Misery me

I don’t have many engagements, but I had a couple lined up for tomorrow, and I just cancelled both.

Flu, I think. Worse, that particular sort of flu that means that when I cough, the whole of my head and half my neck hurts horribly, in a great self-induced surge. Normally my head only hurts a bit. So there’s that, my head hurting a bit, and in addition to that, I mustn’t cough, even though I really want to, all the time. (“Healthcare” is the nearest category I can find in my list to: being ill, and just waiting for it to stop. Which fellow sufferers tell me it eventually will, in about a fortnight.)

I am also inclined to cancel this engagement, the one that says I have to blog here today. I couldn’t go that far, but the above is why I am confining today’s blogging to this perfunctory piece of self-pity. However, at various times for the next few days, things might go silent here. You have been warned. (Although, they may not. I promise nothing.)

Tomorrow, I do want to vote, beacause things in my constituency could get close, and because I am very clear in my mind which of the two potential winners I detest a bit less than the other. It isn’t far to go, thank goodness.

Wish me well.

Happy birthday

Happy birthday to me, that is, because today has been my 72nd birthday. Several emails have arrived noting that various Facebook friends have been wishing me a Happy Birthday. I find Facebook baffling and useless as a means of personal communication, so am unable to access any of these messages on my Facebook feed, where I can detect no sign of them. So let me say here, to Robert L, Bjorn, Tim, Rob F, among others: thanks for all the good wishes.

In this computerised era, everyone is prompted by their various machines to do this, but it still means something that they actually do it.

Also appreciated were various phone calls. It tells you something about the experience of Getting Old (see the category list below) that all of these conversations included, in among the birthday greetings, medical discussions of various bodily malfunctions and of the efforts of the NHS, such as they have been, to correct these. My various friends and family are also Getting Old, you see. Older, anyway.

The general lesson from these medical conversations seems to be: if you want the NHS to start being properly on your side, get yourself classified as an emergency. Let me clarify this. You need to be threatening to die. Then, the NHS seems to stir itself into action. But if you are merely rather damaged and you are able to get worse before death looms at all threateningly, the NHS can’t seem to persuade itself to be that interested. It focusses its attention instead on manipulating the various queues it puts you in, in order to made its statistics look better than they actually are. Basically, it tries to keep you in a queue before it allows you to join the actual Official Queue, the one it wants to keep short, and thereby make itself look good. One of the friends I spoke with today said he had recently photoed a bench in a hospital corridor with the words “SUB QUEUE” attached to it.

Birthdays, when you are rather old, remind you that you are Getting Old. Which might explain why, to celebrate my own birthday, I have, by way of giving myself a present, chosen to have a good old grumble.

BMNB Quota QotD: And the winner is …

Today I want to be very busy doing something else, and I don’t want to be fretting about not yet having put anything here. So, I just trawled through Twitter for a LOL quote, and here is the one that made me LOL the loudest, from some lady called (somewhat scarily) Olivia Mace:

My period tracker apps the same colour as the trainline one. Just showed a bemused inspector that I’m ovulating.

The twenty first century, eh? Problems, problems.

Fitness vehicle

Yesterday, being ill made me think of food, because I wasn’t eating any food.

Today, what I am most feeling the lack of is body fitness. So, this:

Spotted by me in Stoke Newington last week.

As you can see, there’s a website. Interesting how she says that it’s a “sports industry”.

I assume that Lana wants to be noticed, or why would she should drive about in such a very noticeable vehicle?

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

I love London

Another shop window photo, photoed by me on the same day as I photoed, this, this, and this:

Click on that to get it quite a bit bigger than usual. It deserves the detail.

I have long considered the stuff in tourist stuff shops to be an underrated object of photo-devotion.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

More healthcare technology in action

Yesterday, as already noted, I was out and about in London. And another interesting thing I photoed was this, also healthcare-related:

I photoed this photo with his permission, by the way.

I guess that the purpose of this gizmo is to enable the knee-joint to keep moving, while remain in its correct state, without putting any (or at any rate undue) strain on it, the strain being taken by the gizmo and the bits of limb it is attached to rather than (only) by the joint.

But, truthfully, I don’t really know. What I do know, just from looking at this photo, is that there is a definite plan in action, and that it is helping a lot, far more than one of those big old rigid plaster caste monsters would have.

Here is a close-up of the name of this contraption …:

… which enabled me to find some produktinformation. What the gizmo does is Führung und Stabilisierung des Kniegelenks. Which is, I rather think (guess), pretty much what I just said.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

A different way to open a car door

Today a friend needed some rather dramatic medical attention, and I dropped by to provide what I hope was a little moral support. Outside the place where this was happening, I encountered this cute little vehicle:

Two interesting things about this little gizmo. First, there is the way that its door opens. The door on its right is open, in the above photos. Useful in a tight space, I should guess.

And second is what it does, there being a website on it which enables you to learn about this. It takes tissue or samples from sick people to a lab, where the lab decides its opinion about the nature of that sickness.

I like these little cars, which are so small they are almost motor bikes. I certainly prefer them to those huge Chelsea Tractors, which look like they’re for doing bank robbery getaways or off-roading or maybe both at once. Which, let’s face it, most Londoners do neither of, ever.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

From ridiculous to sublime

Ridiculous:

Octopus shorts. Photoed by me in the Kings Road.

Not so ridiculous and just a little bit sublime:

It’s this shop, in the Fulham Road, a few hours later.

Sublime:

Sublime compared to the Octopus Shorts anyway. If Jeff Koons did that, it would change hands for millions.

Not photoed by me. A friend featured that photo at her Facebook site recently, she having photoed it. My friend says that this unicorn is something to do with fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital, despite not being close to that Hospital. More the Gloucester Road area. But even given all that information Google could tell me nothing about it.

I’m guessing that, what with unicorns being very big business, this unicorn, even if it is on the www, is buried under a million other unicorny images and products and general nonsense, which have all paid Google to put them first. Such is the internet. If you aren’t paying, you’re the product.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog