Scotland in Sight

See Scotland in Focus

The above story is great news! I do feel that our ‘basic senses’ should be protected by this unique, often maligned but much lauded , National Health Service and that sight has been one that for some reason the government of the 80’s and the 90’s decuded to farm out to the private sector to make some ‘health cash’ on.

This, I feel, is a great example of how the devolved administration of the UK can make a difference to the people they serve, you wouldn’t expect to have to pay for a hearing test, so why for a sight test??

Excellent news for Scotland, now lets just hope it is resourced enough to cope!

The washing machine

This is a funny story that started with dispair, went through stages of jubilation, frustration and ended up with a lesson for me.

As the title suggest it started with the washing machine, after some intensive use in Tony’s last week, it decided that it was going to not play game last Thursday. It sat there, brooding, full of water and curtains and we had a bit of a mexican stand-off over the weekend.

Saturday was full of dispair, I discovered that the 5 year parts and servicing that I paid ScottishPower for had expired in May and the cost of an engineer was going to up in the £100 mark (without parts!).

A form of detente broke out on sunday when, encouraged and morally supported by my friend Graham, I got the tools out and got into the guts of the machine.

It is fair to say that the mini tidal wave that came out of it was a tad unexpected, I thought I had managed to empty as much water as I could get to, but there was a surprising amount left in.

The offending blockage was successfully removed in about 30 minutes, but this is where the lesson came in, it took about 2.5 hours to re-assmble the beast, five times as long as it took to get in and find the problem, and then it was not the machine that cause the further flooding, but the sundries (pipework) that had been shifted in the move.

So this is where I lay in bed last night and realised that this can be a life lesson for me.

Things break, sometimes through wear and tear and sometimes through mis-use, and then there is usually a time of dispear and uncertainty about what to do. In the end there is realisation that there is only one thing to do, and that is to use the tools that life has given and try to fix it. When you start this the problems come to the fore very quickly and are diagnosis is easy, it is the time to put it all back together that takes the time and is often underestimated. It is very disproporitionate to the time it takes to find the broken it.

I think this theory works from cars to broken pots, from friendships to broken bones, but I don’t think many people think about it when loading up the washing machine and not checking for that 5 pence or putting a pot on an unstable table.

A house is not a home…

…. until it welcomes friends and loved ones.

This is a phrase I am coining for my new living alone status. I have decided, whilst I have throughly enjoyed my time alone over the last week and a bit (and I know that isn’t long), that the door will always be open to people who want to call by and pop in.

Suppose I know that I am a social critter (with occassional lone-time requirements) and that I will welcome people that I care about in for a cuppa, a bite or just a chat. I don’t like the idea formality; pre-arranging for people to come round is cool if it for a sit down meal or something.

I will have an open door policy and that I will at least be able to offer a cuppa and biscuit.

A house is not a home until it welcomes friends and loved ones.