3 Mo-Vember 2009 (Tuesday) - National Pathology Week

Today my blog hit counter stormed over the 5000 mark. That’s an average of 31 visits a day. I’m impressed with that. I would seem to be getting readers from all over the world.

To the town centre at 8am to set up our display. We had been offered the use of not one but two “retail merchandising units” for our National Pathology Week display. There was a minor hiccup in that the things didn’t come with light bulbs, but the nice security man gave us a box of light bulbs. Or, more accurately, a box of empty light bulb boxes. Eventually he came up trumps with a carrier bag full of light bulbs.

We eventually got the displays into position – we found ourselves wasting time getting artistic with the design. There was a slight problem with the helium balloons. In that we only had ten balloons and the helium had run out. So we decided to just blow them up, Six burst during inflation, which left us with four. Still, we had enough pens, rulers and gonks to equip a decent sized army so the children wouldn’t go away empty handed.

And then the general public arrived. I think it’s probably fair to say that most of the general public totally ignored our stall. I kept a weather eye on the local pikeys, who were keeping a weather eye on the lap-tops on our stall. And then four of us spent the day being civil to our visitors who fell into four broad categories: visiting management, visiting friends, colleagues and family, ex-patients, and passing nutters. And with all respect to my loyal readers who took the time to visit the stall, I’m afraid I had most fun with the passing nutters.

The first was quite open. She told me that she was a looney, and asked if she could have a free pen for her mother. She was rather taken aback when I gave her a pen. After all, we had several hundred to give away, courtesy of our sponsor.

One little old lady told me that she suffers from pains which shoot from her oxter right up to her lisk. I told here there had been a lot of that going about since the clocks went back, and she went away quite happy.

Another “dinger” read every word on all of the posters on our displays, then loudly announced she’d had all the blood tests and it wasn’t that. She then marched off rather proudly before I could ask what wasn’t that.

A rather scary looking chap informed me that he takes heart pills for his heart, water pills for his water and he’s had a vein taken out of his leg. And then asked me what it was all about.

A particularly smelly oik told me how he suffered with irritable bowel syndrome, and asked me to explain the poster on the subject to him. He mentioned the phrase “eye of a needle” several times, but I could smell that.

And one chap picked up a gonk and made it vanish into thin air. It just went. He then produced his calling card (out of thin air too). He was one of the chaps from Wilko’s who did magic tricks in his spare time. I was impressed.

We also had praise for the NHS from many of the public. One young mother was so vocal about how good the hospital is with her son who has sickle cell disease. I lost count of the amount of people who’d had kidney transplants. And people who’d had joint replacements and all sorts of other surgery. For all that I moan about working for the NHS, today made me quite proud to be part of something marvellous. There was only one person who grumbled about the NHS. This was a rather unfortunate looking fellow who wasn’t happy that the NHS had closed his hospital, and now he has to go out to work.

Whilst up town I took the liberty of nipping to the optician. I started off with various tests on eye pressure, nerve and muscle responses, and they even photographed my retinas before I got in to what I would call the “proper eye test”. I was subjected to all sorts of eye charts and all sorts of eye lenses, and then told that for normal to long range I’d got an “eye size” worse, and for close up stuff I’d got two “eye sizes” worse. Which was rather what I expected. So a new pair of specs was something of a necessity. The last time I blogged about the optician (14 November 2007) I whinged about the cost. No whinge this time. I bought my current specs some four years ago (18 October 2005). The pair I bought today were one hundred quid cheaper.

Daddies Little Angel TM ” came up to visit at mid day, and we went off for some McLunch. You can’t beat a Quarter-Pounder with fries and a banana shake.


  1. Sorry to go on about this....but the NHS is wonderful. I live in fear of being ill, not only because it isn't nice, but because of the cost involved....and that is with health insurance.