Fate And A Sense Of Humour
Fate, it seems, has a fine sense of ironic humour. Usually, I travel a lot, both short and long-haul flights in my annual schedule. OK, so not so much British Airways named a Boeing after me, but I racked up a fair few tens of thousands of miles each year. Anyone who flies a lot knows the risks of Deep Vein Thrombosis, and many of us perform a lot of exercises in flight as a result. No flying, no problem, I thought... but a rookie error in my working arrangements ended in a pulmonary embolism and almost a week in the hospital.
Many of us are now firmly ensconced as homeworkers, and that could be a secret killer. Some are used to commuting, having 'water cooler' conversations, going out to get lunch, and so on. The normal workday is packed with bits where you are not simply sitting at your desk, and those have been attenuated by homeworking. Worse, our normal social life of going to restaurants, pubs, theatres, cinemas or simply having friends over has been torn apart by COVID-19's recent rebound; we replace these social events with Zoom calls, playing computer games or watching things like Netflix or Amazon Prime... all of which take place at the same computer desk.
We've learned to factor regular 'screen breaks' during our work, but don't do the same for the evening session. So, a busy period of writing and relaxing in the same place meant hours of sitting in the same spot and forgetting those basic rules to prevent DVT... and it nearly killed me. If you have recently found much of your life is on the same computer, don't make the same mistake... walk away from that screen for five minutes every hour, and try not to spend ten or more hours at a stretch at the same computer table.
This is perhaps why you might notice some new names this month. My Publisher Pete Collingwood-Trewin called in a lot of favours and those products I was supposed to review have been covered by others. I'd like to express my thanks to those who expressed concern for my health, and my great thanks to those who stepped in when I fell down. I hope to be back in the game for our Awards issue next month, but the usual service of lifting and shifting audio equipment may take some time.
Finally, the recent passing of Andy Clough, Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi hit hard. While we never worked together directly, he was one of the many 'fellow travellers' in this game that I called a friend. He will be sorely missed.
Congratulations to Mark Vaughan from the UK who is the lucky winner of the Grounding Box from Computer Audio Design worth £1695.