Sleep With Me Podcast [en]

It’s 11pm. It’s 30 degrees on my windowsill. The cat is dripping off the couch like a Dali watch. I slept all afternoon, because of a short night, and woke up at 8.30pm.

Tomorrow I take my car and go to work. It feels a little unreal, because it’s so hot that Switzerland is turning into a tropical country, and I’m thinking of installing a ceiling fan, and mosquito nets, because even though mosquitoes aren’t a problem now, in a few years they will.

Caught in a mildly dystopian SF short story.

There is a warm breeze that sometimes makes it onto the balcony where I’m writing. Sometimes. Tonight I will sleep with the fan on.

On Wednesday morning I will flee to the chalet, where it’s 10 degrees cooler. I will work from up there. I will sleep. The cats won’t like the commute but I know they’ll appreciate the temperature change too.

The other day I was listening to the episode The Shipping Forecast on the 99% invisible podcast. I like this podcast because it’s super interesting, and also because (paradoxical, I know), I use it to go to sleep when I have a hard time falling asleep. I’m not alone (listen to the episode). It’s a bit annoying because I end up having to relisten to episodes I fell asleep to, but it works really well.

Seems many enjoy falling asleep to the sound of the shipping forecast. Roman Mars does a reading at the end of his episode, and indeed, I was almost asleep by the end. On this episode, he introduced us to Sleep With Me, a podcast designed on purpose to help people go to sleep. I’ve used it a few times and it’s wonderful. I can’t make head or tail of what Drew is talking about, but it works great. The added bonus is that I don’t feel bad about falling asleep in the middle of the story, as that’s what it’s designed for! From a storytelling point of view I’m fascinated by how meandering the narration is. All over the place, just like your brain when it wanders off before pulling the curtains for the night.

If you have trouble going to sleep, whether because of the heat or thoughts running around in your head, I definitely recommend trying it.

 

En chemin [fr]

Bec dans le bitume
Petite vie à plumes
Se termine, comme ça
Sans raison
A plumes, à poils
Et d’hommes, aussi
Ces vies qui passent
Trépassent
Petite vie courte
Sur la route
Et nous les chanceux
Qui n’avons pas eu “pas de chance”
Témoins endoloris
De la vie
Qui s’éteint
Qui n’est plus
Rien.

Heat [en]

We’re under a heat wave. Definitely under, not riding it. Submerged.

It’s too hot. Too hot outside, too hot inside. Hotter than it has been in decades — more than a century.

It’s not going to be getting any better. In a few years I’ll probably have ceiling fans. Or portable AC.

For the time being I’m getting by with normal fans, and being smart about opening and closing windows, and keeping blinds down. As soon as the air outside is warmer than inside, I keep everything airtight. And no sun shines inside.

It’s a bit dreary. And it makes it hard to do things like work.

I’ve seen worse heat. In India. But India has ceiling fans, high ceilings, and AC in many places.

My building absorbs heat and keeps radiating it inside during the night. It’s not so much the air as the walls that are the issue.

So, in India. The pace of life is different. It is heat-compatible. Trying to live a Swiss life with nasty heat isn’t fun at all.

My feet are soaking in a tub of water as I write, and it’s 9.30pm. I used that trick to work this afternoon — thanks to Gabriel who mentioned it on Facebook when I complained about struggling to work in the heat.

This afternoon, it was 34.5 in the shade on my balcony. 30 inside. 28 downstairs at eclau, at my desk. 30 in the conference room.

Quintus is suffering. He lies down on his side, vacant stare, spread out like a tropical cat. He’s taken to flopping down in various places (good thing he’s the blind one or I’d be stepping on him), including the bathroom rug. I try not to worry.

I plan to escape to the mountains a little next week. To work. I’m at this stage in my project that I can’t take time off, though I’d really like to right now. I actually have a lot of work to do. This heat isn’t helping. So I’m planning on heading to the chalet to work. Not the way I’d want to be heading to the chalet. But I need to escape from here.

I remember doing that last year already (not to work).

This is not going to be getting better. We will have scorching hot summers and freezing winters. Dry spells and flooding rain. It’s more comfortable to think we can do something about it by buying carbon offset or foregoing a car. But the truth is that impact will come from policy level. So… if you want to make a difference, become one of those people who make the rules or vote on them. That’s how to operate change.

It’s actually cooler in Pune right now than it is in Lausanne. How ironic.

