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cats, trains and bats - The Villages — LiveJournal

hutch0
Date: 2008-07-11 23:35
Subject: cats, trains and bats
Security: Public
Location:the utility room in the sky
Mood:tiredtired
Music:the alan parsons project
I've been having something of a long dark teatime of the soul this week. Nothing profound, just a bunch of stuff that's piled up and got the better of me. Commuting has been more difficult than usual this week, due to the various farces that are the London Underground and First Capital Connect, and that always grinds flat spots on me. I've been getting home sevenish, cooking dinner, eating dinner, conking out in front of News 24, regaining consciousness around ten o'clock, then dragging myself upstairs and staring in horror at a story I really ought to have finished by now, because the deadline is so close I can hear it approaching. And staring. And staring. I don't know if you've ever had a really neat idea for a story, sat down to write it, got the first couple of paragraphs down, and then ground to a complete halt, as if the thing that connects the words in your head to your fingers has short-circuited. That's what it's like. Normally deadlines don't faze me; I sail right up to them and deliver the bacon and people are either quite admiring that I can do that or really pissed off that I do it. This time, the wheels have come off. I know what I want to do, I have the whole story in my head, it should be a simple matter of transcribing it, but every time I sit down to do it, nothing happens.
Last Sunday morning our neighbour on the ground floor knocked on the door and presented us with a bit of facia which had apparently fallen off the dormer of our loft conversion sometime on Saturday and crashed down into the garden. This has really got beyond the joke; we can't use the Shower In The Sky because the shower tray's not properly supported and every time we try and use it a gap opens up between the tray and the wall - even though the builders were here last month to fix it. Not being able to use the shower is an inconvenience. Bits falling off the outside of the house is rather more serious. Someone's going to get hurt. I think Bogna's winding up to sue the builders - she got a surveyor in on Tuesday to do an independent report. A representative of the builders was supposed to be here as well, because of the bits falling off the house, but he cried off. Something had come up. The need to take the piss, obviously.
I was interviewing someone this week and the conversation got around to ages and life expectancies (it was one of those sort of stories) and it turned out that we were both forty-seven. Which reminded me that I'm now about nine years younger than my father was when he died, and about twelve years younger than my mother was when she died. I talked to the (still sadly LJ-less) OJM about this a couple of years ago and then I buried it, but it's begun to bother me again.
Kuron, one of our cats, has been losing weight for the past month or so. He doesn't seem ill - he's as big a pain in the arse as he's ever been and he's certainly not off his food - but we took him to the vet a week or so ago to get him checked over. The vet did the usual stuff and couldn't find anything wrong with him, but the x-ray machine at his practice isn't exactly cutting-edge and he recommended we take him up to the Queen Mother Hospital at the Royal Veterinary College in Potters Bar for a second opinion because they have state-of-the-art equipment to do x-rays and sonography and diagnostic equipment local vets can only dream of. We know the Queen Mother Hospital of old, from Dougal's bout of pyothorax four years ago, and they're marvellous people - I've told Bogna I want to be treated by them if I get really sick - so Bogna took Kuron up there on Thursday. And it seems all the obvious options are absent. All they've managed to find is that he's anaemic. Now, this may be because the bloods were taken under deep sedation - he's not nearly as chilled as Dougal, who you can stick a needle into and he'll just purr hopefully - and may have affected the results, so they're going to keep him in over the weekend and do some more blood tests when the effects of the sedative have worn off. We're going up to see him tomorrow, although I suspect he won't want to come home: he's found himself in a place where people give him total attention twenty-four hours a day and cater to his every whim, which we are unable to do because we are not twenty-four-hour veterinary professionals. We'll see.
Finally, because pds_lit is a fan of bats, I offer you this, and I want to ask a question of the members of The Villages Women's Institute. I'm not really intimately familiar with this subject, but just how hungover would you have to be not to notice there was a bat nesting in your bra?
I've also been having terrible dreams. I got about three hours' sleep last night, maybe five the night before. When I do wake up I feel awful, physically and mentally, although once my brain's booted-up, around two in the afternoon, I've been producing heroic amounts of copy. Which makes my employers happy. I suspect I can keep doing this for quite a long time, although not for ever. Which is a bridge we'll have to cross one day.
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User: camies
Date: 2008-07-12 16:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'm older than my mother was when she died. It does occur to me to worry about it sometimes but as practically every other relative has lived into their 80s it is probably a statistical blip. How have other members of your family fared? Is there any medical reason for being concerned by this or is it just a feeling of Mortality?
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-12 23:27 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

I'm significantly older than my father was when he died -- of heart failure, in fact, so the past few weeks have been a time of reflection, among other things. Luckily my mum lived to be 96, which is encouraging . . .
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-12 23:53 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can imagine the last few weeks have concentrated the mind for all kinds of reasons.
Bogna's family seems enormously long-lived, which is astonishing considering what the older generations went through.
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-12 23:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

I cannot imagine Bogna living to be less than about 150. The Grim Reaper would be too terrified to even make the attempt any sooner . . .
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-13 00:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That's true enough.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-13 00:38 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

Ooooo, I'm going to tell her you said that!
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-14 21:50 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I'll tell her you said it first.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-15 02:09 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

"I'll tell her you said it first"

She knows I'd never say a thing like that.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-15 23:01 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hm, she does.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-12 23:35 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It was, alas, just feelings of Mortality at the end of a long week; I'm not, so far as I'm aware, ill. Just tired and mildly pissed-off with the world.
There have been some long-lived members of the family, but on the whole we don't make old bones. There's cancer and Parkinson's Disease and heart attacks everywhere you look on the family tree.
You must have been quite young when you lost your mother. I can't imagine how that must have felt. I was sixteen when my father died, but, while it was pretty awful at the time, it's only in the past few years that I've found myself thinking about it properly. When my father was my age he already had sons aged ten and seven, and my memory of him from that time is of an old man, and it's only when I think of him that I consider that I'm cracking on fifty myself. Which is starting to become scary.
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RealThog
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-12 23:40 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)

"I'm cracking on fifty myself"

A stripling.
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-12 23:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
This may sound bizarre, but I've always thought of you as being my age, so I just looked you up on Wikipedia and it says you were born in 1820.
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RealThog: real copies!
User: realthog
Date: 2008-07-12 23:54 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:real copies!

That's the thing about Wikipedia: always reliable.

Seriously, my entry there -- if you can find it, which is difficult -- is a complete fucking shambles. I tried to correct some of the few facts that were there, but was promptly stopped by some editorial squit because I was making "unsupported statements".
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hutch0
User: hutch0
Date: 2008-07-13 00:00 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Lou Anders said he had similar problems with his entry. Although yours does mention `the major anthology New Writings In The Fantastic. I of course do not have an entry.
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