Thursday, October 30, 2008

Monkeys!!!!! At Last!!!!!!!!!!

So I finally got to see me some monkeys, albeit rather sad looking ones, at the Negara Zoo. I went on Tuesday afternoon and while it was 93 degrees I wasn’t overly hot! I guess shedding that fat really has made all kinds of a difference eh? It sure felt good to have the sun on my skin as I wandered around the place in a sleeveless top.

The zoo itself made me realise just how amazing London Zoo is, and while they are never the ideal environment for animals to live in, some go a whole lot further than others to make life as good as possible for them.

There were two pretty sad and bored looking elephants,

while the giraffes and rhinos seemed chipper enough. The orang-utans, all four of them, looked spectacularly bored, especially the one who seemed to have gotten stuck on his own in this kinda glass performance space. He just endlessly circuited the space, doing the same things over and over. It was heartbreaking actually. It really made me wish I’d made it to Borneo to see them in a much healthier environment.

The three rather ancient chimps didn’t seem to be having a whole lot of fun either, tho in both cases I guess it could just have been the heat that made them so listless, tho I suspect that’s my Pollyanna side coming through.

Talking of cheeky monkeys, I am rather bemused by the whole Russell Brand/Jonathan Ross media storm that’s blown up back home. I saw footage of Russell’s resignation on BBC World today, which I have to say he looked rather pleased about. I guess with the movies and telly stuff he’s got going on in the states, losing a Radio 2 Saturday evening show isn’t exactly career ruining stuff.

Jonathan Ross has a lot more lose I guess, but I really don’t think he should have to resign, in fact I don’t think he should be suspended. It was a laugh, two boys egging each other on, and they got a bit carried away.

Everyone is going on like the pair of em raped some underage virgin from the valleys type. The girl knowingly fucked Russell Brand and unless she’d been kept in a cave away from all media for the last five years, would’ve known that he isn’t the most discreet man you can shag! Its not like she’s a nursery teacher and her career is ruined. She’s a burlesque dancer in a troupe called the Skanky Sluts or something!

Yet there she was, done up like Divine on a work night on the BBC saying how great it was that these two men might have their careers ruined cos of what they did. And no doubt hoping she could parlay sucking the reknowned ex-drug addict’s cock into some kind of media career for herself now that the whole burlesque fad is wearing thin.

I do kinda feel sorry for Manuel, who I think has handled it all with great dignity, it can’t have been easy to hear what a nasty ho your granddaughter is!


(No) Sex And The City

Ooooh I am feeling very Carrie Bradshaw right now, sitting at an outdoors table at Starbucks in the KLCC Twin Towers shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur, watching the people and the dancing fountains, and sipping on a Frappucino.

Yep, still here folks, and now that things finally seem to be healing I am beginning to really acclimatise myself to this city. It hasn’t rained for days now, and the temperature just keeps creeping up and up towards 100 degrees (farenheit obviously, it never seems as hot in celsius!).

I’ve been getting out and about a whole lot more. Doing more walking and even a little bit of exercise - nothing that affects my legs or midriff in a negative way of course - but doing some stretching, some bicep curls using the small bottles of mineral water as weights, stuff like that. Feels good. After the hell of last week I feel like I’m coming back to life.

A big part of that of course is doing a bit of shopping. I’ve been seeking out the cooler shops and looking for stuff I would actually wear back home, as opposed to the 20 Ringit Kaftans which I now realise were a total ‘sun on the back of the head’ purchase. Still, they’ll make good nighties, if I wore nighties.

I got a fabulous pair of Adidas retro trackie bottoms tho, not even fake - real ones! - they look like a pair of kid’s ones they’re so tiny but now that most of the swelling has gone down they fit brilliantly! I also got a wonderful pair of skinny jeans from Zara (see? I am so not going native any more!) which are size 8 with no stretch in em, unlike the size 6 Uniqlo ones I wear back home.

These are just proper denim and they are loose on the butt and thighs and not even tight on the waist! Best of all, when I sit down in them there’s no overspill of loose flesh cascading over the top!!!! It feels really weird. I keep looking down at myself and wondering who the hell this body belongs to! I have never had a figure like this before, the only bit of me - apart from my fabulous tits - that sticks out is my belt buckle!!!

I saw the amazing Dr J yesterday for a check up and while the wounds are not completely dry, they are healing really well now, thank god, he said he was glad I wasn’t flying out yesterday, cos now he could monitor it right to the end of the healing process. I said I was glad about that too - especially as I keep seeing pictures on BBC World News showing snow and people bundled up! - and that I reckoned I should get some free Botox to erase the signs of trauma of the previous week. He smiled and said ok, so on Saturday I’ll be getting rid of the wrinkles round my eyes and the “laughter” lines round my gob apparently.

Sometimes it pays to be cheeky eh?


Monday, October 27, 2008

While I Am Being Positive...

Another bright spot is a selection of American telly that I never see at home, and while I would far rather be winging my way back home to my loved ones this week, there’s a part of me that’s a bit happy that I’ll catch another couple of episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice. They’ve got Gene Simmons from Kiss on it along with Piers Morgan who everyone calls “Pierce” - maybe cos he’s a bit of a prick eh? Anyway I am mesmerised by both Gene and the Donald’s elaborate hair creations! It must be amazing to be so rich and/or famous that you can wear your hair like a cunt and no-one tells you!

Another show that has me spellbound in its awfulness is The Moment of Truth, where members of the public humiliate themselves and their loved ones for large chunks of cash - up to half a million dollars. Its the kind of confession show that Jerry Springer used to do, but now the punters have wised up and sell their souls for cash as well as a chance to appear on television.

