I was at the doctor on Monday - nothing exciting, just a repeat prescription - and the place was deserted. They'd taken away all the magazines and leaflets and children's toys as a swine flu prevention measure, and they're trying to encourage people to stay away. I always thought the receptionists did a pretty good job of encouraging patients to stay away anyway, but now it's official. They want me to renew by post for the next few months but they also want me to go in for a swine flu jab and a regular flu jab, presumably at different times, so I shall have to remember to take in a book, or some knitting.
I spoke to my aunt in the evening and she was at her doctor's that day too, in Bristol, and there everything was as usual, people sneezing over magazines and children licking the toys, so that's interesting.
There is a major repair job starting on one of the chimneys in the building where I live, and they started building the scaffolding for it yesterday. It's the chimney behind my bedroom wall and in my flat the fireplace is long gone. I was trying to have a rest, with all this clanging and banging and drilling going on about four feet from my head, and I actually managed to get to sleep at one point, to be wakened by someone outside the window saying the same two words, three times and with differing emphasis, two words which I couldn't possibly repeat in a family blog. He must have read about this piece of research, which established that swearing increases pain tolerance, although it also contains the warning that, 'If they want to use this pain-lessening effect to their advantage they need to do less casual swearing.' It didn't cover the effects of swearing while knitting lace, which I always find quite effective.
I've been a bit feeble and sore throaty today - but not hot enough for swine flu - so I've been resting again and there was a bit more this afternoon, although it was less colourful, just the one word said once, very precisely. I expect there'll be a quite a lot more of it over the coming weeks: it's a bit like having your very own radio play going on outside the window.
Anhinga has just been more of the same, and the second sleeve looks much like first, so here's a nice little video for you to watch instead. Guaranteed no swearing.