Riding it out


Singapore 1992  © P.J. Croft 2013

I’m still here, albeit a bit quiet. The last week or more (more) has been pretty ordinary, fending off the black dog circling me, but it’s improving quite noticeably.

But at 1015pm I’m sitting at the computer when I’d really rather be in bed. Atrial fibrillation. My heart has been doing a mad dance for the past 90 mins, fluttering and jumping around, missing beats, then running at double rate. There’s no pain, but it makes me breathless. It’s been happening a lot recently and I’m seeing the GP tomorrow so I’ll ask about it. As far as I know, there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Just take an aspirin to ensure nice clot free blood.

SCGH told me to just “ride it out” and come in if pain gets too bad. There has been a little bit of pain (angina) in the past few days, but none now.

So I’m just waiting for it to settle down, which it will. But trying to go to sleep with it like this is a bit hard.


I picked up my new glasses today, two pairs, one for close work and one for distance (since I said I don’t like bifocals). But wow, they are so different. Wearing the distance ones, I can’t read the fine print on food packaging in the shop, but there’s no way I could wear the reading glasses for normal walking around.

I’ll give them time to settle, but I may have to go back and ask for bifocals I think.

However, good news. My peripheral vision is absolutely fine and the prescription for both eyes is the same now, -3.0, whereas they used to be half a dioptre different at -3.25 and -3.75. So apart from age related inability to focus close, my sight has actually improved. No problem with glaucoma either.


I bought a Bunnings brand (Ozito) line trimmer yesterday. I used to have a Ryobi and it was fantastically powerful, but cost $120. This one cost $39.95, a third of the price. Usually I don’t buy the cheap stuff, but for the small amount of grass I’ve got and at the price, I’ll take the risk.

It’s a big dilemma for manufacturers. If you make good quality tools, your customers buy one and it lasts forever and they don’t need to buy it again. Many, many of my tools are one offs, which I bought 40 years ago and they’ve lasted because you bought the best quality you could afford then. There was really no choice.

But technology and quality are improving so fast that people are prepared to buy cheaper and more often to get a better model. So the quality maker has to go down market or risk losing sales. Catch 22. Luckily, down market stuff is greatly improving in quality so we’re the winners.


11pm – still irregular heart rate. Waiting, waiting.


I had the carpets cleaned today. I’d got used to the smell after Minnie christened the rooms, but the guy said he could smell it straight away. Smells good now.

Luckily Minnie wants to be outside, but she surprised me last week by coming in, unnoticed by me, and sleeping in the darkest bedroom one afternoon. I didn’t realise until I went in there. No problem this time – she didn’t do anything wrong and came out the back door to wee on the grass later.

I’m working in the garage at the back to reduce my stock of books. I’ve got far too many. I’m being ruthless. Unless they serve a purpose (i.e. they are some kind of reference), or I’m definitely going to read them, out they’re going. Out to the Save the Children Fund collection depot, that is.


The carpet cleaning guy talked today about the future development of this area and it fits with what I saw in the local paper yesterday. There is going to be huge residential and commercial development just north of here, to rival Joondalup, he said. Fine with me. Even Joondalup is 14Km from here. Whitfords is 18Km. I want more shops nearby. Target is being built at Clarkson, 10 mins drive down the road. Good.

The Italian cafe on the corner near me is applying for an alcohol licence too. Fine with me. The pub is across the road, so it won’t make any difference to me.


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