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Archive for March, 2008

One of our relatives has chosen Holy Saturday for his Wedding Day, in York, at 12 noon. We live 4 hours away so Good Friday will see us staying in York so we will be at the wedding on time. Easter Saturday will see us staying in York so we can enjoy the wedding festivities. Snow, up to 4 inches, is forecast for the North-East on Friday, I think York is probably round there somewhere ( not only am I useless at Maths, I am also a numbskull when it comes to Geography), I feel sorry for nephew as he will have a cold day, possibly quite slushy, for his wedding. I am now re-thinking my outfit as I have ready a definitely a cool spring ensemble, rather than a freezing winter one.

I’m quite surprised that they are able to marry in church on Holy Saturday anyway as it’s still Lent and, certainly when I was younger and well-up on Catholicism nothing, other than masses and funerals happened during Lent, and certainly not over the Easter weekend, Holy Saturday was all about the Easter vigil. As well as that the church, particularly the altar was ‘dressed’ down, the priests vestments were sombre, all that was ‘decorating’ the church was the Paschal candle. The church nephew is marrying in is ‘High’ Church of England, I know that many of their rituals are very close to Roman Catholic so things must have changed since I was closely ensconced in the church.

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NHS Direst

I am really impressed by NHS Direct the service they provide is so efficient and accessible. I had suggested to daughter that she could phone them and ask for advice as I was unsure of what was the best course of action regarding medication for Jamie. Daughter and partner have both had a 24 hour stomach bug which, for them, entailed severe colicky abdo pain, no vomiting. This evening Jamie has been vomiting violently all round their house, that’s different to his Mummy’s and Daddy’s symptoms but he does have the abdo pain and is extremely unhappy and obviously very uncomfortable. Daughter phoned me and asked what to give him, gripe water and/or Medised, or nothing? That’s when I suggested NHS Direct as I had no idea about medication, I just used to starve my babes when they had tummy bugs.

Ten minutes after talking to daughter she phoned me back and asked if I had ever rung them. I had, shortly after they set-up shop, when Hubby had hurt his back on a Saturday evening and was completely immobile. They were less than useful. Anyway she sounded happy, they must have been informative. Apparently they asked a multitude of questions, age of baby, duration of symptoms, colour of vomit, level of consciousness, any head injury etc. Daughter tried saying that she just needed advice about medication as she knew what was wrong with Jamie, unfortunately the person she was speaking to needed to pass all the info over to an advisor who would the phone her back. Brilliant, so it’s not just someone working from an algorithm who has no medical knowledge, it will be someone who has specialised knowledge, only problem is that it will be 5 hours before they get back to her. That’s right, 5 hours!! I smiled, speaks volumes about today’s health service. Anyway, after brainstorming possible implications daughter and I have decided that gripe water is the way forward. She is looking forward to their phonecall at 1am.

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Precious photos

My lovely little Fuji camera went black a few weeks ago. No amount of encouragement would make the screen be anything other than slightly psychedelic. I e-mailed Fuji with a sad little plea, I didn’t hear back. Sadly I wrapped it back up in all it’s original packing and put it in my ‘I know you don’t work/fit cupboard, but I like you too much to just throw you away! Yes, I hoard. I bought a new camera, apparently it’s a better one, it has 8 pixels, my little Fuji only had 4, but those 4 were wonderful. I don’t love my new camera, it’s more fussy to use, it takes longer to snap a photo and it doesn’t re-charge, or have a docking station. Then I saw 2 camera’s, the same as mine on E-Bay, the seller didn’t know if they worked as they were part of a house clearance and he didn’t have the leads etc.I took a chance, bid and ‘won ‘them! Great excitement, hurrah I would have a little Fuji back. They arrived, neither of them worked. Now I have 3 broken Fuji’s. I e-mailed Fuji again, two different addresses, one e-mailed back and said that they would repair it for £50. I put my cameras, and all the accessories, on E-Bay, detailing their problem. People started ‘watching’.

Today we all went to the photographer’s studio to complete Son and DIL’s Christmas pressie to us all, the family portrait session. The poor photographer, 13 of us, 5 being 3 years old and under, absolute mayhem in a white studio. An hour and a half later we were finished, can’t wait to see the results of all the different combinations.

Came home and checked my e-mails, lots in the ‘junk’ folder including………..one from Fuji, asking me to send my details to them and they would repair my camera….free of charge. Happy, happy me! 

