitting looking at a picture of a particularly small specimen with hugely oversized black sperm swimming towards the break.

Dr Watson tells me that he will have done 700 vasectomies by the time he has finished mine and I cannot help but wonder what kind of dreams a man who has maimed fourteen hundred testicles might have.

We have a bit of a vasectomy chat and discuss the issues which surround the procedure, which I shall go into at a later date. I mention my fear that, should Jim be brutally slaughtered by a jaguar which has swum the Atlantic, I may want more children by another lady in the future. Dr W gives this serious consideration and has a good response, but I can tell that the big cat reference was not overly appreciated, so I avoid any comments about the Leopard which I had envisioned coming over on the Chunnel to finish the job.

Well, it turns out that the hole which Dr Watson will be making in my scrotum is only 1mm by 3mm, which doesn't sound so bad. Apparently it will stretch to about a 3mm diameter circle during the procedure, but will shrink back almost immediately without any stitch or suture. I did enquire about inserting a transdermal implant at this stage but, whilst he thought the idea had merit, Dr W tells me that what I get up to in the comfort of my own home after he is finished is up to me.

It is explained to me that I have to continue using contraception for 16 weeks after the op, which includes 2 sperm counts. In China apparently the norm is to merely wait for 24 ejaculations, which I describe as 'a good afternoon's work', but which the good doctor tells me is an afternoon's work which will be both highly uncomfortable and unlikely to leave me in any fit state to take advantage of my haste. Basically it is 16 weeks for me.

"Right then, let's have a look at them then."
"Damn! I thought that this appointment was just for a chat. I am not sure how fresh I am, I have cycled here from work, you see."
"That's not a problem, I cycled to work today as well."
"Yes, but I am not going to be touching your genitals."
"Not on this occasion, no."

I am going to like this doctor.

Why is it that I am placed behind a screen to lower my trousers and pants? I go behind, drop me kecks and hop up on the couch, then Dr W comes around and pokes my nads for a few minutes before retiring to allow me to dress. What is the privacy for? I hardly gain from it and it all seems a little unnecessarily coy to me.

The doctor manipulates my testicles until the vas deferens comes up to the surface and shows me it through the skin. He explains how the scrotum is not an empty sack, but is made up of many layers and is, essentially, full. As he releases this vas deferens and hunts to bring the next one to the surface in the same spot, I comment on how strange it is that in can change shape and size so dramatically if it is full, but I am also acutely aware that, for whatever reasons of its own, my penis has shrunk to the size of a whelk. This is not the time to let me down with your irrational fear, little soldier. I want to get some decent shots of this and I am not going to want to keep them if I appear in them as a hairy twelve year old.

I broach the subject of having a photographer and video at the operation and he has no problems at all. He offers to bring a mirror too and suggests that it will make things less boring and that he would normally advise that I bring a good book. Jim is not so keen and becomes convinced (and still is) that she will pass out when he begins to burn into my testicles. The only concern which the doctor expresses is that if I try and watch directly by sitting up, I may be in his way and, if Jim zooms in too much, he won't look terribly photogenic.

"Anyway, that's no problem at all, I sometimes have trouble with the 18 stone truckers, getting the vas deferens to the surface, but it is no problem at all with a slim chap like yourself."

SLIM!

At work and home alike, I am routinely ridiculed for my obesity. Dr Watson, whilst not my regular doctor, is GP to a number of my friends and is well know for being particularly pernickety about weight. And he said that I was slim. In front of a witness. Jim laughs and I protest, fishing slightly. "I am fifteen and a half stone and I am hardly thin!". I bare and wobble my stomach at this.

The compliment I am after is duly delivered: "At your age there will be some loose flesh, but you are definitely not overweight. I am very happy with your weight, we have no problems there."

HAH! Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, David 'fat face' Tapp.

Anyway, from here I return to the desk, although Jim has now occupied the chair closest to the desk, presumably to make it clear who makes our decisions. She is wearing trousers, whilst I am only wearing shorts, which is coincidental, but appropriate.

I pick up the diagrams from the desk and notice that there is a need to shave. "You are shitting me!". But apparently he is not. Being bearded, I shall actually have to purchase a bloody razor for the job and, frankly I do not relish this at all. Having a cock like a dolphin is not my idea of fun at all. I have had a quick look for my cut-throat to see how I can manage with that, but I appear to have lost it.

One of the things about having children is that I do tend to put things in safe places, out of reach. Sadly I also am slowly losing my mind and cannot remember where I put anything at all. I digress.

Anyway, I explain that, now that Jim has let me down three times already, I am ready to give up my fertility. He asks if I am sure and I nod to Jim and say "Absolutely, she told me just this morning". Immediately catching on the the fact that I have 3 daughters he offers some condolence and is shocked to learn that even Bun, the cat, is female. What am I letting myself in for here? Is my family name to be severed as cleanly as my tubes by this vasectomy?

He has some selected questions to be sure whether I am being bullied into this and quickly determines that I am. We have a few talks about effectiveness and procedure and I wince a few more times at the fact that he is going to burn a hole through my sack and I am released with a date 3 weeks from now.

I shall look through my disclaimer forms and try not to panic about things such as this, this, this and so on. Also, a man burning a hole in my 'nads. Let us not forget that bit.

