Left with an hour to kill I picked up on a conversation Pauline and I had on the way back from Warwick. We passed a pub called The Green Man. I used to frequent a pub of that name in Coleshill and there are thousands so named across the country. It all stems from Pagan times when the Green Man was seen as a harbinger of Spring. Images of a man are made up of leaves and plants and some of them are incredible.
It may be subconscious but although Christianity has been around for 2000 years, Druid and Pagan celebrations still feature strongly in our British calendar. Witness the Morris Men dancers, Halloween and the well dressing in Derbyshire, the Abbotts Bromley Horn Dance and other ancient customs that still prevail.
It's a bit like going to church with your fingers crossed behind your back.
Pauline took Rita out for the afternoon and I went over to the Royal British Legion rooms for a meeting of the Armitage Shanks Pensioners Group. This large room housed 34 people, three of whom were men. I met Madam Secretary, well into her 90s and with a fog horn voice. I had been asked to be there at 2pm. I asked when I would be needed.
"Three o'clock. We do business first, then the speaker, and then we let them enjoy themselves!"
I spent half an hour of calm, updating my diary, collecting my thoughts and sipping tea. Then I was on. The audience wasn't gathered closely around, several old ladies sat as far away as possible. "Can you hear me at the back?" I asked loudly. "Yes, yes." they replied. "Good, because I can certainly hear you."
That could read as being quite rude but I said it with a smile and that's how it was taken. The next 45 minutes flew by and all I can say is that we had a real laugh. I can't remember a single thing I said, it was quite disparate, but the audience was lovely and quite fascinated by the Talking News and the various strands of technology that we followed.
I haven't had a session like that for a long time.
Tonight Pauline went out to the Horse and Jockey with the girls, reporting back that the food was excellent. I went to the South East Staffs & Seisdon Peninsular CCG AGM. The meeting was longer than the name. I made a couple of contacts who could be useful to the Talking News and then listened to some honest appraisals of what the CCG has achieved in the past twelve months, and admissions that there are problems that are taking a lot to get over.
One of the big stumbling blocks is that different parts of the NHS have difficulty in sharing a patient's records. Someone with a complicated condition may need to see as many as five different departments, and they may not all come under the same local authority. Thus you get situations where a patient may be given 4 appointments in one week, on separate days, in the same hospital or clinic and then another one the following week, when all could take place in just one day if things were coordinated.
My thoughts on this subject are, if the patient is capable, why doesn't the patient have control of their own records instead of them all being at their surgery? Also there should be a one-stop shop where the patient is given the list of required appointments and a central control coordinates them.
But I am too simplistic.
I've started getting the morning after feeling the night before.