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I’m finding this news report about a paramedic suing an elderly couple for damages very difficult to digest both for what it says about litigious nature and it’s implications for anyone who may have to summon an ambulance. Apparently ‘He lodged the personal injury claim after discovering he was not covered by the ambulance service’s insurance because he was not in the ambulance at the time.’ This is raising so many issues. Why are paramedics, technicians, and ambulance personnel not covered for injury whilst on duty and carrying out their work?  Surely the public are not expected to make their own way into an ambulance, what do they have stretchers for, what did this paramedic go and get a stretcher for if he does not have vicarious liability when he out of the ambulance? The whole thing makes absolutely no sense. Ambulance personnel spend a large percentage of their working day outside their vehicles.Then it comes down to the rights and wrongs, as I see them. “The reason why we are alleging fault is that the security light was either faulty because of a lack of maintenance or had not been programmed correctly in that the light was not on for sufficient time to allow someone to walk along the driveway and reach the front door.’ What!!! ‘Lack of maintenance’, is it not just conceivable that the light just stopped working at that point, or that the lights flickered, as ours do regularly, because of a ‘power surge’ in the mains supply? If the couple hadn’t got a security light would there not be a problem then? Getting down to basics it is a ‘security light’, not an access light, I have security lights, not to show an intruder how to get to my front door but to alert me that there is an intruder.

If anyone is being sued, for a sprained ankle, it should be East Midlands Ambulance Service for obviously being so concerned about their duty of care toward staff that they feel ambulance personnel shouldn’t leave their vehicles.

I have cover for when I am on duty, whether in my car, in a house, outside a surgery or in the hospital but even so I have never used it, although I now appreciate that there have occasions when I could have. Slipping on a rug placed on a wooden floor and spraining my ankle, having to climb over a stair gate because the catch didn’t work and as a result ripping my trousers, being held by the neck against a wall by a patient with dementia so causing nerve damage affecting my arm, I could go on and on. I could be thousands of pounds better off but I’m not because it is all part of my job and there are certain risks involved in day to day life.

I abhor the litigious cycle we are falling into. Last week there was the terrible case of the Mother handed her baby by a midwife who had not realised the baby was dead. It was absolutely terrible, one midwife was struck off and the other midwife has been cautioned. One of the articles I read had a statement from the cautioned midwife who said that the Mother had refused monitoring, whether that is true or not I’m not about to guess at, but it has made me very wary. There are times when a woman with a high risk pregnancy/labour will refuse monitoring, you will advise her that continuous monitoring is advisable but she will continue to refuse and all you can do is record her refusal in the notes. I’m worried now though. Supposing the labour and birth went tragically wrong, it is the parent’s word against what you have written. Should I now insist that the woman sign the notes to say that she is refusing monitoring, and how legal is that given that she is labouring and may not be completely aware of what she is putting her signature to? Even with intermittent ausculatation, when we just listen to baby’s heartbeat every 15 minutes for a couple of minutes, many women become quite intolerant of that and push the probe away. Apart from always having an independent witness present there is little you can really do to protect yourself from inaccurate claims. I have to say that for me a false accusation, leading to litigation, is now a paramount concern.

(Written a few hours later) On re-reading it could sound as if I feel that what happened to the midwives in the ‘dead baby’ case was terrible. I don’t, I feel very sad for them if they were just the scapegoats but I do feel that what happened to the parents and their baby was terrible, whether or not they had refused monitoring. It is absolutely heartbreaking when any baby dies, regardless of fault.

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David Ginola

Is it the eyes, or just the voice? Heaven knows but I nearly became a Spurs supporter when he played for them and now he’s dancing on my telly in Sport Relief, that’s my night sorted!

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08457 910 910 – unfortunately that’s not David’s phone number but it is Sport Relief’s.

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This old house

Still musing on how to compose my letter to the neighbour about our shared drains I came across this valuable piece of information which has completely altered my perspective on the drain/tree issue. So, if your house was built before 1937 the water board are responsible for your sewers. Result! Our house was built in 1922.

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Expensive M.P’s

How’s this then from The Guardian.co.uk, ‘John Lewis list of M.P’s allowances’‘Claims MPs can make on their parliamentary expenses to furnish their second homes:

Air conditioning unit: £299.99

Bed: £1,000

Bedside cabinet: £100

Book case/shelf: £200

Bookcase/cabinet: £500

Carpet: £35 per square metre

Carpet fitting: £6.50 per square metre

Coffee maker/machine: £100

Coffee table: £250

Dining armchairs: £150 each

Dining chairs: £90 each

Dining table: £600

Dishwasher: £375

Drawer chest (5): £500

Dressing table: £500

Food mixer: £200

Free-standing mirror: £300

Fridge/freezer: £550

Gas cooker: £650

Hi-fi/stereo: £750

Installation of new bathroom: £6,335

Installation of new kitchen: £10,000

Lamp table: £200

Nest of tables: £200

Recordable DVD player: £270

Rugs: £300

Shredder: £50

Sideboard: £795

Suite of furniture: £2,000

Television set: £750

Tumble dryer: £250

Underlay (basic): £6.99 per square metre

Wardrobe: £700

Washer-dryer: £500

Washing machine: £350

Wooden flooring/carpets: £35 per square metre

Workstation: £150’

What’s wrong with Ikea, or any other store which doesn’t charge £500 for a bookcase. If they have a second home, which we have carpeted at £35 per square metre, not including fitting, do they have to pay capital gains on a second home, and repay the monies spent on the new kitchen and bathroom which will have added to the value of their home?

Makes me feel really happy about the budget.

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