*shudder*

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Vasectomy counselling

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Well, when I initially visited the doctor about my vasectomy I also had torn the cartilage in my knee. My visits to the quack normally works like this, I save up 3 or 4 issues until I get something serious enough that I cannot wait any more and then go bustling with ailments to present for her delight.

I always suspected that this makes me somewhat unpopular with the Doctor, but I recently changed practises and my old GP, Laura, was evidently sad to see me go, so I assume that it is only the receptionists who become irate. Where do such obnoxious women come from anyway? Is there a doctors and dentist receptionist nest somewhere, churning out mentally retarded clones, with only the very worst being selected to be a school secretary?

I digress.

Anyway, the severity of my knee injury (I am awaiting a call from my surgeon as we speak) distracted somewhat from the old vasectomy nad-hacking and the chat I had with the locum at the time was fairly minimal. Today I have to have a proper talking to.

The thing is, I rather fancy that I DO want to keep my old chap in full working order. I know it sounds harsh, but the reason that we want no more children is a) we have enough, but more importantly b) that Jim is a bit knackered after squeezing three out and frankly does not think that she is physically up to a rematch. Whether she is with me or anyone else, Jim just does not want to go through another p
pregnancy.

On the flip side if, for the sake of argument, Jim dies, perhaps after being mauled to death by a jaguar which has swum across the Atlantic or a leopard which has walked across from Africa and stowed away on the Chunnel (and I hope it's the jaguar because I prefer spots in my rings), I might find me another special lady.

Not straight away, you understand. I'd leave a reasonable period of 4 or 5 days before moving a new woman into the house.

Anyway, what if this new lady wants sprogs? It seems hardly fair to deny her simply because Jim doesn't feel up to the task. Bloody slacker!

Anyway, for whatever reason, I am told that we have decided that, since sterilisation is so much more invasive than a vasectomy, it is Manley who needs to have a sodding great blade thrust into his genitalia and, if that is what we have decided, who am I to argue?

Anyway, tonight is round two of the vasectomy quest. I'm off to see Dr Watson to discuss the removal of my fertility. wish me luck.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Vasectomy Time.

Digg this

Right then, I think that the title is pretty much Ronseal (that is to say 'self explanatory' for any non-Brits out there).

I have 3 daughters aged 6, 4 and 1 and I do not think I need any more, so it is about time that I put my money where my mouth was and got the deed done.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

This is utterly childish.

Digg this

░░▓█▓░░░░░░░░▄█▄░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░░▒▓▒░▒ ░▓███▓░░░░░▄█████▄░░░░░░░░▒▒▒░░░▒▒░░▒▒▒▒▒ ░░▓█▓░░░░░█████████░░░░▓███▒▒▒░░▒▒▒▓▒▓▒▓▒ ░░░▓░░░░░░░█▓▓▓▓▓█░▒▒███████▄▒░▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒ ███▓████████▓▓█▓▓██████▓██▓██████████████

Thursday, 27 March 2008

International Mockney Day

Digg this

27th March is international Mockney Day.

Alright Geezer?

Go spend your workday being phat and large, before returning home for some jellied eels and a spot of television and climbing the apples and pears to your comfy Ikea bed.

Sorted!

Friday, 14 March 2008

Woman stuck on toilet for 2 years

Digg this

Just so you know, learning that a Kansas woman allegedly spent two years on the toilet did not directly influence my decision to cease weighing my turds.

Police in Kansas are investigating after a woman became stuck after sitting on her boyfriend's toilet for two years.

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the 35-year-old woman's skin had grown around the seat.

She initially refused help from medics but was finally convinced by ambulance crews and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.

"We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital," Mr Whipple said. "The hospital removed it."

Mr Whipple said investigators planned to present their report to the county attorney, who will determine whether any charges should be filed against the woman's 36-year-old boyfriend.

"She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body," Mr Whipple said. "It is hard to imagine... I still have a hard time imagining it myself."

He told investigators he brought his girlfriend food and water, and asked her every day to come out of the bathroom. of their home in Ness City.

"And her reply would be, 'Maybe tomorrow'," Mr Whipple said. "According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom."

The boyfriend called police on February 27 to report that "there was something wrong with his girlfriend," Mr Whipple said, adding that he never explained why it took him two years to call.

She was taken to a hospital in Wichita, about 150 miles southeast of their home in Ness City. Mr Whipple said she has refused to cooperate with medics or police.

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Digg this

209

BUT!

I have had enough of this, I am not going to weigh the bloody thing on my return.

This project is OVER!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Digg this

207.4

204

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Digg this

207

206.4

Monday, 10 March 2008

Monday!

Digg this

Domething

209.4

205.6

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Saturday

Digg this

201.7

=================
I am having a poo
=================

200.4

Friday, 7 March 2008

Friday!

Digg this

204.4

=================
I am having a poo
=================

202.8

A lunchtime run - only a mile and a half, but the start of training for a marathon in October.

207.2

=================
I am having a poo
=================

206.8

The Matthewparkers came to our house and cooked us dinner, including home made raspberry ice-cream.

I have excellent friends.

208

=================
I am having a poo
=================

207.2

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Thursday!

