29 November 2010 (Monday) - Stuff

In theory burglar alarms on cars and houses are a good idea. In practice I honestly think they should be outlawed. Surely it would be better to have a silent alarm which goes off at the police station to alert them that something’s going on, rather than having something making a god-awful racket in the street where no one is going to do anything and which everyone ignores.
Several people along our road have them, and when they go off at 4.30am (like one did today), they ring and scream for over an hour. No one comes along to see what the noise is about; the police certainly don’t. All that happens is that everyone suffers the noise until the battery finally goes flat and the noise stops. It was just as well that I was on a late start today – I got a bit of a lie-in to catch up on some missed sleep.

I had planned to be at the doctor’s for opening time for them to have a look at my gout-ridden foot. But over the weekend a combination of no beer, celery and ibuprofen had reduced the pain somewhat. The foot was still rather red this morning, but I could move it about better than I could yesterday. And from what I can gather, I didn’t think there’s an awful lot the doc can do other than prescribe ibuprofen and tell me to avoid the stout. And it had snowed a bit overnight and I didn’t want to drive in the snow.
So rather than waiting on their doorstep I thought I’d give them a ring to ask their opinion. I started phoning at the surgery’s opening time. After over two hours of chasing round their automated switchboard I gave up and drove down to the surgery. I hobbled in and explained that I’d been phoning for over two hours, and asked if I could see a doctor. The old bat on the desk clearly hadn’t listened to what I said; she told me there were no appointments available, and that I should have phoned earlier. I asked her if she’d ever tried phoning the surgery herself, and re-iterated that I’d been trying to get through for two hours. She merely stared at me, and repeated that there were no appointments. She suggested that I might like to try again tomorrow. “Try” being the operative phrase, as they could offer no guarantee of an appointment tomorrow either.

I got to work, and just out of curiosity I phoned the G.P. surgery just down the road from my house. The phone was answered on the second ring by a nice lady who told me that they are taking on patients, and suggested that I popped in tomorrow morning to talk to them. I might just do that: I’ve not been happy with my current surgery for some time. They weren’t overly helpful with my creaky knee, and they couldn’t have been less helpful with my (possibly) broken arse bone.

Mind you, my G.P. might be rubbish, but my hospital is the best in the country. And it’s official!!!


  1. Could you have popped along to your ER in the hospital or would that have been cheeky?

  2. Across from my parents is a TA ground where they have a firing range and store weapons and amunition. During the height of the NI Troubles they also had an alarm system that went off everytime there was a thunder storm. On one particular occassion just after the IRA had announced that all UK military establishments were legitimate targets the alarm went off and continued to ring for a couple of hours. My father rang the police, their response was that they were busy, my father pointed out that it was the TA ground ie military, weapons, amunition and possible IRA target but still they were too busy, my father then pointed out that if nobody else was interested he had an extending ladder and a sledge hammer and would go and turn it off himself so that everyone could get some sleep it being 2am, the police warned him not to as that would be criminal damage, my father responded that he couldn't care less he wanted some sleep and rang off. In less than 5 minutes the police were on our door step and proceeded to try and caution my father for the threats he had made, but being unable to make themselves heard over the sound of the alarm they went off to find the address of the key holder and get the alarm turned off.