Je Suis Charlie

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The Nursing Times Issue 3

They say a picture is worth a 1,000 words. So imagine how many words a video is worth in describing my day.

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The Nursing Times Issue 2

Well another day spent carrying out my new role acting as nurse / carer for Michelle. I was going to say I was the responsible adult @ Chez Michelle, but she pointed out the terms of the Trade Descriptions Act! I have no idea what she was referring to.

Some people may doubt how dedicated I am to my Florence/Beverley role . Well let me put your minds at ease. Today was FA Cup 3rd Round Day & I chose to be at Michelle’s beck and call rather than going to watch Spennymoor Town or Leyton Orient play their 3rd round ties. As I am a dedicated football fan, I am sure you dear reader, will appreciate what a sacrifice this is for me to make.

Some of you unsympathetic types may try to twist and bleat by pointing out neither team were playing in the 3rd round. That of course is just splitting hairs.

Now, you will note I never mentioned Newcastle United, but as they didn’t come to see me when I was bad, I was not going to see them.

The burden of caring for Michelle is incredible. I mean she sits on the sofa all day bossing me around. The moment I try to sit down, she demands I peel her another grape or get her more drink.

Then the selfish lady called patient line on me tonight. It took ages to persuade hem I was not abusing Michelle, simply because when she went to bed, I offered to put her lights out. How that could be considered abusive behaviour I do not know.

Anyway, a day in the  life of dedicated nurse/carer.
0500 Wake up to light fire so house is warm when  patient awakes
0600 Put bread onto bake for patient’s breakfast
0700 Walk the 3 miles to paper shop to get papers for Michelle
0800 Bring Michelle breakfast in bed & deliver papers to her bedside.
0805 Start to clean house from top to bottom, washing all floors by hand after dusting and hoovering. Put 1st load of washing on for the day.
1030 Pause cleaning to bring Michelle downstairs, assist her to shower and dress before assisting her to her day seat on the sofa. (Note all following tasks are interspersed with bringing food & drink to Michelle on the sofa as she demands it)
1100 Resume cleaning duties
1230 Prepare lunch for Michelle
1330 After cleaning up the lunch dishes I have to go shopping for groceries for tonight’s tea as chosen by Michelle. Incidentally, do you know how hard it is to source quail’s eggs in Newcastle.
1500 Back home, prepare more food and drink for Michelle.
1600 Hoover complete house again before preparing dinner.
1700 Start preparing the dinner that Michelle demanded for tea.
1800 A chance for me to eat for the first time today, the left over from Michelle’s dinner as I do the washing up.
1900 Spend evening ironing for Michelle
2100 Put Michelle to bed ( deal with Patient line re that unfortunate  misunderstanding I mentioned earlier)

As you can see, the life of a carer is not an easy one.

Finally, I must confess that I had some assistance writing this blog post from my mate Mr Hans C Anderson.

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Happy New Year?

Well another year is well under way. A good year in store or not is still to be determined. For some it will be a good year for others it will be Michelin or Pirelli (ok, no more crap jokes this year).

The New Year started with a difference for Michelle and I. We watched the fireworks on the Quayside in Newcastle and talked about the year ahead as I sipped another vodka and diet coke, and Michelle sipped her lemon squash.

What was unusual was not the fact that Michelle was not drinking, although that, some may say is highly unusual. The unusual thing is we were 12 miles apart and chatting by mobile phone. I was in Michelle’s home along with my son Tom & Michelle’s youngest Josh. Unfortunately, Michelle was recuperating in the Freeman Hospital after an operation.

Fortunately Michelle is now back home beginning the long road back to full fitness. I am currently looking after her. I think my caring skills area bit like this lady

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Michelle disagrees and says I am to her care what the lady below was to nursing

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I am sure those of you reading this will draw up our own conclusions as to who is right. Michelle keeps threatening to ring the hospital and ask if she can be re admitted! This in the first 24 hours of my looking after her!

I have been washing clothes, hoovering, dusting, cooking, shopping etc. Domesticated me you know!

