I had a fall

I had a fall yesterday around ten to three and sustained a large bump to the head.
At three o’clock I phoned 111, the NHS not urgent contact number, and they went through their check-list and concluded that I should go to A&E. As I had a head injury (large bump) they didn’t want me to travel alone, and as I was home alone they decided to sent an ambulance to collect me. I was advised to have nothing to eat or drink, and to leave the font door ajar in case I passed out before the ambulance arrived. That call ended at seventeen minutes past three.
At five o’clock I posted to the @NHS111 Twitter feed, wondering how long I should expect to wait for an ambulance. A few minutes later I texted Ian to let him know how my day was going. I hadn’t contacted him earlier because I knew he’d been in a course up until five.
Ian came straight over in the car and took me to A&E at St George’s. In the car I called 111 to cancel the ambulance. Five minutes later I had a call from a 999 controller to apologise for the delay in getting an ambulance to me (this was obviously in response to my Twitter comment). He assured me that an ambulance would be with me soon. I told him that I’d called to cancel. He said that his system didn’t show that, then he took a second to look at his screen, and said “Oh yes, it says that”. The drive to the hospital was slow due to evening traffic.
I posted my location on Facebook when we arrived at the hospital. At the hospital they get full marks for a quick triage and check-in system. After only  a minute, or so, sitting in the waiting room we were approached by a lady from Channel 4, asking if we would consent to be part of a programme they were making “24 Hours in A&E”; I was going to be famous! However, before we had time to fill out the consent forms, I was whisked away by a nurse for tests. The electro-cardiogram (ECG) showed no obvious problem, and ditto the blood tests although those results took longer. The only thing that stood out was that I was a bit dehydrated, so they put me on a drip for one litre of liquid. I still had the catheter in my hand from the blood tests so plugging in the drip was easy. I reckon I was dehydrated because the 111 nurse had told me to have nothing to drink from three o’clock onwards and it is very warm in the hospital.
My phone had no signal at all during my entire time in the hospital so communicating with the outside world was not possible.
When the drip bag was almost empty, another nurse took my blood pressure. Twice. While the blood pressure device was in action it squeezed quite a lot of my blood out into the tube for the drip before we had realised it was doing so. That was a little disconcerting when we noticed it. She should have disabled the drip while the blood pressure device was in operation.
After the drip I was asked to give a urine sample, and when that had been analysed, the doctor said he’d ask a nurse to remove the catheter from my hand and I could go home. That was at eight o’clock. At twenty to nine I whinged to a nurse that the wait to be released was longer than I’d expected. He said he’d have to check and get back to me. He was, to be fair, quite busy with other patients at that time, but he hadn’t been about for the prior forty minutes. Twenty minutes later he came to apologise because I should have been released an hour earlier but for a miscommunication by the doctor then. He unplugged me and I was free.
All’s well that ends well. Unfortunately there is nothing to indicate what caused the initial fall and that is a bit of a worry. The hospital will forward their test results to my GP for follow up in due course. The large bump is sore but not intolerable.
I am fine.

Brighton Estate Agents

I’m looking to buy property in Brighton. I’m a chain free cash buyer.

My experience of Brighton Estate Agents so far is quite depressing.

Mishon Mackay

01/05/15 I travelled down to Brighton from London to view a two bedroom apartment, at Montpelier Road, with an asking price of £320,000. If the agent fee is 2% they stand to make £6,400. The agent didn’t even bother to turn up. I’m not surprised the property is still on the market mid-November 2015 at a reduced price of £305,000.

Phillips and Still

13/11/15 I travelled down to Brighton (extremely stressful journey as I started on the wrong train heading instead to Epsom) to view a two bedroom lower ground floor apartment, at 121 Lansdowne Place BN3 1FP, with an asking price of £210,000. If the agent fee is 2% they stand to make £4,200. For that sort of money I’d hope to see a floor plan; none was available. The agent sent an email fifty minutes before the viewing time saying that I was not allowed to view the property because the owner had ‘an issue with the flat’. I didn’t see the email in time so arrived at the property. An agent showed up (brownie points) to tell us that the viewing was cancelled. She didn’t know why. I asked her why the price was so low. She said it was because the place was ‘a dump’ – fabulous sales technique. I asked how long the lease was. She didn’t know, but guessed about 80 years and couldn’t provide any other information about the flat.

Roman Estates

13/11/15 I travelled down to Brighton (extremely stressful journey as I started on the wrong train heading instead to Epsom) to view a seven bedroom house, at 47 St. Paul’s Street BN2 3HR, with an asking price of £449,500. If the agent fee is 2% they stand to make £8,990. For that sort of money I’d expect to see a floor plan; none was available. I was allowed to view the hallway, two shower rooms, and the filthy kitchen-diner. There was no access provided to any of the seven bedrooms. The lack of access to private space in an HMO can be difficult for a seller but I feel that the agent could have saved me an unnecessary trip from London if they’d said that I wouldn’t be able to see any of the rooms in advance.

What’s the point of Labour in 2015?