Digg this

202.4

=================
I am having a poo
=================

197.8

Massive!

209.6

=================
I am having a poo
=================

209

David Tapp's guest poo:

178.6

=================
Tapp is having a poo
=================

178.2

GOLF!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Wednesday!

Digg this

205.4

=================
I am having a poo
=================

201.3

209.6

=================
I am having a poo
=================

208.6


209.6

=================
I am having a poo
=================

208.2

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Tuesday!

Digg this

204.8

=================
I am having a poo
=================

203

211.8

=================
I am having a poo
=================

209.7



208.6

=================
I am having a poo
=================

208.2

Monday, 3 March 2008

Monday!

Digg this

199.2

=================
I am having a poo
=================

198.4

207.2

=================
I am having a poo
=================

204.6

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Mother's day!

Digg this

Mothers day = mothering things.

198.8

=================
I am having a poo
=================

194.8

a 4lber!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

We're all going to the zoo, well, today really.

Digg this

199.2

=================
I am having a poo
=================

195.6

Today we all went to the zoo with Dagnall and his mother and daughter.

Friday, 29 February 2008

Leap year poo!

Digg this

204.4

=================
I am having a poo
=================

202.8

Thursday, 28 February 2008

Gestation period is up!

Digg this

201

=================
I am having a poo
=================

197.6


40 weeks of blogging!


204.8

=================
I am having a poo
=================

204.2

About poo.

It is mothers day today, so we will be doing mother things.

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Digg this

202.2

=================
I am having a poo
=================

198.8


205.4

=================
I am having a poo
=================

204.6

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Digg this

203.2

200.2

Getting fat again!

204.8

203.2

Monday, 25 February 2008

Digg this

202.2

201

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Digg this

199.6

196.6

Identical poo to yesterday!

204.8

202.2

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Digg this

199.6

196.6

Friday, 22 February 2008

Digg this

196.8

195.6

Where to stop?

Digg this

My workload is very high at the moment, so I have made the decision to call a halt to the log blog at the point where I would have carried a baby to full term, rather than stretching to a full year.

I am unsure whether I should do this on 28th February (40 weeks from My first documented poo, on 24th May 2007, or whether I should wait until 10th March so that I do not include the single day I missed, on Ben's stag weekend, back on Sunday, 3 June 2007.

I weigh 204.6lb

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 203.4lb and would appreciate any emails helping with this decision.

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Ben's neighbours.

Digg this

I weigh 201lb

==================
I am having a poo
==================

I weigh 197.8lb


I know I am being lame with my blogging at the moment, but I AM very busy.

I just want to say hello to Ben and Kate's new neighbours (next door but one).

Hello!

I weigh 200.2lb

==================
I am having a poo
==================

I weigh 196.6lb

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Digg this

195.6

192.6



201


199.4

Monday, 18 February 2008

Digg this

200.2

199.8


202.4

200.4

Sunday, 17 February 2008

Digg this

196

193.8

Saturday, 16 February 2008

Digg this

197.6

196

Friday, 15 February 2008

Digg this

198.6
=================
I am having a poo
=================
197.6


204
=================
I am having a poo
=================
202.4

206.6
=================
I am having a poo
=================
204.6

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Digg this

201
=================
I am having a poo
=================
199

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Digg this

200.8
=================
I am having a poo
=================
199.2

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Digg this

196
=================
I am having a poo
=================
193.2

--------------

196.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
190

Monday, 11 February 2008

Digg this

205
=================
I am having a poo
=================
204.4

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Digg this

196.8
=================
I am having a poo
=================
194



200
=================
I am having a poo
=================
198.8

Saturday, 9 February 2008

A note from my mum.

Digg this

I weigh 198.8lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 193.6lbs.

As you will have noticed I have been a bit sparse with the posting of late - I have recorded the weights of all my stools, but I have been under the weather (indeed, ill).

I shall back-fill my posts as best I can, certainly with weights, as soon as I am up and about.

Cheers,

Manley

Friday, 8 February 2008

Digg this

194.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
195.8

https://www.stjohnrestaurant.com/shop/?ID=1

201.8
=================
I am having a poo
=================
198.2

203
=================
I am having a poo
=================
200.4

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Digg this

196.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
195.8

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Digg this

203
=================
I am having a poo
=================
199.8

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Digg this

196.6
=================
I am having a poo
=================
190.4

Monday, 4 February 2008

Digg this

204.2
=================
I am having a poo
=================
201

Sunday, 3 February 2008

Digg this

192.2
=================
I am having a poo
=================
189

Christening

Saturday, 2 February 2008

The day before.

Digg this

This week has been a bit

198.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
196

Friday, 1 February 2008

Digg this

204.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
199.4

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Digg this

194.6
=================
I am having a poo
=================
192.4


202.2
=================
I am having a poo
=================
200

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Digg this

195.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
191

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Guest poo number two.

Digg this

This is Rowan:



Today, Rowan will weigh his poo for us.

I weigh 200lbs precisely.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 198.2lbs, but now it is time for Rowan to have a poo. Rowan weighs 151.4lbs. If we say that men are, on the whole, larger than ladies and my wife is a lady, then I am twice the weight of my wife. Being that she is undeniably a woman and I am fairly confident that I am a man, if Rowan falls half way between our weights does that mean that I am twice the man he is?