A little treat I had this morning was turning on the tv as I woke up and seeing my old mate Lee Mack in a show with Frasier aka Kelsey Grammer. Sadly it was the end of the show but the closing credits were really cool - Tim Vine, John Archer, Karen Taylor, all British comedians making a US show. I remembered as I woke from my Diazepam haze that they sold the rights to The Sketch Show to the US a few years ago, and that Lee was the only one chosen from the British cast to appear in it. Nice to see the others got writing credits at least - and some cheques with lots of zero’s on them I hope!


Things Are Getting Better

Soooo it’s not been all doom and gloom here in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve been having a ton of fun at the night market in ChinaTown.

Louis Vuitton seems to be the most copied of all the designer handbags, and the quality ranges from the passable to the downright fucked up! I bought an exquisite example of the latter as you can see below.

Its meant to be a version of the Richard Prince “Jokes” bag from last season but the fakers’ english isn’t so hot. From a joke to a really BAD joke! I love it!

I’ve also treated myself to a selection of watches - brands that I don’t even covet the real versions of somehow seem attractive when they cost a tenner, like this Franck Muller “Crazy Time” watch. As you can see the numbers are not in sequence and the hands fly all over the place! Thank god I ain’t drinking or I’d never be able to work out the bloody time!


Sunday, October 26, 2008

This Just In ...

Sooooooo this morning I woke up and realised as I took my shower that there was no way I was gonna be healed enough to get the plane home on Wednesday. Stella the nurse came by and confirmed my thoughts. I am healing just not healing super-fast.

I called the owner of the company and asked to meet with her. She was here at the hotel pretty quickly and I explained my thoughts and fears. Tomorrow is Deepawali and practically a full on Bank Holiday here, so if any changes were gonna be made to my travel and accommodation plans, it really needed to be sorted out today.

She'd already rung Dr J, bless her, so we headed off to see him at the hospital. I am now on such good terms with everyone there I've been invited to the staff dance! He said I should defer my return by at least a week, and I have to say that tho a part of me was disappointed (there's times you really don't wanna be right, you know?) there was another part of me that was just relieved. Fourteen hours in economy is ok when you're fit and healthy but right now sitting for more than 20 minutes is bloody painful!

Louise, got right on the case ringing the airline and speaking to the hotel. There's no availability on a flight out till the 4th of November, which is a week from Tuesday, and the hotel have done a deal so that I can stay on here till then. Its a bit longer than I would've liked and now I am losing work, but I should be well and truly healed by then!

Let's hope so eh folks?


Saturday, October 25, 2008

On The Brighter Side...

... of all my recent traumas.

It appears I have got a free designer vagina from all the re-tucks he's had to do on the inner thighs! That's saved about a grand on surgery!

The other good-ish news is that no new holes have appeared for three whole days! Mind you I have practically been bed-ridden the whole time apart from a little trip out to get my nails done yesterday after seeing the doc.

Four days till I'm due to fly home, let's hope the healing continues eh?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mind The Gap

Tuesday morning I was awake at 7am, my eyes all swollen from the tears, and just feeling about as depressed and scared as I have ever felt. When you catch people out in one little lie, its very hard to trust anything they tell you isn’t it? Imagine catching them out in several and still having to put your life in their hands, not a pleasant prospect I can assure you!

I got showered and dressed. Trousers and a sweatshirt cos the day ward is as cold as Siberia! I couldn’t wear my shoes cos there was no-one to help me do them up, so I’d have to put up with cold feet.

I was collected right on time and taken to the hospital. I said I felt that I should be taken to a private room, rather than that nasty day ward, and to her credit Jasmine had arranged it by the time we got there. At least I was among familiar faces on this ward, and the air conditioning wasn’t set to Arctic!

When Dr J came by, I said I couldn’t see the point in sewing me up again and releasing me back to the hotel right away, as even if I didn’t leave the room, I’d have to get up to go to the toilet etc. He said it was ok. I have to say I didn’t agree with him, but I was also aware of my tendency to become an “instant expert” on everything so I bit my tongue and didn’t argue. After all, he’s the one who studied medicine for years!

There must’ve been quite a few emergencies cos I didn’t get into the operating theatre till gone 1pm and while nerves prevented me from feeling hungry, I was thirsty as hell, not having had even a sip of water since 10pm last night!

As this was my third time being given general anaesthetic in less than two weeks, its safe to say I’ve built up a nice little phobia about it now. The pain it causes when they stick the shunt in your hand, the even greater pain as the cold drug eases it’s way through your veins before it finally knocks you out, all horrible stuff and I went under shaking and crying like a baby!

The next thing I knew I was back in the recovery room, feeling incredibly sore! I don’t know what he did, but it was a helluva lot more than he did last time!

They took me back to my private room, it was gone 3pm by then, so no way I was gonna be back at the hotel before 5pm. I asked one of the nurses what time I’d get out and she said tomorrow. I was confused to say the least, but the long and short of it is, apparently I was right! It did make more sense to put a catheter in and confine me to bed for 24 hours to give the skin a chance to knit together. Of course I was completely unprepared for a prolonged stay in hospital, but a couple of morphine injections dealt with that! I slept right through till Wednesday morning, yay morphine!

So, apparently he’s sewn and re-sewn every hole, with both internal and external stitches, I’m confined to the hotel for a couple of days and on vallium to help me sleep. I feel a lot better than I did on Monday night/Tuesday morning but that’s probably down to Mother’s Little Helper. The fact is as of today I have less than six days to heal completely or I will have to extend my stay, as I know full well that no NHS doctor will help me at home and I reckon I’d be hard pressed to find a private one who’d touch it either.

It’s a lesson I’ve needed to learn I guess. In spite of what the websites tell you, this is serious major surgery, not a holiday where you’re just ‘getting a bit of work done’. All too often it’s dressed up as no more serious than getting your nails done, but it is more serious as I’m finding out, and the fact that this is something I chose to have done to myself only makes it worse, you know? I feel like a stupid, vain, bimbo for believing the b/s on the website and for wanting the work done in the first place. Maybe in a few weeks’ time when its all healed and this pain is just a memory, I’ll think differently, but right now I have to say this is the biggest regret of my life.

