Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

A perfect asthma storm

What do you get if you cross an asthamtic, with lots of dust, residual pet hairs, a cold and some damp weather?

The answer: An emergency trip to the doctor, 2g of oral steroids and one very weasy Neil. Thankfully the steroids are doing their job, and I’m feeling quite a bit better, but I still have a very low peak flow and my chest is tighter than it should be. But it should get better very soon.

(And if any Pharmacists are reading, the oral steroids are being taken as 8x50mg doses once a day for 5 days, not all at the same time)
As for the house move, we moved some of my belongings and all of Hari’s stuff on Wednesday, with the rest of my things following over the next couple of weeks due to time constraints. It hasn’t been plain sailing though…

  • First problem was with Virgin Media. The flat wasn’t listed on their web site as being served by them, so we filled out a form with our address and expected an email response within 72 hours. Thankfully, they did better than that – within 48 hours we had a local rep call us and arrange to visit the house on the same day. He found that the flat would indeed be able to receive cable and signed us up there and then, and we still retained the discount for ordering online. We don’t yet have an installation date as the letter with the details has yet to arrive, but we’ve been told by the end of next week, so there hopefully won’t be a repeat of 2 summers ago when I was without internet at home for 3 months.
  • We then found out that we don’t have a normal gas meter – instead, it’s operated by a pre-paid top-up card, like pay-as-you-go mobile phones. Except we didn’t have a card, and so we’ve been without central heating, a working cooker or hot water (bar the electric shower). Thankfully I was able to get the gas and electricity switched over from my old house, and get a card sent through to the new house for the gas, all in one (admittedly quite long) phone call to British Gas. So they, like Virgin Media, win plus points for customer service. We reckon that a previous tenant in the house defaulted on their gas bill as the pre-payment meter is a relatively recent addition, and the house had a lot of electric heaters in it and a microwave oven.
  • It also seems like the previous occupants had one or more cats in the house – we’ve found a couple of cat toys and the house smelled of cat when we first came in. The smell has mostly gone as we’ve had the windows open, but as both Hari and I are allergic to pet hairs we’re having to vacuum and steam-clean the carpets and furnishings. So far we’ve done the bedroom and will be doing the living room next.
  • Though the house did come with a double bed, there wasn’t a corresponding double mattress, so we’ll have to get one other the next few days.

Despite the problems, the house is very nice and well-situated, with lots of local amenities and within a short walk of the university and city centre. The estate also has good CCTV, and seems to have a much lower crime rate than where I’ve lived previously – when I updated and renewed my insurance today, the premium dropped by £80 despite the fact that I’m covering both my belongings and Hari’s, and that we’ve bought more extensive cover to take into account accidental damage. And the neighbours seem really nice, which is always good.
As it’s going to be a week or so before I have internet access in the house I won’t be blogging quite so much over the next few days (but then I go whole weeks without blogging even when I do have internet, so, natch), however as and when I do get access I’ll keep you informed with what’s going on.

One Comment

  1. Hi, I just saw your blog and I’m from Canada. I read that you have asthma. Did you know that asthma is cause by the products that we used in our house and on ourself?
    If no please ask me about it I have domentation and explanations for it.