baratron: (bi_pride)
I have been very, very exhausted since Grant went home. I'm hoping this is situational rather than a relapse of chronic fatigue, since I'm in the process of trying to go back to university after two years off! (Honestly, the amount of crap and paperwork that I have had to wade through since March would daunt the most indefatigable of people. We're now aiming for me to have everything sorted out for 1st September ready for the new term which begins on 2nd October. I had been aiming for the summer term beginning in April, or at least to be ready to return in July. I really am completely sick of it.)

Due to the fatigue, I have left all my BiCon planning to the last minute. I just booked my trains. They are costing far too much money, but that would be the sick person tax. One of these days, I will simply book my train so very early that it costs under £20 for the return and just eat that cost if I am too ill to travel, because it is actually cheaper in the long run than booking my trains once I'm certain if I'm well enough to go. Sigh.

Since it seems that most BiCon discussion is done on Facebook and I don't have one of those, I'm not sure who is going other than [personal profile] skibbley, and [personal profile] ludy if well enough. Therefore I would appreciate it if you would please let me know if you are going or not?

I have arranged dinner on Thursday and lunch/dinner on Sunday with local friends, but I'm really concerned about how I'm going to feed myself for two days without a carer to cook for me, or how I'm going to carry food with me up to the place. There are probably people doing Ocado orders and suchlike, please let me know if I can go in with you on one. I have PayPal and/or can do bank transfers so that you get paid up front.

One of these days I will get around to updating you on things that have been going on lately. If you don't hear anything, assume that I am spending my days doing battle with bureaucracy and my nights doing battle with non-player characters in Elder Scrolls Online :)
baratron: (aibo)

Dear brain,

It is not sensible to write angsty email to my ex-girlfriend at 6 am when I need to be awake at 12. I've been procrastinating it for the last 18 months - making myself non-functional now isn't going to help.

No love,
the rest of h-l.

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

Re: BiCon

Apr. 3rd, 2011 03:45 am
baratron: (bi_pride)
Oooh. I've had an idea for a BiCon session that has never been run before!

Only I need 3-4 co-conspirators to make it happen. But I have 2 potential people in mind already.

This is basically here as a note to self because I have no brain at the moment.
baratron: (black)
Black jeans & black t-shirt = Non-ideal clothing for crawling around a dusty floor.


Feb. 15th, 2010 08:30 pm
baratron: (goggles)
Dear Self,

You feel horrible because you ran out of antidepressants. This is why you have a) no motivation, b) a headache, c) a nagging sense of d00m. You went to the pharmacy and have some more now. Nothing is actually wrong except for the running out of antidepressants (which was not your fault anyway, you put the repeat prescription in on time, but the prescription processing person didn't read it properly so ordered the wrong drugs), and you have sorted that problem out for now.

Now if only you could believe that nothing is wrong and a) get some dinner inside you so you can b) take the antidepressant.

Much love,


Sep. 4th, 2008 06:38 pm
baratron: (silly)
I have come to the conclusion that my friends (or at least, the subset who read my livejournal) are just too intelligent. Every time I post something which I think is profound, I expect to get replies along the lines of "Wow, that's really interesting!". Instead, I get replies that are more like "Mmm, okay, but have you thought of...?". So I clearly need to cultivate a new set of friends who are less bright :P :D
baratron: (boots)
After writing this long list of things I'd done, I spent the rest of the evening making black beans that tasted good, adapted from Kake's black bean soup recipe. (Same basic deal without the evil cilantro or onion, extra garlic to replace the onion, and made with less water.) Unfortunately, I'd forgotten how long dried beans take to cook, and I didn't want anyone eating them until they were quite thoroughly done. All red and black beans are poisonous until they've been cooked properly, but that should be dealt with by 10 minutes of rapid boiling. The problem was more that any undercooked pulse can give a person horrible belly ache, and I've had this too often (from other people's cooking - school lentil roasts argh argh) to ever want to experience it again. Meanwhile, there was a hungry and grumpy wuzzie pacing up and down moaning about how hungry he was. Stress!

Note to self: Seriously do soak beans overnight before cooking them! Or boil them rapidly for the whole 40 minutes, rather than just for 10 minutes followed by 30 minutes simmering. But also remember that while it's a hassle, it's thoroughly worth cooking a big pot of beans, because then that's two or three dinners sorted out.

