Friday, 21 December 2007

New Year is approaching

Mr A and I watched an interesting TV programme the other night, which supplied another piece of the obesity jigsaw in respect of bariatric surgery. The programme was about a 55-stone man and his quest for surgery to enable him to reach a 'normal' weight. He had a very supportive family around him, but during the film you caught glimpses of some of the challenges facing him - the food they made for him was traditional high fat fare and no vegetables; his home was a pub; his father used to beat up his mother (and probably the kids too).

He had to lose 10 stone in order to have surgery, and he did it - at which point, halfway through the programme, Mr A and I looked at one another and said "So why not carry on losing weight like that?" In fact, the lady at the slimming club he joined said just the same, but he went ahead with the operation nevertheless. At the end of the programme he'd reached 16 stone, and Mr A and I had utterly changed our minds.

No, he wasn't offered psychological help (at least, none was mentioned other than the slimming club) but we felt it was too late for that. Despite his caring and well-meaning family, he'd never managed to keep weight off in the past, which made me think that perhaps they contributed to his failure, despite their good intentions? Maybe there are cases where nothing but surgery will work? I still think that if psychological help were offered sooner - he'd been in trouble with his weight since a very early age - then perhaps surgery wouldn't have been necessary.

Anyway, I'm still recovering from this horrible cold, while trying to maintain enthusiasm for revision. Luckily I don't get distracted much by preparation for Christmas, because we don't bother doing much preparation for Christmas. We did spend an hour or two on cards, just in time for first class delivery, but too late for Europe. We don't have any decorations or a tree or anyone coming for Christmas dinner, not even The Boy this year. Mr A's agreed to do the dinner while I carry on revising, and I might not even go with him to his parents on Boxing Day (although I haven't ruled it out). So it's revision all the way, which makes it difficult to devote time to this blog. When the revision's going well I don't want to interrupt it, when it's not then I feel guilty spending time on frivolity.

It would be a shame if all four years of the course end up like this. In previous years exams have been scheduled two weeks after the start of term, and everything ends two weeks later in the summer. As it is, lecturers aren't around if you have any questions, taking time out for celebration or any sort of Christmas or New Year holiday really leaves very little available for revision, and booking a week in the Lake District now feels very risky. Next year we're already committed to going away with the usual crowd of friends, and it won't be much fun if I have exams two days after the holiday ends, as I do this time.

Mum brought this cactus over in full bloom in September. Then it shed all its flowers, but now it's produced another lot!

Christmas cactus with pink flowers

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