Don’t Stand So Close To Me

The Spring has taken a chilly turn, and we were quite excited to see blue tits taking an interest in the nesting box Shane had put up. He changed the position to try and encourage them a few years ago, as the next door neighbours have had activity in recent years while we didn’t. We spent a long time excitedly watching them going to and from with one staying inside a long time. I daren’t get too close to the window to take a photo for fear of scaring them off. I tried climbing on a chair for a better angle but still staying well back from the glass.

Black blue tit against a blue sky

But the next day we saw them flitting near the neighbour’s box, and we had also seen a cat nearby a couple of times, which we chased off. Disappointingly we have had no further action at the box and think it just may be too close to cats. It is a shame as the bird variety and activity is much reduced compared to canal life.

Shane is needing to avoid  catching COVID in the next couple of weeks or he will have his surgery delayed. So returning from Dundee, seeing the rise in COVID cases and the reduced used of masks,  we have decided to avoid crowded  indoor spaces, including public transport. We are still keen to see people while we are here and took the opportunity, when Stuart and Wendy were in town, last week, to meet at a cafe near The Meadows with well spaced outside seating. We had hoped to meet again but they have had to head back down south, so we hope to reach them later in the year. We remain in touch and I wrote a poem about our meeting.

My sister Anne shared with me a link to a site suggesting using your Wordle result as a focus for how to frame your poetry. There are different poem styles and constraints depending on how many tries it takes and you have to include your attempted words, one per line, in order within the poem. The result is called a Wheedle. This is National Poetry Writing Month and having tried the Wheedles a few times I have also been drawn in to writing others from the prompts (a new one daily) which Anne has shared with me. It has certainly occupied me on a cold day while Shane was out cycling, or like this morning when he was having another scan. They are very varied but boats, Shane and hospitals seem to have popped into several and all three in one I wrote today.

It is recommended for this scan that Shane avoid caffeine, exercise and carbohydrates in the hours before it. Yesterday I had the challenge of creating interesting meals without carbohydrate, which included omitting quite a few vegetables and fruit, like tomatoes, red peppers and carrots.  I had been invited to a retiral tea with my old (and not so old) colleagues, but regretfully I had to decline the invitation. The organiser understood as there had been a lot of COVID cases at work. While we were eating a virtually carbohydrate free diet, I was receiving pictures on my phone of the event I was missing and how fabulous it was!

Sugar and carbohydrate filled diet

The reason to avoid such foods and the exercise is that the scan involved a radioactive glucose injection and cancer cells soak up glucose, so they glow in the scan, but exercise and caffeine, by raising the heartrate and excess glucose in the system affect this process as that the ability to show up the cancer cells from others is impaired. He wasn’t allowed breakfast this morning, so hungry and warmly dressed (the scanner likes to be cool)  he trundled slowly to the infirmary, freewheeling as much as possible. He found it an interesting experience, technologically, but after, though he was allowed to eat again, he is radioactive. There was a glow about him, when he returned, but it was just the cycling jacket. So while we have been guzzling down bread and pasta, we have done so from opposite ends of the table and sat as far from each other as possible all afternoon. This is easier in our flat than in Bartimaeus which is only 6 foot wide. 

Shane has heard from a friend whose wife had tested slightly positive for COVID this week. Shane met his wife a couple of weeks ago in a shop, presumably before she was infectious. Within their household, they have been trying to keep apart. I have heard of so many other people we know with it in the last week, I might just have that Police Song blasting out on a loop every time I go shopping.

Slightly positive result – not either of us!