londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (Default)
The media keeps saying that Grenville Tower is in Ladbrook Grove, so I'm checking in as safe even though the fire is about 1/2 mile away.

The fire is very bad. Grenfell Tower is 25 storeys tall with between 500 and 600 residents. People were told to stay in their homes and the fire brigade would come for them; however, the brigade could not reach people on the upper floors. Nobody knows how many survivors there will be; one baby was thrown from the tenth floor by the frantic mother and was caught by a bystander.

The fire itself is peculiar; it's almost as though the 25 storey block all caught on fire at once. News photographs show every flat above the fourth floor blazing. There are theories about how it happened but nobody knows. It's bad beyond belief.
londonbard: rising bird made of flame. (glorious phoenix)
In the dream -

I was a Native American woman living alone in a small house just outside a forest. I had found valuables, just possibly in a mine (but they were more like eight live sea-pearls, lovely.) I wanted to get them into town but it was probably unsafe to walk there, and not just because of the heavy snow.

There was potential trouble with at least two cowboy/yobbo types and from at least two wild doglike/wolflike golden coloured animals with an untrustworthy range in facial expressions. They were behaving unusually aggressively, especially at night and, in the dream, I knew they were coyotes.

I don't think I've ever seen a coyote, either in a film or a zoo. Weirdly, when I finally woke up I found that Bing had given me a picture of a coyote in snow as my desktop background. I seem to have imagined them spot-on, that's the beastie from my dream.

I don't know if it would really be possible to hide pearls or jewels by loading them into a huge, rusty, geriatric six-shooter that had been dumped and rusted into the snow, (clearly worthless, I thought) and then carefully putting it back into its rusty out-line, as though it had been decaying in peace, undisturbed, for decades since the West was won (or lost, depending on one's viewpoint.)
I woke before I found out where all this was going.
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a getting there)
Looking back, I've been physically ill for pretty much the whole year. I was afraid it's old age = permanent.

That could be, but it might be connected to mobility and dexterity - plus very unsuitable equipment. Left arm and shoulder so badly damaged by crash in February that damage is still not completely healed. (At the start it felt as though I'd pulled every muscle I've ever had; I felt like crying with pain even lying down, at the start.) Anyway, most of my left hand/arm is still unfit for purpose.

Last year my left thumb was X-rayed and found to be permanently dislocated with the socket damaged and cartilage gone. I'm supposed to decide whether I want it permanently immobilised, on 28th November. Having the rest of the arm damaged immediately afterward has made it really difficult to sort out the effects; I seem to be adjusting to it but the other damage is healing, so which is due to what? I don't know the long term prognosis, so I don't know what to decide.

Both hands and arms are damaged so things have been tricky. (However, I'd bought a very expensive Toshiba laptop in the expectation of doing a lotof typing, some time ago. The thing is junk. The cursor jumped backwards, producing gibberish and striking some keys proooduuceeed muultiipple leetteers, esp. vowels.

However, I haven't been able to use anything smaller one-handed; still trying. I've been thinking about replacing that laptop for quite a while - so that's next.

I eventually realised that since it was almost useless except for surfing I might as well take drastic measures. If it went wrong it'd be no good at all for writing, which was what was wrong anyway. So I downloaded fixes and also ripped off the keys. The downloads worked.

It literally hadn't occurred to me that a brand new machine would by filthy but look clean, but that must have been part of the problems. There was quite a bit of muck under the keys, leading them to stiiick, and they'd been sticking since the first day.

I wouldn't want to do that clean-up too often. The keys have a two-part plastic thing behind them; it looks like a deckchair for fleas and it's a real challenge to reassemble. It precludes vacuuming and the bits are almost invisible once dropped.

Anyway, at the moment the laptop is fairly functional!! Looks as though I've got touchtyping back, too! (Sort of.)

Next question may be whether I can sort the word-processing software clashes.
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (ain't dead)
Years ago a set of survival rules for Halloween was making the rounds on the Yahoo fanfiction areas of the internet and, for rather complicated reasons (that I can't remember,) I edited it and added to it to make it suitable for pet-keepers. Hope it amuses you...

