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Work's been suprisingly pleasant of late; perhaps everyone'e scared of Swine Flu and haven't been coming in? Can we please keep it that way? I've had some odd ones though, in triage. People who've broken things days/weeks ago, not really in pain, slight, possible, deforimities and off to Xray they go, then we find out they've completely broken their humerus or fractured radius/ulnas... Also sick people who've actually been sick. It's been quite like actually working in an emergency department.

Then, to make things even more strange I was working in the Resus area; normally when I'm there it's like there's a neon sign that goes up outside and we get overdoses, cardiac arrests, infections-gone-septic and the odd bit of major trauma (at least potentially). I am like a magnet for the very sick and accident prone to go and be ill and fall off something. But on this occasion I had one person who was very sick who was there when I arrived - and some potentially sick kiddies who improved (one of whom kindly vomitted on my top).

I was quite confused. Why wasn't the red phone ringing constantly? Why was I stood there doing regular obs on people instead of running past going 'oh crap! His BP is 60 systolic! It was 120 before!' en-route to administer some drug to prop some other patient up for a bit.

Not that I'm complaining mind; I've quite enjoyed it. I've been riding my little red bike to work and bike, slow as it is, and now it's got a brake light working again I'll be much happier* (so it is, of course, raining today). Ironically, the MOT and Tax run out next month, so I'm contemplating using it as a spares bike to build up Charlie. I looked on e-bay and MZs aren't worth anything anymore. It's rather sad. They're on there really rarely, and now the company has gone, completely, as opposed to just being bought by new people every 3 weeks, they seem to have disappeared.

I've also wired the exhaust back on to the DAF - there's only about a foot between the missing exhaust hanger and the next one, but really... I've ordered bits of Morris Minor to use to hang it all back together properly(ish) - and will hopefully get a chance to do that this weekend. I need to get Vixy up on ramps and check the belt tension on her... but... the weather forecast looks attrocious. Which does not bode well :(

Vixy's booked into my local garage for the rear brakes to be done, too. I just need to actually source the parts. My local place can get them but they're more expensive than getting them shipped from Holland, although he's having a look through his personal stock and will give me a ring back with a price for that... apparently. Although he's yet to ever actually ring me back about anything.

I'm hoping, also, that the bits of car for Jejy will arrive before too long and Jejy will get a new clutch drum and new shoes, and an inlet manifold without a huge crack in it.

The garden continues to progress; lots of things are flowering and producing a great deal of pretty, we've got more Swiss Chard than we can eat, the beans are growing into great tall bean-stalks; we picked up some more plants when my mum was here (some more dogwood, and some other things which I'll journal about later) - which have gone in. I've clearly found an effective way of making it rain though, which is to remember to water the new plants. Then it pours with rain for the rest of the week :(

Anyhow, Lunch and then Work.

* My initial assumption was that the contacts were dirty &/or sticking, and would clean with a few uses. That has occured before, but having ridden to work it wasn't working. Riding it home, I presumed the bulb had blown; but no. I checked that and it was fine. Finally, in a fit of enthusiasm (and desire to not be squished, and having got fed up of doing hand signals) I dug around the foot brake switch on which both wires had broken. This made me happy because 10 minutes later they were resoldered and the bike has a brake light again :)
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I was good: I bought this: Minor Injuries, A clinical guide

I was bad: I bought this: Trek - but to be on the good side, I bought the used 'acceptable' edition which was £3.80, including shipping, as opposed to the £6 new cost. And it's been on my wants list since it was published, so I think I'm being quite good.

And I didn't buy the Ting Tings album yet. Because I need a preamp for the record deck. So I've been positively very good, really.

I've been working on the development program; nothing like having to show it to someone to make you feel faintly ashamed of 2 years and 7 pages. Anyhow, now I can say 'I'm waiting for a book to arrive from Amazon'. ;-)

I've actually done several things off the later weeks, I just haven't...documented them...anywhere...uh. Yeah.

Anyway. Time to eat lunch and get to work :)

Moop

Mar. 28th, 2009 10:10 am
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So, another week of nights approaches, and we're trying to get a car ready to go on holiday. The minor's exhaust is fouling the suspension, which should be fairly easily fixed. Rebecca is the most likely candidate; only the noisy gearbox and worn diff and suspension being a problem. Jejy's right out. Vixy's heading that way too. In fact, Vixy is looking like she might end up being a parts car for Jejy. In so far as I might pinch the engine, and possibly the seats.

Jejy then gets all new hoses, all new front brakes, new shoes, and a 21k mile engine. Vixy gets a worn out 79k mile engine and shipped off to a new home, keeping her new brake shoes and brake cylinders.

In other news I forked out for a new charger for the batteries. Years ago when I bought some Uniross rechargable NiMHs I went for the nicer charger that they had. It did NiCds and NiMHs and all seemed well, until, obviously, I looked deeper into the 'my batteries seem to die awfully quickly). It turns out it can't deal with more than 2,000mAh batteries. It's timer, not ΔV based, which means it's never, ever charged the batteries properly. The new charger (VapexTech, had a good review, somewhere) is ΔV based (although it has an over-time shut-off), sports specs for 2900mAh batteries (my highest capacity ones say 3,000mAH but probably aren't after having never been charged properly), and came with 4 shiny new 2,900mAH batteries. Hopefully the holiday snaps should be snappable.

Also, in the name of longevity it runs on anywhere from 100-250V at anything from 50-60Hz. Woot for portability.

