Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Cure for Warts

A few years ago my daughter had a wart on her foot. But warts are like mice - they rarely come in ones. Soon it was a little cluster of warts so we paid a visit to our local GP who decided to use a selection of treatments.
First of all he scraped at her foot with a little instrument that looked like a shaving razor for dwarves. When doctors do things like that it makes me wonder what the big attraction is to studying medicine and becoming a medic. "What do you want to do when you grow up little child?" "I want to scrape dirty warts of peoples feet."
But it didn't end there. He also put some sort of ointment on it and gave her a few of those little homeopathic pebble-like sweets.
Then he gave us both some serious instructions. There were 7 warts on her foot. We were to get a paper bag and put 7 small pebbles in it - not the homeopathic ones, real pebbles. Then we were to leave the bag at a crossroads. Whenever the bag disappeared the warts would also go.

Of all the remedies I thought the latter made the most sense. Because apparently warts go away on their own eventually, and I was sure that if my daughter just believed that the warts were going to go that it might have some sort of influence on the mysteries of the immune system.  Needless to say, the doctor we visited was in the West of Ireland.
Despite similar university education, there seems to be quite a difference in cultural attitudes regarding best practise regarding the cure of the patient.
Problem was, though, that my daughter wasn't sold on the pebbles in the bag idea. She wanted an operation, crutches, bandages, plaster paris and a week off school. It never happened, and years later the 7 warts had started to have offspring and I knew if we didn't treat them that eventually these warts would start taking over the family.
So I decided to go the absolute safe medical route. I bought one of those sprays that freeze off warts.
My daughter took a look at the wart spray and screamed, telling me that it would hurt too much. I assured her that it wouldn't, and that the only reason her brother had gone through severe agony whilst I used a similar freezing spray on  a wart he'd had on his finger, was because he was the oldest kid and you use the oldest kid as guinea pig to test things on, and that I'd put on way too much by mistake, and that no, I was not going to accidentally burn a hole in her skin in the effort to remove the warts with a freezing spray. I would get the hang of it this time.
We agreed to do it 'tomorrow'.
Then the next day we agreed to do it the day after tomorrow. And then about a week went by.
So I decided I'd have to spring on her when she'd least suspect it.
So as we sat on the sofa, I hid the freezing stuff in my pocket and took hold of her foot to give it a massage. Oh, wrong foot. I took the other one. Also wrong foot.
"Hey, where are your warts?" I asked.
She felt her feet. I felt her feet. We looked at her feet. And there were the warts - gone.

So I decided that buying the freezing tube of stuff had the same effect as the bag of stones would have had, if she'd only believed. The fear of her mother's use of poetic license with medicinal cures, rather than taking careful medical instructions, had just made her warts go away. It must have been the mysterious workings of the immune system.
So here's my advice. If your kids have warts, forget about all the hocus pocus. Just buy some of that aggressive freezing lotion stuff, and then tell your kids you've bought it. If the fear of you using it on them doesn't make the warts disappear, then just go use it.
You're cured.



Friday, March 29, 2013

A Revolution at my Kitchen Table

So this is it. I've just published my first ebook. It's an ebook for kindle and available on Amazon. I'm still fiddling around with how it all works, but I've gotten as far as putting the whole damn thing together and publishing it.
The cover is a photo of a deserted house. Now let's analyse - arsekick is diverse, it has many rooms, hence the house. The house is falling to pieces, so hence the relationship to my dishevelled life. The house started out in life with different aspirations. There is a story there. Stories. History.
And you could also say that the trees and shrubs growing up around the deserted house are lush and fertile and that nothing is ever linear.
In actual fact the only reason that the cover is such, is because it is a photo that I took myself and I was afraid of taking a photo from the web in case I get sued. I'd prefer a photo of a female warlord throwing a punch, or at least something sexy.

I also downloaded a book written by a guy who has a number of bestsellers on amazon. He makes the very good point that 'vanity' is a word for private publishing invented by publishers. If a person opens their own business is it never referred to as 'vanity' business.
And the way the publishing world is changing is really exciting. I've brought out this book all on my own. No editor, no publisher, no marketing, nothing. And because of the low costs, I will also be giving a chunk of the profit to charity - but I need to work that one out, more to follow.

Most exciting is that it all happened at my kitchen table. When I finished uploading all the amazon files I baked a lemon poppy seed cake without having the feeling that baking the stupid cake and being the crux of a family meant the end of my writing career. This is a revolution!

So next step is that you read the book, either for free from the Amazon library, or you buy the book which about the same price as a cafe latte - no cheaper actually, it's euro 2.60(ish) I'm not sure exactly. And if the link below doesn't take you there, than just search my name in amazon or the name of the book: Arsekick Pick.

And if you think this is a good revolution, you might press a few stars on the amazon page to give me a bit of a reputation?

http://www.amazon.com/Arsekick-Pick-ebook/dp/B00C2Y3OE6/ref=la_B00C3BYCB2_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1364551127&sr=1-1

And remember that this is all because of you. Without readers I never would have been inspired to take it further.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Retreat

Winter is a long time when you come from an island that doesn't really do seasons. It was so cold that I even had to buy a coat and also discover that things like gloves, hats and scarves have an actual function. But it wasn't just the weather. I've been on a retreat.

I don't mean an organised retreat where you officially say you are going on a retreat, because that wouldn't really be a retreat, would it? It would be an action. A statement.
What I did was retreated. I didn't plan to. I just became reflective and reclusive and my favourite place was solitude. I did a lot of thinking, a lot of deciding and a bit of changing. I was surprised at that. I thought people didn't change very easily, or that it was huge work to change, but in this case it just happened. A bit like puberty happens to kids and as they hysterically scream at you to 'leave me alone' they also reassure you that this behaviour is nothing to do with their hormones whatsoever, no, it's all because of 'you'!
So was my retreat of the hormonal nature? I believe not. Possibly something to do with age though, and definitely attitude.
And then something even worse happened. I shed a few layers of tolerance, patience and understanding. I decided that no, I won't 'stay calm' and drink coffee. It's not my fault though, it is the fault of the greater gods who sent me on the retreat. I didn't make these decisions consciously, the Gods  just allowed me to release my inner cantankerous cow. Cows are sacred in some countries you know.
Oh hang on  a minute, cantankerous cow is what people used to call me before my retreat. So maybe I just became a tad more self aware.

And on the subject of the Gods, well I did something very wild recently. I went to church! You see I was sitting (on my own of course, due to the retreat) in a cafe on a Sunday morning and I saw people going into this big church across the road. Wow, I thought, how quaint, people still go to churches. So I got curious and went and joined them. I wasn't sure if it was a catholic or protestant church, but I decided protestant because there were bibles on the seats and when they sang a hymn, the number of the hymn came up on a display on the wall. Do catholics do that?
I think in general that the protestants have better hymns, but otherwise the sermon was pretty much the same. The priest read a bit from the bible, and only then did I discover that the phrase 'healer heal yourself' came from the new testament. Very apt for my current state of mind I thought. Afterwards I thought about how as a kid I used to have to pretend I had been at mass. (Who said mass?) But now I would have to pretend I had been at the museum in order to save the embarrassment of explaining to people where I'd been.

So the bottom line, reader, is that I have not blogged so much as I've been on the retreat, but now that I'm back, please expect the blogs to be even more bitter and twisted than before, and possibly not as frequent, as I am also doing a lot of business writing at the moment. I will post the links when it's presentable enough for the public eye.
On the 2nd of April I move into my new office space on the 7th floor at Park Office in Karlsruhe. After the retreat I'm looking forward to a bit of elevation...