0707/2nd February 2023

Dumping ice out of the water bowls this morning, I sent a mental message down the groundhog hole:

“If I was you mate, I’d stay put!”

Whoever thought groundhogs would want to emerge from hibernation on the 2nd of February? Of course they don’t!

A few of the poor creatures get dragged out on this day, by some twit in a tall hat who makes a silly prognostication based on whether or not the animal “sees its shadow”.

This year it declared we may expect 6 more weeks of winter. Fine by me.

Leave sleeping groundhogs lie, I say.

On my way out this morning, bundled up against the cold, I had to wait for Ghost to finish his meal. He was enjoying his peanuts unchallenged for once, so I could not disturb him.

It was suggested I have my own breakfast first:

“I’m not eating my breakfast with all those birds looking at me!”

On cold mornings they look especially needy.

The little chap was soon done, anyway. Sometimes we don’t see Ghost for days, so we are always pleased when he turns up.

We are wondering if in the Spring there will be baby “Ghosts” and what they might look like.

Little Red appears to be sheltering from the cold as we have not seen any of that little tribe since the temperature dropped.

Assortments of claws and paws tell who has visited.


Coming back from the store one day, Grant came upon His Nibbs in the road so he stopped to offer him a lift which was gratefully accepted.

Nibbs rode up chattering in the passenger seat.

This morning though, when the man got back, he discovered that Nibbs had got into the garage and been shut in.

Oh no! That warrants another meal at least.

It had to happen, of course. I knew it would.

Nibbs came by one really cold morning, and gave Grant the look.

Sure enough, in he shot.

“Cor'”, he said, “T’isn’t half nice in here!”

So now he stops in for tea and biscuits.

Dee Dee did a bit of a double take.

“You?” she exclaimed.

But she soon went back to counting Weetabixes”

Toby shrugged.

“Oh, who cares. As long as he doesn’t take my blanket.”

Our cats are so very generous, after all.

One of them, last night gifted me the bottom half of a mouse.

Which I donated to the crows.

Eventually they may decide to like us.

Perhaps the next generation.


Yesterday, I made a mistake. Well not particularly yesterday. I make lots of mistakes. But this is the one I made after lunch, yesterday.

Feeling rather as I imagine one might after being run over by a bus, I decided to lie down for a rest.

From previous experience I should know better.

Having an afternoon siesta was a habit my parents developed in Asia where it was too hot after lunch to do anything else. They carried the habit back to more temperate parts.

So, when I visited them I did the same. Generally I was jet-lagged, so a nap was a good idea.

Except that it wasn’t. If I managed to doze, I always woke up feeling sluggish and with a wicked headache.

This is what I should have remembered when I lay down yesterday. Really, my intention had been to elevate my achy legs, but it seems that I dropped off because not long after, the bus that had run me down, seemed to have backed up over me as well.

There is nothing seriously wrong with me or I should have expired long since. From what I have gathered there are many who have the same sort of problem, an undiagnosable immune system defect and/or inter-connective tissue defect.

When whatever it is “flares” it drains my energy and every part of me aches or burns or just feels sore.

The best way of describing it is that I am uncomfortable in my body. Sort of like that endless ‘plane journey in a little economy class middle seat. Too hot one minute. Freezing the next.

And totally exhausted.

The thing is, it is totally invisible.

There were times, when I was working, I had to wrap myself up in blankets and sometimes I even had to lie down. I got my work done and maybe no-one even noticed when I disappeared briefly.

What upset me most about it was that I might appear lazy or unwilling to runaround the way we were often expected to.

Sometimes, whatever it is took the form of somnolence. No matter how hard I tried, if I was at the computer I fell asleep.

And worse, it used to happen when I was driving. It was terrifying knowing that I might cause an accident and harm someone.

Desperate, I was sent for a brain scan and in the end I was declared: “borderline narcoleptic”.

Borderline was the word attached to every diagnosis.

Having no clearly diagnosable condition, you worry that people will think you are a hypochondriac. People think of you as one of those people who always have “something wrong”. They even make fun.

You isolate yourself. Not that I needed an excuse to do that.

For the most part I have been free of this affliction since I moved in 2018, although there was a new development, a condition that is now recognized: Burning Mouth Syndrome. (Fun!)

This developed as I was weaned off oxycodone but I don’t know that there is a connection.

What brought on the current flare, I can only guess. It will pass, as it always does.

Why would I write about such a crashing bore?

Until I started investigating, I had no idea how many people there are like me. Knowing that you are not just a weirdo, that you haven’t created this hell for yourself, I think in some way helps.

And it helps if other people know too.

12 thoughts on “Borderline

  1. I like your sky study, excellent, as always, and little Ghost is beautiful but your list of details about your ailments attracts some odd comments.


  2. Welcome to the club…. It is comforting to know there are others out there with this problem, just to know that there are others with this weird thing that doesn’t have a name or a remedy, and just comes and goes… I’m sorry that you are going through a cycle right now. Love your spirit, stay warm and keep posting those wonderful photos and stories about life on the east coast.

  3. My wife is an afternoon napper, and it ruins her sleep at night. But she just cannot stay awake. This week, she was diagnosed with extensive osteo-arthritis in every main joint, and fibromyalgia that causes the pain that makes her want to lie down. The nap always follows.
    There is no cure other than painkillers, but the hospital doctor told her to limit her intake of those, or face problems with her liver. She’s is only 62, and now worries a lot about how much worse it will become in the future.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  4. With back issues following my spinal fusion and osteo arthritis in almost every joint in my body, which I don’t complain about because no one cares, the thing that bothers me the most is that any time of the day that I am still for more than 5 minutes, I fall asleep. It’s OK if WE call ourselves weird, but no one else has the right! I so admire you for chugging along as much as you can. You brighten up every day for me with your lovely pictures and your cat and other critter stories.

  5. His Nibbs looks right at home with you – haha, stopping by for “tea and biscuits” 🙂! As I read your story about “the bus that ran over you (twice)”… I think how little I actually know about the human body. But what I do know for sure is that I am now officially in menopause … I get so hot at times that I actually feel nauseous (for a few minutes, then it’s over). And of course it doesn’t help at all that we are experiencing excessive heat at the moment! But like you said … this too shall pass …

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