Doctor, Doctor…

Yes, I know I’m spoiling you after three posts yesterday and one today already, but I had to share this snippet with you. 

(Incidentally, I’ve swapped back to the classic editor for this post as I wanted to add four links, to “three”, “posts”, “yesterday”, “today” and “snippet”. The first four are linking back to previous posts, but I can’t see an easy way to do this in the new editor.)

It amazes me that a doctor has been practising without qualifications for 22 years, but in a way I’m not surprised as she was a psychiatrist and I’ve always been suspicious of them as a profession.  It’s got to be the easiest type of doctor to impersonate as it’s all snake oil, smoke, mirrors and theories. I’ve never heard of a fake brain surgeon, for instance. (Apologies if any of my readers are psychiatrists and feel I’m belittling your hard-won professional qualification – but they would have discovered a bogus heart surgeon a lot quicker).

Having said that – there have been fake surgeons – read this if you want to learn more.

It’s a very interesting area, though as someone points out in a related article there are properly qualified doctors who are a dangerous liability, so it’s not just the imposters you have to worry about.

There have also been some properly qualified criminal doctors, as the case of local boy Harold Shipman shows.

Fortunately, most doctors are qualified, competent and affable. (I thought I’d mention that in case any of mine are reading this. There are, after all, thousands of good doctors for every bad one that ends up in the papers, and, apart from that, you don’t want to mess with anyone who can order a prostate exam for you.)


 Funny doctor memes



In which I nearly use a Bad Word

I really don’t know where to start today. Rose at 6.30 (unwillingly). To hospital by 7.16 (I had a slow creaky start to the morning) and found myself 9th in the queue. 

I didn’t have to wait too long and only read four pages of my “waiting book” before being called. It’s taking a long time to read because I keep it in the back of the car and only read it while I’m waiting for something.

It was a three tube day. The needle went in fine and the blood flowed like… whatever blood flows like.   She looked at the first tube a little too long for my liking but I was soon done. I then nipped to the toilet and filled my tube for the urine sample. Returning to the car park, I was allowed out free of charge (I’m beginning to think the timer may be broken) and took the sample to the surgery.

Could it all have been so easy? Seemingly so…

Only one thing of note happened in the shop today. A lady came in to sell some coins and asked for a seat. When given one, she asked if we had a lower one. Fortunately we did have a lower one. She was, it seems, suffering from frailty and old age. 

In conversation afterwards my ungallant co-worker referred to her as a “little old lady”. I protested, not through gallantry, but because, in the conversation, she had told us she was born in 1958. 

Hot on the heels of the elderly retired gent we’d seen last week (born 1960), I’m beginning to feel quite youthful. Some people seem to look and act old despite still being quite young. 

I, on the other hand, having been born in 1958, still feel I’m quite young. Julia sort of agrees, though she did use the word “immature”, which isn’t quite the same as “young”. 

Later in the day I had a phone call – the blood test had not been satisfactory and I have to have a fresh test tomorrow.

It’s not a health problem, I’ve had this before. If they don’t fill the tube properly the laboratory refuses the sample. And if the blood tester looks at the sample for too long after testing it usually means they aren’t convinced they’ve filled the tube.

That means another early start and another half hour wait. 

I can’t help feeling cheated – I did everything they asked and I’m being punished for it.

I was so annoyed I came close to using a Bad Word.

Leaving the World to Darkness…

I’m watching Joan Hickson playing Miss Marple in the 4.50 from Paddington. I prefer the Joan Hickson ones to the newer ones with Geraldine McEwen, partly due to the supporting cast. Amanda Holden, for instance, is not very convincing as the housekeeper in the newer version.

As I read that paragraph I realise that I may have spent too much time watching TV. I have certainly spent too much time watching Agatha Christie repeats.

It’s Julia’s fault. She puts them on then drifts out of the room, leaving me with the social dilemma of enduring endless repeats or turning them over and enduring reproachful glances.

That’s the trouble with winter Sunday nights, not much to do. It’s only just over a year (if we last that long) before Julia will stop working on Sundays and we might be able to do something more interesting than slumping in front of the TV.

After serving the stew, I have nothing else to do but watch dull TV and think about get rich quick schemes. I’ve tried the lottery but it hasn’t worked, and I don’t have the energy to look for a second job, so it’s either write a blockbuster or turn to a life of crime.

I think we all know that I’m not in good enough shape to be a cat burglar or bank robber and don’t have the technical skills for cybercrime. As I can’t write anything longer than three lines the blockbuster is unlikely too.

The only bright spot in my future is that a nice widow has written to me. It seems that she wants to give me $10 million from the estate of her late husband, and if I send her my bank details I could have the money by Tuesday.

