Breath Of Life

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

Monday, December 22, 2008


Hello Bloggettes, Well I am home. I got back to Widnes about an hour ago!

They couldn't pin down what the nasty virus was - just that it has a rating of 97 (??!!) when I went in and was less than 1 by the last blood test - which means the IVs did their job...

The effect of not being in the outside world and feeling institutionised was worse than I thought - I went upstairs to start to unpack and ended up just laid out on the bed exhausted.

I will be able to eat normal food and not have to ask nurses every time I want toast (a healthy evening snack apart from toast is unheard of in there)..

The cafe shuts at 4.20pm and the hospital has no bank machine...The nurses asked EVERY DAY why I wasn't taking a certain medication - which the docs had stopped two days after I arrived.

I was onkly taken for walks by physios twice in two weeks - good job I had my own motivation.

SO at least now I am not a slave to IV antibiotics and will slowly get back to normal. It is going to be a busy few days with all the people to catch up with and pressies to give out etc..

At least I won't awake to the sound of people carrying their piss pots to the loo to empty them or being stabbed for blood in the early hours....

Oh the festival joy. Whiskey o clock xx

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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital

Hello Folks,

I am writing to you from a hospital bed - hmmm. Yep. I went youth hostelling in darkest Wales and ended up with a chest infection and fever in darkest Liverpool. I am now dark.

The cottage we stayed at seemed to have just one coal fire to heat the whole place. I just couldn't get warm and suffered.

A weekend in bed and when I sturggled to get to my hospital out patients I knew I was going to be in for a while - ironic as I was only saying last week I have had no sick leave since starting my job two years ago - time to make up for it eh?

My sats have now rised from 90 to 95 per cent on air and I am starting to walk about a bit more. But hospital habits die hard (with a vengence)

The diatician orders me snacks every day, which have gone to someone else every day except one (I have been here more than a week now..)

Meds come too late. IVs too late (I am attached to IV antibiotics) - It is ALMOST as bad as Heartlands (not quite THAT bad, glad to never go back to that hell hole!)...

They come to take blood just as lunch arrives and you have to buzz for all your meds - which should be at your bed surely at the right time...

I am really hoping to be out my Christmas... A bientot x

Monday, December 01, 2008

Seedy Mark

Hello Blogg-ettes, This is the fourth time I have tried to send this - I can't back it up because the PC keeps freezing..
Talking of which - my body keeps freezing. The cold weather really does take my breath away....

It has been a long couple of weeks. I have been gigging, trying to keep warm and promoting the Council.

People ask what my job entails... Here is a brief breakdown..

There are just three press officers for the whole of Halton Borough Council.

We deal with ALL media enquiries from anyone from Sky News to Wire FM... We get the correct response from the correct person for them.

We are skilled in putting out press releases to promote events - so the Council doesn't spend time and money on expensive adverts.. We do it for free.

We also write stories for Inside Halton - the magazine which goes out to all residents and news for the website.

We log all references to the Council in the news on the Newsflash system and cut our hard copies of print media and file them by category so we can pull out coverage reports for whoever wants them...

With just three of us we are among the smallest media offices in the country and about the cheapest.

Some people think we are pawns of whichever part is in power. But if these people (mostly Tories - boo hiss!) bothered to read press releases they would note how politically unbiased they are..

Most of the information comes from officers and we put a quote from the Executive Board Member (councillor) who looks after that department.

In Halton this means it is normally a Labour person who is quotes but in my last job, in Walsall, it was always a Tory.

As to being expensive - we earn in salary (despite more than 50 years experience in the media between us) less than some councillors get in allowances...

It is irritating that people always get at our department. Nobody has a go at IT or human resources!

Anyway. Rant over... Its been a big media week. We got a fake car crash to promote a road safery DVD on BBC TV, Radio Merseyside and Wire FM...

Radio Merseyside broadcasted from Widnes Market on Monday - which was great fun and we had no shortage of events we promoted through that.....

Gigging wise I went to see Carter USM/EMF/Vile Evils last week and Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds.

I have now seen him in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Wolverhampton and Manchester... and he just gets better with age....
Music: The Killers
Book: The Crow Road
Film: Karli