Saturday 30 April 2016


The UK’s National Health Service is forever being criticised in the press or on TV for something or other.  But for every mistake it makes or rogue member of staff it has there are hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers and successful operations.

Yesterday I had a cataract removed from my right eye and a new lens put into it.  It is a bit early to say how well it has gone.  Six weeks ago the left eye was done likewise (lens replacement and cataract removal) and it was most successful.  It was not just a case of the physical result but the behaviour and care and kindness of the staff; from receptionists to consultants, staff nurses to porters. 

Over the last 50 years I have had major surgery on my right knee after a road traffic accident and two minor follow up operations on the same knee.  I had another general anaesthetic for a sinus operation.  I’ve had many procedures without general anaesthetic like xrays, scans, gastroscopy, endoscopy, colonoscopy, two lots of stent implants and various neurological tests.  Back to general anaesthetics - I had my gall bladder removed, a triple by-pass and these two eye operations.  I expect there are other things I’ve forgotten…..

Add to that a lifetime of visits to my General Practitioner. 

Imagine how many NHS staff with whom I have come into contact over the years – it must be thousands. 

I can think of one staff nurse in the Pain Clinic many years ago who behaved obnoxiously and for a while our GP’s surgery had some very poor receptionists.  Those apart, the thousands of staff have been first class in every way you could wish to measure them.

Thursday 28 April 2016

Black Birches, Hadnall, Shropshire

On Tuesday I was supposed to have my right eye seen to but the Junior Doctors were on strike (a strike I fully support) so instead of being in hospital I joined Partner-who-loves-tea and Son-who-watches-films.  The former hired a van so we could go to Shrewsbury to pick up a cross-trainer we had had got from E-bay.  The trip was uneventful and on the way back P-w-l-t drove the van down some narrow lanes near Hadnall to the Country Garden Roses tea rooms.  (As a demonstration of P-w-l-t’s driving skills a small saloon car in front of us managed to go off the road into the ditch in front of us but we had no problems!!  Fortunately the car got back on the road OK.)

The plant centre is in the grounds of Black Birches House which is said to date as far back as the twelfth century though I could find out little about it.

A Jay greeted us as we drove into the garden centre and this Collared Dove was hoping for some scraps at the outside tables but it was too cold to eat outdoors despite the intermittent sunshine.

This part of the house is dated 1880.

The journey took us past many fields of Rape, a crop which did not exist in anything like such quantities when I was young, so far as I can recall.

Some of the trees have their Spring plumage like this Oak which is usually one of the later tree to come out.

Both Blackthorn and Hawthorn were in flower at the roadsides.

My eye operation is now scheduled for Friday 29th but the recovery period before I can get glasses with prisms in (to combat my double vision) will probably be about another five weeks.  I can’t wait.

Friday 22 April 2016

Lucy and Emma; Emma and Lucy

Guess where my two beautiful nieces have just been.

Monday 4 April 2016

Watering the flowers

In the line of her business, Partner-who-loves-tea and I went to Grange-over-Sands on Friday.  On the way back we called at the Riverside Cafe, part of the huge Barton Grange garden centre, north of Preston.  After a cappuccino I needed the loo and was reminded of a post GB once did on his NZ blog 'Loos I have known"  

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