Subject: Re: Halloween horror for pet keepers!

guidelines )
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a superego?)
drilling and structural damage )
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a getting there)
It seems possible that I have pneumonia.
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (history)
It didn't help that the manager of the Pound Shop saw the implications quickly. It was accessible before the referendum.

Yesterday the aisles were completely blocked to the wheel-chair trade - wire-trolly displays down the middle of them all. They started moving it all into place while I was actually shopping and actually trapped me down a side-aisle until another shopper pointed out that they'd taken a prisoner.

I'm not sure if disability-access was entirely from EU or not. If it wasn't I do hope someone official will say so.


Jun. 24th, 2016 06:52 am
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a choosing action = consequences bujold)
Both Scotland and Northern Ireland voted remain - I'm not sure about Wales, so at the moment they are talking about more referendums on whether they will leave us... England itself is really quite small.

I want my country back, but I think it died yesterday and, from the way the BBC is talking, there was a DNR notice on it.

It's a beautiful sunny morning. We've been in Europe for 43 years. The raging storms yesterday kept a lot of the older people who remember what it was like before from voting, and it's very difficult to get a wheelchair through rain like that. I was trapped in the hospital when the return transport didn't come; I got a cab at about 8.45 p.m., went straight to the polling station and then made it home by wheelchair.

If I'd had sense I should have washed off the hospital face, the chemical stains around the eyes and the stress-lines, and restyled my soaked out hair, but the TV was on and I just had to watch.

I've got this urge to go out to the market and reassure myself that it's still there; it wasn't like a bomb; nothing is destroyed yet - except potentially.
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a starswimmer)
It was a pretty good meeting. I "drove there" in the new powered wheelchair, wishing for the broomstick with handle-bars and saddle shown in an earlier post.

That part of Great Western Road turned out to have pavements like a corrugated bouncy castle and no dropped kerbs to let a wheelchair user cross from north to south. I had to go from Elkstone Rd to Harrow Rd to find a place to cross, then, once on the south side, turn back to the correct street; (which is almost opposite Elkstone Rd...) Highway Dept. should employ some wheelchair users.

Anyway, Healthwatch priorities are now semi-set, but not yet set in stone. The survey link will go on working for at least a week, if you want to have your say.
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a champagne)
Happy Birthday





Feb. 17th, 2016 09:42 pm
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (background music)
I think that new people have been added since I last wrote this - I use custom friends groups and filters. If you find that you are seeing posts that you would rather not see then please just comment here and I'll take you off that filter.
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a getting there)
I just messed up badly by "trimming" the post before this one. I cut the whole last part, meaning to put it in this post. I went on checking the last post and stupidly "cut" one line instead of deleting it... and realised what I'd done a second too late. I switched straight to this one, hoping to be offered the "restore draft". LJ no longer seems to be doing that...

Please, could anyone tell me if there is any way of getting back material that was cut in error and not pasted? (Is it on the clip-board? How can I access that?)
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (hex by quean_of_icons)
What is wrong with Amazon? I ordered something for a friend on about 3rd Feb. I think I checked on the 9th, Amazon US said most of it would be delivered March 1st (disappointing me) but now says it's all been delivered. I hope it has.

I then checked the Christmas presents for that address. According to Amazon I ordered those on 15th Dec 2015 and they delivered them on 10th Dec. 2015 ... (I wonder what they charge for the time machines? Do they sell used Tardis?) however, that's the US.

Here Amazon somehow glitched and changed the delivery address for my medical stuff to my SIL's address, during December, while I was too ill to notice.

SIL thought she had a stalker with a strange sense of humour until I realised what was happening and contacted her. Unfortunately she then returned the stuff to the senders by giving it to the postman instead of sending it to me. None of it has been credited as returned.

16th Feb - ETA Insulin 26u, 15.00 hours. Slept from approx 16.30 to 19.30, tested blood 20.52 - blood sugar 10.8, it's not falling. I'm messing everything up.


