Weeknote, w/e 23 May 2021

Greetings everyone, it’s been a while hasn’t it? There’s been quite a bit going on.

This week our dear old cat George finally passed on to the great mouse hunting fields in the sky. Kim took her to the vet to get her checked over before renewing her prescriptions to the wide variety of chemicals that were holding her together — she didn’t have a single organ that was entirely functional, but she was happy enough gently pottering around finding places for a snooze, so we had never had to take the tricky decision to have her put to sleep. And when you are a cat and get to 19 years of age, you deserve to go on as long as you’re not in pain.

Unfortunately, she didn’t survive the trip to the vets. After the check-up, she had what was probably a heart attack — she had had a heart murmur since she was five — and it was time to let her go on.

It’s odd not having a small creature around the place. Over the past few years she had moved from being a very independent little cat to wanting our company all the time, from hating too much human contact to wanting to be in your lap or poised on your shoulder. She’s much missed, already.

My health hasn’t been at its finest. I’ve been suffering from excessive tiredness during the day, and finally bit the bullet and saw a doctor about it a few weeks ago. Cue a referral to the sleep clinic, but routine tests also found that my blood pressure was high, and some blood tests found some minor anomalies which will need further investigation.

The worst part of the blood pressure tests is that I had to be strapped to a monitor for 24 hours, which every 20 minutes would go “beep… WHOOOSH… put… put… put… beep” as the pressure cuff inflated and checked how much of a THWACK my heart was using to slam blood down my veins.

Overnight it slowed to once an hour, but try sleeping when every sixty minutes your arm is squeezed tightly — it’s not fun, and really I barely slept at all. Then I was so tired on Saturday (no sleep, remember?) that I missed the trip into London we had originally planned.

We got out to the cinema and saw Nomadland which was brilliant. Before the last lockdown, going to the Curzon had become a weekly treat, seeing movies which we wouldn’t normally have seen — with no blockbusters around, cinema became a very different experience. The blockbusters are coming back, but I hope that the weekly small film habit will stick.

This week also saw the arrival of the new iPad Pro 12.9in, with its whizzy M1 processor which makes it embarrassingly faster than any computer in the house other than the similarly equipped Mac mini. And the Mac mini doesn’t have the incredible screen which this iPad has. In theory, you shouldn’t be able to notice much difference compared to the previous generation. In practice, it just looks better every time I look at it.

It will be interesting to see what Apple has in store at WWDC in a few weeks time, when we might finally see the improvements to iPadOS which make it more of an option as a Mac replacement, rather than a powerful but slightly haphazard cousin.

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