Tag Archives: waste

Ten Minutes

I about ten minutes (see what I did with the title?) I will be losing my internet connection as an engineer arrives to “improve” the service I will receive from BT. I have pointed out that I am perfectly satisfied with the service, but consider the price to be ridiculous. Their answer is to put me on fibre broadband and charge me less. This seems illogical when all they needed to do was to reduce the price to reflect the fact they have done very little to improve the service in the last 20 years. All they have done in that time is to provide an expensive new router to restore the service to the levels it used to be. This is not, as they claim, about progress, it is about built in obsolescence.

First we had internet, then we had broadband and now we have fibre optic broadband. That is, of course, the advantage of living in town. In the country I believe many people still struggle with speed and reliability.

We will soon see if it is an improvement or a nightmare.

Meanwhile, let us all think of Dyson’s contribution to modern life. Dyson’s main invention is not, as many think, a slickly advertised, powerful and heavy vacuum cleaner, but the concept of filters which need to be replaced (as in purchased) on a regular basis. In the old days when one Hoover bag could last a lifetime manufacturers of vacuum cleaners had to rely on selling new equipment to make money, and as they used to build them to last they didn’t sell much.

That’s the way to riches in 21st Century – design something a little worse, which needs a little more maintenance.  Then you can use your money to buy up farmland and talk about responsible farming whilst creating tons of plastic waste. Simple.

I’m off now. Wish me well.

Pictures are durable old-fashioned technology.

From Pottery to Canal to London to Manchester. 19th Century technology which still works.

Lockdown Trivia

Just a few things that may escape future historians.

We lost our first potato yesterday. Julia put her hand in the bag and winced as she found a rather squashy potato. This is not good, as I have just been saying that we have avoided food waste. I don’t like waste, and I particularly don’t like waste when I’ve just been telling people how well I’m handling the situation.

Shortly after that I spotted mould on the sliced loaf we are using. That’s the problem with buying bread and trying to eke it out for a week. You either end up with dry bread or mouldy bread. I will take the affected slice out and hope that Julia doesn’t spot it.

We will now use the loaf from the freezer and replace it on Wednesday.

We are doing the best we can, only going out once a week or ten days for food. Unfortunately, the doctor and pharmacist call us out, even though we’d rather not go. The neighbours aren’t trying quite so hard.


Tulips at Harlow Carr

One set is particularly annoying. They had a friend round two days ago to help with some work in the garden, and then they had family round yesterday.

It’s difficult not going out, and time-consuming to plan our eating so that we only shop every week or ten days, but we are doing it. We don’t want to be responsible for infecting anyone or over-loading the NHS and, despite feeling indestructible most of the time, I don’t want anyone to give it to me. I don’t mind having it, but I’d prefer to wait until it becomes less crowded in hospital.

I could ring the police, or use the on-line form the police are now using, but I don’t really want to go down that route. It’s bad enough being in the middle of a lockdown without having the additional burden of becoming a police informer.


Mencap Garden in Spring

Three weeks ago we were advised against travel, two weeks ago we were locked down and this week I’m having to wrestle with the concept of reporting my neighbours for having family round for Easter. It’s like something out of the old Communist Bloc.

A few hours ago I watched news footage of mass graves in New York. It feels like watching something from the Great Plague rather than something I’m living through. I’m hoping, that all the bloggers I know over there will stay safe. I don’t think I know any from Kansas, but if I did I’d be really worried, as the State Governor is going to court to stop the State Legislature overturning her decision on limiting church services over Easter.

I thought our politicians were bad, but this is descending to a new level. If the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury are happy to stream their Easter services from empty churches, I don’t see why it isn’t good enough for Kansas.

The pictures are, again, a selection from the last year. For my next selection I may feature a few photographs with crowds in them – don’t worry, they will be historic crowds rather than current ones.


Thistles at Bangor

Flower Beds and Disillusionment

I turned on my computer tonight and was not pleased to see a message that it was 51% through downloading a load of improvements. Thirty minutes later it is complete. Guess how happy I am. You never had this nonsense in the old days.

Anyway, here are some photographs of the newly extended kitchen on the farm. Note how they are burning perfectly good timber and how the pizza oven and barbecue area have been demolished. Great use of resources…

Flower beds have been wiped out, the allotment area looks like a desert and the money spent on rabbit-proof fencing has all come to nothing. However, it’s been replaced by elements of design like the “flower bed”, so it’s bound to be popular.

No matter what we say about air miles and local produce a lot of people still want colour coordinated doors and table numbers written on wooden spoons. To be fair, it does look more attractive than the old set up, but it’s been at the expense of evicting our group and emptying the bank account we filled so laboriously.

Is it worth it?

Well, I’m not the best person to ask.




My Plastic Footprint

I’m feeling uncomfortable in more ways than the obvious one at the moment. Apart from the feeling of discomfort in the bladder area I have a feeling of guilt about Julia running round fetching and carrying for me. On top of that I’ve just been calculating the amount of plastic waste I’m going to produce before my return to hospital.

It’s going to be six weeks before I return. That’s 42 days.

For those of you not familiar with the equipment involved, it starts with a Foley catheter. Don’t read the link unless you have a real thirst for knowledge, it’s just a catheter that stays in place because they blow up a small balloon on the end to keep it in place.

Definitely don’t read it if you currently have one inserted as I’ve just scared myself to death by reading all the possible problems.

They can also, it seems, be used to stop nosebleeds. The mind boggles.

The catheter is plugged into a leg bag.

It is secured to my leg by Velcro straps, which is a skill in itself. Secure it too far down and you can get quite a twinge when you stand up. If I could find an emoticon showing a man with massive googly eyes and drops of sweat I would use it now. That’s how it feels. I now secure it as close to knee level as possible.

You can get one with a longer tube, but giving one to the man who is six feet two would be too simple.

The whole point of the procedure, from my point of view, is to get a decent night’s sleep so I don’t really want to be getting up all the time to empty it. This is where the night bag comes in. It’s four times the size and you can get about 7 hours out of it before that sense of urgency alerts you to the need for emptying.

The night bag has several feet of tubing attached. I haven’t measured it yet, but it’s long enough to trail across the floor at night and get tangled in Julia’s feet.

To attach the night bag you merely connect the tube to the tap of the leg bag and open the tap. To remove it you close the tap and disconnect. Remember to leave the soft tube on the leg bag. Simple. Even an idiot can do it. Most of the time. I’ve only had one emergency sock change so far, and one trip to root through the bin for the connector…

Anyway, plastic waste.

You use a leg bag for a week, so I’ll need six, which seems a bit of a waste. However, I don’t want an infection to build up so I’ll do as I’m told.

You have to throw the night bag and tube away every day.  That’s 42 bags and about 50 yards of tubing.

I think you could open up the top of the night bags to make flower pouches. They already have eyelets for hanging and a drain hole.

However, Julia says no.

I’m sure there’s a way to repurpose the tubing too, but she isn’t keen.

So that’s 42 night bags, 50 yards of tubing and six day bags.

That’s not the end of the story, as they come in packs of one leg bag and five night bags. I need nine packs, in plastic outers, and at a ratio of 7:1 will have six surplus bags – three leg and three night. I’ll be interested to see if they have a system for taking them back into stock.

To be fair, the NHS is making big efforts in recycling and if I were to get an infection by reusing equipment I would moan at great length. You know I would.

However, I still feel bad about all this plastic.

We also have three pairs of crutches from various rugby injuries because they won’t take them back, but that’s a different story…