CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter Buggery and a Kindling interest

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These days, I’ll use any excuse to pretty up my surroundings – funny how I didn’t feel the need to do this when I lived among the constant beauty and magnificent scenery of Tenerife – so yesterday, I stuck up a bit of Easter bunting, peppered a small wreath with artificial daffodils (the eggs I was hoping to decorate it with caused me so much grief, they ended up just being thrown in a basket) and, finally arranged a few silk Spring flowers.

To do this, I was sat up in bed for a little while longer than usual and on my feet for an extra 10 minutes or so, having made a handful more journeys to the kitchen and back or the hallway outside my bedroom door (yeah, long-haul!)

Just that caused unbearable pain in my feet and ankles (from, yet again, the pooling of blood that my heart can’t pump to my head) that was so severe, I couldn’t get comfortable in bed and spent a whole night with poor sleep, even though I’d spent the afternoon with my feet elevated to help mitigate it.

Today, I can bearly stand up at all without my feet and legs giving way or my head going swimmy and the waves of malaise and nausea crashing over me.

To arrange the flowers, I needed to cut half a dozen relatively thin plastic covered wire stems with wire cutters. Clearly, I shouldn’t have really: it was difficult – I hardly had the strength and grip – and painful at the time; so much so that my mother (87) had to help me finish doing this. By last night, my hands and wrists were so painful, I couldn’t even bear to rest them on the bed. The pain in them is making me feel sick today, despite medication.

This seems an inordinately high price to pay just for some “cheap”, transient decorations and the physical pain right now is threatening to overpower any psychological benefit that I might have derived from cheering myself up.

On a positive note, however, while we are on the subject of hand and wrist pain, I finally broke down and bought myself a Kindle.

For years now I’ve not been able to read books because I couldn’t comfortably hold a book for long enough. It would hurt my arms and wrists, then neck and shoulders; leaning the book on my stomach would hurt; the light or angle would never be right for me to be able to see well enough: in short, it had stopped being the pleasure I’d once enjoyed.

There’s still the problem that I can’t often concentrate or take in more than a few pages at a time, but at least the Kindle is proving to be a great help towards alleviating the physical problems. I still can’t hold it up, as suggested in the advertising images, but I can hold it for a lot longer than I could have held a small paperback book, provided I rest my arm and hand on something.

Turning the pages is a much easier task with a button either side of the Kindle, so I can alternate hands too and, the screen is much clearer and easier for me to see than print, especially as I can change the size of the text.

Whilst I probably won’t use it often, even the robot voices that read out the text-to-speech function are bearable enough to listen to, if all else fails.

If you have any similar afflictions and are considering a Kindle, but are not sure if it’s worth the investment, my hunch and experience says it is.

So far, I’ve downloaded all the free classics I never previously got around to reading (I do hope to one day, even though the experience may be a little tainted, having already seen the DVD), plus some reference materials that may come in handy.

Additionally, I’m already about a quarter of the way through reading John Mole’s “It’s All Greek To Me!”, which is a fairly amazing feet given my usual ability, since I only opened the Kindle box on Saturday.

There will still be a handful of books printed on dead trees that I shall keep for the time being, while I already have them and they’re not (yet?) available as a Kindle edition, but those which are, I intend to swap. Hopefully, selling my books will help fund their replacements.

It’s funny, but despite all the advantages, the fact that I’m not resistant to change and consider myself tech-friendly, it still doesn’t quite feel natural holding this small technological version of the old school slate instead of a “proper” book. I’m sure I’ll make that adaptation rapidly though.

Above all, I want the freedom that not lugging books around, whether one-by-one to read, or in bulk when removing, which this gadget will bring and, better, no more trees need be cut down to provide my reading material.

Pamela is a former accountant, recovering journalist and international cat herder, disabled and chronically sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Cervical spondylosis, fluent in three languages; English, Spanish and Rubbish. Mostly writes in the latter. She likes Genealogy, Model Railways and Cats.

1 comment:

ronsrants said...

So, Pam, how did your Kindle work out? I got mine in the first release and, over two years on - feels like longer - still get the urge, occasionally, to try to turn a page. Brilliant device, though, and I wouldn't be without it.

It has, however, done absolutely nothing to save trees, as I reckon I've bought more print books since buying the Kindle, not fewer, which was my intention as I'm out of space.

On a not unrelated note, I recently bought an iPad 3, a bit of a toy - sorry, Apple fanboys, but it is - compared to real computers, but it's great for reading colour publications, like magazines.

Of course, with the Kindle app I can read Kindle books, but they stay remorselessly monochrome, and I haven't yet had a rummage through the iBook store to see if their books are optimised for the iPad. They should be but, being Apple, that's no guarantee.

By the way, despite what Apple would love you to believe, the iPad makes a rubbish ereader - it's just too heavy, and the screen far too reflective, to make it viable.

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