Difficult Decisions and Brain Fog


It’s a decision that I face every day, maybe even twice a day. Or, at least, I should be facing it but because of the brain fog I often can’t remember if I have remembered to or not. (Life’s got very like that).

You rip open the packet, out it comes and off you go to use it.  Just like that.  In everyday, ‘normal’ life.  You don’t think anything more of it.

It was Husband who needed one first. He grabbed the first one out of the pack, he clearly wasn’t worried about what colour it was, and started using it.

Of course, when I needed one, I ended up with the other colour.

And this where my baffled brain (cell, singular, most likely) gets bamboozled every day, or whenever it is that I remember to brush my teeth (because, sadly, I don’t remember when I do), because my Husband has the pink toothbrush. I have the blue. He doesn’t have a problem with it. I don’t have a problem with it. I mean, after all, this is just a toothbrush that we’re talking about, something that we spend a mere six minutes average with daily, and I’m fully aware that the pink/blue thing is an entirely modern concept (perhaps ironically). However, however … Mongrel Beast is confused.

(Mongrel Beast likes helpful prompts and reminders about daily living, appreciates stereotypes to simplify proceedings).

It doesn’t help either that Husband is deeply mistrustful of my ability to use the appropriate toothbrush. If he catches my hand quavering over the tooth glass then I’m in for an interrogation. It doesn’t reassure him that I can never remember when I last brushed my teeth much less vouch for which apparatus I may have used at the time. And then, naturally, under the heightened pressure and emotion, Mongrel Beast will usually fail to supply the answer to which toothbrush is indeed the correct one. (Although, Mongrel Beast does at least grasp that guessing is not likely to end successfully so just haws like an asthmatic fish).

(Even our dearest are apt to forget, at times, that which is the monsters such as Mongrel Beast that eat away at our cognition and that which is our true Selves).

Nor does it help that the toothbrushes are only differentiated by a slight band of their respective colours. To the addled brain cell, they are both white toothbrushes. You have to look closely. And then, of course, remember. (I’m not doing well with the remembering thing at the moment, did you know?)

I have taken to placing my toothbrush upside down in order to make (or, at least, in hope of, making) it clearer to myself. I don’t think it dries as well though.

And, then, of course, sometimes I forget to…

(Life’s got very like that).


Testimony from a Bad Day


This is a post that I wrote many months ago when I was really struggling, it never got posted for some reason.  Today, I’m struggling again and fearing what that means.


Whilst I cannot pick out the threads that Depression weaves through my life and thoughts, I am very aware of the limitations that ME puts upon me.  I know how my life could and would be so different if I didn’t have to fight this mongrel-beast every day.  However, I doubt myself and the severity, sometimes even the existence, of my illness.  Maybe it doesn’t help that ME is shrouded in confusion, political intrigue and complete incomprehension and lack of care.  Maybe it doesn’t help that people don’t take me seriously.

This is how my life gets.  Judge for yourself whether I’m making it up or whether I can really just try harder.

Do people really awake refreshed and eager for their day or is that just some fairy tale or something that only toddlers in on the secret of perpetual energy and motion know about?  Some mornings I wake and get out of bed in one move, perhaps my brain hasn’t quite woken up yet and told my body how and where it hurts.  Sometimes the pain, the ache, the stiffness kicks in as I round the corner of the bed.  Sometimes I can get all the way to the bathroom and back.  Maybe it’s because lying itself just gets so painful that my body is just glad to be stretching, moving again.

I feel every bump, dip and metal spring of the mattress, I feel every crease and wrinkle in the sheets, some nights my best friend of a duvet becomes a suffocating mass squashing the air out of me.  It’s just as well that I’m as flabby as this otherwise I’d have my bones to contend with too.  As it is, my joints can’t take their own weight and pressure and whichever side I lie on goes numb so quickly, fighting poor circulation and pins and needles all the night through.  I can’t regulate my temperature so even in the middle of summer (if we have with appropriate temperatures) I can find myself needing a hot water bottle, clutching it tight because I’m frozen through.  Other times, cold nights even, I will suddenly be  boiling hot, almost feverish and throwing the covers off.  Other times again a heat source such as a hot water bottle will scald my exterior but do nothing to take the chill away, it’s truly disconcerting having both extremes of temperature at once.  Lately, I’ve been finding that I don’t have enough strength to sleep on my side, I was using an arm to brake myself, hold myself up but I can’t even do that anymore.  I fall in a crushed tangle and I find myself more often or not sleeping flat on my face, which doesn’t help the breathing or the overheating, with my two firsts up by my head, baby style.  Babies can’t hold themselves up either.  It’s pathetic and uncomfortable.

