The Hospitalised Blogger…

For the urgently hospitalised blogger – an event which seems likely to feature in my future a lot more than I’m going to be happy with – there is, as far as I can see, no solution to the “if I’m unconscious I’ll be unable to take any gadgets into hospital with me, and thus will be incommunicado” dilemma – not, anyway, without the costs of duplicating everything and hanging it on the back of the door of my flat to be grabbed on the way out by the ambulance crew – which can’t be guaranteed so it’s not worth the investment.

I’ve bought a Bluetooth keyboard for my smartphone, as typing anything longer than a Tweet on a virtual keyboard is a pain in the butt – so I just need to add a duplicate charger, an extra-long USB power cable, which I already have, and a case to hold everything including the keyboard (and that’s an almost full-sized QWERTY version, not one that’s barely bigger than your phone).

Currently, I take my Galaxy S3 to bed with me – no, not literally, get a grip – it lives on the bedside table where it functions as an alarm clock for my early-morning meds, so if I keep the other bits and bobs close by, as long as I’m functional on some level, in the event of a crisis I can grab everything and go for my ambulance ride.

Of course, if I’m not functional I’m screwed anyway – but no point in worrying about what I can’t control.

So my take-along kit will be simple, my S3, plus Bluetooth keyboard, the one charger will do both, and an extra long USB charging cable (mains sockets in hospitals are never as conveniently placed as you’d like, and you often need to re-route the cable to avoid it being trapped by the bed frame during bedmaking).

And never leave any electronics behind if you leave the bay/ward, no matter how briefly – not if you want to keep them. Always take them with you, even if you only go to the toilet (and then take care not to leave them behind!).

It could be argued that a notebook is more versatile than my set-up, which I’d dispute in a hospital context. What it is, though, is much more expensive and a lot heavier if you’re a mere mortal whose budget can’t stretch to an ultra-lightweight version, plus, if necessary, the component parts of my system can be distributed around the various pockets of a dressing gown and PJs. Try that with a lappie!

Finally, take along a loaded Kindle. True, other e-readers are available; what’s that to do with anything?

Take a Kindle!


14 thoughts on “The Hospitalised Blogger…

    • True, Alan but, for me, having to talk to my computer would get in the way of the creative process. Using a keyboard completes the circuit needed for me to get the words from head to page just as, when I was able to work, my secretary would provide a sounding-board off whom I could bounce ideas in the middle of dictation – no amount of talking to her typewriter accomplished anything!

      Not a great analogy, but it works for me.

  1. Yes Ron, your stuff is as vital as any medication you are on so hope you can keep plugged in somehow. What’s clear, you must become a man of few words and while I sincerely appreciate all the bread advice and your willingness to pass on your expertise, I felt guilty reading it… energy is like money – you can only spend it once! Hope you receive lots of posts but send few (or shorter ones) and have a good night tonight – Pat

    • Energy, Pat, is immortal even though, for the individual, it’s a single-use item (see The Spoon Theory ). And words make extremely efficient use of energy.

      Say I expend 50 spoons writing a blog post. For me, those spoons are used up and gone but, in reality, they rattle around the cutlery drawer of the universe for ever. I, personally, can’t re-use them, but my readers can each utilise a proportion of the energy I put in by reading it.

      And no matter how many times that post is read, it doesn’t cost me any more energy nor does it diminish it in any way – every erg I put into its creation remains.

      • Since your ‘spoonfuls’ on bread that I picked up date from 2009/10, it proves your point – and you being a scientist know that energy is never ‘lost’ but just changes form! I have about four sick mates with serious energy problems who I will send Spoon Theory on to…. Thank you Ron. Hoping for a good day/night for you with a temperature around 36.5 eh?

        • A scientist? Moi? If only – more like a human sponge, soaking up information!

          An essential survival aid, I think, as I lost a good third of my education to illness so, whatever else I might be, I’m self-taught to a considerable degree. I was also very lucky in that I crossed paths, in my teens, with arguably my generation’s best English teacher – a man to whom I still owe a debt that I can never fully repay except by continuing to do – well – this, to the best of my ability.


          • Hi Ron
            Had a good night and day, so far ? Hope so.
            To update you on my bread.. I made a white loaf yesterday using the method outlined by yourself i.e. weighed water at 60% hydration. Right from the off it was good…rose a lot within an hour. I actually left it for a further 20mins and then knocked it back ‘gently’ nothing macho (like you said) and proved it for another hour. Cor, I’m telling ya, it was light in texture…altogether smashing. Except that I am not that keen on white.

            Today, I try 50/50, weighing water 60%, and from the off it was bad! Did not rise much and I left it for nearly 3 hours (hoping for a miracle). Treated it gently and left to prove for another 2 hours. It looks reluctant to say the least…. It’s in the oven now, sulking.

