Friday, January 28, 2011

I have three delightful days off away from the somewhat poisonous work environment. I am hoping to see a covers band tomorrow night in my local pub otherwise it will be a weekend of catching up necessary chores. The new bullying manager at work is sadly managing everything with a heavy iron fist and we are working to the rulebook. No more favours, flexible working over our allotted hours, bending rules to accommodate other agencies.With a bureaucratic control freak at the helm who does not trust experienced clinicians we will play the same game and withdraw all good will to this person. Our one hope is that within the next several weeks there will be a cull of managers at that level and this particular bureaucrat is only on an 'acting up' basis. As one team member stated "We are no longer a happy team". Hence we are scrutinising policies, procedures, health & safety act plus other acts with a deluge of emails and requests to attend to various issues. Bureaucrats love paperwork so we'll give this individual lots to play with. What a waste of time although happily the patients don't see this side of it all. I still love the fact that unless we enter our travel time into the computer system when visiting patients it is 'unrecognised'. A fifty mile round trip to see a patient was obviously performed via a Star Trek teleportation transporter! All this on top of  mandatory training to be completed within the next eight weeks so as to meet trust audits. The difficulty there is that our team is now cut to the bone from a team of fourteen clinicians to the current seven and covering a bigger area (600 square miles) so that one team member out for two hours training plus the two hours travel time causes problems.  No recruitment of staff and no use of bank staff plus a clamp down on any overtime and we are playing puppy chase its tail. Carry on nursing indeed...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Just a little colour to brighten up these grey days.
Too much work and little play not only makes Jack a dull boy but doesn't leave much time for blogging. However, I hope to catch up this weekend.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Every January for many years I have been brassic but I thought I had cracked it this year. Finances in order and a comfortable month ahead. Car booked in for a service at the months end and all bills paid up to date. Then the car broke down... twice. The service, new battery and a number of urgent and immediate repairs have left me once again brassic. Life's a bit of a bugger at times? Happily, cupboards and freezer stocked up and plenty of books to read. Dog walking is also free and if push comes to shove I'll look for that Korean cook book! On the plus side the days are getting longer and we even had sunshine today.

Brassic from Cockney rhyming slang: 'boracic lint' = skint.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Many years ago I worked with a client who always averred when things went wrong "I must have pissed on a witch". If I believed in such things as good and bad luck then this past week I must have done something similar. A combination of the whole household going down with flu, another bathroom leak and the car 'died' again this morning causing me to miss an important meeting. To counter the idea of bad luck: half the population has one of several leurgies doing the rounds, a small drip which we will track down and repair and, the car is due it's service at the end of the month. A new battery as well as the brakes are at the top of the repair list. It just happened to remind me two weeks earlier than anticipated. What is not so funny is discovering some revolting phlegm smeared on the passenger door handle as Mrs C. did yesterday. Suitably cleaned off by the redoubtable Mrs C. whilst expressing her strong views on the parentage of the miscreant. Sadly, this is the third time this has happened over the past year. I don't doubt that other cars along the road have been subjected to the same treatment.

On a more positive note I finally bought a new food blender in the sales for very little money. I have wanted one since Mrs C. lent our food processor to LE six months ago. This one is small so that I make small portions of soup from the fresh veg I insist we buy. It's also easier to clean and store away. Some homemade carrot, pepper and tomato soup went down a treat this afternoon. Thick, hot, filling and spiced to perfection with some crusty bread. I can once again make home made soups for work so I am a happy bunny. Stilton and brocolli soup, chowder, French onion soup, pea and ham mouth is watering. Some good recipes via the sainted Delia. There's a recipe for a wonderful easy game pie of venison, pigeon and pheasant which has caught my eye. After paying for the car repairs I may have to catch the pigeons myself!

