Monday, 27 August 2012

Work and play

Red and yellow stripy lilies
Norfolk, July 2011
I seriously cannot wait until I retire, when I will have time and energy by the bucketload and everything will be delightful and sunny and the house will be in perfect condition because we will have sorted it out beautifully. This will obviously not happen, because life is not like that. But I would like to have more time, and I would like to attend to the shortcomings of our 'home-making', and the two are clearly connected, along with our disinclination to spend our limited leisure hours on structural improvements.

In the work arena, the grown-ups in our office (senior Dietitians) were both away on Friday, which meant that when the call came to see a patient in the private hospital, one of the kids had to stand in. So off I went to the fancy shmancy 'ward', which comprised carpeted corridors and bedrooms rather than hard floors and beds separated by curtains. Obviously I will say nothing whatsoever about the patient and the treatment, but I feel slightly embarrassed that for such a large amount of money, the patient received dietetic treatment from a Dietitian with nearly seven whole months' experience.

This has been my first brush with the interesting relationship between private healthcare and the NHS. You certainly get better accommodation by paying for it, but is that all? I suspect that nursing care is also more attentive, but clearly therapy is absolutely no better than NHS, and you get the same doctors with the same time pressures and no better treatments to offer for the money. Investigations may be done without waiting quite so long for your turn on the CT scanner, and you might get your treatment more quickly. But it will be the same treatment, and if there's an emergency you'll be shipped into the NHS Emergency Department quicker than you can say "Find me a trolley and call me a porter".

Outside work, Lola II and Mr M have been visiting, and we had a very successful day on Saturday. Lola II has been converted to the One True Way of the Charity Shop, and found another skirt and pair of trousers, this time in an even smaller size than before. I now have a car charger for my phone, so no more telephone boxes for me on long journeys. Lola II has lost so much weight that even her feet have shrunk, so we ended up buying her shoes from the childrens' department of Clarks, where she had her feet measured in the old-fashioned way where you can choose shoes according to both length and width. The advantage is that shoes are not quite as expensive as in the adult department; the disadvantage is children's shoes tend to be flat rather than with heels.

Then we all went off to the Red Lion in Hunningham to watch a film on the huge inflatable screen followed by camping in the adjacent field, which was all lovely, despite the usual early wake-up call from a nearby small child who doesn't understand that it isn't necessary to shout at 6 a.m. in a campsite. I discovered several things about breakfast in Leamington - the cafe I'd been told about is definitely there, but closed for two weeks in August, and Sainsbury's doesn't have a cafe, just a Starbucks. But we have a 'Frankie and Benny' outlet, and it turns out that they do breakfasts, so that's where we went.

Mr A was away at a wedding (I don't do weddings) so after Lola II and Mr M had departed I had some wonderful free time, which I used in cooking for next weekend's family gathering, going to the cinema, reading books, listening to podcasts, and working in the garden. Each time I tidy up about a quarter of the area, but the other three quarters seem to gain on me quicker than I can deal with them. Sadly no badminton tonight because of the bank holiday, and it's back to normal and to work tomorrow.

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