I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Hey, think of the alternative...

In a matter of days I'll be 78. Assuming I make it I'll have breathed in and breathed out 819,935,000 times. Time enough to have got the hang of breathing.

You'ld've thought.

But no. A week ago I was receiving therapeutic instruction on this very subject. No big deal. I rest my hand on my belly and breathe normally, unself-consciously, for about ten minutes. Easy peasy. Hand on hips I do some more. Then I huff a few times. Finally... but there's no point in going on because I haven't managed to do the first bit for more than seven or eight seconds. I've got L-plates when it comes to breathing.

Where do you do it? Now, in front of the computer? Quick as lightning I'm playing solitaire. On the couch downstairs? I try to read the CD spines. In bed, lights out? On come the sexual fantasies. While driving? Whoops, I'm over the centreline.

But in 11 days’ time I'm seeing the therapist to check progress. There won't be any. And she'll give me that soft, critical look. Thinking: we're doing our best to comfort lungs born in Bradford. Third World lungs.

Breathing's hard. Perhaps my genes saw me as a herring (with gills) and I took the wrong evolutionary turning. Next winter I'll be coughing again, feeling my socks fighting to rise up through my airways.
WIP Hand signals (19,240 words done)
In the empty theatre he stuck his finger out and she looped and tied half a dozen sutures round it as he watched. Then she held out her finger. After three attempts he had already re-created the movements and after eight he was as fast as she was.

He grunted and by now Francine recognised this was his most positive form of praise.


  1. Breathing: there seems to be no consensus among the 'experts'. Singers and yogis expand the diaphragm, Pilates teaches breathing into the upper chest, the sides, etc etc. Swimmers, I guess something else again. Take a few lessons from a Pilates teacher and you will be huffing with the best of them in no time. Can be done solo with the teacher if you are self-conscious!

  2. Hope you get the hang of it soon...

  3. Fed: A few miles down the pike and I think I'm starting to crack it. Can't be sure, though. First. I've got to get myself relaxed, lying on the bed, the fifty-quid coverlet folded to one side to avoid crumpling. Carefully (to ensure the relaxation doesn't leak away) I transfer to the bedroom chair, put on one of those masks used by people on long-distance flights, and start the inhale/exhale cycle. But I'm still overdoing it, breathing too actively. Thus when I stand up and take off the mask I feel dizzy.

    Lucy: I get the innuendo. Do you suppose I should have a valedictory post already written, with instructions to VR about how to post it?

  4. Breathing helps us all get by even in old age when it becomes more of an art. Strongly to be recommended. Particularly when the air is fresh and sweetly scented. Have you been counting your breaths? A hypnotic exercise, but keeps you on the road.

  5. Joe: Breathing should be unconscious, these exercises make it conscious. The net result is a reminder that it shouldn't be taken for granted.