Tonight I will sleep with everything open. Blinds and windows. I will not sleep well. I will dream of AC or a ceiling fan. I will wonder about the mosquitoes buzzing around, and mosquito nets. I will imagine that before I die, my experience living in a tropical country will serve me again — in a very different part of the world.

Don’t read if you can’t cry now [en]

No, not this post. But it’s a warning I’ve used twice in the last hour. I keep reading stuff that makes me cry. Because there’s that kind of stuff around, like my friend who just lost her dog, or this piece on the ugly truth behind kill shelters (tl;dr: people who let their pets reproduce, buy rather than adopting, and discard them when they become inconvenient). Cats who die in the diabetic cat group I manage.

Yeah, animal stuff, because the human stuff is worse and right now I can’t take it.

I’m spreading myself thin, too thin, the not enough butter on too much bread thing. A lot to do at work, a lot to do out of work, and a slippery slope I keep crawling back up and sliding back down where I struggle to set aside time and space and peace to recuperate.

I’m doing OK, though. A minor (minor? major?) crisis landed on my lap on Monday, and I didn’t disintegrate. So, I’m still winning against the slippery slope. But I know I have to be careful. Very careful. And I am being careful. I’m taking active measures to slow down, give myself “default mode” time, curb compulsive behaviours. But it’s not easy.

And all around me everybody seems overworked, stretched too thin, running after time and bandwidth. Is it worth trying to resist, or is this just how life is?

Lecture d’été: Ma belle-mère s’appelle Rex [fr]

Pour ces journées caniculaires à ne pas mettre un chat sur le balcon, Sir Quintus vous recommande vivement la lecture de Ma belle-mère s’appelle Rex (aussi: amazon, fnac, page facebook — il est bien sûr dispo en kindle).

Un vétérinaire convaincu que sa belle-mère (un brin problématique, la belle-mère) s’est réincarnée dans le berger allemand que sa femme a adopté pour se remettre du décès de celle-ci. Est-ce qu’il débloque sous le coup du stress, le pauvre véto, ou bien est-ce que l’auteur (véto lui-même) veut véritablement nous embarquer dans une aventure surnaturelle? Vous le saurez en lisant le livre!

C’est une histoire pour les gens qui aiment les animaux, vous l’aurez bien compris, drôle et légère, idéale pour cette période où l’on désire se distraire sans se prendre la tête ou faire un grand huit émotionnel. Une lecture d’été 🙂

Et si les animaux c’était pas votre truc… pensez aux gens de votre entourage!

Acedia: A New Word For Me [en]

[fr] L'acédie, un nouveau mot dans mon vocabulaire pour faire référence à cette torpeur de l'inaction que je ne connais que trop bien. Explorations philosophiques en vue.

Many years ago the word “procrastination” entered my life. I had a word to describe that thing that I did: postponing stuff I needed to do. Waiting until the last minute, or until I was on the verge of trouble. In all these years, I have thought (and written) about procrastination quite a bit.

I still procrastinate.

Friday, a new word entered my world: acedia. It came to me through this article. It came on the heels of reading Laziness Does Not Exist, which amongst other things introduces the idea of executive function issues.

Acedia describes what I struggle with perfectly: I don’t feel like doing stuff — to the extent that it becomes a problem. And I feel bad about it. And I spend time faffing about, doing stuff I don’t really want to do, and feeling gloomy. Tie in recent discussions about social media and compulsion.

And the remedy — action — also feels familiar. Over the years, my quest to “solve” procrastination has led me to explore productivity techniques, forming habits and understanding habituation, establishing routines, happiness research… And one thing that I figured out was that when I was active, I was better. And that when I didn’t feel like doing anything, the best remedy was to do stuff. Catch-22, isn’t it?

Acedia is one of the seven sins. A lot of the literature around it is steeped in christian morality, or dated, but it’s still useful and interesting. That’s what’s wonderful about philosophy. We can learn from the ancient Stoics for our lives today, just like we can learn from Saint Thomas Aquinas. Go beyond the sin and figure out the psychology that is hiding in there. Here are a bunch of things I found.

I’d like to quote the really helpful comment on the first article nearly in full (thanks, Josh, whoever you are):

Throughout my attempts to change, I have thought long and hard about the question you raised. How do you choose to act when you don’t feel like it? How, in that moment when you are lying in bed about to fall asleep, and then you realize you didn’t take out the garbage which is going to be picked up early next morning, and you know you won’t get up early enough to take it out but you tell yourself you will get up anyway, how do you choose to get up and do it? This concept of knowing somewhere deep down inside that you should do something, but not doing it anyway, is known as akrasia, or the weakness of will. This is related to acedia but not the same thing: acedia is larger than akrasia but encompasses it.

