Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Do any of you out there feature in this tome?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Would you buy a hospital from this man?

Apparently the government, in its infinite wisdom are going to allow hospitals to use 'celebrities' to advertise their services.

This conjures up some horrific images. Just imagine Geri Halliwell or some soap star, in soft focus, espousing the merits of her local maternity unit, we might even get film of the birth itself if we're very unlucky.

Gazza or Wayne Rooney endorsing the excellent service provided by their local A&E, 'when I had a night on the tiles and ended up in a punch up they stitched me up lovely'.

There's only one problem with this plan, in my experience celebrities don't avail themselves of the NHS, at least not when their star is on the rise. Pete Doherty has probably been in a few NHS clinics but I don't think his endorsement would count for very much.

The article also mentions that those perceived as 'medical experts' by the public could not be used although the government is 'still open'minded about whether this restriction should apply to actors in medical soaps'???????
Now I know the public is stupid but surely they realise that these people don't really know anything about medicine, don't they?
So who would be your top pick for a celebrity NHS endorsement?

Friday, November 24, 2006

The world is a wonderful place

I have just discovered my new favourite animal in the whole, wide world.

Here he is:

He is called a Blobfish.......probably.

UPDATE: for those of you who didn't believe he was real here is the wiki link.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


I am stupidly busy at the moment trying to do some or all of the following things:

1. Facilitating a culture of excellence in primary care.

2. Assisting in the creation of integrated, pathways of care.

3. Analysing the data from the QOF (Quality and Outcomes Framework)

4. Doing an irritating post-graduate diploma in health service management.

5. Buying all the Christmas presents, food, etc etc etc

6. Writing bloody, bloody, bloody Christmas cards.

7. Revamping the contents of my ipod.

8. Contemplating the imminent demolition of my kitchen.

9. Worrying in a pathetically clingy mother type way about littlest realdoc going away for 4 days.*

10. Angsting over what is the best way to approach the purchase of a 'first bra' for eldest little realdoc.

So if I am around less for the next few weeks that's why.**

*Should she bring her sucky blanky? Upside: she is comforted by its presence, downside: she may get teased.

**What I shall probably do is spend hours hanging around in cyberspace kidding myself I am searching for useful references to systems theory when I am in fact 'just checking' on the blogroll in case anything earth-shattering has happened.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thank you

Now this is going to be tricky.
Here I am 40 something. Married, kids, good job, nice roof over my head. I am very aware that there are a lot of people out there much less fortunate than me. My problem is that I am at the end of the book, so to speak. The rest of it, life I mean, doesn't usually warrant more than a postscript.
It's a matter of preparing the kids as best I can for their lives and then slipping into the background and let them get on with it. I am in the process of passing the baton. Trouble is I don't want to let go of the bloody baton.
It's all very well talking about raging against the dying of the light and growing old disgracefully but that is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. So this is a thank you to all of you out there who are making the whole process a little easier by making me laugh, providing a soundtrack and making me think that there is a lot more to discover about the world and the people in it.
Ladies and gentlemen.....the blogroll. Take a bow all of you.

*and to think this post was going to be a review of Casino Royale, well you can read that in the Sunday papers*

UPDATE Wyndham's review of Casino Royale is the only one you need to read.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Direct action

Today the Guardian felt the need to include a free wallchart featuring pictures of crops on it. Now I'm not sure how many Guardian readers have a need to know what fodder beet looks like, (this if you're interested)

but I suspect that farmers already know and the rest of us don't give a toss.
Maybe you have been waiting for a crop wallchart to make your life complete, feel free to tell me about it if you have, but if so I suspect you are in a very small minority.

The thing that annoyed me is that they did it on a day when they also published this, so why not do what I'm doing and post it back to the hypocritical bastards.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

From the sublime...

Well, that quiz turned out to be slightly tedious didn't it. Good job I have a competitive sister to spend all her waking hours trying to find the answers. I shall buy her a coffee or something next time I see her.

Anyway this caught my attention the other day.

The combination of this..

and this.....
may not be a good idea, apparently.

Not letting drunk people fire rockets out of their arseholes....

It's Health and Safety gone maaad!!!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

A little something for the weekend.

Due to a general lack of inspiration and the bloody stat counter here is another quiz.
I did first lines of books last time so in a daring bastardisation of the genre this one will be last lines of books.
1 point for the title, 1 for the author.
The winner will get something, probably, if I can be bothered.

1. Peace.
Underworld Don deLillo TME

2. I lingered round them, under that benign sky; watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells; listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass; and wondered how anyone could ever imagine unquiet slumbers, for the sleepers in that quiet earth.
Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte Annie

3. The offing was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the utmost ends of the earth flowed sombre under an overcast sky - seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness.
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad mangonel

4. Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?
Cloud Atlas David Mitchell timorous beastie

5. And on the way home, she met her brothers, and there was a rough-and-tumble, and the lovely crown was broken, and she forgot the message, which was never delivered.
Possession AS Byatt TME(nearly)

