Breath Of Life

The life and times of Mr Mark Allen....

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Wind Up Toys for Staffordshire boys


To find out who these lovely people are you need to look at my photo site!

IVs day 7....and 'I'm still alive,' as Pearl Jam used to sing (for those of you who remember Grunge!) I am a walking itchy mess....but that's part of the course!

Sunday..gosh what a nail-biting finish to the test eh? Come on England.Cricket rocks! Perhaps the finish would have induced heart-attacks releasing good lungs for luck so far..

In the evening I had a meal at the PG with EW and DW and their bridesmaid celebrate E and Ds anniversary (I was 'best' man..I think they meant 'beast'..)

K bought E and I wind up motorbike toys to play with at the table...always a joy! Bless her cotton socks...K rocks (oooh I'm a poet and I don't know it)

My pedometer will now not be finding any paedophiles...It snapped...RIP...My steps go

Anyway...Monday saw Cannock's annual crime-fest otherwise known as the Longford Island Car Boot Sale...

I got SEVEN CDs for £10....including The Gorillaz, Royksopp, Iggy Pop and Richard Thompson, Creamfields....Mark = happy shopper...

I was chatting to a coffee girl (as one does) and she said they had to be there at 5am to get a good spot....gosh....I felt guilty about just buying a coffee from her!

The humid weather continues...

Today we hit Rugeley and I bought a strange thing...Its a mug, with batteries that turns a coffee into a latte..but frothing it up...instantly! It was 99p...

I also got a hug bowl of garlic in vinegar for £1....Pure cheap retail therapy...

I think there are even more fat people in Rugeley than Cannock...How and why? (answers on a pstcard to....)

Lovely to get a letter from Erza from Malaysia today...Gosh it is really five years since I was in Malaysia....Malaysians are lovely! Remind me to return..

Good luck to Hannah on her trip up that huge mountain that Babyshambles sang about!!!

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MUSIC: Nine Black Alps, The Gorillaz, Royksopp
BOOK 'According To Queeney' by Beryl Bainbridge

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Moody Mark

Hiya Blogettes,

Oooooh look it's my hand!

My IVs..These are the bane if my life... And you should see the state of the dining room, which has become my pharmacy for two weeks! It smells like one too!

IV antibiotics are a bit gruelling...I always have side FX with them. So I am an itchy, flaky, knackered Marky, who smells of strange medicine at the mo!

I am mixing and administrating the IVs a bit faster now I am used to them...But I can't inject each syringe faster than five minutes...or my veins collapse...

I have to take all my drawn up drugs to a clinic on Wednesday to have blood tests before and after I take they can test the levels...

The IV thing is done for a fortnight every three months. They are 'elective' which means they are optional and not because I have a nasty infection at the moment...

It is a preventative rather than cute thingy!

What has been happening in the last couple of days...I went into Cannock yesterday....We all need a dose of pond life occasionally...

Today we did Lichfield and I bumped into a few people I knew including PB and LB - who I hadn't seen in ages...

I last saw PB at my leaving do from the Express & Star before I went travelling in 1999! They are funny people and always make me a gigilo (?)

I saw J from H&B in town, in a rush, and two PG barmaids in town....

The belt straps for my pedometer (yes the thing that counts number of steps taken each day and not a pervert finder!) snapped so I went to The Works to try and find a new one...

Miss M was serving and she said they may have some more in soon....Well I may need an excuse to go in again anyway!

*Just put new pics on-line on Marksucks of my Godmother's retirement bash!*

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MUSIC: Nine Black Alps, The Leaves, Eels, Green Day,
BOOK 'The Lawnmower Celebrity' by Ben Hatch

Thursday, August 25, 2005

BBC, Aussie Bores and IV Chores


How is it going? Sorry this is a short entry (ooer) as I have a venflon in my right-hand (I am in injecting IV antiobics three times a day at the moment)so am typing one-handed...

On Monday elderly neighbours A and S (S was my first primary school teacher!) needed a rest from S's Aussie brother! Gosh he was hard work...

He came at 7.30pm and stayed until almost 11pm and was sooooo boring! He even showed us pictures of his model boats and pictures on his wall...

He had the cheek to ask how long Dad had been dead for and then tell mum she 'didn't look upset' and carry on regardless.

I used to live just round the cornder from his in Melbourne apparently, but he showed no interest in seeingh photos of my place and if he recognised it...

I hope you are all watching 'Life On The List' at 7pm each night this week....Its the one we helped make and soundtrack....

I got a text from BBC John who said 'thousands' had signed up to be donors thanks to the brilliant is that?

Tuesday Vickie P (one of the tale of two Vickies Vs) came with her kiddies...We walked to the PG (I can do that quite well now...knowing there is a coffee at the end of it for me!)

