Pink hearts, mechanical sheep and flamenco

[This was dashed off ages ago, but I’ve only just re-discovered it. I’ve had stacks of dreams since but this one marked the end of YEARS without memorable dreams. A landmark in the unconscious world you might say.]

A dream, after all these years! This one was a strange mixture inspired by the movie I’ve just seen A Little Chaos, a trailer for another movie X + Y and some clips from the Motionographer* blog (I think). I knock on a door and behind I can hear a little girl yelling and running about saying fairly random and bizarre things. When the door opens, its Kate Winslet looking like her character in A Little Chaos but dressed in a light pink frilly dress with red hearts printed on it. She quickly conducts me into her backyard which is about Adelaide suburban-sized within a paling fence. There are garden beds and squares of lawn and it’s mainly flowers and vegetables in old-style beds. Sweet peas on strings, some tall odd-looking things; (hollyhocks?). These flowers probably originated in Alice Through the Looking Glass.

We sit down on a pink quilt on a square of lawn. The little girl flits about yelling and talking to herself. A plant is giving itself a vigorous brushing- it has grey stiff leaves and a drying head with tendrils like hair. A mechanical sheep about 6 inches high and looking like Shaun from the poster for the movie toddles around.

shaun_the_sheep_393759a

There is suddenly an old dining table and carpet in a room. Musicians are on a few chairs holding Renaissance instuments. A woman in a long wool jersey dress does some flamenco steps. We try to clear the room of debris and furniture so she can dance. The lamb toddles about, chasing real kittens.

trombone-italian-art

The kittens have apparently been starved as I have forgotten to feed them for weeks. Perhaps I’ve been sick? Steve yells at me for starving the kittens! [What has HE been doing?] He chases me from the house and says he’ll never forgive me and not to come back. The kittens are mewing and clutching their stomachs. I can’t remember them being so tiny and me not feeding them. Oddball stuff.

Maybe I was supposed to wake up and answer the kitties’ call for breakfast instead of writing this blog entry?

Example of typical Motionographer blog’s clips:

Sprint vector trailer

#dreams #fantasy #kittens #kitteh #movies #Kate_Winslet

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Just bloody do something!!

[Instructions to self]

I replied to a Facebook Friend’s post where she described getting stuck into a new quilting project with this:

“It would be so lovely to feel “free” enough to embark on a much-anticipated project, to enjoy doing it and [eventually] completing it! My mental state these past few months just will not allow me to have a decent series of days where I feel happy engaging in my hobbies. If I could keep other things from getting on my “list” I would be fine but I have no power to say “NO” to the other activities and they always end up winning. If I do the nice hobby things I feel guilty about not doing the boring things, it clouds my enjoyment and I stop. Grrrr! what is your secret? I think I need more pills- my mind is not responding to instruction! I’m going to put this post in a blog!”

If you’ve read my blog before, you will realise I have reached another “stuck” time. I HATE being stuck! I feel competent enough to do a heap of tasks related to my interests yet I cannot get myself to do them or complete them. Part of it must be procrastination with a touch of “fear of failure” but some of my interests like writing tunes on my Korg nanoPad are not classifiable into success vs failure. I merely like to noodle away and enjoy myself.

Things I could do at the moment include sowing salad seeds and looking after them, finishing a top I was sewing for myself before Christmas, making a colourful quilt to my own design, knitting something from some of the wonderful yarns I have, embarking on a new photo project or writing some tunes with cumbia rhythms.  This site is a great source of rhythms.

To me it’s obvious that something is going on with my inner reward system. I seem to make my hobby activities contingent on having first done things that are useful but which don’t give me any pleasure, like doing the washing or fertilising the pot plants. Am I not worthy of these pleasurable activities? Admittedly my self-esteem is very much tied up in what I do with my time as it was when I worked in paid employment.

I always needed a job that I found interesting or I would slack off and/or become crippled by depression. When people made my pleasurable job less enjoyable by imposing irrelevant conditions on it- like having to write down what I was engaged in every 15 minutes – I became rebellious, angry, then depressed. It took me a long time to get back to my old level of performance; the exact opposite of what the bosses were trying to achieve. Mind you, how was a researcher supposed to improve by interrupting their train of thought to report on it? Admittedly, a lot of entries on my log said things like “spent 15 minutes wondering how I would analyse the data from X, Y and Z”. When quizzed about what I had “produced” in an hour, all I could say was that I had consumed a certain amount glucose processing thoughts in my brain! Not what they wanted.

