Tories propose charging £20 for GP visits, ‘board and lodging’ fees for hospital stays

Never trust a Tory …

Pride's Purge

While everyone is being distracted by the continuing resignations from Theresa May’s disintegrating government, the Tories are openly talking among themselves (again) about charging for NHS services.

An article on the influential Conservative Home website today proposes charging NHS users for GP visits and hospital stays:

The Tories are probably hoping nobody will notice or remember they were discussing these proposals when the next election comes.

We will have to remind them …

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Fermentation and Percolation – Abdominal Joys

Wearied by humid heat, each minor task seems Herculean, even more so when it involves a trip into town. For many years now I’ve been unable to face travelling any distance but, it has become increasingly difficult to steel myself sufficiently for the very short journey into the town centre. Chauffeured by ma belle Helen it’s only a matter of 5 to 10 minutes in the car, but even that becomes quite arduous when the stifling heat seems to amplify the sensory overload of passing traffic and scurrying pedestrians both whilst journeying and on arrival at one’s goal.


Earlier this week I had to travel into town to collect my new glasses, of the spectacles not the drinking vessel kind; a short trip on a day when the heat proved overpowering to me. An additional problem, on this occasion, was a diarrhoeal flare up of my IBS. A quick visit to the toilets at the shopping mall found all cubicles temporarily “out of order”; the subsequent scurrying to a large store, and ride up the escalator, proved somewhat disconcerting as the whole abdominal area felt as if an excruciating fermentation or percolating  process was occurring.


Having reached the necessary facilities in the store both cubicles were occupied as I waited cross-legged and anxious for a unit to become available. As I’ve said before, visits into town are always a discomforting experience for yours truly but, this time, the humidity of the day alongside my turbulent abdominal spasms caused additional distress, on top of a familiar state of sensory overload.


It was really touch and go as to whether I managed to keep the appointment to try on and collect my new prescription eyewear. On the verge of a panic attack, I did manage to collect the optical item although I was more interested in getting back home than giving myself sufficient time to fully check that they were OK. Whether or not they proved satisfactory was of far less importance than the rest and facilities waiting for me at home.

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Of Resting and Sleeplessness – postlude to Stress of the Normal

Come early evening and tiredness verging on exhaustion takes passing hold of me but, as a notoriously bad sleeper, I hoped not to drift off at such an early hour. Of course resting / relaxation, in the form of a movie, was the order of the evening; my usual evening entails the playing of CDs and / or DVDs at some point, rarely anything too taxing on my limited resource of stamina. Admission time; I did sleep through some of the movie but, come the time when my beloved was ready for bed I was feeling wide awake. I wonder if my readers will understand the sensation of being simultaneously wide-awake and yet 95% drained of energy both physically and emotionally.


You will have noted that as I headed to the bedroom, to join my beloved, the signs were not exactly propitious. Those forebodings were proved correct! As I prepared for bed a generalised sense of discomfort / dis-ease overwhelmed me and, the night turned out to be one of tears, screams and bellowed expletives.


Restless legs took control after an initial burning sensation of sore tenderness took control of my toes, and that alongside of a tortuous throbbing ache in both knees and hips. Within a short time, a tenderness of the armpits lymph nodes began to rage alongside screaming aches in elbows and wrists. My mind seemed to be preoccupied with a relentless darkness as I sought for comfort and rest.


The darkness of the room created an overwhelming sense of isolation, in spite of the fact that my beloved was soundly sleeping beside me, almost oblivious to my cries to and against the Almighty as I tossed, turned and struggled to find a state of composure. The blessed, albeit temporary, release of sleep took many hours to attend to my needs.


Another day of rest is desperately sought and, I little care whether it’s opioid, prayer, or straightforward Mother Nature assisted.

