Alexander Averin

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Smoke rising above the showers

Dear Diary,

Rain, rain go away.  Come again another day.

Early this morning the sun was out, I could hardly believe it and I (almost) got up to rush out with the camera to capture the brightness, fearful that it would not last.  I should have acted on my instincts, it did not last and today has been showering heavily on and off and it has been dark, very dark.  I wanted to post some sunny pics for you but never mind, there will be sunshine one day, folk have told me so.

Today’s blog is as mixed as the weather, there are a few bits of sunshine but there is an angry raging section too.  Right at the end you will smell the smoke rising.

I have acquired a new library book, not a novel this time, it is Dara O’ Briain’s new one about the English.  I am not very far into it yet so I will report back another day with my opinion.  I wanted to read something funny and always find him laughter-inducing as a performer. 

This is a description of the book.

Tickling the English

Nostalgia, identity, eccentricity, gin drinking and occasional violence... these are just some of the themes that stand-up comedian Dara O Briain explores in Tickling the English. O Briain moved to England many years ago, but when he takes his show on tour around the country – from deserted seaside towns and remote off-shore islands, to sprawling industrial cities and sleepy suburbs and it's clear to him that his adopted home is still a bit of an enigma. Why do the English pretend to be unhappy all the time? Why can’t they accept they rank about 5th, in everything? And what’s with all the fudge? But this Irishman loves a challenge; he's certainly got the gregarious personality and the sure-fire wit to bring down the barriers of that famous English reserve, and have a good old rummage inside. Swapping anecdotes with his audiences and spending time wandering in their hometowns, this nosy neighbour holds England up to the light while exploring some of the attitudes he brought over here with him too. As Dara goes door-to-door in search of England in this part tour diary, part travelogue, the result is an affectionate, hilarious and often eye-opening journey through the Sceptred Isle.

There have been other blessings today, I felt rested after a long good night’s sleep in clean sheets and I have a day off from work.  It was very busy yesterday in the library, I think everyone is escaping the weather and losing themselves in books.  I have swept up even more wet leaves, got lots of indoor chores out of the way and that always makes me feel better.  I’ve written a poem too.

The debate about global warming has been in the news again, re. does it exist or is it a fabrication?  Global warming or not there is definitely climate change, the winds are stronger, the rainfall heavier and floods are becoming commonplace.  It’s almost as if the Earth is showing its anger at Man's greed and the rape, violence and plunder it is experiencing.

I shall finish with something serious.  This is not just a rant, it is both alarming and outrageous.  I want to draw people’s attention to the fact that cancer drugs (and other drugs too) are in very short supply because pharmacists are taking advantage of the state of our pound and are selling drugs abroad in order to make more money.  A very good friend of mine has been experiencing difficulties in obtaining her supply of a drug called letrazole that she has to take on a daily basis.  And not only a friend of mine, I have too!  My friend C was told that there are only ten  packs of our particular drug left in South Wales.  C and I take this drug as a preventative measure but it is also given to patients with advanced breast cancer. So lives will be lost if their medicines are not available to them.  My friend’s pharmacist actually told her that he has been asked to send a photocopy of her prescription to the wholesaler in order to get two month’s supply of letrazole!  This surely goes against the data protection act apart from anything else. This time last week  I had a real to-do with two local pharmacies and eventually got my three month’s worth - thanks to G my breast care nurse from Cardiff (a real angel flying too close to the ground) who acted swiftly on my behalf and contacted said pharmacies. 

So that’s all for today, C and I are on the case and will be contacting our Welsh Assembly member and our hospital consultants who have prescribed the drug to us.  My GP did not seem particularly caring when I rung her about it, she feigned ignorance on the matter even though it has been in the Times and the Observer and all over the Internet. She said I should order the drug two weeks in advance and when I said I had to travel 22 miles to get my tablets and that they very often have none in stock when I get there - even before all this blew up - she more or less blamed me for living in the country. 