So why can’t I just barrel along with my train of thought and enjoy my hobbies now? I don’t need to work for an income now I am retired as my superannuation has cut in. There are no other humans to care for except whatever I can contribute to household maintenance and there are the two healthy little cats who spend far more time having fun than I ever will!

Yummy fresh basil for tearing over pasta or making pesto.

basil

 

OK, so maybe I need to get more mindful of my hobbies. But how can I impose this when the actual imposition will destroy the pleasure of the activity? Sure I could meditate and practise etc but I’m not getting anything useful from this.

Fluffy, juicy parsley to eat straight from the bush!

parsley

 

 

 

What about looking at the products of my activities already achieved? There is lovely water-well pot full of basil and parsley in the backyard that I regenerated after it was attacked by looper caterpillars and snails! I enjoy going out in the courtyard and pinching off some basil leaves and parsley to eat, right then and there and that is rewarding. However most of my interests involve doing something which I enjoy in the moment, even the music. I don’t get anything from re-listening to music I have “finished” or abandoned. It was the creation I enjoyed.

So where to now, baby blue? I’m leaning towards a temporary hike in pills. Will go see the doc.

bluells

I would like to make this quilt.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

References on reward systems and depression: 

Pleasure systems in the brain. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4425246/

The neurochemicals of happiness. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201211/the-neurochemicals-happiness

No trip

 

 

I couldn’t quite believe I would not go on our planned trip to Iceland when my back was playing up. I thought the back would get under control before we left and could I look after it well while we were away. But no, once we got into the “no withdrawal/no refund” period of two weeks the bloody thing got worse.

So I had a CT scan and X-rays which showed that the disc between L5 and S1 (in the small of the back, where it curves towards the stomach), was bulging out in a big lump that would not fit back through the space leading to where it belonged. I decided to get some physio to relieve it but finally gave in and had a cortisone injection into the nerve root. I screamed a little but did not lose my cool. The radiologist was quite surprised I held so still he got it in first go! So now I can sit here comfortably and blog in contrast to my constant twitching, and getting up and down, beforehand.

Iceland would have been brilliant. Steve wants to do it in a few years’ time by car on our own while I still want an organised tour to take me to places I normally couldn’t go. A movie funded via Kickstarter was on Netflix the other night and showed the main tourist attactions very nicely but I’d like to see the bird colonies and geological hotspots. Named “Bokeh”, keen photographers will know what it means and labeled as “sci-fi”, younger viewers may be perplexed to find something slow and uncomplicated.

With full-on gorgeous cinematography you could believe was directed by the Iceland Department of Tourism, I didn’t have to worry about the characters and plot. Although they weren’t bad at all! There  were scenes of the hot lakes in the snow where you can swim until your hair goes all stiff with mineral salts, of gigantic waterfalls you can walk behind and view the world through a curtain of crystalline water, and geysers that whoosh up boiling water into the air at regular intervals. The two characters gallivant about on devastated black-sand beaches and over ancient lava flows covered in lichens, having picnics in the grass and swimming in a variety of settings. Very picturesque, both the young actors and the scenery.

The typical Icelandic golden horses appeared in the movie, abundant and friendly as reputed in our tourist brochure. It was a shame the movie didn’t permit a glimpse of the abundant nightlife in Reykjavik, but the plot didn’t allow for crowd scenes. If you are intrigued, there is a review at Screen Anarchy and I’m sure you’re perfectly capable of finding alternatives.

Meanwhile, I can cruise among the photos on Flickr and do some armchair travel while my various structural problems resolve. Look at this!

I took this in Adelaide, years ago and thought it looked a bit Icelandic:

Adelaide could be Iceland...I don't think so!

For the real Iceland, you’ll have to go to Flickr and enjoy the amazing pix taken by people who’ve been there (lucky sods).

Here’s a link to the tour we had booked:

https://www.odysseytraveller.com/tours/iceland-cultural-and-wilderness-tour-for-groups/

 

 

Deities vs denigration. Or how to stop dwelling on things.