No, it doesn't.

====================
Rowan is having a poo
====================

Now Rowan weighs a mere 149.8lbs. He reports that it was somewhat sloppy.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Digg this

195.4
=================
I am having a poo
=================
187.2

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Haggis poos!

Digg this

Somehow, in all the excitement, I have not mentioned Burns Night at all.

We had an excellent evening, just 14 for dinner, and ate heartily of neeps, tatties and haggis. I would have liked to have made more, but it was more than made up for by the pudding, as provided by the lovely Mrs Boddy.

I feel that would be remiss to not thank Mr Smith for coming along and basically take over the cooking at the point where I began to fail. He can come again.

This morning there were enough of us to ring all 8 bells as well, so this has the markings of an excellent weekend.

Last night I siliconed the bath, which went badly. I have done a splendid and tidy job, but the children bathed and the silicone has lifted in a couple of places where they were less cautious than is required, so it looks like a job I shall have to repeat.

I am now about to partake of some bike cleaning, do some work which needs addressing, and take a van load of junk to the municipal recycling centre. I weigh 193.2lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 191.6lbs

In the words of my Geography teacher, Mr Ellis: 'Manley could do better'.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

A trip to Bath.

Digg this

Today I went to Bath with Matt, who is my cousin-in-law, I suppose.

Being entirely narcissistic, there are very few occasions when I meet someone and think 'there's someone who I respect', since nobody is ever as utterly wonderful as my Lordship, obviously. Matt is one of those exceptions, he is a church warden and nearly an accountant and has achieved all the sorts of things which I wanted to do when I grew up, yet is still thoroughly likeable.

Matt drove me up to the wedding outfitters and we tried on appropriate clothes (all of which fitted pretty much precisely my idea of what size I thought I might be, sadly) and then, after a couple of beers drove back down.

It was only upon arriving in Devon that I realised that I had to drive home from Matt's, so I had to sit about, drinking tea and chewing the fat at the farm, to let the ale subside. Damn, what a frightful strain!

I weigh 194.4lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

At 189.6lbs I still had a nice day and am rather looking forward to ushering at Simon and Kate's wedding in May. I was rather flattered to be asked, since they hardly know me, but they are a lovely couple and I am uncommonly pleased to be of service. For me this is rare as I prefer not to leave the house as a rule of thumb.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Bum Dug

Digg this

I think it is important to mention that Messrs Wenger and Angell want to bum Dug.

Why they want to bum Dug is something I would rather not go into at this juncture, but there can be little doubt that Dug bumming features very highly on their agenda at the moment.

I weigh 192lbs and, you will no doubt be pleased to learn, have no desire to bum Dug, whatsoever,

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 190.6.

I am very hungry - I think I will go for some noodles now. And not to bum Dug.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Battling deliverymen.

Digg this

Well, yesterday went better than I expected. I weigh 189.6lbs.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 188.4lbs.

On the road through Darts Farm I was overtaking the line of traffic and as I passed a small blue van the driver saw me, growled and deliberately swerved across the line and hit me in the leg. Being clipped in to my pedals I nearly came a cropper and slammed back into the side of the van hard, but managed to stay rubber side down.

The other three bikes passed me and there was an incident with Ben being deliberately driven into the side of a temporary traffic light which added to the enjoyment of the stretch of road no end.

Then we passed the van again and he tried to side-swipe me.

Then he passed us again as traffic cleared and cut in front of me and braked hard, then sped away. Half a mile later he was waiting in a lay-by and then pulled out on me in a manner which would have been disastrous, had I not expected it. At the next lay-by he pulled in again and I had to pass, so I allowed a car to pass me and tucked in behind it to pass. I then decided that enough as enough, so I pulled in to a gateway to let the van be where I was not.

The van pulled into the gateway and began to get out, so I rode on at which he drove pretty much through Matthewparker and then blocked the whole road and started storming down towards us shouting that all four of us had hit his van and that we should not be overtaking on bicycles.

I was sorely afraid for the fat pillock looked like it would take some stopping him and I could not see myself not getting hurt here, but he then changed his mind and buggered off.

Most scary. I weigh 200.2lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 197.2lbs.

The day in general was excellent, the play we wrote about penguins and polar bears, in the style of Derek and Clive meeting Monty Python, went down well and I was pleasantly surprised to find that Tracker, the host, was not of a mind to teach field-craft, but was actually an excellent example of the best kind of person to lead these motivational team-building days.

All in all everything was a little more positive than I am prone to be, but still relatively painless.

One can only hope that, in this environmental guise, Mr Brown would approve of my cycling expenses.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Open, honest, fair, fun, professional and unconventional.

Digg this

That's what all 202.6lbs of Manley is

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 199.8lbs and I am cycling to Woodbury Park for a conference on embracing our group's core values.

I wonder if I can claim MMA for cycling?

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Tea?

Digg this

I weigh 196lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

195.8 and I want a cup of tea.

This is a Southern Crowned Crane (Balearica pavonina gibberifrons), of the kind I saw in Kenya, with Colour Sergeant Andy Butcher who was an odd sort of a chap, but one who I shall not forget.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Daffodil!

