Liz Bentley and Giardia, while waiting for the Tesco Delivery Woman

Liz Bentley holding cucumber with Tesco Delivery Woman

How exciting it was when the delivery man was a woman, and what a lovely large cucumber she bought me, well in its sell by date.

This weeks shopping was hard for me to do because I had nausea. I’m too old to be pregnant and I soon put two and two together and realised it was the return of my parasite giardia. I’ve had it before, some years ago, have no idea where I got it from, I hadn’t been anywhere at the time. Its bloody horrible.

I was feeling ravenous, but sick at the same time as the giardiasis ate all the nutrients of my cucumber. I was exhausted too.

To treat Giardia, most people go to the Dr’s and take hardcore antibiotics, which sometimes work first go, or sometimes you have to take another batch of even harder hardcore antibiotics. I trotted off (via email) to my homeopath and googled every article and chat group there is, about treating giardiasis and parasites the ‘natural’ way. I became obsessed.

I started a no sugar diet, parasites love sugar, but they hate: grated carrot, raw garlic (I stunk) plain rice, fish, chicken broth, grapefruit seed, papaya seed, cider vinegar (table spoons, when I could stomach it), turmeric, and the best things of all for giardiasis,- pumpkinseeds and a tincture of black walnut and wormed tincture, YUM. Unfrotunately most of these items you cannot get via Tesco, you have to buy from a health food store or get from Amazon.

Anyway, after ten days it went, I’m so fucking proud of myself and I’ve put the weight back on already. Doing dry January definitely helped my discipline.  If I take antibiotics, it fucks up my finely tuned system that manages my MS. So fucking proud of myself.

I have two gigs this week, Melancholy and Madness at The Ship, Borough tonight and Perverse Verse at the Ivy House, Nunhead on Thursday. I am writing and rehearsing for these now.  Here is an article about Perverse Verse‘perverse-verse’-returns-ivy-house

I did get a little depressed during my giardia time, when I wrote the poem below. Forgetting Giardia, food has been a big issue in my life from birth, but I’ll save this story for another time. However, let’s not forget, it’s eating disorder awareness week from 2nd March. I shall buy some celebratory treats from Tesco next time. I hope you enjoy my poems.

I hate food

I hate having to have it all the time
As I get older and time goes faster
It feels like one meal comes after the other
With no time to think

I hate food
The thinking about it, buying it
Putting it somewhere, looking ag it,
Preparing it, cooking it and then
Eating it

The only bit I like about food is the Tesco Delivery Man, or Woman
I fucking hate scrolling down the isles online
I fucking hate being in a shop, offline
Smelling it, pooing it, seeing the remnants in the bin
At least if I had tube for the food
I’d have more time

I hate clothes
I hate I have to buy them, wash them
Wear them, put them away
Get them out again
Hang them up, take them out again
Find a charity shop to take them
Mend them

I hate needlework too

Liz Bentley wearing the apron she made in her sewing class in 1979

(And here is another poem why I may hate sewing)

Sewing lessons

We were sewing aprons with Mrs Clutterbuck
Using Bernina sewing machines, we liked it very much

“Oh my laddered stockings, what colour are they today?
Michelle you have such golden locks
That would go with yesterday’s socks – but not today
My stockings are dark brown today

Who has dark brown hair in the class?
Stop what you are doing girls I need to find a match
So I can detach a few hairs to darn my stockinged feet
Elizabeth stay on your seat your hair colour is good
The colour of this wood (of the desk) it will match let’s detach”

She bustles back to her teachers’ seat
Darns her stockings with my dark brown hair – there
Leaving me a bald patch, which took time to recover

I have the apron I made in that class, I made two pockets on either side
The others couldn’t be arsed and put one large one in the middle

Mrs Clutterbuck throws a hardwood blackboard rubber at Haidee Fill
Which has broken her Bernina
(I still wear the apron, it is of great quality. The next thing I made in that class was a skirt, but I never got as far as getting the zip in, Mrs Clutterbuck was frustrated that I couldn’t do it first go. This was the start and the very end of my sewing career).

Liz Bentley being comforted by the Tesco Delivery Man

Liz Bentley being comforted by the Tesco delivery man

I’ve been away, it was good to come home to a Tesco Delivery. One of the issues of internet shopping is sizing. I have in the past got excited about offers on wine, only to find when delivered they were little bottles, the same with coleslaw, and silver hoop earrings from Amazon. Today, it was Comfort. Look how big it is. It doesn’t fit in my cupboard under the sink, and I can hardly lift it, but it will last for a very long time and it was on a very special offer.

Just seeing the word ‘Comfort’ gives me a self hug. I was doing an Adrienne home yoga session this morning and she got me to wrap my arms around myself and hug myself. Self self self. All very lonely though. Adrienne has a dog called Benji, I’ve never heard her talk about a partner, I worry how she will deal with her online yoga sessions when her dog gets ill and dies, it will be extremely upsetting for her and her millions of followers.

For years I did Bikram hot yoga, until I tore my meniscus during a class with a crap teacher, and had to stop everything again. Bikram yoga attracts vulnerable young women, including myself (but I’m an older woman). I recently watched the Bikram documentary on Netflix. When Mr Bikram Choudhry was arrested for sexual assault and rape, our studio at London Bridge took down his photo and changed the name of the studio. Oh how the ego interferes and then interferes. A vicious cycle of abuse.

More of that another time, but while we’re on the subject of perversion, Perverse Verse (the night I run at The Ivy House in Nunhead), is back on Thursday 27th February for a post Valentine’s Day massacre themed event.  I usually write my own songs, but on this occasion I am learning Gilbert O’Sullivan’s ‘Clair’. When Clair was number one in 1972, I was eight, I remember it well, endlessly played on radio 2, in my parents kitchen. Check out the lyrics , they haunt me, especially when the child laughs at the end.

Do come along to Perverse Verse if you are able, there is an accessible toilet for a women and the pub have a ramp for the lip at the door for scooters/wheel chairs. The show will be good for your mental health. I am exploring my most chronic valentines of which there are many. Here is a poem about valentines day.

Perverse Verse flyer for Anti Valenties day Massacre on 27th Feb

Valentines Day

Valentines day, valentines day
Don’t ever go away
Don’t go away because I want you to stay
Not because I like you
But because I like things I don’t like

My boyfriend uses a pedometer everyday
I suggested he wear it in bed
He told me it rattles and is disinclined to wear it in bed

Valentines day, valentines day
Don’t buy me flowers today
You will pay more than they will cost tomorrow

All I want for Christmas is a shed put up