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I'm good at the whining, no? *cough cough* ;)

Seriously, a few thoughts that have occurred today:

+ I really should update the website, I've not been 26 for a while...
+ It doesn't even link to my flickr page - the photo gallery has been unchanged since about 2k6 too..
+ I need to get out there with my camera some more. I've been neglecting that hobby badly; and my old SLR is feeling sad too.
+ Antibiotics still make me feel crap, but my tonsils have less pus on them than yesterday, which has got to be a good thing.
+ My beloved wife is the most awesome person, she turned up at home today with an innocent smoothie, an a copy of practical classics (and half a twix bar) :)))
+ "I was going to get you New Scientist but I couldn't remember if you like it" *grins*. She rocketh.
+ She's making a cake! For us! And she's letting me sit on the couch and loaf because "you're sick". She is *such* a wonderful person to me. I totally don't deserve someone so awesome.
+ We ate peas and beans from the garden today and they were hell-a tasty.
+ Carpenters appear to have similar time keeping skills to builders. I.e. none at all. Looks around at all the carpenteering that's gone on today (i.e. none) and mutters darkly.
+ Builders are very happy to put off work. 'Can you come in a weeks time' 'oh! no problem'.
+ I&A Car Services, in Slough, continue to inspire me with ongoing competence.
+ Some e-bay sellers do not, although the world is tormenting me by supplying all the things that didn't arrive while I was working on the car in my week off.
+ The final season of The Wire starts off damn harsh. Last season though. Why did I not know about this when it was on?!
+ I've opted to take the other 2 days I was meant to work at the beginning of the week off sick. Pustular tonsillitis I've decided, warrants a few days off. More importantly the feeling like crap on antibugs warrants it.
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So, I said I thought I was coming down with something. I did try and see my GP but there weren't any emergency appointments left; so while at work I asked one of the doctors to have a quick peer down my throat.

About 30 seconds later I was booking myself in, so that my antibiotics could be prescribed, and he told me I should take a few days off. I finished off my shift tho'

I feel not rubbish, but not well. And have consistently had a temperature through the day. I think I've got one now, too. So at least tomorrow off, and I'll see how I'm feeling midday tomorrow for the next day :-/
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Kathryn can stay! We finally got the Visas back yesterday; well, visa. Kathryn's now allowed to stay here until we leave, unless that takes more than 2 years. I was incredibly relieved, since we're going on holiday in the not too distant future and need passports for that.

So that's good.

Also good, I had my eyetest today; in 5 years my eyes have hardly changed. In fact, one eye is exactly the same and one is so very slightly different they recommended no change in prescription. I also have no signs of macular degeneration - which is good - my mum's got very serious degeneration and I'm slightly worried about my eyesight (long term) but they checked it today my field of vision is hunky dory.

I will just have to take care of my eyes.

I was sat reading the contact lens sign and really want to go back to wearing lenses; but can't at the mo. If this allergy clinic does the Sublingual allergy treatment, that might mean I could, which would be awesome beans.

I was also good today for numerous reasons:
- I actually walked to town and back, rather than driving, despite it being cold.
- I sorted out my debts a bit. A very nice woman at the bank explained that there is a way to avoid early repayment charges on a loan, so my debt is now a loan. I must not take the credit cards with me anywhere.
- I didn't buy the Nikon D70s I saw. I'm even not buying it now, despite knowing it's quite a good price.
- On a smaller scale, I didn't buy lunch. I bought a drink ('cos I was thirsty after leaving hour earlier than I needed to (yes, I'm stupid sometimes)).
- I went and dropped off my prescription at the doctor's - so I should be able to get my new nose-spray on Monday.

