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12 October 2010 @ 08:29 pm
I was cycling to the Spandex Palace to help clean up there. I stopped at a set of lights because they were red. The car behind me didn't. It hit me in the back and knocked me into railings on the side of the pavement.
There was a sudden swarm of about seven people asking if I was OK. I don't know where they came from. I didn't say much at first. I was busy thinking "Ow, my face and right ankle hurt. Where are my glasses and where is my shoe? I'd better find my phone too to let them know I'm going to be delayed." Then I looked at my knee. A large chunk of flesh was hanging off it. I thought "That's probably going to need stitches and therefore needles. I think I'm going to faint".
I let someone else make the phone call to skating. They also phoned my mum for me who immediately dashed over from Lowestoft. Someone else (the driver, who had hit me and one other cyclist who wasn't injured) phoned the emergency services. The police came and I got a ride in an ambulance and some gas and air for the pain. Weird stuff. I prefer codeine, but didn't get any till I got to the hospital.
I sat in a wheel chair in the waiting room for about 45 minutes until I fainted and got taken into cubicles. About a half hour after that, the nurse practitioner came (and then my mum arrived) and they sent me off to get an x-ray of my face, left ankle and left knee. My left ankle hurt more initially (chain strike), but in the ambulance, they asked me to wiggle my toes and it was the left foot that wouldn't work properly. It also had a substantial lump on it. Fortunately nothing was broken, but I have an appointment at the fracture clinic on Monday(?!). They patched up my knee with steristrips (yay no needles, but also no knee bending) and sent me off with info on head injuries and open wounds. The head injury leaflet starts with "You've had a head injury" (obviously for people who've had such a bad one it's caused amnesia).
So I've got several bruises, a purple, goose-egg sized lump on my thigh, a ping-pong ball sized swelling on my left ankle (my good ankle), a really impressive black eye, butterfly stitches on my knee and a very broken, possibly dead bike. I'm probably not going to be at skating for a few weeks. I'm achy and a tad bewildered.
On the other hand, if I'd been riding an upright bike, it would have been worse - the car would have hit me directly in the back and probably thrown me over the railings. It also reaffirmed my belief in the benefit of wearing a bike helmet. I mostly wore one because I promised my dad I would before Sunday. But without it, I would have probably been picking my glasses out of my eye rather than off the floor (in one piece).
I wish I knew all the people who looked after me to thank them - the ambulance drivers, the police and the people at the hospital, but also the passers by who helped before they got there. I may complain about people in Cambridge at times, but there are some good people around here and I met a few of them on Sunday.
Current Mood: soresore
06 July 2010 @ 07:20 pm
I've been having a little holiday at home since Thursday last week.
I went to watch a mixed scrim hosted by Bedford Rebellion Rollergirls, in which some of my team were skating. It was their first big event and there were some problems - the venue was too small and they could have done with a couple of more experienced referees on the zebra squad. But as always it was really nice to get together with other roller girls. Can't wait to go the Dolly Rockits Mixed Scrim in August. I'll be refereeing. We've decided to start doing intra-league games. And I've decided that seeing as they've decided I have a "non-specific connective tissue disorder" rather than Marfans I'm going to play at least once - bad ankles, bad back and all. I might still end up as a ref primarily, but I want to give playing a go. So I've started taking part in hitting drills and getting bruised. It's terrifying and I am probably going to get a bad injury at some point, but also a lot of fun.
I went to London yesterday and went to Camden Market and the V&A, which means I've now "done" the big four London Museums - the British Museum, the Science Museum, the Natural History and the V&A. I still have a real soft spot for the British Museum, especially as I'm really digging the "A History of the World in 100 Objects" podcast. But the V&A is nice, especially the fashion area and the Middle Eastern Gallery. I'm also a big fan of the quirkier Museums in London, like the Sherlock Holmes Museum on Baker Street and the Welcome Institute near Kings Cross. I'm going to have to find a few more of these - there's a museum of dentistry somewhere there I'm going to have to locate.
Today, I found two local museums I've not been to before. I finally located the Classical Museum. I've been looking for this for two years only to find I've been outside it twice! (It's not well sign posted). It houses a cast of nearly ever statue, frieze and pediment I had to learn about for Classics A-level and then some. I loved it, but I now have to go to the Louvre, the Pergamom Museum and the Vatican at some point.
