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Latest posts by obelixx

****** NHS box tickers. I need to vent

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 11:34

I have never understood how the NHS works, or doesn't work. 

In Belgium, I can choose my GP, I can make appointments on the internet or by phone or have a home visit if needed.   When I do need to see a specialist or have X-rays and ops for the dodgy back and feet, the results are sent to my GP online so she can see them herself.

She keeps tabs on our innoculations and does an annual "MOT" - blood test for cholesterol, blood sugars, vitamins and hormones plus blood pressure and so on.     I get to choose my specialist and hospital if I need an op.   I get to choose the time too.   I get a choice of follow up appointments.

Ditto dentist, skin doctor, gynae, obstetrician, opthalmologist, orthopedist, neurologist.  We've needed them all in the last 20 years.

There are some hospitals here and GPs to avoid but, like I said, I get to choose.  I just need to make sure I never have an accident near a dodgy one as there isn't a choice for emergency care when ambulances are involved.

Free Holiday in the Dordogne France

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 11:02

In Belgium there is a system - Titres Services - where unemployed people can do paid domestic work for a max number of hours per week and at a good rate for the employer.  The person concerned can thus boost their incme without losing benefits and pension credits and health insurance whilst still having tme to seek permanent employment.

There may well be such a system in France.  It's worth asking.

Let's Remember Them

Posted: 12/11/2014 at 10:20

Just back from 2 days at Ypres.

We visited the town and the Menin Gate on the 10th and walked the ramparts from the Menin Gate to the Lille Gate.  The ramparts at the Menin Gate had a field of commemorative poppies with personal messages to fallen relatives.   It's unbelievably moving to see all the 56,000 names of those lost with no known burial place.   We went to the Last Post ceremony on the Monday - very moving with music by two bands of brass, pipes and drums plus a solo violin performance and the Last Post.

Yesterday - Remembrance Day - we found the Yorkshire trench and dugout which was discovered by accident when they were digging foundations for a new industrial park.  Then we went to Tyne Cot cemetery where another 35000 missing dead are named.   Rows and rows of stones to named and unknown dead.   There was a wreath laying ceremony there at 3pm with a fly past of old planes, the West Yorks police band, the Flanders Pipes band and a Canadian choir.   Another moving experience.

Travelling around there are roundabouts with memorials to the horses and the fallen but also celebrations of local life.  Ypres was razed to the ground in the great war but rebuilt itself and swore never to forget those who died for our freedom.   Both our granddads fought but survived though, like others, their lives were shortened by their experiences, including being gassed.

Next year we shall do a guided tour of the battle fields to understand more.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 10/11/2014 at 07:44

Pleased to see Alison go as she and Judy were the only ones left who really don't use their feet properly although Alison does at least feel the music and respond to it.  

Judy is so wooden because she has no inate musicality and seems not t be being taught any by Anton who should be concentrating on tecahing her to dance and not clowing around.   I hope the voting public gets it right next week. 

I also wish the production team would concentrate on good camera work and not fancy lighting effects.  I want to see how clever the dancers are, not how fancy camera angles and effects.   Save those for the professionals' dance and the guest singer.

Importing tropical plants

Posted: 09/11/2014 at 18:42

The last big outbreak of Foot and Mouth came in on illegally imported meat from Asia - though not plant related it is a graphic example of the kind of trouble that can spread, ruin lives and livelihoods and cost billions of pounds to eradicate and fix.

There is free movement of most plants and seeds within the EU but not from anywhere else.  You can find details on the DEFRA website.   Do not, please, bring in any material that has not been certified disease and pest free and shipped by registered suppliers.   You can but bananas and orchids and so on here anyway so why take the risk?

Dartford Crossing new system

Posted: 09/11/2014 at 11:58

Why on earth don't they just adopt a system where regular users have an account and go through a  pre-paid barrier?   It works in France where regular motorway users pay this way to save money and time but other users have their barriers to go through and can pay by cash or credit as and when they need to use the motorways. 

I would have trouble with the Dartford crossing if traffic conditions make us decide to go that way round instead of our usual clockwise route round the M25 from Dover. 


Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 09/11/2014 at 11:44

I know Hostafan but we're thinkng of moving to the Charente when OH retires so I'd like to know why rhubarb won't grow.  It's a staple here for crumbles and chutneys and jams.

Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 08/11/2014 at 11:58

Busy -  No rhubarb??   Too hot, too cold, too dry?    

It copes fine with extremes of temperature here and on an alkaline soil but it is very fertile and they get plenty of compost.

Strictly 2014

Posted: 08/11/2014 at 11:54

I'd prefer Alison to go next but don't mind as long as it's her or Judy.    Please, not one of the others yet as they all can dance.   Judy Murray just about moves her feet but there's no rhythm or grace or flow or sway from the ankles up.  Alison is heavy on her feet and has no real leg action.  She mainly dances with her upper body.

Neither does enough.   The others all have great ability and potential and can be watched with pleasure and, above all, without feeling embarrassed for them.

Do you grow Aconitum's?

Posted: 07/11/2014 at 11:12

Many of the plants we grow in the garden are poisonous.     I love aconitums and grow several forms.  The bees and other pollinators love them too.

We just have to treat our plants with respect. 

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