The key part is that somewhere inside of you you believe that you should do that thing. If you didn’t believe that you should brush your teeth, then there wouldn’t be a problem (well, there would be, but it would be a whole different problem). And presumably you believe this for reasons. I believe that I should brush me teeth because if I don’t I’ll probably get cavities and lose my teeth which will be painful, expensive, and somewhat incapacitating. I believe that I should spend time with this person because I care about them, I want to develop their relationship, and it will ultimately be better for me as well. I believe that I should take out the trash now because otherwise it will overflow and my yard will start smelling like trash.

But apparently these reasons aren’t enough, or at least they aren’t always enough, evidenced by the fact that I don’t brush my teeth, take out the trash, or spend time with people a lot of the time. And yet if you look at the reasons I just gave, they should be completely sufficient for a rational person to do the given behavior. There are two factors as to why I don’t do these things in the moment. The first is because of little excuses I make in my head. For instance in the case of taking out the trash, I might tell myself, “I’ll take it out early next morning” or “I can go another week without overflowing the trash bin”. Or I might not even give a justification, like “It’s not that big of a deal.” The second is that I just don’t feel like it. I don’t have any energy. I feel empty. I don’t have the will. So I don’t do it.

So you have these two conflicting parts of you. The one that tells you you should get up and take the trash out. And the one that tells you should just go to sleep. There are six things that I have found most helpful in choosing the former self.

First, I think it needs to be said, you need to accept the reality of suffering. As much as I hate saying this and wish it wasn’t true, at some level, you need to accept that getting up will be unpleasant and move past that. As to how you accept and transcend this pain, it’s something I think that you need to learn in your own way. But there are certainly ways to help, which is what the next ones are.

Second, keep in mind your place in time. Remember how short your life is. Think about your funeral, and what kind of person you want to remembered as. Think about how the decision effect the type of person you’re becoming. Think about the percentage of your life that has already gone by, and the average human life span. Think about what you will think about yourself the next morning. Think, and think honestly, about the consequences of your decision.

Third, make and memorize rational sentences about why you should do the behavior, and then repeat them to yourself in the moment of ambivalence. This helps fight against the little lies you tell yourself to make yourself feel better about not doing the thing. For instance, if you’re trying to fight the urge to not brush your teeth, you might say the statement in your head, “By not brushing I am contributing to cavities, which in turn will be painful, expensive, make me less attractive, and I will never be able to get my real teeth back ever again.” Also you might prepare a mental image of what you would look like without teeth. Or you can also memorize and repeat more general things like a bible verse. “How long will you lie there, O sluggard? When will you arise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber, and want like an armed man.” Proverbs 6:9-11.

Fourth, use mental pictures. People think in pictures: they are extremely powerful. If you picture yourself after having done the thing you don’t feel like doing, this will almost certainly help motivate you.

Fifth, if it is something that will take an extended period of time, do it systematically. Break the thing up into manageable chunks and consistently work on the chunks over time, consistently being the key word. Plan things out ahead of time. Structure. Order. And do it intelligently and efficiently.

Sixth — more of an encouragement really, the more you repeat the said behavior, the more self-respect you gain, and the more self-respect you gain, the easier it becomes the next time. Eventually it will develop into a habit, which you won’t even have to think about. It may seem to get harder the longer you do it, but if you do it consistently for over a month then I guarantee it will get easier.

So, acedia.

I think there is something logical in that idleness breeds idleness, and action, action. I can’t remember if I ever read The Moral Animal to the end, but I did find the evolutionary psychology approach very interesting.

Go back to our “cave-dwelling” ancestors. If there is nothing you need to do to keep yourself safe and fed, then maybe it’s good not to have an urge to go out there and hunt and get eaten by a sabre-toothed tiger. On the other hand, if you are busy keeping yourself alive, then maybe you want to keep that drive going. This is just an intuition of mine, an explanation I like, and I’m aware it’s a bit simplistic.

So, now that I’ve written this article, off to my next activity 🙂

Des cours sur les chats et leur comportement [fr]

[en] An inventory of the (now numerous) courses I have followed on feline behavior. The next one is on ageing cats, in two weeks.

Note: ne ratez pas le cours le chat âgé, le 12 juillet 19-22h à Semsales, près de Châtel-St-Denis! 60.- le cours; je fais le trajet en voiture depuis Lausanne et peux prendre du monde.

