My friends are amazed how organised I can be - in between bouts of utter ditsiness of course. Or is it senility? Anyway, the organised side of my life is all down to my PDA. Rather an old-fashioned term nowadays. It means 'Personal Digital Assistant' and someone like - but I'm not saying it necessarily was - Steve Jobs invented that name when the first pocket-sized gadgets that did calendars and to-do lists and so on began to appear in the 1990s.
So long ago! Such functions are now on every smartphone, and there's absolutly no need to have a separate device. Except that a separate device can be completely divorced from the Internet and therefore immune from attack or data robbery; and be protected by its own heavy-duty encryption to boot. A pocket Fort Knox.
And in some other ways a PDA is better to use - it has a bigger screen for one thing, and might as well be regarded as a mini-tablet. It also has a substantial battery. My Hewlett-Packard IPAQ 214, which I bought in 2008, is a quality item of hardware and should soldier on for a long time yet. It carries my personal stuff, and the Excel spreadsheets, and the Word documents, and all the really useful apps, and the searchable city street plans, and the entire 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map of Great Britain, from the Scilly Isles to the tip of Shetland. And national coverage at other scales too. And the South Downs and New Forest at 1:25,000. All searchable. Very handy indeed to have a decent map with you at all times, especially when there's no phone signal!
If you snatched my Nokia E71 mobile phone and ran off with it, all you would get would be some phone numbers and email addresses, one photo of Stonehenge, and 690 music tracks that you might very well not like. You wouldn't get my secrets. Not one, except my dire taste in music. My life would be uninterrupted. There would be temporary inconvenience for me, to be sure, but no breach of personal security. I could soon buy another phone, as in half and hour's time, and if it were a Nokia, I could resurrect all the contact details from my PC. Meanwhile my PDA is safe and secure.
Of course one day my trusty PDA will be dead and buried, and I'll be obliged to put everything onto a single device. The security issues will be very challenging. I'll have to think hard what to encrypt, and what can be left open to view. Thank goodness I'm not at that point yet.
But I digress. Yesterday evening I looked at tomorrow's events and saw this:
Ah, Tuesday the 22nd March will be a momentous day indeed. First, an important anniversary: six years ago (Six years. How time flies!) I got confirmation that my early retirement application had been approved. An impossibly unlikely bit of good fortune. A frantic reappraisal of all my investigations took place; the best were passed on, but I managed to push some to settlement myself in the short weeks ahead. And then it was suddenly all over. The story is told in the post entitled The Pension in February 2010, if you have the time to read it. As approval was given on the 22nd of the month, this is also the day my monthly Civil Service Pension is paid.
And every Tuesday my cleaning lady comes. Very important to me always, but just now an essential service!
But look at the other two events. I can resume hormones! Hurrah! (More on that soon)
And, more mundane, but actually just as significant, I can abandon the special disinfectant the hospital supplied for the first three weeks' douching, and switch to plain warm water instead. Worthy though it might have been, I didn't like that disinfectant, because it stained everything yellow. And I wasn't keen on its smell either. Look what it did to the douching kit supplied by the hospital:
That plastic bottle and screw-on nozzle were pristine and transparent two weeks ago, and now they look as if I've been pumping liquid nicotene into myself for years on end! The Brighton Nuffield Hospital (Liz Hills actually) didn't rate this particular kit at all highly. It was similar, or the same, as the corresponding kit issued by Charing Cross Hospital. But it wasn't the best experience you could buy. It was too basic, and Liz said that the imperfect finish on the nozzle had led to an accident at Charing Cross, one girl getting nicked by an unsmooth edge while inserting. So Charing Cross, playing for safety, were considering a switch to syringes instead - a retrograde step, surely. There were many superior (and completely safe) douche kits on the market, but of course they cost a lot more than this see-through bottle and nozzle! But Liz recommended me to look on the internet, at the Lovehoney.co.uk website, and buy one of the StreemMaster douches.
And I did. Here it is:
Now I think you'll grant that this is a pukka piece of equipment. I've washed it out carefully, but not actually used it yet because I don't want it spoilt by that yellow-staining disinfectant. But from tomorrow - first thing - it'll be whooooosh and a whole new world of douching! I can't wait to finish my first dilation of the day, to find out how good this little gadget is.
That's a good philosophy: always have something nice to look forward to.