Monday, 16th October, 2023

[Day 1309]

So Monday morning dawns again and we had plans to go and visit Droitwich just down the road from us. But I had a slightly traumatic morning trying to get the NHS app to work on Meg’s iPhone in which I have installed a new SIM with a nice, easy to remember number. The NHS app required Meg’s email and I could not remember which variant of it I had used, or the exact password – I suspect that I got part way through the process some time ago and then something intervened. To cut a long story, I tried to cancel the existing account and start off a new one but evidently the NHS system takes some time to update itself because attempting to create a new account only informed me that we had an account already associated with that NHS number and so please put in the email address (forgotten) and the password (forgotten) and so on and so forth. I am going to leave the whole of this for at least a whole day if not two days to give the NHS app time to update itself and then delete itself before I start again trying to reinstall the thing. All of this started because I needed to see when a hospital appointment was for Meg and, after a telephone call, it transpired that it was this Thursday. Conscious of the fact that we have a long journey to the funeral on Friday and then another journey to our lunch date on Saturday I asked the system to give me another appointment which the helpful(!) personnel at the booking service said I might now have to wait for months. So be it – this is probably the best way round to do things in any case. Once I had been delayed by all of this, Meg and I went off to collect our newspaper and enquired after the health of our newsagent. He has already had two episodes in a local hospital draining fluid off his lungs and his wife informed me, with some evident worry, that they are now talking about admitting her husband to the large teaching hospital in Birmingham for a lung biopsy which all sounds a little grim. I have sent off my very best wishes to him amd hope fervently he gets over this episode, if that is what it is. We then progressed to Droitwich where I managed to get a parking place some 100 yards or so away from the Post Office (which they still have in Droitwich, unlike Bromsgrove where an incredibly busy local post office was reduced to a copunter in the local WH Smiths) The queue in the post office was both long and slow moving but I managed to get my parcel posted off and got my Certificate of Posting to prove it all. Then we made our way to our favourite cafe which was absolutely teeming but the proprietor found us a table and we treated ourelves to a teapot full of tea and a round of toasted teacake between us. Then we had a quick trip into the Waitrose in Droitwich after which we immediately set to cooking the lunch. This we needed to do and get all eaten and cleared up by 2.00pm because we had someone call round us to see us (a long standing appointment). This visit proved to be a pleasant enounter but not particularly productive as suggestions were made for us to try for some activities during the day which we have already considered and then decided not to proceed with.

In the last month I had acquired very cheaply from a local charity shop a simple little light with a silver base and a silver vertical section. I assumed that I had bought a dud because this seemed very reluctant to turn on and off but I did notice that occasionally if I put my fingers around the vertical section it would come on. I assumed that this was a fault but I am now a little bit wiser. I seem to have acquired ithat is known as a ‘touch’ lamp and they are evidently designed as bedside lights for those who find fumbling in the dark for a switch particularly onerous. After a bit of reseatch on the web, I have now discovered the following. These lamps, called ‘touch lamps’ work in the following way. In circuits, components called capacitors store varying amounts of charge and are used to tune circuits like radio receivers or smooth out fluctuations in voltage. When we make contact with a touch lamp, we alter its capacitance. The lamp detects this and switches on or off accordingly. All of this was new to me but I now understand how the lamp operates. After a certain amount of trial and error experimentation, I now realise that I turn the light on simply by touching the base. One touch leads to switching the light on, a further touch increases the brightness of the light and a further two taps turns the whole appliance off. This all sounds very logical and straightforward but in the absence of instructions and prior knowledge or experience of this type of technology, it has all been a bit of learning curve for me. It now occupies an otherwise dark corner in our Music Room but why it appears to switch itself on (and off) after a period of inactivity is all a bit of a mystery to me.