Wednesday, 30 June 2010

June 2010

This is my new baby - a tree peony - Kamata nishiki.  It was described as being pink/lavender; looks rather purple to me.  Hey ho, it's beautiful anyway so it stays.

OK - Last month (June) was pretty much like all the others since we got back to the UK on April 1st.  Garden, garden, garden.  I was either enjoying sitting in it or working in it.  The Summer is being kind to us it seems and the garden is flourishing this year.  Right now it is probably looking its very best and has fluffed out nicely.  I'll post some photos in the usual place to give you a flavour of it. (see side bar for link)

As always we've had good meals out with friends and have made a couple of visits to our local teeny theatre in Ramsbottom which is home to various amateur Thespians and choristers.

On the 10th we went to see Hello Dolly which was brilliant.  I was surprised to realise I'd never actually seen the show/movie and couldn't think of any song from it except the title one. The cast were excellent - costumes and staging a triumph and, yes, the show does have other songs worth humming on the way home.  Well done, those chaps.

We decided mid month that being official busy bodies in Naples (we help and keep an eye on (!) the condo association) we should stick our oar in here too.  We have a Residents' Association for our area which has been up and running for thirty odd years.  Husband number one and I used to be the editor part of it around that time and one of my work friends was one of its founders, so I feel a bit of an affinity to it.  Is that possible?  Any way we responded to their appeal for help and duly ended up collecting membership fees.  Don't kid yourself this is a doddle.  Here we are at week three of the chore still doing battle to scrape up the last few.  People in and ignoring the doorbell is the most annoying.  That said a reluctant woman opened the door and after a brief chat said she had hesitated because we looked like Jehovah's Witnesses.  My wardrobe needs a serious overhaul.

Whilst on the tribulations of doing battle with personal appearance I tried a new hairdresser this month in the usual desperate attempt attempt to find someone who can follow simple instructions.  Truth be told it was also half the price of the regular one who butchers me every six weeks.  Off I toddle.  Ken was in tow as he was also getting sheared. I spent the best part of an hour in a chair with a dippy woman who twittered and listened and twittered and fussed and twittered and managed to do exactly as she liked.  When finished, the insult she finally added to serious injury was her saying, "You know, you were right about your hair and how it grows".  Funny thing is this came as no surprise to me as I've lived underneath it for sixty-four years.  I mentioned Ken earlier because, on the way home, he was daft enough to say, ''I can't see how there could be a problem; you spent enough time talking about it and explaining what you wanted"

My other old person complaint this month is the usual one about doctors.  I have the beginning of Dupytrens contracture, so in about six years I will look like Captain Hook. When I got my GP to confirm it in April I was told to 'come back in five or six years when your fingers have hooked and we''ll arrange to do the surgery'.  Back home and a dash to the computer.  Surgery is totally not necessary... if you go before the curve starts you can get it cured by Radiography.  It has been done in France for many years and is now done in large numbers across mainland Europe.  It has a 90% long term success rate.  The surgery version has something like 60% of patients returning in five or six years to have it done again.  The other 40% have probably kicked the bucket as it is found mostly in men over sixty and women over 80. Trust me!

So, the story continues... back to the GP in May with this information and more.  She'd never heard of it and the only place I (talk about do-it-yourself) could find in the UK who did it was in Poole in Dorset.  "Leave it with me for a month", she says.

Back again - Dupytrens and Naples clock ticking - she says, ''Good news, North Manchester do it.  Shall I make you an appointment?''

Skipping with joy I left the surgery and a mere six weeks later Ken and I fetched up at North Manchester General Hospital.  What a grotty place.  There's absolutely NOWHERE to park.  When we finally got into the clinic it looked like a peasant market from the fifteenth century - heaving with people all of whom must have had a 10.15 am appointment.  We waited until they had all been seen!  I went in last.  Never mind, hold on to the positive - someone is going to do an easy fix on your hand.

The Registrar looks at my hand and begins to babble about - early stages and I need to come back in a few years time and they'll operate - I say something on the lines of - Excuse me, if I could just interrupt, there seems to be a misunderstanding?  You'd think I'd sworn in church - how dare I actually interrupt and have the temerity to suggest he'd misunderstood.  After my explaining why I thought I was there.  He told me, or rather lectured me, about how the NHS doesn't do do 'experimental treatments with no proof of efficacy' (84,000 done in one year in Germany alone with a 90% success rate after ten years!!!!!!! and done all over mainland Europe and America).

......  yabba yabba yabba, debate, we argue, I leave!

I returned home to email the hospital in Poole in Dorset - Dr Goode had retired with ill health in 2009 so the treatments are suspended indefinitely!!!

I spent many hours trawling the web and located the one and only other place doing this, which is in Wimbledon.  So far, I haven't had a lot of success on contacting them as no-one responds to emails.

I'll tell you the rest of this, no doubt, in my July catch up when it is done.

June closes on another medical tweak.  After a two year search/wait to find an NHS dentist in our area I managed to get one a mile or so away and am now officially allowed to smile with my scaled and polished gnashers. Hurrah!

The big joke here is I had several conversations with our American friends last winter saying how wonderful the NHS is and they had nothing to fear if Obama's changes really were heading that way.  Mmmm!