Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Matters arising

Cornflower bud
April 2017
After the parking episode described recently, I think I have not written about my other parking issue, because parking is one of the least interesting and most discussed issues of modern times. Outside my garage there is a white line to indicate that parking is not permitted across the entrance. As we have seen when it was removed by the re-surfacing works this line served a useful purpose, but it was only just long enough, and cars parked legally would slightly obstruct the garage entrance, but not enough to stop me getting in and out. I wrote about this briefly in a previous post, and eventually did contact the council's white line department to ask if it could be lengthened, to which they said 'No'. However, after the re-surfacing work the line was re-painted at the longer length that I had been asking for. So that's interesting. Or, more accurately, it isn't. Enough with the parking already.

I went to a local meeting. Some money has been allocated to be spent on improvements to the park at the end of my road, and the council thought they'd ask the locals what they would like. There was already a prototype group to ask, because the Friends of the Park had been convened when the park was threatened with being taken over by cars, caravans and motor homes during the National Bowling championships in the summer. It was a good meeting, and surprisingly good humoured and constructive. The main problem seemed to be the newly installed skate park, which is very popular and attracting swarms of local 'yoof', but is also attracting their litter despite the many litter bins in the vicinity.

The yoof in attendance were polite and well-spoken and made good points. There were also representatives from the bowling club, the tennis club, local dog-walkers, parents and runners who are the main constituency of park users, as well as all the candidates for the local election taking place a couple of days later. It looks as though the most likely purchases may be outdoor gym equipment (but there is a separate pot of money that may fund this anyway) or a refurbishment of the under-used tennis/cricket pavilion to make it more usable for e.g. a cafe. My previous local councillor who I can no longer vote for was there, and I took the opportunity to thank him and express my regret that he would no longer be representing me.

Work news: I delivered the 'short carb counting course' pilot. Prizes are available for anyone who can come up with a better name - my best shot at the moment is Candi, which stands for Carbs and Insulin. This comprised four hours about carb counting extracted from our usual four days about Type 1 Diabetes, to deliver to people who can't spare four days and maybe don't have Type 1 Diabetes. We had five attendees and I think it went well. I have yet to look at the feedback sheets.

We also had a small meeting attended by our business manager, two doctors, three nurses and me. It was supposed to discuss the future of the insulin pump service, which is set to expand by about 10% every year. As usual the meeting was utterly pointless and did not result in any useful discussion or conclusions, but it was quite a nice social event within the department. We are having a follow-up meeting with just three of us, which may be more constructive. All I actually want from the meetings is to understand how our service is funded and managed. It doesn't seem much to ask, but so far I have failed to achieve even this small advance.

Two CPD courses for me last week as well - the first about Clinical Audit presented by one enthusiastic and knowledgeable man and one girl whose presentation style was simply to read out loud the text written on each Powerpoint slide. I tried to be constructive in my feedback, but she was terrible. I discovered quite a lot about Clinical Audit, including the fact that what I planned for evaluation of the short carb counting course isn't Clinical Audit at all, it's Service Evaluation. The other course was a compulsory three-year update on DESMOND, the Type 2 patient education product. Also very interesting, and delivered in the same rooms of the same hotel as the first big Techshare conference that I helped to launch and run in the 1990's.

Much leisure activity to report - the music group continues, with the prospect of me being the sole baritone saxophonist at the July concert because my fellow saxophonist has a previous engagement. There are significant exposed baritone solos in the pieces we are playing, and I am not at all confident of successful delivery, seeing as how I'm really not very good at playing the beast even though it is enormous fun.

I also spent a whole day with the Buddhists at our usual venue - a nearby village hall - and the weather was lovely and we did some meditation, some chanting, some discussion and another 'puja' ritual. I still don't think I'll be joining in with the rituals any time soon, but for the first time I really felt that I had made progress with the meditation. It's been so gradual that it's hard to detect, but it feels easier to do and in my everyday life I am employing some of the positive behaviours that it's supposed to promote, and and feeling better for it.

The LTRP took a step forward with the rebuild of the airing cupboard, which looks lovely and needs only to be painted. While they were here the carpenter and his mate were kind enough to carry my filing cabinet upstairs to the new office, about which I am disproportionately excited. I also went back for a second meeting with the woman from the alternative kitchen supplier who has very strong views on her products and doesn't mind sharing them, and who speaks very loudly. I am trying not to be too influenced by these factors and to focus on the content rather than the style of delivery.

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