Friday, 20 June 2008

I'm Off, And I May Be Some Time.....

This is quite a difficult post to write. I'm thinking of jumping ship for a while. Not because I don't love you all dearly, because I do, but I really feel as a blogger I've more or less ground to a halt for the time being. It's been nearly a year since my first post, I've laughed, almost cried, ranted, raved, moaned and generally taken the piss out of more or less everyone and everything, including myself. And now I'm worried about getting boring and wondering whether it's best to go out with a bang rather than a wimper, or at least take some time out.

I love talking to you, it's always fun, but I've begun to run out of steam. Maybe it'll come back to me, I don't know. I've really tried to write entertaining stuff and all the while blogging and enjoying it, but suddenly I think it's time to give it a rest and have a break for a while.

So I think I'll take a few weeks off and hopefully bounce back with a vengeance ...... we'll see. In the meantime, take care of yourselves. I may not be writing, but I'll still be reading.

Here's looking at you kids.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Beam Me Up Scottie.

I'm having a really sad day today. Working in a hospital, as I do, has it's fun side but often things happen which shake you to the core. Stuff happens which you can't talk about to anyone else, you just bottle it up inside and the sheer sadness of it, the total madness of it, tends to seep into your soul. Mostly you keep a lid on it, compartmentalising upsetting, frustrating or worrying events in order to retain your sanity and your spirit. You do your best and try not to give up. But it's hard to know when you've done enough, how to rationalise the mind-bogglingly stupid things that occur, how to put harrowing case scenarios out of your mind and then go home and watch Eastenders.

But you have to do it. I'm giving myself a bit of a talking to and reminding myself that although shit certainly does happen, and to a huge amount of people, sometimes the sun shines too. For every evil bastard that hurts a child there are ten, twenty, a hundred people who spend their working lives trying to make this sad world a better place. For every one person who isn't going to get any better, there are hundreds who will, courtesy of the sort of people I work with day in, day out. When I've had a tough day like today, this is what I tell myself.

But it's hard. Am I making a difference, or just knocking myself out for nothing? I want to change to world, but where to start? It's a tough question. People often criticise the NHS, and with some reason, but for those of us trying to do a good job despite the hurdles and pitfalls placed in the way by a supposedly well meaning but clueless bureaucracy, some days it can all seem a bit too much effort.

Today I just want to give up and sell lipstick, or hang up clothes in Marks and Spencers. Today I want to do something frivolous and fun, breathe fresh air that doesn't smell of dust and filthy lifts.

Who can make the NHS work as it should?

Not just me, that's for sure.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Would You Adam and Eve It?

What a lovely weekend it's been. We've spent most of it a) in the garden digging, or b) in the garden, drinking or c) in the garden rather pissed and silly, pruning things which shouldn't be pruned in such a random fashion with the kitchen scissors. I've come in before it's too late and my beloved garden takes on the look of a bad haircut from a visually impaired barber with a red wine hangover.

Anyway, yesterday, to enhance the loveliness of our courtyard garden (sounds so much posher than "the patio" doesn't it?) we decided to ponce it up a bit with some solar lights. I went on the internet and had a good look around, finding just the very thing at John Lewis, but unfortunately at a price which made the husband snort with derision. Apparently he would expect a fitted solar panel on the roof of the house which powered all our lighting, heating and hot water for that sort of money, so back to the researching I went. Although not wishing to spend an arm and a leg we didn't want anything that was too tacky, naff or unacceptably hideous, but finally much to my surprise I found just the very things at Wilkinson's. They were actually metal and glass as opposed to plastic and plastic, looked a bit John Lewis-esque but were at a gob-smackingly amazing price - five pounds each! Needless to say I wasted no time at all, got out of my gardening gear, slapped on some lippy and whizzed down to Wilkinson's to get a trolley load.

Back home and triumphant (did I tell you they were only FIVE POUNDS?) it was just a matter of screwing all the bits together, charging the little suckers up in the sunlight and hey presto - nearly all of them worked, with just one refusing to charge or glow at night (the party pooper). Despite the fact that there were only a fiver each (have I mentioned that before?) I got back in the car and took the faulty one back and changed it. Back home once again I found that although the replacement lantern was fine the little hooky thing it was supposed to hang from didn't screw together properly. Flange bracket a) just didn't want to fix into flange bracket b) or c). Oh bugger.

So back into town I went, this time a bit hot and bothered as I had by then been to the goddam shop three times and still not got a full set of working lights. Yes I know they were only a fiver, but still they should all work shouldn't they? And by then I'd spent more than that on parking and petrol. Grrr.

At the till the cashier was a bit puzzled to see me again so soon and even more so when I tried to show her the problem.

"You see these three pieces of metal tube? Well, that one should fit into that one, and this one should fit into them both, but they don't. The problem is that there are three female ends and no males."

She stared at me a bit, slightly taken aback.

"Three female ends and no males. I don't understand what you're talking about."

I tried again. Someone standing behind me had a little giggle.

"Well, somewhere along the line, there's got to be one end that goes in, the male, and another that receives it, the female, and I've got three ends that receive and nothing to go in. Three female ends and no male."

I hear several sniggers from the growing line of shoppers in the queue.

"Still not quite with you there love" - the cashier shook her head and gazed and me, mystified. I think she is definitely having me on, but I can't be quite sure as she remains dead-pan.

"It's simple," says I, undeterred, demonstrating with my left hand fore-finger and thumb, making a circle and using my right index finger to poke through it to demonstrate the problem visually. "It goes through like this, only with more screwing." I am too intent on my mission to fully realise the visual impact of my action at this point, or the fact that my mime might in some circles be considered obscene, but I am aware that I am causing a bit of a stir. I'm pretty sure I saw the cashier's mouth twitch a bit at the corners, as if trying to suppress a smirk.

The muffled tittering behind me is turning into a the sort of laughter a stand-up comedian would be pleased with. I can't understand why the cashier isn't getting my drift if everyone else is. Or is she? I begin to wonder if they are laughing at me, not her. Her lip is definitely quivering.

"Sorry, she says, smiling broadly. "I still don't understand the female receiving and the male screwing bit. I'm just not getting it"

From the near hysterical queue behind me, a highly amused middle aged woman, helpless with laughter, chimes in:

"You and me both, dear. You and me both."

Next time I'm selling tickets.