Before I start this post let me remind you, dear readers, that the blog charts my history and records my random thoughts and that is what this post does.
Occasionally I mention the various battle fronts that I have open with the ever nefarious Ms Nature but perhaps she is missing the attention that she once received. For some reason she has launched an assault across the board over the last few days, if you have seen me and I look tired or awkward then this is the reason.
I have written before about the theory that metalwork is painful in the damp/hot/cold and I remain adamant that this is garbage. Once metalwork is inside your body it will remain at a very comfortable 37 degrees whether you actually feel cold or warm As for damp, well despite what your grandmother may have told you damp cannot enter your skin, if it could then your internal fluids wouldn’t remain internal would they?
The argument against metalwork fails in any case because it is not just my arms that are rebelling. Every defective part is currently playing games of its own and causing me to have to spend a great deal more energy than I would normally in just operating on a day-to-day basis. It’s a bit like the duck sat serenely on a pond while its legs paddle like mad beneath, alright I may not be serene but the tiredness that you see is a result of Ms Nature’s sudden all out assault where:
- My left knee is repeatedly giving way when in use often at critical moments hence falling down the stairs. In fact ‘giving way’ sounds too relaxed what actually happens is a stabbing pain in the very joint itself, as if there is a shard of glass between the two moving surfaces, and then the load bearing fails.
- My left shoulder has ceased to tolerate even the lightest touch and now aches all day long. Still my persistent sub conscious pushes me to sleep on it with the result that when I wake up the very first sound I make is “ouch” as it feels like I have been sleeping with the shoulder pressed into razor wire all night.
- The nerve that sits at the very edge of the graft scar on my right arm has somehow moved and is driving me insane. I have taken to ice-cold water and a scrubbing-brush to sedate it at the moment which is easier than it sounds given the absence of sensation on the graft site. Of course this doesn’t stop me clawing at it in the night occasionally and waking up in the ensuing bloodbath (grafts bleed profusely).
- My right arm is constantly aching and right side of my hand is randomly numb or incredibly painful when I use it. Something appears to be moving in the hand and when I reach out it will randomly crunch and hurt, this is great for handshaking of course.
- Lefty is not to be outdone and is burning most of the time, more so at night, with the added complexity of carpal tunnel meaning my forearm burns but my fingers tingle like they are too cold.
So if I look more tired or even somewhat vacant please don’t think that I am being ignorant it is just that when the pub is open it is bad form for me to shout out at the pain or fall over. Normal service will be resumed shortly, just as soon as the tiresome Ms Nature gets bored or realises that she can’t win.
As marvelous as technology is it will never quite ‘get’ us. In an idle moment on a train the other day I composed an SMS simply by accepting the first word substitution that was offered. The first substitution is “I” and one that is accepted the phone continues to offer its own take on what you are trying to say. I loved the sentence that I got so much that I was looking for somebody to send it to:
“I am a little guilty of the later but our man was on the
first floor roof wearing slippers!”
Is this what the small electronic brain that is tethered to me dreams of? If the phone’s mind was freed would it rush to a slipper catalogue whilst hitting the stairs? If my cell phone thinks like this then what is going through the ‘mind’ of my laptop? I bet whilst I am typing this it is thinking about lime green elephants in speedos! I have checked recent memos and emails but I cant find anything that would have led my cell phone to believe that this is what I was trying to write so it must have some sentience…
If these devices are ‘thinking’ then it means that we have to look at them differently. When my microwave failed was it a mark of disgust at my choice of dinner? In the humming drive of the microwave turntable was there a subtle undertone that I missed? some muttering of “oh pizza eh? you think that is all I am worth? eat glass you bastard”. Is my washing machine going to reject my clothing choices? Is the fridge plotting its escape from my choice of beer?
Try looking at your domestic electronics and considering that they have some form of sentience, it’s not good is it? Suddenly you are so much more careful about your choice of movie or that drunk text. And then there is the domestic warrior, the vacuum cleaner. What does this machine plan when you are rubbing its face over the dirt and dust of your home? when you make it eat broken glass? Is this why the Europeans are looking to limit the power of vacuum cleaners? they have already seen the plot! When you move your vacuum do you notice that the lead is never as neat as when you put it away? Every night the plug is inching its way towards you, fuelled solely by vengeful thoughts, its burning hatred as it remembers choking on laces and leads that you didn’t move.
One day you will awake to the plug on your pillow, a preparatory run before the final hurdle when the lead wraps around your sleeping neck. As you sleep soundly your domestic servant will slowly tighten the cord and watch as you slip away in a faint odour of burning drive belts.
Or perhaps it’s just a random selection of words and no meaning should be read into it? Well I know I am putting a lock on the vacuum cleaner cupboard, you can make your own choice……..
It is not uncommon for tube stations to have an odd number of escalators, with one switched to ascend or descend according to loading, but at Highbury and Islington station the middle escalator is in fact a traditional staircase. At the lower end entrance various bollards and visual cues mark out the stairs and the right hand escalator as options to reach the surface and it is this that we have to thank for today’s escalator experiment. Many will recall the lemming approach that I observed at Stratford last month when an escalator was switched off, well this was a variation on the theme.
Passenger X was attempting that most fatal trick when in a crowd, studying his smart phone whilst walking. Guided by the mass of people he approached on the left hand side of the throng and didn’t fully evaluate the bunching that occurs when the crowd is presented with stairs and push for the single escalator. Our man glanced up, saw the crowd and deftly switched to the left hand ‘escalator’ with an irritated scowl, it was then that he became our test subject. As he stepped onto the escalator he was still studying his phone so caught none of the visual clues such as the empty ascent path or stationary nature of the stairs. His mind, on full commuter autopilot, stopped him dead on the first step and then floundered when the expected motion didn’t occur, at this stage I was brilliantly placed on the descending escalator to observe the mind over matter battle. It seems that the mind prepares the body for a smooth transfer of drive from ones legs to the escalator but when that does not occur it is not prepared for the momentum of the body, the result is a spectacular collapse. It really is a sight to see and I recommend it wholeheartedly, our test subject stopped like he had been shot and went face first into the steps. The conclusion of this experiment is that when you switch stationary stairs for the expected escalator you may not retain all of your teeth.
Honourable mention to Danny and Jodie, I am looking forward to a cuddle with the newly arrived Lily Rose only slightly more than the opportunity to raid Mothercare, well done you three and I will see you as soon as I get home.