I've also been good:
- Yesterday I fixed the car's exhaust. Well. Improved. Fixed might be an overstatement. It's now only fouling the suspension at extremes of travel. Having beaten crap out of the bit that you can't replace for about an hour I managed to move the 45 degree joint by about an inch and a half - a good chunk of the two inches I needed. I think it's leaking less now. Not quite sure how to get it that last half inch tho'.
- I got the iPaq working on the Mac. Well, technically it's working through Windows 2000 on VMWare on the MacBook. The GPS bit should work, and so before we go to Ireland I need to fork out for a new CF card for it - a much bigger one - then I can have Europe maps...and an MP3 player in the car again. That would rock my little world.

Also good:
Royksopp's new video. Many people seem to have missed this, and it's excellent.
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I don't know if it's the nights, or the terrible habit of not drinking any water, or the contact with sick people when I'm exhausted, but I'm sick again. This is ridiculous. I went through a whole year without being sick, more or less, and now every flipping time I do nights I get sick. This time it's very vague, though. My stomach's not happy, I'm pyrexial, and just feel a bit under the weather.

I first really noticed it at work; I was just feeling a bit rough and checked my temperature (38.6C / 101.5F) - and having whined a bit downed some paracetamol and 'brufen.

It quickly came down again, and I didn't really think about it again until I got home, downing my night-nurse which I reckoned would give me a better day's sleep and keep my temperature down, but when I got up yesterday I still felt rough and ended up cancelling my night shift (much to my agency's annoyance).

I hoped I'd feel better today - as proof to myself that I'm ill I slept most of the night despite sleeping all day. But I do, in fact, still feel pretty awful. I gave in at 6am and came and took more paracetamol and 'brufen, 'cos I can feel I've got a good-going high temperature (without resorting to my thermometer).

I've got to do one errand today, but that's it, apart from probably stopping off to pick up lots more paracetamol and 'brufen. Hopefully when I'm feeling a bit better I can have some breakfast. The only other thing that needs doing today is studying, and that's fairly low impact, but I need to be better for my ILS training tomorrow.


Jan. 8th, 2009 04:16 am
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I have been completely unable to get into a sensible sleep pattern again after nights. Last set of nights was bad, I presume, because I was sick and just spent most of the week asleep. This set there's no such reason.

I just can't get to sleep. I've got a lot going on in my head with the list of jobs I think need doing; but even still, tonight I woke up at 12:48 having only gone to sleep just after 2200. 3 sodding hours of sleep. Since then I've been awake. I've counted, I've tried relaxation things, and as it gets later I've got that angst that comes of knowing that you've got a long shift ahead (12 hours) and that you're tired already.

Lord only knows how I'll feel walking the mile to the railway station at 20:00 to get the train back home. I'm quite tempted to drive in, but I suspect parking in London Hospitals is a bit more tricksy than the suburban ones I normally do shifts in.

Anyway, one cup of sleepytime tea and we'll try again, an extra hour and a half of sleep's definitely better than no more sleep.
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I am definately ill today. Not, thankfully, deeply sick type ill. Just 'unwell'. My throat and ear definately hurt and I probably should have skipped work yesterday. I'm off sick tonight.

What's less good is that the builders, who work at a pace that'd make a sloth seem quick, have informed me that the kitchen will be finished on Thursday. That's 6 days to fit a kitchen. I could do it quicker. By myself. Blindfolded. With one hand tied behind my back. I've spoken to their supervisor who's told me that it will, without fail, be in, finished, the house cleaned and sorted by Thursday. That's the best he can do, apparently. No, I won't be recommending these people to anyone else - I might get money back for recommending them but this is just a joke - and I wouldn't inflict them on anyone else. Yes, I will be naming them once they're done and out-of-here.

It's not like it's a deeply complex or difficult kitchen fit. It's an L shaped kitchen and a pseudo-island. What also leaves me unimpressed is that they removed the U bend from the waste pipe where the dishwasher sits, which is fine; it was the wrong part, but the only part I could get; but they've replaced it with...stuffing the end of the waste water pipe from the dishwasher into the waste water pipe. They've also disappeared for 3 hours having turned the water off and removed the pipework for it. Annoyed? Yes I am.

