Who Won the Week (7 February 2021)

In response to Fandango’s Who Won the Week post, I have been looking at my own newsfeeds.


I’m going to stay close to home this week. My winner is my old cycling buddy, Steve. Steve and I first met when we travelled up to London each day together – and then cycled to our respective clients at the other end. We both grew to hate that commute, but adopted different solutions.

When my parents died, I stopped going up to London altogether, to concentrate instead on sorting and selling their house. At roughly the same time, Steve bought a place in London. A tiny, one-room shoebox in Clapham.

It probably turned out to be an excellent investment, as property prices just continue to rocket. Even though he stopped going up to London to work when he was made redundant because of COVID, he has kept the apartment. Over the years, therefore, he has grown to deal with two doctors surgeries, one in Salisbury and the other in London. Both NHS.

Steve is mid-to-late Sixties. He was unlucky enough to have prostate cancer, and was operated on about this time last year. That’s where he was lucky – after this (keyhole) surgery, most people recover enough to be back at work in 4-6 weeks, but Steve had several months to convalesce.

Fast forward to the present day. Steve is not surprisingly based at his “main” home in Salisbury. He contacted his surgery in Salisbury, to see when he would be vaccinated. “*!@% off”, was their straightforward response.

So Steve contacted the NHS doctor he still has in London. He has the inconvenience of travelling up there, but he is receiving his first jab tomorrow.

It just goes to show how you have different areas moving at different speeds, even in our tiny nation. And I sympathise. With limited vaccine supplies, for every winner there are bound to be many losers. Unfortunately I don’t see any way to prevent this.

But I do hope somebody is working to minimise this imbalance, at least.

Life through the Lens (7 February 2021)

As my previous series came to an end, I had the idea to post some of my own photographs.

When my eyes were better, I used to enjoy photography. I had some decent kit and was around just as digital photography was taking off. Although it was strictly a hobby for me, two of my photos were published. One rural shot of hay bales ended up in a brochure made by the UK’s NFU (farming), another ended up in a coffee-table book about lighthouses. I wasn’t David Bailey but a couple of times, I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time.

I thought I’d share some. All these photographs were taken by me, I own the copyright so if you’d like to use any, go for it. Just so long as you don’t use them to make any money.

My aim is to publish weekly again but this time, on Sunday afternoons. I’m just going to repeat this spiel each week, too, for the benefit of new readers, so you can safely skip to the camera graphic to save reading the blurb each time.

If you look at the category above (high on left, by the date), I’ll put every photo in that same category so you can find previously-published photos. If I feel a photo needs some explanation, I’ll maybe write a line or two to go with it. Like the last time, I’ll keep going until I run out of steam. Oh, and feel free to join in, if the fancy takes you.

I’ve linked to a higher-res umage under each photo.

How about this for a house?

We saw this place when we holidayed down in Brittany. It is right down on the sea shore and is quite well-known, called Castel Meur.

Egg on her Face

inspired by Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC) of 7 February 2021, acumen.

The pattissier merrily sang,
And her register happily rang,
As she whisked up her albumen,
She was pleased with her acumen,
She had sold yet another meringue!

A New Dawn

Mostly these days I write trivial posts, but it is useful sometimes to remember what started me blogging…

7th February, 2016, was also a Sunday. When I got up, I didn’t feel right. But I didn’t feel wrong. I wasn’t in any pain. We had arranged to go to the cinema, and I didn’t want to disappoint. But I asked Mrs Bump to drive. I sat through the film, preoccupied, worrying.

I left it, to see if I felt better the next day. I didn’t. Mrs B harangued me to go to our GP. When I saw him, he thought “stroke”. By that time, I was having trouble walking. He told Mrs B to drive me to the hospital, asap. An ambulance? Forget it! You’re much quicker if you make your own way.

At the hospital, I saw a doctor, who did some tests and arranged for an MRI scan. Whatever he saw, he sent me home.

The rest of the day, I sat at home, worrying, for I was still none the wiser. The one thing we thought it could be, we’d been told it wasn’t.

Tuesday, worrying.

Wednesday, still no improvement, we repeated the process. Mrs B had to get me into the hospital building in a wheelchair by now.

This time, they admitted me. You hear about all these wonderful, clot-busting meds. Not for me. I figure that, by then, I had had the stroke four days earlier. Instead, I lay on the bed, totally unable to walk.

In hospital, they changed every med that I had been taking. If they made wholesale changes, then maybe I wasn’t on the right meds in the first place? Spilled milk. My “treatment” was physiotherapy for an hour a day. I underwent several tests, all of which were negative. In the end, the doctors concluded that it must have been caused by my underlying conditions.

After five weeks, the physiotherapists got me walking again, tentatively. I still had nothing in my arm. I thought, at the time, that the decision to discharge me was premature, but this is the health service that we have chosen. Rather than it being too little treatment, never again would I warrant that much of anybody’s attention.

The hospital arranged my return home. Finally, I saw my ambulance. They dispatched an emergency ambulance to take me home!

Arriving home, I had a pile of laundry. So, my first task was to start the washing machine. Bending down, I lost my balance and fell flat on my face. I was uninjured but it took ages before I figured how to lever myself back onto my feet.

One other thing I had missed was a bath. Just before looking forward, at last, to a proper night’s sleep, a nice, long soak. And… one last problem to be solved that day – how on earth do I get out of here?