Friday, December 29, 2006


I am feeling better thanks to lemsip and industrial quantities of fruit.
So, being bored I watched a lecture about cryptography...interesting but not enough detail
I joined't discovered what the point of that is yet
I sort of surfed around and look what I found, clickety click
......... a veritable goldmine for those of you who like unusual cover versions. This should keep me away from my essay for a while, hurrah!!!

Doctor, heal thyself

I'm sick which is a total bummer because sitting at a computer makes me feel nauseous and I have spent all morning trying to set up a wireless adapter on my eldest's computer which has meant far more interaction with helplines than is good for one.
I am not hungover and have eaten nothing but I have a slight fever and a cough so I probably have a minor upper respiratory tract infection. Pausing only to post this guff, I am crawling back under the duvet. I will emerge re-invigourated and hopefully with something more interesting to post.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Seasonal Greetings

Right, I am pausing in my prepartions to do a last post before Christmas. I shall have to undergo several hours of armed combat in Tescos later and then will be chained to an oven for the next three days. I will emerge battered and bruised and covered in a sheen of bacon fat on Boxing Day.

I have to say the only thing I'm looking forward to is the Royal Institution's annual Christmas lectures on science, see here, which I have watched every year since I can remember. But then, I am a bit of a saddo, as you know. They are on maths this year, hurrah! I would highly recommend these talks especially to wannabe geeks without a background in science but with an interest in cryptography.*

Hope you all have as happy a time as it is possible to have when confined in a small space with your close relatives and a shedload of alcohol. I will leave you with a seasonal scene courtesy of littlest realdoc (who is so excited she is spending at least 75% of each day standing on her head.)

*You know who you are.

Monday, December 18, 2006

'Tis the season of school musical extravaganzas

We are well into the season of school Christmas productions, one down and one to go in our house. Old fashioned Nativity plays seem to be out of fashion in favour of a more democratic form of entertainment with a somewhat distant relationship to the greatest story ever told.

We have already 'enjoyed' a musical evening at littlest realdoc's primary school. This involved the whole school on the stage dressed in a variety of costumes from rock star to gospel choir (not blacked up I am pleased to report but I bet it was mooted at some point) and featuring numbers set in, to name a couple of examples, a Greek restaurant ('Come and try our tara-mas-a-lata') and a department store ('Let's go shooopppping, let's go shoooppping'). We were treated to several anguished pleas for the loo and one younger participant falling asleep and missing his big moment. Much respect to all you primary school teachers out there, at least we're related to the little buggers. All in all I've seen worse but then I have worked in A&E in the past and the standard of seasonal singing in there is pretty woeful.

The main problem is that going to these things brings back Mr. realdoc's memories of his days treading the boards at school. He has a distinguished CV including Yum Yum in the Mikado and Nancy* in Oliver. (It was a boys only establishment.) You have not experienced pain until you are woken in the morning by the strains of a consultant radiologist singing 'As long as 'eeee neeeeeds meeee' in the shower.

*Mr. realdoc had been promised the part of the Artful Dodger and a family holiday was postponed in anticipation, he has never really got over it.
PS for those of you browned off with Christmas the solution lies here. Thanks to baggie for pointing it out.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My Christmas Hell

I am risking another post as blogger seems to be behaving again. I was starting to think about giving up the ghost with the bloody thing to be honest, but your brave efforts to comment despite any challenge put to you has spurred me on.
A few observations:
  • bloggers are much better qualified than your average man in the street.
  • No matter how self-obsessed I am I'm not as bad as this.
  • TV hits all time low.*
  • Is it wrong to be fed up with Christmas when it hasn't even started yet? I hate being the family Scrooge, but it's hard not to be grumpy when you have to organise the whole bloody thing. 'But just think of their little faces', yeah, sugared up to the eyeballs and behaving like primadonnas with PMT because they've been up since 5 in the morning.

*Yes, your opportunity to vote which endangered species should die first.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Posting in a vacuum

I'm not sure what is happening but it seems that non-beta bloggers can't post comments on my blog at the moment. This is very irritating. Does anyone know anything I can do to solve this problem other than quitting and re-registering somewhere else and losing my archive? I don't want to move if I can avoid it. Blogger help, known issues etc have been no help at all.


*This was the first photo that came up when I put vacuum into google images.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Our Tune....try not to boke.

A funny thing happened. Mr realdoc and I have a song, it's our song and has been for nearly 20 years. It's a fairly obscure soul classic from a lady called Barbara Lewis called 'Baby I'm Yours' and it is very soppy in a sweet sort of way. It's the sort of song that you pick as 'your song' when you're young and the world still seems like a soppy and sweet sort of place.

You can imagine us in the first flush of young love looking a bit like the couple on the cover. You can imagine us like that if you like, we don't look anything like them , but still.