I rang them this morning to find out what on earth they're playing at; it's a long time since I've felt that annoyed speaking to someone.

Having fuzzily woken up to use the loo at roughly mid-day and had a wander round and not seen them, and then woken up properly at 1300 and since then not seen them... well. I am hungry, but can't go out because I'm a state (having worked a night and then spent the morning in bed); I can't shower, I can't drink any more water, because, well, all I've got is 1/5th of a glass left and then I'm out of water. I can't flush the loo, I can't wash my hands. And where are they? Well, one of 'em has apparently gone to Scotland, and the other? Lord knows where. I've rung them again and am waiting to find out where, exactly they are. I am meant to be studying and am sat here fuming angrilly instead and waiting for the phonecall to tell me either when I'm going to get water back, or that I might as well do it myself and subtract my time and parts from the fitting fee for the kitchen.
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Okay, so I shouldn't be looking at e-bay. I can't afford anything anyhow, and I've no space for one, but sometimes it's nice just to windowshop. In this case, I was looking at DKW Junior's (I just wondered how much they sell for, and how common they are). Being as it's a german car I stuck it into and lo, I found 2.

The 61's cuter than the 62. But it being the text was all in german - and so was hit upon, and lo the following text did spue forth:

"Small crack in the sky. The cars in front of potential purchase should be viewed! No guarantee / warranty. The stain on the passenger is only a shadow. Fun bidders will be prosecuted!"

I suspect it's not accurate. Either that or the description's certainly odder than most of the ones on Ebay uk.

I am, I conclude, sick. Not hideously so, but enough that I'm off sick again tonight. My throat feels awful and I suspect I've been spiking temps on and off. I've sucked my way though a bunch of USian throat sweets, drunk a surprising amount of water for a night shift and still feel fairly awful. Since I've got ATNC on Monday, I think it's best to take the night (and the weekend which I have off) off and be better by monday.

It also means that enduring the builder* working on the kitchen (there better be plural builders present today, and it better be fitted today, otherwise words shall be had) shouldn't be too bad, 'cos I can doze and look at ATNC. I've not managed to do the pre-test test yet, because, well, I feel underprepared.

Although, really I ought to just sit down and do it. Nor have I made flash cards, which I wanted to do, and was hoping to do... So I might try and do them this morning...

On the bad front, I managed to unintentionally cancel our booking for dancing after the wedding.

The conversation (a couple of weeks ago) went thus:
"Hi, this is the Whatever** hotel; you enquired about booking a room for a venue after a wedding"
"Oh, ah, we've already booked a place, but thank you for ringing"
"Okay, bye!"

Now, we - as I understood it - had booked a place and were waiting for a confirmation letter from them to say it was booked. At no point did they mention that we'd booked it, that they might be known by more than one name... Oh no.

It's only when we rang to confirm today that we found out that the Lamp-Lighter Bar has an alter ego, a pseudonym it uses to evade detection. And thus it was that we discovered we'd cancelled our own booking. You'd think that she might have mentioned that we'd actually *booked* it, not just enquired... but apparently not.

* Distressingly back to singular yesterday - and only present for 2 hours.
** This is, apparently, the other name of the dual identitied bar which we'd book.
It's their secret identity.
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So, let's list the automobilia I like:

Classic cars
Small cars
Quirky vehicles
Two stroke engines
East german stuff

Oddly, the Minor fulfills very few of these, but is my favourite. Perhaps because minor's are my first automotive love. MZs fulfill a lot of these, and trabants (which I don't own any of) also meet the criteria pretty well. Our little DAF (44) meets the criteria being small and strange, but something else has caught my eye:


Apparently this is a DKW Junior dating from 1967. It also meets another criteria which I didn't mention - it looks all sad. Look at it sat there on flat tyres, it *wants* to come be with me. It sports (and this is awesome) a three cylinder (this starts well) 750cc (awesome, a ridiculously small capacity!) two stroke (score!) engine. Woot.