Digg this

I weigh 194.6lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 193lbs

It would be nice to pretend that it is spring, but frankly I believe that the flowering daffodil in my garden is merely stupid.

I weigh 201.4lbs now, which is a little saddening.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 199.8lbs

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Grout Grouch

Digg this

I weigh 194lbs, and I am absolutely exhausted.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 192.4 and, sitting here, I realise that I really do have to grout the tiles. Grouting is not a job I have done before and it is already late at night, but if I am quick I can still get to B&Q in time for a grouting float.

I weigh 199.9lbs, which is very heavy, but I am plastered from head to foot in groat.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

196.6lbs of Manley has completed the tiles and is very pleased, except that he has also broken the shower control off.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Making the bed.

Digg this

I weigh 195.8lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 194lbs.

Today I built a bed for my eldest. Her bedroom is tiny, so I have taken out the normal sized bed and replaced it with a 2' wide bed which fits the gap beside the window and is high enough to cater for a chest of drawers underneath.

Entirely hand built from timber, it is the epitome of good taste and, surprisingly, easily wide enough to accommodate even a Manley.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Another day for you and me in paradise.

Digg this

I have suddenly realised that I have almost no time left until the Christening of #3 and I have absolutely nothing ready, despite weighing 193.8.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

At only 191.2lbs, I seem still to have no idea what I need to prepare.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Work, work, work.

Digg this

I appear to weigh 200.6lbs, which is not good at all.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 198.4lbs.

I seem to have more work to do than is reasonable at the moment, so I shall get on with it. I really could do with some sleep.

Here are some of the windowsills near my house.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Dark Water and Hypochondria!

Digg this

I did something last night which I have not done since 1992. I gave up on a film. Last time it was Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles at the Cinema in Barnstaple. This time it was Dark Water.

I weigh 193.4lbs

==================
I am having a poo
==================

I weigh 191.4lbs.

The film is just so dull. After about 15 minutes Matthewparker and Ayse gave up and went home, but I don't ever give up, there is normally a redeeming feature to every film. After an hour of spooky music and no plot development at all I got bored and turned it off.

I asked the ever knowledgeable Pops what happens in the film this morning and, whilst it is not unexpected or that predictable either, I find that I just do not care.

If you want to know, just ask, but please, don't go and rent the US version, it is appalling. I am reliably informed that the Japanese original is much better.

I weigh 199.6lbs

==================
I am having a poo
==================

I weigh 199lbs.

Last night my left arm became numb at the shoulder. It was a dull pain, as opposed to a shooting pain.

Given that I have broken my back twice, I am confident that I am able to give a reasonable account of the pain level and it was somewhere between a broken rib and sciatica, but without the stabbing sensation.

I took 400mg of ibuprofen, which meant I could not take any diclofenac, but I could take some paracetamol and a couple of valium if I needed to.

Which I did.

When I looked at the ceiling and then over my right shoulder (Maigne's Test stylee) I get considerably more pain, which lasts after the movement has ceased, so I assumed it was not my heart, loaded myself up with tablets until I rattled and thought to retire.

My hands were not cold, so I reckoned I would live.

Then I started to worry.

I have never had angina or a heart attack, but my mother was a hole in the heart baby
and has had a tricuspid valve replacement, so I have seen attacks and reckon that they might hurt less than on television.

I called the doctor who went through the murmur I had as a child and the one I had at Sandhurst and the muscle injuries I had recently and my back injuries and the fact that I developed so fast (I was 5'1" at 16 and 6'2" at 17) and possible effects of that on my bones and my Rheumatoid Arthritis and on and on and Ariston, until he decided that i was being a big girl with an injured neck.

Which was pleasing but slightly galling. When I finally decide to call the doctor I like to be sure that there really is something wrong.

It still hurts now, at 1100hrs the next day, but I suppose that a trapped nerve is better than a heart attack.

We have to go outside now, the fire alarm has sounded. Toodle-pip!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

What is going on?

Digg this

Last night the baby slept all night long.

Why then did I not?

I weigh 194.4lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 192.4lbs and have made a winking tit:




----------------------------------------------------


Update: I weigh 199.7lbs

============================
I am having an emergency poo
============================

I weigh 197.4lbs

Blimey!


----------------------------------------------------

Again?

I weigh 200.2lbs.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 199lbs

This has got to stop.

Monday, 14 January 2008

Back to Search

Digg this

I am back at work again. I still have had no sleep at all, but I have a meeting today, so I have to be here.

It's so good to have a baby at home again. I weigh 197.6lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 194lbs and I wish that the air freshener in the loo would run out as I now smell like I have been drowned in sandalwood.

Anyway, I am far too busy to chat to you lot, I must get back to work.



[UPDATE:

Not too busy for a return journey, it seems. I weigh 197lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 194.8lbs and I really must get some work done.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Subsequent poos.

Digg this

I have been happily painting the walls of the eldest daughter's new bedroom today.

She was meant to have moved in by the weekend, but the youngest being so unwell ha meant a postponement, but I have nearly got the room painted, with just the skirting board to do now.

I weigh 195.4lbs

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 194.6lbs, less than a pound of poo.

Instead of doing the skirting board I am off out to get some underlay.