Si vous aimez les chats, si cet animal vous intéresse, que vous désirez mieux comprendre votre félin, améliorer votre relation avec lui, voire résoudre des problèmes de comportement: je ne peux que vous encourager à vous intéresser à une série de cours que j’ai suivis avec grand intérêt.

Bien sûr, j’avais l’intention de faire ici des comptes-rendus à mesure, mais vous savez comme c’est. Alors je vais vous faire un petit inventaire synthétique et aussi vous signaler le prochain cours, sur le chat âgé, qui a lieu le 12 juillet 2018. Il reste encore de la place. Les cours sont donnés par le vétérinaire comportementaliste que j’avais consulté à l’époque pour les problèmes de marquage de Tounsi.

Mon amie Claire, une blogueuse bien plus rigoureuse que moi, a écrit toute une série d’articles suite à ces cours que nous avons suivis ensemble. Je vais donc sans autre forme de procès vous aiguiller sur ses articles.

  1. Le premier cours qu’on avait suivi, Entre chat et moi, était le seul donné par une autre comportementaliste. J’avais trouvé extrêmement intéressant. D’où vient le chat, côté évolution? Comment vit-il? Comment fonctionne-t-il? En gros, qu’est-ce qu’un chat? (les notes de Claire). [note: j’ai commencé à mettre ici certains des points qui m’avaient frappé, mais ce sera pour un article séparé…]
  2. Le deuxième cours portait sur les jeux, activités, et occupations du chat. C’est suite à ce cours que j’avais écrit Le chat, animal si pratique, mais qui s’ennuie “à dormir” dans nos maisons, et fait une longue vidéo live sur Facebook. Comment occuper son chat, conçu pour passer une dizaine d’heures par jour à chasser, et enfermé la plupart du temps dans une cage dorée où la nourriture est servie sur gamelle? J’en étais ressortie avec plein d’idées pratiques pour améliorer le quotidien des mes chats, même s’ils sortaient déjà, ce qui enrichit déjà largement leur environnement. Lire les comptes-rendus de Claire: partie 1 (nourriture), partie 2 (jeux et activités), partie 3 (espace).
  3. Nous avons ensuite fait un petit détour par la nutrition (générale et thérapeutique). C’était fascinant aussi! La nourriture est vite un sujet de débat “religieux” parmi les propriétaires de chats, donc c’était bien d’avoir quelques notions de base, des outils, et un peu de science à laquelle se raccrocher pour garder son esprit critique. Ce que j’ai apprécié particulièrement lors de ce cours est qu’il n’avait pas pour but de débattre si cru, croquettes, humides, ou rations maison étaient “le mieux”, mais de clarifier quels sont les besoins nutritionnels du chat et nous aider à déterminer si tel ou tel régime est équilibré. La preuve, tant Claire que moi avons trouvé ce cours intéressant: elle donne de la nourriture crue à ses chats et moi des croquettes! Voici d’ailleurs deux articles qu’elle a écrits suite à ce cours: l’alimentation du chat, introduction et les conséquences d’un déséquilibre alimentaire.
  4. Le cours sur le développement du comportement du chat, même s’il se focalise pas mal sur le chaton, était aussi utile pour comprendre comment un chat devient un chat, et ainsi mieux rentrer dans sa “logique de chat”. Comme tout le monde, j’adore les chatons, mais je fais aussi campagne pour que les gens adoptent les adultes qui se morfondent dans les refuges plutôt que de simplement craquer pour un “chaton cromignon”, et donc je n’ai pas de grande expérience (ou intérêt) côté reproduction, mise à part m’être occupée de trois orphelins il y a déjà pas mal d’années de ça. Ce cours a abordé en particulier les questions d’inné et d’acquis, le mode d’apprentissage du chat, sa socialisation (à l’espèce féline et aux autres espèces). Claire a écrit Comment se développe le comportement du chat et Le développement du chaton, partie 1 et partie 2.
  5. Nombre de problèmes comportementaux sont dûs au stress et à l’anxiété, donc c’était utile de suivre un cours sur le sujet. Comme les humains ne sont pas stressés par les mêmes choses que les chats ou les chiens, on évalue souvent mal ce qui est source de stress pour notre animal. Avoir les clés, c’est précieux. D’une part pour que notre animal se sente bien, d’autre part pour réduire certains comportements non-désirés qui sont dûs à des stress évitables.
  6. Septième cours suivi (!): la communication féline. Un inventaire très utile des différents signaux émis par le chat (sonores, visuels, olfactifs, posturaux, etc) et leur interprétation. C’est plutôt complexe, mais vraiment intéressant. Depuis, je vois les soucis que la cécité de Quintus pose dans ses (rares) interactions avec Erica, quand ils se croisent dehors. J’ai aussi découvert les différentes fractions de phéromones, l’importance d’observer des choses comme la position des oreilles ou le diamètre des pupilles vu que les odeurs et les phéromones ne nous sont pas accessibles, et on a aussi parlé de l’impact de la “socialisation forcée” chez les chats obligés à cohabiter. Claire a écrit La communication féline pour débutants suite à ce cours.
  7. Dernier cours en date, la douleur chez le chat et le chien. Là aussi, sujet hyper important vu que le chat masque sa douleur et ne s’en plaint pas, et donc que celle-ci va se manifester à travers son comportement, qu’il s’agira d’interpréter correctement. Vous imaginez que c’est un sujet qui me tenait particulièrement à coeur, avec Quintus et toute son arthrose. Mieux comprendre les éléments physiologiques de la douleur m’a permis de comprendre un peu mieux comment agissent les différents médicaments qu’on a pour agir dessus. Comme toujours, Claire a été bien plus organisée que moi et elle a publié Qu’est-ce que la douleur chez le chat? Comment la repérer? Comment la soulager?

