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Owing to various problems I went to the doctor. I told the doctor that I thought my problems might be connected to my ears, so he took a look and told me that perhaps my ears and my problems might be connected.
To tell the end of a long story: I am going to have my right ear syringed tomorrow. I went a week ago and had it done, but it did not really work, so I am going back for another go.
In order to prepare for the aforementioned procedure it is necessary to put olive oil into your ear thrice daily for a week. Two drops a time, making a total of 42 drops. I have done it for two weeks, so 84 drops. If I am to be honest I have quite often forgotten, so I put 6 drops in at the end of the day so that my overall droppage is still what it should be.
In the olden days olive oil was placed in ones ear using a teaspoon and a shaky hand. It was quite difficult and often meant olive oil on the face, hair and carpet. Nowadays you go to the chemist for a special dropper. It is a lot easier and means that you will only get oil over your face and carpet.
It is important to incline your ear after you have applied the olive oil, otherwise it will run straight back out onto your face, hair and carpet (as in the days of the teaspoon). It is best to continue tilting for a number of minutes or for as long as you can be bothered to be so inclined. The diagrams above show some of the postures I have been adopting over the last two weeks whilst trying to make olive oil soak into my inner ear. Hopefully this will explain a thing or two.
Message to people seeking invoices / replies / answers: I’m going to try really hard to get up to date within the next 48 hours, though some of this work may be delivered at an angle of between 30 and 45 degrees.
Posted by Dave at 11:30 pm on June 26, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Essex Life, In-depth analysis.
Evie sits on the desk and shows me where the lines should go. Unfortunately she is rather more interested in things like noises and creatures, so her attention is often divided as the picture shows.
This evening I had planned to some of the drawings you suggested earlier and also one or two e-mails, but I spent the evening attempting to feed tablets to cats instead.
- Tablet crushed and sprinkled on catfood: failure
- Tablet crushed and sprinkled on lovely chicken: failure
Tablet inserted into a piece of catfood: failure
- Tablet inserted into a piece of lovely chicken: failure
Tablet inserted into a piece of lovely cheese: failure
- Mouth of cat opened by force and tablet shoved in: failure
Tomorrow I will be phoning the vets and explaining our problems.
Apologies for the things I have left undone (e-mails etc). See note above about tablets.
Posted by Dave at 11:48 pm on June 18, 2007 and filed under Cartooning, Essex Life.
This post is of interest mainly to people reading who are fairly local to me, which is probably in the region of between none and three.
The Leigh Art Trail is on at the moment in Leigh on Sea. The idea is that lots of local artists display their work in different venues, and people can wander around and take a look. This is a BBC report. It finishes this Saturday, the 16th of June, so I am a bit late posting about it.
We are going there this evening as some of my oil paintings are on display in the college where I have been doing my evening course. It is part of an exhibition called ‘ART’, so called because that is what it is. The exhibition does not really seem to be advertised anywhere unfortunately, but it it is at the Leigh Community Centre in Elm road, which is about 12 minutes from the railway station. It is next door to the Police Station and just down from the Sarah Moore pub. Leigh is about 50 minutes from London Fenchurch street using the railway. The Art Trail would make a nice day out on Saturday perhaps. You could print off a map and everything. Do not travel specially to see my paintings from any distance though as your disappointment will be widespread and bitter.
If art isn’t your thing there is a free folk festival in a few weeks time.
Posted by Dave at 1:27 pm on June 14, 2007 and filed under Art, Essex Life.
Last week was Christian Aid week. I suspect some readers will, like me, have had the joy of delivering their Christian Aid envelopes and then collecting them a few days later. The above not-really-humourous-I’m-afraid diagram illustrates the various responses one gets at the doors.
Now, one thing must be said. I am not a particularly heroic Christian Aid collector. Last year I volunteered for one road, and discovered it had six houses. This year I chose two roads which turned out to have a total of 19 houses. I approach the collecting with great trepidation, but I do actually quite enjoy doing it when it actually comes to it, so next year I will do three roads or perhaps even four.
As you can see ‘no reply’ is the most common occurrence when one returns for the envelopes. This is often because people’s door bells do not work or because they do not hear you knocking. I estimate (using figures I have just made up) that non-working and ineffectual doorbells cost Christian Aid about 3 or 4 million pounds a year. Quite a few feign ignorance, but this year I only had one entirely negative response.
I was quite pleased by the whole experience this year. Two houses already had their coppers bundled up in the envelopes waiting, and a further two found something to stuff into the envelopes. That is a better response than I have been used to in the past.
I think one of the reasons for my trepidation is that I really don’t like people coming to the door when I have no means of checking who they are, so I can understand when people are suspicious. If I did not know the person who collects Christian Aid envelopes in our road I might well not give them very much, preferring to send it directly to Christian Aid or something like that. It is asking quite a bit of people to give generously and provide their information to reclaim the tax when you look a bit shifty (and I do) and have only a hand written badge for identification. That said I know that Christian Aid would not be able to do much of what they do without the door to door collections, so I think it is important that we keep on supporting them.
Joe has been collecting too – he shares some reflections here. Surefish has some Chrstian Aid collectors tales.
Posted by Dave at 11:10 am on May 22, 2007 and filed under Essex Life, Make Poverty History, Sundry posts.
Today was a day for attending to the woeful state of the garden, which has been allowed to fall into rack, ruin and disrepair because because we have been busy with getting cats and doing all the travelling we could manage in the six weeks before getting cats.
