Friday 31 October 2014

How do I get rid of....

...regular and multiple updates from a blog I don't follow? It calls itself My Private Blog, and seems devoted - in every sense, and more than one language - to the art of needlework. I LOATHE needlework of all kinds, and am not fond of this blogger. I haven't opened his/her link, as I suppose it could be a scam.

Has anyone else had similar visits? And how do I get shot of it? Four posts this morning already.

Wednesday 29 October 2014

Popular posts

I'm always fascinated by the subjects that attract interest on this blog. Some - usually my serious ones, like the ones about Death Row - aren't popular at all, but K is for Knickers (written ages ago for an A to Z challenge) attracted hundreds of hits. However, my last  post (Pudding Post) has broke all recent records by a long way. I've no idea why.

What have been your most popular posts?

Saturday 25 October 2014

Pudding post

So here it is in today's colour supplement: Guilt-free Desserts.

Who wants guilt-free desserts? I want guilty  desserts, full of thick whipped cream and chocolate (think glorious puffy eclairs. M&S do wonderful ones). If they're guilt free, forget it. And if they make you feel guilty, have an apple instead. I've always thought that if you're given to dietary guilt, you're in a lose-lose situation. For if you eat the thing you feel guilty about, the guilt cancels out any pleasure you might derive from it. No. If you're on a health kick/diet, and you decide to commit a dietary sin, ENJOY it. Otherwise you've wasted your time and put on another stone into the bargain. As I said: lose-lose.

Oh, and while I'm at it, can't we go back to that good, old fashioned word, pudding? It sounds what it is. Delicious, comforting and very, very fattening. Mmm.

Tuesday 21 October 2014


Above the fields of waving corn
He stands to face the guns at dawn
A much loved brother, dearest son,
This soldier boy - he looks too young
To fight. But he succumbed to fear.
Just seventeen. A volunteer.

He will not see another dawn,
Another field of waving corn,
Or see the skylarks swoop and swing
And hear the thrush or blackbird sing.
Nor meet again those he holds dear.
Just seventeen. A volunteer.

He lied about his age, so keen
Was he to live his boyhood dream
To wear the uniform, and fight
So countrymen could sleep at night.
But he knew nothing, then, of fear.
Just seventeen. A volunteer.

The mud, the cold, the rifles' blast,
The deaths of comrades, falling fast.
The waste. The utter waste. How could
A sheltered youth have understood
That war was this; this pain, this fear?
Just seventeen. A volunteer.

Blindfolded, bound, he stands alone,
And thinks for one last time, of home.
The warmth of a bed, a mother's kiss -
It wasn't meant to be like this.
His enemy not men, but fear.
Just seventeen. A volunteer

(I have long been haunted by the thought of the young soldiers who were put to death simply because they could no longer stand the hell that was war.)

Sunday 19 October 2014

Diary of Theo, aged 13 months

Saturday 18th. October
Granny came to look after us. I don't see her often, but  the poor old thing had just fallen off her horse (she does that sometimes),  so brother and I decided to do the decent thing and behave; ie  eat our supper (the way to tell her you don't want any more is to chuck it on the floor), charge round and round the kitchen (Granny wasn't that fast because of the horse thing), have a good splash in the bath (I pretended to drown. That got her going. We had a good laugh about that, although she didn't seem that amused), go to sleep on time (actually we were pretty tired by then. I think Granny was, too. They get tired, at her age).

Sunday 19th. October
Woke at 5.30 and decided to throw a party (and all my stuff out of my cot. That's zeugma, in case you wondered). Granny said she didn't want to come to the party, stuffed my dummy back in my mouth, and told me to go back to sleep. So I threw everything out again, and made a lot more noise this time, and my brother agreed that it was time to get up. In the end, Granny gave in (they usually do, if you can stick at it), and we all got up at 6.15. We had milk, and breakfast, and played lots of games. At one stage, Granny was lying on the floor (not sure why) so we jumped on her, and my brother looked down her shirt and said he could see her boobs. He laughed a lot about that (I'm not sure why). Mummy and Daddy came back, and we pretended we'd had a terrible time and I waved Granny goodbye although she wasn't going yet (well, we didn't need her any more, did we?).