Watch this space,

Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit.


blackbird said...

Keep after her and anyone else who can help the situation.

I'm mired over here in the states with the health care debate and listening to it all is enough to make you beyond furious. Maybe if every government worker was striped of their health care coverage, they would be a little more sympathetic.

I'm glad that you, at least, got a glimpse of clear sky.

Mark said...

I'm back to Wales tomorrow - flying visit though - hope the sunshine arrives just in time.

Withy Brook said...

That is evil, isn't it?

Marcheline said...


I'm with you on your tirade. I can't understand why companies and businesses no longer train their employees in simple customer service.

Lately, blaming the customer for the problem is the first answer on everyone's lips.

What's more frustrating is when the help you're trying to get is for a service you can't opt out of - like medicine, electrical service, things that are necessary for everyday life. When those companies start slacking, we have no place to turn.

- M

CAMILLA said...

Hello Cait,

It is so outrageous about the supply of medicines in low stock that we as patients need, and is vital for our continual good health.

I have just returned from my Pharmasist/Chemist, I put the prescriptions on the counter, what happened........ sorry Mrs - we have no stock at all of these at the moment, everyone else is waiting too.!!! what.!! My drug is not for a life threatening one in my health, nevertheless, what about as you mention Cait about people that are or have been suffering with the big 'C'.

My HL has also been told yesterday that the drug that he wants is out of stock and that he will have to wait until it comes in.

Hoping that the very wet weather soon goes for you Cait, much heavy rain here too in Norfolk with extreme winds.


Philip Gassner said...

I hope you are not taking offence if I say it sounds a bit third worldish. No wonder you are cross, and good that you are acting. Bring it out and raise a scandal, it's the only language those corrupt gold diggers understand.

Inthemud said...

Just read your last part about cancer drugs in short supply, that is an absolute outrage.

Well done to your breast care nurse for pulling out all the stops.

Woozle1967 said...

Dear Cait - I can totally understand how angry and worried you must be feeling. This just isn't acceptable.

Over the last 3 months, I have had a similar problem with my immunosuppressant drugs (Cellcept) and my pharmacy is IN my doctor's surgery. The last 2 or 3 times, I have had to get them to fax the script over to Boots in Ledbury, who seem to be having no problem in getting their quota. Seems it's one rule for them and one for us.......

Keep at it!xx

gaelikaa said...

That's terrible about the drugs being in short supply. How tiresome that greed for money should motivate such a crisis!

laurie said...

i'm not sure which is more shocking--the difficulty of getting necessary drugs, or your doctor's cavalier attitude toward it. i hope this situation changes.

and i hope you get some sunshine. there is nothing like clean sheets.

Pam said...

I hope the sunshine has arrived by now for you Cait.Such bad news about your frustrating experiences with the doctor and medication supply.The whole area of drug company profits is a minefield.I think they will try to get away with what they can, and much more needs to be openly investigated and reported on in the health care system.From personal experience I know that many nurses are frustrated by what they see, and do their best to work through these problems, god bless 'em.

Pam said...

...Cait I've just seen that you have Cloudstreet (by our own Australian Tim Winton,) on your bedside table reading list. I hope you enjoy it. It was made into a play and toured the major cities here many years back.On my bedside table I have his 2004 book The Turning, and am looking forward to getting around to reading it.

Packrat said...

Amen to Blackbird's comment. I do hope everyone will get the meds they need. The last batch my mom needed took over seven weeks to get here and cost over $4000 (US). This whole health care "thing" is a crime against humans.

elizabethm said...

I am stunned to read about the pharmacy - shout and shout loud! I like Dara O'Briain too, must look out for that one.

Tattie Weasle said...

Good grief _ That's tryly shocking. I will get at my MP about it as it's the least I can do. My Mum had breast cancer, she was lucky but no one should have to wait for drugs becasue they have been sold off!
However, glad you had a good night's rest - clean sheets are the best reason for doing the luandy I find!