Doctor online

Dunno about you, but I  tend to check my health symptoms online. Of course it’s a stupid thing to do, it leaves me worried, depressed and helpless. When I  finally get to the Doctor  and get diagnosed with something far less dramatic than I thought,  I’m left feeling part relieved and part feeling, ‘no faith in the Doctor  ‘.

It’s so easy to  simply check your symptoms online,as much as Doctors don’t like you to diagnose yourself….quite rightly! They do actively encourage you to look online for information or even different  treatments.

So realistically,  it’s perfectly understandable people self diagnose.

The real problem is self medication.  With a  Doctors diagnoses or not. I wouldn’t have the guts to take anything I hadn’t bought in a chemists, I’m a little bit dubious about supermarket medicine……no offence….it’s just me.

So where is our health system heading, now you can even consult a Doctor online. I am confused by how things are going.

I’m beginning to wish I’d worked harder at school, so I could have had the qualifications to be a Doctor.

Though I do realise I wouldn’t like the hours, or responsibility,  or the training……Well, everything actually…….forget I even mentioned it!


Does anyone else have trouble with the word ‘perfect’? Well, not the word itself, but the definition…..the bit that says ‘flawless’ or ‘faultless’? I like the word ‘perfect’, I use it a lot, it’s a good word! When I look at nature, it’s completely perfect….flaws and all. So that being said must mean that some flaws are perfect too!

What often happens, I think, is that the ‘flawless’, ‘faultless’ state that people chase…….thinking it’s perfection, doesn’t exist-nor does the word that describes this state.

I use ‘perfect’ to mean, ideal, as good as it’s possible to be. It’s a lovely word. In fact the more I use it, the happier and more content I am, I don’t feel the stress I used to feel, just to try and be good enough!

Without realising I’ve found perfect, and it was right in front of me the whole time……of course there are things I want to change, but things are as good as they possibly can be at this moment in time.

I’d like to be able to say I’m happy, smiley and content all the time…………but I’m human ( or so I’ve been told). There’s still much that upsets me, or I wish weren’t happening or happened…’s a working progress or is it work in progress. But when I get a grip and freely use the ‘P’ word it does elevate my mood.

What makes me feel sad, is people feeling bad about themselves, striving to be ‘perfect’ without realising they already are!




Lately i’ve been thinking a lot about my Dad. We didn’t have a close relationship, or much of a relationship,  at all, if I’m honest.

My Dad, Albany Louis……..good name eh? why he was named after a place in America, is beyond me  , born and grew up on Dartmoor….in a house ,of course. He was rather chuffed to have been born in the same year as the actor James Stewart, and in later years assured his mortality was secured because James Stewart was still alive.

He was a great believer in fresh air and exercise, as a child he’d walk several miles across the moor in all weathers, to go to school. It made him ‘hale and hearty’,and he didn’t suffer ill health, obviously he did because he died but not until he was almost ninety.

I didn’t appreciate his knowledge of the natural world at the time, I wanted modern technology and the bustle of the city, but now, I think, it’s unbelievably priceless. He could recognise birds from their song, he knew what the weather was going to do, by sniffing the air, and detecting the direction of the wind. He could fix anything or certainly have a go. He taught himself many skills, including how to drive.  There was a time – in his eighties he drove round a roundabout the wrong way , luckily the roundabout was empty, though I was fair shook up, and no mistake! Actually one of his many jobs was as a bus driver, he drove the hospital bus, where I nursed and where he met my mother. Although, he did charm a couple of owls…..he could imitate owl hoots by blowing into his cupped hands. He showed me but as usual, I wasn’t paying attention.

He believed in simple health remedies, he once boiled up a pan of stinging nettles so he could drink the juice, which is disgusting apparently! I don’t quite know what to say……..but I saw  him walk passed my bedroom window (we lived in a bungalow, that Dad built….. he wasn’t a giant!) with a dandelion flower he was munching on……. he’d heard it was good for you. Mostly he used a chinese remedy, I think it was called ‘Flowers’ maybe? It stunk the house out!

