The last post of 2020

As the title says this will be the last post of 2020. It has been a strange year lots of highs and lows. Thanks for sticking with me, reading the blog and leaving comments. It is always nice to know when you have liked a post.

Over on my personal Facebook profile and on The Myasthenia Kid  page  that is linked to this blog, I have been posting a carol a day during the month of December. It was something I used to do years ago and then stopped for whatever reason. This year, with its multiple lock downs, Tiers, Tears and crap health I decided to bring it back. So today I am going to share with you my Christmas Carol Advent calendar. Enjoy!

I just need to point out that I am an atheist that just loves Christmas carols. Bizarre I know!!

1st December

I kicked off the festive season with a stunning rendition of The Carol of the bells performed by Libera. I only discovered the Carol of the bells a few years ago and it has been a firm favourite ever since.


2nd December

Today’s carol was “Oh Holy Night” I provided two version of this one as I liked both performed by Kings College Cambridge. The second version is by Alexander Jean.  Another beautiful carol that I didn’t discover until a few years ago.


3rd December

I had never heard this Christmas Carol until I started compiling my December playlist all those years ago, again there are two versions of “Oh come, oh come Emmanuel” the first by Enya and the second by Hymns and Hers.


4th December

Today’s carol was something different, “God rest ye merry gentlemen” by the superb Annie Lennox.


5th December

Behind door number 5 of my Christmas carol advent calendar is “It came upon a midnight clear” again another carol I didn’t know until I started compiling my calendar all those years ago. Performed by Celtic Woman.


6th December

One of my all time favourites today “The first Noel” by Kings College Cambridge.

I also provided the second version as it was the theme tune of a TV show called the Box of Delights when I was a kid and I think this is just magical


7th December

Behind door number 7 is the traditional “Good King Wenceslaus”


8th December

Today’s offering always reminds me of primary school Nativity plays, “Whilst Shepard’s watched their flocks by night” performed by Westminster Abbey Choir.


9th December

Another one that reminds me of primary school carol concerts “Hark the herald angels sing” performed by Celtic Woman.


10th December

Now this one behind door number 10 will always remind me of Nelson on The Simpsons singing an alternative version! “Joy to the world” performed by The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.


11th December

Behind door number 10 in its originl language of German is the carol “O Tannenbaum” or as we English speakers know it “Oh Christmas Tree”


12th December

It is amazing what you find carol wise consulting Wikipedia and finding out that different countries have different carols. Some of the ones for England ( even though I am British) I hadn’t heard of . Here is “Gloria (Angels we have heard on high).” Performed by BYU Noteworthy.


13th December

As I kid I would record myself singing Christmas carols and send them to my grandparents ( the must have wondered what they had done to deserve such torture!) One of my favourites from those days is “Oh come all ye faithful”, performed by Carrie Underwood.


14th December

Lurking behind door number 14 is “In the bleak midwinter” this is one of my favourites as an adult, we didn’t sing this at school, that I can remember. I have included two versions as one of my favourites is by James Taylor which I know isn’t to everyone’s taste. The second version is by Kings College.


15th December

I didn’t find this version of the “12 Days of Christmas” until a few days after I had posted my original choice. As I loved it so much I posted it the day I found it. Absolutely hilarious and really well done Bravo!

For the purists amongst you here is a non comedy version


16th December

Today’s offering is a real find. I had never heard of this group / band until I was searching for versions of carols that would provide not just the classical arrangements but alternatives. I absolutely adore this version of “We Three Kings” performed by Alexander Jean featuring Casey Abrams.


17th December

I used to love singing this one at Primary School as well. There is something quite pagan about it, which I like as I am actually an atheist who loves Christmas carols. Strange I know! So here it is “The Holly and The Ivy” sung again by Annie Lennox

If you enjoy the Annie Lennox Carols more can be found on the link below, it is well worth a listen.