I'm currently reading "The Terror" by Dan Simmons, which is based on a real lost expedition to find the Northwest Passage in the 1840s. It's a brilliant book - one of the best I've read for a while. And it was a good excuse to visit the Scott Polar Institute Museum. It's a small exhibition, but very well put together and extremely interesting - the sort of place I'd risk dragging my dad round and he doesn't really do museums. One side is about Arctic exploration and the other is about Antarctica. The collection includes some artefacts mentioned in the book I'm reading, and really shows the author did some serious homework. But I also sort of wish I hadn't gone there just now - it's spoiled the ending a little and I know it's sad. But I got a holographic waddling penguin bookmark in the gift shop which makes me happy.
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
21 February 2010 @ 10:45 pm
When I watch "Law and Order: Criminal Intent", I find it hard to take seriously because the chief is played by Jamie Sheridan who also played Randall Flagg in The Stand. I'm probably going to have a similar problem with Spongebob Squarepants because Mr Crabbs is voiced by the baddie from Highlander/ Kelvin from the Swan Hatch (Clancy Brown).
In a recent episode of Spongebob, Squidwood had a gold linear-esque recumbent (bike like mine). Further proof that octopodes are clever little fellas.
I don't make a habit of this (nor do I plan to) but I have recently discovered that taking 2 cocodamol, 2 ibuprofen, 2 cups of camomile tea, 3 natrasleeps, and a little booze is a pretty good painkiller. It's also an interesting game to try moving after this concoction. And if taken before bedtime leaves you not unpleasantly stoned until about lunchtime the day after.
Excel spreadsheets are much more interesting when you're stoned.
Spring Awakening=Rent's bratty younger brother? With that girl from Glee.
I am so digging Glee. I will be strong and wait for the library to stock the soundtrack.
Why do musical's have this twee and fluffy reputation? If you remove the soundtrack from most musicals, they're really quite dark and disturbing.
Hugh Jackman and James Marsden both have a musical theatre background - is anyone else thinking X-men the Musical?
Should I get a pet? or should I sort out the garden and foster disabled hedgehogs and just occasionally dogsit for the parents?
I'm going to paint the shed in summer. Should I go Mondrian or pyschedelic?
Lost peaked at about series 3 or 4. Series 5 is probably going to end up my second least favourite after 2. So far I like series 6 though. Looking forward to the answers. I have a feeling I'm going to be further off the mark than I was with my Harry Potter theories and predictions.
I'm liking the midget models edition of ANTM, but considering the tallest is 1 inch shorter than I am and I'm 2 inches taller than average, I think petite is pushing it a bit.
Current Mood: sillysilly
Current Music: Spring Awakening
21 February 2010 @ 10:08 pm
Well, I'm settled in. I've had a house warming party and aside from the spare room of shame most of the schwag is unpacked. The sofa arrives in a couple of weeks.
There was a lot of work that needed doing before I moved - installing central heating, replacing some badly installed windows, new kitchen, new bathroom and completely redecorating throughout. I've got some before pictures which I will post on here at some point. I haven't taken any after pics yet (don't need'em when I live here, but it looks, smells and feels a gazillion times nicer. There are still one or two things I'd like to do - replace the rest of the windows, get a new door and chop down the enormous, pointless, anti-social leylandii in the way-too-small-for-a-tree-that-big back garden, do up the patio, prune the roses in the front garden - little stuff like that: nothing that can't wait.
The actual moving was a bit of a drama. I had fall number 1 off the bike. I went up a slope and misjudged how muddy it was. The bike fell backwards and I went forwards and smacked my chest on the metal bar leading down to the pedals). It didn't actually hurt at the time, but the following morning I went up to Addenbrookes to check I hadn't broken any ribs. I hadn't - I just bruised the muscles and was sent home with instructions to take it easy, which wasn't really possible so I ended up moving in a lot of pain. I got some prescription codeine out of it though which is always a good thing.
That was bicycle accident number one of 2010. I'm still smarting from accident number 2 - I wasn't quite over the first accident when I went over an icy patch on an ungritted wooden bridge and smacked my back really hard (ironically the day after I had an MRI scan on it). That wasn't the worst of it. That bloody hurt, but not enough to keep me off work or stop me riding. I set off the following morning and went over again on iced tarmac and hit my back in the exact same place. I also caught my ankle on a cattle grid and have a pretty impressive bruise from that one. The worst part is, I've sort of lost my nerve for cycling. One of the reasons I wanted to move to this part of town is because it's such a nice cycle route to work (when it's not iced over). I wasn't really in a position to get back on the bike after it happened and the weather has been so bad I haven't dared risk it. So in the last week and half I've cycled once. And I felt terrified, especially of those cattle grids and there are about 12 of them on the river route. I need to get in to it again, but this weather isn't really helping. Thankfully it's only a couple of miles so it's quite a nice walk and well within the range where my hips start to hurt which is good because I'm no longer on a direct bus route.