I know a lot of people seem to think that it’s the norm to take a shower every morning, as if you’d self-implode in a miasma of bacteria for one missed shower.  Well, sorry to break it to you, ME will change that for sure.  Sometimes I have to think so far ahead, planning not just for each stage of my toilette but the rest that has to be calculated to allow me to make it out of the door in one semi-civilised piece that I have my shower the night before so I have plenty of night hours to sleep off the effects.  I rarely have one in the morning anymore.  Mornings are too much.  Especially if I’m expected to be out and about.  If not, it might be the middle of the day like some slovenly adolescent, especially in midwinter when the bathroom is freezing cold.

The shower poses particular changes.  When I stayed at someone’s recently I realised however that I should be very grateful that we have a shower tray rather than a bathtub.  I could barely climb in and out of that!  The biggest problem is the amount of energy showering requires; there are the standing and the heat and the steam and then the cold afterwards.  I can’t stand for very long at all.  And I’ve already mentioned that I struggle to regulate my temperature.  Sometimes I only realise how dead and cold my feet are when I feel the scalding water on them, slowly bringing them back to partial life.  Sometimes I have to turn the water hotter because it feels too cool.  I worry that one day I will get burnt.  I’m glad too that we have a shower that you can leave the temperature set rather than have to turn it through from off to hotter, I trust blindly that the temperature is the same as yesterday.

 After nearly every shower now, I end up resting on the bed afterwards.  Then there are days when I’m not well enough to take a shower at any point, even with nothing else to do.  I struggle with this, guilty because of this culturally induced belief of miasma.  I hate not having clean hair.  Even when I’m Depressed, unable to motivate myself to anything, I wash my hair.

Even if I take a shower the night before, my morning schedule still has to be simplified and reduced to the barest of elements in order for me to be able to manage a morning commitment.  Sometimes I get everything ready the night before and sleep right up as close to possible as to when I need to leave.  Other times it seems to work better that I get up about an hour earlier, do what I need to then have a nap before going out.

Just writing about getting up is exhausting!

There are so many things that need doing, so many things that I desperately want to do.  I lie or if I can, I sit up, in my bed and see the reminders of these things around me.  How easy it would be to pick up a book or a duster!  But is it?  I don’t even have the strength for that.  And it makes me feel wretchedly useless.  I lie thinking that I need the toilet and it takes me half an hour or so to summon the strength to get out of bed.  I walk slowly, stiffly to the bathroom then to the kitchen to wash my hands.  I’ll grab a drink or something whilst I’m up so I don’t have to get up again.  And then I have to collapse on the bed.  Exhausted.  For what?  I’ve done nothing.  I’m hungry but I don’t have the energy to prepare some food.  I go without.  Or wait until the next bathroom trip to grab a snack.  The washing up and washing piles higher.  But I can’t lift or stand.  Nothing gets done because I genuinely can’t do it.  It breaks my heart and destroys my soul every single day.

I’m so glad that we have a flat, all the rooms are close together and there are no steps between levels.  I can’t do stairs anymore.  And when I do have to go out then gravity usually helps me down, I don’t have to worry about the slow haul up the stairs until I come back.  Which is just as well or I’d never get out.

I can’t follow instructions anymore, even recipes.  I forget where I am and what needs doing next when I’m preparing the simplest of dishes.  Who forgets how to boil pasta and stick commercial sauce on the top?!  It’s ridiculous, stupid even.  And I hate it.  I can’t open lids and I can’t grip and turn tin openers.  I struggle to lift a pan of pasta only because it’s my responsibility to feed us both.  Graters are difficult too, dangerous at times.  I can’t slice cheese much less anything else.  The world’s sharpest knife might as well be blunt in my weak and clumsy grip.

I could go on but I don’t have the energy or the courage to face anymore things that I can’t actually do anymore.  It breaks my heart, and even my soul.  ME isn’t a choice, ME isn’t me.  But this is my life.

