MAYBE THE RELATIVES IN AUSTRALIA CAN DO IT…

Understand, that I am truly grateful for the health service’ existence. I have never begrudged the National Health Contribution,( additional taxation) I believed I paid towards the service during my years of working life. It turns out though, it was a massive ponsy scheme that was allowed by successive governments and over decades. The National Insurance my generation paid was used for previous spends and not as future National Insurance.  Payment was deducted direct from earnings, before we received our wages, which payment, we were told, was for our generation.

I have been disturbed for a some years by the standards that vital services, including the health and safety of the nation, are being manipulated to descend to.  How do you succinctly describe what I have just been told, first hand. Sadly, similar stories are happening throughout the UK, this country that has some great professionals fighting a rear guard action working in an impossibly contracting National Health Service.

A lively 86 year old widow, living alone, was shipped by ambulance as an emergency to the main hospital, 120 miles along difficult roads. It’s a journey of about three hours minimum, if there are no travel problems en route. The widow had been unable to move and was in extreme pain. Paramedics called the doctor after one and a half hours of working with the lady at her home. Her domestic circumstances were passed on to hospital staff by the paramedical escort and the referring doctor.

A week later the widow was asking Occupational Therapy staff, (OTS) about going home. They had been waiting on news about the installation of support equipment outside and inside her home, they said, including an extra handrail up a steep staircase   The job had been completed two days before. No communication there then.

Next day she was told by OTS: You’re going at 11am…. Going where? She asked. ……Going home. …..How? All I’ve got is my nightie,slippers and dressing gown that I came in.  Can anyone bring clothes in for you? ……Ring Australia and see if the relatives, (her next of kin) there can help, she replied. It raised a laugh. Can you sit on a chair asked OTS? …I think so. …Right, that’s what we’ll do, we’ll get you a chair and, we’ll make sure there is someone to settle you in at home.  Luckily, another patient was being taken home by ambulance, so, the two shared the transport part of the way and the poor driver had  an unexpected very long return journey.

There was no-one to settle the widow into a very cold house. (No-one had been contacted ). Her hospital bag of requirements was dropped off in the middle of her sitting room and she was left to her own devices.

 

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NO REPLY

The medical practice has uploaded an all-singing and all-dancing website to replace the relatively intuitive simpler one that previously existed for ordering acute and repeat prescriptions and updating the patients with relevant news.

Problem 1. Unless you register with lots of identification, physically handing in all that is necessary to the receptionist at the practice, you don’t receive the emailed registration codes for the practice’s new website.

Problem 2. Any previous registrations are defunct. However, the magic ‘No Reply’ email sent to patients has an optical name (!) that bears no resemblance to its purpose, it looks dubious, and it does not identify its source nor its purpose.  Quite a lot of patients are not receiving the email. Some people may be deleting it as spam.

Problem 3.  A lot of patients are experiencing problems. For example, If you have the emailed codes and are able to access the website personal profile set-up, there’s no guarantee you’ll succeed and move on to ‘go’.

 

P1030192 2010 July 30 Octo visit

 

HOT AIR!

What a curious thing!

WASHINGTON — Ramping up wind power in America would also increase the nation’s temperatures, a new study from Harvard found. 

 Contrary to what you may be thinking, this is not about excess hot air escaping from the seat of power, The White House.

The dramatic all-out expansion of the number of wind turbines in the U.S. could warm the coal and also the other fossil fuels which are in the burning mix, because of the manner in which the spinning blades disturb the layers of cold and warm air. Normally, the air is more still at night, with cold air staying near the surface and warmer air resting a little higher. But turbines bring the warm air down and cool air up, making the ground a bit warmer. Interestingly, the effect is reduced during the day but is still there. 

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The study looked at just the United States.  It found that in the unlikely event that the U.S. switched massively to wind to supply its electricity, there would be so many turbines that on average the nation’s temperature would go up about 0.4 degrees, though there would also be some cooling in places, such as the East Coast. Additionally, the turbines would cause more warming in the short term, this century, than the carbon dioxide America spews into the atmosphere would. 

