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I’ve got the day off…

Not interesting, so what?

I’ve had a couple of interesting conversations.  As a graduate, when I left university, I did’t expect to be having great conversations as a 43 year old.  I was very wrong.

ActivitiesPlease find the chase!

Sorry.  My endocrinologist was a young lady which in 39 years was the first time (at this point, I realise I may be old), as the long term partner, it was great to meet someone knowledgeable and new.  Of course there’s the usual thing: sensation tests of the feet (I have a couple of blisters from some walking in inappropriate footwear  – Compeed is your friend in these cases), blood pressure (124/82) showing a stressed Sam and the all important Hb1Ac.

We discussed re-stabilisation, target areas, changes in that high blood sugar now makes me feel really hungry, food, bolusing types, sanity checks (sometimes, I do take a few hours or days off), weight, lipomas, insulin kinetics, transplants, stem cells, Celiac’s, early menopause, HRT, coming off HRT, research directions, helping train inpatients and staff on pump use, timing of adoption of new treatment types and motivation.  There was no mention of statins :)

It was great, I really enjoyed it.  It doesn’t stop me being completely stressed out the night before.  I know it’s unlikely in my case, but finding out I’ve missed the fact I’ve lost all sensation in my extremities or my kidneys are failing (or worse) is the stuff of childhood nightmares.  Hence the blood pressure result.  I know it looks normal, but I have been measured at 101/50, which completely freaked out the person taking the measurement on the day.

Since getting back from holiday, I am keen to maintain the level of fitness I got while skiing for 10 days, as after day 1 I seriously thought my body just wasn’t going to take the strain.  I don’t want to be there again.

I am exercising at the gym 4 days a week (all before 8am, during the week and 10am over the weekend  :o).    I am watching what I eat and all the usual stuff.  I am no longer collapsing on the exercise days when I return from work, so things are getting better.  I am looking to develop a non-gym class habit too.  (I work at a desk and that’s been a little harder to bed in.  I am looking for opportunities, like taking the stairs.  Much is missed from my phone’s log as I try to wander round the office not carrying my personal phone).

I have taken a week off, from the gym.  I am starting up again on Saturday.

Much like any changes to my basal rate, these things take time.  It’s good to appreciate them.

Go vote!

I mean it.  If you live in the UK, you have 2 hours 49 minutes left to exercise your democratic right.

I don’t have time?

We walked the half mile to the voting station, there and back, registered, filled in the ballot paper and posted it in the box.  37 minutes including going and getting a lottery ticket.  Get exercise, go for a drive.  See what’s going on outside the four walls of your house, office or work.

Ballot stations are open until 10pm.

It’s only the local elections

Yes, you know, the people who decide on schools, road and pavement repairs, police funding, school funding, care in the community funding, housing policies and loads of other stuff.

Even if there is no-one you want to vote for, go and make that statement.  Bet there’s someone you may want to vote against.

If you don’t, you’re silently saying everything is OK.

Same with the Police and Crime Commissioners.  May not be who you’d vote for, but supporting someone stands against someone who don’t think can do the job.  Not a great reason for voting but better than not bothering.

That’s the one: I can’t be bothered

Our ancestors helped get everyone a vote.  Even prisoners now get to vote.  Why wouldn’t you be bothered about making sure you made your voice count?

At 1am this morning, something changed

Actually that’s a little unfair, I have been considering this for a while but the resolution harden at 1:04am this morning.

In 2002, I bought my first insulin pump and it was nearly perfect.  Unfortunately, its design based around an insulin pen cartridge is not a profitable one for any manufacturer, so I now cannot buy a replacement for it.

One of the reasons I bought it was that it was based on a pump design I had come up with in 1993 (albeit that was based on a 1.5ml pen cartridge rather than a 3ml one).  The consequence was that was much cheaper to run as there were fewer consumables to buy each month.

Yeah, that may have been the other consideration as I was self-funding.

OK, where is this going, cut to the chase?

This is my design for the perfect insulin pump and why it won’t be made by an existing manufacturer

Consumables or single use components

  • standard Insulin pen cartridge (lasting approx 5 days) – there are four of these, ranging in size and fixing mechanism
    The insulins in use are Humalog (lispro) and Novarapid (aspart).
    These are all 100iu/ml so dosing programmes are identical but the cartridge bay may be different.
  • Adapter one for each cartridge use, specific to the cartridge type in use

Not supplied by the company

  • The infusion set: Cannulas and Tubes
  • 1xAA battery replaced as required

Tubes come interfaced, typically, with a common luer adapter.  So the users can source these anywhere.