Now, I'm gonna go shower and get working on the DAF. I need to get the rear brake drum off, because there is, what looks like a leak. Impressive, I feel, since when I tried to bleed it no fluid came out. A whole and proper WTF moment.

Anyhow. Shower. Car*.

* We were meant to be going protesting today. Can't though, 'cos we need transport. Granted we don't need transport more than we need to be able to breathe, but it's all a matter of timing :-/
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So, nights were made more entertaining than normal, or scary, depending on whether I was hearing the stories about the doctor or telling the stories about the doctor. Just remember, nurses save your life. Not always, but sometimes.

Let's just say that that was one of the more scary things I've had happen. Not quite as scary as the new doctor intubating someone, and despite me clearly saying "tell me what you need, I've never done this before" he got to paralysing the patient and then looked at me and went "oh shit, where's the tube".

Anyhow, post nights have, so far, not been too awful. I stayed up yesterday, pottering in the garden. I laid the last few bricks; and then threw gravel down on the new pseudo-patio area. It makes the straightness of the concrete look less...well...like a big straight line of concrete. I'm already thinking we should have forked out for the weed control fabric, but hey, never mind.

I also spent some time in B&Q staring at concrete and (very lazy) mortar mixes; I'm definately feeling more inclined to spend the extra and get the pre-mix stuff, just because I need so little to do the stairs that it hardly seems worth getting a big bag of concrete, and once you factor in the big bag of stones and half a ton of builder's soft sand... well... it doesn't work out that much cheaper, I suspect.

Today I dropped Kathryn at school which proved to me that...the minor's exhaust is lower than it should be.

This I knew.

I think it's time for a state of the fleet address:

Rebecca:
Transmission almost dead. 2nd and 3rd attrociously noisy, and sometimes not that easy to obtain. 1st sounds awful too. 4th's pretty good though!
Front suspension worn out.
Exhaust needs two parts separating which don't want to come apart (no matter how hard I try). I will have another go, though, since the current arrangement of parts has the exhaust fouling speedbumps.

Jejy:
Brake cylinder needs replacing.
Exhaust needs replacing.
Probably needs a rebore and new rings, burns oil like a good'un.
Needs new vacuum hoses, probably, and new heater hoses, definately...

Vixy:
Needs a new brake cylinder, I think, because the one that's not been replaced's leaking more than a teeny bit. I think the new cylinders are a different diameter to the old ones, and that would explain the uneven braking. I'm hoping the new shoes will improve the braking in the sense of making it more effective, but I doubt they'll do anything to improve the significant pull. Needs new gaiters on the front suspension...will Duct-tape do?
Needs 2 new tyres (well, probably needs 5, but I've not looked at the rear ones as hard as the front ones).

Just a few jobs then :-/
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Only, it must be said, that of a Resusci-anne*, but there y'go. She was in Asystole for which the outcome from resuscitation is pretty poor - and she went straight from compromised bradycardia into asystole, so we were pretty buggered. But I did my best, and since I've never seen a successful resuscitation then it's fair enough.

I'm hoping I've passed my ILS. They didn't stop me and say "Good lord, what are you trying to do!?", which is obviously a sign that things are going wrong, and they usually (or at least did last time) prompt you to get you going in the right direction, and the only thing that came up was atropine to treat her bradycardia. Since she was (notionally at least) bleeding into her abdomen there wasn't much we could do for her in the (imaginary) A&E. I hope I've passed, otherwise it'll be a bit embaressing.

I'm still really peeved about the ALS. I spoke to loads of other nurses and we all find it grating, because the trust doesn't run many ALS days, and the problem is the Doctors rotate every 3/4/6 months, which means that we'll potentially never get on an ALS course run by the trust. It's about 300 quid to do it, and I'm tempted, once I've read the book, to see if I can do some Agency work and book myself on ALS.

I wonder if my agency give me any discount on ALS...

Anyhow.

In other news, I took the DAF in today, and she behaved impeccably. The traffic was awful, but we pootled along stopping every 8 feet or so as the accident on the motorway which closed my junction was cleared. Thankfully, just as I came up to the junction they reopened it, and I managed to get to my training on time. But the journey home was just as un-eventful. I fear the condition of the (expensive) clutch shoes when they come out - because the drum was fairly sharp edged, I suspect. And although I'd like to imagine that the friction material wore the peaks off a bit, I suspect that the peaks wore the friction material off and that those self-same peaks are in the process of destroying the shoes. I don't want to put ridged shoes on a good drum either. Poot.

But, in super-good news, and relating to the nature of awesome which the DAF club (who I must get around to joining (and I need to renew my MMOC membership as it happens)), a member of the DAF owners' club has offered to supply us both with a manifold that's in better condition than our really crackedy one and a drum which is not ridged to hell and back.

But (another but, not a butt), while I'm waiting for that to come, and the other DAF to surface from the garage in which it lurketh, I must get around to preparing my Mac for sale. This means: fixing the Sony monitor semi-properly, removing the second hard-disk, and a veritable cornucopia of file-shuffling. I am debating selling my dad's old DEC monitor. I really *love* the DEC monitor, it's 21" of shiny shiny trinitron goodness; but do I want to lug that all the way to Canada? At some point I need to move on from hording all the things my dad used, and perhaps it's time to let that go and get some shiny new tech in. I can carefully remove the sticker with his name on (and my stripey apple sticker!) and it can go on a new computer...

Anyway. It's bed time here in ChezUs. So off we toddle.

Oh, and Being Human? Excellent TV. Thank you Auntie Beeb.