Having said that, I recall years ago looking at a photo of Naomi Campbell in a bikini and seeing that gap at the top of her thighs. I didn’t know people had thighs that didn’t at least meet, if not rub together! I remember five years ago telling my personal trainer my sole target was a gap like Naomi Campbell’s.

Well folks, guess what? I’ve got the gap! But at what price?


Just When You Think It Can't Get Any Worse...

...It does.

Soooo Monday was make or break day regarding my trip to Borneo, and I have to say, even tho I was trying my damnedest to be positive, as holes were appearing left, right and centre on my thighs - including the bits that had been re-stitched on Friday! - I was doubtful I’d make it to the monkeys.

I had time to kill before I went to see Dr Jalil, so I ventured off to Central Market. This was on my list of things to see, and if I did go off to Sabah in the morning this would be my last chance.

It was fantastic. Basically its an indoor craft market selling the kind of tourist tat I hadn’t seen anywhere else. Carved wooden animals and Buddha heads galore! There was tons of batik at about 5 times the price it is in Sunghei Wang, but then this whole market is for tourists. What they did have that was extremely cheap, was one of those ‘Fish Spa” places! This one was RM5 (about a quid) for 10 minutes of the little critters nibbling at you. Best of all you didn’t have to sit on the floor, you sat in a chair! I could do that, so I went for it!

Its the weirdest sensation, like a million tiny electric shocks as these toothless fishies nibble away at the dead skin on your feet and legs. They had a right old feast on the mosquito/bed-bug bites on my feet and now they don’t itch anymore! Apart from that, all I got was a load of incense cones to bring home. I had another little wander round the market in Chinatown which is just around the corner, and got caught in one of the all too frequent downpours. The one thing nobody seems to sell at this market is umbrellas!

Before I knew it, it was time to go see Dr J. When I got into his office, he took the dressings off and the hole in my right thigh had doubled in size from this morning, and once again I could see the bits of flesh you’re not meant to see on your own body! I burst into tears cos without him saying it, I knew there was no way I’d be boarding that plane tomorrow.

The joke was he said I could go and have my beach holiday, as long as I didn’t go anywhere near the beach...not a whole lot of point then eh? I said getting this sorted before I go home next week was waaaaaay more important, as I know full well that getting treatment in the UK will be a nightmare!

He said that the best thing was for me to fast again and he would sew it all up again in the morning. Like that filled me with confidence!

I left his office and went down to the reception, grabbing a coffee on the way. Louise, the owner of Gorgeous Getaways, came to see me and reassured me that everything would be ok. The fact is, none of its ok really, is it? Since I have been here, I have heard from three different people who work for the company, that every single patient who has had a thigh lift has had complications and needed to be re-stitched at least twice, some of them more than four times! Why on earth would anyone who knew that, tell a client that they’d be fit to go on a three hour flight to a beach resort 10 days after surgery?

Luckily for me, I had booked to stay in another Shangri La hotel up in Rasa Ria, so with a bit of luck the accommodation could just be transferred. Getting a refund on the £150 I spent on flights would be a matter for my travel insurance - if I was covered. I know who I think ought to be reimbursing me for that!

Back at the hotel I decided to move rooms as I was gonna be here another eight days. I’d spent a week listening to non-stop drilling and hammering from 8am to 8pm in my old room, and if I was gonna be confined to bed I wanted to be somewhere quiet. It also made more sense to pack and move tonight than when I’m fresh outta hospital tomorrow.

They gave me one of the swish rooms up in the Horizon club again, as long as its quiet I really don’t care what it’s called, tho the view up here on the 25th floor is rather amazing.

I was exhausted by the time I’d unpacked again, too tired for much more than a couple of mouthfuls of dinner. When I got back to my new room and undressed, I noticed yet another tear in the stitching on my left leg, a hole about two inches long, just as well I cancelled!

I’m not ashamed to say I cried myself to sleep. Suddenly this all seems like a really, really bad idea.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

It Never Rains ...

Cept it does eh?

Soooo Friday morning I was taken into the hospital to get my inner thighs restitched. I was a day patient so there was none of the VIP treatment I got this time last week. I was given a paper gown and hat and kinda left to my own devices really. I was due to go to surgery at 10 am, but they had an emergency - a baby with a broken arm poor little mite - so it was 10.45 before I was walked through to the operating theatre. I managed to persuade them to let me leave my toenail polish on - its such an outdated and unnecessary procedure!

The put the needle in the back of my hand once I’d got myself settled on the table - I’m getting quite a nice collection of bruises on there now! - once it was in, a dose of painkiller was administered swiftly followed by the knock-out drops. Next thing I knew I was back on the day ward and all I could hear was the cackling of the nurses in their staffroom just the other side of my curtain, they sounded like a bunch of hens in the henhouse!

By 2.30 I was getting dressed and heading down to reception to meet with Jasmine and Richard the driver. I had some time before they arrived so I treated myself to a piece of baked cheesecake and a coffee - I was starving! Luckily I wasn’t sick, so it was all good.

I came back to the hotel via the supermarket where I picked up some juices and stuff and got caught in one of the daily downpours. The rain felt amazing on my skin, its been a looooong time since I felt hot rain!

I slept off the after-effects and that was Friday kinda gone really.

Saturday saw me up early for a check on the dressings/wounds, followed by a GG lunch. We were taken for a traditional Malaysian meal, and my goodness it was delicious!!!!! This is the first proper Malay food I’ve had since I got here and I loved the way it was spicy, with a million different sensations on the tongue but not hot for the sake of being hot. Great stuff.