I recently rejoined Labour. Can you guess who I plan to vote for in the upcoming Labour leadership contest?
I don’t love Labour, but I like them more than I like the Conservatives. If I lived in Scotland I would vote for the SNP.
I don’t want to change Labour so much as I want to change the many voters in this country who think in terms of ‘me, me , me’ rather than ‘we, we, we’. In general I believe that Labour voters hold to that philosophy more than Conservatives.
I want us all to treat immigrants as well as the people who ‘got here first’.
I think our children need better education; on health, on critical thinking, on their own welfare, short and long-term.
I think sugar should be taxed at a level to discourage sugary drinks being sold.
I want a smaller House of Lords, with a fixed retirement age. I think that the governing party should ‘put up’ as many ex-MPs who have served a full term as they wish, with the proviso that the newly elected MPs must have served as members of the opposition. That way we get a more balanced system of governance and hopefully only respected competent members in the Lords.
I want a UK government that does not spend my taxes on nuclear weapons.
I want less American television (unless it’s as good as The West Wing which was really, really good).

I like Samual Hooper’s article asking

What Are The Aims And Values Of The Labour Party?

I’m overweight. Congratulate me!

I am delighted to announce that my BMI is lower today than it was yesterday, and in fact lower than it has been for many years.

WHO categorises my current BMI as ‘Overweight’. Yesterday I was ‘Obese Class I (Moderately obese)’.

I still have to lose quite a lot more to achieve ‘Normal (healthy weight)’, but I hope to get there in time.

I’ve started to resent John Lewis for sending me monthly vouchers for free cake!

Scottish Independence

If I had the vote in Scotland today I would vote ‘Yes’.

I expect the outcome will be ‘No’ mainly because so many people, especially the older ones, are afraid of any kind of change.

I would like the British political system to change. There is too much easy acceptance of the status quo, which means that too many people live impoverished lives with no foreseeable improvement to their lives, no matter which of the mainstream political parties get voted in. I think it shameful that so many people I know think that things are alright just because they are alright.

Chrissie Hynde

I’m off to The Royal Albert Hall tonight for The PROMS. Specifically to see the Pet Shop Boys with various guest appearances, and a tribute piece to Alan Turing.

Brian, Martin, and Patrick will be there too, assuming Patrick manages to overcome his problem printing off the e-tickets.

I Can’t Sing

We went to see “I Can’t Sing” at the London Palladium last night. It was much better than I expected.

It finishes next Saturday and I suggest that if you fancy a laugh you get some cheap tickets at TKTS in Leicester Square and go see the show.

My 50th Birthday

Although my 50th birthday is today, Sunday 19th January, the party to celebrate happened yesterday, Saturday 18th January, in The Library of The London Marriott, County Hall.

There were intended to be fifty guests to celebrate my turning 50. Forty-nine turned up.

Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4 Table 5
Christine Taylor Ian Sweeney Bill Russell Brian Baines Steve Liddle
Linda Loughnane Ian Bernard Gareth Hazzelby Anandadevi Chatterjee Ian Drummond
Senga Bovington Darren Gale Rory Fletcher (V) Ian Buchan Alan Dickinson-Quelch
Bruce Bovington Scott Sweeney Victoria Bovington (V) Andrew Joslin (X) Johnny Burns
Doug Bassam Carey Bovington Tony Jolly (VX) James Harrower (V) Malcolm Banks
Wilma Bassam Alison McMillan (V) Jenny Sherman (V) Richard Tolland Martin Morrissey
Neil McMillan Susanne Werb Richard Coe Trevor Owen
Stuart Sweeney Penny McMillan Helen Kavanagh (V) Peta Smith Joseph Gift
Jim Michie Nicole Sweeney Martin Blake (V) Jayne Barr Ian Lloyd
Jess Michie Eliot Binns Patrick Cain (V) Iain Fraser Adam Scott

We started with a Champagne reception in The Leaders Bar.

For dinner the starter was “Fig, Macadamia and ‘Rosary’ Goat’s Cheese Tart with Soused Cucumber” followed by “Roasted Breast of Corn Fed Chicken, Shitake Pie, Butternut Purée with Sauce Jus Gras” for the meat eaters and “Morel Mushroom and Pea Risotto with Truffle Dressing” for the vegetarians. For dessert most people had the “Port and Cassis Mousse, Blackcurrant Compote with Vanilla Syrup” except for two who were abstaining from alcohol; those two had “Rice and Green Tea Mousse, Orange Tuille with Sauce Mousseline”.

There was after dinner entertainment from Myra Dubois, Sophie Walsh-Harrington, and Topping & Butch.

We drank:

  • 40 bottles of wine (Arium red/white)
  • 24 bottles of Champagne
  • 26 bottles of Strathmore mineral water
  • 15 Bombay Gin
  • 14 Schweppes Tonic
  • 10 Meant Lager
  • 8 Pepsi
  • 5 Malibu
  • 5 Grey Goose
  • 4 Mojito
  • 3 Lemonade

Windows 8.1

I have a 120 Mb broadband connection and quite a fast, fairly new laptop with a huge SSD. It’s just taken me an hour and three quarters to upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1