* I just found out something truly creepy about resusci-anne; her face is modelled on the death-mask of an unidentified 19th Century woman. That is entirely freaky. I'll have to share that at work. *creeped out*
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So I was booked on an ALS course, it's one of the things missing from my repertoire. I'm trauma trained, ILS trained and so forth, but I've not got Critical Care or ALS. They're the two things I'd really like to have got on my CV.

I got on the ALS course by dint of the fact that people ahead of me in the queue are doing Critical Care, and thus don't have time to study for and do the ALS course. Unfortunately, I just lost my place to junior doctors. Now that Hospital at night's running, the junior doctors have to do it. Which means that all the 'nurse' places have been taken by junior doctors.

While I see the point, I can't help but be frustrated. I was complaining about it, and nervous about doing the ALS course, but now I can't do it, well, *feh*.
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So, I spent much of the week with this vague intention that I'd make a post. It started early in the week when, as one of the nurses trained to take the head during log rolls (having done the trauma course), I put gloves and an apron on and we log-rolled this chap to get him into our CT scanner. Then back again to get him off. Halfway down the corridor he vomited.

it gets a bit grim here )

Having dealt with people who really are sick, we moved on to far too much of people being abused. I spent a lot of time dealing with social services, or thinking about ringing social services, and having discussions with people about the fact that I'd be ringing social services. I did my best to repair a very nice woman's face after her partner took a dislike to it. I did a mound of documentation on an older person who's husband has 'been a bit of a sod'. The bruises on her arms and legs a testament to his unpleasant nature.

While the nights themselves were much better in numbers of people than most of our night shifts of late, and we avoided having any of the hideous snow-related trauma I expected to get, we did seem to get more than our normal level of abused people.

Or maybe it just felt that way to me.

Of course, it's a funny situation you're in, as an A&E nurse, with these insights into people's lives. They let you in a little, and you catch a glimpse of the pain, and then they're gone.

On the other hand, we did, of course have our usual fleet of 'I've not registered at a doctor because I've not needed one'*. Of 2 and 3 month histories of problem X (painful arm/hand/leg/nose/thought process) which is now worse, but has never been investigated. You sit there at 2am and think: Surely there's something better you could be doing, like, for example, SLEEPING. WHY ARE YOU HERE?!

For some reason I had no patience for that last week. I was doling out the 'this is not an accident, nor an emergency; we will see you here, but it's not an appropriate use of the service and you need to see/register with your GP' lecture to virtually every patient who walked through the door.

Le sigh.

Anyhow, on with ILS.


*The corollary to this is, of course, well you need one now.
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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.
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So, I've been looking on in joy watching the new Obama led government put a stop to torture in their name, signing orders to close Guantanamo, and generally being shiny in all the ways I'd hoped they'd be. Happily reading good things in the papers. It's been a bit, well, different.

Feeling quite positive about the world.

And my MP wrote back to my previous 'please vote against this' with a 'already was, but thanks'; which I rather liked. And then I came across this: who needs privacy?

So, today I crafted another e-mail to my MP - I'm hoping she'll be on-side with this one as well. I never really thought of myself as being a political creature, but as I've got older and realised that I disagree with a lot of things that are going on, and I am really unhappy with where the country's going (in general terms) I find myself being more and more politically motivated. Even though I don't intend to be here much longer I don't think that anyone should have to put up with the level of invasion of privacy that they're suggesting.

The irony is I'm one of these weird people who's pro the NHS having a massive database of health records; or at least basic information shared across the country. Why? Because I stand there and have patients who are dying in front of me who might have hideous allergies to the drugs we're about to give them, who've been in accidents and can't tell me that they've got some medical condition or other and I think, well, it'd make sense to have that information available. However, I disagree with the way they've done it. I disagree with virtually everything about computers in the NHS that I've encountered. Ironically the best (and most reliable) systems I've encountered are the early 80s ones with the text interfaces running on Unix based systems. Although ours has a really dumb-ass bug where if you press any of the arrow keys (except the up/down ones) it instantly crashes your instance of the software, which can be dreadfully annoying when you're hurridly discharging the patient walking out the door at 3hours 59mins (4 hours is a breach, and a great sin).

But having the government having access to that information? Makes me want to go back to storing all information on paper cards and in little folders, just to make life as difficult for them as possible.

In other news, the TV appears to be soldiering on, I'm suspecting it was just a loose connector (bad me, should have checked) - it seems happy enough though. I've had to give in and order a new HDD for the Hackintosh though, it still freaks me out, that once a 20Meg HDD was 'huge' and now I'm about to stick a 1Tb drive into this computer.

I'm actually tempted to keep the 500Gig one as a 'backup' and just decruft it a bit and stick it in a box. I've no way to back up stuff otherwise.

In other (other) news, it has come to my attention that I'm not being as good about 'doing things' as I should be. I've got a pile of paperwork building up, again, which needs sorting. I need to get off my ass and do something about my (non-new-year's but) resolution (all the same) to put in at least an hour a day into my development as a nurse. I need to get the cars sorted. I need to assemble the MZ. I need to finish decorating this house so we can escape this damn country and get (me) somewhere I can get paid a reasonable amount for my skills without pimping myself out to any trust that'll pay me - no job security there. And to a place where Kathryn can truly start the process of getting the job she wants.

I want to only work one job, not 3. I want to be able to see Kathryn. I don't want to stand staring at my off duty and looking at the request I do two sets of nights in a month and think 'well, shit, I could do with the money' and end up saying yes.

