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Irritable. - helen-louise
I am a round mound of bad temper today.

Tired & irritable - partly my fault for staying up too late, but being short of one hour's sleep doesn't usually make me feel this bad.
Itchy-nosed - dust mite faeces & pollen & mould spores all co-exist to pollute my air.
Itchy-headed, and my face & fingers itch too - probably allergic dermatitis, it doesn't look flaky like...
Itchy-legged - the eczema on my lower legs
Achey-legged & lower back pain - my period's about to start
Itchy bits, including bits I can't easily reach to scratch! - see above

Blah. And if all that wasn't enough, I've come home to find the whole house reeking of hydrocarbon combustion, with a burnt, sooty smell and acrid fumes in the air. I suspect our neighbours have been having another of their barbecues fueled by kerosene [1] again.

Hugs welcomed but I think you'll have to limit yourself to *hugs* - I'm so itchy & bad-tempered that I'm likely to bite someone's head off by accident.

[1] OK, kerosene is the fuel of jet engines. It's unlikely that's what they used. But if you've ever stood in Heathrow Central Bus Station and smelt that horrible, acidic mixture of bus & aircraft exhausts - diesel soot, sulphur dioxide, unburnt hydrocarbons, NOx & ozone - which makes your entire respiratory tract itch and swell up, that's what all the back rooms of our house smell like. I've now shut the windows and it's starting to clear. But ugh.

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Current Mood: irritated irritated

6 comments or Leave a comment
From: evilref Date: 31st August 2006 16:58 (UTC) (Link)
Kerosene is the word in the American language for parrafin. Jet aircraft use a rather high-quality parrafin as fuel. The main difference between "avtur" and the parrafin we use for our heating (for now) is one of quality process, not a chemical one.

The diesel used by buses varies with the seasons -- in winter the hydrocarbon chains are not much longer than parrafin, and so of course they smell similar.

My breathing has been much better since I moved away from the Heathrow flight path... :-)
From: evilref Date: 7th September 2006 06:54 (UTC) (Link)
I understand that this and another more recent comment has come off as patronising. This was absolutely not my intention.

Please accept my apologies and future silence.
baratron From: baratron Date: 7th September 2006 18:16 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you.

I feel as though I owe you an apology and an explanation in return.

The first thing to know about me is that, in normal communication, I am someone who gets about 75-80% of meaning through tone of voice and body language. This means on the internet I'm quite disadvantaged and, as a result, I use people's word use to judge their tone of voice. All words (except for basic sentence constructors like "and" and "the") have a value assigned to them. I often forget that other people hear words differently than I do - and I can't give you a "Rest of the World to h-l" dictionary because there isn't one!

This comment came across as patronising because it felt like "teaching your grandmother to suck eggs". It is not a secret that I have a chemistry degree, have been trained as a chemistry teacher, and have been teaching chemistry to 12-18 year olds for over three calendar years. I talk about it quite a lot! So I am quite familiar with basic organic chemistry. Technically, the term "paraffin" is an old name for the alkane homologous series, so just about any alkane could be called "paraffin" - including petrol and diesel. I agree there is some similarity between the British use of "paraffin" and aircraft fuel kerosene, but they're not exactly the same. Paraffin in heaters is to aircraft kerosene what natural gas in gas cookers is to vehicle LPG - some of the same compounds, but different enough that you couldn't easily swap one for the other.

The other comment came across as patronising because it was stating the bleedin' obvious. Manky old carpets will be full of dust - no shit! It's kinda insulting to both me and Richard to suggest that we wouldn't have thought of that in three years of talking about the best way to achieve wooden flooring. As I don't know you well (I didn't know you terribly well 8 years ago on uk-poly, let alone now), it's difficult for me to read an implied preface of "I'm sure you've thought about this, but I'll mention for the benefit of anyone else reading" into it. It doesn't help that for me "beware" is a very negative word. Apparently this is a quirk of mine, and other people read it as a neutral or even positive word, showing caring? (I am genuinely surprised about that.)

The comment goes on to talk about how my "beloved" (singular) should be able to get the work done while I go away. I find the insinuation that I leave manual work to my male partner faintly sexist. I have a lot of physical limitations: I am short, am not very strong, have a bad back, dodgy knees and allergies. But my upbringing has made me very reluctant for there to be jobs that I cannot do and need "a man" to do. I need to learn how to do all jobs in case "the man" decides he can't be bothered, or in case there is no longer "a man" around. Had you written instead "Maybe Richard & Alexa could do it while you take a weekend away?" it wouldn't bother me anywhere near as much, because a) the question mark makes it come across as a suggestion rather than a proclamation, b) using the beloveds' names makes it a personal suggestion rather than a generic solution, and c) recognising that one of my partners is female would lose the sexism I "hear", as if Alexa is considered competent enough to do it, then it's clear you're referring to allergies rather than me being female.

Anyway, this is an explanation, and you don't have to justify that you didn't mean it the way I heard it, because I know that now. As far as I'm concerned, this is the end of the disagreement.
epi_lj From: epi_lj Date: 31st August 2006 17:04 (UTC) (Link)

Also, thanks for the recommendation of Amplitude, way back when. :) I finally picked it up yesterday and am enjoying it quite a bit.
(Deleted comment)
mjl From: mjl Date: 31st August 2006 19:09 (UTC) (Link)
6 comments or Leave a comment