-----------------------------------

Underlay is quite cheap, but the room is tiny and the smallest amount I could get was huge, so I have bought instead some insulating foam panels with which to underlay the floor.

Having cut them to size and begun taping them together in a jigsaw pattern, I remembered that there is the wiring for the outside light under the floorboards in this room and have to tear up some floorboards.

I weigh 199.8lbs.

=================
I am having a poo
=================

I weigh 199lbs.

Having torn up the floorboards I find that I do not own a drill long enough to reach the outside world, so I have to be happy with putting the cables down through the floor and attaching a junction box downstairs for now.

Somehow I have managed to get the underlay down, the carpet laid, the bed put together and the top and bottom of the door planed down. I have also put a secret panel in the window, which I shall not tell the occupant about, so that she can discover it for herself.

The room is too small, so now I need to make a 2' wide bed with a set of drawers underneath.

Not today though, eh?

Happy as Larry.

Digg this

An almost entirely sleepless night cannot mean anything except that I have got my baby home at last.

I am going to go and look into building a bed for the eldest, but you may rest assured that I weigh 194.6lbs.

====================
I am having a poo
====================

I weigh 192.6lbs and am happy as Larry.

Before you ask "Who was Larry and what was he so happy about anyway?", Larry was not a man. There are those who attribute the phrase to the successes of Australian boxer Larry Foley (who was retiring, undefeated, at about the time that G. L. Meredith, penned the first known instance of the phrase), but most evidence points to a further afield source for the predominantly Australasian phrase.

It relates to the Cornish and later New Zealand word for a hooligan or roughian, larrikin, a term which Meredith would certainly have been familiar with.

In 1868 H. W. Harper's Letters from New Zealand include the word larrikins, and is dated similarly to Meredith's coining of the phrase.

So either the New Zealanders bastardised the kernow word larrikin, or - more likely - the Cornish did so, but did not deign to record it, kernow being, at the time, an almost entirely rural and mining province.

So there.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Better news?

Digg this

I think that, so long as I can get rid of the other two, they are going to let me bring my baby home today.

It looks like she will be able to have her antibiotics orally, so there is a reduced need to be in the hospital and I am very keen to have her back here where I can look after her.

I weigh 191lbs

==================
I am having a poo
==================

I weigh 189.2lbs - a good weight.

I have been asked to comment on the way in which my weight fluctuates. At work I generally appear to weigh less than at home and I have been questioned as to the accuracy of my scales, particularly in the last couple of months.

The truth is that I tend to wear clothes at work, but to be merely garbed in a pair of Tesco boxer shorts or entirely buck naked at home. Additionally, in winter I wear more clothes, so the difference has been more marked of late.

I hope that this clears up any issues people were having.

Friday, 11 January 2008

Not much improved.

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Once again, I am too busy worrying about other things to be too concerned about this blog today, so I am just going to include my email to work:

Loathe as I am do deprive such dear friends of a glimmer of light in their daily toil, I am nonetheless afraid that I shall once more be absent from your lives on the morrow.

My baby's health is not improved at all, and she is still on a fancy pumping drip thing which, reminds me of the machines that provide morphine on demand. We do not know what the infection is as yet, but poo, wee, blood, snot and saliva have all been taken away and we should discover the problem over the weekend - my best guess at this point is that it is a skin infection caused by bugs in her blood, following a bad reaction to her immunisation, but that is subject to change (first thing this morning we were being quarantined because she had meningitis, which means that we have a room to ourselves now).

To those of you with children, I would like to say that everything points to her suffering as a result of a specific infection which was either a reaction to her injections or which found its way in from her skin when she was injected. This morning there was, as I say, the suggestion of bacterial meningitis, but that is now discounted and the hospital have declared it safe for the 3 year old to visit and are confident that there is not a risk of contagion. If there is any change and there is any concern I promise to let you all know, but everyone seems certain that it isn't anything that you have to worry about.

I, on the other hand, do have to worry about it, so I am going to go and do just that. If you need anything then please email me - I shall almost certainly be awake most of the time I am at home, so please don't think that I won't want pestering, as long as you understand that I might just not do it.

Again, I should like to apologise for robbing you of my company and hope that you somehow manage to struggle through your Friday without me.

Cheers,

Manley


I weigh 200.8lbs

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I am having a poo
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I weigh 198.8lbs

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Baby very, very ill.

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All not well ;( Can't be arsed to type it all, so will include instead a copied and pasted email to work I just wrote:

Manley not coming to work:

Good morning.

My youngest is really rather unwell and is in the hospital with various tubes in her. I had to hold her whilst they stuck three separate IVs in her earlier and have just left her after she had three lots of medications applied through the tube in her leg.

I know that this is irrelevant, but I'm just feeling a bit like her life's not much fun at the moment and it is frustrating.

What is relevant is that I am unlikely to be at work tomorrow - I need to get the eldest child to school and then look after the middle one, at least until I can get my mother here, and then will probably go to the hospital to be with Jim and the baby, so if you do see me you should consider it a bonus and probably buy me choc-ices.

Cheers Pops for last night and please note that I also have a dentist appointment on Monday.

