Day 180

Teetering on the slide into winter . . .

Started the day with bacon croissants. I was thinking of getting up and making them but Julia got up quicker and read my mind. There are some benefits to moving slowly.

Completed my jury service form online. I still wonder why they need to threaten me with a £1,000 fine all the time. I suspect it is because the sort of people who draft these letters like the feeling of authority given by the ability to bend others to their will. I’ve  noticed this in other people over the years, particularly since lockdown gave encouragement to petty tyrants.

They are generally people of low intelligence who have been frustrated by their inability to rise in their chosen career, or any career. Their parents didn’t love them. They never learned to say please and thank you. I could carry on, but I feel I have conveyed the essence of my contempt.

Marmalade Hoverfly

Marmalade Hoverfly

As a result of completing the form on line I now have a pre-paid envelope addressed to the Jury Central Summoning Bureau. I am seriously tempted to send them a letter querying their whole approach to jurors.

In the waiting room at the surgery I was privileged to witness four different complaints against practice staff. One women wouldn’t name her complaint – she wanted the practice manager.

One man was complaining about the late arrival of his drugs. He had clearly ordered them late. And he also clearly needed help with anger issues, and possibly with voices in his head, as he muttered and swore under his breath.

Another woman was complaining that she had rung for help in treating the skinned knee of her daughter and didn’t like the answer she had been given by another receptionist (get some ointment from the pharmacy). “She’s not properly qualified.” she kept repeating. If you need a medical qualification to treat a skinned knee there is something wrong with the world, and If a parent can’t cope with a skinned knee there is something wrong with the parent.

Finally we had the man who was trying to make an appointment. You can’t make appointments these days – you have to ring in and hope you get through and then hope that the doctor has a free slot to ring you back. He ended up confused and asked “What would happen if I walked out of here and collapsed?”


Him, I sympathise with. Though I also sympathise with the receptionist, who is forced into a corner such as this by the people who run the NHS. In the end she had to give the obvious answer – “I’d call you an ambulance.”

We went for lunch (we actually ate in the restaurant as part of my return to normal), Julia went to Hobbycraft, who have now emptied their top floor, and I went for tea in the back room at the jewellers.

Back home, I filled in my pain survey and, with painful, clumsy fingers, folded the A4 sheets of paper in three and put them in the (to small) envelope provided. I had assumed that “Page 6 of 6” on the last sheet meant it was the final sheet. But no, as I rifled through the remaining pages (they do tend to include a load of junk too) I found “Page 7 of 6”. What logic is there behind that? I’m afraid that as I completed the final two questions I added a rather terse note a\bout page numbers and envelope sizes.


These people have doctorates, research budgets, staff and big wage cheques (to name but three things I don’t have) and they come up with “Page 7 of 6”.

A light tea followed, to make up for the burger and chip lunch, and I am currently feeling hungry but virtuous as I type.

And that has been my day . . .

6 thoughts on “Day 180

  1. Lavinia Ross

    Those are all beautiful photos, Quercus, especially the Marmalade Hoverfly. I like the composition very much.

    I am sorry your fingers still hurt so much with the arthritis. That can’t help much for one’s outlook, though I agree, the modern world does seem like a giant hamster wheel spinning at 100 mph. The hamster gets behind and falls off frequently, and no one notices. I hope the rest of your day goes better.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      It wasn’t a bad day really – blood test went well, had lunch out with Julia, had a cup of tea with friends, watched TV, got some forms filled in. I am a man of simple needs. 🙂

  2. derrickjknight

    Is 7 of 6 somewhere near half a baker’s dozen? The first time I did jury service one man who wanted to be rejected turned up in an expensive suit and tie, well polished shoes, and the Daily Telegraph sticking out of his pocket. This combo did the trick.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      I’m torn between wanting to do it (to see what really happens) and not wanting to do it (because I’m lazy). I’m currently searching eBay for 1970s political badges to wear for the selection . . .

  3. tootlepedal

    I like the idea of page 7 of 6. It opens up many possibilities. I am deeply sorry that everyone else is so over qualified, over paid and inefficient, or simply annoying and incompetent.

    1. quercuscommunity Post author

      Not everybody. The receptionist was very gracious in the face of all the criticism (I appreciate this, as I am the one who answers the phone at work) and the nurse was the cheerful one. She hit the vein in one shot.

      No matter how you dress it up, anyone who labels a page as 7 of 6 is not efficient or value for money.


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