A car which is almost certainly without any merit at all. It's German, not East German, sadly. Which detracts slightly from it's incredible Kate-attracting powers. Fortuately I have neither money nor space for a vehicle which almost certainly requires a raft of skills I don't posess. If anyone wants to buy it, shipt it and gift it to me in Canada then you're very welcome to :)

I note they've got a couple of sad little enfields and also sad little DAFs, and frankly a whole great bundle of sad little cars going at their auction (the Linconshire Bubble and Micro car museum are having a clearout) - sometimes it's fortunate we have neither money nor space :)

In other news, the Kitchen should start being fitted today. Time of arrival depends on time of delivery to the company doing the fitting.

And I actually took last night off sick. I'd been feeling a bit off, and on a whim (and because I felt like I was going to either faint or hurl on the floor of Lloyds while I was out getting money to pay for the kitchen) I stuck a thermometer in my gob. Scoring a not-bad 37.7 degrees C (99.9F) I thought 'hrm, perhaps I am unwell' and unilaterally opted for a day of being at home. As it happened apart from a faint nausea and general vague unwellness (frustratingly non-specific) I probably could have gone to work, but I might have made myself iller.

In good news, I spent this morning ploughing through ATNC and am now at a stage where I can safely say 'Hah'. I don't know any of it, but I've read it all, and that's surely got to be worth something ;-/

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About 6 or 7 weeks ago I sold the Viva; it had become somewhat of a millstone, sucking money in and making me miserable. It also had sprayed me with hot coolant, and looked likely to fail it's next MOT without fairly substantial works to at least one sill, if not both.

On the plus side, the Minor looked to be nearly ready and so it made sense to sell a car with an MOT, rather than sell it without. It's now about 7 weeks on, and the minor hopefully should be ready this weekend. We're apparently waiting on the engine, which itself is waiting on the crankshaft, which needs to be reground. I'm praying that it's done and back and being assembled as we speak. I promised the Minor to my mum for her wedding, plans involving white ribbon and all that. I know she's hardly the world's shiniest minor, but she's part of the family.

Part of the reason for selling the Viva was, I'll grant, that I thought I'd have the DAF up and running too. This was, of course, dependent on the original owner coming up with the V5. Which she hasn't done. Which means that the DAF - while roadworthy (although needing brakes adjusting) is stuck on the drive - the ridiculousness of the DVLA's policy (that an MOTd and insured car needs a V5 to get a tax disk) does frustrate me. If I'd stolen the car, d'y'think I'd *really* turn up at a DVLA office asking to *buy* a tax disk? Really?

I can't actually think of a criminal process which would involve buying a tax disk for an illegally obtained car, and therefore find the idea that I can't have one dumb.

At any rate, we've now been without a car of any road-legal sort for 7 weeks, and I'm beginning to tire of it. This wasn't meant to be a long old whine, but frankly, it cost me 65 quid to make the journey to *agency nurse shift* and it should've cost me around 35 quid. To be fair I could've ridden the bike, but also to be fair, the bike's top speed can drop as low as 45 on a really bad day, and 2-3 hours of riding at that speed would make me want to weep.

Anyway, so, skipping the whining, we had a productive week- in so far as I made lots of money  (more than I make in a week at work) doing 2 agency shifts (does anyone see how ridiculous that is?) and we replaced the old metal shed with a new (attrociously poor quality, but looks the part) wooden shed. We spent almost 12 hours solidly working on the shed (apart from a very quick break for lunch), the old one being surprisingly hard to take down. Rotten though it was there was a lot of rusty old steel holding it together. The block-work back wall was as bad as I feared though and I just pushed it over. Kathryn and I broke it up a bit once it'd been pushed over - so as to clear it away somewhat more easily. Unfortunately, the guy who said he'd come take away the steel hasn't turned up; and our back yard looks like a scrap yard. We need to get a skip in, and my plan to put the car on the neighbour's drive (the one of the abandoned house) has been foiled by him turning up and putting his car there. The swine.

