Illumination, Amusement and a Connection between Depression and the Immune System


The British Library Digital Catalogue Of Illuminated Manuscripts is now open for business. Interface is a little stark, so here’s their human friendly introduction to the archive.

just ripping the heads off devils, with you in a mo

And if that’s not enough excitement for you for one day I’ve found you another video ou un person anglais parler en francais;

Oui. C’est Eddie Izzard.


Et bien, What else is new? Well, I went to see our friend Giles yesterday.

yep, still brainy

He handily untangled the bullshit from the truth about what was likely to happen at the NHS headache clinic for me, and he says that the neuro I had seen was wrong to say I’d have to come off preventative pain killers. He also said it was far better to abuse triptans than codeine from the point of view of botox treatment, because triptan overusers responded really well to the botox while the codeine users responded markedly less so.

AND! mes amis! he offered to give me my next go round for free if I would go to a training thing and talk to the docs who are learning how to give the botox. Possibly even docs who might subsequently treat me… He also said something quite interesting which was that in the deregulation of health services being offered treatment in eight months time was outwith the legal time frame, and that I might be able to get my own doc to commission him to treat me instead of the headache clinic at the neuro hospital. This would be advantageous for a couple of reasons; 1 – organ grinder rather than monkey, 2 – he goes ‘off piste’ with the botox and will also do areas other than those mapped out, so if you get referred pain from a particular part of your head, neck or even shoulders he will inject in extra places, 3 – after initially being intimidated by him I now really like him and also think he is FUNNY.


This morning I read an article called Thoughts About Depression From Under the Sheets by one @scicurious.
It’s worth clicking through to if you are interested in links between the immune system and depression. If this research gets some air time it could really revolutionize the way that depression is treated. It would be seen as an illness and not a condition, and people like me who get pain won’t be told that it is ‘psychosomatic’.

my first migraine, question time, and scary french stories


migraine awareness month heralds a blogging thingybob where we migraineurs are invited to blog together all month about migraines. now, you know me, i don’t like to bang on about my ailments, but i am going to give this a little whirl. i don’t know if i will manage every day, and i don’t intend to just give you a wall of migraine all month, what’d be the point of that apart from demonstrating in real time what my actual daily life is like and losing all and any readers in the process, i should think.

clicky through image to see the topics

thing is, there are lots of RULES about where to put links and how to tag and whatnot. frankly, my dears, i will give it a bash and if it is not SUPER EASY i will abandon it. and that, as you may have gathered, is how i roll. prompt one is this;

Migraine Awareness Month #1: Your First for the First. Share the story of your first Migraine, what it was like, if you knew what it was, what you did, how you felt.

the thing of it is, that i don’t know when my first migraine was. this might seem a bizarre statement to make, but it took me decades to get diagnosed, and i had a problem with chronic daily headache, made worse by tanking codeine based pain killers, for YEARS. i came off the pain killers under supervision and discovered that i’d been having a lot of rebound headaches.

once the rebound headaches had been weeded out i found that i was still having episodic headaches that would last around three days. i figured they were migraines, and went to my doc. darlings, this doctor was not notable for his bedside manner. and he didn’t like any attempt at self diagnosis. god knows what state he got into once joe and jolene public got their grubby mitts on google and wikepidia.

anyway, i told the doc what i thought and asked for triptans. he told me BRUSQUELY that if my headaches were not migraines they would not help. in a tone which told me in a capslock subtext that if i had diagnosed it myself then i couldn’t possibly be right and the drug wouldn’t help one bit, NO SIRREE BOB!

however, i was right, and the drug did help. for a while.

i remember, as a kid, having headaches and having to go to my bed during the day. i have no idea if they were migraines. my parents seem to think i was making them up. but i remember the pain. could have been something else, though, because i didn’t start having a problem with persistent headaches until i was in my early twenties. we may never know.

“National Migraine Awareness Month is initiated by the National Headache Foundation. The Blogger’s Challenge is initiated by”


so, well done for reading that. what can i give you as a pudding? well, feast your eyes on this

it’s a new craze brought to my attention by @unfortunatalie who runs a question time evening in hackney where everyone hangs out together tweeting along to question time and ignoring their friends in the room. the dimble dance is named after richard dimbleby, who presents the show.

here’s a taste of the article;

“Question Time is a serious programme,” said one viewer, Chris Nicholson. “But at the same time there is something dramatic and even camp about it that opens up something of a pantomime.”
“There are no big ideas anymore,” said Nicholson. “So the politicians are now shop-window dummies for the audience to jeer at: I guess we’ve found our own comedic Orwellian hate hour now.”


what i loved was the way that nat retweeted all the people who said mean things about it on twitter! what a trouper! made me look, anyway, so bollocks to them! and hurrah to natalie for being such a good sport.


another guardian article caught my eye yesterday. terrifying french childrens books in pictures gave me quite a thrill.

all the horrid fun of shockheaded peter kind of a thing, but en francais! my current FAVOURITE language.

ou est maman? je ne sais pas! malhereusement, petite personne de quoi sexe, on a vu que tu es dans un forêt d’épines. is all i can say, for the moment!

spiral (engrenages)


et bien, mes petite cadets d’espace! en un edition special de cette blog ici, un review de television programme engrenages – ou, en anglais cogs. mais, naturellement, il y a rien programme q’appelle cogs. non. c’est spiral ici dans la royanne uni.

that redhead? she’s a piece of work.

et maintenant! REGARDEZ!  le voila! les vraiment ENGENAGES!

c’est le premier fois j’ais vu un animation dans wikipedia (ou j’ai ganked it from)


engrenage m (plural engrenages)

  1. gear (a wheel with grooves)
  2. (figuratively) inescapable sequence of events

malheuresement, COGS n’est pas les plus belle titre pour les anglophones. so, SPIRAL it is. less an ‘inescapable sequence of events’ and more of a twirly thing. still. can’t have a programme called COGS, now, can we? just wouldn’t work.

check out the chevrons chef!

i like the scale of this. and the makes me happy. at one point while putting this post together i got waylaid into watching an actual video in french about cogs. and then i explained how cogs worked to ten. in french. not necessarily good french, but french nonetheless, and not franglais.

i don’t want to talk about the actual series, just the title. so no spoilers. and really, when you have so much to say about the title, it’s just crazytalk to start getting into the whole thing. especially with all the franglais i might have to employ. especially since my franglais seems to be rustier than my actual french.

“dommage!” you might say. or you might just say “phew”.