Because of this, there is no guaranteed recurring revenue.  This makes it highly unlikely this type of pump can make money for a manufacturer.

The pump itself

Operating features

  1. Four basal rates each defining a 30 minute period in the day and up to 0.005 units.
  2. Four button all on front
  3. Either B&W LCD or paper white screen
  4. 2 bolus types, each with records showing insulin on board and the potential to take blood glucose readings.  If taking a longer bolus the user should be able to perform a fast one on top
    1. one fast bolus
    2. one “pizza” bolus
  5. Past weeks records visible on screen
  6. Programmable by computer – infra red connection only accessible if the pump is off
    This can set the unusual things like priming amounts, blood sugar levels for insulin on board calculations, insulin duration, insulin type.
    The programme should be available for the cheap computers like the machines defined here: http://www.zdnet.com/pictures/ten-raspberry-pi-2-alternatives/2/ .
    The pump comes with this kit for no added cost.
  7. Records received locally on the diabetics computer – infra red connection only accessible if the pump is off
  8. Simple limited screw face plates for batteries and the insulin adapter
  9. No wireless control (for security)
  10. Boluses can be performed underclothing, so vibrating bolus and alarms.
  11. Two modes:
    1. running (allowing boluses and basals to be delivered)
    2. ceased: (allowing computer connections, priming and withdrawing the cartridge)
  12. When the battery runs out, it remembers where the cartridge is so the user doesn’t have to reprime
  13. Alarms are loud and vibrate the pump
    Including:

    1. empty cartridge (limit set by user)
    2. empty battery
    3. automatic off (set by user)
    4. occlusion
    5. mechanical error
    6. electronic error
  14. Warnings are either soft or silent but do vibrate the pump
    including:

    1. low cartridge
    2. low battery
    3. pump not set up to run
    4. cartridge/adapter alert
    5. temporary basal rate cancelled
    6. temporary basal rate completed
    7. bolus cancelled
  15. Checks are made regularly (when insulin delivery is made, either for basal or bolus amounts) on whether the pump is functioning
  16. A light for the screen to allow use in the dark (cinema or bedroom for example)
  17. A pre-set limit for hands free priming but also a stop function to allow the user to change tubing lengths easily.
    Priming the cannula can be achieved in run mode with a fixed bolus.
  18. No promise on more than IPX 7 although the insulin components and pump electronics should be protected as much as possible.

These are based on my experiences of what works best and more buttons (especially on the side and top) do not help.

I want a flat bottom, so the pump can be easily stood up up while trying to establish the infra red connection to the computer (again, this is for sanity).

The user interface on the pump is driven by four raised buttons in either running or stop mode:

  • Menu button: for scrolling through the menus
  • Select button: for selecting a menu to drill into or signal a choice has been made
  • Up arrow: for increasing choice through the menu or while setting a value
  • Down arrow: for decreasing choice through the menu or setting a value

The buttons need to be on one face of the pump and raised so they can be differentiated under clothing or for a blind user.  A differentiated t configuration works well and you can make it obvious from the pump shape which button set is which.

Menus should be navigable in both directions from any point in the menu (rotating menus).

That’s pretty specific

Along with the cartridge design, these are things that make life easier for the pump user.  Most of these have come from my beloved DTron pump although the paradigms are pretty common throughout the pump world.

Security wise, NFC and blue tooth extra are all complexities you very rarely need, even as a woman who wears the occasion evening dress.  I tend to locate the pump in a garter belt – hides it well and you can programme boluses under the table, remember the vibrations which allow me to “feel” the dose even if heavy rock is happening all around you.  You check the record by going to the log if you are not 100% sure.

But this also allows use on a conference call without having to explain away the beeps.

I’m a grown up – many of the features I see in newer pumps are not that useful – like remote bolusing.  If you are an adult looking after a toddler or first few years of primary school diabetic or a disabled older person, this is important to you.  By the time the diabetic gets to their second decade of age, they will be wanting that control themselves not having their parents do it for them.

I like to wear my pump outside my clothes, so a belt clip that can be repositioned so that I can read the screen easily is a must.  On a belt, the pump is situated so I can read it!  See above about remote control.

Cloud based records are the only ones available on my current pump and that is great so long as you are on grid.  There is no ability to programme the four basals anywhere but on the device.  That is really painful.