Anyway back to the funny thing that happened. I discovered that the fashionable, power pop combo The Arctic Monkeys had done a cover version of our song. I was stunned, no really. This is a song that I have never once heard played on the radio and have met very few people that have even heard of it. Well I had to hear it, so I downloaded it and Mr. realdoc and I listened and they hadn't sped it up or messed around with it. They have just done a fairly standard cover version really....... well we went a bit misty-eyed for a minute and just for a little while felt that the world was a soppy and sweet place to be in again.

Just thought I'd share, hope I haven't caused too many regurgitations on to keyboards. Do any of you have a song?

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I am now officially a multimedia realdoc!

Well, my sister got me all the stuff to do it for my birthday so it seemed a shame not to do it even though the result sounds like amateur hour on Radio Ballykissarse without the ads for pig feed.
Anyway hope some of you like the music on it and all that.

realdocast 1

*UPDATE* I've changed the link so it should work now. Thanks annie.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The NHS is dying.

I have been forced today by circumstances to do a serious post about the state of the NHS in this country. Quite recently I turned to the dark side, leaving frontline medicine for medical management.
My motivations for doing this were many but chief amongst them was the desire to make a difference to the service which I considered was being mismanaged.
I am becoming disillusioned. It has become increasingly clear to me that this government has no desire for a better, more efficient service. They want rid of the service, period. Various initiatives which I, to my shame, have been involved in implementing, are destroying the psychological contract between doctors and their employers at the Department of Health.
Today on the radio I was listening to the comments made by General Mike Jackson with regard to the army, see here. Now I am no fan of the army, or of General Jackson in particular, but some of his comments regarding the ethos of soldiering and the trust between a population and its armed forces struck home. It would be easy to replace the word army with the word medicine.
In my younger days I worked 140 hour weeks for a service I believed was doing good. For the most part health professionals were left to make decisions regarding the resources they required to do the job properly. They had the respect of the government and the public. In return they worked long hours and had a real pride in what they were doing. This is no longer the case. Resourcing decisions are in the hands of management consultants, frontline clinicians are given targets and protocols without the means to deliver them. Respect from the public is decreasing and their confidence in the service is at an all time low.
It is my belief that the government's unspoken agenda is to bring down the NHS and contract health services from competing multi-national health providers. They will do this by continuing to undermine the service by setting business-style peformance targets without consultation with those delivering those targets. Clinicians are leaving the service, medical education is a mess and getting worse. I am afraid that when I am old and vulnerable there will be no NHS to look after me. I have tried to influence this process from the inside but I have failed to make any impact. Where this leaves me personally is my concern but the rest of you should be very afraid, very afraid.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Other people have the best ideas.

I didn't know what to post and I am struggling with a (ahem) side project which at the moment appears to be much more trouble than it will be worth in the end, and then I read patroclus and I thought what a good idea I'll nick that.

What have I learnt from men? Well patroclus has had 4 serious boyfriends in the last 15 years but I've just had Mr. realdoc who, as you may know, is not very communicative and has borderline Alzheimers, so the answer to that would probably be frig all. But after some thought that's probably a little uncharitable so my list of things I have learnt from men is as follows:

googlie bowling, the difference between pinot and cabernet, the physics of MRI scanning, an appreciation of Beethoven (sort of), fire lighting (the proper way, no firelighters allowed),knot tying, astronomy and the Yorkshire method of putting on socks.

**UPDATE** But obviously not googly spelling (thanks dave)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Restricted post.

No piccies or links yet so you will just have to make do with some quotes of the day from the lovely, but slightly demented Mr. realdoc.

'Are your fountain pen cartridges trans-gender?

'I love a bit of Elgar with my shredding.'

For those of you having trouble with your compose toolbar this is how you fix it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Blogger playing up

The 'compose' toolbar is gone when I try to make posts so I can't put up pictures or links or change the font or anything. I haven't changed my settings. Does anyone know how to fix this problem? The help page hasn't been much help.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Birthday, pah!

I am a year older today than I was yesterday, which in my book is nothing to celebrate. I share mon anniversaire with the following people and events.

1953 First issue of Hugh Heffner's Playboy magazine: the centre-page spread featured American actress Marilyn Monroe in the nude.

Fullveldisdagur Islendinga

World Aids Day

Rosa Parks was arrested for challanging race laws in Montgomery, Alabama

1969 - Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II

The Sex Pistols shocked the world by saying four-letter words on a telly programme.

Richard Pryor, Woody Allen and Bette Midler were born.

Anyway, being a miserable, mopey cow I have had the Birthday I deserve. This cake sort of sums it up....

I shall cheer up tomorrow as it will no longer be my birthday and littlest realdoc is coming back tonight. (Just cross your fingers that it's not too windy for the ferry crossing or she may come back covered in puke.)