I was trying to locate some pointers on rumination that I felt were suitable to my own situation, being depressed. A few behaviourally oriented ones sounded good while others went all god-dy and totally put me off. What is the point of a deity saving you after you are dead to make everything right? You’re dead then and have no life to BE good FFS!

When I read the attached account of a woman grieving for her prematurely-departed husband I thought she was making more of a hole for herself by denigrating her own worthiness as a human and potential partner. Somehow I need to steer between deities and denigration!

My concept of myself is not that bad; I think I am worthy of love, praise and comfort and I have a fair measure of each. My social network is rather lacking at the moment and I haven’t had the cheerfulness or energy to cultivate it, so I feel a bit disconnected but NOT lonely. I am quite happy with spending every day alone, my only contact with the world through my laptop or tablet. However, my social situation of 90% isolation is NOT good for curing myself of ruminating. While I don’t blame myself for being depressed currently, being alone is provocation for negative thoughts about anything. A few years ago I was able to keep my mind active with online courses and I learned some amazing stuff. Recently though I have been unable to get out of my unproductive ruminative loops in order to learn new stuff, so unfinished online courses are just more negatives that I don’t need right now.

Iceland poppies

Iceland poppies

My Mindfulness practice has helped to a certain extent but it is not strong enough to keep all my head-crap at bay all the time. Doing something active like my hobbies would be great too, but I am in the middle of a very stuck period and haven’t got past first base with several projects that are lovely in themselves. Seeing the endpoint in my mind doesn’t seem to have the push-power it should. Somehow, my unfathomable feeling that things are not “right” gets in the way. Please contribute some ideas if you have tried successfully to fix your own stuck-ness or ruminations.

Here is the woman who is down on herself in her grief:

REALITY: WHY IT IS LIKELY THAT A LIFETIME OF LONELINESS AWAITS ME.

 

When will things be RIGHT?

Over-wintering ducks

Over-wintering ducks

Hello Kind Readers (if any of you check back here),

I am in the grip of a two-year plague of procrastination and holding back from whatever I am holding back from. Somehow I am writing this, so I have now conquered a tiny section of it, inspired by commenting on Lori Stone’s piece, The hard work of fun. This was my comment on her struggles with perfectionism in everyday life:

 

  • I DO have trouble letting go and having fun! However the big block in my chakra is procrastination while in the grip of the Black Dog. Somehow the conditions for having fun – having anything at all – must be “right” before I can let go. My head is constantly full of ideas to create and see and do and learn but I can’t make myself DO anything because the conditions have not become “right”. Unlike you and your perfectionism, I don’t mind if things are out-of-line, messy, incomplete or whatever unless it’s something like driving the car or taking the correct dose of pills. But, yep, I’m having a lot of trouble having fun. When will things be “right”? 

The depression around the shortest day of Winter has been worse this year than for several years but I have been coping marginally by trying to practise some useful habits like mindfulness meditation, regular exercise, taking my pills and almost cutting out alcohol (normally I only have a few glasses of wine per week, but now I’m down to zero for a while). However I cry easily, quickly become irritated by certain people and things and spend a lot of time huddled under the quilt mindlessly playing word games on the device. I have managed to keep up with the washing, aquarobics (mostly), looking after my painful wrists, cat maintenance, preparing 50% of meals, going to Wednesday night dinners and keeping the bathroom mould at bay.

I won’t mention things I HAVEN’T managed as that would be allowing negative stuff to intrude on my achievements! I do confess to having missed one or two showers in the past three months but that’s it.

Purple haze

Purple haze

Getting down to the nitty-gritty: What is stopping me from having fun? What conditions must be met before I can let go and enjoy my time? Should I go back and have some more counseling? But I know what the psychologist would suggest and I’m obviously not getting on with the job, so – duh.

Admittedly I have had some setbacks in my life the past few years but most of them have been worked through although some could use still more effort. Lack of cash stopped being an issue a few months ago which is the best and biggest boost to life I’ve had in decades! However Spotrick says my generosity has brought more troubles upon me and that is true to a certain extent, but why are people so demanding and judgmental? Disappointment in human nature is definitely part of my current low mood although that hasn’t been the problem for long. Before that I had some big hiccups around money, with the tax department chasing me over imaginary debts and then trying to fine me thousands of dollars for not reporting my non-existent income. I also have continuing problems with my bank where they keep cutting off online access because I am too slow (apparently) inputting my security numbers (my hands are not wonderful any more). It is so frustrating and I feel so helpless because I am being “punished” for a disability. After I get cut off things snowball as creditors start contacting me for automatic debits that have ceased etc etc I just want to relax and have a life. With no job, alone all day and no family I COULD be quite OK except for these money hassles I don’t need at ANY time.