On a more serious note, I have to say a big thank you to all the staff at the hospital who are a credit to the hospital. The hard work I observed when visiting Michelle, from the porters, nurses and nursing auxiliaries during long shifts over New Years Eve and New Years day, contrasts with the selfish, greedy and downright lazy attitude of top flight professional footballers who think they are overworked having to play up to 4 football matches in 12 days.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/30628191

These footballers are earning up to £300,000 per week and say it is dangerous for them to play 4 x 90 minutes of football (6hours) in 12 days. The nurses are luck to earn £600 per week and happily work perhaps 80 hours in the same time the footballers are complaining about 6 hours work.

Said footballers forget they are in the entertainment business and people expect to be entertained over the Christmas break when they can go to games. I note the lazy, greedy, selfish footballers don’t suggest they take a pay cut in return for not playing he games.

Sadly these days hard work & dedication to caring for others earns you far less per year than an average Premiership footballer earns per week.

Anyway, have a great New Year and remember to break any resolutions you made, as soon as possible. Why? Then you can get back to life and stop stressing about the resolutions.

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Do You Remember Free Speech & Civil Liberties?

In the good old days we had civil liberties & could converse or meet friends without the government telling us it is necessary to snoop on us to prevent sending he bogeyman (sorry terrorist) getting us.

In recent years we have had the illusion of having rights in the form of the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act. These allegedly give you rights to obtain information the state holds on you. In reality all it does is ensure the state holds / destroys info to prevent it having to release it.

In the meantime, our rights are gradually being removed. For example the RIPA legislation gives the state and others vast powers to snoop on you, whether by CCTV, snooping on phones or emails.

Thanks to wikileaks we learn some of the vast extent of  snooping done by GCHQ. You can be sure it is far more than has been revealed.

We keep getting told if we have nothing to hide the then we have nothing to fear. This effectively is saying you are guilty if you object to the snooping. Whatever happened to the Golden Thread that runs through English justice? The presumption of innocence?

In the eyes of modern politicians, innocence is an inconvenience to be ignored. We have the removal of suspects rights in criminal trials to increase convictions. Not because people are proved guilty but because their ability to defend themselves is removed with the effective decimation of legal aid.

The civil remedy of challenging the governments decisions by way of Judicial Review would be effectively removed for many if Chris Grayling the Injustice Secretary had his way. He has lost more JR cases than any other Minister. He is so keen to end JR that he lied to Parliament when the issue was being debated.
http:// http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/law/grayling-admits-misleading-parliament/5045575.fullarticle

http:// http://www.politics.co.uk/blogs/2014/12/10/grayling-s-nadir-judicial-review-bill-falls-apart-as-ministe

Lying to Parliament used to end a Minister’s career, but not these days. Sadly !

Another worrying development is the attack on free speech and the criminalisation of humour. In the wake of the tragic bin wagon  crash in Glasgow this week, the following was posted on twitter.

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Not what I would say was funny. However it surely is not a criminal offence to tell a bad taste joke is it?

Sadly, it seems it is.
http:// http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/local/northdurham/11683438.Glasgow_lorry_crash__Police_arrest_North_East_man_over_offensive_tweet_sent_following_tragedy/?ref=arc

So now it seems you are not even allowed to tell a bad taste joke.

Freedoms? Sadly these seem to be a distant memory like new programmes on TV at Christmas.

Have a good Christmas & be more aware in the New Year of the threats to your freedoms.

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Hello, Goodbye?

Another post, another trip abroad. Last time I was abroad for work I returned home on the day of the European Parliament elections. This time its the day of the Scottish Independence referendum.

This time, it was just a quick trip to a multi national meeting in The Hague. The home of the international criminal court. Its rather incredible that I can do a full day’s work in Holland, travel from the Hague to Schipol, fly back to England and still be home for tea. Indeed it takes nearly as long to get from the airport home as it does to fly from Schipol to London.

I flew out from the United Kingdom, but may be returning to somewhere that will soon be different. Its somewhat ironic that I was at a meeting about countries working together more closely in the criminal justice field whilst Scotland are voting to distance themselves from the rest of the UK.

