I don’t want to start tonight without mentioning the news that the council has announced the decision on the cuts to the Rangers. This is a surprise as Linda has been invited to a Cabinet meeting to plead the case against the decision. However her invitation is for next Wednesday which by my reckoning is a week late to the party. It appears that those clever people in the Council offices used this invitation as a stalling tactic to prevent further disruption to the plan they never had any intention of deviating from. This isn’t democracy at work and IF the cabinet hasn’t met to decide the matter, it isn’t Politics either. This is a clear indication that the elected voice of Walsall is mute pawn in the real game played by those employed to act on the decisions. These decisions, made by the nameless, faceless bureaucrats are too important to trust to people elected by the people to act on their behalf. These poor saps are fed half truths and misquoted reports to garner the necessary results. Yes Minister is alive and kicking in Walsall. It is a shame that people’s livelihoods and the future of the quality of life in Walsall will suffer in this game of power.

City hospital was everything I remembered, well thought I remembered. As you may recall we made an official complaint regarding my treatment there and after months of fobbing off, we were informed that none if it happened. Nothing, I had made everything up. I had lied and Linda had not witnessed anything. I imagine that the City hospital is used to complaints and understands how to professionally handle allegations and we were fortunate to be part of the whole process of improving customer relations.

Imagine my surprise to find the outpatient receptionist being out rightly abusive to the people in the queue in front of us. They didn’t make a fuss about their treatment at her hand, possibly as it would be a futile waste of time. To watch someone get waved away, dismissively and told to go away and sit down. The look of confusion was met with a stern repeat of the go away instruction. The strange thing was, she was perfectly pleasant with me.

We arrived early for the appointment and were invited in late. The interim period was spent avoiding the Jeremy Kyle show blaring out from a too loud TV above the point where nurses called out the name of the next victim. A hospital isn’t a place most would choose to spend time but the stark Victorian building, dated and crumbling décor, surly staff and bad coffee make the City Hospital an austere advertisement for not hurting yourself and making demands on Birmingham’s stretched resources.

Anyway, the appointment got off to a poor start, as one of the team hastily wrote notes on the back of a recycled sheet of paper. He used the file containing my notes and the answers to all his questions as a rest. Just once it would be nice to have someone actually read the file and I wonder how many similarly scrawled notes are contained within my file. I need to declare I have no medical training, in fact I have no real grasp of the issues affecting my arm. It doesn’t work, it hurts and it is full of metal and yet trained staff always ask for my diagnosis.  Anyway, my Consultant came in to see me and have a look at the arm and my confidence in a result were immediately lifted. It appears that the triceps tendon may not be attached at all. The only way to confirm what is going on is to have an MRI scan and this is going to be arranged  in the near future. If the MRI shows that it can be fixed, during the operation I will get to have the plates and screws removed, which will be amazing and may even allow the nerves to settle down in my elbow. I left really upbeat about it all, the notion of a working arm bereft of metalwork is almost beyond comprehension and yet there is now a possibility.

There was no better way to celebrate than by going to Aldi and having a spend session on cheap tools. You can’t ever have too many clamps and I now have two more and some plug cutters and forstner bits and paint and … I really did have a spend session, it was awesome. We stocked up on stuff that looks like real stuff and I can’t wait to get started on the Not Jaegermeister and the seriously cheap Stollen. All cannot be wrong when a supermarket sells countersink bits. Austerity, what austerity?


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