Friday, 20 February 2015

Hearing tests and blood spatter patterns

Part of today was spent in the nearby town of Bury St Edmunds (when she was little, my cousin thought it was called 'Berries and Lemons' - cute, but totally irrelevant to this post). The Husband was having a hearing test at the hospital and I was there for support (that's the official version. Actually, I was starting to suffer from Cabin Fever and wanted to avoid all the housework that's been left since my assignment was due). He had two appointments: the first for the test, and the second with the hearing aid department, in case he needed one. There was an hour between the appointments; we mooched around the hospital shop so The Husband could get a newspaper. I was not getting on with Douglas Adams, who I had brought with me in my bag, so I rummaged through the paperbacks on offer. For a tiny little hospital shop, they had a good selection of books, so I bought Val McDermid's non-fiction Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime. £8.99! I always buy books from Amazon, or that are on offer, so £8.99 was a bit yikes, but it had to be done; I couldn't sit there for 45 minutes being sociable. Luckily, the guy at the till only asked for £4.50, so I paid up and made a quick exit. 

I am fascinated by forensic science and if I had several thousand pounds (and was a bit more maths-savvy) I would love to do a degree in the subject. As it is, I have a ridiculous amount of books on it, plus an unhealthy knowledge of the time it takes for flesh to rot under different circumstances. Did you know the life-cycle of the blowfly is incredibly interesting? Bet you didn't. Perhaps that can be my project for when I finish with the OU. Not strewing dead bodies around the garden, but learning more about forensics. I think the main difference between being interested in a subject and learning about it, is the writing you have to do. So I'll have to set myself assignments. 'In no more than 2500 words, discuss the way in which Eduard Piotrowski's work on bloodstain pattern analysis was important to the field of forensic science.' To be worked on whenever you want to ignore the ironing. Actually, could I write about the way in which he bludgeoned live rabbits to death so he could study the way their blood shot up the walls? Harlow's work with monkeys for his attachment theory was enough to give me nightmares. 

I know I'm really going to miss the OU. This time next year, I'll be working on my last couple of assignments, and then what? When I started in 2010, it was because there was rubbish on television and I was bored. 'I'll only do one course,' I said. 'No, you won't,' said those who were already with the OU, 'learning's addictive.' And they were right. The more I learn, the less I seem to know about all the stuff that's out there. But it's all so expensive. The cost of OU courses has really gone up and I am so envious of the people that started in the 1980s and are on their 6th degree. Anyway, I have another year and a bit to go, so I'll save my moaning until then. 

As for our hospital visit, The Husband is on the border-line for needing / not needing a hearing aid, so he's going to get one for times when he really needs to listen. And then he'll leave it out when his mother phones. 

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