During the war -WWII, he was an engine mechanic,  in the Royal Air Force ,mostly worked on spitfires. He loved planes and like birdsong, he could identify the plane by the sound of the engine. He saw unexplainable things in the night sky, as have I, so he kept an open mind…..and read some books, maybe strange books but who am I to say?

He was definitely a character, known by the villagers as Bert ….(the builder), he did a lot of building work and was always ‘tinkering’ and busy, I really quite admire him now and although genetically I’ve only inherited the uncontrollable giggles…..and an interest in the night sky, I’m quite proud to have the snippets of information he passed to me………that now make sense.


I grew up thinking cats were not to be trusted, to be feared. They would bite, scratch, or gobble you up with their witch friends. Of course this was brought to me by my mum, who would have probably liked cats but for her mum……..who by all accounts had a phobia.

When I grew up (apparently) and started nursing,one of my fellow nurses loved all things feline. Now, I grew up in Devon in a time wild cats were common, though not now. This nurse…..who loved cats, decided that something should be done for these poor creatures and set about catching them, well,those that lived around our hospital ward… the stunning green countryside of Devon. Not all wild cats!

We all took turns in cat-catching, simply to get them neutered, checked over and re-released. I too joined in, though I didn’t look directly at them! In conversation….years later, about two! I mentioned to this girl that cats scared me a bit.

“Ha-ha,” said she “You should get one.”

More years past, about ten and Esme came into my life, a tiny little bit of white and tabby fur. I would carry her around, she would take a nap in the pocket of my sweater, snuggle into my neck, scramble up the curtains, ascend the christmas tree without dislodging a bauble (well, maybe once, she gave one a swipe , because it had looked at her wrong).

She gave birth to three lovely kittens……. we kept them all. Then got her spayed. Yes we shut that stable door after the horse had bolted.

Loiter, Mort and Twisk, the joy and heartache they all brought.

Mort was the wiry thug, he had real attitude. He was born ready to fight and would take no ‘lip’ from anyone… or beast.

Loiter a big black bruiser of a cat. Twice the size of Esme-hence his name, she had trouble giving birth to him. The softest, gentle-ist cat I’ve ever met.

Twisk-named after a character in a book, Twisk was a wayward fairy. She was the most loving of cats. Loved the song ‘Blue moon’. Very vocal in a purry sort of way.

Of course I know now what that nurse meant, I think maybe you have to have one to understand that ‘love’. Cats are so affectionate, understanding, companionable…….if you get one that is ……….but whatever they get under your skin. They do kind of put a spell on you, but it’s probably just science.


I don’t know when it started, maybe i was born with it. I have this thing for buttons….is it like an addiction? or like a desire? Maybe it’s just a perfectly normal complusion?

If there’s an innocent looking button that instructs you DO NOT PRESS,  I absolutely have to know why.

I don’t go around activating fire alarms or anything, but the compulsion to do so is incredibly strong. (By the way the fire officer we had whilst I was nursing,  used to lecture us about fire safety……..couldn’t pronounce his F’s, he also had severe burn scars…..just saying.) Anyway we’ve established all buttons need a good pressing, at least once in their lives, otherwise there is no point to there existence. Which brings me neatly to the ‘what look like credit/bank card machines’ that parcel delivery folk and home shopping delivery people carry. After having had my shopping delivered, I was handed this machine and asked to scribble in the box, so that’s exactly what i did…..what can I say, I didn’t realise he meant signature. We all laughed, me too, I love laughing, I just didn’t know why. The mood kind of changed because I’d accidentally  pushed a button.   “Oi don’t push them”!

Oh dear, it was an unfortunate thing to say to me, the button had been so pushable………. some buttons have more press factor than others. So suddenly over taken with an obsessional impishness-becoming of a two year old….. I pressed a button and it really was satisfying.

Lap tops are probably the best. Anyone that types fast,  at a computer, people that hit the buttons confidently, and if there’s a jingly-jangly bracelet involved all the better.Shops cash registers, calculators, all part of life’s little pleasures.


