It’s been a busy week this week; we have celebrated my husbands birthday with a garden party and barbeque, it was just a small family gathering, although the hoards of uninvited flies that gatecrashed the proceedings more than made up the numbers!
We have had family to stay and to entertain and in addition to this ‘normal’ life has continued.
Pink Slime: So after cleaning this weird substance away for the umpteenth time, I finally got round to googling ‘pink slime in the shower’ to find out just what exactly IS that stuff that seems to appear in our shower every few days?
Despite thoroughly rinsing the cubicle and using a squeegee after each and every use of the shower, this pink substance still seems to appear around the drainage plug and in the harder to drain areas like the trim around the base.
It is apparently caused by an airborne bacteria (not a mould or fungus as I originally suspected) called Serratia marcescens which thrive in damp areas and can feed off normal soap and toiletry product residues. Well, at least I now know that it is not something the French authorities are putting in our water, which put my mind a little at rest but then I was immediately a little alarmed to read on one site that direct contact should be avoided when attempting to remove it and it is best to wear gloves, goggles and a mask! Eeeeeek, perhaps I should refrain from simply running my finger around the problem areas whilst blasting it with the shower head then! Oops! However, I then read on other sites that it is fairly innocuous and the primary concern for most people is that it is just unsightly. So which is to be believed?
I did a little further research to see if I could get to the bottom of whether this was indeed harmful or not and determined that I would have to be a fully qualified microbiologist in order to completely understand all of the analysis; there was talk of pathogens and ‘susceptibility in vitro and in vivo’ and ‘multiple antimicrobial resistance genes’.
In short, I concluded that certain types (and indeed there are many strains) were found to be potentially quite harmful and that perhaps in future I should take a little more precaution when next cleaning the shower, at the very least employing a cleaning brush and some bleach rather than just wiping it away with my bare hands whilst finishing my shower. Euugheww!
Armpit Rash (not at all linked to the above!): It seems that this week I certainly had my ‘biological’ hat on. My adult step daughter complained that her armpits were very itchy and a bit blotchy and that they burned when she put deodorant on them. After the usual questions, for example: have you changed your brand of deodorant recently? Have you used a blunt razor when shaving that could have irritated the skin? to which the answers were ‘No’. She informed me that since the rash had first occurred she had been using a cream that had previously been diagnosed for use on a former irritated skin condition. I immediately went into amateur GP mode and googled the name of the cream, what it is used to treat and also possible causes of Armpit rash.
I determined that most probably due to the very hot weather, humidity and tight clothing made of man made materials that she was suffering from a flare up of Candida which is a yeast/fungal infection. As most of us women will already know, the body naturally has Candida organisms present but in certain conditions, they can reproduce and cause infection. Candida fungi thrive in moist conditions and are also affected by the use of antibiotics and corticosteroids that change the bodies natural balance and immunity. Certainly if the rash is indeed caused by a flare up of Candida, it would definitely benefit from the use of a Clotrimazole cream and the immediate suspension of using the cream that she had already been using which, as suspected, turned out to be a corticosteroid cream and apparently using this could actually worsen the symptoms rather than improve them, by lowering the bodies natural immunity. I did say that if it remained unchanged then a professional opinion would certainly be recommended and suggested a visit to the pharmacy or doctors if necessary because this is obviously the most sensible route rather than being diagnosed by google and someone who has never studied or practiced medicine, but I do like to play at being the amateur doctor of the house and in many cases I am usually pretty accurate.
Fruit and Veg: So, whilst writing a previous piece and having used the words ‘fruit’ and ‘vegetables’ over and over again, I wondered if there was a collective term to refer to both or if indeed they have to be referred to separately. I looked to see if the term ‘vegetation’ could be used to refer to fruit as well but after some considerable searching, I could not conclusively decide whether that was the case or not. Rather disappointingly, I deduced that the one word that most accurately describes them collectively but that could also refer to a great many other things is simply: Produce. It was a bit of a deflating moment as I was fully expecting to add a wonderful new word to my vocabulary. Not this week it seems!
With family visitors staying with us this week and in a desperate attempt to entice the kids away from their phones for at least an hour and ‘interact’, a game of charades was commenced using a box-set that was produced perhaps sometime back in the late eighties, rather ingeniously entitled ‘The Game Charades’.
Needless to say, many of the titles are way before even our time and the kids have barely heard of any of them. It was my husbands turn to attempt to convey a charade to us all. His category, following the obligatory roll of the dice, was a ‘song’, one word, four syllables. That bit was easy enough, it was the ridiculousness that followed that left us in helpless fits of laughter as he painstakingly repeated his actions over and over again in a vain attempt to try and draw us to the correct conclusion.
His first clue, utilising the perfectly correct ‘charade code’ of waggling his ear lobe and drawing his hands over his groin area, was ‘sounds like man’. He intimated to us that we should leave it at that until we had correctly guessed syllables two, three and four. The second clue was provided to us by pointing at each of us in turn and therefore we correctly guessed ‘you’. His third and final clue for syllables three and four together was ‘sounds like hairy’. He then indicated with a majestic sweep of both hands that his work was done, that we should simply put them all together…… Man-You-Hairy and then he stood and waited for what he believed would be ‘the obvious’ to dawn on us.
We exchanged various puzzled glances and attempted a number of daft guesses, all the while wondering what on earth he could mean. At one point he was so exasperated after we had thoughtfully repeated the mantra ‘Man-You-Hairy’ for about the fiftieth time whilst drawing more blank looks and fits of the giggles, that he even broke the very serious protocol of ‘no speaking’ (for the person who is acting the charade) and said “For Christ’s sake, how many words can you think of that rhyme with Man-You-Hairy?” to which we all laughed even harder and of course the answer genuinely was…….None.
Even as a writer with a fairly extensive vocabulary I literally could not think of a single word that it could be. He held up twelve fingers (that is to say that he held up ten and then two more, not that he has six digits on each hand) and then mimed counting one, then two. The clues were still completely lost on us. With further exasperation, he decided to give us one more clue by briefly announcing “this is the artist”, after which he enacted someone wearing goggles and flying a plane to which I helpfully suggested “Biggles” as my best guess. At this he gave up and rather sardonically announced “Yes, that’s correct it’s Man-You-Hairy by Biggles” and sat down, shaking his head.
By this point we were completely hysterical, tears of laughter were rolling down our cheeks, though to be fair you kind of had to be there really, so I’m not suggesting for one minute that this hilarity will convey to you, the reader.
Finally, he announced that the answer was ‘January’ by ‘Pilot’ as though….DUH!….. it was the most obvious thing in the world. It was, if I’m being completely honest, a little bit anti-climatic after all the build up but it did lead me to google it since I’d never heard of it.
Hmmmmmmm….. I don’t think it will be making it onto my playlist anytime soon!
I did, however, find that later that night I kept waking up and giggling about the charade scene afresh, though that could possibly have been a combination of delirious exhaustion and wine!
So that completes my short list of some of the stranger and more random things that I have googled this week.
I hope, if nothing else, you have found some of these snippets a little informative and of course, not forgetting, the master class in charades!
Until next week, happy googling.
The Virtual Recluse