I don't see any action on the house though, so I guess he's just dumped his car there and gone off on holiday (it's a handy spot to park if you're flying, I guess).

Anyway, so I'm back at my usual work after a week of nights, and the week 'off' with the 2 agency shifts - and I've screwed my body up by doing one night in that bunch. I'm tired and grumpy feeling - and I meant to ring the doctor this morning to sort out an appointment (I'm due my regular blood test to see if my liver's got worse, I need my allergy meds and I want a referral to Guy's allergy clinic). Unfortunately, I sat being apathetic until I finally rang and they'd no appointments left. Some days I really suck :-/

I'll have to do it one day next week now, which is a shame because Kathryn might be at home and I'd much rather have spent time with Kathryn. The problem is, I'm achy and tired, and the sofa is terribly comfy.

Other tasks which were up for this morning included wandering to B&Q and seeing if they still do the dire, cheap, wobbly metal shelving which I could screw to the back wall of the thin-staple and nail shed so as we could actually have our kitchen back. I reckon that with a couple of sets of shelves there'd actually be enough space in there to put *all* the decorating and DIY stuff. Possibly even the relevant bits of the Charlie when I bring her back from my mum's.

I'm, it must be said, getting desperate for a bike which does more than 50 mph. It's mind blowingly tedious, the motorway at 50mph. And it's not even like I'm getting awesome fuel efficiency from Cherry at this cruising speed, some of the petrol's going into the gearbox, and lord knows where the rest of the 60mpg is going (it's still running around 45mpg).

I *am* in a whiny mood.

I think I'll go shower, and then put some more filler on Jejy, and watch We love XKCD a few more times. As a side point, one thing which I have noted for it's awesomeness, apart from my luck at meeting Kathryn who is awesome beyond words, is that cooking one's food from scratch does result in meals that are delicious. For years I've espoused this theory, and being one who can knock up a reasonable tomato sauce in the same time it takes to warm a pre-bought one (mine's better :-P) had lived on basically: wraps, pasta, curry and pizza - those being the recipes I had in my head - for years. But being with Kathryn, and being bored of those minimal choices, we've started cooking our way through a couple of cook books - including the world's most gorgeous chicken pie (coming again this weekend, because while it's phenominally unhealthy (pot of cream, block of butter) it's just so damn good that occasionally we have to eat it), calzone (we overcooked it slightly and it was still bloody delicious), curried parsnip soup (my dad'd be proud, bit too lemony but also great), and a miriad of other great dishes - and y'know what, my diet is much better and (apart from being knackered) I feel healthier. And it's just damn spiffy.

Yes, we loose an hour every night to cooking, but quite frankly it's worth it. Unfortunately, however creatively I did the sums I couldn't make buying cereal more expensive that making our own granola. Our own granola was excellent. Truly, we had hit on the celestial being's own recipe for granola. But now we're back to Tesco Crunchy and Kathryn (not being a huge fan of it) is back on Fruit and Fibre. It's somewhat of a comedown.

The other disappointing thing is not having time or space to invite others to come share with us. I miss having people come around to stay, and come for dinner. Hopefully, once I've got my debts a little more under control, and perhaps got money back from Charlie for the bodged restoration of Rebecca, and the house is more finished we can get back to a more luxurious lifestyle. Anyhow, I should move off this sofa, because I've been sat here all morning. 

...oh, I'm still tickled that we don't look over 18 :)

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Now, we all know I like a good whine. but I'm bored of whining now. My hayfever's been attrocious this year; bad enough that I've not slept. That's pretty rare for me, to have hayfever bad enough that it wakes me or stops me sleeping. Traditionally night's been the time when I could forget about my hayfever. But not this year; I've not had a solid night's sleep for about a week. I wake at 4:30am-ish, sneezing, coughing, barely able to breathe. If I'm lucky (like last night) I can eventually get back to sleep - but it takes a long time. And then I'll wake up at 5:30 or 6:30 to the same problem. I usually give up then, because by the time I get back to sleep it'll be time for me to get up.

