Blog Archives

Sabbatical, Day 86: Scarlet Fever

Not time to report much today, and here’s why. Since early last week, the children have both had rashes. They were puzzling, but not looking sinister. Having followed flow charts in a medical book and from past experience, we thought that either they had slapped cheek or it was just something viral that would pass. They both still had them this morning, but Mark’s was worse. We kept him off school for a doctor’s appointment and sent Rebekah in.

Well, Mark entertained the GP with his comic timing and his wry replies to rhetorical questions. By the end, the doctor said it was probably viral, but had we heard of a condition called scarlet fever? There was just a small chance it was that. He advised us to watch out for the symptoms, and gave us a penicillin prescription in hand, to obtain should things develop.

Tonight, I drove to the midnight pharmacy to get that prescription. During the afternoon, Mark had complained of various pains, which Calpol relieved for a few hours but then returned. This evening, he didn’t want his dinner, despite it being sausages, a favourite of his. He went to sleep unusually quickly, but woke an hour later, spewing huge quantities of vomit. Debbie was out at a meeting to plan a church fun day, but Mark wanted Mummy. A quick call to her mobile, and she was home in record time.

So with all that and more going on that it wouldn’t be wise to talk about here, I’m just going to leave you with a couple of links that grabbed my attention earlier in the day. 

First, here is a laughably bad example of a church taking a blatant biblical metaphor literally: Smells like Holy Spirit? Well OK, they may be going for effect, but how is it going to be perceived by non-Christians?

Secondly, a controversial article – I think it’s a partial truth but there’s more to it – nevertheless well worth reading: How the digital revolution might affect the Church.

Sabbatical, Day 49: Rebekah’s Party

I didn’t think I’d keep up my record of daily sabbatical blogs today. By tea-time, I was in bed, exhausted and with a dreadful headache. Several bad nights’ sleep had taken their toll, and adrenaline had kept me going until finally I kept dropping off on the sofa to the embarrassment of the family.

Tomorrow is Rebekah’s sixth birthday, and today was her party. She had chosen a pottery party with ten friends at local studion The Glazed Look. That was going to make for a quiet celebration, rather than exuberant running around and noisy games. When Debbie booked his for her at her request, we didn’t know how significant that was going to be.

Because, just after 6 am, Debbie woke me to say Rebekah had been awake three times in the night with ear pain. (I may be having trouble getting to sleep at present, but once I do, there’s little that would wake me.) She also had a discharge from her right ear. By 6:30, I was on the phone to the out of hours doctors’ service, getting an appointment at their clinic for 8:10 am. Just as I had taken Mark there a couple of weeks ag on a Saturday night, now I was taxi for my daughter.

With nobody in the queue, she was seen on time by a lovely, gentle Indian doctor, and out came the usual prescription for amoxicillin – just what we expected. The nearest pharmacy open at that time on a Saturday was at Tesco, so we drove there. Knowing Rebekah doesn’t like the usual banana flavour of amoxicillin, he prepared an orange version. However, that didn’t make any difference to her dislike. But with alternating doses of calpol and calprofen, at least she got through her party and crashed out a little bit this afternoon. How devastated she and we would have been, had she not been able to. So it’s a big thank you today to the NHS staff who coped so kindly and efficiently with a little girl’s distress.

And with that I’m going to sign off, finishing some supper and watching Tottenham’s glorious victory over Chelsea today on Match of the Day.

Sabbatical, Day 19: Skate Parks, Writing Styles And … Oh Yuck

I’m going to kick off with one or two links I found today. First of all, Malmesbury Abbey has been turned into a skate park. The BBC reports it as a novelty; clearly they haven’t heard of Legacy XS.

I took a ‘What kind of writer are you?’ test and got a bizarre result:


You Should Be a Science Fiction Writer


Your ideas are very strange, and people often wonder what planet you’re from.        

And while you may have some problems being “normal,” you’ll have no problems writing sci-fi.

Whether it’s epic films, important novels, or vivid comics…

Your own little universe could leave an important mark on the world! 

Mind you, Debbie often wonders what planet I’m on. 🙂

Like I said, I thought it was a bizarre result. I see myself rather more journalistic.

Having said that, Mark’s illness has again meant little or no chance for proper sabbatical study today. The vomiting returned when he woke up, and we took him back to the doctor, also reporting sore throat, ear and stomach, plus a rash on his thigh and other stuff. The GP was now pretty sure he had tonsillitis and so out came the prescription for the much-unloved banana medicine (a.k.a. amoxicillin). He advised us to alternate Calpol and Calprofen to keep the pain down.

Well, the Calprofen had an immediate effect, at least until about half an hour before another dose was due each time, and this afternoon he picked up considerably while his sister, Mum and ‘Aunt Pat’ were out ten pin bowling. He even wanted something to eat at dinnertime. Knowing that big sister was getting macaroni cheese, he said he fancied some pasta. Off he went to find the tins of pasta shapes, and came back with what he wanted: Heinz Disney Princess pasta shapes in tomato sauce. Which he demolished. And they stayed down.

Until after his bath, anyway, when he gagged on amoxicillin. That, Calprofen and pasta shapes ended up sprayed on towels and elsewhere. However, we’re quietly confident he’s turned the corner. We’ll see how he gets on tomorrow.