Leap Year 

Every four years we have this ‘bonus’ day that is the result of our planets circumnavigation around the sun. It takes about 364.24… days to complete this journey and to be mathematically precise we add a day every four years to make up for the partial day. Today is that day and it is a nice day so far. 

I’ve begun to implement my inspired thoughts about my consumption. I’ve not felt good eating the breakfast served at the cafeteria here at the hospital or the coffee being served here either. I did hit a bit of a snag this morning though. The milk soured a bit so my coffee has floaties in it. It’s just a bump along the way and the coffee still tastes better than what I can get from the chain coffee shop in the atrium here. There really isn’t anywhere to go otherwise. The hospital is huge with not much else around it. The choices offered here are the choices that I have to live with. 

Yesterday, Sunday seemed to have passed very quickly. I was going to go to Stoke and wonder around the city but after thinking about it I decided against that idea. I wondered around Stafford on a mission to find me a thermos for the coffee that I would make in the morning and enjoy throughout the day. I found something in a shop accross town. The appeal of its distance was that I would go into a part that I wouldn’t normally go to. 

Stafford’s streets were empty when I first set out in the morning. Their emptiness had an eerie effect as if everyone in the town disappeared. As if it was the beginning of some zombie movie where everyone had some sort of disease or the government or some alien force took everyone away. This was not the case as the hour of the day on a Sunday is traditionally quiet. Especially in a small town such as this. 

Breakfast and coffee were acquired from two seperate establishments. I don’t like to name drop these commercial establishments as I don’t get anything from advertising their existence. Their advertising and reach is global and their brand is instantly recognizable by anyone living in the western world. Me order was placed by tapping spaces on a touch screen. There is no need to interact with a sales representative and the food methodically prepared and piping hot appears on the pick up counter. I climbed the stairs in hopes of sitting by a window and watching some of the residents lumbering by. No luck however as the seating was not arranged to accommodate this. This chain has really put a lot of effort into interior design. The bright bold colors and patterns make for an interesting atmosphere. It contrasts greatly with the old facade of the outside thoroughfare. 

Global positioning technology has come a long way. Just tap in the destination and follow the blue line. Things can get confused when at an intersection there is a weird roundabout and no easy way to get to the other side. Besides some other path looked interesting enough to follow. Interesting enough to forgo the option prescribed by the beast and explore this other way. The map shows that there is still a way to get to me destination by going down that way. 

It must be a bike path. How can a car fit between these yellow lines? The houses look miniature but up ahead there was an ominous structure that looked over this neighborhood. It’s a power plant and its part of a complex of structures that produces energy. Off in the distance I think that it uses biomass as fuel. It must be weird living here in this area. From the state of some of these houses it doesn’t look like a prosperous neighborhood. It was eerily quiet except for that one lady taking out her trash to the bin. She looked like she was giving me a suspicious look as me took photos of the scene. Beside the old neighborhood there was what appeared to be a brand new development. The bricks looked new and bright red and they still had crisp edges meaning that they haven’t been weathered for too long. It wasn’t far to the store now. 

Inside the store me walked up to the computer terminal and from the screengrab and me entered in the product number. A receipt with me order number popped out and the order number popped out on the screen above the pick up window with the estimated time of arrival. It would be in my hands within minutes. Me watched as a small white box rolled slowly down the conveyor belt. The girl at the counter called out my number and then scribbled her initials on my receipt. Me walked out of the store in possession of me new thermos. 

Merrily walking along another unknown street admiring the little charming houses and wondering about what’s behind the walled estates beside me. This is the beginning of a change in living for me. I’m not content with my options and maybe it’s the need to eat well that has prompted this. I don’t need to be buying any more stuff but I’m sure I will use it often. This goes further to documenting my diet and tracking my expenses. This process will reveal things to me that I’ve been glossing over. 

After buying some groceries I went back to the flat and promptly began to scan receipts and food labels using my phone. There are a multitude of apps on my phone and one of them does a decent job of scanning and converting the image into a .pdf file. They can then be uploaded to the cloud for further examination and analysis. This process along with eating took up most of my day. It was a way of keeping busy until my chat with Barbs. 

When we began our conversation it was the first time both of us were illuminated by natural light. The days are getting longer as spring approaches. We spent a long time chatting and had intermittent connection/transmission issues. Still we persisted and reconnected as we recounted stories of our lives in the immediate past and discussed issues occurring in the greater world. Einstein once said that relativity is like spending and hour in the presence of a beautiful woman. The hour passes quickly without realizing it. We spent three together talking. I was goin to talk to more people but found myself worn out and decided against any more conversations before retiring. 

So as I thought about me day on Sunday the 29th of February began with a bit of a hiccup with respect to the spoiled milk. The coffee wouldn’t pour out of the thermos as the curdled protein clogged everything up. There was a staff meeting first thing in the morning and one of the cameras was broken. One of the automated systems that is not in use thought it was. The sound of the motor retracting sounded painful. The slate was full. It was a busy day. I started off behind and by the end of the day cought up to the schedule. When I’m busy the time goes by faster and home time is reached quicker. 

There was one patient that me chatted with. She spoke about some things in her life. How she married young and had two wonderful kids but then her husband cheated on her. I could tell from her face how much this hurt her and they subsequently divorced. She said that she didn’t believe in karma but that one night as her ex was out he got into a fight and was hurt pretty badly. He has lost some of his mental capacities because of this incident and he lives alone as his new relationship floundered. He wants to be taken back but it won’t happen. There was a sadness in all of this. A tragedy. 

Clinically there was another patient who was pretty poorly. They were intubated and came down with a small team that monitored their condition. It appeared that this department didn’t have much experience dealing with such patients and as the long portion of the study was going to happen on my camera after I left I made sure that they had everything set up and I even helped them with the transfer. 

 There was another stop on my way home to buy some more groceries. I find that small stops and buying exactly what I need helps me plan better. I didn’t buy much just enough to top up what I had already. My lunch at the cafeteria spurred me to make lunches too. If this wasn’t reality I swear the scene is something out of a movie. My food slipped onto the plate. The big line up and much confusion about where to go to pay for it. The whole process takes too much time and my lunch is way too short for that. 

So, when I got back to the flat the first thing that hit me was the smell of fish in the corridor. Damn! The door to the kitchen was wide open and as I put the groceries down I figured that housekeeping was here and they cleaned up. When I got to my room the bed was made confirming my suspicion. The smell notwithstanding I intended to make tuna sandwitches for lunch. Have to start out with something easy. In the time that it took to heat up some spring rolls in the oven the lunch was made and the bottle of juice that I bought fit perfectly into the mouth of the thermos. My pour over coffee maker thing needs a funnel of some sort in order for me to be able to get the coffee into the thermos. Otherwise it gets spilled. This kind of made my day. After eating I continued to work on my spreadsheet. It’s still in the organizational portion of my work. I’m developing a system. Time flew quickly as I focused on this task. Lo and behold it’s time for this day to end. 

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