On Wednesday I went to the hospital in Brum for my check-up.....(and deliver another 24-hours of urine! he he)

I knew they were going to start my three-times-a-day IVs....they tried to put a 'long line' in (it looked like a tape worm..)

BUT after painful stabs and blood loss they couldn't get one in and put a normal pin cannula in instead...

It means I can't do a lot with my right hand....and have to keep it dry.... Lets just pray it stays in this time...

The dining room is now full of syringes, needles, drugs and bandages....deja-vu?

Its all worth it if it keeps me top of my game for when my transplant goes ahead and gives the new lungs a better chance of lasting....

My blowing tests were up slightly (again) so things are ok....

BB and JB came today and we 'hit' Lichfield and hit a hailstorm....I sheltered in NatWest with a girl desperately trying to keep her GCSE results dry....She looked about 12...I must be getting old!

J+32 and day 515 on transplant list....

MUSIC: Eels, Green Day, RHCPs, Erasure
BOOK 'The Lawnmower Celebrity' by Ben Hatch

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Pitmen and the BBC


As you can see I went to watch Hednesford Town FC play Hinckley United on Saturday....Uncle (or H!) is a season ticket holder and I went along. The usn was shining and it was fine way to spend tha afternoon....I may not be there in the snow and rain but this end of the season (while the players still have energy and are trying to impress) it's good fun... I think the player shown is Andy Bell (last season's goal wizard and not the same Andy Bell that sings in Erasure or plays guitar for Oasis) ...but I may be wrong!) Hednesford lost 4:3 but it was nice of Uncle D to take me....He had a good time too as the other side of us was the mum of one of his favourite players....

'Life On The List' (the programme about people waiting for transplants) begins this week, every night from 7pm on BBC1...But it doesn't look as if our bit is to be featured after all....

It was all edited and in place but 'them from above' decreed there had to be so many ethnic minorities on the know how silly the BBC is over things like this....I think there has to be at least 10 times the ethnic minorities on TV than exist in the community and then its called 'representative'!

Anyway....I am still waiting to hear finally...but that's what it looks like has happened.....It is annoying after all we put into that show, all mum put in too especially chatting on camera on how difficult it has been since Dad died...

She was really brave and I am proud of her...

It must be really disappointing for all of you, my friends and family, who were interviewed and gave up their time too....

Lets hope (if it isn't used) they can use it on another show....Our segment is 12 minutes, ready edited (with my selection of music) and would make an ideal 'Inside Out' episode....

On a happier note, Uttoxeter Lora got her grades so Ican't say anything bad about Uttoxeter more jokes about interbreeding and thumbs...I promise....

I went to the cafe over Cannock Chase today and saw the longest line of horses trail past I have seen....Bless...

Oh yes...I am still having a few technical hitches with my new website homepage patient....

Good luck Gilesport girl for your move to Burntwood this weekend....Hope you catch that bus on Monday morning!

Snuggles and glitterdust on J + 28

MUSIC: Joy Zipper, Eels
BOOK 'The Lawnmower Celebrity' by Ben Hatch

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

'Sleepy Juice' And The White Stripes


Welcome to J+25 and my pedometer (still found no paedophiles with it!) is working overtime! Less than a week until a fortnight of the dreaded IV antibiotics....

Firstly. (Ok secondly, but the last paragraph is 'throwaway') Wasn't the test match one of the most exciting ever (again!) These things couldn't be scripted any better could they...

Anyone who says cricket is obviously not an adrenalin junkie!

The great expectations for the next test are immense....Shane Warne and the Crocodile Hunter blokey....seperated at birth/mirth/girth?

Uncle D is going to take me to a Hednesford FC football game on Saturday..I think I could do the second half (so I only have to take one oxygen cylinder in.)

I think I will be safe enough....If we get the call it won't be as hard as leaving Old Trafford or Villa Park now will it?

The Conference (North) game will be my first since returning from travelling....

I remember going up to Middlesborough to see The Pitmen lose 3-2 to the Premiership Club..The days of 'two fat Johns' and 'Mighty Joe O'Connor' were heady ones!

The White Stripes...Well firstly I love the band's new single AND overnight I have two strands of white hair at the front of my head....

These, my very own White Stripes, will be named Jack and Meg and I will watch their progress with interest....

A little recipe for those who cannot get off to sleep..


Ingredients: Cinnamon (use sticks) water, root ginger(fresh if possible), lemon (freshly squeezed)add the zest too.... Boil it all up together and when cooled down put in fridge...(It's not rocket science...but it may taste like rocket fuel if you don't get the mixture right lol)

Before you go to bed heat up a cup of said liquid in the microwave or in a pan and add honey to taste...(Use own bees if you have some!)