I am, therefore, clattering unhappily towards complete exhaustion. I note, looking at my account, that the money for my prescription payment certificate's been debited, so I shall make an appointment to see my GP this week. Hopefully I can get the nasal spray and the referal to Guy's in London, where I can get some kind of allergy treatment. I can't go on like this; I'm so tired I'll end up doing something dumb at work.
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So, whilst I may not feel lucky, I was, in fact, incredibly lucky yesterday.

I had what I can only describe as a nice day at work and headed home. Part way home the Viva overheated and I pulled over. Cutting a long (and dumb) story short I ended up with a hand and face full of boiling hot coolant and steam. Slightly panicked I realised I needed (a) an ambluance and (b) (rather more urgently) something cold. The car proved to be lacking anything cold (like water, for example), and so I dashed of down the motorway spitting furiously on my hand to try and cool it, and dumping, some what unsavourily that onto my face to try and cool that. Sadly the first marker post I reached indicated that I'd set off in the wrong direction, so I headed back the other way.

Fought with the car which had a bay full of coolant now; and got it to limp to the next emergency phone where I called for an ambulance and a recovery vehicle. The Highway Officers turned up first bringing with them much wanted water - which cooled my hand, and got rid of the retching from the coolant that had landed up in my mouth. The firebrigade were next with their (really very nice) tea-tree dressings (which soothed my hand and face a lot), and then streaking down the road - blue lights and sirens wailing, the ambulance.

I can't thank the crews enough. I'm sure I was hardly the most appetising sight covered in flecks of brown coolant-and-rust-streaked water, saliva and such. Retching and constantly swilling my mouth with water and spitting it out.

But the thing I can say is that I was lucky. Very superficial burns to my face and left hand and superficial, if sore, burns to my right. The nurses got me oromorph; I hate morphine and can now say that oromorph does absolutely fuck-all for me. Then sent me off with Naproxen and CoDydramol. I've a whopping great dressing on my right hand. and my face feels like it's sunburnt.

I will not be sad to see the back of that Viva.


Pissy mood

Jun. 7th, 2007 09:26 am
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I am in a pissy mood today; this is because I need to see the GP and having set my alarm for 0800 I woke up at 0200, 0430, 0630 and then 0915. *Swears at self*. I don't even remember the alarm going off, although I must have been awake because it was switched off, and I definitely switched it on last night. As if to reinforce the idea that I've been a dumb-ass my eyes are itching like mad and my hayfever is playing up horribly in general.

I am therefore in a pissy mood, and best avoided.

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So, it's been four weeks since my bin was emptied. I realised that today. I've finally managed to fill my outside bin to the point I need it emptied... by putting two carpets in it.

I'm not quite sure how I generate so little rubbish - obviously the fact that an awful lot of my food is not prepackaged; or is prepacked in plastic bags (recycled) or cling-wrap (binned, but very small) helps. And my habit of not always remembering to eat, that probably helps. But I still find it faintly odd that after 4 weeks all I have to dispose of as rubbish is two small carrier bags mostly full of tissues (and they're *months* worth of rubbish from the lounge and bathroom), and two two-third's full binbags of kitchen waste. Paper and card are recycled, plastic's recycled...uh. Yeah. It's kind of odd.

But this week, yes, the bin is very full. 2 grotty old carpets filled it to fullness. So I'm kinda glad tomorrow is bin-day.

On the matter of the car, we appear (touch wood) to have finally reached understanding of why the bloody thing wasn't starting. It turns out that despite (when I checked) the coil appearing to get a full 12 volts of unballasted little flowing electrons when in the Starter position, it appears that it's not *actually* working as-such. So current bodge is to slap a jump lead twixt coil+ and the battery, start the car, and then whip it off. This is fine, fine and indeed dandy, except that it's been raining almost continuously today and I didn't much enjoy getting wet.

Still, that moves us onto the topic of the coming two weeks.

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