There are those that drive and those that are driven. I’m definitely  the latter. I don’t mean I have to be chauffeured in a ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ sort of way. I just never got the hang of it. At eighteen years I had lessons from a professional driving instructor but I just couldn’t even figure out the basics, things everyone else would say is obvious, like driving down hill and feeling terrified about the speed but failing to think about the option to brake. Indicators……? well it helps if you actually know left from right, then you have to learn how to flash the  left indicator and the right. I never got that, often indicating left but turning right _very dangerous! Ooops! Turning the steering wheel whilst reversing? are you having a laugh? Three foot pedals………two feet! Who doesn’t get mesmerised by wind screen wipers? …….and apparently if you stare at something, you’ll hit it.

I took a driving test once, I know ……..beggers believe. Even on the day of my test I felt very unready_ that yellow criss cross box thing, the one that’s painted at junctions_on the roads….. whats that about? Ha_ I preempted the examiner’s emergency stop and kangarooed up the street braking sharply every time he moved. I’d heard the examiners were very keen on trying to catch you out on proper use of the rear view mirror,so i paid particular attention to what was behind me. Unfortunately I had no idea what was in front. EMERGENCY STOP!

Needless to say I failed the test!

I really admire people that can drive….oh I know it all comes natural after a while, my instructor said it ‘would all click into place’ ………..I didn’t click, flick or whoosh!

I continued to have driving practice for years with my nearest and dearest……not recommended.

I gave it up as a bad job when giggling…….a lot, I mounted the kerb outside the police station and bumped our heads on the roof…….still laughing.

So sleep well fellow worlder’s the roads are much safer cos I’m not on them.

Thanks folks

D’you know what the most amazing thing I’ve learnt about the Christmas spirit?- That it’s alive and kicking every single day!
Of course you can’t expect people to help you, or wish you well, if you go around thinking the world owes you,and your expression is that of a smacked ass. You are, after all, responsible for yourself……though smiling and laughing helps, of course it does. No-one likes the ‘poor me’,’life isn’t fun or fair, etc’ attitude! In my experience people do everything they can for you, as I say -that’s been my experience.
Ive had many catch me if I stumble(apart from a frail old man who was rather traumatized). Helped with a wayward supermarket trolley, I’ve had help to carry a tray of drinks I was slopping everywhere(as if my staggering gait wasn’t bad enough, I decided giggling should be added to the mix. I’ve had help putting on a rather petulant coat. I’ve had a glass of water brought to me when I felt unwell, asked many times if I needed help and many more things on a daily basis… admittedly with the encephalitis, I probably do look like I need help….but still!
Yet, the news would have you believe everyday people are oblivious to the needs of others,( not the Harry Potter spell…..Obliviate!)_and I say what utter TOSH!
I hear people singing, whistling and greeting each other with a cheery good morning.They share a joke or have a conversation, and complete strangers wishing you a “Happy Christmas”
So as its now …I’d like to wish all my fellow beings-‘a very happy Christmas’.

