Tuesday, 21 May 2013

There should be a word for it

Back at the start of March it was necessary for me to do something.  I'm not going to tell you what because I think by describing what I did I will detract from the meaning of this post.  The thing that I did was necessary and I made a conscious effort to do it, but in so doing I made a most awful mistake. 

It wasn't the sort of error that can be put down to misunderstanding or accident.  It was the sort of error that cannot be explained.  An error which has no substance for an explanation.  I even looked back in my diary to see if I'd been traumatised by an event, an anniversary - something to explain it.  There was none. 

It's an error which can be put right - not by me, unfortunately, but by a third party.  So I need not worry - though I do.  I worry principally becase there is no explanation for the crass stupidity of my actions.  The only way to explain away the error is to assume I had a moment of insanity. 

So if I had a moment of insanity, what are the consequences?  It's not the consequences of this particular error that really worry me; it's the consequences of some subsequent mistake which could be far more serious.  Am I going to be subject to increasing moments of insanity I wonder? It wasn't something caused by failure to remember, so I think we can count out dementia.

I was recounting the tale - not the substance - but the tale, to another seemingly sane and intelligent individual the other day.  Guess what? They told me they'd recently done something identical and made a mistake for which the reason can only be temporary insanity.  I didn't ask them for chapter and verse; when this happens it's far too embarrassing to admit it to anyone other than those who have to know.  We exchanged notes and it seems I'm not alone.  That of course makes me feel a little better, though now I am concerned about my friend too!

I'm convinced that there should be a word for it - as in The Meaning Of Liff . I've decided on Cublington.

(I should say that Cublington is a delightful place and in many ways does not deserve this distinction.  However perhaps there is some slight synergy here because it was almost the site of one of the most potential and catastrophic disasters for Buckinghamshire: the Third London Airport. )

So I give you -

Cublington: a terrible personal error with potentially serious consequences, only discovered later and having no rational explanation other than a moment of complete insanity on the part of the perpetrator.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Breathing normally again

I think I told you I was getting a bit twitched up about my impending appointment.  Well it was yesterday afternoon and it's come and gone, there's nothing suspicious on my x-ray and my next check up is six months away.

(My blood pressure was high; unsurprising.  I was anything by relaxed. Why do they take it? What conceivable good is the measurement?  The nurse ignores it; the consultant doesn't even look at it.)

This morning the world has a completely different complexion.  What a difference a day makes!

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

God bless the NHS

Well, after another blunderous episode of uncoordinated bureacracy, you can't really say anything other than: God bless the NHS.

So up at the break of sparrows today, I drove mum to her local hospital - about half an hour's drive from here, more in a rush-hour.  But we were early.  Remember that blasted corridor that serves as a waiting room.  We arrived back there. Nice and warm - probably warm all the way up to the atrium roof - a good thirty feet I reckon.  Terrible waste of hot air.

All shutters down on Reception; even the computerised system was not switched on.  7.30 and we were due at 8 am.  We sat down to wait.  Eventually the computerised system sprang into action. Mum on my instruction coped with it fabulously, only to be rewarded with: sorry, we don't recognise this appointment, talk to reception. Problem: shutters still down on reception desk.  Odd people scurry around. 

Eventually 10 minutes after mum was due, I said: Let's have a look at that letter with the appointment.  Ah, solution - we were supposed to be upstairs at the eye theatre unit.  Stairs - I look around.  None. Lifts - none.  Sign showing "theatres" - not "eye theatres".   Should we follow that?  I ask someone. She points in that direction.  I say to mum - you sit here and I'll go and find out.

Through three sets of doors, two flights of stairs, at last a reception desk with someone behind it.  Are you waiting for my mum?  Yes, says the receptionist.  Well we were waiting for reception to open. So are we, says eye theatre receptionist.  We start at 7.30 am here!  Are there any more down there waiting, she asks me? She assures me that she'll look after mum and so I leave her in the care of the eye theatre staff.

What are we doing heating an enormous reception void - goodness knows the capacity of that space - with no-one in it?  Not even a receptionist.  What's the use of a computerised check-in system if it doesn't list all the patients?  Ah and there was the tap on in the ladies, running at full tilt and had probably been doing so all night!!  Yes, it's my money, it's your money and it's probably the equivalent of several hip replacements over a year or so. Good bless the dear old NHS.