1948 was a notable year for a few reasons. In a personal sense, it was the year my parents got married, and stayed together for about 20 years or so. About 10 years into that marriage, I came along, and for whatever reason, they decided that was enough children for them, and no more appeared. It might have been that my father was at several of the nuclear bomb tests in the 1950’s (he was in Navy), and I was born intersex, that may have either put them off having more, or they might have been advised to do that, of course?
At the start of 1948, the railways here in the UK were nationalized, after years of deterioration due to the war, it was the only way that many of them could be rescued for public use. Of course, in the 90’s, they were privatized again, and I think most can work out how I feel about the outcome of that decision, given my comments on the local train companies around here previously!
A horse called My Love won the Derby that year, and much though I considered using said Wings song for this blog, I’ve gone for something way out of left field instead!
But why I’m writing this tonight, is for something that has celebrated its 70th Birthday today, the National Health Service! Strictly its called a free medical service, but of course, it isnt, we all pay for it out of our taxes, and other deductions, but because of that, its a case of service for all, paid to varying degrees, according to how much you earn. Some countries (Yes, US, I’m looking at you), have still not caught on to the benefits of this system, but anyway…
Its fair to say there have been many changes over the years since then, hopefully all for the better, but not being that old, I cant tell you what it was like back then. My first real experience (that I remember, so being born doesnt count) of the NHS would be about 9 or 10, when I wrecked my knees. I’ve been a few times over the years since then, though thankfully, other than the knees, not too much surgical matters have been required.
The amusing thing was, that today, I had an appointment at the local Doctor’s practice, for my quarterly meds check up. So yes, there for the anniversary, lol. The outcome was my prescription, with which I then proceeded to visit 2 pharmacies, who couldnt fill it! Thankfully, I have enough supplies until Wednesday, so I can collect them on Tuesday! In truth, the current weather makes it slightly less of an issue, hopefully that will last.
I wonder what they will be celebrating at the Centenary, as I’m pretty certain I wont be here to find out!
OK, video time. Any reader who can put their hand on their heart, and say they remember this song, I’m impressed! A few minor hits in the 70’s, and that was it. But yes, the name of the group seemed apt for the day!
As some readers may already know, and others outside of the UK might not, summer has officially arrived here in the UK of late, and quite delightfully so, for me. Why, you might ask? Simple, as with so many joint issues, they tend to flare up in cold, or damp weather (or worse, both), and ease to some degree when the weather is warm/hot, and dry.
So yes, at present, I’m in a lot less pain than I was a few weeks ago, when it was cold, and damp, shall we diplomatically say? In truth, I have contemplated easing off on the meds while its like this, but in truth, I’m practical, would hate to have any issues, of my own making, so have stuck to standard levels of painkillers for now. Mind, I’m due my quarterly review on Thursday, and I’m sure the matter is going to be discussed. After all, the Naproxen was only meant to be a top up while the weather was bad, so whether I really need it currently, who knows? But yes, I’ll let the medical experts make the call on that! Have to say that its lovely that on an evening like this, I can sit here typing this, not wearing the brace. Mind, it might mainly be because, being neoprene, I sweat like hell underneath it when the weather is like this, and even if I could do with losing a couple of pounds, maybe, thats not my planned way, or probably the best way of doing it!
As previously mentioned, I did a pre retirement course through work yesterday, and a rewarding experience it was too. Fine, a lot of it related to Civil Servants, with decades of work, and very nice pension funds, unlike my modest amount, but it gave me things to think about, and plan for my future. Hopefully I’ve got nearly another 6 years to give that pot a boost, but whether my back will let me go on, that long, I wouldnt put good money on it. Of course, a new option could come into my life anyway, and change matters, and I dont just mean the lottery jackpot at work, because I’ve never won anything in life, so cant see that happening. Yes, a jackpot win would very quickly see retirement on the grounds of health, believe me! I’d love to say enough to move somewhere hot, all year round, but given there are about 25 of us in the syndicate, it would need to be a rollover jackpot to do that on my own basis, probably!
Yes, I notice the difference with the weather. When its bad weather (cold, damp, or both), the 0.7 miles from work to bus station (or other way round) seems like the end of a marathon by the time I get there. Even in average weather, its about my limit. In the heat of yesterday (Low 80’s, I guess), I walked back from the course location, to Leeds station, about a mile, no issues whatsoever! Was just starting to tire at the end, but seriously… And yes, in Seattle, I was probably doing as much, if not more, at times!
So yes, somewhere warm/hot to live, post retirement, I really need to! Either that, or find someone daft enough to marry me, who lives somewhere hot, lol!
Right, video time. I’m sure many will have worked out the song tonight already. Of course The Kinks couldnt do anything too seriously, so they filmed the video on a freezing cold day in winter!
Oh, and as an added extra, another song of a very similar title, from about 10 years later, though to some degree, it sounds like something from 30 years earlier. Well, maybe not the electric guitar, but…
Friday night was an ‘interesting’ journey home in more than a few ways, in truth. I didnt think it was going to be anything out of the ordinary when the bus finally pulled into the bay at Bradford, a few seconds before it was due to leave, with a long queue of people to get on. Lets just say he gave me a pleasant surprise, all loaded quickly, and actually arrived in Huddersfield on time, so fine!
What did make it interesting though, was a couple of events en route, back to Huddersfield. Having made it back almost into Brighouse, we stopped at a bus stop to pick up 2 adults, and 1 child, all seemingly with no health issues, given the full show they gave me. Yes, there is a point in saying that. Clearly there was a discussion going on between the woman, and the driver, as to where they were travelling to, but anyway…
Lets just say, no sooner had they sat down on the bus, and he pulled off, they rang the bell to stop the bus. Yes, thats right, 1 bus stop, and about 500 yards later, they got off the bus again, and walked away! As I say, all could work easily, they were carrying no heavy bags, or anything, and they caught a bus 500 yards! How long they’d waited for that bus, to do that, who knows, but it would only have taken them 3 minutes top, to walk it!
Me, with my damaged back, I walk about 15 minutes, to, and back from Bradford Interchange for work! And they wonder why people are unfit, seriously?
OK, the other amusing event from Friday is something I’m ashamed to have assumed. On same bus journey, on the outskirts of Huddersfield, we stopped to pick up 3 people of around my age, 1 man, and 2 women. I must admit, even when the 2 women sat together on one double seat, and the man sat behind them, that he was the partner of one of the women, and the other was a neighbor, or friend, or… Even when the 2 women were talking happily to each other, and occasionally turning round to talk to him, I still assumed the same, but…
We all got off at Huddersfield Bus Station, the end of the line. Yes, you’ve probably already guessed it, the 2 women walked off arm in arm, the man following behind them! As I say, as an LGBT person myself, it shouldnt throw me, but it did. Just shows, never assume anything!
Lastly, when I got home, there was a letter waiting for me, government envelope, not shocking to see for a Civil Servant. I assumed it was my pension position letter (which actually arrived Saturday), but no, it was from the Tax people, I’d paid too much income tax on the year. Given I was in the same job for the whole year, and pay tax as I earn, I have no idea how it happened. But yes, a nice surprise of £78.20 for me. I fought (quite literally) the government website to be able to reclaim it, but having used it at work of course, that was no great surprise. Eventually, at the second attempt, I wrangled it into submission, and the money will soon be on its way to me.
Sensible says, I put it all aside for savings. Practical says, I put some aside, and treat myself with the rest. Stupid says, spend the lot, its money you didnt know you had, so…
So yes, on Friday, 3 things I couldnt explain! Which leads to tonights video…