Random gruntings

A quick update on recent ‘events’.

Forever delayed

I’ve learnt that the local NHS colonoscopy wait-list is 6 to 10 weeks, so it wouldn’t happen until mid- to late July, possibly even into August. If it takes that long to diagnose illnesses, how long does it take to cure them? So I’ve dipped into class-traitor land again to ask the private GI specialist whether he agrees that a colonoscopy is worthwhile, whether he can do it and how much it might cost. No reply yet.


I have lovely colleagues! One visited on Thursday evening to give me a portion of kefir, a natural probiotic she has used for quite some time. It tasted very unpleasant when made up with almond milk, so I’ve rinsed the matrix and will try it tomorrow with soya milk. I don’t know whether kefir will work with plant ‘milks’ because they don’t contain much carbohydrate on which the bacteria can feed. But if it does work it will be an alternative to the commercial probiotics I’ve been using (admittedly without much success).

On Friday the prof visited again. She was full of good news: her unit (Napier’s Centre for Social Informatics) had won three awards at Napier’s research conference. Two of those were won by PhD students and one was for a commercial project that the prof led last year. (This was a joint project with Napier’s Employment Research Institute.) I’m rather pleased to say that I was in that project team.

I’m also pleased to say that I cooked! I spent Friday morning making chilli-free channa dhal and aubergine bhuna. I slept off the back-ache that seems to accompany fatigue at the moment and so enjoyed a pleasant evening with Elly and the prof.

Out and about

Yesterday I cycled to Stockbridge and back to have coffee with Elly. This totalled only 3 miles (cyclemeter map) but did include going up Orchard Brae, a relatively steep hill for Edinburgh.

Today I cycled to Merchiston for a colleague’s retirement party (cyclemeter map). Rob was very supportive during my MSc, particularly when I was going through a crisis moment. It was also great to catch up with Peter and Ella of CSI – they are really caring folk too! After about an hour I started feeling wobbly – this may have been partly due to the warm venue but my speech and thought abilities also attenuated.

So I slowly walked my bike towards Bruntsfield Place, then my brother phoned so I stopped to talk with him. This pause cleared my head enough that I felt safe to cycle. I stopped at the Edinburgh Bike Co-op to check whether my bike needed a new chain and cassette. (Because he stays outside, the chain has rusted and stretched. As this happens, it grinds the cassette teeth.) I was wobblier than I realised, but the Co-op staff ensured I had somewhere quiet to sit and recover, then meander home (cyclemeter map) . I’m now blogging this so folk know I’m safe.

I enjoyed being out, despite the pitiful state of Edinburgh’s road surfaces. Lothian Road and the Tollcross area are really, stupidly bad. Despite being able to slow and veer around the worst bumps, my gut-jiggle-ometer was quite awake. But I miss being out on the bike: when the going is smooth, cycling is relaxing. I feel more in control of my life. By the time I got home, I could feel some endorphins kicking around. Even walking the bike is better than walking without it: I have something to lean on and luggage weight is on the wheels, not my back. So watch out for more turgid` trivia about increasing distances, aiming to go faster and maybe even some spinning!


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