On my way out to a student's house, I noticed that my tricycle tyres were a bit saggy. I had 20 minutes to do a 10 minute journey, so decided to pump them up. However, I managed to rip the inner tube of the first tyre - I think the pump is faulty, as Richard managed to do the same thing some weeks ago. I'd thought he was just being incompetent or didn't know how to use the pump properly, but I do know how to use it. The amazing "selecter" valve that automatically selects Presta or Schraeder is all stripped out. This means I need to write a letter of complaint to the pump company and ask them to replace it, as it's only a few months old and has been used all of 5 times. Bah.
Then the 13cm spanner that Richard had was not long enough to multiply my maximum force enough to budge the nut to change the inner tube. He had longer spanners, but not of the right size. The nut appears to be corroded with some sort of white oxide layer, although it "should" be stainless steel. So I couldn't get the tyre off to put a new inner tube in. This meant I had to walk to my student's house instead of cycle, and walk when I was late and in a hurry. There is nothing that burns through my spoons faster than having to walk a longish distance quickly. I can walk a long distance slowly, or a short distance quickly, but if I have to do both at once I find it exhausting. Also, because cycling is a much more efficient use of muscles than walking, I can cycle at 3-4 times the speed I can walk, and many times the distance. (I have cycled around 10 miles before, and was awake enough afterwards to consider teaching.) Thus a fairly pleasant 10 minute cycle ride becomes 25 minutes of hurrying & pain, not helped by the fact it was relatively damp weather and my bad ankle started screaming at me before I was halfway there. I really do need to consider having some sort of emergency plan for Unexpected Tricycle Failure - except that this type of tricycle failure shouldn't ever occur :/ Fortunately, that student wasn't having a coursework emergency, and was happy to have a shorter lesson this week with the time added on for next.
Then I got home only 10 minutes late for the student who was having a coursework emergency. After deciding she should ignore all the results from the gas syringe, I wanted to print out the graph of the upturned burette results so she could draw tangents against the curve & calculate the initial rate (rate of reaction at time = 0 seconds). The printer was refusing to print out the graph. I've since discovered that this is some sort of bug in OpenOffice - nothing from Sheet 2 in a multisheet document will print, though Sheet 1 is fine. I can fix this by copying the contents to Sheet 1 of a new or existing document. Weird.
I'm pretty sure something else also went wrong, but I was so very short of spoons after all the earlier stuff that I had no ability to cope whatsoever. Bah.