18th December

Behind door number 18 is another one of my favourites from my Christmas Carol concert days at primary school “Deck the hall”.


19th December

Todays Christmas carol is I know I keep saying it but I do love my Christmas carols, one of my favourites and with it sung in Gaelic is particularly haunting “Silent Night” sung by one of my favourite artists Enya.


20th December

The first time I heard this song was on a CD containing lots of Christmas carols, until then I had never come across it. I do like this one an awful lot too . “I saw Three Ships” performed by Blackmore’s Night.


21st December The winter Solstice

I have known this Christmas carol since I was a tiny tot as most people my age would as it was a firm favourite for Christmas concerts. “Oh little Town of Bethlehem” sung by Nat King Cole.


22nd December

Now it gets very difficult to find 24 Christmas Carols without a bit of research, I could put up some more of the ones we sang at school but they are a bit infantile. I love it when I come across a carol I have not heard of before and can share it whilst falling in love with it. The beautiful “Do you hear what I hear” sung by the incredible Susan Boyle.


23rd December

Whilst hunting for Christmas carols to feature in my advent calendar I stumbled across this absolute gem. I am in love with this arrangement from The Five Strings, “I heard The Bells on Christmas”. I love the PoP element of it and the choral backing. Hubby hates it but then he has been subjected to it numerous times since I first found it!


24th December

The grande finale, there is only one carol that could possibly occupy this spot for me. This is one that signifies that Christmas has begun. It is the one I would hear on BBC Radio 4 late sung at midnight mass. It would give me the feeling that anything was possible, Christmas was magical oh to be a kid again. So here it is

“Once in Royal Davids city” Sung by Kings College Cambridge.


I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas Carol advent calendar as much as I have.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful new year.

with love from Dembe xxx


The year 2020 can best be compared to  a freshly filled nappy sack ( used diaper bag ), warm but full of shit! It has been one thing after another for me health wise this year and now it appears that I have developed psoriasis on my scalp ( this is where I have the biggest patches ) and on small areas of my limbs.

For years I have been plagued with what I thought was a bad case of dandruff. My scalp has always driven me crazy with it’s itchiness. I can’t go more than 2 days without washing my hair as my scalp seemed to slough off and be covered in a thick crust of skin. I would always avoid scratching my scalp in company or when out of the house due the avalanche of white snow that would fall from it. I would when wearing dark colours be constantly checking my shoulders for signs of snow. I became paranoid that everyone would know my scalp was a mess. I have avoided hairdressers in the past, although I have been working with one for around 7 years, I have much less frequent visits than I would like purely because if my scalp is particularly bad I will avoid it.

In the past when I have been really poorly in hospital and unable to wash my hair, I always develop a crust of skin around my hairline, that is so thick that you can scratch it away ( quite satisfyingly) with your finger nails. This would appear in a matter of days and is one of the reasons why I can’t go any longer than 2 days (unless I am very poorly) without having my hair washed due to the build up of skin and the itchiness it will cause.

Over the years this has been my dirty little secret. I have tried more treatments / shampoo’s than I care to mention – T gel, Polytar, Nizadol, Alphosyl, apple cider vinegar, sugar free diets, juicing. Whilst some of the treatments may reduce the itching they never get rid of the flakes. I was (currently) at my wits end as my scalp had started bleeding at the slightest scratch and the amount of flaking was getting worse. I was always conscious of it and was getting to the point where I was coming around to the idea that I needed to contact the doctor. I have been putting it off for ages due to Covid and feeling that I would be treated like I was being overly vain. 

Last night my hairdresser came over to sort my hair out for Christmas. I was having a half head of highlights with some light brown / dark blonde put through it so that I don’t look like a brassy blonde and so that the regrowth is much less noticeable. As she was putting the foils on Rachel ( yep it gets confusing as she is called Rachel too) said ” Did you know you have psoriasis on your scalp?” I looked at her a bit taken a back and she said “yeah your scalp has got lots of raised plaques on it about the size of a 50p , none of it is infected, it is all really dry, do you get it in the winter?” I almost burst into tears. For years I have believed that I have psoriasis.

