8 January 2017 (Sunday) - Hospital Visiting

I didn’t get out of my pit until nearly 9am this morning. That is quite unheard of. Mind you the nasal polyps which regularly block my right snozz had abated somewhat. It is amazing the difference that being able to breathe can make.
I had a look-see on-line over brekkie. There were some political rants about the state of the NHS on Facebook; the more militant of my colleagues were spreading the doom and gloom. I chose not to; the chap posting didn’t have any answers to the NHS’s problems. In fact when he said that the NHS should be reformed I couldn’t help but feel he’d rather missed the point. The NHS doesn’t need to be reformed. It has been reformed ad-nauseum. The NHS needs to be left alone so that the reforms can actually take effect. The NHS has had far too many reforms. And just as any specific reform starts taking effect it all gets changed again. Schools and all public services are much the same. Too much change and to little continuity.

Not much else had really happened overnight, which was probably for the best. I wasted ten minutes playing tug o’ war with my dog over a scrap of material (he likes that game) then we took both dogs for a walk to test the double-ended elasticated lead. It has been no secret that up till now dog walks with the puppy have been something of a disaster; both dogs operating completely independently has made the walk a chore rather than a joy. But having them on a joint lead so that they are only a couple of feet apart (at most) has improved walking beyond all recognition. Neither straggles anymore; the one which is moving onwards seems to drag the straggler with them. I shall use the double-ended thing more often.
We went round the park. Both dogs were released from the lead as soon as was possible, and the walk went well. The puppy still wants to jump up at people, but she is getting better. And she played nicely with several other dogs. I say “played nicely”; “didn’t run away in terror” might be a better description. but it is a step in the right direction.

We got the dogs home and settled, then drove down to Hastings. On the way we stopped for obligatory geo-reasons. There was only really one cache on the via-Rye route left for me that looked easy to get at so we stopped at what looked to be a suitable lay-by. The traffic did somewhat hare past us, but we found the cache. The co-ords weren’t quite as spot-on as they might have been but I saw the cache from some way away. I saw it some four feet up the tree when the given clue said it was only one foot up the tree. I struggled a little to get the paper log out of the narrow neck of the bottle, and something had stained the inside of the container green. I wonder what that was?

It wasn’t far from that lay-by to the village of Icklesham. There is a good pub there; The Queen’s Head. I’ve been there several times over the last few years and never been disappointed. We *could* have booked a table in advance, but in my experience if you just turn up at any pub at Sunday lunchtime they are very reluctant to turn trade away. Instead they will offer you a table on the understanding that they will need the table free within the next hour. That always suits me.
We had an excellent roast dinner, and a pint of rather good stout. Not many pubs do stout at all; let alone on the hand pump. The Queen’s Head is always good for a pint of beer. For what it’s worth they have been in CAMRA’s “Good Beer Guide” every year for the last thirty years.

With lunch scoffed we went on to Hastings and the Conquest Hospital. (I was once turned down for a senior management position there, you know). Father-in-law was still resident on one of the wards. We soon found him; he seemed rather chirpy and we spent a fun hour or so trying to get his portable telly-thing (provided by the hospital) to work. If it wasn’t broken when we started, it certainly was by the time we’d finished.
I must admit I chuckled at the old boy in the bed next to father-in-law. This chap had obviously seriously hurt his wrist whilst in hospital. The doctor was asking what had happened. The old fellow was insistent he had no idea what was wrong with it; it had just mysteriously swollen up that morning. When the doctor left, the chap’s son came in. The old boy then explained to him (very loudly) how he’d trapped his arm in the side of the bed when he fell over earlier, and how he thought the bone was broken, and how useless the doctor was.

It would have been good to have visited my mummy whilst we were in the area, but time was against us so we came home for the dogs. They got their tea; I got Christmas pud for my tea, and then I got left “home alone” with the puppy. Again…

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