Feb. 15th, 2016 04:06 pm
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (E Moon quote)
Looking back over this Journal, it doesn't make clear that the collapse was probably from mid-November (my last clear memory is Christmas Day) or a bit earlier. (I think, therefore I am - but if I can't write it down am I thinking?) I missed brother's birthday by ten days - and I suspect worse during blank period; fever?

Problems during last night; cardiac?

Insulin in new pack doesn't seem to be working, either. Blood sugar 13.9 fasting - over twice the permitted maximum after a meal. (Taking day's dose now; 26u at 16.16.) May have been too ill to remember to take it reliably - even yesterdays dose.) Must start noting it and LJ may be easiest place.

life sucks

Feb. 3rd, 2016 11:32 pm
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (I feel odd)
This may be a difficult evening and night. I am on one set dose of insulin a day. It looks as though I may have taken it twice.

The long version is that I've been very weak for no reason I can pin down and I've also been awake for a few hours, then asleep, twice or more in a day. (I've also been very anxious about certain things, and not thinking well - so messed up I couldn't even write a letter or e-mail properly. I'm still having trouble even filling in a form.)

Blood sugar way up, possibly/probably because I forgot meds and/or insulin.It's difficult to be sure because of the 7 or 8 hours awake to 4 asleep thing. Anyway, today should have been an important committee meeting and a class.

I was so weak I didn't trust myself to have the strength to drive the scooter to the meeting. If I went in by taxi I'd have had to walk at both ends of the trip and I have not got the strength for that. Despite a long nap by day I couldn't face the class, which will have on-going effects; (and I can't write and explain.)
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (tenant rep)
Back in August 2015 I answered a Writer's Block question about unusual experiences; one of mine was something I promised to tell on request, but then I couldn't get on-line.

Once upon a time I went on holiday to Saint Ives, Cornwall. It's a beautiful town by the sea. As far as I can remember I was staying with a friend of my mother's, to recover from ... something. I was a young teen; perhaps 13.

I loved the sea there. I used to float quietly and watch the fauna going about their lives. There were two beaches - I think it was Portmere for surf and danger. Portminster was the safe one, with chest-high water for a long way out, before a drop-off that led to the depths.

I was sensible and stuck to the safe beach. The sea was pure, apparently non-polluted and almost as clear as air; I could bask on the surface like a seal, watching the wildlife below through the water. (By hindsight I did almost everything wrong, but I had no idea of some of the risks.) I loved the peace and tranquility and started going out to swim in the early morning.

On the day it happened a family had the same idea and four or five young boys and two adults were threshing the water white about 30 yards away, also on the edge of the drop-off.

When I dropped into my usual easy float I realised that all the fish had gone. The seabed under me seemed empty. That was odd, the fish and crabs weren't usually bothered by a noise at a distance. When I stood up I realised that the seagulls were missing, too. Furthermore, it was me they seemed to be afraid of! There were no gulls for a very wide circle around me, although there were some beyond the noisy family.

I slowly looked around, turning until I was facing out to sea - and then I looked down.

There was a long, dark torpedo shape just beyond the edge of the drop-off, with its broad snout towards me. Focused on me. I think it was less than its own body length away from me, deep enough so the fin didn't break the surface. (Maybe two yards long and and four or five feet away? Difficult to judge, because it was also down at about shin level. I only had a split second glance at it ...)

I screamed "SHARK!!!" at the top of my voice and jumped! my first leap must have taken me almost clear of the chest-deep water but there was nothing to jump onto; I was twisting around to face the beach at the same time and I probably came down almost at my take-off point.

I almost fell when my foot landed on what I thought was a big rock, but I kicked off from that instantly and jumped again and again...zigzagging to safety leaping like a frantic kangaroo, probably shrieking all the way.
When I got the beach I half expected to be scolded as a stupid kid, play-acting for attention.

That didn't happen. Everyone who looked up at the first shriek had seen the rear end of the shark's body come out of the water behind me! I was told that it then swam away at full speed, also in a frantic zig-zag at the surface - and it was also apparently trying to get out of the water!

