Sunday, May 14, 2006

Medical Emergency - call 999 !!!

Well after my Friday night out, Saturday was a lie-in, followed by gym in the afternoon and a quiet evening in recuperating. Except it didn't quite turn out that way. Having done my stuff at the gym, showered and dressed I took a last look in the mirror and to my horror saw lots of red in the whites of my right eye. I know I'd been out drinking the night before but this was a bit more than merely bloodshot, something was bleeding, somewhere it's not good to bleed.

Now I suppose if I was a Proper Gay I would have immediately started shrieking and flapping my arms about all over the place and generally trying to create as much drama and attention for myself as possible; but I'm not (shut up Gareth), so merely started to inwardly panic. Actually I can't have panicked that much because rather than seek immediate medical treatment, I went across the road to First Out and had something to eat. The food (a sort of Mexican stew) was delicious, but somewhat spoiled by what was refusing to stay entirely at the back of my mind, so afterward I went straight to the A&E department of the nearby University College Hospital (note for Americans: A&E = ER - I think). Have presented myself and my problem to reception I was not immediately whisked away for life-saving treatment, which reassured me somewhat, and settled down for what I as expecting to be some God-awful 5 hour wait.

Actually it wasn't that bad - a nurse (mine was a middle-aged bloke, probably gay and who probably clocked the fact that I was too, or maybe I was imagining the 'knowing looks' he was giving me) comes and takes your details after about 15 minutes and then it was about another hour or so before the doc called me in. Luckily it was early evening so not late enough to be full of aggresive drunks who'd either fallen down escalators or been kicking lumps out of each other, which probably explained my speedier than expected progress. Anyway, it turns out all I'd got was a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage. And not a very impressive one at that; the doc said it could take up to two weeks to get back to normal but even after 1 day there is a noticeable improvement. So I probably won't die after all.

I wonder if the teenager with the over-stressed mother, who had got something lodged in his ear and couldn't get it out but could feel it working it's way further in is OK; ditto the limping woman with the abcess on her foot; the bloke who needed four stiches in his chin; the kid carried in by his dad because he'd hurt his foot and couldn't walk; the bloke with blood streaming down his face from a wound on his forehead who was brought in by a policeman. Also, I thought the use of mobile phones was banned in hospitals...but EVERYONE in the waiting room was using them!

Got home feeling much better and settled down to watch the earlier episode of Dr Who which I'd recorded: The Cybermen are back !!!

Friday Fun

These days, I don't usually venture out on a Friday night, preferring to recharge my batteries after the working week, ready for Duckie on Saturday. This week though was an exception, as I headed to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for the opening night of Yo! Suzi, a new alternative-esque night hosted by Justin Bond (aka Kiki from Kiki And Herb) with DJs Lush & Johnny Slut.

Now previous attempts at starting Friday-nighters at the Vauxhall have generally bombed spectacularly, but I hope this one doesn't go the same way for I was pleasantly surprised. The music was good, a bit more stuff for "the kids" than you'd expect on a Duckie night, but then the crowd were that bit younger. And there was enough of the older stuff to keep an old croc like me happy too. They'd certainly gone to town with the decor; lots of glistening silver streamers all over the place, a giant square umbrella (with a crow or raven on top) at the entrance and a couple of slightly disturbing armless mannequins on each side of the stage, both sporting bright blue wigs and eye-masks. The only tedious bit was the band, I think they were called Ape Drape Escape. Anyway, they hailed from Sheffield and would probably be quite entertaining if you're 18 and haven't been out much, but for me it was just a case of feeling like I'd seen it all before, many, many times in fact. Oh, and there was a very odd man who spent much of the night crouching on the floor, occasionally trying to sniff people's feet. He reminded me a bit of a giant turtle from the Galapagos Islands. Not sure what happened later on, at one point security started taking an interest in his erm....activities. I think someone else was trying to reassure them he was just a harmless eccentric. Unless he eventually turned out not to be.....

Being the opening night, "everyone" was in, so it was quite busy, obviously the next few weeks will be the telling nights, ie whether they can build on the success of the opening night. Have to admit, I won't be there next week, as I'll almost certainly save myself for Duckie instead, but I certainly hope to get back to YS soon.

I must say, the Vauxhall is looking better and better these days, every time I go they seem to have done some sort of improvement to the venue; new toilets, new floor, wood panelling above the bar, and a new counter for Activity Island (as the central table is called on Duckie nights) being recent examples. Unfortunately they still don't seem to have installed proper (any?) aircon. This wasn't a problem on Friday; although it had been 23C in London during the day, the fact that it was busy but not packed still left it feeling fairly comfortable in there, but on a normal bumper-to-bumper Duckie it's already starting to get very hot & sweaty.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Pimms, Anyone ?

Today, due to my lovely employers, I spent the day in Henley-On-Thames, it being the site of our other UK office. This was ostensibly for a team-building session in the morning (I work in a team of 8, 4 of whom are based in London & 4 in Henley), but unlike the other two times I've been to that office, today I actually got to see a bit of the town itself as we went out for lunch.

And a very picturesque place it is too; very typically English in the most traditional sense, full of well-preserved historic buildings and we had a nice stroll along the river edge to get to our restaurant. This too was in keeping with the rest of the town, I suspect it was originally some sort of old barn, stables or farmahouse, lots of wooden beams across the ceiling, some beautiful old fireplaces plus other original features a-plenty. After a long, leisurely lunch we strolled back through the town to the office to do a token hours "work" for appearances sake. In some ways I would have liked to have stayed there a bit longer to have a really good look around, on the other hand I can imagine that after a certain period of time, it's Olde Worlde feel will start to convince me that everyone is racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic (delete as appropriate) - yes, it also has a hint of being The Land That Political Correctness forgot. Oh, and in the summer it's the venue for the Henley Regatta rowing thingy, and as such probably gets overrun with neighing and braying Hooray Henrys and Sloaney women. Thank God for civilisation!

Monday, May 01, 2006

Feast Your Eyes

For my Scottish Photos are now online for all to see.

Hoots Mon!