30 April 2022 (Saturday) - Bit Dull Really

The night shift went rather well; far better than the last one I did, but I was still glad to see the early shift arrive. Sadly half an hour before they’d turned up I’d had a patient arrive with an anti-Jk(a) antibody which I was only too happy to hand over…  if anyone ever tells you about blood group O Negative being a universal blood donor, take a few drops of the O Negative in me, stick it in this patient and then see what happens… Or don’t.

Actually I would seriously suggest you don’t; it would kill them.


As I drove home there was talk on the radio about the MP who was been caught watching filth on his mobile phone. He says it was all a mistake; he clicked on the wrong link. I suppose (in his defence) this might have been the case. I get sent a lot of iffy links in amongst the stuff I see on-line. Mind you my local MP was in the news a little while ago with loads of smut having been found on his lap-top. Why don’t the IT people in the Houses of Parliament set their networks so as you can’t access the filth? The hospital network I use has got all sorts of safeguards in it so that you can’t get to the grumble sites.

However surely the scandal here isn’t that he was looking at pictures of nudey ladies without any clothes on. Surely the issue is that the naughty MP was fiddling about on his phone when he should have been doing the work for which he has been elected and for which he is paid to do. I’m not allowed to fiddle about on my mobile when I’m supposed to be working, am I?


I got home and went to bed. I didn’t set an alarm and so didn’t wake until the middle of the afternoon. I usually set an alarm for mid day so that the day isn’t entirely wasted.

Over an incredibly late brekkie I peered into the Internet. I had a friend request on Facebook from a new girl at work. I clicked “accept” and was amazed at some of the mutual friends we have. But that is social media, isn’t it? My brother and cousin are Facebook friends with an ex-manager of mine who lives in Dover. What’s the connection there? My brother (who lives in Hastings) and the husband of an ex-colleague (who lives in Aberdeen) are both Facebook friends with some chap from the West Midlands. People I know through kite-flying are Facebook friends with people at work. People I know from my days in the astro club are friends with hunters of Tupperware…

The connections people form are amazing.


Leaving the puppies with “er indoors TM I took Pogo and Treacle to Orlestone for a little walk. Pogo had no trouble jumping in and out of the car, which was a result. As we walked we met an “interesting couple”. Two of them a little way off the footpath both desperately clinging to a lead at the other end was a dog the size of a rhino and with the temperament of a total b*stard. The chap screamed at me that I should hurry past as their dog wasn’t good with other dogs and he wasn’t sure how much longer he could hold the lead. I resisted the temptation to point out the blatantly obvious, and we sauntered past. When we got back to the car (fifteen minutes later) we could still hear that dog’s vicious snarling and barking in the distance.

Why do people get such big dogs that they so obviously can’t control?


Once home I did something I should really have done three weeks ago. I finally got round to updating the puppies’ microchips. If they should ever go walkabout the chip is their neck will enable any vet to contact us; or it will do once the information has been updated. It didn’t take *that* long to do, but am I being an old meanie in thinking that an admin fee of twelve quid (per dog) is just a tad excessive?


“er indoors TM boiled up a rather good bit of dinner which we washed down with a four quid bottle of Sainsbury’s hock, and as bottles of plonk go, that four quid bottle of plonk was far better than a lot of the stuff we’ve quzzled recently. As we scoffed and quaffed we watched the most recent episode of “Star Trek: Picard” which was (sadly) best described as “crap”. Nearly an hour’s viewing… pretty much nothing happened.

This is true of pretty much all of the new “Star Trek” and all of the new “Doctor Who”. I watch them because I always have done, but am always disappointed.

And then I got to scoff the trifle that “er indoors TM had made. Now that was rather good… 

Apart from the trifle, today was something of a dull day really. Had I been able to have swapped out of last night’s night shift I might have gone on a geo-walk round Greenwich which took place today. I would have liked to have gone on that but getting anyone to swap into a Friday night takes some doing. And a Friday night before a Bank Holiday weekend… I certainly wouldn’t want to swap into one.

29 April 2022 (Friday) - Before the Night Shift

I had a bit of a lie-in this morning. When I woke  “er indoors TM had already gone downstairs. Pogo and Treacle were still on the bed with me. Treacle leapt up but Pogo didn’t. I lifted him off the bed and we came downstairs to find “er indoors TM dealing with a poop bonanza in the puppies’ crate. Clearly I shouldn’t lie in but should get up to see to the babies earlier.


“er indoors TM did dog brekkie, and Pogo wasn’t first in the queue. I watched him moving very awkwardly on the sofa as I went on-line to register another negative COVID test, and saw I had a message through Facebook. “Emily Brandon” had said “Hello, how you doing. I'm Mistress Emily and i personally seek a slave to serve me. So tell me your name, age, and more about yourself. If your interested”.

I reported her to the Facebook Feds, as much for her poor grammar as for her porn-mongering. Mind you, judging by the amount of filth I get on my Facebook feed I suspect she is just the sort of person they are after.

Whilst I was on Facebook I saw there was some big “Thank You NHS Workers” concert in London last night to which  NHS staff who had kept going all through the pandemic had been offered tickets…

Or so it was claimed.

Like most of the freebies that have been offered to NHS staff, this came as something of a surprise to most NHS staff who found out about it after it had all happened.


