Friday 17 May 2013

Life is Never Simple.

    The more observant of my readers may notice that I'm late posting. But as the title suggests, life is never simple.
    My wife and I are of 'senior years' so age and health matters feature highly in our declining years. My wife has had heart related problems for some time, a cause for considerable concern. Not helped when Paulette was examined and discharged by the hospital; the only person not knowing she had been discharged being my wife. Thus many weeks lost and many anxious moments suffered before a new 'opinion' as to the problem was reached. Paulette had a 'stent' fitted this week; hopefully better health beckons for Paulette at long last.
    I attended a 'pre-opp' examination for a knee replacement surgery recently. Only to find a mysterious heart murmur is making surgery a possible problem.
Two hospital visits later, intense examination of my heart completed and I should, I say should be at the hospital entrance at seven on the morning of the 21st of May. complete with nightshirt and slippers. (Will it be dark at such an ungodly hour?)
    Again it has been\still is a very fraught time. In all the coming and going it is impossible to gauge the state of the NHS. Paperwork, administration seems to be 'the be-all and end-all'. And I used to think computers would be the answer to all our problems! Nevertheless most of the people experienced at all stages have been magnificent and you can only judge at the end of the day by personal experience. (I am wary of scurrilous newspapers like the Express and the Mail whose personal agendas are unhelpful, political and often downright dangerous.)
    At times I have thought NHS stood for No Hope Sadly. Truth told we are lucky to have the NHS. I got the impression it is stretched beyond belief, for many, many reasons but boy oh boy. without it we are nothing. I have followers from all parts of the globe. I am all too aware not all are as lucky as we in this underrated isle.
    There is no doubt I personally would be long since gone if it were not for a nationalised health service, warts and all. I had a life saving operation when hours old and have continued in like manner ever since. Strangely enough, one thing I've never had is warts! My posting is likely to be erratic in future months. (I am also due another knee replacement in September.) Life is never easy and seldom mundane. If I'm more grumpy than usual, forgive me. Here's to a better summer and if not, cheer up, it will soon be Christmasf

Friday 3 May 2013

Shut My Eyes, What Do I See.

    I was a full time secondary school teacher for around seventeen years; that's well over six thousand days. The vast majority of the time pleasant enough but not memorable to any degree. 
    I honestly believe all we ever experience is stored in our brains while ever we are 'alive'. The vast majority is so fleeting, unimportant that it registers for the shortest of moments; but its still there, I'm sure. I find myself recalling experiences from school on occasion.  I'm not sure why, something unknown acts as a trigger; not always welcome. 
    At the school were over two thousand pupils and in excess of one hundred teachers. I have experienced many strange things, including two occasions where teachers were actually arrested on the premises. Obviously unusual occurrences, most days are repetitive, mundane, almost boring; teachers in the main are ordinary in the extreme, having the same highs and lows, expectations, problems as anyone else.
    Don was a teacher fairly new to the school, taught Business Studies, aged around thirty two, married with children. I was a union rep so made a point of talking to anyone fairly new to the school. In Don's case it usually took the form of commiserating when he had to cover for absent colleagues, a bone of contention with all teachers. A pleasant, quiet man similar in so many ways to many of the other staff at this unexceptional establishment.
    On one particular day Don travelled into school as normal. An ordinary day, seemingly. He finished at the normal time, got into his car and travelled home; a distance I suppose of around fifteen miles. (Next day nobody commented as to Don's demeanour or behaviour being strange in any way.) 
    Don parked his car, changed into his 'jogging clothes' and went down to the local park. Plus Don carried with him a can he had placed to hand in the garage before he left for work in the morning.
On arrival at the park Don poured the contents of the can over himself and lit a match. The contents were of course petrol. (I am told by a fire officer that death is mercifully swift, by suffocation.)
    I'm not even sure as to why this event from so long ago has replanted itself in my consciousness at this present time.  But it has played on my mind this week several times. I do not wish to dwell on this tragic event. But do you know what baffles me most. If you knew you had planned your 'end' later in the day would you go through the motions of 'normal existence' prior to so horrific an action. How terrible, how sad that none of us realised his torment prior to that bell signalling the end of the school day.
    This week is the traditional May Bank holiday week. Particularly a family time. Enjoy yourself. Particularly those in a position to enjoy the blessings of children and grandchildren. Plus we need to give others a little of our time. We are often blind as to what is happening beyond the end of our noses.