I assembled a mini greenhouse. The above illustration is meant to give you a taste of the sort of complexities involved. It was not easy I tell you. I do not know how these things are designed and made, but it seems to me that there are no testing stages between a mini greenhouse design leaving the drawing board and the boxes being shipped off in bulk to Argos. They do not make them with the intention that you should actually be able to put them together.
We also went to the garden centre to buy some plants. I bought a melon seedling. It is very unlikely that we will successfully harvest very many melons given that everything we will grow will be in plastic pots in a mini greenhouse, but for 99 pence it is worth a try. Failure brings no shame, but success will mean I am the talk of the gardeners of Basildon. Such a prize is worth striving towards.
Oddly enough Katie on the Wibsite assembled a mini greenhouse today too. I’ll ask you the same question I asked her, which is as follows: Can the sun’s rays penetrate through the plastic cover of a mini greenhouse, or do I have to take the cover off every day? It is a seethough plastic, but quite thick as seethough plastic goes. If you can advise on this or anything else I would be grateful.
Posted by Dave at 10:59 pm on April 21, 2007 and filed under Environment, Essex Life, Household hints.
I have been overwhelmed by the immense level of interest shown in our new cats by those in certain sectors of the internet. People have been e-mailing in, and other people have been writing blog posts about them and everything.
Here are some more pictures:
The answer to a question that a lot of you have on your minds: Yes, we are thinking of home schooling them. Originally I had imagined we might get them up to A level General Studies sort of level, but I think to be honest they are more gifted at practical subjects rather than anything involving too much thought and analysis. Our first lessons have mainly involved a stick with a yellow and green bird on a piece of string.
Sorry not to give you any drawings or anything today. I was suffering from low morale, but am over it now and feel ready to take on the world.
Posted by Dave at 10:51 pm on April 19, 2007 and filed under Essex Life, Photographs.
These are our new cats.
They have been here two days and have brought much joy thus far, but cause me stress during the day as it is my responsibility to ensure that no-one is escaping or doing things that they should not do.
Above: Cat sitting in pepper plant pot (yes, these peppers, which still survive and produce continual peppers).
The cats are 6 months old and came from the Cats Protection people. They are called Matins (Mattie) and Evensong (Evie).
Posted by Dave at 10:35 am on April 17, 2007 and filed under Essex Life, Photographs, Sundry posts.
I have been having some incidences of feeling feverish and shaking. Yesterday evening it was so bad that I phoned the NHS Direct for a diagnosis. A friendly nurse phoned me back and said that I might be coming down with something.
So I phoned the doctors and told them that I might be coming down with something. The telephone receptionist said that Monday morning was not that convenient a time to be ill but eventually agreed that my symptoms should be looked at as I might be coming down with something.
The doctor asked me questions and looked at this and that with his devices and typed some words into his boxes. He said that I should eat soup (chicken) and that I would ‘probably recover’ (actual words). I have a bit of a virus apparently, which is the medical term for ‘coming down with something’.
To make myself feel a little better I watched a bit of the Church of England Synod on the BBC Parliament. What a splendid bunch of people. They do a good job of debating the issues of the day on all of our behalves and I would not have known that it was on the television had I not been suffering illness. Hopefully it will be on again tomorrow.
Posted by Dave at 2:38 pm on March 5, 2007 and filed under Cartoons, Essex Life, Mundane.
One has to celebrate these things when they happen, as they probably might not happen again. Information about the book is here if you’ve just surfed in.
Talking of celebrating today is the day when I slide another bead across the abacus of years. I will celebrate by riding my bicycle to Basildon. The celebrations will continue in the afternoon when I ride it back again.
Posted by Dave at 9:11 am on March 1, 2007 and filed under Books, Essex Life.
One of the great things about the internet is the maps. I have recently made the discovery that you can get superb birds eye pictures of certain parts of the UK via the Microsoft site local.live.com. You may need a special whathaveyou installed on your computer, I’m not sure, and you do really need broadband. You can see our house splendidly clearly from above from four different directions and zoom in to see a remarkable level of detail. I’m not going to post a link to the house, but the roundabout in Basildon above (which I thought was beautiful in its own way) is here.
The detail that is included for much of Essex is way better than on Google Maps / Google Earth. The areas that are included in such splendid detail on Microsoft Live are quite patchy though. I found, for eample, that places I know in South Wales and Berkshire and Surrey are not included. Nottingham, which I chose entirely at random, is.
Posted by Dave at 1:22 pm on February 11, 2007 and filed under Art, Essex Life.
Essex has had a lot of snow overnight and this morning. Well, a lot of snow for this part of the world anyway. My wife had a call to say she didn’t have to go into work which is just as well as the drive would have been miserable. Meanwhile I have no excuse not to get on with things, but I am tempted to go for a walk and take some more pictures before it all melts this afternoon.
Posted by Dave at 10:23 am on February 8, 2007 and filed under Essex Life.
Upon returning with the fish and chips I learned that my wife had had a washing up accident and so we went to the Accident & Emergency unit at the Basildon hospital (she is ok – she has a cut on her hand but not serious enough to prevent her going to work, social activities etc). I spent my evening watching the silent information television screen and I am now aware of the dangers of the following:
- Underage drinking
- Binge drinking
- Drinking generally
- Not testing a smoke alarm
- Hate crime
- Using a phone in public
- Using an ipod in public
- Starting fires
- Bogus callers
- Bogus cash machine readers
- Anything else that is bogus
The fish and chips were eaten 5 hours later. Microwaved and slightly soggy.
Posted by Dave at 1:00 pm on February 6, 2007 and filed under Essex Life.