Further Adventurers in Adulting

Oct. 17th, 2017 08:15 am
baratron: (angry)
[personal profile] baratron
Our plumbing is being evil, for the fifth or sixth time since we moved into this house in 2004. When our house was built, it didn't have an internal bathroom. There are remains of an outhouse in our back garden. So the bathroom was, at some point, retrofitted and its plumbing has never worked quite right.

It's been showing signs of distress for a few days now, doing that thing it does of not draining properly. We flush the toilet or run water in the sink, and the bath goes GLUG GLUG GLUG. Not good. However, yesterday when I flushed the toilet, some of the er, effluent ended up in the bath. Which is about as delightful as it sounds.

Richard did a full day at work then stayed up quite literally all night clearing the downpipe with a high pressure hose, and only went to bed at 7.30 am. He is my hero! The poor bugger couldn't eat anything until 6.30 am because he was too nauseated, and I have left Emergency Laundry running overnight else he wouldn't have any trousers to wear to work (and it's too cold to go in shorts).

The problem is not completely fixed since although the downpipe is now cleared, water running through it is not reaching the sewer. As the problem occurs on our property, Thames Water won't help, so we will have to find a professional and (probably) claim on our insurance. Does anyone have the faintest idea how to do this? I mean, regarding claiming on the insurance, we probably just have to find the policy document and ring the insurers with the policy number and details of the work which needs to be done. But where on earth do we find a good professional plumber who handles drains and sewers? Do we ask the insurance company to recommend someone?

To add further complication, our back garden will probably have to be dug up, and it is currently a jungle. I'm hoping my parents might be available in the next few days to get it cleared, although that involves Dealing With My Parents.
baratron: (boots)
[personal profile] baratron
Had my appointment with the Pain Management consultant at Parkside Hospital in Wimbledon on Friday. This is a posh private hospital, yet I got an NHS-funded appointment there. I am not complaining.

As you may remember, I have arthritis in my spine which causes all sorts of weird and "interesting" neurological effects. The actual patch of inflammation is tiny, and yet it presses on a nerve severely enough that I have a permanent numb "dead" spot in my left leg, plus additional events of screaming agony.

So every year or so, I get injections into my spine of a long-acting steroid and painkiller combination. They are called facet joint injections and I've had them done 3 times before. It counts as minor surgery because it has to be done under X-ray, since it would be Very Bad if the needle gets in the wrong place. But once I've recovered from the bruising, I have a lot less pain and a bit more mobility.

The first and third times, it was done by the consultant that I have my face-to-face appointments with and it helped for about 6 months. The second time I had it done, it was a different doctor who was in a hurry and didn't listen when I told her that my Large Arse requires two shots of the anaesthetic in order for the needle to get deep enough. So it only helped for about 3 months.

I am so glad my GP found out I could see the same specialist at a different hospital. Kingston Hospital has good medical staff but appalling organisation and/or administrative staff (not sure which), and the wait times there are horrendous. I am in no doubt that if I'd gone to Kingston, it would have been 6 months or more just for the first appointment, and then a further 4 months before the treatment. This other hospital is a train + bus ride away rather than a short walk, but I only had to wait 6 weeks to see the doctor, and then another 6 weeks for the treatment. It's scheduled for 1st December.
kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
Hi, I'm Alex, my pronouns are they, I have hilarious boardgame-related trauma; I'm going to want five minutes to read the rules in silence before we start; and if I ask a question about gameplay that isn't addressed to you by name and you're not [personal profile] me_and, please pretend I didn't say anything.


As I periodically mention, mostly whenever I make notable progress of any kind, for a variety of hilarious reasons I find the vast majority of boardgames intensely stressful, and this gets worse the less I know the people I'm playing with. Like I said in my previous post, over the past two years I've gone from "cannot even start to play a game I've had long-term interest in, in my own home, with my partner, who I trust, with no-one else present, without bursting into tears twice just reading the rules" to "getting a bit of an adrenaline kick when I start my second new game of an afternoon with strangers, in a pub, when I was already primed for social anxiety for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture".

Read more... )

Fanfic recommendation

Oct. 11th, 2017 12:12 pm
watervole: (Default)
[personal profile] watervole
 I don't read a lot of fanfic, mainly because there is so much poor stuff and I'm too lazy to sift through it all to find the good ones, but I do tend to follow up recs by friends here and to try stuff written by friends.

I've just been reading Elisi's novel 'Dating the Cleverest Boy in the World'  

An excellent read, a Dr Who novel, but relying almost entirely on well written original characters, who interact occasionally with the Master, Lucy Saxon, tenth Doctor and Jack Harkness.

It's a novel that looks at relationships between mortals and immortals, between human and non-human and asks what it's ethical to reveal/conceal.

The basic premise is an AU where the Master and Lucy Saxon had a son.  The boy grows up with both the Doctor and the Master as major influences in his life, trying to balance their conflicting ethics and their expectations of him. 

When he finally enters a romantic relationship with a human woman, he gets caught in the trap of how much to tell her about himself.

It's a novel that avoids quick, easy answers, and one that allows the characters to grow and develop in a believable manner. 

This is a gen novel.  Characters have sex (both gay and straight), but there are no explicit scenes. 

When it comes to sex, this is the way I prefer it.

(In days gone by, I sometimes skipped plot to get to the sex. Now, I skip sex to get to the plot.  There are more original plots than there are original sex scenes. )

The breakdown between chapters is well-balanced. Each is a distinct scene, but contributes to the overall storyline.  Made it very easy to read one or two chapters a day.