Cheers,

Manley


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It is morning now and I am just trying to sort out children.
I have taken the eldest to school, but the hospital is asking that I find someone to look after the middle one as whatever the youngest has got (and we don't know yet) might prove to be a bit nasty.

Bloody hell, I wish it was next week and this was all done.

In fact, I wish I was 63 and the children were married and I had a couple of children and I could remember all these hard times, but that I didn't actually have to go through them to get there.

I weigh 197lbs

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I am hav . . . sod it, you know what I am doing - I weigh 195.2lbs and I don't feel like I care.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Baby even iller ;(

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My youngest is getting really quite poorly now, I am concerned. We will take her to the doctors again today I think.

In the mean time, I weigh 192.4lbs

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I am having a poo
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I weigh 191lbs, precisely.

Have a picture of a happy galloping slug:

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Baby ill ;(

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Oops, an accidental posting!

I'll fill it out soon.

197.4lbs

196.4lbs

[UPDATE: The child became much worse on Wednesday and has been admitted into hospital, so I will not be filling this out after all, sorry.]



Please note that I added the people so well that they look like they were part of the source. I hate it when i am this goo ;)

Monday, 7 January 2008

Fat again!

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I weigh 201.2

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I am having a poo
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I weigh 200.2lbs

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I am drinking a glass of water
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I weigh 200.4lbs

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I am having a poo
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I weigh 199lbs

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I am drinking a cup of tea
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I weigh 201.4lbs

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I am having a poo
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I weigh 200lbs precisely.

I think that, with the current epidemic about, (As Philip who works for NHS Direct, tells me, they took 1.1 million calls over the 11 day Christmas period which was 61% over the expected call volume, "mostly due to winter vomiting virus" - go look at his quite outstanding biro drawings) I could be heading for trouble.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Scene of debauchery.

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No poo yesterday, I built a tiled shelf around bath and put in a window sill in the bathroom, and daubed a couple of coats of paint on the walls in the new bedroom.

The show is broken at the stop cock, so I have had to struggle on with the water leaking, which is no fun at all.

I have had a lot of guests for dinner though, and I do like people, they keep me sane. We had a pheasant pie, which was superb (thank you Jim) and then Jim got ill and had to be taken to hospital, although it's not serious and some anti-biotics will cure her.

I weigh 189.4lbs

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I am having a poo
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I weigh 186.2lbs - that's a nice healthy 3.2 pounder. I wonder if MacDonald would sell it by the quarter?

Either way, I have come downstairs this morning to a scene of abject debauchery. There is an unconscious body on the floor, glasses strewn across the room and more crisp packets than I can reasonably expect to fit into a single bin liner.

I feel young!

Friday, 4 January 2008

Friday feeling?

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More like a next Friday feeling.

I am not sleeping at the moment, not at all. I think I might collapse soon, which might hurt as I weigh a massive 202lbs at the moment.

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I am having a poo
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I still weigh 200.8lbs, which is simply too fat.

I think?

Thursday, 3 January 2008

I am not a pheasant plucker.

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No seriously, I am not. I hate the job.

When I was a young man of seventeen I worked for a season butchering pheasants, but we used a machine to pluck them. After I left the army I became involved with syndicate shoot and found, surprisingly, that I actually prefer beating (as long as I can carry a gun at the back of the line) to standing at a gun post. I also discovered that pheasants are far more easily skinned than plucked.

I don't really enjoy the taste of pheasant that much, preferring duck, pigeon, snipe, partridge or guinea fowl, but there are always far more pheasants to go around, so I put them in the pot anyway.

I tend to hang my birds for about 3 or 4 days. I have been known to leave them a week, but anything longer than a fortnight is ruined meat as far as I am concerned. I ideally like my birds roasted in a tin or a brick, but I do not favour the roast bird when it has been skinned and choose to plump instead for a stew or casserole.

Before I go on, I feel it is important whenever discussing game fowl, to remember ark Hanbury Beaufoy's The Father's Advice:

If a sportsman true you'd be
Listen carefully to me.
Never, never let your gun
Pointed at any one;
That it may unloaded be
Matters not the least to me.
When a hedge or fence you cross
Though of time it cause a loss,
From your gun the cartridge take
For the greater safety sake.
If 'twixt you and neighbouring gun
Bird may fly or beast my run,
Let this maxim e'er be thine;
"Follow not across the line."
Stops and beaters, oft unseen,
Calm and steady always be;
"Never shoot where you can't see."
Keep your place and silent be;
Game can hear, and game can see;
Don't be greedy, better spared
Is a pheasant, than one shared.
You may kill, or you may miss,
But at all times think of this
"All the pheasants ever bred
Won't repay for one man dead."


That out the way, let us press on with the post.

If you haven't already worked it out, this is intended to be a short 'how to' on preparing a pheasant for the pot. Much as with the rabbit preparation tutorial, this is not intended to be an authoritative lesson, but rather an insight into how Manley prepares birds. As I mentioned earlier, I have butchered, plucked and dressed more game than most (indeed, as a younger man the boast that I had once had 752 birds in the back of my camper van was one of which I was most proud, although I never made it clear that these were game birds, collected from Tapely Manor, near Bideford, on an occasion when we had to utilise my camper as the usual van had broken down). I know how to dress game, I simply choose not to.