Its even more ironic that as the Scot’s are voting for independence, their leader is pledging that if successful he will give that independence up by trying to get Scotland to be members of the EU. It smacks to me of a relationship break up when S is telling E, “Its not you, its me I need my space” whilst all along S is planning on getting into bed with E’s nemesis EU.

I’m not sure Scotland are actually gaining independence by moving in with a new lover who is even more controlling and manipulative than their current partner. Indeed don’t forget that Scotland will be like a Mormon wife in the new relationship, just one of many n a relationship with the EU.

So, if Scotland does vote for Independence will it be the land of milk and honey the leaders of the yes campaign promised? I doubt it very much. Will it be as bad as some in the No camp said? I doubt it.

If it turns out to be worse for the Scots than the status quo (are they still around? Rocking all over the World?) Will they come back seeking re admittance to the United Kingdom? Read the newspapers and watch the TV for the next x days to be bored witless by people pontifying on an issue they have no idea about.

Imagine needing a passport to go to Scotland. If that becomes a reality, it will be a strange situation. Who will make that decision? Not Scotland for sure. It will depend on the EU and whether they admit Scotland and force them to join the Schengen zone. Strange how getting your independence may result in someone else dictating border control issues.

A vote for independence will affect many walks of life that we don’t already realise. University tuition fees?, the balance of power in Westminster, even the Olympic games teams.

A brave new world or a foolish bit of mindless nationalism? A nation led by a visionary or sheep following a false prophet on a wave of mindless jingoism?

Who knows? Not me that’s for sure.

By the time you read this, the deed will be done, even if the result is not yet know.

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The Glamorous Jetsetting Lifestyle

So, I am on my way back from a 2 day trip to Bucharest with work. It sounds glamorous doesn’t it?

How about if I tell you the hotel we stayed in was also hosting the Vice President of the USA whilst we were there.

A hotel that has bedrooms bigger than many people’s flats. The bathroom was twice the size of my bedroom.

The hotel also had a shopping mall with shops selling Rolexes, Gucci, a diamond shop etc.

All meals were provided as well.

Think you fancy the trip?

Well let me add a few things.

Security was so tight that everytime you came into the hotel you had to be searched like at the airport. To go to the toilet from the bar, you had to undergo this procedure as well?

Tuesday I left home at 7am UK time and after travelling to Heathrow I took the flight to romania where we were taken directly to our hotel. No chance of sightseeing. Indeed we never left the hotel until it was time to return home on thursday.

Wednesday was the conference formal start at 0900 with talks & presentations until 1800, then a short break before a formal meal that we had to attend. It was around 2230 before we got a chance to be off duty. So that was around 13 hours working day.

Thursday, the conference started at 0700 UK time and at lunchbreak, we were taken back to the airport. Here we had the news our flight was 3 hours or so delayed. Bucharest Airport is not the most exciting place to loiter. As the delay gradually increased, so did the boredom.

The delay means we will not  get to Heathrow until after2100. This means that after getting baggage, several tubes and a train, I will be home about midnight, some 17 hours after starting work.

In 2 days I will have been on duty some 30 hours. I should have worked 14.5 hours in that time. Time off  in lieu? I should be so lucky . I HAVE to be in work first thing Friday morning.

Still, I shouldn’t complain as I got the chance to visit Bucharest for the first time. A chance for sightseeing at work’s expense.

I have included all the photos of Bucharest I took in this blog. What’s that you say, you can’t see the photos? That is probably because I never got to see anything of the place. I never got out of the hotel. That is hardly because we were partying as my bar bill at the hotel prices came to a staggering £10 in 2 days.

What did I learn on this conference? Well I learned all the stereo types are right. The UK were seen as being awkward for not agreeing to the proposals that were outside the scope ofthe work. The europhile countries oppose whatever the UK say on a point of principle. The northern european countries are our friends & the Irish like a drink

Foreign travel, glamorous? Not when you are travelling for work.

I can’t wait for my brief visit to my bed before work tomorrow. Luxury is getting home and into my bed.

Would I do the same trip again if I got the chance? Yes, most definitely. Its long hours, hard work but very interesting. A chance to make a real contribution to international law enforcement & help shape the future.

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