Steady, aim …

Yesterday I watched a skilled, trained, experienced NHS professional fail to extract blood from Bonusbarn by the simple expedient of sticking a needle into him. I’m not doing her down: I know it’s a matter of finding the vein, and if the vein isn’t prominent then success isn’t guaranteed. She tried again and this time got the required few drops into the vacuum container thingy.

But, bearing in mind that the distances involve can be measured usefully in millimetres, somehow it makes sinking a shaft you could easily step across half a mile through rock into a gallery only a few metres wide all the more remarkable.

Of course, veins aren’t generally positioned by GPS.

Anyway, here’s the last man leaving the mine. Wow. Towards the end it looks like they’re playing with him. We’re bringing you up! No we’re not. Yes we are! No we’re not. Tee hee.

So that’s why I don’t deflect compasses

To give blood you have to have 13.5 somethings per something in your iron count. I have 13.3. Put another way, when they take the drop of blood they drop it into a tube full of blue liquid and it has to sink within 15 seconds. Mine floats.

I’m assured I’m not anaemic but still … Must be just one of those things. My diet hasn’t changed and I haven’t been ill. Maybe I’ve always been just at the upper end of the 15 seconds. So, plenty of lean red meat, pulses and brown bread required. And less tea, which blocks iron take-up, apparently.

Nah, stuff that.

UPDATE: Best Beloved comments that this is obviously what lay behind all those floating witch trials. They weren’t rejecting the water of their baptism, they were just severely anaemic.

Smugness lost and regained

Lost: Just as I was looking forward to another session of doing immeasurable good for very little personal loss, the National Blood Service tell me I can’t give blood platelets and be a blood donor. It’s one register or the other. I’m sure that’s the first time they’ve mentioned it, and since they signed me up for the platelets at a donor session you’d think they could have worked it out. But no. When I phoned today to postpone tomorrow’s session, and mentioned I’m giving blood next week, the lady reacted as if I’d said I wanted to come round and have her on the spot. One of them had to go, and as giving platelets requires a trip into the JR and blood requires popping round the corner from the office, it wasn’t a hard choice to make.

Regained: Firefox crashed on me (irritating) immediately followed by the automatic Apple Crash Reporter (quite amusing). Even more amusing, the latter caused a window to pop up asking if I wanted to relaunch Crash Reporter. I did, and it told me you can’t run Crash Reporter directly, you have to wait for something to crash first.”Quis reportiet ipsos reporter?” I thought to myself with bilingual classically inclined cleverness, and resolved to spend the rest of the day pointing out the badly designed native Mac software to anyone who’ll listen, and a few who won’t.