Saturday, March 05, 2016


Last week, I wrote that "the latest [viral infection] has made it very painful to swallow, along with an occasional blocked nose and headache". On the fifth day, my situation was getting worse: my left ear hurt, I spent most of the night coughing and I was developing a fever. On the sixth day, I saw a doctor who took one look at my throat and one at my ear and immediately started me on antibiotics. It would seem that there was an initial viral infection which weakened me sufficiently to allow bacteria to start their own infection. 

It's now ten days since my throat started hurting and five since I started with the antibiotics: my throat doesn't hurt, I don't have a fever and I'm no longer weak. On the other hand, my left ear is completely blocked (I feel like I'm underwater and I can't hear very well), I have difficulty concentrating and I still have coughing fits. Tomorrow I will go back to work - I've been working from home for the last week - and I hope that my situation will continue to improve. Not hearing well is a mixed bag: on the one hand, it will make having phone conversations difficult, but on the other hand, I won't hear a great deal of the annoying noise (most of which emanates from one person) which fills my work place. No doubt being at work will force me to concentrate more.

I also wrote last week that I intended to cook a roast chicken shepherd's pie. This was something which I could easily accomplish, despite my reduced mental state. This time I remembered to take a picture, even though this reveals nothing about the taste.

My final task for the day was completing the DVD of our trip to Barcelona, London and Edinburgh from 2013, which I wrote about, nearly a year ago. Most of the clips were in place, but I discovered one clip from Capri lurking towards the end which needed to be removed, and I rearranged the order of several clips. I think it better that the clips be in logical order rather than stick lavishly to the order in which they were shot (this might lead to 'continuity errors', in which we're wearing one set of clothes in one shot, followed by another shot and different clothes; this doesn't happen much as we don't appear in most of the clips).

Once all the clips were arranged to my satisfaction, I added the transitions, then started adding music. I naturally used Catalonian tunes for the Barcelona scenes, some of which were simple arrangements for one acoustic guitar, and some of which were more up-tempo items. The first initial London scenes - Abbey Road - were set to "Come together"; the Covent Garden scenes had their own "soundtrack" and so didn't need any accompaniment. Most of the Edinburgh scenes received tastefully played traditional tunes, but I managed to sneak in Fotheringay's version of "Wild mountain thyme". Obviously, all scenes featuring bagpipe players provided their own music, as did the graduation ceremony.

This time around I discovered how to use sub-titles during the film, although some of these mysteriously disappeared at one stage. Using my original notes, I saw that I had to master the dvd. Until this stage, that blog had been very clear on what needed to be done, but this mastering section seemed very vague. I had to search high and low for the mastering software which I must have had before I remembered that it's a portable program stored on one of my usb sticks - DVD Styler. The version which I have seems very basic, but at least it gets the job done.

Unlike previous times, when I created an iso format file on the mobile computer, copied that to my main computer then burned the iso file to disk from there, this time I was able to utilise the external cd/dvd writer which I bought a few days ago (this connects to the mobile via USB). The dvd was successfully burned and I watched it on television. I was able to write all the raw video files to one dvd (via explorer): whilst this disk is readable on the mobile computer, it doesn't seem to be readable - or even recognised - on my main computer. Hmmm. This is something which I will have to explore further, before deleting those files from the mobile.

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