Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong


Sections of my head need tweaking I attempted to manage two of them this morning. Neither was particularly straightforward.

A certain amount of nasal congestion appears to have blocked my left ear. I had made a non-urgent appointment with my GP for this morning. She informed me that both ears need syringing to remove a surfeit of wax On two occasions in the past this has been done free of charge in my GP surgeries. There is no longer funding for this, so I have two choices. I can have a referral to an NHS hospital where there would be a long wait, or I can pay £30 per ear to a private clinic. Thanking my lucky stars that I can afford it, I opted for the private route.

Given the demography of this area, there are a number of Hearing Centres in New MIlton. It would be a simple matter to select one.

While I was at the practice surgery I enquired about the referral letter for the necessary cataract adjustment that was to come from Boots Opticians. This had not been received. Jackie drove me to the optometrist where I was given a duplicate to take back to Milford on Sea. The gentleman kindly put it into an envelope for me.

Although Boots does apparently also deal with ears, it seemed sensible to visit the Hearing Centre directly opposite. After all, they don’t get distracted by eyes.

They don’t do wax removal. Neither does anyone else in the town. I was given a card for The Private Ear Clinic which has bases in Hythe and in Milford on Sea.

Back in the car, I had a look at the optometrist’s referral letter. It had been sent to the wrong freaking surgery.

Back out of the car, I returned to Boots where the eye man owned up to his mistake. I said something to the effect that we all make mistakes and I’d settle for calling him a berk. He altered the address. Jackie was going back to Milford to meet her sisters, so she took the form to deliver to the GP.

Back home I phoned the ear clinic, opted for the Milford venue, and made an appointment.

Where is the clinic?

It is in the hospital alongside the GP surgery. You go in the same door and turn left to enter the main building. One more example of private medicine being carried out in NHS property. I suppose our ailing public body needs the rent, otherwise they may have to sell the building for a housing development that no local people have the means to live in.

Tomorrow I have a quarterly teeth clean arranged. The rest of the time I do it myself. This is also a private arrangement, because even NHS treatment is now costly, and you can’t pick your time. Surely nothing can possibly go wrong.

We did have a light frost a couple of nights ago, but most of the garden has remained unscathed.

After lunch I set about photographing some of the survivors. Did I mention that I became rather damp getting in and out of the car? That is because, although the temperature was much milder, it rained all day. Not to be deterred I started in the front garden, but didn’t get very far.


On the trellis we still have solanum,

Rose pink climber

pink roses,


 and pelargoniums in hanging baskets;

Clematis Mrs N. Thompson

as for Mrs N. Thompson, what is she doing up at this time?


Nasturtiums still have strength to scale the front of the garage door

Pelargoniums and solanum

against which lighter pink pelargoniums flirt with another solanum.

Bidens and petunias

Self-seeded bidens venture towards the pavement outside, beneath continually cascading petunias.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s lemon chicken, roast potatoes, cauliflower, and sautéed onions and leeks. I drank Tulga Toro 2013



54 responses to “Nothing Can Possibly Go Wrong”

  1. Good one, Derrick! I love the line – “NHS treatment is now costly, and you can’t pick your time. Surely nothing can possibly go wrong.” Surely you MUST be kidding!! hahaha

  2. Privatisation of health services is the biggest mistake any government can make … sadly they all seem to be doing it in one form or another. Here in Canada we seem to be teetering toward a two-tier user-pays system too. Unimpressed, I am.

    • Social Services are the same. Simple aids to daily living in my time were given out freely and transformed people’s lives. Now, all Social Workers can do is dish out price lists of stockists. Thanks a lot, Widders

  3. It sounds very frustrating, Derrick. Health insurance/health care is a mess here in the U.S. I suspect you wanted to imbibe a bit tonight. 😉
    The flowers provide a beautiful pop of color on a dreary day.

  4. I went to an ear clinic recently where they vacuumed the ear. I’ve seen the treatment on TV in an English show so it must be available for you. Then he used a tuning fork on top of my head to check my hearing and diagnosed that blocked eustacian tubes were causing tinnitus in one ear. Now I am on an anti allergy nasal spray. All very curious.

    • Me, too. When I needed a hip replacement, I paid for a private diagnosis to save time. The consultant missed the cause of my pain (I could hardly walk) and sent me for neurological tests saying he would refer for NHS treatment. He did nothing. In a subsequent phone call he clearly didn’t know who I was and hadn’t seen the test results. I had paid £250 for half an hour with him. I got my money back.

  5. We have managed to complicate healthcare to proportions nothing less than manoeuvring between space shuttles and nearly as expensive. Where have the good old days gone when a couple of practitioner handled a lifetime of diseases? It is turning into a suicidal mist that will cull the race in the end.

  6. I love your closing remark about the NHS – that it needs the rent from those it outsources to otherwise they would have to sell the building for housing that no locals can afford. In that one sentence you have summed up what irks me most about my homeland.

    • Many thanks, Osyth. As you know, I normally just report on my day, holding back on politics and stuff. This one I couldn’t resist. The fact that the GP couldn’t tell me that the private clinic was just a few yards away compounded the farce.

      • I think your lack of resistance was entirely justified in the circumstances. The reality of the Health Service today makes ‘Doctor In The House’ so beloved of my youth seem sensible.

  7. I was struck by your statement that you could afford the treatment and didn’t have to wait. I also concur with the notion that health care shouldn’t be privatized. You only have to look at the U.S. to see what happens when health care is subjected to the @#$%& market.

    • We are getting there, Laurie. We think we always follow US. It is an appalling situation for those who have compulsorily contributed to their National Insurance all their lives and cannot get so many basic needs met unless they have more than the state pension. Thanks very much.

      • I hope you do not follow us into what can only be described as health-care hell for too many people. In this country, those opposed to health care for all have two justifications: People don’t deserve it, and it is too expensive. Sometimes those attitudes drive me to the brink of despair.

    • A friend in Italy also said that if one pays directly for care, one can get in faster and sometimes get better service.

      I agree about the healthcare markets. They make no sense, but it is all we have right now. The coverage is less and less over time, the deductibles higher, although it still beats the cost of a catastrophe.

  8. I was talking to a man recently who couldn’t get a cyst removed on the NHS. Looks like they are cutting back on all the small stuff and hoping nobody notices.

    If there’s a call for it I imagine I could syringe ears. It wasn’t, as I recall, a lengthy or high tech operation. A bicycle pump and some warm water should do the trick. 🙂

    As I try to avoid politics I will say no more.

  9. SORRY TO LEARN ABOUT YOUR EAR PROBLEM DERRICK – I HAVE A SIMILAR ISSUE. My experience of the NHS, purely as someone that pays for it – and, normally, I avoid generalisations – is that the troops on the ground are usually brilliant and probably underpaid, consultants need to work on their attitude and are paid too much and the administation is invariably ridiculous and inefficient. It is a precious asset; we need to take better care of it.

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