As one door closes another door opens…

The Curfew Tolls

I thought I’d have a look at Gray’s Elegy for a title today, though many people have beaten me to it. Originally I was going to use The Dying of the Light from Dylan Thomas, but it seemed over-dramatic just for a post bemoaning the shortness of winter days.

I know that Hardy took Far from the Madding Crowd from Gray and always presumed Kubrick took Paths of Glory from himtoo. Checking with Wikipedia I now know this to be true, though it came via a novel, and two other works – a painting and a memoir, had already used it.

They used to call cigarette cards the poor man’s encyclopaedia. I suppose that this is now a fair description of Wikipedia, though the poor man in question needs a link to the internet.

Anyway, was just going to say that the lie-in worked and I am feeling refreshed but by the time I had planned the menus and switched on the computer the light is already fading and the planned photographic expedition may be postponed. Instead I will show a few shots from this morning, entitled 6.45 am in a cold car park.

The camera did quite well in low light.

I took a picture of a lost glove to add to the bleakness of the piece. Later, I may use the picture again. There was a lost hat too, which I thought about picking up. A good wash and it would have been right as rain, suitable for charity even if I didn’t need it. However, these good intentions faded in the cold.

6.45 in a cold car park – Castle Donington

I prefer summer.

Tomorrow I have a blood test. A blood test before it is light seems such a depressing thing.

6.45 in a cold car park – Castle Donington


Lazy Sunday

After dropping Julia off this morning I was in plenty of time to pick up Number One Son and we are home before 8.00. There’s no washing to do so I’m going back to bed after writing this. I will rise around 10.00, have elevenses and plan the menus before shopping.

I say “plan the menus”, but I really mean is “make a list of the food we will be eating”. Or even “select a day for vegetable curry” because that’s the day before we have Spicy Vegetable Soup.

There doesn’t seem to be a spell checker with the new editor, or a word counter. 

Cancel that last comment, I found the word count. It’s not gone, it’s just inconveniently hidden.

During my stay in the car park I noted that the birds all seemed to come to life just after 7.00 and that the 4×4 vehicles of Highways England keep their engines running while one of the crew members goes for coffee. I really don’t like it when people keep their engines running like that. 

I was planning a sophisticated essay on poetic forms or world peace (I was undecided) but it hasn’t happened, as you can see.

Maybe I will manage it after a little more sleep.

Doughnuts and Dad’s Army

It’s been a positive end to the day, in a number of ways. My finger, for instance, has continued to improve and the pain has gone. It’s still stiff but that’s just the penalty you pay for growing old. 

We had a couple of customers in who I have known for years, and it was good to catch up, even though I have seen them both in the last week. Let’s be honest, I was just chatting rather than working. 

On the other side of the day, I’ve still done enough of the boring stuff to ensure that I’m seeing coin sets when I close my eyes.

We sold four of them overnight, so it’s paying off.

Dragonfly in Norfolk

The rest of the day, I fear, would be very boring if described in detail. We packed parcels, sold coins, bought nothing and ate doughnuts (provided by one of the customers). I don’t mind a boring day if it includes doughnuts.

Finally, as I sit and write, I note that the new editor, whilst having no automatic word count, does allow me to access all my photos. The cynic in me suggests that the previous trouble may well have been linked to the preparations for the “improvements”.

And so, as the day draws to an end, with a couple of interesting rugby results and a classic black and white episode of Dad’s Army, it’s time to reflect on the way that an unpromising start can often lead to better things.

In this case it leads to some archive photos.

Doughnuts at Hunstanton

A Small but Welcome Improvement (Part 2)

The title isn’t entirely true. This part is about all the bits of yesterday that weren’t welcome, and weren’t improvements.

When I first woke yesterday I was aware of a cold stiff finger. Fortunately it was mine, otherwise this could have been a very strange post. The little finger of my left hand is now following the ring finger of my right hand into arthritis.

I’m not sure whether it’s good to spread the load between hands or not.

Two hands with inconvenient fingers, or one hand with two inconvenient fingers?

 The third arthritic finger is likely to be the little finger of my right hand (it does get a bit cold and stiff at times) so the situation is likely to deteriorate soon anyway.

I doubled up my dose of turmeric, applied a pain-killing gel and cursed old age. There’s not much else you can do, apart from staying positive and, despite all my efforts, this isn’t really one of my strengths.

I am more Dylan Thomas than Pollyanna.

After the brief ray of sunshine that was my visit to the dentist, I arrived at the shop with two minutes to go. I hate being late, even by arrangement, so this was good.

Then I started entering more soul-destroying stock onto eBay. Every one I do is one more step towards my wages, and one more step towards becoming cold and empty inside…

And having come full circle, in a distinctly literary manner, I will leave you all, facing the cold, bleak, dead, stiffness of my existence.

Yes, that positivity stuff definitely isn’t working.