Dans deux semaines, je me réjouis vraiment d’aller suivre le cours sur le chat âgé. Quintus a 17 ans, âgé depuis un moment, et il présente plein de problématiques de vieux chats: douleur et maladie, handicap (cécité et difficultés de mobilité), activité réduite, un peu de désorientation… Je suis déjà relativement bien équipée pour m’occuper de lui, mais je me réjouis de compléter les lacunes dans mon “éducation féline”! Cet automne, j’ai prévu de suivre le cours sur l’intelligence des chats, chiens, et autres animaux. Et je me tâte même pour aller faire un petit tour chez le chien, animal que je connais moins bien que le chat mais qu’il m’intéresse aussi de comprendre.

Faites-moi signe si vous vous inscrivez au cours du 12 juillet!

J’adorais mon vélo électrique Moustache (Samedi 28 Nuvinci) [fr]

[en] My bicycle was stolen Friday. I really loved it, and I'm finding myself really sad about this loss -- in addition to angry at those who stole.

Vendredi soir, arrivant à la gare après une longue journée de travail, je me paie un épisode “4e dimension”: mon vélo n’est plus là.

Envolé, volé, parti, adieu mon beau vélo.

Alors je dépose plainte, je trouve une solution de repli temporaire (un grand merci, Yan), je mets en route les démarches pour l’assurance, et je tente de faire le deuil de ce vélo que j’adorais.

Vous savez, souvent, quand on acquiert quelque chose, on est tout content de l’avoir et de l’utiliser. L’excitation de la nouvelle acquisition. Et puis ça passe, on s’habitue, et on oublie de s’émerveiller.

Rien de tel avec mon vélo. J’avais toujours un plaisir fou à chaque utilisation. Et pas juste parce qu’il était beau. Il était vraiment merveilleux à l’usage.

C’était un Moustache Samedi 28 Nuvinci. Je n’avais jamais entendu parler de la marque Moustache avant de l’acheter. Pour dire vrai, je ne m’étais jamais vraiment intéressée à l’idée d’acheter un vélo électrique. Mais maintenant je suis fan. Du vélo électrique comme moyen de transport, et de cette marque.

Ce sont des vélos chers. Très honnêtement, le prix était une des choses qui me retenait à m’intéresser aux vélos électriques. Je trouvais que sortir 1500 balles pour un vélo, c’était excessif. Alors quand vous regardez le prix des Moustache…

C’est mon père, en cherchant un pour lui, qui a déniché un revendeur qui déstockait. Et qui m’a “un peu” poussé à en acheter un. C’était une très bonne affaire, alors je l’ai fait, mais sans grand enthousiasme.

Tout ça a changé quand j’ai commencé à l’utiliser. Mon vélo est devenu mon vélo chéri. J’étais la première surprise. Et maintenant, il est soit en pièces quelque part, soit en train d’être revendu dans un autre pays à un client plus ou moins soupçonneux. L’aimera-t-il autant que moi?