We have green winters

We have green winters

When I Tweeted about not being able to start anything,

  • I’m definitely in the wilderness again. Empty horizons in all directions. How to escape?

    @LaLegale replied:
    Rather than “escape”, create. Imagine your life as a blank tapestry, which you embroider with the things that you do every day.

But that’s exactly what I CAN’T do – my life IS a blank tapestry and I can’t make myself start the bloody embroidery. Who would want to embroider on the topic of the washing or cleaning the floor beneath the cats’ bowls?

So, sweet readers, how can I start or get some enthusiasm for the various projects I would LOVE to do including photographing stuff, getting back into film (rather than digital), sewing, knitting, and yes, tapestry; also I almost wrote the first draft of a novel during NaNoWriMo last year, so when will I resume writing, blogging regularly here and on my Health for Humans blog; there are some songs to work on, bits of the garden to rejuvenate, yummy things to cook, places to visit, people I’d love to see more of, and holidays to plan?? Ideas, quick, please!

Finding richness in the shade

Finding richness in the shade

Chunks of Pi

My friends and I have been rather tardy in going to see The Life of Pi at the local cinema, but we managed it last Sunday night. I thought that the book was un-filmable, even without modern CGI effects and animatronics, but the movie was an enthralling adaptation of the book in startling 3D [we wore Clark Kent glasses].

Scene from the movie

Pi & Richard Parker

We were all very happy with it and I felt rather inspired by what I saw, which is unusual for me. For the very few who might not have read the book by Yann Martel [Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize] nor seen the recent movie, it is about a boy who finds himself alone in a lifeboat with a tiger after a ship sinks containing his fathers entire zoo exhibits.

When I first read the novel, which is quite short, I liked it OK although I didn’t think it was great. The writer seemed to go well for the first third of the book and then hit the doldrums, just like the boy in the lifeboat! To my mind the symbolic and philosophical themes didn’t seem to progress for a long interval and I was tempted to abandon ship/book. However, I knew there had to be some sort of resolution, so I went along for the ride. I was rewarded in the end and concluded that the book was an allegory of nature, growth, life and death, where the elements could each mean a number of things, depending on the mindset of the reader. I didn’t relate the themes to my life at the time, but seeing the interpretation of the book by Ang Lee (of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon fame- is he getting stuck on tigers??), I felt quite touched. As said by reviewer Gary Krist in the New York Times Review of Books;

Pi understands that his own survival depends on keeping his ferocious opponent alive and well — ”because if he died I would be left alone with despair, a foe even more formidable than a tiger. If I still had the will to live, it was thanks to Richard Parker.”

Pi to multi decimal places

Pi, as Pi writes it on the blackboard

The film said to me “Get your tasks of necessity over with and just enjoy doing your own thing. Life won’t come back and give you another go.” That’s quite revolutionary to me at this stage of my life. For years I have been wanting to get my Masters degree and find a job in Public Health, preferably in Policy and Research because I am so drawn to them in many waking moments. However, no one has been very encouraging and I haven’t gained any jobs or scholarships to study further yet, having arrived at a sort of “fallback” position of trying for a PhD for lack of a job. I figured I could still immerse myself in the subject area even if I couldn’t work in it. With the stimulus of Pi I may be shifting my thinking to accepting I have finished my working life and settle for enjoying the crafts and hobbies I can still do with my disabled hands and wrists.

I will still need to learn to value myself and accept I am worth Spotrick supporting financially as my childhood background has almost brainwashed me into thinking I must always have an independent income. At least now I have been unemployed for many years I have somewhat forgotten what it’s like to have my own money to spend the way I wish [while keeping up my household contribution, of course]. It’s still fairly sad for me to see friends going away on holidays to places I had planned to visit before the end of my life, but I am trying to experience those things vicariously now. I have been asking my friends to take lots of photographs when they go away – photos of the places, rather than the standard touristy pix of “me in front of the Tower of London” sort! My friends are beginning to co operate, but they take a bit of flogging [you know who you are, LOL!]. I still get tears in my eyes regularly when I see places on my Bucket List on the internet, but I’m improving.