Following my advice here will not teach the reader how to become an expert, but rather how to turn a dead bird into an ingredient. To start with, or course, one requires a bird.

I've got a brace of birds to deal with and I forgot about them, so it is quite late now, but if I am to have a casserole tomorrow then I need to get the slow cooker ready. I have already filled it with potatoes, stock, cranberries, apples, onions, carrots, peas, spinach, basil, some spices, tomato purée and so on. I would add a fair amount of salt to this normally as I feel that game needs it, but having three children under 7 I tend to add to taste after it is on my plate. This is not ideal, so if you don't have any reason not to load it up with saline then now is the best time to bang it in there.

Pheasant feathers get everywhere and, now that I have brought the birds indoors and they are warming up, blood will start to flow too.

Always put the birds on some newspaper or similar, so that it is easy to get rid of the mess afterwards.



Does Doctor Who not look a little like Giles to you? Anyway, take a good look at the bird. this one has been shot through the wing, so probably fell quite heavily - this is more likely to lead to bruised meat, but it shouldn't be too much of a problem.



Additionally there is a shot hole in the crop.



In a pheasant's digestive system, the crop is an expanded, muscular pouch near the gullet or throat which forms part of the digestive tract, essentially an enlarged part of the oesophagus, which is used to temporarily store food. All this is going to mean to me is that there is going to be a lot more mess than I would like, as the undigested corn will go everywhere.

What we are looking for here is entry wounds which show where a pellet might be lodged in the meat. A pellet can break a tooth and also, if it punctures an internal organ (in particular the stomach) it can leave the meat around the wound a little distasteful.

Now I am going to pluck a small section of the breast.



Normally I would pluck a far smaller section, just enough so that I can see flesh. Pheasant skin is very weak and hardly holds on to the feathers at all, so plucking these birds is an easy job. Where one might be tempted to plunge a goose or a turkey carcass into boiling water before plucking, the pheasant is no effort. The only downsides are time and mess.

I personally prefer not to pluck a wet bird as, although the mess is more confined, the job takes longer and is far less pleasant. As you can see, there is an entry wound here on the breast, so I shall inspect here for a pellet once I am in.



It isn't clear in the photograph, but I push a knife through a fold of skin and then draw it towards me, to leave a flap of skin. It is not necessary to do this - as I have mentioned, the skin is very weak on the bird - but it makes for a tidier job.



Once the flap or 'tag' of skin is free, grasp this tightly and wrench it headwards.



The skin will tear easily and you should be left with a naked breast.



From here the procedure is much like that with the rabbits. Removing the skin from the legs is simply a matter of undressing the bird, much as one undresses a baby, by gently but firmly pushing the leg up and out of the skin. This hen bird has a broken leg. It can be easy to cut a finger quite badly on splintered bone, so I am going to remove this leg at the knee joint, but it is normal to leave the leg intact. The softer, feather bearing skin will naturally separate easily at the join with the hardier leg. Additionally I want to show Ayse how the ligaments and tendons in a bird's foot work to compare with her recent injury.



Once the thigh is proud of the skin, it is a simple matter to tuck a finger behind the 'knee' and pull the leg clear. The bright yellow areas visible in this image are the bird's fat. I tend to chuck a little of this into the pot along with the meat. This way the fat mixes with the bird and keeps it moist, much as it does when the bird is roasted in a tin or brick.



Once the leg is clear it is simply a mater of repeating the procedure for the other leg. Wings and the lower back of a pheasant represent very little value and the lower thigh is often too muscular to make good eating, but the upper thigh is sometimes excellent. In reality though, the main thrust of a pheasant's use, when it comes to the pot, is in the breasts and these will account for almost all of the food gleaned from the bird.

Cutting the meat from the bird is done in two ways. The legs are butchered by literally tearing the meat away. It helps to have a knife to make starting cuts, but a pheasant's legs are so stringy that the only good way I have found to separate the meat from the gristle is manually.



The breast can be carved as one would with a cooked bird. It comes away very easily, but one must be sure to avoid cutting any organs.



There you have it, a complete guide to stealing the easy meat from a bird. If you have the time or the inclination it is better to pluck the pheasant and draw it. To do this one stabs the bird under the rib cage and removes all that is inside, then cuts away the crop and removes the head and neck by firmly grasping the body and yanking the head backwards until it detaches.

This method is preferable to cutting as it leaves no unattractive stump, although sometimes the bird will expel air through the beak, due to the chest cavity being held tightly, and open the beak, due to the motion of the neck, and it can be unpleasant to watch a gutted bird caw.
For now though, I am simply left with the task of removing the meat, checking for shot and putting the birds in the pot.

As a closing note, I mean this to be educational and ask that you maintain a level of respect for the bird. This is important to me, I kill to eat and I do have to butcher in an objective manner and there is no place for sympathy, but there is still a need for respect. I have met people who enjoy the act of killing, but I find it unhealthy. For me, it's just the procedure required to produce the food.

Personally I think that I would much rather be a pheasant than a chicken. A pheasant lives a free life and then it is suddenly cut short. A chicken's existence is pretty grim.

If you care about animal welfare at all then please, go eat more game.

I have never skinned my children.