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WOE:  Freedom

The Long and the Short of It


Birdie in the Curtains

It is easy to think that whatever normal you have grown up with is ‘right’ but when you are married to someone who also thinks of their normal as ‘right’ too, well,  you’re bound to end up having a few domestic rumbles at one time or another.  And it’s often over the simplest of things, possibly because those are the things that don’t really come down to an actual ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ but reflect simply different tastes, backgrounds and upbringings.

I grew up with homemade floor length curtains.  My only experience of shop-bought curtains were usually other children’s bedrooms, whether viewed from one side of a window or the other, with bold cartoon characters but with a terrible tendency to be too short and skimpy as well as being way too thin and never lined.  I don’t see the point in having curtains that are virtually too short to cover the window.  I also believe in lining them.  I don’t see the point in having curtains that you can see through.  Especially in this modern world of surrounded by neighbours and street lights.

Husband, whilst he believes in lining curtains, claims that floor length curtains are pretentious.  (There are inferences here which rather echo those of the runcible spoon domestic rumbling).  He feels that they should be long enough to cover the window space but not so long that they hang over a radiator.  (Radiators always seem to be placed below windows; maybe it’s something to do with preventing condensation or something).

We have long curtains in the only two rooms that yet have curtains.  I need to summon my courage and attempt to make the pair for the spare bedroom.  (The duvet cover was only ever meant to be a temporary solution).  So what length should I make them?

There is of course another complication:  we never have the heating on.  So should they be long enough to expose the non-existent central heating or should we go very long and cover up the whole cold window space? (I don’t see any point to draughts either).

Decisions, decisions, decisions.

And the worst is that whatever we do or don’t do, there’s no right or wrong to the issue; just opinions and tastes and backgrounds.  Does it really matter?

Well, yes, because what if they shrink?  I was brought up to believe that curtains must be washed and that they will shrink.  My mother makes her curtains at least two foot too long for this express purpose.  She very kindly made the curtains in our sitting room and I can vouch for the fact that they haven’t really shrunk.  (I was also impressed that they didn’t run when I bunged them in the washing machine; dry clean only black and white curtain fabric was always going to be a challenge.  As a precaution, I put a leftover sample of the fabric in the machine first on a test run and added salt just to be on the safe side.  For some reason, the bird invasion left us with a pressing need to clean the curtains).

So should they be left ridiculously long, just in case, or should they be just touching the floor or should they be just under the windowsill?

Where do your curtains come to and why?

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The DIY Saga

I Made a Stamp


Glass Chess Pieces

As you have likely heard, small things please small minds.  I love small things.  You may draw your own conclusions.

Tonight, I had to package up a parcel to send to a friend in Europe.  I was very chuffed when I managed to get all five foot of draught excluder into something about A4 size (albeit somewhat plumper).  And yes, it would be me who is sending a five foot draught excluder to Europe.  (I’ve never actually sent anything to the country in question but I have sent something from.  An A2 canvas painting of the Titanic sinking.  Cheerful stuff, not exactly my taste.  But my friend was ecstatic that I’d persuaded the post office to take it).  It seems that I have something of a track record when it comes to posting random things.  You’ve seen other evidence.

Postage is ridiculously expensive these days.  I remember the uproar when the European airmail stamp hit 36p.  These days I think first class is more expensive than that now!  (I possibly sound remarkably old when I make comments like that).  Anyway, I like to know what I’m getting myself in for before going down and doing battle in the post office.  I find that the post office is indeed somewhere where knowledge is power.

I grew up in a small town (England-style, not US).  The post office had long queues, especially on pension mornings, because that was back in the days when everything was done in cheque-style books that had to be religiously stamped to death by the post office clerk, but was always helpful.  Actually, the library was the same.  The librarians were friendly and helpful.  I never had a fine in all the twenty plus years that I was there.

Then I moved here.  We have a bigger library and a bigger post office.  The librarians resent any disruption to their frantically busy task of sitting behind desks and I also have had more library fines than fillings, which is saying quite a lot with my dental history.  The post office has cordoned queue control and the whole thing at rush hour rapidly turns into Ellis Island.  With the appropriate interrogation and suspicion of course.  You don’t really want to risk asking a question in either of those places.  Your mission is simply to get in and out as quickly as possible, preferably still alive and with most of your income intact.