The wonderful nature of the people around me has kept me going thus far, and I shall miss my friends greatly when I leave this little island, but this little island has no respect for public servants. And working 3 jobs means I have no time or energy to express my creativity. I want to be off urbexing, I want to create the animation that runs through my head whenever I listen to Rock 'n' Roll or Trains (in fact, quite a few of the tracks on Today Is.. inspire me and I'm wondering if I could animate the entire album).

A lot of this is down to me. I sit down of a morning and browse the internet until I'm bored and then sit and watch Blackadder, or BSG, or House, or Hustle instead of doing things that would actually make me feel a creative and interesting person. I am disappointed in my lack of activity. I'm disappointed that I've not written the book that lurks in my head. Even if it's crap, I should have written it.

I sound down on myself, and sad. I'm not, I'm feeling positive. I have the power to change these things. I have the power to give myself the time to do these things. Not necessarily creative time right now (with 2 cars sick and needing input of time and energy, and a bike that needs assembling, and a house in need of decorating). But I've remembered that I can do this. I used to come home after an early and work. I used to make progress on the house. That will start to happen again.

I'm going to finish the kitchen over the next couple of weeks. The walls and the ceiling need washing down (Kathryn's started). The cars are going to get sorted too. So; so we all know what the plan is:

Late days: Paperwork and Development on Nursing.
Earlys: Work on house or cars
Days off: Spending time with Kathryn, doing creative stuff or seeing friends or family

Uh, and cleaning the bathroom :)

Which I'm off to do now.

Time to decruft :)
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How very dare they complain about my nursing when they didn't take adequate care of their child. How very dare they complain about my clinical judgement on appropriate first aid when they didn't do any first aid themselves. How very dare they criticise my choice of analgesia when it was delivered to their injured child within 2 minutes of them arriving in the department (for a controlled drug, no less. If you've got any idea of how Controlled Drugs work, you've got to believe that's impressive). How very dare they accuse me of forcing their child to have first aid whilst screaming and fighting when in fact I asked the mother to administer it while I got analgesia. And how very dare they misrepresent the advice from the team that helped their child.

I know why this has arisen, because when Social Services knocked on their door, and the Health Visitor popped around to check how mum's coping with the kids (because to our eyes, she wasn't coping very well) that must have upset the applecart in middleclassland. But to complain about us, when we helped your family? Well, you can get stuffed.

Thankfully, the Sister who asked me to write a statement to answer the complaint said "There's really nothing to answer, you did everything right". My clinical judgement was correct, and I've the evidence to prove it. But it's left me fuming. I had things to do today after work, but instead I'm stuck doing this. And the irony is, I didn't report them to the Health Visitor or Social Services; that was actually the staff who saw her at clinic and noted the story they gave then didn't match the story they gave in A&E; one of the more common signs of abuse. We certainly discussed whether they warranted a referral to Social Services, or just the Health Visitor (more because we were concerned about the mother's ability to cope with her children than the actual injury, the explanation for which was plausible), but decided that we were, having observed them for a bit, happy with the way things were.

What's even more annoying is they've quoted some other family member who's senior somewhere else who'd spouted a bucket load of crap about treatment, and has left us to pick up and sort out the mess.

So, once this is done, and we're heading off to do our shopping we'll stop off and get a frothy coffee, because I need some cheering up.

Ah, drugs.

Jan. 9th, 2009 05:09 pm
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So, massively overtired as I was, thankfully yesterday's shift was in an observation ward. A proper obs ward, not like where I work. Or perhaps that's backwards. Our obs ward is really just that, it's clearly intended as a place to keep an eye on a few people who you can't send home immediately but don't really need admission. No nurses' station, no drug cupboard, nothing but a few beds and chairs, and a loo.

This one had a showers and bathrooms and isolation rooms, and a full range of drugs like you get on a ward. It had it's own resus trolley, a large nurses station and a dedicated A&E doctor. Quite odd. Dear god was it dull though. I hadn't realised how much I hate ward work!

I've not been so bored in my life. Mind, at 50p a minute for me to be bored there are worse things.

And I got to read the independent, from cover to cover.

The trains were very good to me too.

And Kathryn, very kindly, bought me drugs. I came home and there was a bottle of night-nurse waiting for me, so last night I slept all the way through, from 2200 to 0600 when I, with some poking, was encouraged out of bed. Rebecca, you see, had a date. She was to go to Southam Mini &  Metro Centre to have her leaky engine looked at. She now sports a new timing chain cover, one without a pinhole in it (I hope), and the water leak has hopefully been sorted too.

Also slightly more sorted is the heater. It'd not been getting warm, as such, and as winter's got on I'd got bored of being bitterly cold, so asked if they could fit a 88 degree stat. When they checked, they realised it didn't have a stat at all, being still set up for running in - so that ended up being a freebie (always good), and it does now get warm, at least some of the time. I am vaguely wondering if it's got an airlock or somesuch problem though, 'cos it does seem to run cool at points, but I've checked and there is definately a full radiator of coolant.

It needs more exploration.

One thought that struck me today, as I noticed I'm less than 1000 miles from an indicated 30,000 is that, well...  I got Rebecca at 60,000 miles (ish). She's now displaying 30,000 (whether that's 130,000 or 230,000, or indeed more is a bit of a question). So that's 70,000 miles in her, except... for 2 years or so she sported another speedo. And I faintly recall that one had 30 or 40k put on it was in use.

