Bog Roll ::

It's Not Magic, It's Work!

25 Mar 2020

Cold or flu?

Well I spent Sunday and Monday in bed with a scorching fever - you could have cooked eggs on me! Felt a lot better on Tuesday and was able to get out of bed, today I logged on at work because I'm bored not because I'm fully well yet.

Not sure what I've really got, I'm still not recovered. I'd not described the symptoms as mild, two days in bed isn't mild, but at the same time so aspects have been mild.

  • Fever: Yes, scorching and lasted several days
  • Cough: Yes, very slight and intermittent - mostly when I move about
  • Headache: Yes, intermittent and severe - ? dehydration related ?
  • Sneeze: No
  • Blocked/runny nose: Not initially, but developing now
  • Chest pains: Sort of, could be a result of coughs none while actual breathing
  • Difficulty breathing: Never
  • Appetite: None
  • Throat: sore a little
  • Fatigue: flat out for two days

It's hard to know. I've been under more stress than normal, which can make a cold hit you like flu, or it could be seasonal flu or it could be COVID-19. Who knows? I tend to think regular flu ticks most boxes, but without a test I'll not know, and in the absence of proof one way or another I'll avoid contact with others.

21 Mar 2020

Cold virus

Last week I had to travel to England for my step-father's funeral. I did my best to keep my physical distance from everyone, but on the antiquated and overcrowded rail system that was a bit of a challenge...

On Thursday I had a headache, which I put down to exhaustion, dehydration and caffeine, as I'd had caffeinated drinks while in England which I don't normally have anymore, and been travelling since before 5 am all day Wednesday. On Friday the headache has gone away, but I'm clearly suffering from a cold now. Feeling a little tired, slight cough and generally a bit lethargic.

About 20% of colds are caused by corona-viruses, so there is a 1 in five chance that I have a corona virus infection. Next week I'll find out if it's the current world famous SARS-CoV-2 or a more mundane one...

France is in lockdown, you don't go out of the house unless you have a good reason and a signed form, England was partying like nothing is happening, and I must admit I found being in England very surreal to say the least...

Given my travels and current cold I think it's best to self-isolate for the next fortnight. If my symptoms deteriorate the COVID-19 test station is in the playing field at the bottom of the street, so a 250 m walk at the most.

08 Mar 2020

Home made laundry soap

If your water is soft, your clothes not too dirty, then you can make your own laundry cleaner. Most of the cleaning action is caused by clothes going into an out of the water as the drum turns. This isn't enough on it's own, so people add detergents and other cleaning agents to clean their clothes. Historically people used to use soap, but detergents are cheaper and work better in hard water.

Most modern laundry detergents are about 50% water softening chemicals, then detergents, enzymes to digest proteins, optical brighteners to make your clothes look clean, bleaching agents, perfumes and fillers. Some of these ingredients can cause allergic reactions, some aren't required if your water is soft or your clothes aren't very dirty.

This recipe makes perfectly good clothes washing soap:

  • 30 g grated savon Marseille
  • 15 g sodium hydrogen carbonate (sodium bicarbonate) - buffering agent
  • 15 g sodium carbonate (washing soda or soda crystals) - water softener - optional
  • 1500 ml hot tap water
  • 15 drops essential oil - perfume - optional

Boil the water, add the grated soap and allow it to dissolve. It can take a while. When it has cooled to tepid, add the salts, and stir well. It will form a soapy foam. Add essential oil and bottle.

To use, shake back to a foam mixture. Apply directly to any dirty spots. Normal usage is 45 ml - 90 ml per load. Will work as well as any other eco-detergents. Will not work so well if the water is very hard, or the clothes are very dirty.