Katherine Hayton | BLOG
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28 Oct / Frail

This evening I’ve somehow managed to aspirate some spit.

Oh yeah, warning. Don’t read this if you’re eating tea. Or breakfast. Or a meal not particularly associated with any time of the day.

It’s been a good two hours now, and I’m still having bouts of coughing. And a stabbing pain in my left lung. At least I think it’s my left lung. There’s a possibility it’s my heart, but that’s okay. At least then I could take down the detractors who insist I don’t have a heart. More reassuringly I’ve researched heart attack symptoms, almost as much as I’ve researched hypochondria, and I’m certain that it would more resemble a heavy weight in the middle of my chest than a slim stab to the left. Fairly certain. A bit sure.

Anyone know a good doctor?

Anywhoo, I was looking up to see who was in danger from aspiration pneumonia. Because if you can’t have Ebola you make other stuff up. And guess who is most likely to suffer from aspiration pneumonia? Frail people. Old people who can’t sit up. People who are hospitalised and forced to lie flat for weeks on end. People who don’t have enough muscle tone in their throats to swallow.

Mmmmhmmm – you read that right. I’m being compared with people who are so wasted (not in the good way) that they don’t even have the strength to swallow anymore. That’s tube feeding stage. No use pulling out the blender and a spoon, oh no – I’m too far gone for that.

Of course what I’m most concerned about isn’t me. It’s the wellbeing of the people of Canterbury who rip themselves open on something and bleed a copious amount of B+ blood that needs replenishment. It’s all about the giving, you know. Not the taking. I give away 500g of blood. I hardly care at all that it results in an immediate loss of – oh I don’t know – about half a kilo or so in weight.

I’m scheduled in to donate tomorrow morning. If I really am in the process of contracting aspiration pneumonia (just rolls of the tongue by now doesn’t it?) I won’t be allowed to do that. I won’t get my half kilo of weight loss. I won’t get my free biscuit and cup of tea! I won’t get my hour off work!!!

All about the giving. Right now I’m giving up and going to bed. Goodnight, I’ll speak to you again.

If I make it.

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27 Oct / All for charity

Today there was a sale at Ezibuy, and a pink clothing donation bag turned up on our doorstep. Co-incidence? Pah. I don’t believe in co-incidence (whilst still being slightly concerned that there’s a very popular word in existence to describe something that everyone agrees doesn’t exist – still, there’s a word for god as well so it can happen.)

I have gone through my wardrobe and been ruthless. The parts of my wardrobe that haven’t managed to fit into my wardrobe, that is. I only have the bare essentials in my actual wardrobe, but I have a variety of other locations which I refer to as my wardrobe whilst being better known as the chair, the floor, the sofa and the other chair.

I also have a whole other wardrobe, but I reserve that for the items of clothing that I began sewing at some stage in the past and plan to finish… sometime…

Thanks to my strict adherence to throwing anything I could swear blind I’d never seen before into a bag to place at the gate tomorrow, I now have room spare on my sofa wardrobe for some new items of clothing.

Unlike all my other clothes, these ones will actually have a shot at fitting me as well because I ordered them in my current size as opposed to the size I would like to be, or the size that I tell other people I am.

That’s going to come in extremely handy right about now because I appear to have outgrown the last item of my work uniform that still fitted me.

I used to grow out of my uniform all the time when I was a girl, but for some reason everyone looks at me funny when mention that I do it now.

Who cares? The empress has new clothes!

(oh dear me, I didn’t think that one through and now everyone on the internet is going to be picturing me naked… oh well, more fool you)

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26 Oct / Back on track

I think there’s something wrong with my body. Not the obvious, easy to view flaws. No. I’m talking about a problem that runs much deeper.

There’s something wrong with my ankles.

I know that until I lose a bit of weight these should more properly be referred to as cankles, but aside from that even. Pain. That’s the problem. Pain.

If I so much as sit down for an hour without moving, my ankles protest vehemently about supporting my body and shifting it’s bulk from one place to another. If I do continue to walk my weight about they grow used to the idea and their cries subside to a deep mutter, but then something else happens.

More pain. In my knees. They get to a point where I can feel the individual pieces of cartilage moving against each other. Or rubbing against each other. It’s usually a deep-seated ache, but there are occasional flashes of white, hot pain where I can easily imagine my knee cap popping in one direction, and my knee folding in the other.