Scottish loch

Scottish loch

 

So this week could be quite influential for me and I haven’t changed my mind yet in the light of a week’s distance or reality biting.

Does this sound like a good thing? Have I missed something that’s going to wreck it all?

Comments welcome.

Here are some reviews of the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it yet: http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/life-of-pi/

Acknowledgements: Pi poster with multi decimal places http://hoffnermath.files.wordpress.com/2009/

Movie poster: http://theawesomer.com

 

Praise was a no-no

Child development: The right kind of early praise predicts positive attitudes toward effort.

_____________________________________________________

When I taught developmental psychology to young teacher- and childcare-trainees, I fought a losing battle most of the time trying to show them how to use praise in the best way to enhance the lives of the little ones in their charge. All the other teachers on the programs thought that you must “treasure the precious little children” by [wrongly] “boosting their self-esteem” in saying “wow, that was good” or “don’t you look gorgeous”, no matter the merit of child in any way.

This article points out where I was doing OK and they were NOT encouraging the children to try hard and put their best efforts into whatever they did. I believe the “wow, you’re wonderful” style of upbringing has resulted in generations of youngsters who won’t put in an effort, try to get by on appearance [at which many succeed & others derive much misery from], feel entitled to a good job no matter how lackadaisical their performance and are intolerant of less than perfect traits in a partner. Who knows?

As I mentioned on Google+ in response to this article, my life has been heavily influenced by getting no praise or the wrong kind when I was a little kid. I was virtually “squashed down” because apparently the “tall poppy” syndrome reigned in the 1950s. I can only remember a few instances where I was praised for any achievement, and this was by school teachers or other kids’ parents. As an adult [in years, maybe not in mind!], I have not usually tried very hard at most things, because I achieved most things as a kid by just turning up and doing. No one will believe me, but I got into med school that way- however, lack of effort after being ill for a long time probably made me drop out, where I might have been able to cope with some coaching and support for a while.

Kids I went to school with apparently often tried to topple me from the top of the class, but, not having put any effort in myself, I didn’t notice their frustrated efforts! Therefore, I didn’t congratulate them or praise them either because I hadn’t experienced it myself. These days I sometimes chat on Facebook to some of these old friends and discover how “victorious” some of them felt when they topped me at something and how some of them were jealous of my performance/”marks”, disliking me as consequence. It all seems so trivial now, but THEY have mostly succeeded in life with good jobs and happy families, whereas I am long term unemployed with a still “itchy” mind!

So, from many years of experience and contemplation I would say to parents “Be alert to your children’s achievements in every sphere and give them plenty of praise about the way they achieve.” My idea would be to teach kids as many things as you can quite deliberately so they don’t have to make so many mistakes along the road to becoming adults themselves. Teach them about praise too, once they are old enough to get the idea, and they will become sought after companions in life for their peers. Show children how to do things and don’t keep saying “No not that way” and correcting them – let them work through and discover for themselves the best methods once you have shown them, except when it’s dangerous, eg. diving off the high board!

Surely I might be happier and healthier now, maybe even suitably employed if I had been able to build on a solid basis of feeling competent and autonomous when I was learning to become human. I’m working on it.

It is a genuine dilemma in this age of new-fangled “molecular” drugs, that some seem to work very well during their first human trials, but we have to wait years to get them to the public.
Of course there is massive cost to consider in some cases, but I don’t know about eteplirsen. Public health advocates can have a terrible time deciding if a few people can have an expensive drug vs. a lot of people getting a cheap one. For instance, how many doses of polio vaccine would you trade for one of eteplirsen? These are the realities of government budgets. I wouldn’t like to do it, would you?

 

Health & Family

Austin and Max Leclaire are brothers. Austin is older, Max is younger. Like most siblings, they have many things in common and just as many that set them apart. For now, though, their strongest bond is over something they share — Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the most common lethal genetic disorder among children. Duchenne’s hallmark is increasing muscle weakness that eventually makes it hard to breathe and confines kids to wheelchairs, which is where Austin finds himself these days. Now 14, he lost the ability to walk four years ago, a development that helps explain why the disease looks so different in the two brothers today.