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Normal service will be resumed when the leurgy has finally left us in peace. Mrs C. is very poorly with proper flu; No.1 son has almost recoevered after two weeks of illness and I have finally succumbed to some sort of leurgy that has blurred the boundaries between a cold and flu. Paracetamol, tissues, Vicks and cough syrups have been trucked in to ameliorate the pain. From what I can gather about half the nation is ill... bleugh!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

We woke up to snow again this morning as No.1 coughed and spluttered his way off to work. Happily there wasn't too much of it so fingers crossed for travelling to work tomorrow. The traffic news this morning reported 'difficulties' on particular hills on two of my possible routes to work. The usual icy roads and vehicles stuck either side of them. I wonder how people managed with horse and carts in ye olden dayes? They generally commuted, if at all, within a very small area so travelling fifty miles across the county was truly a journey to a foreign land. I guess coach or cart travel was cancelled until the journey was possible or one walked. The gentry could resort to horseback but I can't imagine steep icy hills and horseshoes ending happily. That's a cue to google for an answer... a general piece about shoeing horses as well as this one although this article appears to answer the question for modern riding. I have to confess to being wary of horses because they are large and I am unfamiliar with them. I have ridden horses in the past and there is a family story of me aged five years clambering on to a large white horse in Ireland and racing around a field as I clung on for dear life. I can't remember that incident although I do remember the neighbours white horse. With the ever increasing price of fuel we may have to return to horses although I will opt for bicycles instead. Easier to control, don't bite back and easier to shoe.

Monday, January 03, 2011

I have been tagged by Bill Sticker in the blogging environment meme so here goes from left to right...

Radiator with large orange dog glued to it plus small cat in her box.
Table with PC, speakers and router.
Digital camera.
Combined usb operated fan and light.
Large plastic skull glass containing orange squash.
Three drawers full of stuff and shelves containing The Norton Anthology of Poetry, The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, Collins Softback English Dictionary, The Oxford Illustrated History of the Bible plus asorted recordable discs.
One free Jerry Lee Lewis CD courtesy of some newspaper.
Glass wipes.

Printer and scanner on small table to the right of the PC desk plus some Guinness bar towels and an Everards Tiger bar towel.
Bush turntable plus some vinyl records: Genesis, The Faces and Joni Mitchell.
A variety of DVD's including the Sherlock Holmes boxed set (Jeremy Brett),several ropey old WW2 movies, Landscape Mysteries, Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone) boxed set, Band of Brothers boxed set, various Terry Pratchett, I Robot, Calamity Jane, Ghost Hunters (series from the 1990's), etc...
A stack of copier paper.

Book shelves crammed with all sorts of history & archaeology books, Sci Fi and historical fiction.
A lot of maps including Castles of Scotland and guides to Malt Whiskies.
A stack of Morse DVD's.
Three boxes stuffed with paperwork.
The Jolly Penguin game.
A jar of Vick's vapour rub.
Several CD's including Carly Simon. Gogol Bordello, Michael Buble, Arabic Chillout, Steve Earle and more Genesis (Nursery Cryme).
A bottle opener.
Some string.
Various shoes underneath the shelves.
A wrapped Christmas present yet to be delivered.
Second of the three cats sleeping on the laundry basket and about to be removed from there...

Behind me are the bed, wardrobes, sets of clothes drawers on on one of which is a stack of work related books, research articles and papers.
A wind up combined radio and torch.
An old 1950's Bakelite Bush radio.
Two 1930's children's books.
A rescued teddy bear.
Sleeping bag.

That's your lot.
* Now dusted with the glass wipes!

Sunday, January 02, 2011

If you look at the above photograph very carefully you might just see a hawk. A combination of a poor camera and attempting to avoid scaring off the hawk has resulted in a very poor photo. The hawk was in the process of plucking and devouring some hapless bird but that's nature. Red in tooth and claw. Mrs C. and I think it may have been a buzzard from its colouring but, we could not get too close and with two of the cats and the dog keen to make its acquaintance we were not going to chance popping out for a better photograph. From its size it may have been a sparrowhawk but the colouring was wrong. I would dearly like a better camera and there is one going at half-price in Sainsbugs. However, I am trying to save money so there is a debate going on in a noisy corner of my mind as to whether I spend the £58 and have hours of fun over the next year or remain sensible... I think I know which path I will be choosing! As for the prey, one of the cats (Molly) eventually tucked into the detritus.

First post of 2011 and the inevitable topic of resolutions comes to mind. I haven't made any because any day is as good as the next to resolve things. I do however resolve to enjoy Burns night with a Haggis, neets and tatties which is three weeks away. I must away as Mrs.C reports No.1 son has a temperature of 102 degrees and he is "proper poorly".

* Click on photo and enlarge. Raptor just to the right of the little white windmill.