So in fact, Rebecca and I may have travelled around 100,000 miles together in the last 8 years. Not bad for a 40 year old car, I'd say. Anyway, I need to go and write a note for the owner of the corner house, apparently he said 'no' because the roof of the garage is falling in. I *know* it's falling in, my point was that I'd deal (at least temporarily) with the roof if I can use the garage for free for as long as it's standing... So I'm going to go and drop off a note.

ARGH

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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It went wrong a lot last week, really it did. It was insanely busy, perhaps even dangerously so, even with full numbers we were run off our feet. Amazingly, New Year's night was seriously not-that-bad. Busy, yes. But not like every night following. People can't drive in cold weather, I've noticed that. I've known for a long time people in Britain seem unaware of dangers like black ice, or just plain old ice, when one would think "Hrm, it's cold and it's winter, perhaps I should drive a little more carefully on this ungritted road". I knew that people here have difficulty understanding that snow makes stopping difficult (and indeed, at times, starting), but the number of 'hit by car skidding on ice' 'hit wall after skidding on ice' 'hit barriers after skidding on ice' 'RTC: Collision with another vehicle, skidding on ice''s, that we saw was quite astonishing.

I was actually sick, too, so was being fairly ruthless in my Triage, because when your Triage nurse has a temperature of 38.2C she's not inclined to feel sorry for you having 'a bit of a cough for a few days'.

...but anyway )
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Yesterday I engaged in shameless money grubbing, despite being exhausted I drove for an hour and a half after a revoltingly early wake up call, to go work in St. Marks Hospital for the Feverish and Sickly. I've done one shift there before - a night shift months ago - and bizzarely some of the staff were on again. And also somewhat confusingly we've had so many agency staff at the trust in which I work over the last few weeks that I knew a whole load of people who were at St. Marks yesterday - all of whom looked very confused when they realised I was out of my normal location. Not only that, but a member of the Ambulance Service who I thought seemed interesting, but never got around to working out how to say 'hi, shall we meet up for a coffee some-time'*, and who recently left our area to work closer to home, happened to be on duty too. So it was kind of like working in my own department.

I even knew how the system worked and were the drugs were... which was nice. It wasn't that harder day, although being one of the agency nurses I got shuffled from one place to another through the morning, ended up doing admission assessments, having my own bay, looking after an observation ward... It was all fine though.

Unfortunately, it has left me exhausted. The 3 hours of driving after how ever many days on shift has left me feeling drained. I slept in 'til nearly 10, which is incredibly unusual for me, and even now just ache. I need to sort out the exhaust on the mog, the front manifold of which is leaking like....well...something. Although I've asked (at long last) about the abandoned garage a couple of houses down, so if I've got access to that then that'd make all the jobs that need doing much more pleasant. Unfortunately, it also requires time; time which I don't currently have. ONe would think that you'd either have time or money, and though this month through a process of working a ridiculous number of extra shifts I'm able to actually look at my bank account and not wince, which is nice.

There may even be some to pay off the overwhelming debts that lurk on my credit card. And perhaps there's the possibilty that Charles Ware's Morris Minor centre might respond to my statement that I'm going to have to take them to court over the 'restoration' of Rebecca they did 7 years ago - in which case - the debt incurred fixing that restoration will be somewhat ameliorated.

Anyhow, I need to get on with doing Kathryn's present, the coffee doesn't seem to have kicked in in quite the way I'd hoped, but I am at least upright.

In other news I've sorted a place to sort the gearbox - so the new gearbox is off to them to be reconditioned (later today if I get off my arse) *and* I've got the clips to hold the trim in place on the DAF. Woo yeah!

* I'm always faintly worried that it'll (a) sound odd, particularly with the techs/paramedics because I barely know 'em, and (b) sound like some sort of come-on, when all I want to do is make some friends**
** Yes, I really suck at making friends.
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So, 'becca's covered a full 3000 miles since her rebuild and it's service time. While the newly rebuilt A+ engine has somewhat longer service intervals than the A-series, the suspension, gearbox and back-axle are all original mog and need servicing every 3000 miles. It's a clear blue sky out there and I'm going to shower and head to the store to get some oil and oil-fiter and bits and bobs (I'm not going to do the valve clearances, but I will ring Southam Metro Centre to see if they can fit me in any day before Xmas to get the 500 mile check over done; because they said just carry on driving and come back when you've got enough time free).

I'm planning to take the fan-heater outside with me (the one with switches) so I can warm my toes and my hands as I need to - because despite the sun being 'out' it's still frosty outside. I'm also planning a quick trip to the bank to deposit Kathryn's half of the mortgage and such - and then I will get the stuff ordered for the DAF. I'm already going to have to move 'er today, which is less than ideal, but I need the driveway space. My lax approach to asking about the garage on the corner means today's service has to be conducted on the driveway. In the cold. Lying on a sheet of cardboard.

I also need to sort out some means of getting music outside or I will, and I say this quite honestly, go nuts. I hate working on the car in silence, and I've done it often enough. I'll probably run the cable round from the back of the house and dump the laptop on the wall. But I must admit to being slow about getting outside because it's fucking freezing. It was cold *in* the house (this morning, it's not now :) ). Outside it's going to be even colder.

Work continues to be incredibly short staffed, virtually every day they've offered me extra shifts - I've covered 2 this week and been offered another 2 - and we've been working with more agency staff in the department than I've ever seen before. We have had some truly excellent Thornbury nurses, which is not entirely surprising, but it's good when you see how agency should be. People with plenty of A&E experience coming in, which makes it far easier to deal with than when you have lots of non-A&E staff.

