At Home In Bed: An Article by Red Szell

Guide Dog in Harness with the words "Let Locations Guide you there"

This week I was fortunate enough to receive my second Covid vaccination. Having checked out all the latest information provided by the various sight loss charities and made instantly accessible through both my RealSam Pocket and RealSam Speaker, I felt confident I was making the right decision and knew what to expect.

Before leaving the house, I put through a quick video call to Be My Eyes, to check that I had indeed picked up my vaccination card (and not the window cleaner’s business card!), and then used Pocket’s Location’s function to guide me to the health centre.

I arrived on time and everything went smoothly; I even got the chance to listen to another chapter of The Master and Margarita while I waited 20 minutes after the injection in case I had an adverse reaction. Then Locations took me safely home and I got back down to work, with only a bit of a sore arm.

After a rather restless night I woke up feeling like I had a medium-grade hangover. I wasn’t particularly surprised (though I’d only had a very small glass of red wine the previous evening!), because again, I had used Pocket and Google Home to check up on possible side-effects. But I did feel pretty rough.

Fortunately, though, I’d therefore also taken the precaution to leave everything I might need for a day in bed within easy reach.

So, I had paracetamol for the pain, plenty of water to drink, an unopened packet of plain chocolate digestives (the ultimate placebo), and of course my Google Home Speaker and Pocket for company.

After calling my boss to let her know that I felt rotten, I settled back on the pillow and asked Pocket to find RNIB Newsagent and listened drowsily as the soothing voices of the readers went through the headlines and main stories. To be honest, it was all a bit too depressing, so I soon changed my mind and asked for The Week instead, which gave me a few giggles from its pick of the week gossip section.

But even that felt a bit too much like hard work, so then I asked my Google Home speaker to play BBC6 Music. That took me through to mid-morning, but then became a bit too in-your-face so I decided to try a Talking Book instead.

I was reluctant to go back to The Master and Margarita because it requires a bit more concentration than I felt capable of, so I selected a suitably lightweight collection of Jeeves and Wooster stories and spent a happy hour bumbling around 1920’s London with them instead.

However, even PG Wodehouse’s peppy prose wears thin when you’re feeling below par. So, after a second paracetamol and a swig of water to wash down my fifth chocolate digestive of the day, I asked Pocket to find the latest In Our Time podcast. It proved to be just what the doctor ordered. As I listened to Melvyn Bragg’s dulcet tones conducting a discussion about longitude, I imagined myself on a sea voyage with John Harrison and drifted gently off to sleep.

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