I make it my job to know how much my postage will cost and how it’s going where it’s going.  I write down all and any information that they may require for any random forms that must be filled out as fast as possible.  This way I can minimise the stress and confusion that results in what basically amounts to buying a stamp.  (If I’m armed with knowledge, I don’t get stressed and confused at all.  The clerk only does a little bit).

I have to agree with Tilly Bud, the service industry just inspires terror, trepidation and guilt.

Anyway, back to the stamp.  I was inputting all my variables and trying to find the most cost-effective way of sending a five foot draught excluder to Europe with not too much delay when it came up with strange little option.  I’m not a fan of the post office’s website, it’s never been particularly efficient and I tend to rely on my stash of printed price guides rather than their high-tech solutions that get me nowhere.  (I’m particularly suspicious how every time I try to find surface mail rates, it directs me only to expensive parcel services.  And in recent months it has seemed that whatever I do, I end up in some other online shop being told to buy huge books of first class stamps.  Not impressed).

This time I found, with remarkably little hassle although I did keep ending in the first day covers (the post office is apparently more keen on Doctor Who than I am), something called a ‘price finder’.  That’s my kind of thing.  Input, quote, use information against post office staff.

So I inputted.

Was very surprised by the rate.  (My draught excluder might be huge but it’s comparatively light, I can send it as a packet rather than as a parcel.  (Please don’t even get me started on dissecting that logic that means a parcel to the same destination of the same weight and dimensions is four times as expensive as a packet)).

Then freaked.

(I do that).

Next to the delivery options (it’s a little like flight tickets, please don’t choose our cheapest option), there is now a small box that says ‘buy and print’.

I’m scared by new things.  Especially when they involve technology.

And the post office.

And parting with money.

I asked husband if he’d like to come and test this for me.

As he was already in bed, he answered in the negative.

I was left to face the decision alone.

Me and one small red button that isn’t even a real button but a picture on a screen.

I pressed it.

And had to input a billion more things.

And then part with some money.

And then it asked me to print my label.

I don’t trust printing things from the internet.  They’re usually never designed to actually fit any known paper formats or printers.  And why is it that every time you do print something from the internet, it has this obsession with printing just two lines on the next page and wasting an entire sheet of paper?

I printed.

Then realised that my ink cartridges are at the invisible stage.

So I held my breath.

Because you know that’s going to make a difference.

I printed a stamp!

Not just a stamp, it had insisted on printing the addresses too in its own queer format (I prefer a nice, funky coloured marker personally) and it said paid for and lots of other official things.  And it had one of those new fangled squiggly barcode box thingys!

I have a stamp.

‘Stamp’ prints on a quarter page of A4.  (Don’t get me started about waste).

I took ‘stamp’ to husband to cut down.  He insisted on doing it with a ruler and pencil as he’s something of a pedant when it comes to precision.  But that’s why I gave him the ‘stamp’ to cut anyway, he can actually cut straight lines.  I can’t draw them.  Even with a ruler.

‘Stamp’ is now affixed to very squishy parcel (it bounces).

But I am now faced with another dilemma.

Clearly, I can repeat this process in the future.  I will be able to buy exactly (well, maybe, that might be dependent on what mood the website is in) what postage I want when I want it.  (Although most of the time, it will require traipsing into town to the main post office to find a fat mouthed post box, most if not all of the branch post offices around here have closed now, a discussion for another day, I’m sure).

But …

… is this a good thing?

Much as I hate the hassle and stress of the post office, I don’t want to be responsible for anybody, however grumpy, losing their jobs.  If we all end up buying our postage online, what will happen to our post offices?

Depression’s Legacy


~ Trigger Alert ~

The word ‘legacy’ does kind of suggest that something or someone has passed, legacy is about what is left, what remains.  A legacy can leach through history.  Like the effects Romans have had on the countryside, justice system, architecture, diet and goodness knows what else.  Some legacies are more tangible like the ten bob your aunt left you.  But perhaps those aren’t the ones with the most potency after all.  I’ve heard of ‘legacy systems’ too, something to do with computing and possibly to do with whether or not your software came out of the metaphorical ark.  Metaphorical because I don’t think Noah had a PC although he’d have loved CAD.