I've accidentally accepted a shift I shouldn't have though. I'd meant to keep the day open for Agency, but forgot to put that on the Calendar. Ah well, at least I know I've got a shift.

I need to send my agency my Plaster form and Suture form and Cannulation form too. Get that sorted this week, maybe.

Sorry, this is emensely dull for you. Today's journal post comes from the 'Post it note of things to do' genre. ;)

Yeah, so anyhow, on other topics. Canada's been lurking in my consciousness a lot recently. Contemplating logistics, and timings, and considering posting on the vancouver community (and possibly canadian lesbians) to get some input on ideas. Propsects for Kathryn's job-interests, good hospitals, should we consider living in Richmond - or would it be like living in a giant Slough. Also wondered if there's some kind of equivalent to housing auctions here - there - just because I'd like to look at Reno possibilities (not yet talked to Kathryn about that) - with the idea that we could live in place A, reno place B (or even get people in to do it) - and thus be able to land up in a house of our own (again) - 'cos I like having a place which is ours. I like painting and decorating and the fact that we picked the decor, and we can change it when we want.

I keep having this sort of pseudo-dream that I'm coming home from work and we're living in Canada. It doesn't get as far as 'and I'm not working 3 jobs', but I suspect that all the extra shifts I've been doing are factoring in to it.

The unnerving thing is that to earn enough to pay off the credit card I'll almost certainly earn over the threshold of starting to pay my student loan. Which I've been carefully avoiding for the last 6 years. In fact, I was hoping to make it, in some cunning way, to the point when they write the loan off (which iirc is around 50 years old). Unfortunately I'd like to earn enough to eat and go out - the two don't necessarily coincide.

One quick question though - I read this post in the Vancouver community - I can't find anything about this new show ('Paradox') anywhere online - has anyone heard of it? Only it sounds quite cool - and I'm intrigued 'n want to find out more about it...

So - anyway - I need to go shower and get on with getting oily and dirty. Have fun with your days, y'all. Think of me, frozen to the floor outside.

Le Weekend

Dec. 2nd, 2008 08:52 am
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So, despite the persistent sore throat (which has lead me to be worried about whether I got something icky in the small cut I found on my finger during one night shift (and hence whether I should have done an incident form and gone to occupational health); I have to remind myself that I had the sore throat *before* the cut, and therefore my paranoia should shut the f*ck up) we held a pretty darn spiffy Thanksgiving.

Nikki and Kate supplied turkey, James some truly delicious wine, and us the veg, the cooking space and the, uh, space. Our house isn't huge - but we managed to squeeze 5 around the table without too much difficulty - and thanks to Kathryn's careful scheduling the food all landed up being cooked and ready to eat at the right time. We had a traditional US dinner consisting of Turkey (one of the rare occasions we've cooked meat, although I let Nikki do all the prep ;) ), Sweet potato casserole, Sage Cornmeal biscuits (anyone know where you can get Cornmeal in the UK? We brought back an entire kg of it from the States - in our case), Home made stuffing spicy sausage and sage stuffing, Cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, Gravy, Wine, Schloer & Root Beer... and for desert, made with fresh pumpkin - Pumpkin pie with whipped cream / pseudocream.

It was a vast amount of food. We have, as is traditional, a fridge half-full of turkey. Yesterday Kathryn made one of our pet meals, Artichoke and Cheese Tart - but replaced some of the onion with... Turkey. Today I'm going to have a second slice of tart for lunch and some... Turkey :)

We attempted to fob off much Turkey on Nikki and Kate, and later on James, as well as some of the remaining produce from the Fried breakfast for the day following (Pancakes, Sausages/Beans/Hash Browns etc, which Nikki very generously cooked).

So much food!

It was a delight, though, to see everyone and have everyone here. I have new admiration for dog owners though. Pepper and Eddie occupied our house for one day - and very well behaved dogs they both are too - but the amount of hair and dirt they left behind is truly astonishing. Our venerable and aged Dyson DC01 wept tears of frustration as it attempted to suck and beat the hairs off the carpet*; and the sheer quantities of hair that we swept up in the kitchen - well - I am much impressed by those who keep dogs and keep their houses clean. I've no idea how you do it. I do, vaguely** recall that when living with Daisy there was an amazing amount of fur-deposits around the house, and that vacuuming was often a multi-bag-emptying job (with the then quite shiny DC02).

Anyhow, we spent the evening engaged in a War on Terror which - amazingly - we (the coalition of Nikki, James, Kathryn and I) beat down the terrorists (Kate - who managed to at one point have Terrorist cells in virtually every country). James wishes it to be known that while the Coalition won, he won the most*** ;)

Sunday, Kathryn and I had a fairly lazy day (apart from the hoovering, sweeping and laundry) leading in to a week of work in which my shifts are 'not great'. Two long days**** and two late shifts. This weekend just gone was the last and final weekend I get off until after Xmas - the only reason I have a weekend off then is to prepare for nights. And to ice the cake of awful shifts - Kathryn is off for two weeks over Christmas - Christmas week - which I'm working (except the weekend after) and New Year's week - which I'm on nights. The day she goes back to work is my first day off after nights.

Bloody fantastic that is :(

The only compensation is that while December is a 3 week month pay-wise and January a convenient 6 week month (urk!) then the pay I get in January should be less painful for it because I should get a bucketload of enhancements. Making it through the December / January months is always somewhat difficult. I am faintly tempted to move my pay straight into my savings account when it comes in, and give it back to myself just before Xmas (an idea which only just popped into my head).