P1030280 2010 Aug 5th Limousin Supreme Champ

The effect from turbines is different from human-caused climate change. According to the study authors, the effect which mostly consists of warming, is localised and it’s temporary. When the turbine blades are still  the air is calm and there’s no warming.

Wind advocates emphasized that the Harvard study doesn’t show turbines causing global warming, just local hot air.

 

Study lead Author Keith Miller and Co-Author Professor David Keith. Based on an article by Seth Borenstein Associated Press. October 10th-2018

AN UNLOVED NECESSITY

Keeping ahead of the game.  I wrote about it here .  Fuel suppliers are an unloved necessity.  I thought I had eventually got my totally frustrating fuel provider trained and I was swithering about whether to stay with them at the end of the contract.

I re-contracted and billing horrors renewed apace.  The fuel provider went into seige mode.  Online notice boards and review sites were buzzing with irate and unhappy customers. A few got to speak to an unhelpful operator after an hour or more. I waited fifty-nine minutes and forty-five minutes respectively, during one day.  The company also switched off its auto-acknowledgment of emails.  Thus, there was no way of communicating.  This firm was in lock-down.

The Ombudsman Service (Energy) assured me the fuel provider was still trading, though one weary advisor said they were getting daily calls.  That prompted me to put in a formal complaint. (The Ombudsman Service,  provides a negotiation and remediation service).  I have now had two complaints against this company found in my favour within a year.

 

Where am I now?  The company have been able to complete two of the agreed remedies, the remainder, which would allow me to smoothly switch supplier without a contract exit penalty and within a specific period of time, are being frustrated.  Why?  

I started the switch process; it stopped because my gas meter was linked up to a different address on the industry’s main database for the gas supply !!!  My current supplier is obliged to ‘update’ the industry database.

I’ve emailed the company.  Their auto acknowledgment feature is switched on again.  It tells you there is a ten day response time.  Previously, it was five days.  The Ombudsman Investigator has now got the case back.

 

GLASGOW’S UNDERGROUND WORLD

When in Glasgow:
Visit the underground world of Glasgow Central Station. The unique guide and major enthusiast, in his retirement, is otherwise employed as Network Rail’s Historian and Archivist.  He used to manage this station. During his career he also managed several other major stations in London, U.K, however, he always returned to his home (and station) Glasgow Central.

Lovely Victorian Supporting Pillars

Descending into Glasgow’s historic and present transport underworld made for a tremendously engaging and educational visit, the guide, bringing to life with his words this major, solid, surviving transport hub. He spoke of the hustle and bustle of transport, for and with all sorts of people, now and in previous times. Peering into the pitch black, eyes following the slim line of a torch beam, it felt like we were intruders into someone else’s world. We saw the outline of places on platforms that were still intact where men could not go, and neither could we. Women of the 19th century waiting for trains in that gloom had the ‘comfort’ of separated waiting areas.  Our way was barred for reasons of safety, which pertained to present day use.

A Disused Line

In a lower street level goods entry, (Glasgow is a city of hills) there were still signs of horse drawn transport. The resting places for the horses still exist.

Like many stations, the ‘streets’ under Glasgow Central station were put to stark use in the two major wars, (WW1 and WWII).  The guide did not mince his words about many elements of the nineteenth century social history associated with this station. He felt very strongly the roles of womenfolk in life and death in this station, was and had been, totally ignored… he was definitely intent on correcting with his words what he felt was a grave neglect and a major injustice.

Preserver Of  Industrial/Social Heritage

While we were in the depths exploring some unused tunnelling and were in our joint reveries sensing the spirits of the past, on a nearby spur an underground train whizzed through.

WALKING MY EDINBURGH SOCKS OFF

When I change my browser page to call up my blog when I am already on the correct page, it’s time to admit that I am not firing on all cylinders.

It’s Edinburgh Festivals time and I trudged miles up and down the hills of the city exploring venues yesterday.  Yesterday I walked my toes off and I have a blister on the pad of my right big toe to prove it!  Luckily, I found I had a lovely gel toe protector sleeve in my luggage – the right size too-  which has worked just great today.

