eyes and ears

Despite the NHS app telling me that Hereford & Worcester does not have an arrangement to refer hearing tests to private providers, I had a very rapid response from my GP, followed almost immediately by a phone call from … Specsavers. They’ve offered me an appointment on Monday 4th – so only ten days from when I first contacted the GP. Still nervous about hearing test, and am using ear drops to make sure that I’m not blocked by wax.

Other drops: I’ve had gummy eyes for several days, and a couple of days ago they got so bad that I went to the pharmacy for advice. Conjunctivitis was the pharmacist’s opinion, so I’ve been on eye drops every two hours for the last two days, decreasing to every four hours for the next three days. It was so bad earlier in the week that I couldn’t really see much, or read, or go on line … all of which triggered the most almighty migraine (unusual for me) on Tuesday, which left me very weak all day yesterday (Wednesday).

It’s all a rather unpleasant reminder of how much I rely on these two senses, and the approach of old age – sometimes it feels not so much a “creeping” approach as a galloping one.


On my daily trip to put veg peeling on the compost heap, I noticed that the fern-leafed clematis (c. cirrhosa v. balearica “Freckles”) is starting to open its first flowers, despite the cold weather.

It’s very variable – last year was nearly four weeks earlier, and I’ve known it be as late as the New Year. But it’s very treasured: it will go on flowering for three or four months.

Brrr …

First frost of the year (on an alstroemeria, so no more of these for the coffee table vase, and on cyclamen leaves). Suburban Worcester is noticeably warmer than the surrounding countryside. It’s over a fortnight later than in most recent years. I’m hoping that we have a long-overdue cold winter, as garden pests have got a bit out of control in recent mild ones.

Too much rock ‘n roll ?

I blame it on a mis-spent youth – gigs every weekend during my student years (spent mainly side-of-stage, or in the lighting box), including one”Rock Goes to College” event that left me completely deaf for three days.

A recent ear-nose-and-throat investigation into why I have dizzy spells revealed that my hearing (which has been rather poor for twenty-odd years) has taken a turn for the worse. I have been referred to be assessed for hearing aids.

This wasn’t unexpected, but is still rather unwelcome news.


It’s been a rough few days. Mum went into hospital last Tuesday (7th), so I had a couple of trips over to see her in the John Radcliffe – which takes about seven hours due to poor train/bus connections. Then over to Green Mount to settle in Uzi, who will be Mum’s live-in carer when Mum comes out of hospital: I arrived Sunday night  and left late Wednesday (and the train was very delayed).

There’s also been all sorts of crap with Worcester Green Party … leading to me resigning last Friday, and after assorted discussions and changes to relations with GPEW staff, withdrawing my resignation on Wednesday. Thursday was a catch-up on newsletter printing, which had been a bit in abeyance due to not being at home.

I’m still recovering slowly from the respiratory infection I had at the start of October, with little appetite and easily getting tired. And I’ve completed the last of the assorted questionnaires for my ASD assessment, which was pretty emotionally draining. And Mum is only partly in contact with reality, which is both distressing and making for difficult conversations on the phone, especially with her intermittent extreme deafness. I’ll go over tomorrow – to hospital, unless she’s discharged (which seems possible).

two million mark

This morning’s small run on the Green Party printer took it to over the two-million copies mark, of which I’ve done about 2/3rds of a million in the seven years I’ve had it.

I’ve tentatively said that I’m happy to continue running it for another 18 months or so, but will need to look for someone to replace me once I hit 70. Assuming that there’s still a need, and that the printer and I survive that long, of course.


Yesterday was my autumn ‘flu and covid jabs. I’d had to put them off twice – once because of a clash with the fortnight’s waiting time after RSV panel, and once because of having to be at Green Mount. The NHS app offered me a timed appointment for both as Spring Gardens pharmacy, so I went with that.

I’d forgotten how very depressing that part of Worcester is! Slum-clearance replaced by equally bad block housing pretty much still on the overcrowded historic streetplan, a massive car park facing onto the perimeter of the area, and the whole thing flanked by the dual-carriageway City Walls Road (an urban improvement project that only succeeded in making it quicker to go from one traffic jam to the next).

However, the appointments were running on time, the nurse was very pleasant, and she wrote down the vaccine details for me so that I could pass them on to Synexus (RSV trial) as requested. Then a walk across the grim footbridge, and suddenly back in the “nice” part of town – Reindeer Court – and then to the bus station.

Sadly, I reacted rather badly to the shots. In bed and asleep before 2200h, then waking with alternating sweats and chills about every hour through to 5am, when I finally achieved restful sleep. I felt very dehydrated: a glass of milk and half a pack of grapes around 4.30 fended that off.

Having woken just after 9, I was up by quarter to ten. Alendronic acid day, so no coffee until 1025 … and I didn’t risk bending down to light the fire until then, either. But I’m feeling rather better now, though the ‘flu jab arm (left) is still rather painful.


A shit day today, mainly crawling round on hands and knees as standing is difficult. Chelsea-cat finds this amusing!

Fringes of Storm Ciaran outside doesn’t help, but it’s mainly because I overdid things yesterday. Cycle in intermittent showers to the station, hour on the train to Hanborough, cycle 30 minutes in intermittent showers (over collection of potholes masquerading as a road) to ASD assessment appointment (Worton, near Cassington). Then cycle 30 minutes in the dusk and showers and invisible potholes back to station, 100 minutes on delayed train, cycle home (more dusk and showers, fewer potholes), then leave 30 minutes later for a 2+hour Elections Strategy meeting.

Still, the appointment went well, and as a full ADOS-2 session was a significant milestone in understanding a bit more about where I might fit (if anywhere) “on the spectrum”.