lateral flow tests

Having self-tested on Monday, Wednesday, Friday of this week (because of extensive train travel a week ago), I’m down to the last one of my free NHS-supplied lateral flow tests. Fortunately, still negative.

Much as I object to public health having been outsourced to private enterprise and the conscience of individuals who can afford it, I’ve just had a delivery of more LFT’s from Superdrug, so I’m set for the next little while.


Yes: I know it’s supposed to be “Flaming June”, but whoever arranges the weather clearly doesn’t! A nasty penetrating damp this morning has crept into my joints and bones, and painkillers aren’t hacking it. Reluctantly, I’ve lit the stove – not so much for warmth as to drive out the humidity, which central heating doesn’t manage even if I turn the thermostat up to a ludicrous level.

Anyway, yesterday and today have been the first tests of the replacement glass I installed a few weeks ago to replace the shattered pane.

lit wood-burning stove

ugh !

It rained overnight, and there’s a kind of pervasive dampness in the air – it may rain again later. Although it’s not cold, as such, I find it impossible to get warm. Even Chelsea-cat has abandoned sleeping on the patio table, and is indoors trying to get onto my lap for a sleep. Wrists, back, ankles all aching!

So, I decided to light the stove. Well, it will be the first test of the replacement glass I installed a few weeks ago, won’t it? Even if lighting a fire in June does seem faintly ridiculous …

It clearly is not going to be a day for doing anything active. WordPress 6 has just been released, so it looks like a project to install that, and to update the assorted plugins I use on this site.

quarterly weight report

For the first time since I started the “Diabetes Prevention” course in March 2020 (start of the blue line), I feel that my diet and weight are pretty stable. The green line, covering March, April, May this year seems good. Exercise is up at an average of 4298 steps a day, and I’m on 1.1 meat-free days a week (but aiming for 2 ! ).

vertigo meds and mental health

The meds I’ve been put on for dizzy spells due to dodgy ears are definitely working – down from a couple of times a day to a couple of times a month. But, as an unintended side-effect, prochlorperazine is also an anti-anxiety drug.

WOW! The past couple of weeks I’ve been able to tackle all the horrid paperwork jobs that have just been too much for me to cope with – everything from phoning the pension people to sort out the logjam in payment, to chasing up the single premium bond I have (given me as an infant!).

I kinda hope it’s a permanent effect (is this how “normal” people live their lives?). I’m rather worried that it’s just an extended period of getting slightly manic and will be followed by a crash-and-burn of equal duration. but in the meantime it’s certainly constructive … even if it is playing Hob with my sleep patterns.

Ouch !

Two days ago, the glass in the woodburner cracked, and fell out! I’ve just ordered a replacement, and replacement seal … which, with VAT and delivery, came to nearly £50 !

Today’s weather is vile, and the change to high humidity as usual means that my back isn’t playing nicely. Chelsea-cat finds it vastly amusing to watch me going up stairs on my hands and knees … glad it’s fun for someone!

At least I’m still on fixed contract for energy for another five weeks, so can stick the fan heater on without facing starvation – though it doesn’t do nearly as good a job at sorting out weather-inspired back issues as the stove does.

broken glass propped up against stove which has its door open.

garden bits

The amaryllis that I grew from seed starting five years ago is in full bloom. A delicate translucent white, veined with red. Pretty, though not exactly showy!

I had a delivery of aquilegia seedlings from J Parkers this afternoon> Very very leggy, with most of the leaves sticking out of the top of the protective case and therefore having got trashed. I was sufficiently pissed off to ring Customer Services, who took a couple of attempts to find my order. I was assured that the leaves don’t matter, it’s the roots that count, so just plant them out and they’ll be fine. They did agree to put a note on the system, and “all plants are guaranteed” … so we’ll see what things are like in a month or six weeks.

Health-wise, I’ve been having serious dizzy spells for a couple of days (starting just before I left the Worcester Green Party cycle even on Sunday lunchtime). It’s seriously limiting (though I haven’t actually fallen over (yet) it’s come rather to close to me doing so. Will ring the GP if it doesn’t improve in a day or two.

amaryllis flower in closeup


amaryllis plant & flowers


green plastic case with damaged leaves showing outside the case

cardio stuff

This morning an NHS letter arrived, offering me an appointment for the heart clinic at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch – a followup to the 24-hour ECG I wore in November. Sadly, it conflicted with the holiday on the Norfolk Broads, which this year is booked much earlier (June, rather than September), so I had to rearrange it.

Not as easy as it sounds! The phone number given on the appointment letter kept trying to make me use the online portal (which it said was given on the letter – it wasn’t), and then asked for the appointment reference (which it said was given on the letter – it wasn’t). I gave up, and went to the portal … which also asked for details not on the letter. It finally allowed me to sign in using my NHS account, and from there it was a ten-second job to rearrange things!

Now fixed for July 1st, though getting to the Alex may be a problem … there’s only one direct bus, which is very much under threat from Westminster-imposed cuts. Rail, or a succession of buses, don’t appeal, so it may have to be cabs both ways.

rough on the wrists !

I was happily creaming butter and sugar together in the Kenwood Chef, as the first stage of making a Madeira cake. Stopped the motor, lifted the beater to scrape down the mixture, put the beater back down, and turned the machine back on. Nothing. Fuse checked, looked for loose wires, no joy: “it’s dead, Jim”.

So I was reduced to finishing the cake beating by hand. It’s certainly reminded me why a mixer was such an essential in the kitchen – I’m really not up to this kind of thing!

I was a bit surprised – my Kenwood Chef is a relative stripling at only about 16 years old, and is rarely used more than once a week. These things usually go on for ever! However, being a) Green and b) impoverished as I’m still recovering from Christmas, I’ve found a couple of Chef Hospitals I can send it away to … now waiting for quotes to come back. Sadly, Worcester’s small appliance repair shop closed a few years ago (they’re becoming an endangered species).

Spica splints now in place on both wrists/thumbs …

madeira cake with one slice out