Lunch with my cousins. Atogether, a good weekend.

Saturday 11 October 2014

My solutions to health service funding

I am thoroughly tired of politicians all vying with each other to chuck more money at the health service, when what they really need todo is to get inside it and look for solutions there. So here are my own ideas (and I've spent most of my life working in the health service):

1. Missed appointments. Everyone should be asked to pay a reasonable registration fee (say £10. Maybe less for a whole family) to register with a GP. If they missed two appointments, either with their own doctor or a hospital, they would have to re-register (and pay again).

2. Prescription charges. I know from visiting elderly patients in their own homes that many hoard their drugs when they are free. I have seen cupboards full of unused drugs and dressings, destined never to be used, because after all, they were free, so the patient had nothing to lose. The majority of patients are entitled to free prescriptions, so this is a huge problem. If  all those entitled to free prescriptions  had to pay just a token fee - say £1 - per prescription, then people might think twice before reordering their medicines, and the NHS drug bill would be vastly reduced.

3. If we have to have graduate nurses (it costs £20,000 to train a nurse, whereas time was when nurses earned their passage from the beginning of their training), then at least lets bring back the wonderful State Enrolled Nurses. These, as before, could be trained on the wards as they worked, and would go on to form a valuable part of the ward team. At a time  when as much as £1800 a day has been paid for an agency nurse, something needs to be done. Ed Milliband has promised an extra 20,000 nurses if his party get in next year. Yeah, right, Ed.  And how exactly to you propose to raise the money?

None of these ideas would be popular, but then cuts in other services and tax increases aren't exactly welcome, either. And we have to do something...don't we?

Thursday 9 October 2014

Meet my daughter...

...wh will be selling handbags on the QVC shopping channel tomorrow (Firday) at 5pm. And no. I had no idea what QVC was, either, until she started doing this. She's the kind of person who reallycould sell snow to Eskimos, sand to Arabs, and handbags...well, I won't tell you what she thinks of the handbags. Just watch her if you want an hour's entertainment (and a handbag...?).

Sunday 5 October 2014

Modern manners

I've booked a window table
As its private and discreet.
That potted cactus will ensure
We're hidden from the street.
I hope you like Italian?
Oh - excuse me please, my sweet,
While I take a couple of minutes,
As I need to send a Tweet.

Now, would you lie a starter?
Just asparagus? That's all?
You sure you don't want any bread?
The portions can be small.
I came last Wednesday with the lads,
Oh boy! We had a ball!
But that reminds me, darling,
That I need to make a call.

Now, what about the main course?
What do you fancy next?
The menu's in Italian,
That's what's making you perplexed.
Do try their special pasta
If you don't, they'll be quite vexed.
Or their - oh, hang on a minute
While I just return this text.

I don't want anything  to eat
I'll take a taxi home.
I've always hated pasta
Since it made me ill in Rome.
And you'll be fine without me
After all,  you're not alone.
You've all the company you need
With your f***ing mobile phone!

Wednesday 1 October 2014

The gas man cometh...

....and warneth.

Every year, someone from the gas board comes to service the boiler. And every year, the boiler is left with a little notice to the effect : "Danger. Do not use this appliance".  And every year, we get a lecture on how we shall both be struck dead by fumes, suddenly, without warning. And we hear the sad tale of the woman who was struck dead in the shower, by fumes, without....etc etc. until next year, when the whole thing is repeated (I have a feeling I've posted about this before, so this is probably something else that happens every year).

The gas man is invariably chatty and friendly and helpful (between gloomy prognostications), and drinks several cups of tea/coffee, and sends a colleague round to give a quote for a new boiler. And we don't get round to doing anything about it, because the boiler works, and we are mean. An hour ago, another man phoned from the gas board, to tell us that we had a dangerous boiler, and we might be struck dead etc etc and I told him WE KNOW. Your colleague told us last week. Someone's coming to give a quote. That took him by surprise. It seems one half of the gas board doesn't know what the other half is up to.

But I will never understand the mentality behind the powers that be, who are happy to service an appliance and then tell you not to use it. It's a Winnie the Pooh kind of thing (although WTP didn't have a boiler).