5 November 2010

Posted by DMC on 5 November 2010 in Diary |

The one night of the year that we regret living in a thatched house. We’ve been here for 46 years and always pray for Rain on 5 November. which is a bit spoilsport for the firework parties but a stray hrocket could set our roof on fire and the house would be gutted in no time. Indeed, it would not be the first time that it had been burned down. 50 years or so before we moved in the roof had just been re-thatched and there was a pile of waste straw waiting to be removed on the path by the house. The young boys, who were living at the time, thought it would be rather fun to have a bonfire. They did and the flames leapt up and caught the fresh straw on the roof with devastating effects. Fortunately, being a very old oak frame, made mainly from old ships timbers which themselves were probably 100 years when they went into the house, the roof went off like a chimney leaving the structure of the house pretty well unscathed. Nevertheless, this is not the sort of experience we want so we are always vigilant on Guy Fawkes’ Day.

Lying awake last night, breathing happily on my Nippy, I couldn’t help mulling over the experience I had had in hospital. I was in a six bed Ward and the other five beds were filled with gentleman who I can only describe as grossly obese. Most of them would have weighed more than twice my weight, I suspect between 20 and 30 kg. Now it is quite possible that one or more had some medical condition that accounted for their size but undoubtedly the bulk of them were self-inflicted. They were guzzling sweet sticky drinks, eating extra food, taking up to 5 teaspoons of sugar in their tea etc. One of was even sitting up in bed rolling his own cigarettes which, I suspect he smoked, when he disappeared  every couple of hours or so. All of these patients were on some sort of ventilation due to breathing problems, some certainly had diabetes and all, I suspect, were on disability benefit as most of them were relatively young men and they were far too fat to work. From the conversations they had, most of them seem to spend the day watching television in between the  times that their carers — paid by us — came in to attend to their every need. It might be an old-fashioned approach, but frankly, if I was a doctor I would be inclined to get these people to try to pull themselves together and go on a serious diet before I would be prepared to spend public money keeping them alive but then there are their human rights to consider apparently!

I have been receiving quite a lot of comments on my blog recently,  all of them, I’m glad to say you were kind. I should perhaps explain what happens when a reader make a comments at the end of a particular entry. I sent an e-mail with the comment on it. I am then in a position to approve, edit or trash it. I’m glad to say I have never yet needed either to edit or to trash any comment. It is only after I approve it that it appears on the blog itself then there is a box for me to reply to that comment. As I never fail to respond to any such comment it is always worried me that the person who has made it may not be aware that they will receive their answer by going to their original comment on the date that they made it, within the blog where they will then see my reply. If the reader does not realise that this is a process they might consider that I have been rude enough to ignore their comic in some instances it is a cri de couer and I should hate that anyone should consider I was heartless enough not to respond.

Thank goodness, as I complete today’s entry, it is raining. Having said that we have a slight problem this year with Guy Fawkes Day falling on Friday. It means to worrying evenings as many of the firework parties will be tomorrow on Saturday.

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  • GerryM says:

    Hi Mark,

    I’m an avid follower of your blog since you mentioned it some 12 months back at the Kenneth McQuillan lecture in Dublin where you raised a few eyebrows amongst the old boys with your jokes (I on the otherhand thought they were grand) – I admire your positivity and determination which is probably what draws me to the blog and as indeed do your many anecdotes – I couldnt agree more with today’s comments re your obese bedfellows in the hospital – I also finally listened to the recording of your phone in to the radio show in the US – brilliant – they were very dull and morbid before you came on – you could almost sense them mentally tut tutting when you mentioned the modified holder for your fat Monte Cristo !

    Hope the roof is safe tonight and as a ‘young’ /aspiring arbitrator can I wish you the best for the future.

    Gerry Monaghan

    • DMC says:

      I am delighted that you are keeping up with my, Gerry. Thank heavens there was at least one member of the audience who appreciated my rather dry sense of humour. To be honest with you that lecture was a bit heavy with my jokes going down like a lead balloon.

      Good luck with the arbitration.

      Best wishes


  • carol diane says:

    Rather like you, IMark, I worried about the 4th of july, here in the states. I watered my roof (not thatch) and property…just in case any fireworks went astray. Tonight my horses are whinnying their salutations to other horses, in the distance. And I whinny my salutations to you, also in the distance! Breathe easy; you have many friends! Including me, a very ordinary person– surrounded by equine jumpers I can ill afford– in central California.
    Bonne nuit, mon ami. c

  • DMC says:

    You will be pleased to hear that we survived both firework nights, Carol. I love the sound of your horses. I used to play polo so I know what you mean.

    Happy riding


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