Take the 'MSJ' to bed with you....Then if you don't get to sleep at least you have something nice to drink while you are reading/listening to the World Service!

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Music: The Audience (Sophie Ellis-Bextor's old band) + mash ups
Book: Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Godmother Ate My Hamster!


How are thee? Well the media circus keeps on rolling eh? I finally got hold of a copy of The Mercury....I look better than that in real life folks! lol

But I STILL haven't heard from the Express and Star about that column they asked me to do...I can't do it if I don't know how long a piece they want, on what and when?

I went to The Stimpsons (as apposed to The Simpsons, although Mr S does look a little like Honer!) do on Saturday.....It was Mr S's 65th, Mrs S's 50th and returement and their daughter C's leaving do - she is going to work in Newcastle.

They also have son's P (C's twin) and Jimbo...It's Jimbo who is getting married next another 'J'who seems nice, as do her family...Dont you just love cute families ..yay!) Gosh does that make any sense?

P, C and Jimbo's mum is my Godmother...(she didn't eat my hamster, I don't have one....but it made a good headline didn't it)

Does that make things any more random? My mum and late father is/were Godparents to Jimbo! Still with me? lol

Anyway.....the rain came down in buckets so the planned do in the garden had a last-minute change-of-venue to Hammerwich WI Hall...

Much drinking and eating followed....and I was quite ready to leave for my nebs at 5.30pm-ish...(not that I had a choice, my oxygen was running low!)

It was nice to get out and meet new people anyway.....Even if the average age there was 94! - just a joke people, ok!

The guy who had the double-lung transplant in 2003 completed the London Triathlon last week.....How amazing is that?

I didn't watch the documentary about the two little girls with CF needing the transplants but a friend from Manchester (my former high school crush Miss J!) sent me a video of a Granada documentary, which was interesting....if depressing!

Luckily there was an episode of Will and Grace on the tape too to cheer me up!

JB and BB came on Thursday and J and I walked to the Park Gate....I am now fit enough to walk to the PG, slowly...perhaps its the lure of beer/coffee (depending on the time of day) that brings out the best/worst in me!

They have a new computer as of this week so I will have to say nice things about them, because they can now read this blog...

Just 11 days until my nest dose of 'nasty' IV antbiotics. One smells of cat pee!

Talking about pee (!) I will have to take in a day's worth of mine (hmmm) when I got the hospital a week on Wednesday. The last lot didn't get tested correctly! Doh!

It is easy to forget that not everyone who analyses stuff in hospitals passed with a First Class Honours....hold on its not VERY EASY to forget!

We have a new digital flat screen TV thingy for the kitchen! The old one seemed to be giving up the ghost and the will to produce pictures...

The new one is clear and seems to be behaving itself. It was only £249 - get one!

Good news on the Fantasy Cricket league....I am actually off the bottom of our little super league! Whoopee!

*Lora from Ciao...I think I CAN find a way for that pedometer to measure calories burned while kissing...but I need some assistance! lol

J.D (who I spent many a childhood holiday with, mainly annoying French people) has started flying lessons..... I will be putting pictorial evidence on my photo site asap!
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Music: Green Day, Offspring, Joy Zipper, Fischerspooner
Book: My Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pedometers and Lard

STOP PRESS: Look at front page of the Burntwood Post tonight (Thursday) There is appparently a piece on my 'near-transplant' in the Mercury too, but we never get ours delivered until Sunday....

How art thee this fine morrow?

The sun has got his hat on...which means Cannock people go shopping half naked...(This is very scary 95 per cent of the time!)

I think I sat next to the uglies family in the world today and they were wearing far too little for those that large...lard melts in the sun!!!

Time for your update on the neither weird or wacky world of me and mine. Brace yourself for a large dose of diary-ness! (J + 16)

I had my 'usual' Sunday....with drinkies at the PG with the 'usual suspects'...G.S was back from Ireland and I got a t-shirt and lucky blarney stone...I wish everyone who went on holiday was as generous!

I was still recovering from a long and drawn out dream the night before when a group of us had to get Victoria Beckham from Holland to England without her noticing.

The more we drank (in the dream) the less of us knew which one of us was Victoria Backham....very confusing. The press photographers were there at the port and they didn't seem to know which one she was either..... How bizarre...

In the afternoon E and D came. Is is almost a year since I was their best man. I thought a year's anniversary was 'paper' but it is in fact 'cotton', Everyday is a learning curve/winding road/like Sunday/a miseducation (delete at will.)

I have purchased a pedometer...which is NOT a device for measuring kiddy fiddlers but a device to calculate how far you walk each day and calories used up...