I also got to meet some of the other women who are out here getting work done. It would appear I’m the only Brit, the rest are Kiwis and Aussies and all of em were good fun and great company. I ended up going shopping with two of them for the rest of the day!

First up we hit Sunghei Wang shopping mall, I wanted some more of the RM 20 frocks for my trip to Sabah next week. All the stuff I brought with me is light-coloured and at the moment that’s out of the question with all this ‘fluid’ that’s leaking. The others wanted to check out Bargain Central so off we went.

I got the batik frocks, one purple, one brown and one black/white. I needed a few other bits and pieces, the anti-biotics have given me another dose of thrush and I’m constipated. As I queued at the till in Watson’s the chemist with a box of Dulcolax laxitives and Canesten Combi, I remarked that these possibly were the worst two items to be holding in public if you were trying to meet guys. I said, all I need is some Zovirax for the potential husband to be to realise that all three holes were out of action!

It was such a great day, learning about each other, laughing and teasing - I really, really enjoyed their company! We even had dinner together in Chinatown in between buying tons of fake designer crap. I must say I am getting a rather impressive collection of faux Tiffany bracelets and my Louis Vuitton swimming shorts are to die for!

So after a perfect day with the girls, I was pleasantly worn out when I got back to my room. As I undressed, I felt a twinge in the back of my left leg, and when I looked in the mirror, there was a whole new patch of blood on a different part of my leg. Not again! I was less fearful more frustrated. Was I just gonna keep on tearing??? I got on the phone to GG Jasmine, the poor girl was fast asleep! Had it not been two days away from me going to Sabah for the holiday part of my trip I doubt I would’ve said anything till I saw the nurse in the morning, but I was a bit scared of infection and stuff.

The next call I got came from her boss Lennie, who arranged for the wonderful Endang to come over and take a look at what was going on, and about 30 minutes later she arrived, bless her.

I’d been too scared to take the compression garment off and take a look by myself cos if I’d seen another gaping hole I’d have flipped right out. As it turned out I hadn’t half ripped my leg off, there was a little hole there tho.

Endang cleaned it up and patched me up with some gauze and by 3am I finally got to sleep.
This morning after a shower and breakfast, I was taken again to the hospital where I saw Dr Jalil again This man never gets a day off! Louise, the owner of GG also came along to make sure everything was ok.

Dr J told me there was nothing to worry about, tho by now of course I am worried, this part of my leg was healed, so if nine days after surgery a hole can appear, what chance do I have for the rest of my wounds? I keep being told that this isn’t that uncommon but ya know, it’s my body, this is me it’s happening to, and I am thousands of miles from home! The scariest part of all of this is not even having to cancel my monkey time but the fear that it’s not healed by the time I’m due to get on the plane home, I can’t go, cos an NHS doctor won’t touch me!

I was however, pretty reassured by Dr Jalil, bless him. I was also relieved to hear that he has a colleague up at Kota Kinabalu, where I’ll be staying, there’s a GG rep there too, so as long as my leg doesn’t actually fall off I should be ok!

Endang and Louise brought me back to my room and after they left I set to sorting out clothes to take with me to Borneo, and clothes to leave behind, eg all the light coloured stuff basically! It’s gonna be a blast to travel light!

To add icing to a pretty shitty cake, I went to the loo only to find I was having my second period in as many weeks. I thought menopause meant never having to buy any tampons! It really is all I need right now! I slung one of my kaftans on - they are such a blessing! - and got a cab to the Pavillion shopping centre. I got what I needed from Watson’s, had a wander round the designer shops, had a coffee and a doughnut, then had a good old look around Forever 21. This is the American chain of shops that’s kinda like Primark in price and selection. It was fabulous, but all I got were two funky little shirts for about £5 each, so actually a bit more expensive than Primark.

I jumped a cab and got back to the hotel about 30 seconds before the rain started - it was 4.45, see predictable! - and almost immediately my phone rang. It was Endang, she was in the lobby with Noor and Louise. They came up and checked on my wounds, the inner thigh has opened up yet again but doesn’t seem to be leaking unnecessarily, I have to see Dr J again tomorrow evening, so to be really honest, everything is up in the air till then.

They left and I hit the sack to catch up on some of the sleep I missed out on last night. I got a couple of hours in which sure helped.

I have to mention a cracking book I’m reading at the moment. It’s called Kill Your Friends and its written by someone called John Niven. It’s about a psychotic A&R man in the early 90’s, and its a fantastic read! Micky Flanagan recommended it to me and I’m so glad he did!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yet More Glitches!!!!!!!!!!!

I woke up in a way better mood today, and was ready to go out exploring after the nurse and masseuse had been and done their thing. After breakfast I showered and as I was rubbing body lotion into my legs I notice that what had been a tiny little hole yesterday was a gaping wound about 2 inches in length today!

OK, now I was scared. Yesterday it was just an inconvenience, but there’s something about being able to see the bits of you that are under your skin when you’re thousands of miles from home and alone, that will turn the toughest old bird into a blubbering 6 year old! I rang Jasmine, my rep, and got her answering machine. That only made me panic more - its quite fascinating how quickly I can go from being strong, in-control JoJo to scared shitless Jo-Anne!

I rang Endang and thank god, she and Noor were just on their way up to my room. Noor took a look at the hole in my leg and got on the phone. She then cleaned it up as well as the other inner thigh that had also begun to bleed - jeez! - and padded them with gauze. Fifteen minutes later I was in the people carrier on my way to the hospital again.

Apparently today was Dr Jalil’s weekly day off but he was driving in to meet me. I was seriously trying to imagine that happening in the UK - either NHS or Private and couldn’t! He turned up a few minutes after we did and checked me out. The long and short of it is, I’m going back in as a day patient tomorrow to have both inner thighs re-stitched. They’ll knock me out but I will only be a day patient.