Sounds great – so why won’t someone sell this?

There is a limited amount of revenue creation here and pump manufacturers are, after all, trying to make money.

The only revenue generation is on the cartridge adapters, approx. 4/5 are used a month.  You cannot fund an organisation with that.

Then there’s medical approval and testing.  The pump would need to be sold for a significant mark up to cover those costs.

It would need to be a non-profit organisation.  How could I find funding for that?

As my friend Phil Ashby stated, could you go open source pump and let people build their own using 3D printers?

What’s in a name? A rose as sweet…

Being a type 1 diabetic puts me in a reasonably unique position as far as NHS prescriptions matter.

If my insulin was re-branded tomorrow, my prescription with the old name would still be valid as it is describing a medicine.  In fact, under UK and European law, we now order medicines via their generic names rather than their brand names for exactly that reason.

I use Lispro for example as my analogue insulin, sold by Lily as Humalog.  If Lily renamed this Insulog, my prescription for Lispro would still be valid.

This is genius.

So brand names are not important…

Ah, the other side of the coin, in terms of my life, are medical devices.  You know, the pump, syringes, pen nibs (seriously insulin pen needles are called nibs!), insulin pens, isopropyl alcohol (for sterilising things so I don’t get infections from sticking a needle in to me), lancets and testing strips are medical devices and in this case names matter, even when they shouldn’t.

Please spot the difference apart from colour of box and name.

Please spot the difference apart from colour of box and the products name.

Eh?

In 1980 my mum bought me a Autoclix (brand name) which is a type A lancing device taking, you guessed it, type A lancets.

This is the form factor of the lancets is actually the one that won the tech battle (much more fiercely fought than beta-max versus VHS, see the Autolet here).  All lancing devices use this type of lancet now.

But that wasn’t always the way and several devices used type B lancets.  The important thing therefore was to get the right type.

Or that was the case in 1980.

Times have moved on…

Apparently!  Now there are five manufactures and if your prescription doesn’t have the brand name of the lancet, not the manufacturers name or the lancet type, you don’t get the prescription filled (that’s supplied to you and me).

Which makes re-branding a nightmare.

My Abbott Laboratories Thin Lancets are now called Abbott Laboratories Freestyle Lancets (nothing else has changed, not one thing, not even the price or the colour they are supplied in, just the name on the box).  So my prescription asking for Abbott Laboratories Thin Lancets are not valid because this item does not exist.

In all other terms though, they are the same thing.

Abbott Laboratories is a North American company and have contacted all health care professionals in the countries they supply to the details of the re-marketing so that they can provide the prescriptions so that type 1 diabetics can make informed decisions about how much insulin they need.

This may work well in America, but I use a large Pharmaceutical change in the UK and my GPs practice were apparently unaware of this change or that in fact, it was important.

Abbott are sending me this months supply free of charge and without the need for a prescription.  Being a loyal customer since 1991 does have its advantages.

How it is done

I’ve just spent some time catching up with the comments made to my blog. Thank you so much for your enthusiasm!

Rather than reply to the five most common questions in line, I am going to reply in a post.

The power of words

People all over the world have many talents.  I’m OK with a still camera, have some fun with geometric shapes and graphs, but my movies and videos are not easy on the eye.

This is a written blog for that reason.  At school, I had some material published (mostly poetry, a couple of songs, one article) but had the opportunity to hone my style while working for BT.  My manager, Jeff Patmore, helped me convey messages easily.

The title came from an article in the Observer many moons ago while I was considering starting a blog.

style Style – the choice is yours

I bought my first digital camera in 1999, a Fuji Finepix 700, which looked like the one featured on Steve’s page.

I lent the camera to my husband as he visited Svalbard for work back in June 2001.  This was my favourite picture from his set on the midnight sun, a beautiful vista.  I use that with a free theme from Andreas Viklund as he has a really clean style I can tie in to the photo I am using.  For work, the colours are different to the ones I use on this site.

I have updated this theme’s CSS a few times to migrate to newer browsers and newer issues of HTML standards. It’s not necessarily perfect – I tend to use Firefox and Android browser to test and only rarely use IE.  As such, compatibility with IE is best efforts.

Achieving this for the web would be difficult and time consuming without ImageMagick and the W3C.

I’m not saying you should copy what I do (please don’t in fact).  Make it yours, simply and easily, in a way that works for you.