6. The gun, Bill Roach had finally convinced himself, was after all a dream.
Tiinker Tailor John Le Carre vicus

7. For the first time they had done something out of Love.
Perfume Patrick Suskind TME

8. "The republic of heaven," said Lyra.
The Amber Spyglass Phillip Pullman Annie

9. Just go to bed now. Quickly. Quickly and slowly.
Seymour an introduction JD Salinger TME

10. One bird said to Billy Pilgrim, 'Poo-tee-weet?'
Slaughterhouse 5 Kurt Vonnegut vicus

11. Bitter women will call you to rebellion, but you have too much to do. What will you do?
The Female Eunuch Germaine Greer TME

12. 'Darling,' replied Valentine, 'has not the count just told us that all human wisdom is summed up in two words? -"Wait and hope."'
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexander Dumas Nobody

13. There will be no conclusion.
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow Peter Hoeg TME

14. Might I trouble you then to be ready in half an hour, and can we stop at Marcini's for a little dinner on the way?
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle Tim

15. I should hope, then, that by the time of my employer's return, I shall be in a position to pleasantly surprise him.
Remains of the Day Kazuo Ishiguro TME

16. O God - please give him back! I shall keep asking You.
A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving TME

17. All waiting for the amber.
All waiting for the green.
If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things Jon McGregor TME

18. The strains of the piano and violin rose up weakly from below.
The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera ziggi

19. Between Barton and Delaford, there was that constant communication which strong family affection would naturally dictate; and among the merits and the happiness of Elinor and Marianne, let it not be ranked as the least considerable, that though sisters, and living almost within sight of each other, they could live without disagreement between themselves, or producing coolness between their husbands.
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen chaucer's bitch

20. "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens chaucer's bitch

There you go then, some really easy ones, some hard and a few, I think, are almost impossible. No googling, though, because that, I think we all agree, would be cheating.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Aural irritation

You know those new fangled cardboard CD covers (which look all quaint and homemade) where instead of clicking the CDs into a plastic CD shaped space you slide it into a pocket? Like this one.

Well they bloody well scratch the CD aaaarrrrggghh.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


I have been tagged by the lovely Tim, (he's written a book you know). This means I must do the meme...5 things about me. Well here goes:

1. I make a mean roast dinner.

2. I love my ipod, I worry I love my ipod too much.

3. Despite the fact that I did 'all the right things', I still feel my parents find me somewhat disappointing.

4. Books and music often make me cry.

5. I am a redhead, which, despite popular opinion, is a good thing.

So there you go, I now 'tag' mangonel, llewtrah and dave. Get to it guys.


'Remember that it isn't always the sensational stuff that writers are looking for, it can just as easily be something that you take for granted like having raised twins or knowing how to grow beetroot. Mind you, if you know how to fly a helicopter or have worked as a film extra, do feel free to let the rest of us know about it.'

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Worry, worry, worry.

There are a lot of things I should be worrying about,
having to write an essay on systems theory,

the state of the world,

whether the way I wear my scarf will single me out as a twat,

how to cope on less sleep than normal because the bloody BBC are repeating this so bloody late,

if littlest realdoc will cope alone for 4 days here on her first school trip.

What, in fact, am I thinking about when tossing and turning in the wee, small hours.......

Bloody stats

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Another medical post? You decide.

Part of my job is to try and help GPs improve their service. One of the things we tell them to do is to consult their users to find out what they want. Earlier in this blog I had a bit of a rant against fictional portrayals of the medical profession, see here. So I thought I'd do a little user consultation of my own. So, if you are very bored why not answer some or all of the following questions...
1. Who is your favourite fictional doctor and why?
2. What makes a good doctor?
3. Any bad experiences of the medical profession? Tell me here.

Is this your sort of thing?

or maybe this?

or even this?

PS I see the Guardian must have been reading Patroclus

For my sis

Happy Birthday, here is your favourite song.
A little love permanently in cyberspace for you


Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Night at the Opera (House)

Last night I went to see this. I'm sure a lot of you have seen it already in London, or even the film version, but we're a bit behind the times here. Anyway, the 4 of us who went all thought it a good production of an excellent play. The staging was snappy, with intercuts of film of school corridors and an eighties soundtrack (baggy trousers, Adam and the Ants etc pretty obvious choices really).

The actors playing the boys were convincing even if their haircuts weren't quite bad enough to be truly 'eighties'.* Steven Moore was paying Hector and he was OK but not quite up to Richard Griffiths' larger than life persona. Isla Blair played the woman teacher which distracted me as I kept thinking of Isla St. Clair? who I think used to present the Generation Game when I was a kid.

One of my companions had a 17 year old son, which I think rather coloured her view of the whole thing. When you have a son studying for his A levels, seeing a pederast in action, is probably not the most soothing of experiences.

As I was doing my own Oxbridge entrance exam at the same time as The History Boys it all rang very true. We were also told that you have to have 'an angle' to convince the dons to let you in. The boys using long words they didn't understand, mispronouncing Nietzsche etc was all very familiar.

The only irritating thing was that where I was sitting I was surrounded by older people who were, perhaps, teachers, they tutted every swear word and laughed too loudly at every literary reference or joke about the 'subjunctive'.

The discussion on the way home revolved around whether Hector was a hero (inspirational, horizon-broadening) or just a dirty, old man. My view, he was both.

What did you all think?
*A typical eighties haircut