He’s also gonna drain off all the excess fluid, which is probably the cause of the tear in the first place. My belly is like a waterbed. You tap it and the ripples run right across it! The thighs are also incredibly full of fluid, and anyone who knows me will tell ya, even at 20 stones I never had fat, saddle-bag thighs! I keep thinking of a gag Gina did on tour - my pom pom look phat!

I was brought back to my room, which is where I’ve spent the rest of the day. I’m gonna go down to the lobby now so that I can post these blogs...just in case I don’t get out tomorrow afternoon as planned.



Wednesday started off great! I woke up and dashed down for my two strawberries dipped in chocolate from the fountain. I have healthy stuff too, and I’m telling myself that the strawberries will help me heal. It’s bollocks I know, but my god it tastes divine!

I showered after that and waited for the nurse to come. She was right on time bless her, from there the day went downhill. She noticed that part of the wound on my inner thigh had come open, a stitch or two had come loose, and she reckoned I ought to get over to see Dr Jalil as soon as I could. She cleaned it all up and got me dressed, then Richard the driver arrived to whisk me across town. En route we picked up another nurse who sat with me while we waited for our turn to see the doc. I wasn’t overly concerned but hey, better safe than sorry eh? The 90 minute wait to see him - his waiting room was packed when we arrived - didn’t thrill me but I was glad to be seen at such short notice.

He took a good look and said there was nothing to worry about, the hole was so small it would probably close on it’s own, but if I was concerned I should call him at any time. We left his office and I got them to drop me at the Pavillion shopping mall. There was a GG get -together at the “Fish Spa” there in an hour’s time so no point going back to the hotel, even tho I was a bit knackered. The “Fish Spa” is one of those places where you put yer feet in a fish pond and the little buggers nibble all your hard skin away! It sounds insane and I was really looking forward to it.

The shops there are really fabulous, and I found myself drawn to Shanghai Tang. The sign in the window saying “Sale” might have had something to do with it! The stuff was fabulous, I could’ve bought tons, but I limited myself to a gorgeous black patent leather wallet with their logo embossed in silver on the front and a pair of jade green sunglasses that were just so over the top I had to have em! I got a lovely surprise at the till when they informed me there was 20% off them, yay for sales!

I was on a bit of a shopping frenzy but thank god didn’t have the time, I was dying for a coffee and found a wonderful coffee place with seats outside in the sunshine - I had to have a reason to wear the new glasses didn’t I? I treated myself to some pistachio ice cream too. Not sure of it’s nutritional value but it sure tasted good! By the time I’d savoured that, it was time for the spa.

The other GG clients were already getting on with it, so I didn’t get introduced to them, but they all looked friendly enough. Sadly that’s all I can tell you cos once I looked at how the whole thing worked I couldn’t understand why I’d been encouraged to go along. You had to crouch down on the floor then dangle your legs in the pool, bearing in mind that I cannot bend more than waist height, and the kind of surgery I had four days ago, I would’ve thought my rep would’ve realised it was totally unsuitable! I got my dosh back and buggered off back to the hotel, more than a little pissed off. So far today I’ve spent 3 hours waiting for other people for no apparent benefit.

As it turned out I came back at the right time cos about 10 minutes after I got to my room the heavens opened in a way I’ve never seen ever before, not even Hong Kong last year when Pierre Hollins had to buy a whole new outfit cos he was so wet! Not even ever in Manchester have I seen raindrops this big and this profuse! The sky blackened and the thunder and lightening followed. I looked down as the traffic outside came to a full stop in both directions - why does it always start raining at rush-hour here? Still the predictability is nice, I reckon we’d cope a lot better in the UK if we knew it was gonna be hot till about 4pm then piss down till 8pm then hot and dry again for the evening!

I got a call from Endang, they were stuck in the traffic and were gonna be at least an hour late for the massage. I’m ashamed to say I was a bit short with her - a mix of the day’s fuck-ups and the old menopausal grouchiness, topped off with the fact that I’ve gotten sooooooo used to being on my own and taking care of myself that relying on anyone for anything seems fraught with disappointment. Wow! I’m learning about myself here. Must be something in that coming to this part of the world to ‘find yourself’ cliche. Now all I need to do is remember to chill the fuck out!

I have to say that there is something very universal about humour. Endang is from Bali and her English is a gazillion times better than my Balinese, but there’s a slight language barrier there. However, funny is funny in any language and her and I are on the same wavelength. She soon had me out of my strop, gawd bless her!

After the massage it was more sauna, scran and sleep, the days are just racing by!


Bargain Hunt

Nope it's not rhyming slang!

Tuesday morning I woke waaaay too early, but me being me I managed to fritter away the minutes till it was time to go down for my breakfast. I was so excited about it! I spent a good 10 minutes just wandering around all the different counters with their food from around the world, before having my usual fruit and yogurt.

After that, I was visited by Noor the nurse and her Auntie Endang. Noor looks about 12 years old, hard to believe she is fully qualified. She doesn’t look old enough to have done the training! She cleaned my wounds and applied the anti-biotic creme to them before stuffing me back into the compression garment. I’m waiting for the new one to arrive, this one is starting to stink like the fish and meat section of Chow Kit market!!!!

After they were done, I was on my mission. I jumped a cab to Sunghei Wang, to check out all the shops...and boy did I check them out!!!!! I got some real bargains, two fabulous Indonesian batik full length kaftans that are perfect post-op wear for RM20 each, that’s less than £4 a piece and I love em! I got a couple of pairs of trousers too, cos I am so swollen that all my size 6’s are too tight at the moment.

