Wanna be startin’ somethin’..


Excuse the poor reference to a dead mans song. I just had a need to make an attention grabbing headline. But if that worked and you’re here, well, thanks.

I’ve gone on, droned on to be precise, of late about a brief and relatively small bout of ill health which, in the grand scheme of things, is trifling but has brought in its wake a few mind stimulating ripples.

The prime one is the abdominal state of our N.H.S. Nursing profession. Not the nurses themselves but the lack of support and training they seem to get. I won’t discuss anyone person or incident because it is not a personal attack, far from it, it is more of a plea on their behalf, but when the young female nurse asked me what I would like to eat after my operation was cancelled and I was taken off of Nil By Mouth status, I pointed out that I was only allowed dairy free, non-fat food. She offered me a tuna sandwich or what she appeared to pronounce as a ‘cheeken’ sandwich. I said tuna would be nice but without any butter or spread of any kind. Just bread. I would like chicken if possible, I added but again, no dairy.  She reliably suggested she would see what she could do and would I like a salad too?

Within a few minutes the poor girl reappeared with a tray bearing a clingfilm covered salad and a choice of, and I do not lie here, a tuna mayo roll or, if I didn’t like it, she could offer a sandwich. Not a chicken or cheeken sandwich because there wasn’t any available but a cheese and tomato sandwich.

Needless to say, tiredness from two sleepless nights (it was a hospital observation ward. Screaming, confused people with broken limbs come as a default.), I gave her what I am ashamed to say was short shrift and a quick rude lesson is basic English. Another sister came over later and asked what had happened so obviously I had embarrassed both her and myself and it had been noticed. She didn’t apologise, she didn’t need to but I did, and found me some powdered soup, so containing no milk and possibly no actual real food, and a banana for which I was eternally grateful.

Other tales from a broken health service include such gems as having my I.V. replaced by torchlight, night staff with a continuing sniff and an exotic sounding drinks vendor who served coffee in a quarter pint plastic beaker made using a tablespoon not a teaspoon to add the coffee. But all those are just the observations from a miserable git after three days on free fluids only.

The real issue is during the quieter moments, the English native staff spent their spare moments teaching the immigrant hopefuls so they could qualify and earn a better if not living wage.

The once proud and shiny N.H.S. which was the envy of most of the civilized and all the uncivilized world is now a very ill patient itself, almost terminal.

We have a choice now.

Give it all the medicines available to cure it, regardless of cost or put it out of its misery and bring on the American system of private health or charity.

Currently critical services across the country are raising their own funds through charity events just to stay open and running. This is a service we pay for, run by a government we pay for on our behalf. Never should any of these be begging for coffers from the charity purse.

As I stated earlier, that was a prime one, numero uno ripple but not the only one. If anything though, the rest are quite positive and upbeat by comparison.

Sometime ago when I was getting serious about beers and food, I started to build a blog about combining your best choice of ale with your favourite bread and filling recipe. It was to be a fun exercise with contributions from readers and pictures of said meals and bar snacks. A little bit of background history combined with recipes and experiments would fill the gaps, so to speak. I didn’t go through with it though, stopping before going live and just holding onto it for future possibilities.

Since a friend was diagnosed as diabetic and I fell foul of my own inner organs, I’ve been looking with vested interest at alternative recipes. Mainly in my own case out of a need admittedly but as an insight into the world of non diary foods, it’s been a very educational journey. Scrub that. I hate when people, celebrity wannabes in particular, describe any period of transition as a journey.

It’s been an education.

So, I may well resurrect the beer and sandwich blog as a recipe source for those with dietary intolerances and specific medical requirements.

Because, any chance of using another pop song title can’t be missed can it?

If You Tolerate This..



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