Thursday, 19 November 2009

Blood n’ Bikes

As part of my “use it or lose it” holiday initiative, I took yesterday off work. I had a blood test in the morning at the hospital anyway so I didn’t get a lay in, and even though I was there at 7.45am I was still 5th in the queue. With only one nurse working in the Pathology department I was there waiting for 45 minutes. I can only think that the others before me must have had veins so deeply hidden from sight as to warrant the use of a special crowbar needle.

It confuses me slightly as to why the whole “taking your blood” department is called the Pathology Department. I mean a similar term is also used to describe compulsive liar’s aka pathological liars, so does that mean that these liars are really “bloody liars”?

I digress though, because in my somewhat vast experience of the people who work there, I’ve never had a bad jab from them. Over recent years since my illness, my veins have become kind of hermits who like to keep themselves to themselves, and at any sign of a needle will wriggle into hiding. I’ve had doctors and nurses who have struggled to find a vein in my arm with over 10 minutes of thumping me to death to “bring one up”, and sticking me like a pin cushion, when a Pathology Nurse will find one within seconds. It’s almost like it’s a tribal thing. I’m sure they could do it blindfolded, drawing a syringe from the hip holster and whupping a needle on and into a gnat in mid flight.

Worst one I ever had – apart from multiple cannula’s – was in my groin. It was the middle of the night on a ward and they needed some blood for a test, and with no one “pro” available, no vein in sight, they stuck me down there. Fuck me it hurt. They new it was going to as well because the female doctor (quite nice from memory) offered for me to squeeze her hand while the needle went in. I declined that though…too macho! I must have ground a few microns off my tooth enamel though.

So back home for breakfast (I’d had to fast since 7.30pm the night before) and then the structural engineer came round to look at our house.

The morning was a combination of rain and heavy gusting winds again. I had planned to go out for a long bike ride, but didn’t fancy it in that weather, however I was lucky in that the rain stopped in the early afternoon. It was still blowing a gale and threatening rain so I decided to do a shorter ride, looping back via the supermarket to get ingredients for a curry for the family meal.

The ride took me around the back of Madjeski Stadium where Reading FC play. Behind the ground is a relatively new industrial park called Green Park and they have their own wind turbine, then it was through the old Gillette industrial estate and onto Morrisons supermarket. I'm surprised I didn't get collared by the security guard as a potential shoplifter because I was wearing a fleece coat and was sweating a bit. I then discovered the joys of trying to operate grip twist gears while heavy carrier bags are hung over them. Mental note to take a back pack next time. I tried to keep it to 12mph but the wind was too much for me and an average 9mph was the best I could do.

Cycling over the river.

The Symantec offices. I wondered why they were so dark on a midweek afternoon.
Maybe they got a virus?

There's even a tennis court beneath the turbine.
Wonder what the fastest downwind serve has been!

The blades were going like the clappers.

This is supposed to be the wind turbines interactive
board with LED displays. I've never seen it working!

Madejski Football Stadium - not the best of views I'm afraid.

The wind turbine from a distance.

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