            I looked up about wholemeal flour on a baking forum and some woman explained it thus:
            ‘…the bran acts like little knives in the loaf slicing the gluten strands…’ giving this as the reason the buggers don’t rise. She then suggests sieving the flour to extract the bran!! Well, what’s the bloody point of that ? It ain’t wholemeal then, is it ? Added to this, and you’ll excuse me for getting personal Ron, but your loaves don’t look as if they are suffering from bran aggression…

            I am going to do a few days more baking and noting to see what happens though. Getting slightly dispirited all the same.

            If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.
            —Hans Reichenbach

            Lovely to read the accolade to your English teacher… I was SENCO for 18 years – and spent a lot of time preparing low ability pupils for English GCSE (with variable success) and trying to ignite some passion for our language and literature – which can be an uphill struggle when the kids have such poor literacy. My son is also now an English teacher enjoying great results.
            As I get sick of people (Gove for one) undermining the great job teachers do, it was so refreshing to hear your comment.

            Hearing the limitations forced upon you in the past, I can fully see why you are determined not to place any unnecessary limits upon yourself now! As a student, you are clearly still in the process of fulfilling your potential!

            As you can see from the length of this post, for me, when it comes to self-expression, why use a spoon when a ladle/bucket will do? No need for even a teaspoonful in response… I will just keep you updated on my baking efforts as and when.

            • Hi Pat,

              It’s been a soup day today. “A green soup of baby courgettes, bell peppers, carrots, and peas.”

              There is absolutely no reason why your 50/50 loaf shouldn’t have been almost identical to the all white. I’ve seen the “bran cuts up the gluten” theory but I don’t entirely trust it as I get a perfectly good loaf using 50% extra-coarse wholemeal flour. I’ve even used it at 100% and got a really tasty – if a tad robust – loaf.

              Thing is, though, that even the weather, particularly humidity and atmospheric pressure, can affect how the dough behaves, though not as dramatically as yours has been affected. I’d guess that the 50/50 loaf was over-proved

              Introducing as much consistency as possible helps – I buy all my flour direct from the mill ( ), always use the same yeast (Fermipan), and the same brand of malt extract (Meridian), though it seems to matter not at all if it’s organic or basic.

              If you use Fermipan you should have no problems, but other brands of dried yeast can be unreliable, and fresh yeast can simply die ( as, indeed, can dried, though resurrecting either it isn’t hard). Fermipan freezes well and stays viable for several years.

              And having said all that, there’s just no escaping Sod’s Law – if it can go wrong, it will!

              Incidentally, I wound up as an adult literacy tutor in the late 80s (the levels of illiteracy here are quite staggering), but working 4 floors up, with no elevator, put an end to that. A pity – I turned out to be a natural. Ah well . . .

              Incidentally, I take it you do have a kitchen timer?


              PS – is your wholemeal flour strong bread flour? If not, it won’t rise properly.

              • Ha – I knew it – I recognised a teacher from the number of lessons you give on these pages… not to mention the impeccable spelling and grammar! However, it’s ‘lift’ Ron, ‘lift”…
                ‘elevator’ shows you’ve spent far too much time on the internet!! 🙂
                Will post on next loaf – Pat

  2. I so needed my kindle when I was in. Yes, I was lucky ‘cos John was able to bring things in that I may have forgotten but my kit consisted of: My Iphone 3gs, the charger for it, my Kindle and an extra long charging lead for the kindle and for the Iphone. I did take a notepad a pen with me as well and my glasses, two pairs incase I mislaid one somewhere! I can’t do anything without my glasses for close work. I also took two stylus pens with me for the same reason as my glasses, as I have difficulty with my fingers and hands.
    I’m hoping to get an Ipad 4 for Christmas so that future hospital visits I can have that with me.
    I still can’t bluetooth I’m ashamed to say 😦 I just need something very simple to show me how rather than all this technical nonsense that has me throwing hissy fits ‘cos I can’t understand the bloody thing!

    • Actually, Jay, setting up Bluetooth is very simple. Let me know if you want to have another go and I’ll take you though it – it only takes 4 steps.

  3. Pingback: The Hospitalised Blogger… | Welfare, Dis...

  4. Sorry that you have been having such a rough time Ron. But I admire you very much for hanging on in, and I always read your blog.
    Can I ask you a wee tech Q ?
    I have a Galaxy S3 also, and because my CFS has been bad this year I use it a lot in bed. For emails etc. I hadn’t even thought about a bluetooth keyboard but it seems a very good idea.
    What type did you buy ? (As I haven’t a clue where to start . . . )
    Hope you dont mind me asking.
    Very best wishes,

    • I got one of these

      I actually removed the link as I was having problems setting it up. As so often, the problem was me trying to rush things! So, a tip: Ensure it’s fully charged before moving to the next step. Do that and it’s fine. It’s also quite pleasant in use and, like most I’ve seen, is configured for the US. No big deal once you get into the habit of typing GBP for £

      Note: The implication is that you get a stand for a tablet in the package – you don’t. In fairness, it doesn’t claim that you do, but shows one in the pics so I think it’s not an unreasonable assumption.


Comments are closed.