So I use the word with some caution when describing the effects that Depression has had on me.  Or maybe has on me.  Because, you see, Depression has not passed out of my life.  Not just yet.  Possibly never will.  If it still exists, can it have a legacy?  Mind you, if Depression is an inanimate … thing (words fail me), can it have a legacy anyway?  I would argue that Depression is a sentient being, it does seem to know when best (from its perspective at least, worst from mine) to kick me up the backside (pardon the French*).

Anyway, here’s me trying to divert matters and enjoying all sorts of side shoots as I do, shall we get back to the subject in hand?

I’ve told you about the Voice in my head?  Well, that’s sort of under control.  Depending on how much stress there is in my daily life.  (There’s a lot of it sometimes).  Remember too that Alphabet of Emotions that I came up with even further back?  Well I talked briefly about some of the issues then but I’d like to follow that up now.

These are the ones that I talked about in relation to Depression:

C is for Confidence

I lack confidence, you may have noticed, but this blog is the garden where I am growing my first crop.  A measure of confidence and self-assurance is necessary.  A life without confidence is very limiting and painful, I know.  I have another post in the pipeline on this very subject so check back shortly!

D is for Doubt

Doubt follows that lack of confidence.  It eats away at you, nibbling away at your edges until you’re unable to stand on your own.  Doubt erodes safety and peace of mind; it’s like living on the edge of a very crumbly cliff.  But there’s more to follow another time!

F is for Fear

No confidence, full of doubt?  Then fear will naturally follow.  Fear includes so much.  Maybe for many, fear revolves around phobias.  I have those too.  Arachnids are on that list, or at least my entirely rational belief that these are vicious animals that live purely to ‘get’ me and that cobwebs are harmful may be.  I’m terrified of losing things and of drowning, I hate having the windows open on a car journey and bridges over water are the stuff of nightmares.  I’m scared of pain and am not ‘keen’ on medical personnel and procedures.  I’m afraid of messing up, of getting things wrong.  I’m a claustrophobe who hates sitting with people behind me.  I suffer with panic attacks, I’ve always got an exit plan and my average ‘bounce’ rate is higher than that of the most doomed website.  When times are uncertain and your financial situation shaky then the future can certainly induce fear, a gnawing worry or dread.  Living with chronic illness, when you’re just not sure how tomorrow is going to feel adds to the uncertainty, the worry, the dread.

G is for Guilt

When you’re always doubtful and scared of messing up then too you will also spend your life feeling guilty.  We quite often accidentally raise our children with guilt complexes: think of the children in Africa and eat your dinner, we can’t afford this but we’re giving you a present, you don’t know how fortunate you are to have the things you do because it was so much tougher when I was a child.  Regrets are another form of guilt.  Oh to have lived a life free from regrets!  I guess that is a question of attitude, do we make the most of each moment, cherishing the precious and valuable in our lives?  We have to assess our priorities and give our best each day, each moment.  We can’t do more and only an unreasonable Depressed mind would expect it.

W is for Worrying

I worry.  I worry a lot.  I can worry even when I’m doing half a dozen other things.  I can even worry when I am meant to be asleep.  I worry about worrying.  Need I say more?

This is the effect that Depression has on me.  Depressions affects me every day of my life.  I don’t even realise it half the time.  But when I start thinking about it, I don’t know who I am without Depression.  That’s scary.  Everything I do, everything I say, everything I think.  Depression.

That kind of sucks, doesn’t it?

Four of them really all come from the first one: doubt.

Doubt is erosive, maybe even corrosive.  It is Depression eating away at me, gnawing at my soul until I’m just a gaping open wound.  Depression takes away everything that you once believed in and completely trashes it.  Depression never lets you believe another thing again, well not unless it’s negative.

It’s crazy but I struggle to even make a statement of fact.  The earth is flat?  Well I’m probably going to say something like ‘most folk believe that’ or ‘I understand it to be the case’.  I may get it wrong because after all Depression tells me that I get everything wrong.  Yeah, Depression loves generalisations like that.  Broad, sweeping statements that bounce the pieces off the chessboard of life.

I can’t say that ‘we’re friends’ because that’s so presumptuous of someone who can’t be liked, who isn’t good enough for anything or anyone.  I wistfully, tentatively say that ‘I am friends with‘.  Whilst wondering how they really see me.

Doubt means that I have no trust or faith in myself.  Depression has taught me to hate myself, to crush myself into powder because I am so unworthy.  I can’t tell you anything about myself.  I stick to bald facts and add disclaimers to prove that I’m not boasting, not being big-headed, that I do know how dire I am.

