Day 578 – A New Hope

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity of a free consultation with an eminent consultant pulmonologist, and despite having said that that was that as far as medical intervention goes, I decided that I couldn’t turn it down.

Long story short, he was deeply unimpressed by my previous doc’s assertion that I must just give it six months. I am now on a combination of drugs so cocktailly that Tom Cruise has popped by twice, just to give them a quick shake for me.

Sadly though, the key drug in this novel treatment plan is so damn popular at the moment (no, it’s not that one), that there’s none of it in Cape Town: massive shortages are probably caused by Brexit. So, I have no idea whether this new approach and new regimen is actually working, because the main protagonist is absent.

That said, I am fairly sure that one of the other star performers of my veritable smorgasbord of medication – a Schedule 6 puppy, nogal – is having a positive effect, and the dampening down of certain symptoms is very, very welcome. I’m not sure I would be up and around today after yesterday’s excitement, without it.

Right now, I’m about to get on with my daily exercises: blowing a ball bearing up a tube and walking a beagle around the block. Please, please let me get those two the right way around this evening.
Last night was not great.

Day 575 – I’m trying to take a photo

I was out doing a shoot this morning, battling with the wind, the crappy light and the occasional downpour.

Never mind the smaller residents of the place regularly doing their best into shot:

I’m going to sell this one to a twee greetings card company.

(The image, not the animal.)

I can totally see it on a “Thinking Of You Across The Miles” card, or maybe I’ll photoshop a Santa hat on it and then you can send it to your nan at Christmas.

Day 574 – The hospital

As mentioned, yesterday’s appointment went well. But it would be remiss of me not to comment on the place where it occurred. It was my first visit to Rondebosch Medical Centre, and while it was a generally positive experience, the actual place was actually rather unsettling.

The ground floor is occupied by a petrol station. Bit weird.

The public parking was on the roof, and was a real adventure to get to. Tight turns and no set plan for any floor of the parking lot kept me guessing and (once) having to reverse and try again. And then, once arriving there, half of the roof was being used as a construction site.

The view was pretty good, though:

The car park set the tone for the building, which was poorly lit, full of narrow corridors and tight corners, and seemingly also all under construction. Like an 80s office block suffering from sick building syndrome that had been hastily and desperately converted for another use.
Like a private hospital.

But just because the building is awful, that’s not to say that the service wasn’t good. It was.
It was just that it was all housed in a really horrible place.

Day 569 – Experiments gone disastrously wrong

If you’ve been in science for any length of time, you’ll have had plenty of these. They’re sometimes expected, often annoying, and occasionally soul-destroying, but it’s all part of the learning experience. I tried two experiments yesterday. One of them was documented in some detail here, and the other one was simply enjoying a small bottle of Castle Milk Stout with dinner.

Both were fun experiments to do, and both seemed like really good ideas at the time. But in retrospect, neither of them have gone particularly well. I woke up last night at 3am with a towering hangover of note, and despite the best efforts of a combination of paracetamol, ibuprofen and codeine, I then woke up at a more reasonable time this morning with a collection of symptoms best described as “being completely broken”. Head, joints, muscles…
And my brain is not working again. Argh.

Let’s get the learning process going, then. No more alcohol experiments for a while. Not even a little CMS. And that’s disappointing. Not because I need the alcohol, but more because I like the taste (now that I can again). Sure, there are the well-advertised 0.0% alternatives (although thankfully(?) not for Milk Stout), but they are often very disappointing in the taste department.

Which brings us to the elephant in the room. The one which seemingly rolled over me in bed last night. Because in 11 days time, I have to go back to the rock and do three days of stuff, back to back. Based on the results from yesterday, this is is going to be very difficult. And that’s got me very worried. The first rule of Parents Assisting With School Visits To Robben Island Club is that you do not talk about Parents Assisting With School Visits To Robben Island Club, but I generally ignore that one. However, the second rule of Parents Assisting With School Visits To Robben Island Club is that you need to actually assist with the school visit to Robben Island, rather than being a liability.

And honestly, this morning, I would be a liability.

Crap it all. To use a well-used South African phrase: What must happen now?*

* The use of the phrase “What must happen now?” often then followed by an awkward silence, purposefully shifts the burden of the decision-making process – and therefore all responsibility for any negative outcomes resulting from that process – onto someone else, immediately absolving the protagonist of any blame, guilt or accountability.
I am fully aware of the implications of using it here, and despite that, I am still using it here.

Almost desperately.

Day 568 – Long lighthouse

568mls in a pint… (just saying, Cape Talk).

What a morning.

I went across to Robben Island earlier today. Just a recce. I’m both inspired and knackered. And now rather concerned about the actual visit in (less than) a couple of weeks. Could be exhausting.

This was a whistle-stop tour to discuss wants and needs and plans, so there literally wasn’t any time to stop and take the place in. However, it could also be a whistle-stop tour to look at what I might get some photos of when we actually go. I was using my old kit lens to play with and we were rushing, so I had to do a bit of messing around with some of the photos when I got back, so I went full messing around. These pictures never looked tremendous, so why not have some fun?

They did not come straight out of the camera like this, ok Ian?

The lighthouse needs a coat of paint. And this photo needs less HDR, but we all have our issues. This is deliberate, honest RBOSS. And I’m actually ok with that.

Then there was this smart guy by the sea:

This was taken through the window of a moving minibus. Yes, I know it shows a bit. But not too much, right?
I was also impressed.

With the right lenses, (ok, and possibly a lot less messing around in post) these would be much better images. And so that’s what I’ll try and do next time around.

Here’s one that I’ve left just about “as is”:

And it might look bright and colourful, but it was actually a very bright and colourful scene.

You can’t blame me for that. (Artificial) saturation = 0.

The real visit is going to be very hard work, but it’s also going to be very rewarding in a lot of different ways. Hopefully one of them will be some amazing photographs.