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Category Archives: Health

a little bit of the past

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Part of a past that seems so long ago I might have imagined it. It was real enough.

As I set up my new WFH workspace – call it an office, if you will, though I’ve merely seconded the spare bedroom – I decided that I needed a few of the silly, sentimental things that link me to that life before organisational slash and burn; where, although I was falling-over busy, I knew that the welfare of the people always came first. So, as well as setting out my jug, coffee plunger, office mug and mug rug, I unwrapped the little perpetual calendar that was a gift from my erstwhile boss. You need something to track the days when there’s a sameness about them all.

I suggested to Dr B that we should hang some of our paintings on the presently bare walls, just in case I’m ever called on to participate via some sort of video-link. He thought that was an excellent idea and agreed, when I suggested it, that a particular triptych would fit the bill beautifully. That might be part of tomorrow’s tasks. It will achieve two goals: smarten up the “office” and give the triptych a forever home; which, I might add, it’s been seeking since the artist gifted it to us before YoungB was born.

My computer set-up has been a case of serendipity at many levels, including YoungB’s giving me some old equipment that he’d recently replaced with newer items. I now have a large monitor and a decent chair. Waste not, want not, and no need to worry about whether there’ll be another e-waste collection in the foreseeable future. Everything and everyone taken care of, and we could probably call that a zero-waste exercise.

I’m not yet officially home based, but will do a peak-hour trial next week to ensure it’s all systems go for when we get the green light. My previous attempt at a trial found enough technical hitches in the set-up to mean that I managed about 30 minutes instead of the anticipated two hours. With regard to the official approval, just one level of endorsement remains. This means I will be at the office for most of Monday, and Dr B can’t yet stop worrying about how vulnerable we all are; masks notwithstanding.

May little things from your past also help you to get through today’s uncertainty 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2020 in Health, Musing

 

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essentially serving in viral times

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Easily laundered and adequate for providing some protection when out shopping

In the strangely altered world that Covid-19 sees descending upon us – perhaps too slowly here in Australia, in the sense that federal messages lack clarity with regard to what is and is not allowable – stress is plainly taking its toll. Many of my fellow workers are finding it difficult to focus. The differing loyalties of private citizen and public servant are tested on a daily basis. We watch the numbers unfold and we keep working.

I can report that, from my perspective, the world is much quieter without planes overhead and with a reduction in the number of the vehicles passing our front door. As public service is essential service, I am still commuting daily by public transport. There are fewer fellow commuters. We are probably not the regulation 1.5 metres apart, but at about one person per double seat, that might be the best we can do for now. Nobody coughs. Nobody sneezes. I’m sure nobody would dare!

YoungB is now established in his home office set-up and officially working from home (or WFH, as the current jargon has it). My office has trialled it for a small team. There’s an overall business contingency plan (BPC) that is encouraging us to set up now, so that we’re all ready to jump should the word come from on high. Which “on high” that is may come down to being a decision as to whether we eventually heed state or federal edicts. Whichever it is, it won’t be up to me. I’ll just do as I’m told.

I have made a couple of masks that are definitely not hospital grade, nor intended to be. It is true that, in earlier days, hospital masks were made of gauze fabric, and sufficiently effective to have been around for many years. Times change, and newer production technologies mean that more effective materials are now available for those running the highest risks.

However, like those earlier hospital masks, what ours do is provide some protection against droplets: protecting us from the droplets of others, and others from our droplets. For the small amount of time Dr B is out and about doing essentials, it’s enough for him. He meets criteria for two of the high-risk categories and is increasingly anxious about the casualness with which fellow citizens are behaving in our neighbourhood. He can’t do anything about their behaviour, only his own. This mask helps to give him some degree of comfort.

The fabric is a very old cotton from my inherited stash, lined with a softer cotton that’s a plain, dark colour. The pattern is something of a hack from many of the excellent tutorials out there in www land, particularly YouTube. Dr B has a large frame, which meant that I needed to get the size right. I’m not convinced I got the pleats right – perhaps I should have used the iron more judiciously – but the resulting mask is a comfortable fit. I needed to tweak the length of the elastic to ensure a close fit around his face, but that was all. Most tutorials recommend bag ties for the nose-grip, but I used pipe cleaner because that’s what I had. It works.

