A busy week enriched by the company of friends

Hello everyone!  As usual I am behind with my updates to my blog, so now I am trying to catch up. I had a really busy week at work last week and the backlog is reducing slowly, but I did not have to do scanning last week, as our secretary’s son is back from university and he is doing it, so that I can concentrate on summarising and coding; it is amazing what a difference such help makes. Also the doctors are being extra helpful by pointing out which letters need coding and which only need scanning and that will reduce the coding in the long run; reading each letter and checking with the information on the computer does otherwise take a lot of time; once I catch up my workload will diminish, thanks to our doctors.  It would be perfect if they were able to keep up too with the number of letters coming in, so a backlog did not start to collect, but maybe that would be expecting miracles!

On Wednesday morning I led the service at Berwick Grange MHA Home.  I always try to choose hymns they remember from their youth, such as ‘Just as I am’; ‘With gladness we worship, rejoice as we sing’; and ‘My Song is love unknown’. I act out the stories as much as possible to maintain their interest.  The description of Mary giving the extravagant gift of expense perfume made from pure nard lent itself to a demonstration.  I sprayed perfume being careful to avoid spraying at any of them, so the perfume could fill the room and set the scene.  Amazingly they listened and watched and did not shout out as much as they can; doing it that way always makes me reflect more on the meaning of her actions too. 

I then walked back home to meet Christine, my former work colleague who had come to have lunch with me at Café Culture.  I had left my car at home as a man from Toyota was collecting it to take it over for its annual service; a brilliant service which they offer to customers, especially helpful, as I had such a busy day on my day off.  I pay monthly for the servicing at Toyota, which is a great help as it spreads the load. 

Christine and I had a lovely lunch and it was great to catch up with her news and share mine about my family.  I don’t know how she manages to cope with looking after her grandsons, ferrying the elder boy to school and back and coping with a boisterous and stubborn 2 year old!  The days vary as her daughter is a trainee Paediatic Registrar and her daughter’s husband is doing the final stage of his training as a Consultant in Elderly Care and the working hours are not conducive to child care requirements!

I can’t believe that it is nearly April as the cold weather and snow is so persistent.  I seem to have spent more time this month brushing snow off my car than I remember for a long time! Fortunately my beloved managed to get me a shovel with a brush and scraping attachment which have been invaluable this year! On Friday I was concerned that the computer tutor might not be able to come, as her farm is easily cut off in the snow living near West Tanfield and Kath had had to cancel the previous week’s session, as she was ill, but she made it.  It was good to see her, although she was still not 100% and quite a few of the students came for the session.  As Easter is so early this year, Kath still has the last session of the 10 week course to do, so the final session will be on April 5th, as Good Friday is a bank holiday.

On Friday night the snow came down very heavily and settled quite deeply on our road, cars and garden.  We were concerned that our friend Graham, who was supposed to be coming to visit us on Saturday by bus, might not be able to get here because of the snow.  However he made it by lunchtime and it was great to see him; he had not been for more than 4 years and kept noticing changes we had made to our home and garden, which we had got used to.  It was lovely to see him and catch up with his news. It was great to see how happy and settled he is in his final year of study to be a nurse.  He has passed all the academic qualifications and will be qualified after he has completed his final placement.  He loves the work and he described how on one occasion he had made a makeshift café in the ward to make drinks for some elderly wandering patients. He is very caring and will be an asset to the NHS when he applies for a job, probably initially in Birmingham, where he has been training. He is a mature student and before he embarked on his degree, he had worked in Insurance, had a teaching degree, but realised he was not cut out to be a teacher or a worker in insurance and then worked as a care assistant in an Old People’s home and discovered his vocation and he knew what to expect when he did the course.

I just hope we still have our wonderful NHS for our old age and for our children and possible grandchildren’s future; we have been so blessed by the support we as a family received from the NHS.  I had wonderful care when I had a breakdown and my late first husband would not have received the care he needed without the NHS.  My daughters would not have been diagnosed with their health problems, an underactive thyroid in my younger daughter Cathy’s case and a coeliac in my elder daughter, Beth’s case.  The number of visits to casualty I had with my accident prone younger daughter as she grew up breaking a number of bones kept the hospital going and last year when my elder daughter broke her foot and spent 9 weeks on crutches, the care she received was excellent!! 

We enjoyed relaxing and watching DVDs with Graham, notably ‘Enchanted’ and ‘Underdog’ and just spending time together.  It was great for my beloved as he enjoyed the company, especially as Graham was able to stay two nights and didn’t leave till 4.30 on Monday afternoon. 

We are so fortunate with our friends and last week was a special time with them.

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