I managed to get myself in a frightful muddle over the last two or three days entries as much as anything because I realised that I could not bang on about the cricket as my readers are worldwide and the great majority of them, first of all, wouldn’t understand what I’m talking about and, in any event, would not be particularly interested. There was also the complication that the live cricket started at 11 a.m the previous day in Australia whichÂ would be the next day in the UK!Â Having said that anyone who loves cricket will understand the excitement that is being felt by the possibility of England giving its old enemy, Australia, a good thrashing over the Ashes Test series. I will say no more about this as those cricket aficionados will know exactly what I’m getting at.
Having seen the daily number of hits over the past week, on this blog dropped by around 1000 a day. I hope that the cricket entries were only partially responsible, which leaves me wondering whether people are genuinely getting bored with the whole thing. At the rate of hits I was receiving at the end of last month I had every expectation of going through the 1 million hits mark by Christmas. In retrospect I should have realised that very few people will probably login between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day so I should expect a falling off of interest. Quite simply people have other things on their minds. With the drop-off in readership it is doubtful now whether this target will be reached by the end of the year. Half the problem is that very little is happening to me now in this rather inclement weather. I have not left the house for three weeks or so and most days nothing very exciting or interesting, occurs on which I can report,
Maybe my readers may be interested to know how I spend a typical day.’ My lovely’ looks in to check on me at around 5 a.m. when she gets up – I’ve tried to convince her to stay in bed one hour longer but she insists that she has far too much to do in preparing for the day. Before she comes in at 7.00 a.m, to enjoy an early morning cup of tea together, I will have completed 30 minutes or so of stretching and bending exercises in bed in the hope of keeping my joints going a little longer.
After our tea before she either washes me, or on alternate days, I have a shower. I access the bathroom on my gutter frame, Â still managing (just) to shuffle up the ramp from the bedroom to the bathroom. Then having dressed me we have breakfast. I can still manage to feed myself awkwardly, perhaps with a little help. Then its teeth, with me using the electric toothbrush with two hands, and finally,’ my lovely’ shaves me using my new electric razor. Following that, depending upon my state of urgency I either go for a walk, up and down the house a couple of times, or go straight into the bathroom to sit on the loo. Readers may recall that I have what is known as a BioBidet which both washes and dries – with hot air -Â and thus avoids the indignity of having my bottom wiped.
We were able to resume using the BioBidet once we had the new stand-up hoist, kindly provided by the NHS.. It works a charm. It lifts me to my feet and once my knees are released from the hoist, and I am able to take the weight on my legs and I can then Â move to my frame. Later on, if my legs give out, we will carry out a similar manoeuvre accept that I will be lowered into a wheelchair.
I then do my morning walk, if I have Â not done it already, and end up in my study chair in front of my laptop for my mornings ‘work’. I start off by publishing the previous day’s blog entry and perhaps making a start on the current dayâ€™s entry, if a piece of news has inspired me to want to make a comment. This before I deal with my e-mails, of which there are usually half a dozen or so, and then any necessary telephone calls I need to make. This process can take me half of the morning after which I will deal with any matters which came in the post. If I have any time on my hands before lunch I can then read and take a further walk up and down the house..
I have three sources of E. Books. through Kindle software; through Digital Editions (Amazon) and through My Reader Library, where I may have bought books through other sources such as Waterstones. The beauty of reading on the laptop is that I can open the book using my voice commands – it will automatically go to where I told it to leave a Â bookmark – and I can turn the pages, whilst I read, with the command ‘Page Down’.
Over lunch I may watch the news headlines and then one of my favourite programmes, Judge Judy. How I would have liked to have had the same power to determine cases using my judgement and common sense as opposed to being bound by the strict rules of evidence, when I was acting as an arbitrator. I was able to do this on two occasions and it certainly saved the parties a great deal of time and money and I believe produced an equitable solution.
After lunch I’m supposed to ‘have a rest’ but this is something I’ve always found it difficult to do. Admittedly, in my comfortable NHS lounger chair, perhaps in front of some boring TV programme, I probably nod off, from time to time, for 10 minutes cap naps Then, I once more, check, my e-mails and deal with those and any further telephone calls.. Maybe then some more reading before tea at 3.45 when’ my lovely’ – who is an antique fanatic, – and I watch Flog It. That finishes about 4.30. I will then take a further walk, in order to stretch my legs and spend what time I have leftÂ reading before I have my evening whisky. (Since this freezing cold weather we have been unable to find a solution to me having an evening cigar without freezing to death through an open window.)
We then usually watch the news and weather until about seven when we have supper. After which there is usually some interesting television programme amongst the allegedly 147 channels on our FreeSat, in front of which both of us drop-off from time to time, which will take us up to our bedtime at 10 o’clock. By emptying my bladder before I retire I have no difficulty in going through the night which is a blessing for Alice.
If she had to get up every night and come down to give me a pee, by the time she had gone through the process of removing the respirator and dealing with the bottle, she probably will be so wide awake that she would find difficulty in getting back to sleep. Before very long she would become so exhausted that we would require some outside assistance. We know we are going to need help some time but am putting it off as long as possible as it would be quite an expensive undertaking.
After all that I think that the reader deserves a little light relief. At this rather cold and uninspiring time of year I can think of nothing better than to show you the Â pictures selected by the National Geographical MagazineÂ Best Pictures of the Year. Click here on the National Geographical Pictures to see them. They will also appear in the Photo section of this blog