And, can we all have our 'make it a nice day and Kate-be-well' heads on for Friday - 'cos 'beccamog really needs a service, and however much I try and put it off it's time and I should do it. Even if it's bloody freezing (like today :( ).

As a side point - changing your name is complicated as a Registered nurse - especially when people randomly say things like 'hey; your civil cermony certificate isn't signed' and you go 'oh, no it isn't, arse'. Virtually everyone's accepted it except NHS Professsionals, which makes it doubly complicated because my name on the Register has now changed. Anyhow, jobs to do today include faxing my statement of entry (from the Nursing and Midwifery Council) to all and sundry and also ringing Cumbria's Registrars and saying 'oi, should our Civil Partnership Certificate be signed'? 


* although I think its filters probably need changing again - what with us having had builders in and much dust being sucked through the poor benighted object.

** all too well, actually

*** Having all of North and South America under his control

**** Sort of my choice.

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It is, as I may have mentioned, 1:30am. It's cold. It's not really dreadfully cold, but it's cold in that my body is tired and wants to be in bed, and my head is saying 'no, you need to stay up longer'. I've entirely failed to even look at the PILS manual (it's over there --->), and have also failed to do anything useful with my extra awake time.

Those readers who've, uh, read this journal before will know that me being up at 1:30 on a Sunday symbolises something in particular, and no, it's not that I'm at a particularly good club/party (even I would probably not post while at a party, or a club. I can't guarantee I wouldn't, but it's pretty unlikely given that my laptop wouldn't be able to join me). Yes, it's that fun-old week of nights.

Woot.

Somehow, the prospect of swinging my body clock around 12 hours so I can see drunk people voming everywhere and strange people turning up at 2am to inform me that 'their nose is a bit sore' is feeling less than appealing. It doesn't help that it's cold. I never like being cold. The only good thing about working nights in winter is that when you get out into the cold morning air, start the car, and drive; you're driving home to your duvet and comfy bed.

That's quite a nice feeling. The crisp early morning air ushering you into a nice, warm, restful sleep.

The fact that you don't see daylight for a week, and that I won't get to spend more than a couple of brief hours with my love every day? That sucks. Royally.

It does not, of course, change anything.

Now; what this evening has allowed me to discover is that:
1) They did cancel Men In Trees, the arseholes.
2) BSG isn't on 'til January (although there does appear to be an intriguing spin off series).
3) Exes and Ohs made it to a second season; but it doesn't air 'til January.
4) Widescreen TVs are much cheaper than monitors; however, what we want is a widescreen monitor because then we could forgo the TV licence. I, film lover that I am, really don't want to give up the Shiny Shiny 36" Philips, because, frankly it's a darn nice telly. Well, I'm quite happy to give it up. Just I want something pretty similar in the LCD stakes to replace it, and I don't see that happening in our price range, which is distressing. So I really should get around to hooking up the TV, I s'pose. However, to do it neatly requires...lifting the floor boards :(
5) Fresh mussels taste way better than the ones you get in a pack.
6) My guilt levels rise quite a lot when dealing with 'live' mussels.

However, the two last points to raise an interesting thing; we had fresh seafood stew for dinner, and it was - wait for it - Yummy. I am forever amazed at the complexity and detail of flavours from freshly cooked food. This stew was extraordinarily expensive compared to our average meal, but it was damn good.

I think the thing is, people get used to the pre-processed crap that they sell in the stores; once you stop eating the pre-processed crap, and start eating real food again, when you do eat the pre-processed stuff it becomes immediately apparently that it really is worth cooking the stuff yourself. But then you get into the whole better quality ingredients yeild better quality results. I know that if we could afford better quality veg and fruit it would taste better; I know this because I've eaten food from my mum - and it adds a whole new set of subtle and complex flavours - but as it is we eat damn well considering our income is pretty miniscule. In fact, unless I win my money back from a certain car restorer who'll remain nameless until I get my act together and accept going to court (which I will, it's just being certain that I'm ready to present my case well) or win the lottery, then actually our income meets our outgoings but doesn't pay off my pre-existing debts (that's why I do three jobs).

Incidentally PM Brown - your parties management of the economy may be saving you - but I'm unlikely ever to vote for a party that means that I have to work 3 jobs just to eat/pay bills/get to and from work.

Anyway, I've hit the 2am target. My body is crying out for the bed upstairs, and my brain is weak and feeble and willing to give in. Today is another day, and I'll be up later do wash uniforms and coax myself into working for the breaded peanuts that get sent to my account.

Oooh, that reminds me; some arse got access to my paypal account and attempted to transfer 635 quid! Thankfully, and I say this quite definately with my hand on heart and praise-where-it's-due-to-paypal, they stomped on it and I've been round changing passwords and stuff.

I suspect it's the computer at work that I used to buy something-or-other; but quite frankly it's a bit of a shock.

In other news, the pyoor.org website is renewed for another exciting year. Whilst the domain is handy, and I like (being the control freak that I am, over technology at least) having my own Wordpress copy of the journal (mmm, my own database), I don't really make much use of the rest of the webspace; although I have ideas... clever ones. Well, okay, other people had ideas. Well, I had an idea and I looked and someone else had done the clever programming bit and thus I can be the lazy arse mare :)

And therefore, the pyoor.org domain now sports Flickr integration. Just check out http://pyoor.org/wordpress/photos for the win :)

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So, it's been a bit of a week, really. Well, couple of weeks.

