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Saturday, 15 November 2014

A GADGIE RANT..............NOVEMBER14th.
I could not join the lads for the weekly walk on Friday as I will explain later. However I received a report of their adventure from Brian, aka punmeister:
 Four gadgies, Dave, John H., Ray and Brian gathered about 10.15 in Brian's kitchen. (OS OL316 Newcastle upon Tyne. NZ342697) They drank tea (PG tips) and all but Ray ate a piece of Mrs A's apple and ginger cake and they looked out at the rain.  After two hours of stimulating conversation and looking out at heavier rain they had another cup of tea (PG tips). At 12.45 it was still raining and the three non domiciled gadgies left in the rain. At 4pm it stopped raining but by this time it was dark.

 I would have joined the tea drinking and stimulating conversation but..................

    My mother is 99 years old, heading for the telegram. She is also partially sighted, partially deaf and partially crippled with arthritis. After a bad fall five weeks ago she lost a lot of blood and was taken to hospital where she was very well looked after by the wonderful NHS. However she agreed that she was no longer fit to live alone, (This was her third bad fall) and decided to take up our offer of free accommodation and  excellent care from the gadgette. So when she was to be discharged from hospital I picked her up, spent a few days saying goodbye to friends and neighbours, packed clothes, souvenirs, photographs and ornaments plus several jars of marmalade and brought her to the north east.
The week before I had called at our local health centre and explained the position and that I would like my mother to register as a patient. I was given registration forms, medical questionnaires and an information pack and told that when mother was here  bring her along in the afternoon with some ID and she would be seen by the doctor who would register her. I did think registration was not the doctor's job but what do I know.
The day after she arrived I took her, the forms and some ID to the centre in the afternoon as asked and presented ourselves at reception. The lady at the desk said the ID was not sufficient, she needed more than a birth certificate and she need photo ID, bring her passport or driving licence. She has neither but she does have a Blue Disabled Parking Badge which has a photo. The young lady said that was no good, the nurse behind her said it was. The young lady said I needed a letter stating where my mother was to live. I offered to write one as did the man standing next to me. The young lady said that was no good, the letter had to be from an important person like a doctor. At this point I remembered I had a letter of discharge from the hospital addressed to GP. Although not for me I opened it and it stated quite clearly that the patient was to be discharged to her son's house and it gave my address. The clincher I thought, now to see a doctor. The young lady then informed me the doctor was no longer available, come back tomorrow afternoon. I asked if there should be an appointment but she said no, just to turn up.
The following day we turned up at the health centre about 2.15, showed the documents to another lady who told me to keep them and that the doctor would see us soon. After about an hour, mother getting fractious and me getting bored,  there are only so many times you want to read the poster for Chlamydia or see the advert for new boilers on the TV screen that also tells when it's your turn to see the doctor/nurse. I returned to the desk and pointed out how long we had been waiting. The lady apologised and rang the doctor but he had a patient. She assured me he would see me soon and please to wait a little longer.
After about ten minutes another lady came towards us, asked for names and then said that doctors do not do registrations, she did! (That did not come as a shock). She took us to a room, examined the documents, photocopied them and said she would make an appointment for us next week to discuss my mother with the doctor. All this took about ten minutes, the lady was very helpful but surely the receptionist should know exactly what to do. The NHS is brilliant in many ways but some of the non medicals...............
I once asked a receptionist for the number for patient transport. She told me I would have to go to A and E for that. I did, the reception was next door. The lady there looked at a list of numbers pinned to the wall and answered my question. Passing the original receptionist I noticed she had the same list.

This sorry affair reminded me of the great post office circular:
 Sadly my daughter's marriage broke up and she settled herself in a flat. She kept her passport in her married name, it had several years to go before expiring, but changed her name by declaration back to our family name.
She had gone away for a few days but asked me to feed the cat, it's a dad's job, and also to look out for a parcel she was expecting. If I missed the post but there was one of the Post Office's "missed you" cards would I please pick it up. She had left out her passport and declaration of name change.
Sure enough I missed the post but took the red card to the sorting office, showed the man the passport and declaration and asked for the parcel.
 He looked at the passport, (married name) and the declaration of name change (married and maiden name) and told me he could not accept the latter. When I asked why not he told me it was because it was a piece of paper. Stunned I pointed out that the passport was too but he was adamant that the PO would not accept a piece of paper. I pointed out it was a fairly legal piece of paper but he would not budge. So I asked him what would happen. He told me that the parcel would be delivered the next day. When I pointed out that she would not be in he explained that the postman would leave a card saying it could be picked up at the sorting office, with ID of course. When I said I would come again with the same ID he said I still couldn't have the parcel but they would try to deliver it the next day....................
Does anybody remember the song by the Kingston Trio about the passenger who could not get off the Boston MTA and spent his life riding round. His wife brought him sandwiches, I know how she felt

Which reminds me of the American visa
In 2003 I visited my sister in Canada. Crossing into the US at a small border post between Alberta and Montana I had to apply, on the spot, for a visa. Fair enough. My sister, being Canadian was fine, some sort of Schengen agreement I suppose but I was asked to go into the little border office to be questioned by an armed young lady. (note; We British are not very familiar with armed officers) I was also advised by my sister not to laugh but to answer the questions seriously.
She asked me if my visit was for business or vacation.
She asked me if I was a terrorist.
She asked me if I had ever been a terrorist. (Are you really going to say yes?)
She then asked me if I had ever been a member of the Nazi party between the years 1933 and 1945. I was tempted to say "Look at the passport for heaven's sake" (DoB 1944) but stuck to orders and said no. I had never joined not too keen on the uniform.( No I didn't add that bit just in case) And off we went into beautiful Montana.
Back to gadgie walks next week.