Saturday, 12 November 2011

Ouch - immunisations time

Yesterday afternoon, the four of us got our immunisations in anticipation of going to India in seven (7!) weeks. The shots themselves didn't hurt much, as the needles were very fine and the nurse, Anne, very competent. Jos and Ky calmly stated "ow" two or three time for each, but didn't flinch, setting the standard rather high for us. Afterwards we went out for a delicious but way-too-much-food Indian meal. 

This morning, however, we are all sooking and groaning. I feel like I've been given a not-friendly-at-all shoulder punch on both sides. Lifting my arm up to shoulder height (to get a teabag out of the tea caddy, for example) has me making faces and muttering "ooof". The others are feeling equally worse for wear.

Nevertheless, I'm glad I got these done this weekend, as next weekend I'm swimming in the MS Megaswim (a pool-based Relay for Life type thing, raising funds for Multiple Sclerosis research) - my hour-long slot starts at midnight next Sunday morning. I don't think I could lift my arms up over my shoulders repeatedly this Sunday! And the weekend after that, we have our TKD grading. And the one after that is our infamous work Xmas party.

For those interested in the nitty gritty details (like my sister El, who is joining us a week into our India trip), the shots we got were:
  • Adacel - combination diptheria, tetanus and pertussis (DTP) booster
  • Vivaxim - combination Hepatitis A and typhoid (a HepA booster in 6-36 months will give lifelong immunity)
  • Menveo - broad-spectrum Meningococcal vaccine (C, W-135 and Y)

The kids have already had their Meningococcal vaccines (given to them as pre-schoolers), and are not yet due for a DTP booster, so they only had two shots:
  • Havrix Junior - Hepatitis A vaccine, and
  • Typhim Vi - a typhoid vaccine (there's no kid-suitable combination vaccine, for HepA and typhoid)
All four of us will also be taking malaria tablets, starting two days before we leave, and finishing two weeks after we return. The doc prescribed a slightly lower dose for Ky, on the grounds that it might stunt his growth. Given he weighs practically the same as his brother, and is only a couple of inches shorter than him (despite the 2.5 year age difference), and is the tallest yet youngest in his class, I don't think stunting his growth is a significant issue.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Gorky: Bukhara

Bukhara is the fifth largest city in Uzbekistan, and the city dates back to the 3rd-4th centuries BC, similar to Samarkand.  The historic centre of Bukhara has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. (Wikipedia)


The Kalyan minaret, built in 1127, is a tapered circular pillar made of baked mud bricks, 48m high, and 9m diameter at the base, narrowing to 6m. Gengis Khan spared the tower when he sacked the city, possibly as it is an excellent watchtower. It is also known as the Tower of Death as, until early last century, criminals were executed by being thrown from the top. (Wikipedia)

The Saminid Mausoleum was likely built during the reign of Ismail Samani (892-907), but certainly completed by 943. Again made of baked brick, it is a slightly tapered cube topped with a hemispherical dome. The delicate brickwork gives the building a lacy lightness. Buried in sediment up to the top of the doors for many years, the building was restored in the mid-twentieth century.
This image from ArchNet, taken by Roya Marefat in 1987

The Bala Hauz Mosque (hauz means pond, pool or lake) was built in 1712, originally as a royal chapel. The richly decorated entry iwan was added during a general reconstruction of the area in 1914-17. It's main facade overlooks the octagonal hauz, and faces Registan Square. The building has only been restored very recently. (Various sources, all seem to quote the same text, see here and here and here.)

Here's some other pics Dad (G) took in Bukhara.