I shouldn’t write things like this down. My face just went white. Other people’s pain, not a problem. I can torture a crime victim to death over hours or days without blinking twice with the best of them, but my own? I feel faint at the thought of a splinter piercing my flesh, let along a total knee collapse.

My solution thus far has been to stop exercising. If I don’t stand and move about I don’t have these problems.

I must say it worked very well in the short-term, but I’m starting to get the feeling that as a long-term solution it may be falling a bit short. Although I don’t have to put up with the painful jointy bits of my legs as often, for the times that I do have to move them it’s getting worse.

With this in mind I took a lovely walk this morning on the Port Hills of Christchurch. Lovely in the scenery and surrounds and soul-tingling bird songs that is. Not so much in the grunting panting-ness of me trying to move my increasingly elderly body up and down paths that would more be suited to a mountain goat.

Yeah, okay. More suited to an old mountain goat with fading eyesight and wobbly legs who could no longer navigate the thin hilly bits of mountainside and therefore needed the practically boulevard-sized paths of an urban dweller, but still. A slow dim-witted mountain creature is still more suited to mountains than I am.

We only got through about two-thirds of the regular walk we were doing early in the year before it started to pour with rain all the time and the paths turned to a muddy slip ‘n’ slide. I gave up early in the hope that my legs wouldn’t punish me the rest of the day (a vain hope as it turned out.)

Yet, for all the pain and the discomfort, and the weird itchiness of the backs of my hands for the rest of the day, I have fond memories of my panting ascent and descent of the hill. So much so that as long as it doesn’t rain hard overnight I may be suggesting the same trek again tomorrow morning.

Or I may opt for plan B and loll in front of the telly. We’ll see.

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25 Oct / Sad, sad girl.

Guess what I’ve been doing for the past couple of hours. Go on, guess.

Hah! Not likely. No, I’ve been doing work.

Yup. It’s a Saturday night and I’ve been sitting on my sofa for the last couple of hours working out the complex differences between two very similar wording extensions to Material Damage cover because I received an email during my course yesterday that I am leaving until next week to deal with but which caught my interest so much that instead I had to look it up tonight.

I know. I’m uber cool. And I get invited to all the right parties. If your definition of a party is not one.

But at least now I know. I know the difference between one PP code definition and another PP code definition and what cover they were meant to offer on our office’s computer system. While they may appear the same to the uninitiated I can now give you their entire history as well as when the appropriate changes were not made, or were made in error, which led to the confusion in the first place.

What is the difference, I hear you ask (because I’m prone to auditory hallucinations in the evening) and BTW what’s a PP code while you’re at it?

And the fact that you have to ask the second question leads me directly to the conclusion that you’re not yet ready to hear the answer to the first. Another day perhaps. When you haven’t stopped reading from mind-numbing boredom.

There, I’ll leave you. Perhaps to go out on an exciting adventure where I throw caution to the wind and take the bull by the horns. Perhaps to go to bed early with a smile on my face because I solved a small riddle that concerned no one but me.

Good night.

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One thing that I’ve taken away with me from the three-day course I’ve been on, is that people use their phones a lot. And I mean a lot!

And not for the usual things like Candy Crunch or Farm Heroes. They were reading things on there, and sending messages that were longer than LOL <:-) or the pressing of a retweet.

I think, and I don’t have proof mind, but I think they were doing work.

I did receive the odd work message myself you know. I’m not a complete loser. There was a query about how the course was going, and a… no that was it. A query about how the course was going. Not a lot of back and forth there, once you’ve banked the sarcasm you’re done.

I’m afraid that I started to get a bit of phone envy. I do have a very nice phone. But as the old adage goes, it’s not how big it is, it’s what you do with it that counts. And I had done sadly little.

I did have a twitter contest going, but since that was only with myself and therefore could only ever have one winner or loser (winner! Yay!) it probably doesn’t count. I’m thinking that other people are using their phones as a method of communication. In some way, shape or form. Not to the point that anyone would actually telephone – now you’re just being retro stupid – but certainly in a this involves at least two or more people sort of way.

So I did what any right-thinking person would do. On the second break I pretended to have urgent business as well. Oh, I frowned at some of those emails from Asos, and I gave a little gasp ‘Oh’ in delight for the wonderful offers exhibited by Air New Zealand. And as for those luscious wee emails from NZSale, well.

