Blog archive May 2022
31.05.22 / 01 / high blood pressure
It's now confirmed that I have high blood pressure, very likely caused by several years of severe stress and overwork in my previous job. In 2019 I had what turned out to be a false alarm, but the doctor sternly told me "I don't want to put you on pills for the rest of your life - you have to start saying no at work". So I took this news back to them, but saying no didn't seem to change anything, so I left and took a while off to recover.
A few weeks into my current job, I went for a new pair of glasses (since I could now afford them - my glasses are always really expensive). The optician showed me images of the backs of my eyes. He explained that the blood vessels had been distorted by high blood pressure, and that I should get a machine to check it at home. So I did, and was sufficiently alarmed by the readings to seek medical attention.
They made me wear a blood pressure monitor for 24 hours, which takes a reading every half hour during the day and hourly at night. This was uncomfortable but mildly amusing since I was out partying at Clerkenwell Design Week that day - I wondered what the effect on the results would be. It confirmed that I have high blood pressure, though not as high as my own readings - but still high enough to require medication, for the next two months and then possibly indefinitely. It is of course now a matter of note for my new employers that sustained stress and overwork must be avoided.
22.05.22 / 02 / smallfire.org in the british library
smallfire.org will now be archived by the British Library:
The British Library would like to archive your website in the UK Web Archive and to make it publicly available. The UK Web Archive was established in 2004 to capture and archive websites from the UK domain and across the web, responding to the challenge of a digital black hole in the nations memory. It contains specially selected websites that represent different aspects of UK heritage on the web, as well as important global events.
Including alt worship, obviously. The Grace website has already had the same treatment, because one of us was an archivist at the London School of Economics and knows about these things!
So now my work is done and I will be famous in 500 years time as the only reliable source for the doings of legendary figures such as Jonny Baker, Kester Brewin and (Pope) Ian Mobsby ;-D
I just moved the hosting of smallfire.org to Krystal, following up on my 'green web' research. Hopefully no-one should notice except that it has an SSL certificate now. Email addresses not yet set up.
22.05.22 / 01 / leaks and neighbours
On getting up late this morning, I found that the hallway ceiling was dripping on the carpet. In 2019 the bathroom ceiling was cracked right through, because the water main in the flat above had sprung a spectacular leak, and the tenant had just got back from somewhere and was herself dealing with a flooded kitchen. Of course these things always happen on Sundays, when landlords are on holiday, plumbers expensive, etc.
So I went to the flat above, they (different tenants now) opened their hall cupboard in puzzlement, and were confronted with a torrential shower. So I went to knock on the door of the topmost flat. This is inhabited by an elderly person with dementia. The last time I saw them, a month or so ago, the fire brigade was breaking into their flat to enable paramedics to take them to hospital, at the height of a violent storm when it was dangerous to be outside.
There was no reply nor sign of life, so I called the emergency services in case the man was injured in the shower or some such thing. The chief fireman was rather grumpy at being called to a plumbing leak, but I explained that due to the previous incident and the health problems of the person we had to make sure they were OK. We had no phone numbers for him or carers to alert.
Eventually they broke into the flat, and the guy was sitting there fine and taking no notice of anything - the knocking, the yelling, the half hour breaking the locks. A boiler pipe was leaking - 'slightly' said the fireman - so the firemen turned off the water - this immediately stemmed the flood below. The firemen and police departed, telling us about the use of emergency plumbers (but how could we not have investigated the situation in the top flat?). And we exchanged names and numbers, including the one of the man in the top flat.
In a block of flats in London you never meet your neighbours except in a crisis when everyone comes out of their doors at once and explains who they are and where they live. The block I live in has flats and maisonettes that piece together like a wooden puzzle - it's very difficult to figure out which door belongs to which set of windows, or which flat is on top of which. My bedroom and living room are under different flats, my bedroom is under and next to two other living rooms which can be a problem when they party. I would love to have a set of plans so I can work out where noise and leaks are coming from, and which door to hammer on.