Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hey, Sisters!

I'm feeling hard-done-by. SuperSpouse commented - and I had to agree - that our stairs were looking scruffy. He has arthritic knees. I have a surgical dressing on one hand. No choice. I got the hand-held vacuum out, and went as far UP as I could go, before I ran out of flex. I've never vacuumed right-handed before.

Then I went upstairs, plugged in, and started on my way DOWN. Supervisor SuperSpouse appears on the scene, and minutely inspects the middle section.


My response was to sweep up all the books, files and papers awaiting his attention, and dump them on the bed. "And this is what the vacuum wouldn't pick up."

Honestly, men! They're not brought up to be helpful, are they?!

Saturday, January 26, 2008


I went back to work yesterday, wearing my sling so that underground passengers would (hopefully) give me a wide berth. It worked - a nice man offered me a seat on the way home. Just as well - I can't stand and hold a handrail, and I wouldn't want to fall against my hand if I lost my balance.

My hand is improving. I can't open a tin of Weight Watchers tuna salad or lift a mug, but I can type. (Good physiotherapy in short bursts, the consultant said.) I can't wash up. I can't iron. I can't hang up washing. Poor SuperSpouse.

This morning, he went to the Transport Museum while I pottered at home with the kids. I didn't take Viola-Kid to orchestra, and felt slightly guilty - but if I'd taken him by bus, I'd have had to hang around until it was over. It's been a wet, horrible day - it just seemed like one thing too many.

This afternoon, Viola-Kid, Saxophone-Boy and I went first to Viola-Kid's guitar lesson and then to Saxophone-Boy's optician's appointment, whilst SuperSpouse took Cello-Kid to the Cello-repair man to get the spike seen to. What a rush! But we made it, and were home at a sensible time for tea.

And I've printed out my transcription of Alexander Campbell's 1815 travel journal - 26,000+ words of it, over 48 typed pages. Boy, do I feel proud of myself! I've marked up any words I find hard to read. I've highlighted any passages about his music collecting for his Albyn's Anthology. And now I can tidy up my desk and start getting my research (and the rest of my life) back in order. I've been totally obsessive about this transcription, but then again, I do want to publish it one day - so it was worth it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Cut Up

On Monday I got 36 hours' notice to go and get a carpal tunnel release operation this morning. No time to panic - barely time to get organised.

Then yesterday, Viola Kid's brace needed a repair - nothing for it, I had to take time off to take him to the orthodontist, knowing I wouldn't be able to drive today. Worked very late to make up the time.

Here I am, home again - very numb - having been told not to drive for TWO weeks. What on earth am I to do?

Worse, for the next couple of days I'm typing one-handed with the left arm in a sling. This is dreadful! I can't touch-type with only one hand. And it feels as though I'm going cross-eyed, peering at the keyboard. I only want to get on with my transcription of Alexander Campbell's journal!

Someone say something encouraging, please!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Somewhere in the Western Isles ...

I've been transcribing an early nineteenth century travel journal, in connection with my doctoral research. I'm utterly transfixed by it - I have now typed nearly 20,000 words of it. That's about 71%. I can barely drag myself away. His name is Alexander Campbell, and he travelled over 1200 miles, mostly on foot, collecting Gaelic music in the Highlands and Islands in 1815. (The hyperlink gives you information derived from the Gazetteer for Scotland, and is on the http://www.angusahead.com/ website.)

To my horror, the CD-rom scanned copy is missing two sides - I'm sure only by accident, since it amounts to the left and right sides of the opened journal, rather than a missing leaf. SuperSpouse is politely amused by my extreme frustration that I've been deprived of these vital pages until I can get hold of them. Watch this space.

My hero, notwithstanding this inconvenience, has just survived a horrendous storm and has been drinking the parson's best "Conniack" (well, this is a Highlander describing a French tipple!) before retiring to bed early for the night.

I have NOT been enduring a storm (though the roofer is returning tomorrow to fix our guttering and sundry bits of masonry after a storm about 10 days ago) - but I'm going to follow my hero's example and suggest to SuperSpouse that we should enjoy a very nice Mosel wine before similarly retiring to bed.

The image is a cartoon of Alexander Campbell (on the left, playing a portable organ), together with his brother and a friend.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Cold virus in all its glory...?

I'm lurking at home with a stinking rotten cold, feeling sorry for myself. Send sympathy please!

Well, I went to a conference at the University of Guildford after New Year. Discovered my new sat-nav expects me to have four wheels, so it wasn't much use when I flew down and wanted to walk the last mile and a half from Guildford Station to the campus! "Turn at the next available opportunity", the computer-voice advised. "Like now?", I asked her. Silence. Hmmm - better luck when I try her out in the car!

Back to work last week, where one of the colleagues with whom I share an office had a stinking rotten cold. Need I say more.

Yesterday (Sunday), I took my stinking rotten cold to two church services - I didn't hugely enjoy the first and certainly not the second - and in between times, we had visitors to dinner. That at least was successful and enjoyable.

By the time I'd dashed out to the second service and back again, the visitors were gone, and I just slumped. Did you know that "alcohol may affect the performance" of Lemsip Max? I stuck to Lemsip. The red wine would have been nice, but the Lemsip did more for my sinuses!

Back to bed now, before the hot water-bottle cools. Snuffle!