Many reuable images are licensed on the web: I mix these brilliant images with my own (I did produce my own version of Flickr to help me catalogue my digital images 😉 ).

Blog it

My manager at work in 2007 was interested in the potential of Web 2.0 tools in large organisations.  I was a keen wiki producer and have published some articles and edits on Wikipedia as well as running a collaboration site between my company and our partners.

I run the software for my media wiki and WordPress sites here and for my team’s sites within the company who employs me.  My wiki has a different look and feel as does my HTML and servlet servers.  These are tailored to the team or partner in question.

By 2008, my manager had migrated on to WordPress.  Work wise I did a similar thing and found that I loved the speed of moving from empty article to a published piece.

So this is a WordPress blog run on my own server so I have full control and copyright.

I appreciate that there are people who like to crash sites and damage resources.   I have learnt a lot about this in the past 10 years how to protect against malicious attacks.  I am very considered about any changes I make to the underlying security of the servers and the material they contain.

Spam, spam, spam

I am not talking about Monty Python sketches here!  All of the comments are manually approved or not.  I have control of the data on this machine and if I think the comment is from an untrustworthy source, it is not approved.  I am not always right in these judgements, but they are at least mine.

Links th_DSC_0019

I learnt how to manually write HTML in 1995 and migrated to using CSS in 1999.

If WordPress won’t let me achieve what I want to I find another way.  As such, I had had a web presence for a while before this blog.

I run four webservers, have UPS and a good back up mechanism.  It doesn’t cost me anything to run.

If WordPress won’t give me a result I like, I go and do it manually.  About 30% of my work ends up in WordPress.  I publish my analysis etc. through dynamic HTML: either JSPs, Java or LAMP.

For graphical links, I use ImageMagick to tile images together (and resize them) and image maps in HTML  I can produce a 10 item image map in less than 3 minutes from a set of unformatted images.  (The power of scripts compared to using Photoshop, for example).

I published 3,000 holiday snaps in less than an hour modifying this mechanism.  The hard bit was losing the bad images :o.

Where does that leave me if I want to do this?

Start off somewhere that hosts a blog for you: blogger is pretty good.

Get your written style sorted then start to learn the rest if you want to.

It’s the web, a great collection of thoughts, facts and opinions in the form of  images, words, music and recordings which can be shared across the world.  Find your voice and be part of it.

True costs

Fireplace and the holes

Happy new year.  I am writing this as my Christmas holiday is coming to an end.  I have really enjoyed the break.

This time of year, for me, is always a time of reflection.  So, I thought I would share this with you.

Moving house and finding the joys of a log fire

When we moved into this home nearly three years ago, we found ourselves the owners of a log burning stove.  Before the purchase I had asked the previous owners of the house how they had found it: ” we only lit it once to check it worked.  You don’t need it – the house is warm enough.”

OK!  Thing is, carbon footprint wise, the fire is not a bad thing.  So we sourced some logs and got the hang of lighting it.

We have at least one fire a week during the weekend.  During a holiday (like this one), the fire is working alternative days (to be honest, there have only been a couple of days it was truly needed).

I did notice while I was first looking at the house the first few things, two air vents drilled into the fire surround to provide air to the fire (remember the fire triangle 😉 a fire needs, air, heat and fuel).

The previous owners were using some vases to fill in the holes while the fire wasn’t in use!

So?

I have been looking for some “hit and miss” vents to fit in the drilled holes.  These vents allow the manual closure of the vents when air is not required.  In the fireplace this would be ideal, preventing a draft when the fire was not being used but allowing easy opening when we want the warmth of the fire.

Typically, they are rectangular in shape and reasonably easy to get hold of for a tenner a piece.  Our holes were definitely round.  The sailing fraternity were one source I found on-line but really wanted to see before I bought.

I found some, this year, in Fox’s Chandlers in Ipswich.

They are called Butterfly Vents, when they are circular.  They either protrude out or are countersunk.

Protruding ones are the mainstay in this area – for the fireplace, countersunk ones were the ideal and they are large holes.

The difference in price is amazing.  From under a tenner for a protruding one to times times that for a countersunk.

Still, at least I now have a pair :).

 

 

Video kiosk pi

For Christmas, I got a raspberry pi 2, which I love.

But what to do with my old pis?  Obviously, having an old one around doing a useful job of motion capture, streamed straight out to the web.

But what about the other one?  What can be usefully done with a small computer with a HDMI output.

Necessity is the mother of invention

One of my volunteering roles, is helping my union to get more recruits and inform current members on what we can do for them.

