Friday 9 May 2008


just some village Hampden....

It's my annual appointment with Andy Levy, sprightly and professorial endocrinologist at the BRI. He's on good form, and describes DNA bonding very enthusiastically when I describe my misgivings at loss of breast size since the op and the change from Ethinylestradiol to Estradiol Valerate. I'm lost after the first sentence, of course, but nod enthusiastically.... He agrees that a slightly increased dose of EV may help, so I shall go from 2 x 2mg Climaval a day to 3. And then I resume last year's plaint about my tiredness. My testosterone levels are low but within the normal female range. He agrees to let me try some testosterone gel to see if it alleviates the exhaustion. So I am happy, and we part well.

Funnily enough, back in 2006 when I came out from the BRI after my appointment with Andy Levy I had a run in with some chavs, as described on my diary in Aug 2006

I'm cycling up the Cheltenham Road. There's a lorry parked on the cycle lane. A bus passes me and stops level with the lorry, impeding my progress. There are road works ahead.The lights are on red.

I wait. A shower of white gravel falls on and round me.

I look round. There are four chavs in the car behind me.

I look away. The same thing happens again.

This happens a few times. Finally I see the bloke in the back behind the driver doing the throwing.

The lights change, and we move off. I swing out wide to stop them trying to get past until we're past the narrow bit of the roadworks. I then move closer to the pavement, and give them the finger.

As they draw level, I brake hard in anticipation of something happening. The spit that they gob at me passes ahead of me. They drive on, laughing.

Further along, they've stopped at another set of lights. The one who'd done the throwing has his head leaning out of the window. He's looking ahead. Obviously he thinks I'm history.

I swing into the middle of the road and speed up. As the lights change I reach him. I smack him round the back of the head, hard.

He squeals like a piglet.

I dive through the oncoming traffic, as the shouts of abuse come at me, and disappear down a side road. They're stuck in the forward-moving traffic, and can't pursue even if they wanted to.

Five minutes later, I'm shaking.

O well, maybe they've learned not to mess with stroppy bluestockings on bicycles.

But I doubt it...., I am pushing my bike along Queens Road past the Wills Building, heart of the University. There are lots of bikes locked to the railings.

A pair of drongos are walking ahead of me, one pushing a bike. He sees a wire basket on one of the locked bikes and removes it. They start to move on, with him carrying the basket.

I call out "Put it back!"

They stop and stare at me, wondering whether to thump me or whatever...

I repeat, more loudly and firmly: "Put it back!"

Bloke with basket pauses momentarily, then does so. I watch him replace it, then carry on. They can't see me quake.

A short while later I pass a bus. The driver is ethnically asian; a black Community Support Officer is confronting a bearded drongo on the bus platform, while an asian female CSO stands on the pavement watching. Drongo is repeatedly and a bit drunkenly pointing out that he was born in this country.

Blimey. Somehow I don't think Drongo's favourite tunes included UB40s Burden of Shame....


  1. Well done for doing What Is Right. You may just have changed a life there!

  2. Hello, I've popped by from Jo's. What courage! I don't live in the UK anymore. What is a drongo? (I've just about worked out what a chav is)

  3. You are brave!

    Mind you I sometimes do things a little like that and for me its like I'm taken over briefly by bravery and then, once its over, I quake...

    It sounds quite tricky to get the hormonal levels balanced... mind you as a born woman I have to confirm that really is part of the gig...

  4. Here's hoping, Suzzy, though I'm not holding my breath...

    Hi, Anji! Thanks for dropping by. Hmm, my take on 'drongo' is the sort of bloke who stumbles around in a permanent fog of Special Brew and skunk, and who looks as though he needs deep cleaning with a pressure washer. Does that help? :-)

    I suppose it's the sort of thing you've got to do or you'd feel bad about not doing afterwards, Caroline? -glad I'm not the only one. ...I was really glad to take on all the baggage that goes with fluctuating hormones; compared with what went before, it's welcome, and sort of like coming home. Getting the balance right is tricky, as we seem to be writing the rule book as we go along, and I'm really grateful to have people like Prof Levy to help, because they are putting themselves out on a limb in prescribing things that were never intended for the use to which we put them.