Something I’ve learned about myself different from the last time I was slim in a hot country (Goa 1991) is that I don’t suit shorts any more. They don’t make me look cute and spunky, they just make me look like a big old lesbian! No offence to any big old lesbians but its not the look I was going for! Obviously I’m talking Bermuda shorts here, not Daisy Dukes! Even I’m not that deluded! So the fact that the two pairs I brought with me are too tight to be worn is a favour for all concerned really. The trousers I got were all of £5 each and are very loose, they’ll be perfect for yoga when I get back too. Best of all I don’t look like I’m looking for licky-licky in em!

I had my first Malaysian Starbucks after all that, the prices are about the same as at home, the difference here is that when you sit outside to drink it, instead of a heater they have fans, electric fans, cooling the air! How fabulously un-ecological!

After a few hours hardcore browsing, I decided to head back to the hotel, I was ready for a nap. I decided it was gonna be easier to walk back rather than scrunch down to get into a normal cab, so I set off in the general direction of the Petronas Twin Towers, figuring that at least I knew my way back to the hotel from there. That’s JoJo logic for ya folks!

Luckily, I didn’t have to walk all the way to the towers in the searing 90 degree blazing sunshine, as I recognised a street name. I’m pretty sure I walked in a huge circle to get somewhere that could’ve been got to in a straight line, but I did it and I figured the sweat that was dripping from my by the time I got back meant that some of the swelling might go down!

I got to my room and cranked up the air-con to high, icily cold...marvellous! After a short nap I was visited by the Gorgeous Getaways masseuse, Sarah, for the first of five reflexology massages. Wow! Did that ever feel good! I could see my swollen ankles diminish before my eyes. Suitably inspired I whacked on my swimsuit and went to the sauna. I’ve never used a sauna this small before, they’re a lot easier to tolerate when you’re not fat aren’t they? I was in there for ages!

A cool shower and a delicious mushroom risotto followed by a few chapters of the Daniel Farson book on Francis Bacon and I was out like a light!


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Day Four... Back to Shangri La!!!!!!!

By Monday morning the sleeping sickness had worn off, and lovely as it was, I was ready to get out of the hospital. It seems that the inevitable wait to be discharged is universal, cos I was showered, packed, dressed and ready to go by 10.30, and didn’t actually get out till 1.30!

The shower was a revelation tho’. I was expecting to need help - after all it’s only 48 hours since I was sawn in half, but I’d healed enough to be able to wash myself, including my hair. I’m not sure who was happier - me or Jasmine the poor nurse who’d drawn the short straw two days running!

To kill time while I waited to get out, I wandered downstairs and bought some chocolates for the nurses and a latte for myself - would you believe they have a Cafe Ritazza concession in the hospital here? Back home that’s my coffee shop of last resort, but after the challenging hospital cuisine, their bland latte was just what I needed.

I drank it whilst sitting outside in the little garden right outside my room, it was gorgeously hot and sunny and I found myself doing some yoga arm stretches without even thinking about it! I am so gonna book myself on a yoga retreat somewhere hot next year! The muscles bend a whole lot easier in the sun! You can see why it was invented by an Indian and not an Eskimo!

Eventually it was time to go, I gave the nurses their chocolates and little Jasmine - the nurse who never seems to go home - accompanied me and big Jasmine (I only call her that to differentiate her from the nurse!) from Gorgeous Getaways down to reception with all my stuff on a trolley.

Thirty minutes later I was checking back into the Shangri La and very happy about that. I got another upgrade - I’m sure they just say that to make you feel special! - and this room has the most enormous waaaaaay more than double bed but no bath. As I’ll be spending more time in the bed than the tub I am cool about this. It also has a fabulous panoramic window, sadly the views are of more anonymous skyscrapers, but at night it all looks very sparkly and fab.

A slightly more fabulous skyscraper... well a pair of em to tell the truth

I unpacked again, relieved that it’ll be a whole seven days before I have to pack again, then was collected by another GG girl - Endang - who took me for a pedicure. I was desperate cos they’d taken my toenail polish off for the op, and I wanted them all painted and pretty again. I was pretty surprised at how good I was feeling considering it was so soon after the surgery, I guess all that yoga and exercise I did before I came out here really did pay off!

The nail parlour was in the most fantastic shopping mall - Sunghei Wang - one that isn’t for the wealthy, full of the usual suspects like Gap and Zara, Chanel and Prada. This one is several floors of proper local stuff. I was very excited! Unfortunately we didn’t have time to explore before my appointment, and afterwards I was feeling a bit spent, so there was only time to get some fruit juices and back in the car to the hotel.

My back was starting to ache as we sat in the gridlocked rush hour traffic, and Endang said to me to flick the switch and put the seat back so I could ease the pressure. Sadly, cackhanded me flicked it a bit too hard and was laid spark, flat, out! It was a shock I can tell you! It hurt my stomach like hell, but what hurt more was laughing at it! I could so see myself pissing myself laughing if I saw that happen to someone on You’ve Been Framed, and I found myself laughing and crying at the same time. I suspect it was partly the pain and partly the emotions of everything I’d been through.
Anyway that was enough excitement for one day, so I hit the shower and that was quickly followed by painkillers, a sleeping pill, and that ultra-queen-size bed.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Day Three...Operation Day!!!!!!

Sooooo I am writing this one from my private hospital room. Johnny Depp is making an awful racket on the flatscreen telly being a gay pirate, and I am veering between mild pain and proper full on agony! The agony comes when I have shift position. So now there’s just a bit of discomfort cos I am sitting down on a very comfy chair, but when I have to get up and go to the loo or get into bed, it’s gonna hurt like hell!

The surgery was a roaring success tho, they have a new way of doing a thigh lift that means you don’t get the big red scar from inner knee to crotch, instead it’s all combined with the body lift, so there’s two very neat seams around each leg. Its all a bit swollen at the moment, but then it is only 48 hours since I had it done, but even with the swelling I would say I’m a whole lot skinnier than before! Tho that could have something to do with the very fetching ‘compression garment’ I was fitted with after my shower today, Think of a pair of crotchless cycling shorts...that’s how sexy they are!