Because Max, 11, was still able to put one foot in front of another in the summer of 2011, he was eligible to enroll in a drug trial for Eteplirsen, which is designed for children like the Leclaire brothers who have trouble producing a protein…

View original post 1,502 more words

Would you call an ambulance?

Yesterday we traveled with some friends for lunch at Angas Plains Winery, south of Adelaide. As we set off the weather was mild and quite a few children’s fluffy clouds drifted across the sky. We anticipated a warm, leisurely time under the open verandah at our destination, being plied with tapas-style food and rich red wine. Lovely.

Well, we did eventually enjoy our lunch, but were interrupted repeatedly by something rather bizarre and frankly scary!

As we started our first bottle of wine and ordered our food I saw a couple entering the verandah area, the woman apparently frail and leaning on her much larger companion’s arm. This wasn’t particularly alarming, but then suddenly the male companion was on the ground! I watched as several people rushed over to them and discovered the man must have either passed out for a second or had tripped and bumped his head on a deck chair. They seemed to have things under control, seating the man and woman and moving a table to them for their meal. Apparently the couple were from Berlin in Germany and had driven a hire car from Sydney, NSW over the past ten days, planning on leaving from Adelaide in four more days time.

We got to eating and enjoying ourselves again, suitably distracted from the upset and trying not to have an argument about climate change! Our food selection involved some fantastic sourdough bread, gleaming gold olive oil and a very tasty homemade dukkah. This was followed by a selection of prawn & spice dim sum, some chorizo, chicken & chili kebabs and spannakopita (spinach & ricotta in filo pastry triangles). We succumbed to dessert later, despite having vowed to avoid it as a health hazard!

However, our meal was interrupted again by the wobbly German couple attempting to depart. Sure enough, as soon as the guy stood up, he keeled over. He managed to collapse in a sitting position this time, but skinned both his arms, tore his finger tips and nails on the left and I soon noticed some blood seeping through the knee of his trousers. A crowd of helpers gathered around and managed to keep him seated against the big barn door there as I tried to get some info from the couple. First, I asked the woman if her husband’s medication had been changed recently. “No” she said, “not for years”. [!!] I asked if he was on medication for hypertension, his heart or his balance and I don’t think her English was up to it. She just told me “It’s his diabetes. He’s always falling over. That’s how he is”. So I just told her they ought to take him back to the doctor when they reached home, silently thinking I should really call an ambulance, as the guy looked deathly pale and didn’t seem able to speak.

After cleaning his wounds and staying with the couple a while, the guy wanted to stand up and get in their car, but it was parked about 100metres away in a gravel-covered carpark. This was hopeless, so I got the woman to give the car keys to Spotrick to bring the car right over near the door. After helping the guy sit in the car and recover [??] his faculties, we left them to it, sitting down again to resume our meal.

As soon as the hire car took off, we could all see (and hear) that the guy had left the handbrake on!! He slowed & stopped before attempting to turn left and out of the carpark and we all heaved a sigh of relief that he had discovered his oversight.

But ohs noez!! He roared off again, rear wheels stationary and dragging behind the car, gravel spitting everywhere from the front tyres! Suddenly I was off after them, breaking the world land speed record in my inadequate strappy sandals! I got abreast of the driver’s window, waving my arms and yelling “Stop! Stop!”. For what seemed like ages, he continued to force the car along, speeding up! I found a further burst of acceleration myself and managed to run a bit ahead of him, catching his attention with my flailing arms! 

Phew! He stopped and rolled down the window. I told him & made gestures with my hands to snap off the handbrake and he realised his mistake and drove off OK.

Should I have called an ambulance?

I really thought about calling the ambos as none of us thought that man was safe to drive, but he wasn’t drunk so the manager couldn’t take his car keys legally and I can imagine the fiery reaction! Probably the couple were dead scared that the guy would be hospitalised in Australia where he couldn’t speak the language and no one knew his medical history. His wife was not brave enough to attempt to drive here on the “wrong” side of the road though I think I would have been tempted in her position. Neither person seemed to have any idea that the guy was suffering multiple medical problems besides a bit of Type 2 diabetes and seemed never to have heard the words “hypertension” or “high blood pressure” in English anyway.

I hope they get safely back to Germany, without needing a stretcher and oxygen on the plane! Scary stuff.