Tuesday, 28 February 2017

A Luddite's Lament

A Luddite?  Me?  Just because my mobile phone was bought umpteen years ago and has long been a museum item, that doesn't make me a Luddite.  No way!  I remember the old days when washing went into the boiler in the steamy kitchen and had to be swished around with a wooden stick, then rinsed and wrung out by hand before being squeezed through the mangle and hung on the line - which had to be hoisted by means of a rope through a pulley. No, I'm a great fan of washing machines and tumble driers, so I'm no Luddite.

Today - just in case you've forgotten - is pancake day. Mardi Gras. It also happens to be the day of the week when I do a little light shopping at our local supermercado.  On the shopping list - it being pancake day - was a bottle of lemon juice. (There is a part-used bottle in the fridge, but the Old Bat likes to be sure.)  And guess what?  The one thing they had sold out of was bottles of lemon juice!  So much for computerised stock maintenance!

I really shouldn't have been surprised as I have had previous experience of this sort of thing.  It was back in late November or early December in 2015 that the Old Bat wanted some ground almonds, an essential ingredient when icing the Christmas cake.  There was none on the shelf, so I asked a shelf-stacker just down the aisle. "Oh," he said, "we seem to have had a run on that the last couple of days."

Then there was the time my Lions Club wanted to buy things for a local food bank.  I prepared a list of what we wanted and went to the customer service desk, partly in the hope of being offered a discount but mainly because I wanted to be sure that there was sufficient stock on collection day.  The duty manager was called and I was told they couldn't help me.  The local staff had no way of overriding the computer to ensure the stock would be delivered!

(Another store - a different company - gladly ordered what we wanted and left it packed on trolleys in the delivery area for us to collect.  And I got the loyalty points on a thousand pounds of goods!)

No, I'm not a Luddite - but i do wish that companies would make sure their computer programs actually do what is wanted!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Will power

Well, I've managed it.  Indeed, not only have I managed it, I have gone the extra mile!  And no, I am not talking of running a marathon - these days I don't even run for the bus!  What I have done is drag myself away from Blogger for a whole month!  And that is despite having numerous thoughts that I wanted to blog about.  Naturally, I can't recall any of them now that I'm sitting at the keyboard.

I've still kept myself pretty busy, although far too much time has been spent travelling to and waiting in hospitals.  I once read a piece of advice - probably in a novel somewhere - that one should not allow oneself to become ensnared in the hands of doctors.  And how right that advice seems to me.  Apart from my GP - whom I see only rarely - I have now no fewer than three - yes, three! - consultants at the hospital who seem reluctant to let me go.  And yet I think that there is nothing basically wrong with me.  I don't propose to bore anyone with all the details but I will just mention one of the consultants.

Dr Hurt (and can there be a less appropriate name for a doctor?) took over my case a couple of months back.  I had been seeing a different doctor who was monitoring my breathing following a short spell in hospital last April/May time. dr C (the original consultant) referred me to Dr H as she has a special interest in ABPA (allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis - look it up if you really want to know more!). At our first consultation, Dr H decided to refer me for respiratory therapy. So I got the call to see a therapist.  She gave me breathing exercises to do for 15 minutes once or twice a day. But that makes me cough!

At the second consultation, Dr H decided that laboratory tests would be a good idea, so now I have to make another trek to the hospital.

I shudder to think what the dear doctor will come up with when I next see her!

And honestly, I feel fine!