Tuesday, 30 April 2013

After all these years

Those who know us well will appreciate that it's rare we are early adopters of new technology.  This was not always the case for way back in the 70s we had an electric shower installed.  Since that time we've replaced it on more than one occasion with improving models, but always the result has been a gentle flow of water which dwindles right down in the depth of winter.

You see, electric showers - and I mean the ones that run directly from the cold water feed - are dependent upon several things: the pressure of the water, the ambient temperature of that water feed and the length of time spent under the shower. The shower always starts off really hot because the water in the pipe in the house is already warmer, but as more water from outside comes through, the temperature reduces - either that or you have to turn the flow down. It has only been in mid summer, when temperatures have occasionally become near-tropical, that we've had a generous shower of water from the device.

So when the Caravanning & Camping magazine carried sale offer for a device which purported to remedy the situation, we were eager to try it out.  We ordered a JetStormE from Ecocamel. I can't tell you how delighted I was with my first shower of the week. After all these years we now have a shower which won't embarrass me when we have visitors!  The technology is so simple in theory, but it really does work. Yes, I've written to tell the company of my satisfaction with their product and I also think they deserve an accolade and link here.  I see that the model I've bought is still on special offer - so if this story resonates with you, you know what to do. 

Monday, 29 April 2013

Architectural blunder

Last week I accompanied my mother to her local hospital for a pre-op assessment (she's having a second cataract done - it's nothing serious.)

The building we went to was new and externally had a sort of 60s-retro style.  Lovely big glass automatic opening doors into a small lobby then another set of big glass automatic doors.  We entered what was in effect an atrium, the space reaching up another two, or was it three, storeys. Nice comfortable chairs were provided, a real coffee maker, snacks and even new computerised login system which I made my mother use, on the basis that it was educational for her to do so.

We sat in this enormous space - in fact I sat in it for an hour and a half.  What is it with the NHS?  What is it that they don't understand about time-keeping?  When she eventually reappeared I said, "did they apologise for keeping you waiting?"  "Goodness no," was her reply.  Even to my mother the concept of an apology for delay would have been extraordinary.
But it's common courtesy to apologise isn't it?  And maybe, just maybe, the outcomes from the public who so commonly don't turn up for appointments that multiple appointments are booked at the same time, might be improved if staff said: sorry.  Just think, it could result in a whole culture change. 

"I'm terribly sorry Mrs G that we have kept you waiting for 40 minutes and such is the process we have here, we're afraid you're going to be sitting around in various other waiting rooms for probably another hour." What would it cost?  I'm sure a time and motion guru somewhere could put a price on 39 words. It wouldn't be much. 

Would that not improve things so much? Would it not make one feel warm and cuddly towards the much put-upon and underpaid staff?  Would one not feel much more disposed to make their life easier, better, happier. Would one not smile in gratitude and appreciation.  Could this be the one thing which revolutionises the NHS - remember that butterfly flapping its wings in the jungle somewhere.

However that's not actually the purpose of this post.  That's just a rant. The purpose is to tell you what happened when more than one person - or when one person walked quickly - through the double doors and lobby.  The cold wind came in.  But there was worse to come. What happened when the similar arrangement at the other end of this some 50-yard-long corridor, where there was a similar automatic door system, was that an enormous gust of wind travelled the entire length of the atrium, knocking out what heat there might have been and creating an enormous draught

I remarked upon this when I drove my mother home.  She told me that it had been even colder there during deepest winter and on one visit she'd remarked to the ladies on reception how cold they must be.  Apparently they each had an electric heater at their feet! That, dear readers, is just one of the holes into which our desperately-needed NHS money is pouring.

Friday, 12 April 2013

It makes you chuckle

I'm not one for reading other people's blogs very often - I dip in and out of them, just to catch up, rather like people catch up with me here.But one in particular makes me laugh out loud very often and I think it would be rather selfish of me not to share it with you.

The thoughts of Archdruid Eileen of the Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley contain many gems of pure wisdom.  Eileen often writes new liturgies. This is one of her finest and if you have even the slightest knowledge of the Book of Psalms this Lament for those lost in Ikea will amuse you. Enjoy!