Tuesday, November 25, 2008



Ow! Ow! Ow!

I swear that water in the UK boils hotter than in boils in North America. I know that's probably not possible but I'm constantly burning myself when I drink out of my little travel sippy cup. My lips are occasionally raw from the heat of the boiled water here.

But then, I grabbed my cup of fresh made tea during a 'discussion' with Joe and I slopped burning hot tea all over my right hand and my right boobie. Ow! Ow! Ow! It really really hurt. It did. It does. It will.

But it wasn't until I went to put my gloves on to push the chair. It wasn't until I felt the fabric of my shirt move over my burned boobie that I realized that I had done the wheelchair equivilent of stubbing my toe. Movings going to be a bit uncomfortable for a few days. Yikes.

I'm still learning to live in a disabled body, even three years later. I should have immediately realized what burning my hand means when I move with my hands. I should have understood the care I have to take in order to be as mobile as possible.

There are no classes in being disabled. You just have to live well and fully and discover what happens when life happens. It's a series of learning events. Yesterday I was asked how I got so wise. I was taken aback by the question. I certainly have never felt wise. I have even given up aspiring to wisdom. I've got experience, I've got a bundle of mistakes to draw up on when necessary, I've got the brusies (and burns) you get from trying to get on and get by. But that's not wisdom, at least I don't think it is.

Life has a way of keeping you real. Bringing you back to the realization that we all are just a bunch of eating, pooping, boob burning mortals who are trying to get from A to B.

But right now ... B just feels a little further off!


naath said...

We do boil water differently in the UK - or at least I understand that in the US/Canada the electric kettle is a much rarer item whereas here such appliances are found in almost every kitchen.

This may result in more of the water being raised to boiling point or the water being hotter when pored into your mug (less cooling pre-pouring).

Freshly made tea does often scald my tongue somewhat, so I leave it a few minutes to cool. Spilling it on the hands is a nasty though, sympathy.

Or you might be imagining it. You could always get a thermometer and check.

RADAR said...

Hi Dave,

Apologies for the slightly off-topic posting, but I was hoping to benefit from your wisdom. I've just placed a post on RADAR's blog concerning the news that there are now more Down Syndrome births in the UK than in 1989, when pre-natal screening was introduced.

There has been debate as to what has caused this, and I would very much appreciate your opinion on this story, and that of anyone else reading this comment.

On the tea question, the patriotic tea-loving Brit in me wants to say that we brew the best tea (at least in the Western hemisphere - many Asian countries are in a league all their own), and because tea needs actually boiling water to bring out the best flavour (even one or two degrees of temperature loss can have an effect) this explains why tea served fresh here seems hotter than in some other places.

Of course, having been on the receiving end of more ghastly tea than I care to remember at cafes the length and breadth of this nation, particularly on railways, I can't say that, but it would have been nice :o)

best wishes

Aidan (RADAR)

theknapper said...

I think the word "wisdom", like "courage" has an aura about it that it's a quality that doesn't include how you got it....it's somehow magical; that you just "have it" when reality is wisdom often comes from a life fully lived.
You are a truly wise one & I trust your understanding because it comes from real life not just platitudes....there's depth & it's always changing as new information & experiences informs it.

qw88nb88 said...

I can vouch for the electric kettles being hard to find in the US!

Boiling water temperature is the same, presuming the altitude is as well: 100°C / 212°F at sea level.

However, I can tell you that the UK uses 220 volts, whereas the US uses 110 for most appliances; dunno about Canada. So water certainly boils faster in the UK.


TheGonzoGirl said...

@ Aidan,
abfh wrote an interesting article about it today in Whose Planet Is It Anyway?

@ Dave,
I love your blog, whether you call it wisdom, or experience, it's inspiring for sure.
I hope my off-topic answer isn't too rude.