To our immense relief, all our Italian family members are safe at this time.

Wherever you are, I hope all your family members are safe, too.

Stay home. Wash your hands. And take care. 🙂

 

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why I might stick to fabric

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Our hand-built pots and handmade Christmas decorations: Youngest Aunt’s nicely embellished efforts on the left; my plain ones on the right. I think I’ll end up with good colour depth on my purple stars 🙂

Youngest Aunt and I recently attended a pottery workshop, which was enormous fun. It was also utterly demoralising to have youngsters throwing pots as if they’d been at it for years while we struggled. In our defence, it was a first for both of us, whereas some of the youngsters had previous experience. And sometimes, one of the advantages of youth is that it is fearless: mistakes don’t matter, because clay is malleable. Youngest Aunt and I were probably trying to get it right first time because, well, we’re aware that life doesn’t always give you second chances. You could say – and there’s no pun intended – that we are more set in our ways. I would also contend that neither of us is totally inflexible.

We hand-built a pot apiece and made some Christmas decorations. We also tried our hand at throwing a pot on the wheel. I appreciate that a greater level of experience would improve the overall artistic experience, but at this stage my reaction is that I’d be better off sticking with fabric. The pots are still at the pottery because, although firing was included in the cost of the workshop, that couldn’t all be done on the same day. We will have our masterpieces in time for them to provide a Christmas giggle. And, you know, for my purple stars to be given a spot on our tree.

May all your decorations have good colour depth, too, whether they’re fabric or clay 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2019 in Health

 

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high maintenance?!

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I think they’re much higher maintenance!

Recently, I casually mentioned to the Bs that I would need a suitcase for a couple of days away that involved an overnight stay. I didn’t mean a large one, just carry-on size. YoungB demanded to know when I’d suddenly become high maintenance? You what? Me? Yeah, not likely.

In principle they’re right, but I no longer have a backpack that’s large enough. So I ended up taking a small backpack, a shopping bag with my shoes in it, another with my swimming clobber, another with my craftwork – a small bag of crochet, because I thought that might be easier to pick up and put down than any knitting I have on the go – and yet another with food. R-i-g-h-t. That would have all fitted into the suitcase I had in mind, and been a lot easier to carry.

May all your suitcases be ideal for their intended purposes 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 11, 2019 in Crochet, Health, Knitting, Travel

 

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smoky obscurity

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Hills obscured by smoke from bushfires

There are no fires too close to the city, but yesterday there was lots of smoke. Morning commutes to the CBD were hazy enough to require extra caution and it was still hazy – as you can see – when I took this view from the window around 10.30.

 
 

maybe just another?

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Forever trumpeting above the rushing crowds

Teamwork makes the dream work. Sharing is caring. We speak in platitudes to improve our attitudes. Click, drag, drop; do it till YOU drop.

Yeah, nah. It’s just been busy beyond belief and, like most workplaces these days, we have few full-timers. Throw in the occasional day of anyone away on sick leave and you begin to see that the last-thing-on-Friday hysterics are, well, not so much hysterical as the new normal.

But up there on their parapet, the trumpeters are silently celebrating. Let the braying begin 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2019 in Health

 

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another of those weeks

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Spotted out the front of my building, undoubtedly ready for someone to make a quick getaway 😀

There have been days lately where I’ve needed to remind myself that I have a 100 per cent success rate with at least one KPI: I have reached the end of every working day without killing anyone! Yep, yet again, everyone has wended their way homeward, though if looks could kill…

We’re all tired and stressed and we are all busy. It’s a time when being a team player is a cardinal virtue and, yes, it’s true that not everyone is. Oh, well.

Big picture check: is the planet still rotating on its axis? Tick.

Well there you go. Nowt to worry about 😀

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2019 in Health, Motorcycling

 

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