Sleep and insect bites. )

Cycling in Richmond Park. Strange trees and bunnies. )
baratron: (sleepy)
Argh. We decided it's time for some serious de-junking of the house, and in particular, the garden. Our back garden is a mess of dead decking, rubble, and one monstrous triffid. So Richard walked around the immediate couple of roads and made a note of all the phone numbers on skips, and I rang the companies to find out prices etc. I told all of them that the skip would have to go on the road in a parking space and asked whether they could get the necessary permit from the council for this. One of them couldn't, we'd have to apply to the council ourselves, so we didn't bother with them - the rest all had contracts. I made it very clear that the skip had to go in a residents' parking bay, how long would the permission take? and they all said one day. I was rather unconvinced about this "one day" because I was sure when we'd been looking at getting a skip a few years ago it'd been more like one week, but they all said the same thing so I believed them. (BIG MISTAKE!)

I ordered the skip on Wednesday just to make sure the council permission was in place, but there was no sign of the parking space being suspended last night. So I wrote a note to all the neighbours telling them a skip would be coming. The skip lorry came this morning at 6.55 am. Of course, there wasn't any space on the road, as it was too early for anyone to have taken their car to work. The driver waited around a bit but no cars moved, so he had to go back, and said it would be redelivered "later". Just to make this worse, I only fell asleep last night sometime after 5 am, because I had galloping raving insomnia. Argh.

So I've been drowsing on and off all day, jumping every time there's been a knock on the door or a lorry noise. And when a parking space became free, I put the tricycle in it with all the locks on and a note explaining it was there to reserve the space for a skip. (Chairs might have been better, but it's been drizzling all day and most of our chairs don't like getting wet.) Now the skip isn't going to come until tomorrow, but this is less worrying because we have the immediate next-door neighbour's car in the space and we can call her in the morning to move it. Nonetheless, I really didn't need a day of nowhere near enough sleep!

There are very rare occasions when I regret our environmental stance on car ownership. This would be one of those. A car of our own blocking the space would have made the whole thing so much easier. And for future reference, though I kinda hope that we'll never need a skip again - it really does take longer than one day to get parking bays suspended.
baratron: (flasks)
Dear h-l,

Too Much Information contained within. No, REALLY. )


Note to others: I haven't bothered to have a "women only" filter on this journal in years, principally because it's a) too complicated to keep track of the gender identities of some of my friends, b) some male-identified individuals may still be able to sympathise with icky girlstuff and c) the remaining male-identified individuals should at least be aware of how icky the monthly female experience is for a lot of us. Also, it's not like it's particularly private that I'm having a period! I only post friends-only when I feel that something is genuinely private, and this aspect of my health really isn't one of them.
baratron: (cn tower)
It is much easier to get to work if you have:
1) a travel pass for the city you actually live in
2) house keys for the house you actually live in
3) a purse full of money in the currency used by the country you live in.

Funnily enough, a passport is only helpful if you work in a different country from the one you live in (and hop across the border every day), and US dollars are only useful if you live in the US (or in some developing country where US currency can be used as bribes). Oops.

Currently I am supposed to be at a university open evening, but I have a very sore throat, and don't think it would be sensible for me to try to go anywhere. Fortunately, I only got infected by other people's plane germs on the flight home. I hope this'll be a passing transitory thing and I'll be all better by Saturday. As long as I can speak and feel less wobbly, that'll do.


Jan. 26th, 2008 04:34 pm
baratron: (goggles)
I was supposed to have gone to Brighton for a BiFest meeting today, but I had total spoon failure & couldn't get out of bed. I just got up half an hour ago and am sneezing a lot.

I'm really struggling to get my tax return done. The past two nights, I've sat down to do it and then spent about 4 hours staring at the internet and hitting refresh on my livejournal friends page every 5 minutes. It's a stress reaction for me, I think. On Thursday night I did spend 4 hours working on my tax return, but that meant I went to bed at 4.30am. Yesterday I managed about 2 hours before I had to go to sleep.

Every year I say this, but this time I mean it. I'd make my job so much easier if I actually kept my accounts book and spreadsheet up to date during the year as it happens, rather than leaving it all to the end. If I entered students' lessons into the spreadsheet each month, it would only take me 10 minutes at a time, but would save me hours later on. Maybe next year I'll manage it.
baratron: (sleepy)
I am so very tired again/still, and slightly stressed.

