Skip to main content

w/e 2021-04-25


Photo of two lambs, with their heads poked through a wire fence so they can chew on the flowers of daffodils

We started the week off with a one night holiday a short walk away to celebrate Mary’s birthday, staying in a new “pod” down the road. Being fortunate with the April weather we sat in the sun, drinking wine, watching the sheep and lambs in the surrounding field. It was odd being “on holiday” so near to home but, after months of going nowhere it was a lot of fun.

We then drove into Wales, now that it’s allowed, and walked up Skirrid, a mountain we can see on the horizon from home, but which I’d never been up in all the years of visiting, and now living, here. It was a nice view although (sssh!) part of me still sometimes struggles with the point of walks.

Photo of a path along a ridge leading into the distance, with two people in the middle-distance walking away from the camera

§ The second half of the week was affected by one surprise event: me running from the house into the conservatory. The surprising aspect was that only half an hour earlier I’d closed the glass sliding door between the house and the conservatory, an action that I’d completely forgotten while watching an episode of The American Version of The Office. And so, instead of me simply entering the conservatory, my forehead and nose bounced hard off the glass, I staggered backwards into an oak coffee table, then fell sideways towards the floor, only slowed by my back colliding with the very right-angular metal corner of a second coffee table.

I don’t know if you’ve ever run into a pane of strengthened glass but I’m still surprised by how surprising it was to run directly into something that my brain didn’t think existed.

Given the shocking speed at which the above happened the events are pieced together from the evidence: face-height marks on the glass door and various bumps and bruises around my body. In particular the sharp red bruising half-way up my back, thankfully to one side of the spine, caused by the metal coffee table that I was, up until now, extremely fond of.

I lay on my back, flat on the floor, winded and unable to catch more than short, shallow breaths. Also unable to shout incoherently for help from Mary who was somewhere out in the garden. For what it’s worth, my Apple Watch did accurately enquire whether I’d had a fall, and wondered whether I needed it to send an SOS. Unable in the moment to remember exactly what that would entail I managed to decline its offer as I struggled for breath, not wanting to cause an ambulance to speed along country roads from wherever the closest ambulances are. I wonder if, in designing this feature, Tim Apple considered the British desire not to make a fuss.

Once Mary had arrived from the garden, and my breathing had recovered slightly, we managed to get me up onto a comfy chair where a large bag of frozen sweet corn was applied to my swelling face, which I held in place wearing oven gloves, so as not to freeze my hands. Quite a sight I’m sure, as we sat there watching the first two episodes of Bridgerton which turned out to be ideal viewing given I wanted distraction from my injuries but wasn’t up to much in the way of thinking.

I realised that my dazed and aching state must be similar to that experienced by the birds that bounce, mid-flight, off the conservatory’s windows and spend an hour or two sitting on the ground recovering, before flying off. Those that survive, anyway.

Three days later and my back is still painful whenever I walk, stand up, sit down or lie down, which only leaves sitting still in a soft, supportive chair. It’s surprising how frequently one uses the muscles that are apparently half-way up ones back. Dr Google suggests this could take a few weeks to heal, which is a frustrating prospect.

§ With Feedburner ending its free RSS-to-mailing-list facility I needed to find an alternative for the 1900 or so “active” subscribers receiving daily entries from Pepys’ Diary. I decided the cheapest (free) solution would be to add a “sub-group” to the existing Pepys discussion mailing list at I’m not 100% sure that was the right decision, as people have to subscribe to the discussion group in order to subscribe the diary entries. Although they can turn off discussion group emails if they wish. It makes the instructions to sign up too complicated. Still, so far about 200 people have signed up to the new group.

§ I watched Uncut Gems this week, which I enjoyed. It would have been better in a cinema I expect, the desperation and tension increased. I saw the Safdie brothers’ previous, Good Time close to the screen upstairs at the Prince Charles and that was an excitingly intense experience.

§ After 1½ further days of writing tests for Pepys’ Diary I have increased coverage from 74% to 77%. Stay tuned for the next thrilling installment.

Mention this post

If you’ve mentioned this post somewhere, enter the URL here to let me know: