Monday, 2 May 2022

Forerunner to the Smart Meter

While browsing through an old writing jotter the other day, I came across this little ditty written in 2012 about a device British Gas gave me. It sat on my kitchen counter for three years and was clearly a fore runner to the present day smart meters. It did the job very well and I want to know why the government felt it necessary to burden the consumer with the cost of something far more expensive.

There's a little face that looks at me everyday

Monitoring the cost of work and play.

It frowns at the kettle and hates the TV

I wish so much it would just let me be.

Usually in the morning it smiles like a lark

It makes me feel happy when it makes no remark.

Round about lunchtime the mouth starts to droop

So dinner tonight will be a bowl of cold soup.

Sometimes it throbs and its face turns red

That's when I know I must go to bed.

 I refuse to have a smart meter installed in my house. For one thing, the electricity meter needs moving. Currently it is below ground level, in a damp, dark pantry. I did try to bargain with my supplier, saying I would have a smart meter if they put it somewhere else. "Yes," they said, "we can do that. It'll only cost you £200." I didn't reply so they kept ringing me up, hassling me, threatening me. "Everyone must have a smart meter. Don't you understand, this will help you save on your energy bills." No it won't! It just means I'll be stressed every time I switch on the kettle.

Thursday, 20 January 2022

Does the Covid virus target mitochondria?

 

Well - here we are. Over four weeks post-covid diagnosis and still debilitated because of post-viral fatigue. I know people who have ME and I know what they’ve suffered because of the lack of acknowledgement from the medical profession. And now I’m experiencing the same. “Make sure you get plenty of sleep, eat a good diet, do gentle exercise, change your mindset - it could all be in your mind after all.” No, it really isn’t. I have never experienced anything like this before. My body feels leaden. It takes enormous effort to get out of bed and great effort even to shift the position of a leg while sitting down. It’s an effort of will and intention. Even my mind is exhausted. I feel drunk most of the time - dizzy and disoriented. Yet I am sleeping for England and have put on half a stone because my appetite has been undiminished throughout the illness. It’s all very odd. I noticed a couple of days ago that I have started to acquire a little energy around 3pm in the afternoon. Capitalising on this, I have been doing short two to four mile walks while chanting ‘onward and upward’. Usually tough twelve milers are more to my liking. However, it has felt glorious and hopefully signals that things will improve - eventually. In the meantime, I’ve been raking through my rusty knowledge of Biomedical Science to think about what the hell can be going on. My buck is resting with mitochondria. There’s plenty of circulating oxygen for them in my bloodstream so I suspect the little blighters have been annihilated by the covid virus, or may be have lost their reproductive capacity. Unless, of course, the virus has affected membrane permeability and the O2 is not getting into the cell to feed the little critters. Whatever has happened to them, they need to sort themselves out and up their game. If I was thirty years younger I would apply for research funding. As it is, the only funding on offer to me now is for funeral costs.



Wednesday, 5 January 2022

 Beware Covid

On the 23rd December 2021 I tested positive for covid after feeling unwell for three days. Everyone had been saying ‘Oh it’s just like a bad cold. Nothing to worry about.’ Then there were the conspiratorial theorists on Facebook saying it was all a con - politicians wanting to take away our freedom and our livelihoods. World domination of the masses. And Boris is in on it - he must be in cahoots with Russia and China. Oh and let’s not forget Trump. These people obviously have not contracted one of the more powerful variants of this virus, and presumably don’t know anyone who has. Yes, I have an underlying condition - only 67% lung function because of copd. Yet my oxygen levels have remained between 96 and 99% because I am basically more healthy than someone half my age. Want to know what’s most debilitating about this virus? It’s how it leaves you. I’m on Day 16 and I can do nothing. Even making a cup of tea is a major challenge. Not because I can’t breathe but because I have zero energy. They’re calling it ‘Long Covid’ but it looks very much like Myalgic encephalomyelitis, also called chronic fatigue syndrome. Imagine a world where half the population is suffering with this long-term condition. So, to those of you who are still spouting off that it’s just a bad cold - please STOP! 

You are putting yourself and others at risk.



Wednesday, 15 September 2021

A Lesson from the Universe.

 

A friend on Facebook posted this today. I ‘loved’ it of course - it is one of those wise truisms that we should all remember and actively put into practice.

It was a beautiful, warm, sunny day so in the afternoon I went out for a walk up onto the moors, which I’m fortunate to have right on my doorstep. As I was returning home down a very steep hillside, I remembered an ex-boyfriend who had struggled to come down this way and had slipped. The relationship ended when he started treating me very badly. As I made my way down I was thinking bad thoughts about him, referring to him as The Fat Controller, and puzzled as to why I had ever found him attractive. Suddenly I felt something on my left arm. It was a huge bumble bee! I screamed and brushed it off but for a few seconds it seemed intent on landing again. As I was flailing my arms and running down the hill to escape it, I remembered this Facebook post.

Oh dear! Another test failed :(

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Review of 'Witch' by Finbar Hawkins

I liked this book - it was fast moving and held my interest right to the last page. I loved that the chapters were interspersed with line drawings that added to the mystery and intrigue. I thought that Evie's character, with all her anger and inner conflict, was portrayed beautifully. And for someone who isn't overly keen on very long novels, this was just the right length. The author cuts straight to the chase, without un-necessary surplus or milking of events.
View all my Goodread reviews here:
"https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/54499536-joan-harthan"

Monday, 9 April 2018

My Other Half

I was having a conversation with a lady the other day and she used the phrase 'my other half'. I'd never given much thought to that term before - it's such an accepted part of our vocabulary - but that day it made me question my very existence.

Being alone, does that mean that I'm only half a person? Or is it her that's not whole?

I don't feel like half a person. I feel like a whole person and I live my life as a whole person - travelling the world on my own, going into bars alone etc. . .  So if I'm whole, that must mean she's not.

And as I look around - it does seem that single people are much stronger emotionally than those who always need 'another half' to accompany them through life.

So if you're single - rejoice. You are strong. You are complete within yourself. And if you're looking for love, don't look for your 'other half', look for someone who is as whole as you. #

  

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Are you a writer? Do you struggle to find character names that aptly reflect the characters in your story? Check out this brilliant, completely free, random name generator for authors: http://random-name-generator.info/random/