List of stuff I need to get done before Monday night. )
baratron: (flasks)
Apparently, what I need to do to make myself less ill is arrange to go & see the doctor. Actually, it was a nurse that I saw. But she peered in my ears and throat and listened to my lungs. And apparently I have the classic symptoms of the current upper respiratory tract infection that's going around in this area, complete with the whole "not buggering off after 6 or 7 days like a normal cold would". I think my virus got scared into submission by how ill everyone else in the surgery was. It's nothing to do with the Covonia cough syrup I started taking yesterday, oh no... ;)

Covonia, btw, is THE most vile and disgusting cough mixture ever in the history of the universe. One of my ex-boyfriends used to like the taste of it because it made his eyes water & made him feel spacey. Anything that strong must be doing you some good. I've been taking it for years and years as it's about the only cough mixture that's suitable for asthmatics to use, and it has actual active ingredients. But it really is nasty.

The reasons I've been so bothered about being ill are 1) because a lot of my kids have exams next week and 2) because being self-employed, I only get paid on days when I am able to go to work. All of this week, I would have been teaching for 5-6 hours a day, and I've missed all those days of work. So I estimate that this illness has cost me ... )
baratron: (test tube)
I finally managed to find the UK Guideline Daily Amounts for different nutrients (on a packet of Sainsbury's "Be Good To Yourself" oven chips, of all places!). The official table agrees very nicely with the one that [ profile] johnckirk managed to put together from 3 different sources. Seeing that it's such a pain in the bum to get hold of, I thought I'd type it out in case anyone else was looking for it.

5-10 years
Energy (kcal)200025001800
Protein (g)455524
Carbohydrate (g)
of which simple (g)
Fat (g)
of which saturated (g)
Fibre (g)242415
Salt (g)
of which sodium (g)
baratron: (me)
I've known for years - nay, decades - that I am Not A Morning Person. I only realised how serious the issue was when I attempted to go back to full-time work. I am so very Not A Morning Person that it is impossible for me to maintain a "normal" sleep-wake cycle. This is a statement which no one else has the right to argue with, by the way. Believe me, I've tried absolutely-effing-every piece of advice from sleep specialists, several modern pharmaceuticals, a bunch of herbal stuff and home remedies, and it still doesn't work. The fact is, my natural sleep-wake cycle is for me to wake up around midmorning, and fall asleep around 3am. If I stay on this cycle, I can maintain it indefinitely. If I attempt to get up at a "normal" time, I still don't fall asleep any earlier. So if I try to get into work for 8.30am, I can manage that for less than a week before I collapse in a terrible heap of physical and mental exhaustion. No drug with a Z in the title has ever made me sleep. (When I was prescribed Zolpidem, I once, in desperation, looked online for the maximum safe dose. I proceeded to take 4 tablets, and was still utterly wide awake wondering why the hell I couldn't sleep 5 hours later.) The healthiest thing for me is to say "sod 'normal', I'll have to work for myself at the hours I choose". Just like my fat activist friends who believe it is safer and healthier for themselves to maintain an active body at a higher weight rather than going through a constant cycle of dieting followed by weight gain, I believe it's safer and healthier for me to have a regular sleep-wake cycle rather than a "normal" one.

So I was ridiculously amused when [ profile] rowan_leigh found this link: The A-Team and the B-Team (warning, post contains artistic nudity). I agree with almost everything the author says, except that his B-ness is nowhere near as extreme as mine. (Falling asleep at 1am & waking at 9? Luxury!). The thing that I've noticed though, and have never actually documented, is how much I'm Not A Morning Person. I'm sure it's entirely normal to be brain-fogged and bleary for a while in the morning. But my Not A Morning Person-ness extends to far more than my brain.

This morning (yes, it was before 12 noon): I woke up. 45 minutes after waking up, I cycled to my first student of the day. Slowly, in 3rd gear.

After the lesson, an hour later: I cycled along a road with more bumps in it slowly, in 4th gear. Then up the Hill That Used To Defeat Me (copyright [ profile] epi_lj) in 1st gear, puffing a little.

Came home, sat in front of the computer for a couple of hours before going back out to the shops to buy all the things I'd forgotten existed, because I'd been too sleepy earlier in the day to remember that I needed to eat more than one meal. Cycled along the road at high speed, in 4th gear. Considered switching up to 5th, but didn't as my tyres felt like they could do with some attention. Came back up the Hill That Used To Defeat Me in 2nd gear, easily, despite noticing the existence of photochemical pollution due to the sunny afternoon & its effect on my lungs.

It seems that as well as mental "not being awake yet", there's a physical factor too. Though I tend to get out of bed feeling rested, my body has no stamina when it's the morning for me. It aches and gets tired far more quickly. By my mid-afternoon, this has eased, and I have more strength with which to turn the pedals. Also, by being more awake, I have the confidence to ride more quickly, knowing that I'm in full control of the tricycle, and that I need only a fingertip touch to stop or redirect the trike if some obstacle occurs. By the evening, I'm properly awake, and I can enjoy long periods of exercise - an hour or two hours. Or I can start creative work in earnest, knowing I'll have several hours of my brain working at its peak capacity before bed. My most awake hour is 10pm, and I try to schedule serious brain-work for then.

The realisation that it's a whole-body thing goes some way towards explaining why I'm so impatient & easily annoyed by those freaky mutants who leap out of bed with the most energy they'll ever have in the day.
baratron: (squid!)
Note to self: do not attempt to make over-complex rail journeys on a bad pain day while premenstrual & short of time. It leads to expensive mistakes.Read more... )

I'm sorry I didn't come to see any Oxford or Reading people but I was hoping to get back in time for work at 5pm, and by the time I realised there was no way for me to get back, I was already out of spoons.
baratron: (me)
It has been a very pear-shaped weekend, with intermittent good bits. Both Alexa & Ludy ended up staying over at my place on various nights without having previously planned to.

Alexa came up on Friday to deal with the Random Artificial Emergency that occurred; and the traffic was so, so bloody awful because of the bad weather & flooding that the journey took her about 5 hours instead of an hour and a half, meaning that she spent a total of about 6 hours driving as well as several more trying to deal with the emergency. Great "fun". This used up all of her tuits (what Lexas have instead of spoons) as well as all my spoons, so we both collapsed in a heap on Friday night and didn't move much on Saturday. Tim & Peter came round to be social with us in our extremely low-energy state, and we played Killer Bunnies. Alexa was still too tired to drive home on Saturday night, so she stayed here that night too.

I had been supposed to go down to see Ludy on Friday, but the Random Artificial Emergency occurred & messed up my plans, so she came here to be social with us in our slightly less low-energy state yesterday. More Killer Bunnies occurred. Alexa felt up to driving home, and Richard got back from his paintball competition with Chinese food for us. Then we discovered too late that the last train from Clapham Junction to Worthing on a Sunday leaves at 22:23, meaning you have to leave Norbiton at the ridiculous hour of 21:36! This is a full 2 hours earlier than the last train on a weekday or Saturday, when you can leave at 23:36 & still get back. We were not very impressed, and Ludy was understandably stressed out due to being stranded in London without meds & with Sylvia (the cat) stuck in her flat - with food, but no way to get outside. Richard, very nobly, offered Ludy his bed because she was upset and he thought it would be nicer for her to sleep in the bedroom with me rather than in the spare room. (People who know [ profile] wuzzie will know what a great sacrifice it is for him to give up his bed - it's almost the most important thing in his life!).

Today trains were continuing to conspire against us. We got to Norbiton station with a plan to get the 14:36 train to Clapham Junction then for Ludy to get the 15:23 home. In the event, there was some sort of "signalling failure in the New Malden area", and no trains were happening at all. We got the bus to Wimbledon (as buses were accepting train tickets), went to Costa, and then got on what was supposed to be the delayed 15:17 to Clapham Junction. However, it was so delayed that it decided to go fast to London Waterloo and not stop anywhere else - a decision which was relayed to the passengers only after it had left Wimbledon station. Gah. Also, we didn't have tickets that would allow us to travel via London, but this was not so much an issue in the end as we got straight back on a train on the opposite platform. Ludy eventually got the 16:23 train... which I hope will actually get her home.

So yes. Tiring, and pear-shaped, but with lots of quality time with friendly people.
baratron: (goggles)
For future reference: Do not attempt to go anywhere by motor vehicle on Canada Day!

Today we drove from Hamilton to Niagara Falls. According to the Canadian who was driving, it should take half an hour with no traffic. He estimated that with Canada Day tourist traffic, it'd take around an hour. In fact, it took 2 hours - an hour and a half to get from Stoney Creek to the edge of Niagara, then half an hour to crawl 2 miles. Joy oh joy.