“er indoors TM distracted the puppies and I took Pogo and Treacle to the woods for a walk. We had a good walk doing one of our longer circuits. We met a few other dog walkers, but all passed off well. Pogo seemed to be walking fine, but when we got back to the car I had to lift him in. He’s done something to his back; probably twisted it when playing the “catch” game that he loves to play. We shall have to watch him – being so overweight doesn’t help. If only he understood the need for a diet… mind you I’m not that good at that myself.

As we drove home I managed to press the wrong button on the car radio, and I discovered that it has got DAB. Digital audio broadcasting is absolutely archetypal of our age. It uses all sorts of wonderful technology to give an end result absolutely no different to that on which it is supposed to be a vast improvement. As I drove I kept flipping between the DAB and FM versions of various radio stations and could hear no difference whatsoever.


Once home we took the puppies into the garden where I hung out laundry. We came in, and all four dogs soon settled (on me) and I spent an hour writing up CPD and sulking about having to do so.

If I am to continue as a professional blood tester I am legally obliged to produce evidence of keeping myself up-to-date with developments in my field. I don’t get paid for doing that… in much the same way that no one got paid for going to last night’s “Thank You NHS Workers” concert either…


I went to bed for the afternoon where I slept for a few hours with Treacle and Pogo keeping me company. The puppies slept in their crate – they are too small to be left unsupervised for now.

I got up and we all went into the garden where in a little over-excitement over feeding the fish Morgan got pushed into the pond. He swam to the shallower end where I hoiked him out, and he sat on my lap as I towelled him dry as I watched an episode of “Orange is the New Black”.

The trouble is that three other dogs wanted a go with the towel too; seeing it as some sort of new way of making a fuss… 

I’m off to the night shift in a bit… the last one I did was a bit like hard work. Let’s hope this one isn’t quite so bad…

28 April 2022 (Thursday) - Goes Well With Aubergines

I slept better than I have done recently last night, but was still awake far too early. I crept downstairs and managed to get the shave done before waking the puppies. Unlike other dogs who seem to sleep with one eye open, the puppies are out like a light when asleep.

I watched an episode of ”Orange is the New Black” as I drank my Slimfast shake, then paused the telly program. Morgan seemed to have a dried poop stain on his head, and in scrubbing that off I managed to wake both pups who got a tad over-excited. The excitement didn’t last long though. The babies are either manic or fast asleep, with little in between.


Five friends had a birthday today. I sent out the birthday video, then had a quick look at the Internet. There wasn’t much happening, so I carried the sleeping pups to their crate, put on one of the new shirts I bought yesterday and set off to work.


I rolled my eyes as I drove up the motorway. The pundits on the radio were interviewing some Welsh Conservative MP who as banging on about the success of "diagnostic hubs".

This is the latest fashionable idea for the NHS which has been brought in on a political whim. The idea is that "GPs will be able to refer patients to a centre so they can access life-saving checks closer to home and be diagnosed for a range of conditions, rather than travelling to hospital". This sounds like a good idea doesn't it?  However this is a complete about-face for NHS policy. For years smaller centres like the ones proposed have been closed down and the services centralised for both economies of scale and because there aren't enough NHS staff to keep loads of small centres open. Where there used to be four blood-testing labs across south Kent there is now only one. So many hospital laboratories across the country have been merged. This was the key take-home message of the Carter report of 2006  and after working to that end for sixteen years it seems that it's "all change" at the NHS again, even though there is demonstrably nowhere near enough staff to do this. This is entirely what is wrong with the NHS, isn't it?

And while I'm thrashing myself to death whist waiting to be redeployed to a diagnostic hub, our MPs are allegedly sitting in the House of Commons watching filth on their mobile phones.

Nice work if you can get it.


I did my bit at work. At tea break I used my mobile phone not to watch filth, but to get the latest on “Daddy’s Little Angel TM” 's washing machine. The poor thing has been brought back from the dead. Apparently it was spinning a tad too vigorously and had managed to pull its own plug out (a nice trick if you can do it). The clouds of steam remain unexplained, but bearing in mind that the thing is now working, the steam is (in many ways) just a piddling detail.

It is just as well it was all sorted; she had been looking at contacting some chap who advertises that he will take the carcass of poggered washing machines in part-exchange for reconditioned ones. This chap will then bodge the dead machine into some semblance of life at which point he will look for some unsuspecting sap to whom he will sell it  (presumably only for it to pack up again very soon).

This too is also nice work if you can get it.

As I peered down the microscope for much of the day I again reflected on my career choices. I suspect there is far more money to be made from looking at filth in the House of Commons or from unloading hooky washing machines to an unsuspecting public than there ever is to be had from peering down a microscope.


I came home, and spent a little while in the garden playing “fetch” with the dogs. Treacle hoarded as many balls as she could, and the puppies did their own strange thing, but Pogo had a go at “fetch”; it is a game he seems to enjoy.


“er indoors TM boiled up a vey good bit of dinner which we washed down with a bottle of Malbec which we chose because the tasting notes said it went well with aubergines. Does it? Never knowingly eaten an aubergine I have no idea.

And I then used the last of the plonk to accompany a lump of cheese and some crackers. I had the cheese to myself but shared the crackers with the dogs. Bailey and Morgan are learning “sit” and sitting for crackers went a long way to reinforce the training.