Definitely recommended.


ten good things

Oct. 10th, 2017 03:51 pm
kaberett: Overlaid Mars & Venus symbols, with Swiss Army knife tools at other positions around the central circle. (Default)
[personal profile] kaberett
1. Yesterday afternoon, at 4.30pm, I sent off the latest draft of the current paper to my co-authors in advance of our meeting on Tuesday. I had been working at it steadily, in small chunks every day. At no point did I stay up past midnight working on it. It isn't perfect, partly because it can never be and partly because most of the outstanding stuff relies on getting input from a co-author who's been avoiding my e-mails since April; I'm very pleased with myself for maintaining sensible sleep cycles, and for sending it off "unfinished", because I don't think there is actually much to gain from me carefully polishing the presentation and formatting of an appendix that is not yet complete.

2. The casserole my mother bought me (I think when I started the PhD) is currently full of apples I brought home from my parents' on Saturday evening; I've done about half the bag, and everything smells correct. (It's James Grieve; they're mostly not available commercially, but they're what I grew up with, and I'm always faintly disappointed by apples that aren't them. So: I gathered up a quantity of them, and I'll gather up a quantity more when I go for dinner tomorrow, and I'll jar them, and I'll have enough to put on yoghurt and in crumble and in cake for the next year, I hope.)

3. Passing a pound-a-bowl market earlier today, it transpired that the cardboard crates of two-or-so kilos of blueberries really were one quid each. So I got one of those (I was not going to buy more, to get home on public transport), and I need to decide how many to freeze and whether o jam any and if I want to make clafoutis happen, and so on and so forth. This is a lovely problem to have.

4. Shortly afterwards, while poking around charity shops looking for yet more tablecloths (pace the Graun), on my way home from a hospital appointment that was uninspiring but unproblematic, I found a pasta maker for fifteen quid. Nobody I asked said it was a bad idea quickly enough, and that's how I ended up heading home on public transport with a lap full of pasta machine and two kilos of blueberries. "...", said a friend. "How does this stuff even happen to you so much" "I really don't know how you live like this" "But well done" -- which I will take. (This also, conveniently, provides me with My Next Cooking Goal. I think I probably don't care about the spaghetti attachment but I am eyeing up the ravioli one...)

5. I am sitting in the corner of my sofa, facing the French windows, looking out on the grass and the sunshine. (I love this house.)

6. I am now, after today's adventures in public transport, most of the way through CN Lester's book Trans Like Me. I keep crying over it in public. I have been earwormed with a song off Come Home, Not Again (and have just put it on: I'm used to breaking - but not this time/Of all the things you've taken, I'm not giving me from mine/I know I'm better lonely but alive).

7. On which tangentially-related topic, I recently got my act together to actually listen to Jesus & His Judgemental Father's latest, It Might Get Better, and I just absolutely adore the lyric my breakfast is an existential crisis. And I have a whole pile of books to curl up and wallow in, which I'm very much looking forward to -- Provenance, which I haven't yet had brain for, and the new Max Gladstone, and the new Nnedi Okorafor along with some of her back catalogue, and all the Kai Ashante Wilson I just acquired, and...

8. Board games! On Sunday I went to a board game social being run by my BSL-teacher-now-friend (having been a longstanding friend of A's)! I negotiated social anxiety in the run-up! I played two new-to-me games, with one person in the group each time that I didn't previously know, and it... worked? I didn't cry? I panicked a bit at the start of the second one but actually it was okay? I did the thing? I won one of them? I... am really, really proud of myself. I am so aware of how much progress this is: eighteen months ago, or thereabouts, I finally finally managed to persuade myself to sit down with a rulebook and an Adam in our living room and have a go at playing Thud!, which I'd wanted to basically since I saw it being play-tested at a Discworld convention. I think I ended up crying twice just reading the rulebook, while A was in the kitchen carefully giving me space to have a panic? I ended up crying a bunch more over the course of our couple of experimental collaborative games? ... I just played two new-to-me games with strangers, on no more prep than breezily informing people that I have hilarious boardgame-related trauma, would want to spend five minutes anxiously reading the rules in silence before starting, and that if I asked a question about game mechanic and it wasn't addressed to you by name then pretend I didn't say anything and let A answer. I... am so pleased with myself.

9. ... slipper socks. I sort of resent that I like them so much, and they are the precise opposite of what the podiatrists I was seeing wanted me to do for wearing around the house, but fundamentally I really hate slippers and would by defaul be barefoot but also my feet get really cold really quickly. So now I own two pairs of ridiculous slipper socks, and I wear other socks underneath and slouch around in them, and I spend much less time with my feet painfully cold?

10. ... and on Thursday I'm heading down to Brighton for The October Ritual, an aquarium trip, and Terre á Terre, which I've been curious about for a while.


There is lots that is good that is going on. I'm spending the weekend in Cornwall (well, driving to and from -- a lightning visit is To Be Made), and while there will be Wrangling To Be Done I am also, very much, looking forward to going (however briefly) home.

Great Cotswold

Oct. 8th, 2017 11:03 am
watervole: (Morris naked)
[personal profile] watervole
 
There are those who think Cotswold morris is a bit dull and sedate and that Border morris is far more interesting.

And then there are those who have seen Cotswold morris teams like Berkshire Bedlams!

Just watch. Four dances, all totally different in style.  Look at the way they bounce off the audience!

Great dancing, great entertainment.


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