In order to make my work look a little bit more genuine I furiously typed a copy of some of these emails and sent them to myself. At home of course. Not work. That would be stupid.

And then I messaged a few tweeps and favourite a few tweets, and put it back in my bag.

By which time everyone else was still fiddling with their phones. I did have a secret weapon though. My work phone. This is a pristine item indeed, kept only for the purpose of providing replacement battery parts to other identical phones within the office phone family, or to whip out in meetings in a kind of ‘me-too’ logic that you can see I easily fall prey to.

I pulled it out, unfastened the metal magnet tab, and pressed the teeny tiny little button that is nested exactly next to the join and fastening for the phone holder so that you have to try two to three times before you can actually depress it enough to turn it on.

I held my breath the first time. It’s a bit of a gamble after all. I only check it once a week to see if it’s still retaining a battery charge and that had been down to a half on Monday.

But to my relief the phone came into full blossom in front of me. It cracked me up how it asked me if I wanted to connect to wifi to download the latest updates. We had a giggle at how I forgot my password the first time and it decided to treat me like a stern schoolmistress. Then I was in, and there was a plethora of phone messages waiting for my assistance.

Copies of the bank statements that I don’t need a copy of. Updates on problems that were happening with the computers at the office that I wasn’t attending while I was on the course. An inquiry as to whether I could provide some information, which I found in the email trail I had already provided.

Glorious seconds were filled as I scrolled through this pointless list of pixelation.

And then the break was over and I put my second phone away with a sigh of relief. I’d held up my end.

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I’ve been on a course for the past couple of days, and have the last day of it tomorrow. Just in time for a long weekend to recover. Thank God.

I love learning new things, or even having old things I’ve already learned being re-presented so I can think of them in a new and exciting way. It’s all good. I usually learn by experimenting on my own, which is an incredibly close-minded way to learn, so whenever I get the opportunity it’s great to join in with a class. Much more open-minded, though not so much that my brain will fall out, as Dawkins would say.

There are a few drawbacks to learning with a group of course. They don’t go at your speed. Either you’re sitting there going, get on with it, get on with it. Or sitting there going what. What just happened. Wozzit mean?

Then there are all the different personality types that happen when disparate people are trapped in a conference room specially designed to hold at least four fewer people. (Fewer. See. That’s for you, my darling.)

There are definitely roles that are mandatory in any group of people. I usually audition fairly early on for the role of class-clown, but there have been a few too many medications and a few too many side-effects going on lately to keep the pace up after the first morning. It’s awfully tiring you know. Luckily that’s a popular role so there are plenty of other fillers. Auditions over, sorry Katherine you didn’t get the part this time.

Then there’s the person who knows more than the instructors. Yeah, you bet you know that one. Oh god. Make it stop. Make it stop.

And you remember the person with the annoying anecdotes that don’t quite fit any situation but get trotted out for… I don’t know. I assume there’s some sort of reason. Surely there’s some reason. Surely you’re not putting us through this just because you like the sound of your own voice. Like the heckler who stands up in the middle of the show and shouts out “ME!”

Last of all there’s the one who makes everyone else feel smart by virtue of never getting the theory behind anything, but who is also incredibly annoying because it was bad enough to hear that theorem spouted the first time, by the third it’s into wrist-slitting territory.

I’ve been making up games with myself to get through. I have a “follow people on twitter without anyone seeing you with your phone” game going on that’s been very successful so far. I’ve also taken a few photos of Found, Near Water near various appliances in the room without raising anybody’s eyebrows. That I know about anyway.

I’ve written at least ten pages of notes on how to make the second draft of my novel so much better than the first draft, and also noted down a couple of random thoughts that might turn into my fourth or fifth novel. Maybe.

I’m getting a bit desperate though. I could conceivably try to book my entire holiday for next September on my phone without looking at the screen, but we’re heading into some dangerous waters there. Credit cards are involved. Or I could try to whisper commands into my smart-watch that it can interpret but the rest of the room can’t hear – but that’s just foolishness. I don’t have a smart-watch. Refer Customer Service blog for reasons why.

I suppose the port of last refuge would be to actually pay – I don’t know – like, attention? to the class.

Nah. Only kidding.

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22 Oct / Finished.

Hooray. I have officially finished the first draft of my latest novel. Wholehearted awesomeness all-around.

I already have a list of notes for my second draft, and will undoubtedly spend the next couple of days jotting down all the things that I should’ve written instead of the ones I actually did. But that’s something I can worry about another day. Or, this weekend for starters.

