Various bits about blood and murder

1 Jun 2013, 3:26 p.m.
How to make friends and influence people; a TV show I like better than Hannibal; Swiss vs. British ideas about acceptable medical risks. Contains some mention of blood.

David and I invited an acquaintance, codename Isobel, around to dinner last night. He's met her twice before, I only once. The evening included these events:

  • David cutting his thumb whilst cooking, bleeding all over the flat, and asking Isobel to help him bandage it because I am Not Good with this kind of injury.
  • Following on from this, an enthusiastic description by me of the time he had a minor operation that resulted in internal bleeding, and what we had to do about it. (This kind of injury I'm fine with.)

Isobel nonetheless ended up staying and talking with us till the last bus, so perhaps we've been doing this wrong before and, "I promise I don't have any transmissible diseases," is just the thing to say to cement a new friendship?

The other David (read his manifesto for UK government here) suggested that we watch Elementary instead of Hannibal, and he was totally right. We're six episodes in and I'm delighted to find a TV series where characters treat one another as reasonable adults, don't yell all the time to show! that! things! are! dramatic!, and have conversations together to solve problems. It's almost as if they're trained and experienced professionals who care about doing their jobs, imagine that.

Even though the point of any Sherlock Holmes adaptation is that Holmes is, almost always, several deductive steps ahead of anyone else in the scene, this version seems able to admit when other people spot things first or help him reach a discovery. He's prickly and a bit weird but not constantly abrasive. I'm enjoying Watson's rapidly-growing interest in crime solving, the fact that she's not a pushover, and Lucy Liu's performance, which is just great. For the icing on the cake, I've been informed that there's no romantic subplot, at least in this series. Total satisfaction.

You can find links to all the Elementary season 1 episodes here.

Important question: Given the problem I have with fingers, thumbs and toes, am I going to be able to watch Elementary episode 5? A yes/no answer would be great, no details please. I have an eternal hunger for murder mysteries, but I don't want to watch this episode if it'll give me nightmares.

I like T/Gel coal tar shampoo. When I discovered it many years ago, my life immediately became a good 30% better. Unfortunately, you can't buy it in this country and my stock has run out.

Yesterday, we went to the pharmacy to see if there was any way they could import it, or any substitute they could recommend. The assistant obligingly rustled around in the back, made some phone calls and told us that there are no Swiss products containing coal tar. There was a media fuss years ago about its potential carcinogenicity and since then, it's been banned.

I found this very funny, since right in front of the counter was a display of diclofenac patches and gels. The Swiss and British approaches to health & safety often line up very poorly.