30 September 2022 (Friday) - A Rant


I’m going to have a little rant…
Last night my piss boiled as I wrote up some CPD. I'd had a message from my professional regulator saying they wanted to put their fees up, and were staging a consultation on the matter.
I expect that most people are unaware of the HCPC…
The Health and Care Professions Council is a statutory regulator of over two hundred and eighty thousand professionals from fifteen health and care professions throughout the United Kingdom. Dieticians and paramedics, chiropodists and radiographers... and me.
Its main purpose is to protect the public which it does this by setting and maintaining standards of proficiency and conduct for the professions it regulates. Among all sorts of other things it organises education and training programmes which health and care professionals must complete before they can be set loose on the public, it  maintains a register of health and care providers who meet their professional requirements and standards of practice. And they hold tribunals when these professional standards aren’t met.
You can read more on Wikipedia, but basically it is a vital body instrumental in maintaining the standards of healthcare in the UK.
But… They get no funding whatsoever from the UK government. That’s not “not much”, that’s “none at all”. All that it does (and it does a lot) is funded from my payments and the payments of all the other registrants. The HCPC claims that being a financially independent institution, is crucial for maintaining fair standards for the professions they regulate. I can’t say I agree with this; especially as this costs me nearly a hundred quid a year in the payments I have to make to the HCPC.
Who else pays to be able to work? Do you? And now they want to put it up by another twenty quid a year
I don’t deny the HCPC needs the funding. But is funding the vital work the HCPC does in this way in any way defensible? Surely it should be funded from the public purse in the same way the NHS is funded?
Look at schools - do teachers pay for the Teaching Regulation Agency? No they do not. Neither do  prison officers pay for HM Inspectorate of Prisons.
Perhaps I might start a national campaign to get my professional body properly funded… Or perhaps I will just content myself by having this rant and just pay the extra twenty quid. Whichever I do, I still have either to pay up or find myself a new job.
Going to lie down now…

29 September 2022 (Thursday) - Rather Dull

I have a vague recollection of “er indoors TM shouting at Treacle in the small hours because Treacle was whinging. I wonder what that was all about? Presumably they sorted their contretemps?
I got up a few hours later, and once I'd done the puppies' tiddle routine I had my shave and found myself glaring at the new taps. I didn't like them, and I don't like them. They are perfectly serviceable, but they are new. And I don't do change very well.
I watched an episode of "Better Than Us", then set off to work on another cold morning.
As I drove most of the talk on the radio was about the complete balls-up that the new Chancellor of the Exchequer has made of the economy. He's only done one thing, and apparently that cost the Bank of England over fifty billion quid. That's quite something, isn't it? I think most of us would be proud of that (!)
I found myself looking the Chancellor up on the Internet. Apparently he was once a financial analyst and went from a newbie MP to Chancellor of the Exchequer in twelve years. The chap was filmed laughing and pulling all sorts of strange expressions at the Queen's funeral, and there's now calls for him and the Prime Minister to go even though they've only been in place for a few weeks.
This is our third consecutive disaster of a Prime Minister… It speaks volumes about the leadership of our country that it has gone seriously downhill… downhill from someone who allegedly had sex with a dead pig (!)
I got into work and treated myself with the cooked breakfast. It was rather good. I did spend the day with something of a dodgy stomach, but nowhere near as dodgy as yesterday's, so that was a result.
Today I spread my lunch break out in bits through the day so as I could carry on sorting probate and pension wind-downs and all sorts of assorted paperwork tasks. As I phoned (seemingly) the ten thousandth office of which I had hitherto been blissfully unaware it struck me that I really should think about getting my own affairs in order.
My plan is that I will croak before “er indoors TM and then she can divvy out the Lego, but you never quite know what might happen. I'm not entirely sure I can trust the fruits of my loin to sort it all out without squabbling…
Today was a tad dull, really…

28 September 2022 (Wednesday) - The Plumber Called

I ached all over this morning as I heaved my carcass out of its pit, and my arm was particularly sore. If not for the arm I would have blamed the bottle of red wine we swilled last night. But the arm... that would be yesterday's injection. I couldn't help but remember the BCG vaccine we all had as schoolchildren after which everyone would cry out in agony every time anyone went near their injected arm. The pain from the BCG vaccination lasted for days, or (in the case of the weedier children seeking to deter bullies) months... or so we all used to pretend
After the morning’s usual toast and telly I set off to work on a very cold morning. As I drove the pundits on the radio were talking about how both the major pipelines carrying gas from Russia to Europe have been sabotaged. Like we didn't see this coming?
And the International Monetary Fund have said the UK's  fiscal policy is crap.
I don't really remember much else of the radio this morning. In the sports news (blah blah sport...) there was an interview with someone with a thick Scottish accent; so thick that I couldn't understand a word, and my attention drifted as I found myself more concerned with the traffic which was rather busy this morning. Far busier than it had been yesterday and Monday when I'd been on the early shift and was going to work an hour earlier.
But I got to work, and once there I did my bit.
In between work I phoned the bank to ask what I do with cheques to do with Dad's stuff made payable to "The Executor of...". It only took an hour to get through to someone. It was a shame that the person to whom I got through didn't really speak English, but there it is. Eventually he had to concede he didn't understand a word I was saying and tried to put me through to someone else... and the line went dead. So I phoned again. After two and a half hours we established that I need to go into the bank to cash the cheque... that's a pain in the arse...
And talking of pains in the arse I spent much of the day suddenly sprinting to Trap One... I wonder what set that off?
Late in the afternoon a colleague in another department saw me, and asked how I was. She claimed that everyone who had had the COVID jab with me yesterday had gone home sick during the day today. I spent the last part of the day walking round telling everyone how double-hard I was.
I wonder if everyone else who’d had the jab felt as grim as I did and if they had also had the two-bob-bits.
I came home via the works’ cashpoint machine. “er indoors TM had had a plumber round to look at the dripping tap and the overflowing water tank earlier. He’d said he could sort them both this evening so I got the dosh to pay him.
I must admit that it was with a sense of “I bet he don’t turn up” that I sat down and carried on the application for probate and one or two other dull but necessary chores to do with sorting Dad’s house whilst we waited for him. Talking to other people who have lost parents I am really grateful that Dad (and Mum) had got themselves organised. Compared to what a lot of friends and colleagues have gone through, what we are having to do with Dad’s estate is far more straightforward.  
And I was wrong; the plumber did turn up. Albeit an hour late. But he turned up, which is far more than many other plumbers have done. He’s replaced the dripping tap, and is currently getting busy with the water tank. The sooner he gets done the sooner I get my dinner…