This presents various challenges in everyday life.  How can I go to a job interview and sing my own praises as apparently I need to do?  I know that I’m rubbish.  I know that everyone else knows that too.  They just do.

Doubt means I agonise over every little decision.  Was that really the best value pasta sauce in the supermarket?  Surely everyone else would have come to a different conclusion.

Doubt means that I don’t think I’m a good person.  Woah, that’s a confident statement.  At my worst, it’s I know that I’m not.  Maybe there has been progress.  It means I don’t believe/I know that I am unlovable.  It explains why I’ve never had many friends and it’s not just the stigmatised stink of illness.

Doubt has me crippled.  I can’t believe anything anymore.  Do you know what that does to a person?  There’s probably all kinds of beliefs that you have, that you almost take for granted.  Whether they’re religious or social or ethnic or environmental or wherever else you’ve formed belief systems from.  You can say with confidence that children should be in bed by 7 pm on the dot because you believe that.  I believe nothing.  Not for me.  Most major belief systems are based on meritocracy too, I deserve nothing.

It is a weak human whose views are entirely based on those of others.  But that is me.  It’s not that I’m saying that I only believe things because they’re fashionable or because someone else believes that to be so.  I do make my own informed decisions, I’m not a puppet, I’m not shallow.  I just struggle to believe those decisions, I question them forever afterwards.

Where I am shallow, I guess, is that my view of myself is entirely based on what I seeing, hearing and feeling from others.  For example, if other people are cross with me then I will assume, like a small child, then it is because they are cross with me.  I am to blame, I am at fault.  People don’t understand that I do that.  And even if I say something and they say that they’re cross because something has gone wrong and not because they’re actually cross with me then I will still take that blame upon myself.  I must have done something wrong for this to have happened.  I link their mood with my guilt, something I must have done.  I apologise, spend my day saying sorry for everything and anything.  Well, it must be my fault somewhere along the line.  They just tend to get funny with me when I say something.  Vicious circle.  It’s hard because people, you and me do it too, get cross and stressed out everyday for a whole variety of reasons.  It also gets pretty tiring having the blame of the world on your shoulders.

It gets even more shallow.

I need other people to say good stuff about me.  Now that’s a very big-headed, wicked, prideful thing to say.  And also incredibly shallow.  But I can’t think positive for myself.  If the people around me are positive about me then I absorb that, my confidence grows and the Voice disappears.  I start to make small victories over Depression.

But of course that is a lot to ask.  (Depression says that’s because they’d have to lie all the time, that there’s nothing good anyone can say about me).  In reality, people have their ups and downs.  We’re not always fair to the people around us, sometimes we take our moods out on them.  Sometimes there’s just too much stress for us to think about feeling and speaking good.  But I really need that positivity around me.

That’s what living with my head is like.  That’s how vital other people’s words are, day in, day out.  Depression analyses everything.  It doesn’t believe ‘I love you’ when you’re acting cross around me.  It becomes a lie because you’re cross with me, for something I did.  Depression creates negatives out of everything.  You know that classic line people do when you’re going to take an exam or something?  They say ‘I hope that you do well’.  Depression sees the negative of that.  It means that they don’t think or know that you will do well.  It means you will fail.

It’s absolutely exhausting.  And writing this post has been absolutely draining.  It probably doesn’t even make sense.  And you’ll think that I’m an absolute nutcase.  I am worn out by these battles though, I am old enough and in some ways wise enough to realise that there are other realities out there.  Unfortunately I’m stuck with mine, a legacy from my old friend Depression.  It is something which leaches its rank stain through my soul, my very essence.  It is inescapable and tied up in too many conditions.  There is no love in this legacy, just imprisonment and bitterness.

Thank you for reading.

Oh, and I’m sorry.  (I’m always sorry).

*  Why are the French always blamed for the presence of bad language?  What is this premise that presupposes that they all use incredibly vulgar language?  I’ve never met a shred of evidence for it, I would in fact as go as far to suggest that the English use of the English tongue is the worst example of linguistic murder ever.  Or best.  And why do people effuse about a blue moon?  I’ve never heard the moon say a single word much less cuss.  If it’s any consolation, French women blame the English for other troubles, les Anglais sont debarqués.