Saturday, 5 December 2015


Spiky pink flowers
Harrogate, July 2015
Tuesday is my 'day off'. Except some Tuesdays it doesn't feel like a day off at all.

08.30 Wake up nice and late - it is my day off after all. Leisurely breakfast - almost too leisurely because I nearly didn't leave myself enough to time to get to my first appointment of the day.

09.40 Dentist. Two weeks ago the hygienist and dentist recommended longer sessions three times a year for the hygienist, and because they are so convincing and because I don't want all my teeth to fall out I agreed. This brief appointment was because the dentist found a suspicious patch on my tongue and wanted to check it out two weeks later. All is well.

09.50 My favourite greengrocer's shop. Buy fruit: satsumas, russet apples (you don't see them very often nowadays) and ridiculously large sharon fruits that are slightly past their best.

10.10 Bank #1. Mum and dad have now registered their Lasting Power of Attorney for financial affairs, and I have to try and set myself up as their attorney within the banking system. There is nobody at the desk where staff loiter near the door so I take the opportunity to get the cashier to update my bank book from a little-used account and ask her for help with the LPoA business. She is useless, so I decide not to talk to her about updating the little-used account to a more modern one that pays a modicum of interest. I phone mum to get more details about what she was told we should do in the bank to get this sorted.

10.30 I go home again because I realise that I might do better with the official documents about my status as attorney. Pick up official documents and go back to town.

10.45 Bank #2. I don't have an account at this bank, but I am lucky because I find someone who a) knows what a LPoA actually is and b) is happy to refer me to the person who knows how to deal with the bank systems. She photocopies merrily for about 10 minutes before asking which branch the LPoA will be registered at. I phone mum for a second time. The bank lady carries on photocopying and says she can't fax the documents because of confidentiality, but she will post them to the branch. We hope for the best.

11.15 Back to Bank #1. This time, someone is staffing the desk near the door and has heard of a LPoA, but the person I need to speak to is busy. She seems to have a clue, so we agree which modern account paying a modicum of interest will replace my little-used account. Then I am handed over and my new friend types and clicks for about 20 minutes without stopping (I kid you not). I am asked periodically for various items of personal data (mum's date of birth, postcode etc.) and then it's over, and I am an attorney with Bank #1. I phone mum again to let her know of my outstanding performance and incredible success, but she wisely has gone out.

11.40 I go home because I realise that I have left my glasses there. Pick up glasses and go back to town.

12.00 Optician. I am here for a contact lens and sight test. We agree that it's better wearing contact lenses than glasses when running, especially in the rain. After the usual tests I am reassured that my distance and near sight are fine with both contact lenses and glasses, but then she makes me read the super small letters anyway, seemingly for fun. I humour her and get them all right, so that's good. No changes to prescription. I pick up a new batch of contact lenses.

12.40 On my lovely Tuesdays not at work I am treating myself to lunch at various different Leamington cafes and restaurants. Today I have chosen Elma, which is an establishment serving broadly East Mediterranean food in a location which has changed hands more than the average number of times recently, suggesting one of those spots that is a little bit doomed from the start. I choose the Express Lunch which is a delicious chicken stew with rice and a mint tea. I am alone in the restaurant from start to finish. Not a good sign.

14.00 I have been planning meals for the rest of the week and realise that I really need some ingredients from the supermarket rather than just the greengrocer, so it's a trip to Sainsburys.

15.00 Get back, put everything away and make an enormous batch of minestrone soup, inspired by the rind of Parmesan that was lurking in the fridge along with an elderly salami. Consider going out to town again to post passport that needs renewing (unable to do this sooner because passport is needed for identity checks relating to LPoA) but decide I've been into town enough today.

16.00 Lady arrives to give me a proper sports massage in the comfort of my own home. During massage discuss classical music and early 80's rock music, whether I can be bothered to run any other 10k races, how boring it must be to train for a marathon, where to buy running shoes and what sort to get, express surprise at extent of knotted muscles in shoulders, agree that it's better wearing contact lenses than glasses when running especially in the rain, suggest she comes to Monday night badminton to give massage tasters in order to rustle up business.

16.30 Mobile phone rings during massage. Ignore it.

17.00 Shower to remove massage oil. Feel about 2 inches taller for approx 30 minutes before normal slumped posture kicks in again. Decant minestrone into pots for the freezer and do the washing up. Turn on the computer for the first time today and delete all the spam. Write encouraging email to other joint attorneys (Lola II and Sister D) about how dealing with the banks went. Browse blogs and Facebook.

17.45 Remember to listen to the message on my phone, which is from the optician pointing out that while I paid for my contact lens check (I get my sight test for free) I neglected to pay for the contact lenses and can I please give them a call. Too late, they're closed now.

18.30 Jump into car and head off to local university for buffet followed by Diabetes Education Club. I am cornered by one of the team who asks if I am interested in teaching Healthcare Assistants and Practice Nurses on a new one-day course they are developing to help prevent diabetes. I say yes even though I don't really understand what I'm supposed to talk about and my job doesn't currently cover diabetes prevention. I can always sort it out later when she sends more details.

19.15 Diabetes Education Club is all about the paediatric service delivered within the Trust. I was in two minds about attending because I don't do paediatric diabetes, but I thought it would be interesting and I was right. The secondary care paediatric service has about 200 patients, of whom 97.5% have Type 1 diabetes, and 25% use insulin pumps. Among various other statistics and guidelines I picked out the fact that there is no robust evidence in favour of structured education, although it is not clear whether evidence exists that does not support such education or whether there is an absence of evidence either way. It was similarly stated that there is no robust evidence for weight loss and dietary advice for paediatric Type 2's. We can be fairly certain that this indicates an absence of trials, probably because numbers are still so few. I wanted to hear a bit about guidelines for transition between paediatric and adult services, but guidelines covering Transition issues are apparently going to be published separately and cover all chronic health conditions, which I suppose makes sense.

21.00 Home again. Think about doing a couple of the jobs on my enormous list of things that could be done on Tuesdays while I'm not at work. Have a half-hearted bash at a couple of them before going to bed to read, and then listen to some of the amazing podcasts that are out there on the BBC iPlayer - John Finnemore's Double Acts stands out at the moment, along with the whole back catalogue of Soul Music and The Infinite Monkey Cage, plus I've just discovered Adam Buxton is podcasting again, and there's a 'companion' podcast to This American Life called Israel Story.

22.30 Sleep. Another 'day off' is over.

I'm aware that certain readers are in awe of the amount I can get done in a day. Just to reassure you: on other Tuesdays I do absolutely bugger all.

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