Archive for January, 2008


As I am hopalong at the moment, and away from the hubbub of normal office socialising, I’ve been retiring to the staff cafe to read my book (The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde) for a half hour at lunchtime. It has been lovely actually. Trouble was, on Tuesday, it was towards the end of the usual lunch-time rush, and I was alone with just two others. The man in front and off to my left was busy reading his newspaper and eating his sandwiches in silence. The man down the end of the cafe to my right was casually dressed as though he might be a workman or a decorator, and was surrounded in papers which looked like bills or invoices. He was bent over them, pencil in hand, and seemed engrossed in whatever task he was doing. He didn’t appear to have been eating or drinking in the Cafe at all, but was trapped in a nest of scribbly paperwork.  

I munched my snack-a-jacks (low in calories, but very tasty, y’know), and read my book……..


I looked up and around. What made that noise?

I could see nothing, so I returned to my book, read some more, tried to settle calmly into the story again, turned the page, and….. “Snifff.”

I looked up again. Invoice man made eye contact and looked away.

It was him, I was sure of it. I watched him carefully while he went back to studying his invoices. No sniffing. No sound. Nothing.

I pretended to go back to my book, then looked up again, to see if I could catch him out. No, nothing.


Finished my rice-based snack, and moved onto my bottle of Cola. Refreshing. Nice.

Right, then, back to the story. I gently flexed the spine of the book I was reading, and into my little world of fiction I descended, the fast-paced adventures of Thursday Next whisked me ever onwards……….

…. “Sniff”.


I wondered whether I should offer the bloke a tissue. But I didn’t have a clean one, and I still hadn’t actually seen him sniff, so didn’t really have the courage. But I knew it was Invoice man.

I’m not easily wound up, but random sniffing has got to be one of the things that really drives me to distraction. That and people who drum their fingers on the desk.  


I had to go.


Makes you wonder

Eric, Badger’s Mother’s Fiance (see castlist), collapsed suddenly and was rushed to the London Chest Hospital on Saturday. He has had a serious heart attack, so the heart surgeons have put a stent (little metal mesh tube thingy) into one of the main arteries to his heart muscle to keep it open because it was completely blocked off. He had no warning, is fairly fit and active, and is only in his early 50s. He told us he had no warning of it – it just knocked him down. He’s never smoked, and has no family history of cardiac problems.

While Eric is apparently only 15 stone in weight, he carries it all on his tummy in what most people would describe as a beer-belly. Other than that, he’s fairly slim. He likes his food and his beer, but I wouldn’t say he was hugely unhealthy.

And what occurred to me was: I weigh more than 15 stone, (OK not much over), but you’d definitely say on looking at us that Eric weighed lots more than me.  How can that be?????

Getting Fat

Regular readers may remember that I lost one and a half stones last year, and was feeling pretty good about it. Then I got engaged, snapped my ankle good and proper, got a new job and moved house, and my routine was destroyed for a while. I lost no more weight, but I didn’t put more than a pound or two back on, so things were OK.

In the run-up to Christmas I went into hospital for my ankle operation and I was rendered immobile for about 4 weeks. So with Christmas and a severe exercise drought, I’m pleased to say I only put on 7lbs.

So, now that I’m getting back my routine, and can walk (after a fashion) again, the weight has got to go. I want to lost 4 stone in the next year so that I can be a much nicer size for my wedding in March 09. Its perfectly achievable, and I know this because I’ve managed it before. So. Day 2, and all’s well.

Last night I watched Jamie Oliver’s programme called Eat to save your life . I was heartened by the fact that the majority of the subjects on the show had terrible eating habits compared to me – I cook pretty well in comparison to their fast-food and fried diets, but was still surprised by some of the revelations. I didn’t realise that fat infiltrates all parts of your body – your muscles, your organs, everything, or that people who appear to be in good shape can have lots of dangerous fat hidden away round their organs and be totally unaware of it. So even skinnies need to eat healthy.

It didn’t help my willpower, really, though. I’ve already decided to watch what I eat again. I always have enough willpower when I set my mind to it.