Now, of course, I know more. Don't swim from a drop-off, don't wear a (school regulation) black swimsuit, don't swim quietly at a distance from a party who are making a lot of noise (that can attract in predators who then hunt stragglers). Don't swim at dawn or dusk, don't get mistaken for a seal, don't ...

I've kept tropical fish for years. Fish hear by vibrations in the water and it's possible that the fuss I made was enough to terrify a shark - but zig-zagging on the surface is the way a fish tries to escape something big and dangerous coming at it from underneath. Fish also do that when injured.

I've also read that sharks don't particularly want to eat humans. They check out a potential dinner, zero in for an "investigatory bite," shake the victim if they can, back off and then take their meal once it bleeds out. (Unfortunately that investigation is enough to kill or maim a human.)

I remember that part of the drop-off, and the shark beyond it, with photographic clarity. There weren't any big rocks there, I'd have noticed. (The ecology around a large rock is is interesting and different.) I don't think there were any big rocks near the edge of the drop-off at all, the tide saw to that.

The shark had been watching me; I suspect that at first I'd looked something like a seal, then I'd turned vertical and started to move incomprehensibly so it charged in fast for an investigatory bite, to see if it liked me - and in that same split second I'd jumped straight up! (Which fish don't do.)

Creatures that charge at prey have momentum.

I suspect that it started to pass under me a second after I jumped - and when I came down, very hard, I almost fell when one foot landed on its snout! I bounced straight into another leap - which slammed its relatively sensitive snout between my heel and the bottom at least once, probably twice.

If I'd landed on its eye or gills I might have disabled it, but the snout would have been quite bad enough, from the shark's viewpoint.

Given a shark's likely experience, the only thing it could have thought was that something huge had bitten it. (The shark's zig-zag retreat and mine seem to have mirrored each other - probably for the same reason; "It's coming after me! It's down there with teeth!! Gotta get away!!!"

Anyway, to avoid shark attack, don't bathe from drop-offs, don't wear black and white, don't float quietly near an uproar ...

and if the big scunners bother ye anyways just gie 'em a damn good kicking!
londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (a dreamcatcher)
I'm quite worried about writing that I'm back on-line; it may be tempting fate.

Things have been chaotic. Basically, electricity (or electric items), gas and broadband all developed problems. It appeared to be connected, but may not have been.

At this point, electricity seems stable. However, the Tefal washing machine was ruined; I've replaced it with a small plastic twin-tub that's really meant for camping/table-top. It's performing very well indeed. My mobility scooter has been examined and at least one part was replaced. It's running, but at a much slower speed; (re-charge ability still to be tested.)

The saga of the second-hand desk-top is still to be told.

The laptop failed, of course. Froze solid, hours of work followed by every anti-virus I could access (it's apparently infection-free.) That ate most of this month...

Most recently, there was a gas safety inspection that left me with no heating. This has happened in the past - the answer to, "What kind of safety inspector would turn off a sick person's heating in the middle of winter?" seems to be, "All of them." I've got the instructions on the complicated ways one turns it back on written down - and this time none of it worked.

The engineers came back on Monday. They couldn't turn it on, either...

Cutting a long saga short, the controls are electric; apparently it needed two AA batteries (that I provided) to start it all up. At the moment - well, nothing else that was working seems to have failed (except me.) The situation with the shower was moot, throughout, so testing that is most definitely next.

The printer prints, carbon monoxide alarm working. (Heat alarm and smoke detector? Ask Brigade?) Fridge and freezer worked throughout, so did microwave and hob.

The tropical fish need checking, one light failed (angel tank); it seemed to be the bulb but was really an apparently impossible fault in the connections in the lid. Next job, checking it all, lamps, heating, filters and every fragile little fin and fry; (dear reader, fry are baby fish, it doesn't mean I'm going to cook them for lunch.) I don't know what else might be wrong there.

Now, I should just hope that isn't ending on a cliffhanger.


londonbard: walking tabby cat, (Tyger) (Default)

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