They do something over here that they don’t do when you have surgery in the UK, they keep the stuff they’ve removed to show you! It was all wrapped up in celophane like a gift basket... a gift basket full of my old belly, thigh, ass and back!!!!!!! How mad is that? Mind you it does appeal to the gruesome side of me. One of my first questions to the surgeon post op was how much had he removed, and there it was for me to see.

The other thing I’ll need to photograph is my face so that you can see how the botox has worked! I was always a bit sceptical of this stuff, but it’s been done very naturally. I can still move my forehead, but the wrinkles have all gone.

The nurses have been amazing, they’re all so good natured, nothing is too much trouble, and I have to say the hospital is cleaner and more modern than any I’ve seen at home! I can’t tell you how good it feels not to fret about MRSA.

Another thing they do differently here is whack you into the shower asap. When I had my previous ops I wasn’t allowed to get the stitches wet, but here it’s the opposite and I was given my first shower today! They don’t leave the dressings on either, so I got a good look at my scars. they’re so neat and tidy!

Barring any major complications I’ll be discharged in the morning and taken back to my fabulous hotel, where I’ll have 24 hour care for the first couple of days, then daily visits after that. It may seem like a long way to come but I am so glad I did, I would never have gotten this level of care back home.


Back To The Future!!!!!!

On my second day in Kuala Lumpur I got in some heavy duty sightseeing. I started the day with the most wonderful breakfast! They had everything from sushi, to curries, to continental to full English, to every kind of cake and pastry to a chocolate fountain!!!!!! I was wishing I’d not had my gastric bypass, I could sat there all day working my way through the various cuisines!

Anyway it was a bit of fruit and yogurt followed by a small cheese and mushroom omelette for me, and I was off. I took a cab to the Buddhist Temple at Brickfields which was just beautiful.

The golden Buddhas glistening in the sunlight, I sat in the temple for ages, energising my spirit, before wandering off to find a cab.

From there I explored the various shopping malls in the Bukit Bintang area before riding the full length of the monorail in both directions! I felt like I was in the future!!!! It kept raining, so I would get off during a dry spell then jump back on during a downpour.

I explored Chow Kit market, which isn’t touristy at all, this is proper Malaysia, so much so that I had to breathe through my mouth when I got caught up in the ‘fresh’ meat and fish part of it! Yeeeuuuch!

I came back to the hotel and had a swim before being whisked off for one of the most amazing massages I’ve ever had! Almost two hours of sheer bliss! Then it was back to the hotel to pack everything up in preparation for the operation in the morning. Wish me luck!


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Day One

Soooooooooo here I am in fabulous, downtown Kuala Lumpur. It’s hot, sweaty and busy and I love it!

I got here yesterday morning, landing at 7.30, after a 13 hour flight. It was my first time flying long-haul as a non-smoker (6 hrs to NYC doesn’t really count these days, does it?) and I have to say what bliss it is to actually be able to enjoy a flight without fretting about having a faaaaag!

The other great, great thing was actually having space either side of me in the not-very-big economy seat. Its impossible for anyone who’s never had a weight problem to comprehend the horror this used to fill me with. I remember all too well, the shame, the pain, the looks of disgust on the faces of the poor fuckers who had to sit next to me and endure bits of my flesh spilling over onto their seats. Then there was the added fear of the seat belt not being big enough! Thank the lord I never reached the stage where I needed the added on bit, but I’ve seen stewardesses bringing them out for people who do need em and you can see the whole plane going ‘who’s the fat bastard?’ - horrible! These days I usually have to tighten the belt, it feels like winning the lottery!

Talking of lottery wins, the next best thing to getting a free upgrade is getting an empty seat next to you in economy, the odds of which these days are as high as getting the six lucky numbers! Buddha must have blessed me this week cos that’s exactly what I got, and it meant that - thanks to my newfound yoga-tastic flexibility - I could actually lay down and get three really good hours’ sleep in.

I watched Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull on my seat back screen - it was enjoyable enough tho not sad I didn’t schlepp to the cinema to see it. I read my book about the life of Francis Bacon and flicked through assorted fashion mags, and before I knew it, it was landing time.

I was met off the plane by a very nice VIP liason man, who guided me seamlessly through immigration and baggage reclaim, then accompanied me on the fast train into KL Sentral station. It seems to be a big source of pride that this journey takes precisely 28 minutes. I was gonna time it but as we emerged from the tunnel my eyes were blinded by something I’d begun to think I would never see again - the sun! It was blazing!

Soon enough I was at the station and being met by the limo driver. Well I say limo cos that’s what they call it, but actually its the ‘people carrier driver’. I thought I was gonna look like a slut on her hen night pulling up to my hotel in a big white stretch number! Instead it just looked like I’d booked an Addison Lee cab.

A slight hiccup at the faaaaaaabulous Shangri La meant that they didn’t actually have my reservation for this part of the stay. So I gave em the relevant numbers to call and went to have a coffee while they sorted it all out. Fifteen minutes and a rather strong latte later I was being shown to my Horizon Club suite. It seems I’d been given an upgrade cos of the booking cock-up! Let’s hope that happens on the flight home and I get a full length bed!

As I was unpacking, I got a call from the lady who supplies the ‘compression’ garment I will need to wear after the surgery. Oh the glamour of it all! She turned up with a selection and proceeded to remeasure me. Turns out I am a very odd shape indeed, my waist is a medium, my hips a small and my thighs extra small! I come to a bleeding point!