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#FBEU – Not In My Name, Even Though I Voted Remain

Tory rebels don’t exist – FBPE are only out to attack Corbyn – may have been effective if they’d talked to (and twisted the arms of) the lily-livered Tory rebels …

Turning the Tide

The attitude of the Follow Back Pro EU brigade on twitter (#FBPE) is typical of so many arrogant MPs who think they can overrule the ‘stupid public’ on Brexit, and I say this as a remain voter. It’s that kind of know-it-all arrogance that drove people to want to give MPs a shock by voting leave in the first place. The EU is not some saintly institution. When Greece were already on their knees, they shoved their faces in the dirt for good measure. Yes, there are positive aspects to the EU, but let’s not be blinkered about the bad. UnFuck2

For example, they are increasingly neo-liberal in their ethos, and undemocratic. They didn’t stop our government imposing cruel austerity measures, low wages, and greater work insecurity on our people. Why would they when they deliberately imposed the same and worse on the Greek people? They want to impose competition in…

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The Stress of the Normal

So, five days after my birthday I was going to get around to spending /exchanging a couple of gift vouchers. My visits in to town are exceedingly rare, albeit just a few minutes drive (courtesy of ma belle chauffeuse) and scarcely longer via the regular bus service but, today, I had to be in town for an eye test in the early afternoon.


We quickly found a suitable free parking space and headed to the HMV shop, upstairs in the shopping mall. The layout of the store seemed rather random, to put it kindly, and the temperature in there felt more like a sauna and equally airless. Admittedly I was already freaked by the movement of people and traffic, albeit on a reasonably quiet afternoon for a town centre, and the rather bright lighting did little to alleviate my sensory overload.


I managed to find a CD that I’d noted down a few weeks ago, Joshua Redman “Still Dreaming” and also picked up a John Scofield / Pat Metheny album that complemented other CDs & vinyl in my jazz collection. In this same small section of the store I also picked up a cheap CD of Miles Davis ‘In a Silent Way’, my 1969 vinyl copy having been overlaid with a crackling surface after being overplayed on various turntables. Another album, Miles Davis ‘Bitches Brew Live’ performances from Newport Jazz Festival 1969 & Isle of Wight 1970 came at a very low price and was added to my basket. I couldn’t face up to any further searching around and felt an immense sense of relief to get out into the air.


A short amble through M & S demonstrated that it was possible to have a tolerably cool and airy sensation in a store, nor were their lights over bright. There followed a short walk down to the opticians in Boot’s store, where optician and optometrists promptly carried out the necessary tests. Last year the change in my vision was so slight it wasn’t worth replacing the current spectacles; on this occasion my right eye had become marginally more short-sighted and, there were early signs of cataracts developing in both eyes.


In retrospect, I realize that I shoudn’t have attempted to tackle more than one task during a visit to town; having spent much of my working life in or close to a town city centre, since 2003 I have rarely been into town more than a couple of times in any year. Any future purchases of CD, vinyl or DVDs will be done online.

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memo to myself and others – re chronic illness

I’ve just been reminded, once again, by a friend’s misunderstanding whilst communicating via Messenger, of how much one loses when living with a chronic illness – in my case moderate ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis).


What they had failed to understand is how impossible it proves / has proved to plan any events ahead. Even a meal out locally, with my beloved, can only be confirmed at last minute and, even so, is an extremely rare occurrence. I have lost contact with most of those I had considered “friends” prior to succumbing to this illness, almost 15 years ago, and have had to rely, to a large extent on the proverbial mountain coming to me.

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Going Viral – a random note

Just gotta be honest; as I feel at the moment I don’t want to see of hear any reports of any text, video or image going viral. Since the end of last week I’ve been the victim of something viral, albeit of a gastro- intestinal variety. The diaorrheal component began last Saturday evening and by Sunday had become quite chronic; this symptom remained constant throughout Monday and Tuesday, without regard for my having substituted modest amounts of plain food (and avoidance of caffeine) in place of real food, alongside doses of loperamide / immodium.

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, four urgent visits to the loo were necessitated prior to 04.30hrs, so a further dose of loperamide was required. Miracle of miracles, no further visits to the aforementioned loo were required, other than false alarms, before a further twenty-six hours had elapsed (06.30hrs on Thursday morning) and things seemed to have normalised. A cause for rejoicing, albeit of short duration; by 11.30hrs the old enemy had returned.

I trust my friends will avoid mention of things “going viral” when in my presence!

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