I said to Rachel that no I didn’t have a diagnosis of psoriasis, that I have had issues with my scalp since I was a baby and this was something I had long suspected.

When I was a baby I had horrendous cradle cap, as many babies do. My mum has described it to me as like a crust of flaky skin around my hairline. She would treat it with baby cradle cap shampoo but it would just knock it back just a bit. As a small child around primary school (infants) age, I can remember my mum washing my hair in the kitchen sink every Sunday morning and applying a very smelly shampoo that I would have to keep on my head for a while before it could be rinsed off, to rid me off what we still called cradle cap. 

At that age all the girls at school wore their hair in bunches. I longed to have my long blonde hair in bunches and plaits just like Heidi did in the TV series of the same name. My mum gently told me that I couldn’t have my hair in bunches as it would reveal my flaky scalp and I would get picked on. Because it was something I couldn’t see and didn’t understand I was desperately unhappy that I couldn’t be l like all the other little girls in my class. It was bad enough that I was never allowed to have patent leather shoes but sensible Clarke’s. I stuck out like a sore thumb already due to being so tall. I looked like Gulliver visiting Lilliput. Add in the fact that this was the early 1980’s and I was the school’s only vegetarian, not having bunches made me feel even more of an oddball.

I dread to think the amount of money I have spent on trying to attain a flake free scalp. I should have just spoken to the doctors when the 20th shampoo I tried didn’t work. There was one I tried that said you had to remove all jewellery before applying as it would tarnish it. The number of times I forgot and it would turn my silver necklace black. All of them would alleviate the itching to some extent but none of them stopped the blizzard of shoulder snow. I wish I had been brave enough to say something to the doctors instead of feeling ashamed / dirty or that this wasn’t a real medical problem that needed dealt with.

This morning I plucked up the courage to send in an e consult form asking for help with treating my scalp. I have also got spots of psoriasis coming up on my legs and arms however they are small and isolated. As Mr Myasthenia Kid also has psoriasis I have been putting a little of his Dovabet ointment on the bits that come up and that seems to be enough to get them to calm down and disappear. I wonder now though if psoriasis has been the reason why the toe nail on my big toe falls off every two years and grows very weirdly. It isn’t a fungal infection but it has horrendous ridges and pits in it. I have never been able to get a straight answer from doctors but looking at these photos of psoriasis on nails well that is my toe nail on the big toe in my left foot. .

Having a quick look on the internet I came across this really good info graphic which shows the changes to nails due to psoriasis, most of which I have had happen to my finger nails and that one toe nail. It is amazing now the wealth of information that is at our finger tips.

It is a weird feeling when you suddenly get an answer or validation for an issue that you have been suffering from for years. I could have hugged and kissed Rachel last night – but we couldn’t due to Covid! I had a quick look at my scalp this morning and found a couple of the raised plaques that she had been talking about. It also explains why my scalp is always super sensitive after a hairdressing appointment. I have ordered some more shampoo and conditioner that is parabens and sulphate free in the hope this soothes my scalp. I have also cut back on the products that I am using to see if this helps it at all. At the moment my scalp is just driving me crazy the itching is insane. I am doing my best to ignore it I am sure it is only feeling like this due to knowing that it is there.

** update I did an e consult with my doctors surgery on Tuesday, they got back to me on Wednesday and have done me a prescription for some stuff to apply to my scalp for 4 weeks and to let them know how I get on. I also had to send them some photo’s. I was home alone so attempting to get photo’s of ones own scalp is a bit of a challenge. Thankfully I managed to find a couple of bits on the side of my scalp and clipped my hair out of the way to take the photo. I then got a text message back to say yes that is psoriasis. It has only taken 10 years to get this diagnosed.