It’s going to be so much easier doing the second draft than the first draft because I’m getting on much better with my characters, and I’m really just going through and filling in all the gaps with putty to make sure everything makes some sort of sense.

And then the third draft will be even easier still because that’s just sorting out the sentence structure, and making sure it all sounds okay when you read it. Yes, that’s me muttering to myself at the back of the bus as I read my own book out loud. So too is normal.

And then it’s just a matter of handing my beautiful baby girl off to complete strangers to read and make fun of. Or, a better reaction, go all gaga over.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. For the moment I’m just happy with the thought that today I’m giving myself the night off writing. Apart from this blog obviously.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

21 Oct / Customer Service

Katherine Hayton Oct 18 04:59 AM

Hi – I placed an order for a Samsung Gear Live Purple Watch on your website a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t receive an email confirmation, and I haven’t received the item in the mail yet, although I had paid for express courier delivery and the shipping timeframe was 5-7 days.

The only confirmation I have that this order was placed is the charge to my credit card. I have guessed that the order number is the reference number provided on the credit card, but without a confirmation I’m not sure.

Would you please confirm that this order has been placed, advise what is happening with delivery as it’s now well outside the timeframe indicated on your website, and please send an email confirmation of the order so that I can track its progress.

The credit card charge details for this order are:
Transaction Date 3 Oct 2014
Processing Date 3 Oct 2014
Details ETAIL SOLUTIONS PTY LT AUCKLAND NZ
Debit $259.80
Reference 276258

If you aren’t able to fulfill this order would you please refund this debit immediately.

Kind regards,
Katherine

Kimberly (MobiCity Helpdesk)
Oct 18 02:14 PM

Hi Katherine,

We would like to inform you regarding ordered item Samsung Gear Live that only Black color is available, if you would like to switch please feel free to reply at this email for further assistance. Sorry for the inconvenience. Cheers.

Kind regards,
The MobiCity Helpdesk Team

Katherine Hayton
Oct 18 02:33 PM

No I don’t want to switch my order to the black colour. Please refund my credit card charge and send confirmation that this has been done.

Regards,
Katherine

Kimberly (MobiCity Helpdesk)
Oct 20 03:44 PM

Hi,

I have already requested to cancel your order.
I’ll email you once I have an update.

Kind regards,
The MobiCity Helpdesk Team

[MobiCity Helpdesk] Pending request: Order # 200019731
Oct 21 07:03 PM

## In replies all text above this line is added to the ticket ##

This is an e-mail to remind you that your request (#291939) is pending and awaits your feedback.

Please follow the link below link to review and update your request or reply to this email with your response: http://support.mobicity.com/requests/291939

You may need to create an account to view your ticket. If so, please create your new account using your email address and a secure password under the create account option. Otherwise, if you have an account, please log into your account using your email address and previously chosen password to view your tickets.

???????

My feedback that you have been awaiting is that you suck. Oh, I’m sorry. I meant, you have already sucked.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

Today was Monday.

I reluctantly accepted this after the alarm went, after I fell back asleep confident that it couldn’t possibly be so, and after I was rudely shocked back to wakefulness when my darling came back in the room in his weekday pattern.

Damn you weekend. Why do you always abandon me so soon?

I treat you with such love. I plan such exuberant things to share with you. I spend time and effort all week long thinking of how I’m going to fill every minute that we’re together, and what do you do?

You sneak away. You slip by. You catapult me forward while you stay behind.

We used to be such good friends. You’d give me a little nudge in the morning, and I’d shake my head and snuggle down for a couple more hours in bed. Then we’d go out and do something great. Something exiting. Something wonderful.

Like shopping. Remember the days when we used to go shopping? Sure, there’s still the supermarket but it’s just not the same.

And movies. Remember when we used to go to the movies? Remember when I’d stay up late at night so we could get a thrill and a chill long after I’d usually be in bed? Remember?

But those days are long gone. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I’m the one who’s grown complacent. But it doesn’t seem that way. Saturday, I’m looking at you. Sunday… Sunday? Won’t you even look me in the eye anymore?

I’ll make you a firm promise then. I’ll meet you here, same time, same place. Four and a half days from now. Don’t pike out on me now. Don’t you turn your back or pass me by when all I want to do is spend time with you.

Four and a half days weekend. I’ve got something special planned.

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