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A Refreshing Drink Of Scottish Bubbly Water

Edinburgh is like a huge flower bud opening at Festivals time.  Events managements have developed a range of venues in nooks and crannies all around the city.  Whereas in the past, ‘Assembly’, for example, meant wandering up to, at most, two large locations, now, you will find “Assembly” mini hubs all about the city.   The other major venues  also seem to have spread their wings like this.  I gave up on confusion,  it made me footsore and it took up too much valuable festive time!

WARNING -TRAFFIC LIGHTS

I was nearly at the end of a  plod through an academic course, one which I really enjoyed, when I got an unexpected delivery of  mail containing three coloured sheets, yellow, orange and green, (traffic lights) on which were printed:

Coping With Exams -Examination Technique; it was helpful. 

 Preparing For the Exam – Revision Technique; it was useful.

HOW TO FAIL YOUR EXAMS.   R e a l l y!!

“BEWARE before you read this guide. Failing may sound easy, but in reality may take far more time and effort than passing with honours”.

“To fail properly you will need to know that you are writing things that are incorrect.” The candidate is advised that it’s no good to find out afterwards that you’ve ‘accidentally’, written down “due to complete lack of knowledge, Grade A stuff”.  Appealing afterwards to the exam board stating your true intentions, is not going to work.

The guide also says you should not answer all the questions, you should spend more time on bits of the question than the time allocated for it.  It’s a sure way to fail.  Altogether, there are eighteen ‘fail’ suggestions, including, “Don’t be succinct“.   There is a money back guarantee on the price of the guide if you pass your exams, even after meticulously following all the guidance on how to fail.

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P.S. I haven’t the heart to bin it.

 

 

 

SCRAMBLING

The ‘Scrambled egg’, of Royal Navy chiefs, (those that sport gold braid for those of you not in the know) is currently made up of admirals, vice-admirals and rear-admirals, in total,  forty-one top banded naval chiefs. 

P1030154 2010 July 27th An Elegant Ship

With constant cuts ‘efficiency savings’ the number of naval fighting ships stands at …..FORTYYou would, and rightly so, consider there is one admiral spare .

 Kayaks On The Thames

 

Well, I’ve got news for you. In the last week, I have received several letters which clearly show my elevated status, I am now addressed as Admiral M.  So, here I am chummy,  we can join forces!

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EXIT….. RIGHT

I Watched the sheep on the farm the other day when the weather was having a tantrum. The sheep decided it was time to  give up outdoor life, being in the field exposed to the elements.  The flock determinedly exited from the field.  They all trotted off down the farm track towards the barns, but at the end of the track found their way barred by a closed farm gate.

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After a very, very long wait, standing, heads motionless and everyone of them turned in the same direction, (there was only one way they were going however long it took) someone came along and opened the gate.  Sheep generally don’t stampede in what we know as such a thing.  But,  that batch made the fastest beeline for the gaping barn doors that I have seen.  Who needs sheepdogs…..

WHY? YOU MIGHT WELL ASK.

The sat nave is plugged into my computer not only taking charge, but also making a meal of updating itself.  One hour and twelve minutes according to the magic timer, long enough to gulp a re-energising first and second course electrical feed.

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So, here I am pondering.  A bit of plugging in to an energising surge would do me the world of good too. 

P1030465 light sticks

This morning I ‘mislaid’ a towel which was placed near the washing machine to remind me to add it to the wash load. When the time came, I just couldn’t find it.  The wash load was done minus the towel.  I discovered it some time later.  It was wrapped round a freezer pack which had been easing a sore point on my back!! 

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My excuse…..yes I do have one; this was the morning after the night before: this morning in particular, was too early to be awake thinking about anything. I was even too tired to expend energy being grumpy.  Why?  You might well ask.  Twice during the  night I was was abruptly disturbed out of my slumbers.

 

* “Golden slumbers kiss your eyes, smiles awake you when  you rise….”  Oh, were it true.*(Brahms Lullaby)

Just Checked the satnav update progress. It looks like it’s charging up for an all night session.  The progress bar has regressively jumped from forty minutes to fifty minutes…..zzzzzz.