Which is great, but one person on a stall can only talk to one person.  One person had volunteered their media player and we used that to stream a loop of videos.

Unfortunately, that only worked temporarily, so my spare pi is being drafted to do the same job.

Easy?

Well, I want the video to run on start up, without the need to do anything else.  Kiosk mode.

Editing the pi’s /etc/rc.local will run a script.  Omxplayer (included by default on the pi) will play the mp4s choosen for the task.

Using ffprobe, ffprobe -v error -show_entries format=duration -sexagesimal -of default=noprint_wrappers=1:nokey=1 *.mp4 will allow me to work out how many times the loop needs to run for an hour on the stall (the sum of the videos was a little under 5 minutes, so looping the three videos 13 times should fit the bill).

Only one issue to solve before the 4th Jan: how do I stop the text output.  Oh, duh, change /boot/cmdline.txt (remove logo, send output to tty3 and switch off all but the most serious error messages) and ensure that the background of the videos is black!

JBuilder migration by hand

This is for the hard core coders out there. This is unlikely to appeal if you are not a java developer or designer.
I thought I would share this as it has taken me a few days of work to find this method. Hopefully it will save someone some time somewhere in the world :)
I have inherited a project which was working beautifully but as the team migrated from Java 1.6 to 1.8 (some call this migration from Java 6 to Java 8), I found we needed to rebuild (and re-link) some of the classes.
The project was originally built on a Windows 2000 machine, running Borland’s JBuilder.
To say everything else has moved on is putting it mildly.
So the choices were:

  1. Try to get JBuilder updated on a later machine and linked to a Java 1.8 JRE
  2. Bite the bullet and move everything to Eclipse

Obviously, choice 2 makes sense on so many levels!
But Eclipse and JBuilder are two completely different approaches in terms of how their IDE’s (integrated development environments) deal with the whole concept of a class and a project and I don’t mean in terms of just layout on the screen.

What’s all the fuss, don’t you just read the design document or read the build files?

Modern coding practices (Martin Fowler et al. thank you for your contribution to this profession) dictate that most coders don’t have to deal with this kind of low level detail very often.  We make concious decisions on standards and methodologies and paradigms early in a project and stick to them for the life of the project.

Only 3 things ever interrupt the smooth running of a successful: changes to your company or structure means you have completely contradictory approaches to the factoring of your software, your team needs to start saving money sooner rather than later, Microsoft (or the producer of your IDE) have stop supporting the build of the OS you have either designed for or build against.

In the 15 years or so since Microsoft Windows 2000 was first marketed much has changed.  No least the adoption of Eclipse, produced by IBM, as a free and reasonably competent IDE.

I have to be honest at this point and mention that Eclipse was one of the last IDEs I ever used, in fact, deployment issues when using Eclipse in 2006 meant I took up hand building all my java :>

Not a fan?

That was 9 years ago.

Back to JBuilder.  JBuilder uses the idea of nodes to allow the dependencies between Java classes and the build/sub-project structure to coexist in relatively complex projects.

The situation I found myself in was a build script which launched JBuilder and it used a project file with more than 13 outputs and 250 odd classes.  Time for a stiff upper lip and some serious consideration.

Normally, as I use Linux to build my Java output, I make use of the fact that any .jar file is in fact a tarball or a group of files concatenated together into a continuous file.  As such, I can go and list the contents: if my jar binary is not up the job, I can fall back on to tar.  Job done.

Guessing not that straight forward, huh?

No.  Windows does offer a few useful tools though.  Directory and file compression was included by default in Windows 2008.  By taking x.jar and renaming it x.zip, I could at least examine what the successful build looked like.

So, I did this with the original.jar -> original.zip and unzipped into a directory called original.

I made a complete build new.jar -> new.zip and unzipped into a directory called new.

Now, original was a subset of new by definition: remember 13 jars were produced from 250 classes.  How do I identify what I didn’t need?

In Unix, I could use sdiff to compare each directory.  So that was my search on a search engine of your choice (thanks Google).

$one = Get-ChildItem -Recurse -path C:\original\$args[0]
$two = Get-ChildItem -Recurse -path C:\new\$args[0]

Compare-Object -ReferenceObject $one -DifferenceObject $two

This tells me which files exist in my new directory that I don’t want.  I use that to format a jar build script including exactly what I need for each output jar in question.