Christmas Drum-roll -please

T’was a Christmas I wouldn’t forget-and not in a good way.
My husband’s, estranged father had come to spend the ‘festive’ season with us. He brought his dog. Nothing wrong with that, I hear you say but we had a dog, it would be difficult…….and it was, the two dogs didn’t like the look of each other.
Now,for reasons I’ve never been able to fathom I suggested Andy take his Dad for a pint ….to build bridges and all that, leaving me to watch my two young sons, the two snarly dogs and the turkey – and I’m no cook!
Andy assured me he’d be back in an hour to finish off the dinner. well, that hour came and went, Andy didn’t return, the turkey looked hot and bothered……..I don’t know why I didn’t take it out to rest, I had no idea about such things.
a pal of my son Blake had come to call and Blake had kept him chatting at the front door. I’d turned the oven down and debated about- ‘Do I put these potatoes in?……or not? I put the potatoes in, and lowered the oven temperature a bit more, I know, I dunno what I was thinking either!
When the fact the front door was open, finally dawned on me I was already out of the door in a panic and my slippers! Father in laws dog, who won’t respond to calling, it hadn’t been trained aargh! had fled. I ran after it, I think it was a she, a bitch…and I used the term impolitely- a white boxer crossed with something. I’d briefly changed the slippers for my wellies, and ran as fast as I could, in my wellies and dress, and spotted the little rascal of a dog in the field. First the dog wanted to play ‘catch’ then ‘chase’. I finally grabbed her when I angrily decided, she could stay bloody lost!
Andy returned with his very ‘happy’ father, Soon after.
Still feeling bad-tempered, I dished up, I took the now burnt…we’ll say well done turkey out of the oven ,it sighed with relief, and asked me if i had any idea how hot it was in that oven? Then it screamed and fell to bits.Now I know it was all sorts of wrong, and I certainly wouldn’t do it now, but as the turkey collapsed its left leg fell off and made a run for it a kind of roll ….a drumstick roll. I picked up that leg, brushed it off, and with an evil smirk put it on my father in laws plate. To accompany the ‘pulled turkey’ ( it’s a thing)…….
The potatoes weren’t cooked, the Christmas crackers didn’t snap…..then the Christmas pudding blew up.

My left ear.

It’s coming up to the time of year I visit the opticians. It’s not my most favourite thing,I’m terribly squimish, my blinking,screwing up my eyes,jumping, then turning my head away are completely involuntary. When I  had to visit a rather brusque eye doctor, he got rather impatient with looking at my shut eyes,when he wanted to look at the back, eventually I could only keep my eye open if I accompanied it with a tuneless hum,and thinking brave thoughts. My eyes were fine by the way ……I use the word ‘fine’ loosely.
I have double vision and flickery vision so it’s difficult to explain which of the images is clearest -out of the four. Sometimes I really don’t know which one,red line or green line is best to look at….I don’t know the right answer…..and the optician won’t give me a clue either. Then comes the ‘just look at my left ear’ ( opticians left ear) and with his little torch thing he comes in and you’re practically nose to nose- does anyone else have the insatiable urge to laugh/or lick his face/ or give a butterfly 🦋 kiss with your eye lashes?…or is it just me? I think the optician knows what to expect, One day I meant to explain I had nystagmus but accidentally and seriously told him I had stigmata.

Little prick

In 1978, in one of the largest psychiatric hospitals in Devon, I began my two years training to become a qualified  nurse. My mum had been a nurse as had her mother,i think now,it was expected of me to do likewise. Don’t get me wrong – it was a fabulous place to work…..despite it’s history and the obvious trauma,it had a lovely heart warming feel about the place.,and wonderful staff across the board…..but looking back,I lacked the enthusiasm my peers had, and happily still have.        I suppose I must have been about, oooh,nine months…..give or take,into my training,when the time had come for me to give injections!  Inter muscular injections! D’you think I was worried ? um…..yeah!

I was first taught to draw them up, which is no easy feat……..air bubbles are an absolute nightmare! Then practising on ,firstly , an orange 🍊  because it has similar texture……..and doesn’t complain .After many practices, and learning of method,like drawing back to make sure you weren’t  in a vein and pulling the skin over so the liquid doesn’t come straight out again,and making sure you have the upper outer quadrant on the bum area,  so you don’t mess with the sciatic nerve…that would be dire and result in all sorts of problems.

Able now to inject a real person,I shook so much,I think the  Richter scale registered it .

In a quiet  room I explained what was happening………..and with my mentors beside me …I got into the correct vicinity ,drew back ( the syringe, not me personally) and away I went! Warning her she’ll feel    ” Just a little prick.”

I saw her poor face and knew it had been too slow……I felt mortified!

Weeks passed,a different ward,practice aplenty…..I felt quite competent,time for my assessment! Which meant if I passed I’d be qualified to administer injections  without having to be watched. All procedures followed,regards drawing up,correct patient,quiet side room prepared  patient prepped and ready. My assessor impressed with my professionalism…… I explained to the patient to expect,    “A little prick…..”.   plunged  the needle in,whereby it bounced off his bum into my thumb!