My windows are closed
Doors are closed.
Blinds down and curtains drawn.
Folded newspaper strips close the gaps between door and frame.
Why am I doing this?
There is a bush hanging over the fence opposite my carport.
It's pretty, with dark green leaves and flowers made up of many small flowerets.
For most of the year, it doesn't bother me at all, apart from the scent, which I don't like.
Right now, though, the flowers have an abundance of pollen, with a heavy scent releasing in early morning from pre-dawn to about 8am, then again in the evening from roughly 5pm until about 9pm.
Breathing this heavily pollen filled air brings on first a heaviness in the sinus cavities above the eyes, then a not-quite-pounding ache in the back of the head.
I hold a hankie against my nose as I walk past it on the way to work each morning. Along the roads I walk there are several others, I remember the locations of most of them and cover my nose again.
This will go on for about three weeks before I can breathe freely again. Then other things will bloom and the procedure continues. Bottle brush, Jasmine, (the night-scented one), Privet.
I'm also allergic to moulds and mildew. This eastern suburbs area has many gardens with mulch that is now breaking down after the winter rains. With the daily dose of sunshine, the moulds which are part of this breaking down process are fast increasing, the spores are active in the early mornings, as I walk home from work later in the day, I'm able to breathe more easily, as long as I avoid the heavily shaded gardens by crossing the road.
Antihistamines help, but the side effect of the one that works best for me is a dryness in the mouth which has me gulping water all day long. So I try not to take too many.
It's a sad problem for one who loves to potter about with pots and plants outside.
2 hours ago