Most importantly, I have a means of not only repeatedly building the Java 1.x library but also of checking against previous builds.

Job done ✓.

Spreading the joy

If there is one truth in my life it is that I love to learn.

Yesterday, I got to share some of my learning about Insulin Kinetics with a group of gifted and talented students at Ipswich School.

And thanks to Wikipedia I could reuse with modification the insulin structure image to help share what I have learnt about insulin kinetics.

I have submitted material that has been published/presented in some of the top universities studying endocrinology but this was my first time doing it myself.From Wikipedia: image showing the structure of insulin

Insulin what???

Kinetics: the study of insulin in a living organism.  In this case, a human being.

Through much of my training in the past, I knew pictures and diagrams would help describe what was happening.  For this presentation I had little opportunity to make my own so I used Google images with a filter to find ones which I could reuse and alter like the image from Wikipedia above :).

Comparing that image to the explanation I was given as a four year old that insulin attached itself to Glucose in the blood and pulled it apart is tangible when you compare the two objects.  Glucose is extremely simple and looks really small.  Insulin is this hugely complex monster which looks like it could grab hold of insulin.

This understanding of insulin came from a Nobel laureate, Dorothy Hogkin forty years after insulin was first used to help type 1 diabetics to live beyond initial diagnosis.  Which led to better understanding between the differences between porcine and bovine insulin compared to human insulin.  Which enabled the first human insulins to be developed using bacteria to alter porcine insulin.

While doing my talk, I learnt yesterday that modern human analogue insulins are bred purely from bacteria.

I didn’t know that.

ICE’d, ICE’d baby

The past few weeks have seemed really busy.  End of financial quarter, new aspects to my job and a lot of travelling.

I am currently racking up around 1,000 miles a month in the diesel which feels terrible.  It’s all the best kind of travelling for the beast but still, averaging 40mpg in a 275bhp car is only being offset by the fact the other 750miles I do a month is in an electric car.

It feels dirty 😮

Whoa, that’s a big change

Mmm.  It being late in the year, my manager was almost insistent that I did the miles in an ICE but after doing the majority of miles in the Leaf the past two years, it is really odd.

Let’s start with the whole getting the car started.  It’s noisy, really noisy.  It is slow, it’s a good 10 secs before I am allowed to put the car in to gear.  Yes, gears, there are 6 of them.

The car still opens without the key and there is a start button.  But it makes the weird, low level shaking once the start button has been pressed and there’s this weird, smelly liquid you have to put in.  I filled up the car yesterday and that’s definitely a procedure that is no longer a habit.

When I am stopped at lights, there is this noise coming from the front and underneath of the car, which you do get used to after 10 or so miles.

I am not convinced it will catch on.

The title is ICE’d?

I am off on my ICE’d (internal combustion engine) travels tomorrow.  I appreciated the Leaf today.

Monday afternoon, post piano lesson, is when I typically charge the Leaf.

I approached the chargers outside of work to find a VW and Nissan taking the two spaces in front of the Evalu8 charges.

Thankfully, there are other chargers on site and I drove over to my favourite only to find a beautiful Ampera charging up.  Or not, as it seemed to be finished.

The dilemma: to see if it would surrender the polar charge cable from the pod or not.  I was pretty sure it would not let me unplug if it wasn’t charged.  So did the deed and closed the Ampera’s charge port door.

Which set off the alarm! 😮

At this point, despite not causing any damage, I felt as guilty as hell and was probably the same colour red as the Leaf.  I froze only to see some colleagues walking across the way looking with interest my way.  Or possibly towards the screaming Ampera!

I waved, left handed as the charge cable was in my right hand – what else do you do?

Deciding that either the owner would come or not, be happy and cool or not, I tried to plug my car in only to find my considerate park meant that the cable just wasn’t long enough.

I carefully place the cable on the ground and repositioned my car.  It was a pretty good park, shame I didn’t have a camera to hand.  Both the Leaf and the Ampera could have their driver’s doors opened but a paper back could not have been slid between the narrowest gap.  Think of a V with the Ampera facing forwards with the Leaf lined up frontwards in against it.

Not for the first time did I thank the person in Nissan who said an all round camera would be useful on the Leaf.

Plugged in and started the charge.  I left the cable unlocked, just in case the Ampera did need a top up.

I returned to get the car early – today was never going to be a long stay in the office.  The Leaf still had the cable and a charge of 80%.   I returned the plug and cable to the pod and manoeuvred out to start the journey homewards.