I got it from Booksale in Lichfield (where else? lol) in a light-headed moment after a visit to Holland & Barrett...aww bless. It was a double whammy because Gilesport girl was woking today cup runeth-over! lol

I suppose it (the pedometre and not Gilesport girl) works on 'jolts' as it works when clipped on my shorts but not in my pocket...

I have done 1.48 km today so far 1742 steps and 52.2 kcal....I suppose that's less than half a Mars bar...good job I don't want to lose weight...

No sightings of live or dead mice since we bought the exterminator stuff....

Cannock Wood and Gentleshaw people....I could always do with more news fore the round-up I do in the Mercury each week....get those thinking caps on!

I went to the PC room to do a little more to my website and I came out brain-dead...Computers fry brains....don't use them...stay away!

Music: Goldfrapp, VHS or Beta, Jem
Book: The Family Way - Tony Parsons

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- Penguins! Back by popular demand for the enjoyment of Mrs J.P!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Johnny out of his Depp-th?


Well its 'Jo+14' (see previous posts) and its all been a bit of an anticlimax after the shennanigans of earler in the week.

Thanks for all the e-mails and texts of support...FIFTH TIME LUCKY eh?

Luckily some friends too mw to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on Wednesday. Click here to see my review... >click<

I hadn't been to the cinema for ages because of a) Not being able to get back in time if I got the call and b) My oxygen cylinders not lasting

But R's hubbie M was driving and he goes like the wind so I knew I could get back from Tamworth in 20 mins (the ambulance took 90 to get to me after I got the call on Monday...)

And I have newly revamped cylinders which seem to last longer enabling me to have more confidence... I have to take plenty in case we break down or get stuck in traffic.

In fact I had enough at the end to go to the pub for a pst-film drinkie! This is always a good idea!

The cinema was packed....people had to move up to allow us to get three seats together anywhere in the cinema

There was amusement to be had (when isn't there) There was a brief power cut during the film, I was next to a guy tripping his head off (to the left of me) and an annoying child kept asking questions behind me....

Children shouldn't be allowed into PG films!

I bought a Joy Zipper album from Cannock and am enjoying it....It is a kind of Air meets Brian Wilson affair. I actually had a hot latte from Wetherspoons too! (They are normally tepid/luke warm...who is Luke?)

There was a start of a classic cars show in the town centre, which seemed to bring the chavs out in their droves!

Mum spent a day painting an outside wall, only to have a lot of it washed off by a sudden rainfall on Thursday night......but the 'fun' didn't end there...'Didn't it?' I hear you you cry, No....we have mice...

These aren't the cordless kind (although they aren't attached to anything!) but the living, breathing (not for much longer) kind who have found we are a cat free home.

They have found the shed and the sides of the house and have to go! Mouse Killer from the local pet shop should do the trick....Any local cats had better avoid our garden or there will be a few more residents in the local cat ward too...

We went to wish Mr Dickie S a happy 65th this morning.....I learned something of the network of knowledge and how the whole world seemed to know I was up in Newcastle and then on my way home before I my text finger had started to sweat!

Bless all their cotton socks...

Good luck to the amazing Sarah B who is starting youth work next month by the way...and anyone waiting for any kind of exams...

*Off to watch the cricket highlight..When ever I left the TV to do some medication wickets need to watch the 'best of'...


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Music: Joy Zipper, Raveonettes, Ordinary Boys
Book: The Family Way - By Tony Parsons

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Another False Alarm...Tubthumping


It has been a roller-coaster of a day....

I had just got in from web design yesterday (Monday) (yes...hard to believe someone with this crap a blog studies eh?) when I got a call from Newcastle...9.30pm.

They had a pair of new lungs for me....

The ambulance car finally turned up at take mum and I to The Freeman Hospital....a distance he managed in about three-and-a-half hours...

Satellite nevigation rocks...

I had all the blood tests, health questions, probes and x-rays and it all looked good.

THEN at 4.30am I was told the lungs had been given to SOMEONE ELSE!

A man, who I met in x-ray, needed heart and lungs and both were healthy in the donor...and he (the recipient) was in worse condition than he had them....

We had an uncomfortable night while BB and JB drive to our house from Brum, picked up a liquid oxygen cannister and drove up to Newcastle....

We all left about 1.30pm and got home 6pmish...shattered, let down and empty....

But in the words of Chumawamba's Tubthumping 'I get knocked down....but I get up again..'

Last year I had a false alarm on a Thursday (during a dinner party while Chantelle was staying) I had another one the following Monday....

Perhaps this will be my week after all....

(I tried to text as many of you as I could but I wasn't really meant to use my phone in hospital....)

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My new website is under construction....take a look at

Music: Offspring, Stevie Wonder