What started as a one week kitchen renovation ended up taking 4 weeks and a day; and still isn't actually finished; we're missing two drawer/cupboard handles and there's some filler that needs sanding, the walls, sadly, still need painting and the outside render also needs painting. I'm thinking spray gun for that :)

But, for all my complaints about their atrocious scheduling, having to almost shout at them to get the gas connected - a day late - rather than as they wanted to - two days late (and the day after Kathryn's mom and her partner arrived). The experience as a whole was incredibly draining - but, and I have to keep saying but - the kitchen is great. For all the fact it's cheap units and formica worktop, for all the fact the handles are plastic and the doors are veneered in plastic, not real wood; and for all the absence of silent closers and such. It's pretty. It's big. It's a good space to cook in.  And after 2  years without a kitchen at all? It's bloody awesome. The new doors add so much light, the new lights (while hideously energy inefficient - plan is that as they blow we'll replace some of them with LED Faux-Halogens - although apparently they're more decorative than 'bright') add so much more light to the previously dingey kitchen. There's still lots to do in there. Painting, boxing in the pipework around the boiler (can't afford to box in the whole boiler!); etc, etc. But. It's come together and the room's going to be gorgeous when it's painted.

Despite us cutting costs on tiles (grey natural slate, not the nicer multicoloured stuff; ceramic tiles not stone on the walls) they still look the part. I am very pleased.

Also: Very nice people gave us very nice presents. We have a stand mixer, a pasta maker, a salad spinner, kitchen utensils, a gorgeous teapot (and a cookie sheet of awesome cookie proportions) ; and as I think I said before many other non-kitchen items. But our kitchen looks the part. In fact, our kitchen is a really damn nice place to be at the moment.

What was slightly unfortunate is that for reasons which I'm not quite clear on, the dishwasher blew the 30A fuse on which the entire house runs the first time we used it. Kathryn's mom and partner were here, we were desperately clearing up to try and make the place habitable and suddenly it became aparent that there was no power... anywhere in the house (apart from the lights).

Unfortunately I'd not noticed that the previous owner had lost an important (ceramic) bit of the 30A fuse (why would I?!) and thus it toasted the fusebox a bit when it went. I've now got a replacement fuse, and surround but at the moment it's currently back 'together' as best I can. I still don't entirely know why it blew the fuse. I took the dishwasher out, and in a paranoid moment at B&Q ended up checking each and every socket in the kitchen (with a cheap and cheerful socket tester); I'm wondering if they managed to do what they did with the washer, and catch the cable somehow on the casing, which appeared to make the case live - but I couldn't find any damage on it. I've now run the dishwasher twice without incident (with me going a little mad running around touching the fuse casing every five minutes).

So, the kitchen is more or less finished. I'm keeping a little money back for reparing the washing machine door they broke and to encourage them to turn up with the two missing handles... it's also finally made me sort out networking on Ubuntu. The music (and actually, the video) is all shared out from the file-server in the lounge. This is fine, except that the laptop didn't know about it. Now it does. I've spent the morning going "I don't know what to listen to, there's so much"... *grins happily*.

In other news I did the ATNC course. For once in my life I get to be quite smug. The pass mark in the exam (we no longer sit the same exam as the doctors, ours is short-answer and theirs is multiple choice) is 80%. I got 92.5%. Pleased? You betcha. I got to play at putting in chest drains, needle decompression (which I am actually allowed to do, in an emergency, apparently); intubation (which I'm not allowed to do ;) ), surgical airways (you guess), jet insufflation.... It's useful to know what's needed and what landmarks there are to do these things because sometimes you do get the new baby doctor who's mind goes blank when faced with blood everywhere, and needs a little guidance ("it goes there... ideally now...").

It was incredibly stressful, and not aided by me not having any annual leave so I essentially worked 5 long days (4 of which had 4 hours travel time) and 4 short shifts in 9 days. Knackered? Definately. Pleased? Very much. Of course it helps that I've something huge and fantastic to look forward to *grins*. Despite all the stress of the course I have to say I thoroughly recommend it; looking back I am incredibly pleased that I did it, and I can say I enjoyed it hugely. Really and truly it is a great course (at least, if you look after trauma patients).

And so we come on to the truly massive event of the weeks... Kathryn and I are to be wed. Well, civilised. Again, I'm mixed - there's an awful lot of excitement and wanting to bounce around the place but it's tempered with nerves. It's a simple ceremony and a simple event, we're not expecting launches of 1000s of balloons, or 50 doves to descend at the appropriate moment. We're going to basically walk in, say vows, walk out. Then we do photos, then we eat. That's the day. But we've put a lot of effort into getting the day sorted - well, more into asking our friends to do things. We've got a poem we want Lauren or Chrissy to read, we've not typed it up; hell I've no idea where it is apart from I think I know which book it's in. We've not printed out our vows yet. We've got our wedding favours to make.

But lots has been done. It's all more or less ready. Although I'm confused as to what we have left to do - apart from packing and so on. Anyhow, I've got a few Wedding related tasks to do now; so I shall be off to see if I can organise such things. For example, it turns out we're entitled to free dinner at the hotel every night we're there; and my mum was hoping that we could all eat together tomorrow - at the hotel - because she's staying there with her hubbie too. So, plan of action is to ring them and see how late they serve food and whether Kathryn's Mom and Partner can eat there with us (which they should be able to!). Anyhow. I shall be offski.


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So, let's list the automobilia I like:

Classic cars
Small cars
Quirky vehicles
Two stroke engines
East german stuff
Simplicity
Insanity.

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:

DKW Car

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 :)

July 2017

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