Friday, 23 August 2013
Continuing our run of excellent luck, I found myself being ambulanced to Dorchester's Emergency Medical Unit on Tues a.m., following chest pains etc. After two sleepless nights in insane, oven-like, noisy wards , with so many needles stuck into me and copious drugs administered ( they woke me up at 3 a.m. to take blood !) .... ....I declined the angiogram planned for Thurs a.m. and escaped back to the real world. Many different drugs to take and on the waiting list for a non-invasive CAT scan of heart ( much better). They achieve much in E.M.U. I saw several 80+ yr old guys, who arrived in a terrible state, much improved in a few hours after tests and treatment. The nurses are on their knees, working 12 hour shifts. Met some really kind nurses/doctors and had long chats with old guys who had lived amazing lives. One guy sailing from port to port, all over the world, flying the flag for the empire in post-war 'Youth Service' . .aged just 14! Another guy left his home near Heathrow, still a teen, and went to Scotland to be a dairy farmer ! He told how living with the Blitz had given him a dreadful stutter and how the Scottish girl he married helped him to conquer it! I am happy to report that the hospital food was excellent and the system for linking it with patients . .quite remarkable! Upon discharge, one has to wait for a few hours in the discharge lounge whilst the pharmacy makes up drugs packs .... and somehow the food you ordered the previous day finds its way to you! When I got home, I was babbling like a loon for a while. I guess it was just a mild case of hospital-acquired insanity ;)
Thursday, 11 April 2013
ON THE PASSING OF THATCHER . . . I've just heard former former Tory Party Deputy Chairman and ex jail-bird, Jeffrey Archer, on Sky News . . . quoting Shakespeare in elegiac praise of his former boss. I didn't catch it in it's entirety but it ended with " . . . unparalleled ". I assume that it was: " Now boast thee, death, in thy possession lies A lass unparalleled." from 'Antony & Cleopatra'. " Unparalleled " in what way, one might ask? Well, she was certainly unparalleled when it came to the destruction of nationalised industries, the abandonment of 'One Nation' Conservatism, the brutal attacks on the miners and all unions, with the resultant rolling-back of workers' rights - and the introduction of 'paramilitary-style' policing, only previously seen in the South American dictatorships; turning the British police into State 'enforcers' and destroying, forever, the proud tradition of consensual policing in the U.K. Yes, all of that was unparalleled. Equally 'unparalleled' was her short-sightedness in selling off the nation's stock of Council Houses which has led, with logical inevitability, to the hated 'bedroom tax'. Yeah . .thanks for that one, Maggie ! Also 'unparalleled' was her hectoring & rather 'nannying' condescension; latterly combined with delusions of grandeur and her use of the Royal 'we', normally reserved for the Monarch. When she finally left office, after 12 long years, I felt a great sense of relief that she would no longer be appearing on T.V., 'telling us all off', the whole time ! I have friends who have always promised a 'Party' to celebrate Thatcher's passing. She has actually out-lived at least one of them, so I guess she has the last laugh on that score! Personally, I am completely disinterested in her passing and I shall not be wasting any of my time watching her totally uncalled-for 'State' funeral. I extend my sympathies, of course, to her family and to those who knew Lady Thatcher as a friend. She certainly was a 'mixed-bag' (no pun intended) but - at the very least - she was occasionally witty, she spoke engagingly at P.M.Q.s, and she looked and acted 'statesman-like', when representing us abroad; qualities I have yet to witness during 'Head Boy' Cameron's tenure at No. 10. In closing, perhaps I might proffer a rather different Shakesperian quote which comes to mind. " Proper deformity shows not in the fiend, so horrid as in woman. " - Shakespeare, King Lear. I don't wish to be unkind but let's just reflect on the 'whole' person, and the ripples she sent out into our nation, before 'spin' and 'sentimentality' irrevocably muddy the waters.