There is one other big bit of news aside from the house move. I finally had an appointment with the geneticist and he doesn't think I have Marfans. He says he could see why people would think so, but he's decided I'm marfanoid habitus instead ("unspecified mild connective tissue disorder"/"tall and bendy but more or less OK"). There are a couple of other tests to rule it out further - the MRI scan on my back and an appointment with the opthalmologist. So generally it's looking positive for insurance considerations but the jury is still out on playing roller derby - they're probably not going to kill me, but the hypermobility is still a problem if I get injured.
22 January 2010 @ 09:01 pm
Reduced Shakespeare Company are doing the first five series of LOST in ten minutes next Thursday in London. Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please Please (etc) let this be available somewhere after it happens. Sounds totally epic (in a Reduced way)
17 December 2009 @ 10:17 pm
Well, that's it - I have the key. I move into my own hopefully fabulous little flat at the end of January 2010. It needs central heating, a new kitchen, a new bathroom, new carpets, new windows and a new back door, so there's a bit to do (and more money to spend) first. But I'm having fun doing nesting type things like picking paint (I'm thinking Light Duck Egg) and curtains and trying to decide between a green carpet or a brown carpet, and looking at sofas. I gave notice to my landlord today. I never thought I'd say this about a landlord, but I'm going to miss them! I'm going to miss the chilled out attitude if I'm a few days late with the rent and Mrs K's cooking - she makes really nice dhal and homemade chapatis and this spicy carrot and cabbage thing that I'm going to have to ask the recipe for. They've been very good to me in the last couple of years - fixing things quickly when they go wrong and looking out for me without bugging me. I'm also going to miss the shock value of telling people that I live in a garage (which is doubly amusing given that my job is in housing).

I've also just found out that I've got a chorus part in a local am-dram production of Chess for next year (as long as they can find a Freddie to do "Pity the Singer"). I auditioned for Svetlana, but I'm a top soprano. I can squeak away quite happily two Es above a middle C, but one F below it is not really in my comfort range.

Aside from that I've got
-More work choir. We're doing Adiemus. Last year they went to Germany, but it was just after I got back from Turkey and it was a case of ballooning in Capadoccia or Carmina Burana in Kreis Viersen. I thought the ballooning was more of a once in a lifetime thing, so did that. Hopefully Germany will come up again. And KV isn't too far from Bochum and the Starlighthalle (squee!!!)
-More work book club. I just finished reading our second book - The Historian, which was very good and am now reading The Lady and the Unicorn, which I've always put in the "not really my thang" category but that's what I like about book clubs - trying stuff that's out of my comfort zone of historical fic, detective fic, Stephen King, stuff about wizards called Harry, and stupid books pirates.
-More roller derby. My aims for the coming year are to referee at a bout and shave 5 seconds of my 5 lap time, currently about 56 seconds.

I take it back about the lack of a social life - I'd now really appreciate about two more hours in the day and the energy to use them productively.
Current Location: The Garage
Current Mood: excitedexcited
Current Music: White Strpies - Elephant
02 November 2009 @ 08:25 pm
I was supposed to be on holiday in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the weekend supporting my roller derby team and doing NSO duties. Unfortunately because of complicated goings on I decided I needed to stay around here instead. I had Thursday, Friday and Monday booked off but decided to work Thursday. This still gave me two days off and I decided to use them to have a big sort.
I'm feeling extremely organised. The garage I live in is tidy. I've managed to locate the piano. I even removed most of the cobwebs, probably much to the annoyance of the multitude of spiders who also live in here. I've booked up all the important things I need to do in the next couple of weeks - car MOT, chat with guy from the bank, collecting something Dad bought on E-bay from some bloke in Peterborough. I don't know what been going on for the last month or so - I feel like I've been running to stand still. There's just been a lot going on and I'm too knackered to sort it out by the time I get in in the evening. This is one of the downsides of having a social life, between that and work, there isn't much time to do important stuff.