But nothing will make me eat wholegrain pasta or wild rice. Nothing!

Too Cream-y

I’ve just been listening to ‘Sunshine of your love’ by Cream via *ahem* Guitar Hero III.

And its just infectious…..

I now have an earworm of the guitar riffs…..

I think I want it to stop, and then…. the beat takes me…..

I just love it.




As you know, I’ve been on crutches for 5 weeks, and am likely to remain on crutches for another three. I am now sporting a giant plastic grey boot on my left lower-leg, making it look like I have a square foot. Before this I was in a plaster cast, but the point is the same: I am temporarily disabled.

It has given me an interesting insight into disability, and it has made me aware that other people feel like they should be helping, but don’t really know how to. I have to say I feel quite heartened by the number of people who helped me, got out of my way, gave me their seat, picked up things I’d dropped. I had expected people to turn the other cheek, to leave me to get on with it – but most people didn’t. Others looked at me, and wondered what they could do to help, but couldn’t figure out what. It made me smile.

The best thing you can do is keep out of my way, and be a little patient. It takes me a long time to get through that doorway, but I will get there if you let me.

But I do appreciate it.

However, decorative floortiles, however pretty, are incredibly slippery when wet. And very dangerous to me. I was very scared as I gingerly picked my way down the steps at the station. The lift was broken, but they apologised for any inconvenience.

Oh, and reminded me with a computer-printed sign that the steps were ‘slippery if wet’.


Search Engine results to my blog

Had to share with you that someone wrote ‘Sharon Osbourne in Plaster’ into a search engine and got my blog!!!

Oh how I laughed.

NHS direct or The Flowchart of Death

As I’ve got a fair understanding of the workings of the human body and know some basic level medical care, have a job in which I interperet all available information before making my own decision and providing advice, I was able to see the funny side of the NHS Direct help I got today, courtesy of their website.

I have long understood the power of the self-diagnosis flowchart to convice someone feeling a little under par that they’re going to DIE HORRIBLY, and what’s more, IMMEDIATELY, so call that ambulance NOW NOW NOW!!!

Its true. My mother’s old Health Encyclopaedia had innocuous-sounding titles for its flow-chart pages, which lulled you into a false sense of security – asking you trivial little questions almost like you were answering one of those magasine quizzes, but later on you’d be ushered into the box which said ‘If you have not been able to make a diagnosis from this chart, see your Doctor URGENTLY’.

And then the imagination runs riot until the daylight of the following morning when you start putting things into perspective a bit.

So, I started in the NHS Direct website in the same way. I have an excruciating sore throat, which is making it very difficult to swallow. I look under T for throat in the self-help guide.

Scrolled the list for ‘Sore throat in adults’  

The site asks me questions about whether, as a result of the sore throat I find the life draining from me because I can’t breathe, can’t speak, can’t swallow. I almost said yes, but then I mentally shook myself and agreed that it wasn’t quite that bad.

I clicked no.

Have I had this for more than two weeks, is my voice hoarse.

Well – its a bit hoarse but I’ve only had it three days, so I clicked no.

Are your tonsils speckled white or do they have pus on them?

YES. Yes they do.

Up comes the advice box:

Make an appointment to see your GP. You may have tonsillitis. Or Pharyngitis.

Did I follow the advice? No, I said: “Hang on. I probably do have tonsillitis since my tonsils are so swollen I can barely swallow, and so hideously painful I can’t begin to descibe it. But what is my GP going to do for me when I get to his surgery??”

So, I went back to the NHS homepage, and found the details of tonsillitis.

There’s a lot of information on tonsillitis – it goes over many pages. The summary is as follows:

Your GP probably won’t give you anything to help you, because most of these things are viral and will go away on their own after a few days. In the meantime keep taking the painkillers, get plenty of sleep and get on with it.

Then my eyes strayed to the ‘Possible complications’ bit. I should never have read them, but I did. They told me that my throat infection can very rarely cause a variety of weird other illnesses which can be easily treated but if missed can be fatal.

Fortunately I’m sensible enough to know that thousands of people get tonsillitis every day and don’t die.