I handed her a small fortune and set off exploring. I had a couple of hours before I was due to meet the Gorgeous Getaways woman and go off to meet my surgeon, so I decided to check out the nearest shopping mall. It was in the base of the Petronas Twin Towers which are the tallest pair of buildings in the world and very, very sparkly! The shops were kinda what you get anywhere in the world, there was a Zara, a Gap, a Tiffany etc etc. Its not like designer stuff is any cheaper here, well not the real stuff anyway! Still I enjoyed just getting out and walking around the streets in my shorts and Birkenstocks (first time they’ve been worn this year!)

I was met by the lovely Jasmine who took me off for tea. She’s my ‘carer’ while I’m here, at the moment I’m in no need of such a thing, but come Friday I know that I will regress to being 6 years old and be very glad of her! Still we had a good old natter and then she took me to see the doc.

The hospital is very clean and very modern, of the UK hospitals I’ve seen, I’d say it’s closest to the Chelsea and Westminster in terms of amenities. It’s a regular private hospital were they do things like heart bypasses etc., but there’s a bit of it that’s set aside for us vain old witches who are never satisfied with anything that nature has given us.

I got a really good vibe from the surgeon and was really chuffed when he showed me just how much skin he reckons he’ll be able to remove. I am gonna look hot! Even more good news came when he told me he would do the thigh lift in a different way. It means I won’t have any scarring on my legs, which is a huge bonus. I was so happy I’ve arranged for him to botox my forehead too while I’m under. I’ll be doing Stars in their Eyes as a Joan Rivers looky-likey by Xmas!

I was dropped back at the hotel and quickly got changed before rushing off to the market in ChinaTown. I really wanted to go to sleep, but was trying to do what all the experts tell you to do in order to beat jet lag, which is stay up as late as possible. Always sounds easier than it actually is.

Once I got amongst the sea of fake Chanel, Gucci and Louis Vuitton, all thoughts of sleep flew right outta my head. There’s some thing about a bargain that has the same effect as coke used to do! Three hours later I was laden with bags of fake shit...all of it fabulous. My best buy is a Richard Prince for Louis Vuitton "Jokes” handbag. I had one of the real ones in my hand earlier this year but managed to convince myself that the price was too obscene even for a handbag addict like me, then when I changed my mind and went back to buy it, it had gone, as had every other one in the country. So you can imagine my joy when I saw a copy here in Petaling St Market! The biggest joke of all - apart from the price £10 as opposed to £1800 for the real one - is that the counterfeiter can’t spell in English!!!!!!! It’s hilarious, and makes me love it even more than the real one!


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Here We Go!!!!!!!!!!!

So folks after a fabulous weekend in Reading with a great bunch of guys, I've spent the last two days getting my shit together for my trip to Malaysia.

I got everything out that I wanted to take, and spent 36 hours editing it down, basically I put about 2/3rds of the stuff back. I got all these gorgeous summer clothes that are like new considering the summer we've had! There's also cultural considerations to take into account, as its a Muslim country, not that I was planning to wear batty riders and boob tube to the nearest temple anyway!

I've been waxed and plucked to within an inch of my life cos after Friday, bending over to shave my legs is gonna be out of the question for a couple of weeks at least. Perhaps I should explain - for the casual reader! - I'm going to Kuala Lumpur to have the rest of the skin that fitted my size 26 body, altered to fit my new size 8 one! After the surgery and about 10 days to recover, I fly up to Malaysian Borneo to spend a week at an orang-utan sanctuary! I am so excited about that part. 

Truth be told, I'm excited about the whole trip, life is an adventure but the last two years have been a really huge adventure and this is the latest stage. Who knows what could happen?

Well you, dear reader, will know cos I'll be posting regularly while I'm out there thanks to my sexy, lightweight MacBook Air!


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A Time Of Transition

Regular readers (if such a thing exists!) of my blog will know that recently my writings have been pretty vague, and a lot less frequent. I've not been sure myself why this is. 

Was it cos I've been hooked on Michael Legge's FaceBook blogs which are hilarious and searingly, nastily honest? My own stuff certainly seems tame by comparison. When I have to mention someone I don't like particularly, I tend to stick to the old Northern proverb - When in doubt, say nowt - whereas Leggy calls a c*nt a c*nt and to hell with the consequences! It's very funny and compulsive reading.

But after giving it some thought, the answer is no. It's not Mr Legge's blog that's curbed my writing. It's life. I have been a bit busier than usual, but I have also been going through a period of change emotionally and physically and for some bizarre reason I haven't felt like sharing it with anyone!

Anyone who actually knows me will tell you this is just about the most out of character thing ever for me. Usually there's no shutting me up, especially when something is troubling me.  I've been known to bend the ear of anyone within shouting distance. Hell I'm the woman who managed to make the Samaritans hang up on her! Twice!!!!!!

The reality is that the things in my life that aren't great are the same old things that have always been pretty crap, and they're not gonna change. What needs to change is how I react to it all, of course. 

The last two years have been a brilliant distraction, what with shedding half my body weight, and the first of two major operations to reverse the damage done to my body by being obese. The euphoria of being skinny has carried me through, blinding me to the realities that have always been there.

Before getting skinny, I used a variety of methods to distract myself, all of them negative. Binging on food, drink, drugs, sex and shopping, was a way to numb myself. I think we all have something we use in times of stress.

I certainly believe that I will always have an addictive personality, the shopping addiction came back big time earlier this year and once again I am left clearing the debts I incurred - I just thank God I am able to pay 'em off. The exercise is also another addiction but one that can only do me good, I've watched myself embrace the yoga classes with all the abandon of a coke binge, the difference is this is improving my health rather than ruining it, but the high is the same.

In six days time I fly to Kuala Lumpur to get the bottom half of my body tidied up, two weeks of surgery, stitches and pain followed by a week in Borneo with the orang utans - yay! I have the feeling that this is both the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new, exciting one. 

All my dreams might not come true, but I'm alive and I am moving forward!