As we were already running late, Richard & I did not have time to actually "do" any of the tourist activities in Niagara. While the Rough Guide to Toronto said the Maid of the Mist boat trip is unmissable, I don't get on with boats at all. I am "famous" for my ability to feel seasick in Poole Harbour, which is as flat as a pancake, and less deep in places than I am tall. I did rather want to go on the Journey Behind The Falls (and get very wet), and we both wanted to go and look at the hydroelectric power plant, but we only really had time for dinner. Well, now I can say I have seen Niagara Falls. But it was at rather a distance.

We may try to juggle the things we had planned for the next few days of the trip and go back to Niagara on Wednesday. Have to check out the bus and train timetables. Problem is, Richard is flying out on Wednesday night, and if the traffic of today is anything to go by, we can only make the journey if we leave really early.
baratron: (london)
I have been having a Bad Day. Today I got very, very lost, multiple times, while trying to find a student's new house. The Transport for London Journey Planner and its esoteric routing system didn't help in this. As well as coming up with extraordinarily elaborate routes to save all of 2 minutes, it was coming up with crazy-ass ideas like getting the bus between Clapham Junction and Battersea Park (bus every 10 minutes, journey time 14 minutes) instead of the train (train every 6 minutes, journey time 3 minutes). I can see that a person might want to take the bus rather than the train to save money, but I cannot see why it was coming up with that route when I'd selected Fastest Route and Use Trains in my search criteria.

Read more... )

So I took the train from New Malden to Clapham Junction and another train from Clapham Junction to Battersea Park, wandered around a bit until I found bus stop D, and then I got on a bus which I thought was going to Victoria via the place I needed to go. However, it deposited me at Vauxhall instead - meaning that I'd spent half a bloody hour and changed vehicle twice to go somewhere I'd have been in 2 minutes if I'd stayed on my original train. I panicked wildly because I had no idea how to go from Vauxhall to the place I needed to go and ended up getting the first bus to Victoria - which was packed and difficult to navigate because the Victoria Line was closed due to "a fatality" at Green Park. Eventually got across to Buckingham Palace Road, waited ages while every bus except the 44 came, then got to my destination stop 20 minutes late. Except I couldn't find the damn house. Walked up and down the road twice before finally giving up and ringing them.


Note to self: Never again attempt to save £1.50 (or whatever it is) by buying a zone 2-6 Travelcard instead of a zone 1-6 when I'm not absolutely sure where I'm going. It makes things bloody difficult if I end up at Waterloo or Victoria, and it's infuriating to have to pay £2.10 for a single to travel one bloody stop.
baratron: (squid!)
Today has been one of those days where everything I did to try to save time ended up taking me longer than if I'd done it the "long" way first.

  1. I had to get someone's address to write on a parcel. I thought it would take too long to switch on the laptop and wait for it to boot, so I went to the linux computer downstairs which is always on. However, it transpires that both the web browsers on there are 3 years out of date, and neither of them would display current livejournal styles at all well. So I couldn't actually get the address that way, and had to switch on the laptop anyway.
  2. I figured I should go to the sub-Post Office on Kingston Hill rather than the main Post Office in either Kingston or New Malden because the queues would be much shorter. This despite it being a Wednesday afternoon, prime early-closing day for local shops. Of course, the sub-Post Office was closed and I had to go to the main one anyway.
  3. I was so short of time that I decided it would take me too long to get the tricycle out to cycle up the hill. This despite the fact it takes me less than 5 minutes to cycle to the sub-Post Office with a heavy parcel, and something like 15 minutes to walk there.
  4. Knowing I was already late, I should have gone to my student's house first, then gone to the Post Office in New Malden on my way to my next student. But I decided that, it being a Wednesday afternoon, the New Malden PO was bound to be closed by the time I got there, meaning that I would have spent the day walking round with a big parcel for no reason.
  5. Having already made the wrong decision about which Post Office to go to, I had to get a bus into town. And the stop halfway up Kingston Hill doesn't have the 371, which is the bus that goes all the way to the main Post Office. So I got the 85 to the bus station, and then had to walk through town lugging the parcel myself. This would usually take me less than 5 minutes, but because of the parcel, took more like 10 minutes.

Meh. I am an idiot, sometimes.


baratron: (Default)

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