I also managed to get the allotment sort of sorted - there's a few tasks I've been meaning to do for a while that I finally got done today, although I didn't make any progress on the really big task up there of digging over the end bit that I've reclaimed - it's a bit intimidating. I really need to must grit my teeth and get on with it when I have the chance. This is going to be my interesting herbs and fruit bush area. I've got leeks, broccoli and some herbs left - everything else if finished. I feel quite smug because I heard part of Gardeners Question Time on Friday that said it had been a particularly bad year for squashes. I had around twenty absolute monster butternuts, although I also planted spaghetti squash and Turk's turban. I had one Turk's turban about the size of a ping pong ball and the spaghetti squash didn't survive the slugs.
I made a butternut squash, potato and leek soup today for lunch during the week. This will probably be one of the last almost entirely homegrown meals of the year. I'm also macerating some of the herbs (making scented oils). I'm trying mint and calendula. I'll see how they go and if I can get some more jars I'll try rosemary and thyme.
home = sorted
garden = sorted
calendar = sorted
Feelin' pretty good!
24 October 2009 @ 09:43 pm
I've got exciting and complicated news. On the one hand I'm bursting to tell it, on the other I don't want to say anything about it until it's properly happened. Until lunchtime today I thought it was just terrifying but relatively straightforward. However a phone call and letter at midday made things a bit interesting. So I'm going to hold off for the time being, but hopefully I'll be able to say something soon.
Current Music: Somewhere that's Green
23 September 2009 @ 09:11 pm
Two exciting work related things - I'm doing a Chartered Institute of Housing Qualification (Level 4 Certificate in Access to Housing). I got the very large pack for it the other day and it looks very interesting.
Second thing is I finally wrote up an intermediate housing guide. I wrote up one earlier this year, but then the government scrapped half the scheme. I was doubly pissed off because not only did I waste about three weeks a paper on them, but I was registered on the schemes they withdrew. I had to put it aside for a while (about a month) in order to calm down enough to re-write something balanced and well reasoned, detailing why it was such a spectacularly stupid idea to scrap shared equity loans to purchase existing products in favour of shared ownership for new build, which most lenders won't lend for. It would have been extremely easy to write a six page subjective rant. I have managed to confine myself to one slightly snarky footnote which probably won't make the final edit, but man, it was hard.
I'm looking for a place to move to anyway. I'm buying with my parents - a similar deal to what I would have had under my preferred scheme, but with the Bank of Mum and Dad instead. Problem is there isn't much around at the moment. I saw a lovely place and made an offer, but didn't get it. Oh well. Something will turn up. Soon hopefully. I like my landlord and where I live is alright, but I'm getting to the point where I really want more space and a place of my own. I've been living in someone's garage for nearly two years now. I was in an HMO for 9 months before that. I was a concealed household before that. Kind of embarrassing for someone working in housing.
23 September 2009 @ 08:51 pm
I got new skates. They're low-cut trainer-with-wheel types (proper derby skates). The first few times were terrifying. I don't have a lot of confidence in my ankle strength and could foresee breaking something the first few times. Worryingly, it took me a while to physically manage to skate on my right leg. I've got orthotics inside and they are helping. I've also been doing exercises to try and build that area up a bit - I'm sick of getting sprains so easily.
I'm feeling a lot more confident on them now. I managed a half lap on my right leg the other day which was a huge improvement. And I can definitely move much faster - I've gone from 5 laps in 62 seconds to 5 laps in 53 seconds. I think I might be able to do it faster. I was deliberately giving it about 70% that day as it was while I wasn't particularly confident. Stupid extra ankle bone still kills slightly at every other practice, but I'm not suffering too much afterwards.
I went to support my team at "Roll Britannia." For many of them it was their first bout and we were in a group with London Rollergirls (now officially the best in Europe). We didn't do too badly though. The score was 208-11 in our game against them. Birmingham Blitz Derby Dames were against them in the final and their score line was something like 343-13. The first Romsey Town Rollerbillies bout (at Roll Britannia they competed with Bedford as Team East Angrier), is on Halloween in Glasgow. This might be my proper debut as a ref. We've got a closed bout against Bedford in a couple of weeks (on Saturday - whole weekend of skating - yay!) and I will be doing something at that. I miss combined training with Bedford. We only have two refs now, which is hard work. Carnage keeps an eye on both jammers and I try to watch the pack, but it's a lot on your own. At least I'm felling more confident about the rules now.