Maintenant que j’ai un point de comparaison, voici ce que j’appréciais particulièrement avec mon Samedi 28:

  • le cadre avait la bonne taille pour moi, j’étais vraiment confortable dessus pour pédaler (et l’angle des poignées de guidon)
  • la puissance du moteur et la façon dont il complétait sans accroc celle de mes mollets, super fluide
  • la selle, extrêmement confortable
  • côté sécurité, les freins à disque, les roues réfléchissantes, et les phares costauds
  • la suspension à l’avant et dans la tige de la selle
  • la sensation au pédalier et d’adhérence à la route, même en pédalant sans l’assistance électrique
  • et surtout, surtout, le moyeu Nuvinci pour le changement continu de vitesses.

Alors bien sûr, je suis en train de regarder les modèles actuels, en espérant que l’assurance me rembourse effectivement de quoi remplacer mon vélo par un équivalent. Mais les lignes et les modèles changent, et le modèle précis que j’avais n’existe plus.

Adieu, mon beau vélo Moustache.

A Day Without Glasses [en]

I’ve only been wearing my reading glasses regularly since March. I had +0.75 in both eyes when I got tested 18 months or so ago. Not much, but enough to bother me. I’m turning 44 this summer. It’s early. But it is what it is.

My glasses snapped in half yesterday. They’re cheap glasses I got at the pharmacy, but over the last weeks I had grown to depend on them. Just like with hearing aids, the brain quickly learns to refuse to make extra useless efforts. It learns that it doesn’t have to spend so  much energy compensating.

I noticed that, each time I’d try to look at my phone without glasses, I could see it was fuzzy, and I could feel my brow furrowing and my eyes straining.

I’m on the train back from a whole day of work (at the computer, not fun otherwise) without my glasses. And I can feel how much more tired my eyes are. I had a headache. Maybe it was the two short nights I had (I’m reading a captivating book), or the stormy weather, but I kind of suspect the lack of glasses is also to be blamed.

I’m going to buy some new ones tomorrow, come hell or high water.

Morning Train [en]

I’m swimming in francophonia and it shows on my blog, right? So, today on my morning commute, I’ll write in English.

I’m sick of commuting. As commutes go, my commute is nice. Beautiful views. Clean and quiet Swiss train. Quiet Swiss passengers. 45 minutes uninterrupted from station to station. But it’s a total of 2.5 hours each day that I am spending away from home.

Last Thursday I forgot my bicycle battery again. In a bus, this time. I’d already forgotten it on the train, and just after that, in a corridor at work.

My next job had better be in Lausanne. This one ends on September 30th. The project is going great. Our CMS is in place now and although development is not finished yet, it means I can get busy introducing content into it. It’s a lot of work.

Though I still have time, I’m starting to look for my next job. I updated LinkedIn a little, and am starting to tell people I am looking. Ideally a consultant or project manager position (doesn’t have to be in digital communications but I’m aware that given my strong skills in that area it might be what I’ll find). I’d love to work at facilitating Swiss-Indian work relations — there seems to be a market there for somebody like me who is acquainted with both cultures.

Why consulting? Well, although I can do operational work, to be honest, it’s generally not what I enjoy the most. I know work is not (just!) about enjoying yourself, but there enjoyment, motivation, and performance are linked — at least for me. What I like doing and am good at is analysing situations, solving problems, getting things off the ground, organising, bringing about change, and putting operations in place. Once that is done, I much prefer if I can move on to something else and hand over the project.

So, I’m looking. In Lausanne.

Other than that, my old cat Quintus is doing quite well given his 17 years and various ailments. After being pretty certain I was going to lose him this winter, it’s nice to be able to relax. He remains an old cat and I treasure every extra week we get.

Health wise, I’m clearly over my giardia infection. And I’m really wondering how crazy long I had it, because my digestive system hasn’t been this happy in years. It took me months to be able to reintroduce dairy (and I still haven’t had fondue or raclette) but I seem to have managed. I’m at least far enough along the process now that I’m confident I should be able to deal with dairy like before. I’m also finding that I need less sleep, and cope with short nights much better than I used to.

With that, my back is getting better. Lots of back problems are in fact digestive issues. Well, when giardia stopped bothering me, my back (and hip) clearly started improving. It didn’t prevent me from doing silly things like carry heavy stuff and block my back again, but overall I can see the end of the tunnel. I’m slowly starting to go back to judo.

In the silly news department, I broke my reading glasses yesterday. They just snapped in half. I’ve been wearing them regularly since March and it really makes a difference. I can actually feel my eyes strain as I write this. Tomorrow I’ll go and see what I can find.

I could have put a pile of links in this post but it’s pretty fiddly to do on the iPad, even with an external keyboard. Sorry about that!