I realised that this blog challenge was going to take up some time this month and had decided that I would give myself two hours daily to do each blog.
Well that set the family off – bless them!
They already think I spend far too long at the computer and frequently tell me so.
My wife is a health visitor and claims she is always climbing stairs and walking;
My son is a surfer, climber type who is really fit and is running his first marathon in London later this month;
My daughter has videos on You Tube lifting weights, kick boxing, and goodness knows what else in the gym (did she mention kettles?).
So you probably get the picture – here is the old man who has had some heart issues spending another two hours online writing daily blogs.
Well I know they care and mean well AND I also know they are right.
The Secret to Keep Everyone Happy – Podcasts On The Go
So my daughter ( who has the ability always to do twenty five things at once ) has made me promise that I will go for a fast half hour walk WHILE listening to my podcasts for content and ideas etc.
That is what I will do.
Challenge after Challenge.
The next thing I need to sort out is how I take notes as I am listening to podcasts while walking. I need some voice recording software which can kick in and stop the podcast playing while I make a recorded voice note. It would be even better if the recorded voice message was automatically converted into text.
There you are software developers. Your comments please.
STILL – Two and Half Hours Per Blog is Not Long
Having said all of that – two and half hours is not long to efficiently do a blog.
It is alright for a personal narrative like this post.
But for news subjects: finding your facts research, picture locating, headline creation, structuring, SEO keywords – and of course writing all takes time.
So need to get nifty and efficient. I am on a learning curve and want to get really sharp with good processes in place.
So What Now?
It is day three and I am realising the importance of this challenge and just what I am learning already.
I have blogged for many years on and off but it was done with NO real urgency.
Sometimes a post would be in preparation for some time as if it was being marinated.
I know I get quite scared about putting things out –
Will there be grammatical errors? – YES – inevitable.
Will every sentence make sense? NO
Will I upset anyone? Inevitable.
Do I want comments? – YES – BUT
With this daily challenge assignment approach I have had to begin to act and think like a journalist, and quickly source the facts and story-line.
One of the things I am now doing is reading newspaper and magazine articles carefully. Reading less – but reading with more purpose
What a great thing to do.
It is enjoyable and you can see the writers craft and use of language.
Giving myself a limited time though means that I have to be very specific with the topic size.
However – By writing daily you give yourself the chance to pick up a subject again and develop a theme.
AND I Will Do That Today,
I have a BIG question that I will make the subject of tomorrow’s blog.
The issue is all about writing to a particular person in your writing.
For example: I am assuming for instance that the majority of the people reading this message will be other blog posters taking the challenge.
My question tomorrow will be about promoting something much more generic than any individual item.
On Thursday of this week I will be going to the theatre and I know I will sleep throughout the whole performance.
OK – I jest!
It is of course the operating theatre to have my left kidney removed. Yes I signed away my left kidney. The specialist nurse who was going through my consent with me was at pains to emphasise that it was my left kidney.
She asked me more than once whether it was my left as she was writing it on the consent form. I could only reply “so they tell me” I am seriously not being facetious, it is just that I can’t tell. I feel well with no symptoms left or right.
Since I last wrote about my health when I first found out about my growth I have had several visits to Bournemouth Hospital for investigations and consultations.
The most eventful of these was a days admission into the Day Unit for a Kidney Biopsy under Scanner Control. This was to be my second body scan in as many months with the twist (pun intended) that this time instead of laying restfully on my back, I needed to go into the scanner tunnel face down with my arms above my head. I was also asked to lay really still for 30 minutes while they sited the exact spot that they wanted to get the biopsy bite from. Now there were a few things destined to challenge me with those straight forward requests.
I was waiting for the nurse to roll her eyes in exasperation when I told her I had got a frozen left shoulder which restricts my arm movement above my head (I do sound a wreck I must admit!). I had found a saintly nurse though who patiently set about finding the solution. Ten minutes later after a lot of experimentation with pillows and sponge wedges I thought we had found a suitable compromise with a position I could tolerate for half an hour which still left access to the technician with his biopsy instrument.
So far so good. Into the machine and relative isolation from all that was going on behind me. There was a gentle hum that obscured much of the chatter down there. There were cold things, damp things and various proddy things and even a sharp stingy thing, all of which were administered with muffled announcements that I couldn’t make out in the depth of the machine. Another weakness to reveal – my hearing is not 100% in noisy environments and the hum of the machine more or less put paid to any meaningfulcommunication. Anyway the team was busy and I was to lay as still as possible. What could I do to spoil the show?
It was clear to everyone there – (and there were quite a few but in my position I couldn’t tell how many) – that the time had come for me to be really still as X marked the spot for the serious business of the session. So what better time to get cramp in my foot!!
Now anyone who has had cramp in the foot will immediately have some sympathy with me. When it happens in bed the best thing I have found to do, is leap out of bed and stand on my toes. Well that usually works for me. So deep inside a scanner with drapes all over me, and a team who seemed prepared to jump on me rather than let me move – my options did seem limited. However – dah dah!! – the saintly nurse came to the rescue again and started to massage my foot – very effectively I must say. In fact it was so good that my approach to any future bouts of cramp in bed might elicit a different approach – Babs are your reading this?
Anyway the fine team got four wonderful specimens (their words – not mine) to send off to histology and I, none the worse for wear, was able to go home that evening.
There was a longish wait for results which is probably the most exasperating time. It makes quite a difference what type of cancer cells are present and they needed to use several dyes apparently to pin the wretched thing down and give it a title. It turns out that it is a renal cancer cell type and hopefully all within the offending kidney. So it is due for removal this Thursday.
This time though I will be fully asleep – shame really – would have quite liked to report all about it but I guess I will miss it all in the land of nod.
Until my next update – I wish you good health yourselves – but do act if there is anything at all suspicious. Early diagnosis leads to better outcomes.
Valentine’s Day could be renamed as Health Day because research shows that being in any form of loving relationship is good for your health.
We are all aware of the feelings of happiness and joy when we are in a loving and caring relationship; we carry an aura of well-being around with us for everyone else to see. We feel great and everything in the garden is rosy. Of course Valentine’s Day is for most people a day of happiness and joy, centred on love and passion, a day of loving feelings.
I am no slouch when it comes to maths but there is one thing that I fail to understand about Budgets – they just don’t add up. Not so much the sums as the pretense of what they are about.
It was Budget day here in the UK yesterday. The Chancellor Of The Exchequer Alistair Darling made his first budget speech.
There is something in common with all Chancellors over the years from all political parties that has fascinated me. We all know that they have to raise money for the things that we want – our schools, hospitals, defence, pensions, roads whatever. Whenever there is a situation where the government coffers are short and the budget has to clearly increase taxes the speech is always full of justification for the taxes they choose to raise. (more…)
In a total trance my exercises this morning passed in a trice. Back to that in a moment but first I have something to show you.
I am really proud of the photo I have uploaded today.
It is a broken exercise machine – yes the new one I had as a gift from my kids at Christmas.
This is the underside of the stepper and the strap as you can see has disintegrated.
I have worn out an exercise machine!!
Now don’t underestimate what is going on here. This is the same person who three months ago who would have found any excuse not to exercise. A broken machine would have been the perfect excuse. The only problem is that I would not have worn it out in the first place. (more…)