Aside

Some reasonable mitigation

I’ve just realised on starting to write the next post that in the last one, covering January to March 2016, I forgot one fairly major thing that helps explain why I was finding that period so difficult to manage, which is, I was getting over surgery. Obviously that wasn’t in my academic diary, so I didn’t find it while gathering notes for the post, but still, it’s true. In very late December 2015, while in Birmingham, I was hit suddenly with quite severe abdominal pain and once I was in a hospital, back in Leeds, was diagnosed with a inguinal hernia (which I advise you not to websearch), which I could then appreciate I’d had for some time but had never before struck me like this. Additionally, while we were down in Birmingham someone tried, and thankfully failed, to break into our house, so that on our return my partner had to choose between getting me to hospital or calling the police and an emergency glazier. Happy Christmas! I was back out, now containing extra plastic mesh and marked with a bonus scar, in time for the actual celebration of Nativity, which I thus unexpectedly got to spend at home, freshly secured, but of course I was a good while fully healing; it strikes me as I write that it must be a few months since I noticed the residual ache, in fact, but it’s been that long. So that might be considered a reasonable excuse for not being quite at top speed. Somehow, however—and this is why it struck me now as I’m putting together the next post—I was still back down in Birmingham to supervise more coin-zapping less than a fortnight later. Some of the damage of this life we do to ourselves, you know… But stay tuned and I will tell you about that without any further mention of my injury!

The other reason I wasn’t working at full speed that semester was of course the death of a cat, as I mentioned at the time, which along with various factors like the break-in (sadly not the only such factor) set us looking to leave that new home and find a safer one, for us and for cats, further from busy roads. So I was also house-hunting in this period. It’s perhaps not surprising that I don’t remember it as an especially good time, though I certainly got to see a lot more of West Yorkshire than I’d expected! Also, I should say because people don’t enough, the hospital and general NHS provision was absolutely superb; I couldn’t have wished for better care. I could, however, have wished for better timing in needing it…

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