Monday, August 11, 2008

highs and lows and clean towels

(no pics. but lots of links to other peoples' ....)

The high point of my summer -

my stay in Nyack with Ched:

days in New York city and in Brooklyn,
wanderings in beautiful New York state
and a weekend in the Catskills - all with Ched, and at times also Steve

Our Catskills weekend included a visit to a giant kaleidoscope, and Hippiefest 2008 in Bethel
(pics and vids here and here and here)

Ched's blog has more posts about some of our wanderings, (posts between July 26 and August 8th) and I will post some of my own pictures when I get back to London in 10 days or so.

When I get a chance to start sorting through them.

I did manage not to leave my camera on the plane this time.
This is good.
During my 12 day visit I took over 1,700 photos.
This is not so good.
I think my photography habit is getting dangerously out of hand.

There were other bloggers I'd love to have seen, but sadly couldn't. But I made firm friends with Dennis (after a few days) and with Chedwick himself (after a few more days) and fell firmly in love with Eddie in no time at all.

Lows of the summer have been health-related - trivial in relative terms, but quite miserable at (intermittent) times.

I'd had an allergic reaction to my hair-colour way back in June I think and was left with nasty allergic dermatitis on my ears which at some points have been inflamed and swollen to about twice their usual dimensions, with a range of other symptoms far too unpleasant to be detailed to such nice people as yourselves. I have felt quite freakishly elephant-mannish at times.

Twice I was at the point of full recovery and then suffered a relapse - the second relapse just after my return from the States, which I think was due to hair-dye left on towels in our bathroom after LG's own summer hair-dye experiments. Me being in the US at the time, the towels were left to fester rather than being washed. No comment. LG had learned from my experience and did a proper allergy test, so she was fine thank goodness (and her hair looks great) but I was less careful than i should have been about checking towel cleanliness.....

its clearly not enough to know where your towel is
you also need to know that it is clean.

The old elephant ears were mainly in recovery while i was in the US, I took to wearing little ear cosies cunningly fashioned out of medical gauze and was otherwise pretty much fine and healthy, and no one openly laughed at me. In fact, maybe I have added an indefinable something to the reputation of Brits in New York?

Anyway, post-return from US and post-2nd relapse, the ear cosies evolved into substantial dressings and my system seemed to crumble a bit with various lurgies and infections attacking face neck and eyes.

Its felt rather like a (trivial) greek tragedy with a not-very-hidden moral about vanity and clean towels.

I'm currently blogging from Jersey, Channel Islands where I am lolling about in invalidesque mode and hence finding myself unexpectedly without any inclination or energy to go out (not even to go and take photos on the beach), but with computer time.

We are visiting M's family, and staying with Dizzy, who is a dear friend, too busy to blog these days, and an Ayurvedic practitioner.

How handy - she is providing me with a full ayurvedic care package which seems to be working very well, and which includes a sticky drippy paste on my ears made up of neem oil, honey and turmeric.


I think I may be leaving Dizzy's towels less than clean.....


Gledwood said...

ooo be careful with that hair colour: that can be nasty!

I remember once thinking "neurotic cow" as this woman timewastedly (so I thought at the time until I heard the answer) contacted an advice page in a magazine fretting over using hair colour in pregnancy

"will it affect my unborn child?"

aparently (get this) something like a quarter of the product is absorbed by the scalp and goes into the bloodstream: no shadow of a lie! Well that's what that expert said...

... which has changed my attitude to hair colouring pretty permanently!

Akelamalu said...

Oh Lettie I'm sorry to hear you've been having a rough time with your ears and such, but at least you're having a great time travelling and using your camera. Can't wait to see your photos. :)

Lynne said...

oh! your poor ears! Sounds very uncomfortable. Poor Letty. And to have a second relapse! I had no idea hair dye could be so nasty.

I think I am going to have to visit the kaleidoscope place. It's not far from me... and maybe the world's biggest garden gnome too ... and the Storm King art center ...

Glad you still have camera in hand. Can't wait to see pics.

Do take care of your elephant ears! I hope they heal quickly!

tut-tut said...

I'm sorry about your hair dye experience. Poor ears! You are a traveler for sure this year. You'll need your umbrella, Mary Poppins like, to let you glide back to earth . . . Looking forward to some of your 1000+ photos. Eddy is sweet, isn't he?

Lily and Agathe said...

Ear Ear what's this I 'ear?? sorry honey... but seriously, poor you, hope all is well soon in the ear department.. Lily had her ear op by the way so I know all about ears I can tell ya.. so excited, seeing Lu on wednesday chez moi... maybe your ears will go red! we're sure to talk about you xx

d. chedwick said...

If I dye ... it will be with henna-- that's OK , right? natural and so forth? and I will test and be slow and careful.

anyway, Lettuce has the most delicate little ears, I was quite worried, but she was bon vivant, carefree, so I tried not to ask about them too much.

but keep me posted.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

so good to see a post. oh how I wish I could have connected. sounds like a wonderful time....and was great that you were snuggle with eddie in his formative phase.

oh my, what a story re the hair dye and subsequent ear and skin trauma... who would think! now we know why they put those disclaimers to try dye on skin before application - as if anyone actually does this! or at least when I dyed my hair, I never did!

1700 photos - sounds low for 12 days of vacation - it is the digital era! no seriously average I'd say! of course what isn't good is deciding what to keep and what to zap. look forward to seening some.

have fun on this next phase of your vacation...

I'm seeing ched on friday!! totally psyched! kitties next visit to ny - this time I'm staying in the city as f is coming with....

mouse (aka kimy) said...

seening some????

seeing..... I must learn to proff




dennis said...

Dennis is thinking about you. Dennis is undergoing the very controversial Pink Hat Therapy. If you can stop by to help analyze it would be keen. PS remember Dennis loves you.

dennis said...

Dennis thinks everyone should be careful with toxic chemicals! (Walk past that shelf quickly)

Barbara said...

I've never heard of such an ear malady. I hope they are both better by now.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about your malady. Interesting in you paste with honey as this is a natural healer.

Steve said...

If you were American, you'd be filing a lawsuit against the makers of the hair dye! (Not that I'm suggesting it...merely commenting on litigious Americans. :) )

Bob Dylan said...

Hope your dainty ears are regaining their health.

edward said...

turmeric is supposed to be good for you, the honey and neem and turmeric blend sounds good. sticky is good for ears if your ears are fur-less.

Reya Mellicker said...

Maybe now would be a good time to let your natural hair color express itself for awhile. That would be a take home message for me.

Also wondering what you've been listening to that isn't so good for you.

In Chinese medicine, ears are connected directly to kidney function, so do stay in invalidesque mode for awhile. Eat kidney beans and black sesame seeds (not necessarily together!)

Take good care. Hope you're soon back to your standards of excellence!

lettuce said...

thanks for your good wishes though i feel a little fraudulent collecting them, given that i brought it all on myself for no very good reason....

in extreme cases, allergic reactions to the hair colour chemical php (banned in parts of Europe) can lead to anaphylactic shock. Feel free to use me as a warning to others - I've yet to meet anyone who says they always do the allergy test first...

tho the boxes carry plenty of warning info. so i assume, steve, that would prevent law suits

Reya, i absolutely agree with you! natural self-expression from now on.

thankyou for your photo reassurance kimy! i sort of suspected you might say something like that ;op

Squirrel said...

better stop listening to Sting !

Squirrel said...

seriously, I hope you're seriously on the mend this time.