5 April 2012

Posted by DMC on 6 April 2012 in Diary |

After the most painful night I have ever had. I started the day off by sending along e-mail to Dr Mark Abrahams, the pain consultant at Addenbrookes, commenting on the increase of pain that now appears to be affecting my entire skeleton and requesting him to take the matter in hand. Even if the nerve block to my right shoulder had worked that would have only been one location of pain as hips, knees and ankles are also involved. It may be that the problem lies in the fact that I was referred to him through the Arthur rank hospice for palliative care which I understand is to make your remaining time more comfortable. So far as I’m concerned. I have not reached that stage yet and I want them to get to the cause of this pain rather than just dulling it with more painkillers.

Alison Lambie and another, Alice friends, were due to come and have coffee with her this morning, then at the last minute Alison had something crop up which needed her attention. Ahe other friend, whose name I shall withhold to spare her blushes, never turned up nor telephoned to say she was not coming. We can only assume that she had completely forgotten about the arrangement. Most of us had been guilty of such a lapse of memory at some stage in our life – have turned up on the wrong day for a dinner party or worse in my case where I arranged to play golf with to different people at the same time on the same day. Fine, as long as all parties keep a sense of humour and bearing in mind, but for the grace of God, there go I.

A hosepipe ban has been imposed upon a large part of Suffolk and Essex due to the lack of rain. Not only will this have a devastating effect on our gardens but a great number of small businesses will also be effected. The one they showed us on the news, that I felt sorriest for, was a grass turf farm, which is currently harvesting the turf for instant gardens on new developments and the like. Apparently the normal practice is to soak a newly laid lawn for 28 days, otherwise the grass will die. So presumably, if this, and other companies like them cannot get dispensation from this hosepipe ban, so will the businesses which rely upon the water die. As is normal in such cases a number of exempted categories were named at the same time. I was totally perplexed and no why Blue Badge holders were amongst them.

(The Blue Badge, for those readers who are not familiar with the term, is the exemption card given to the disabled so that they can park in specially designated parking spots.) What this has to do with a hosepipe ban I cannot begin to think unless, like the rest of the population, the disabled will be allowed to use a hosepipe to wash their car! This ban is the result of parts of this country having experienced the driest few months since records began. Not only is the lack of precipitation breaking all records but also the daytime temperatures seem to have gone haywire. Two weeks ago we were sitting in the garden having lunch, basking in temperatures around 24°C, warmer than it was in Barcelona. Yesterday in the same spot it was 8°C – much closer to the normal temperature we can expect at this time of year.

If, as it records showthat , our climate is changing., year by year – as seems to be the case where records for highs and lows are broken annually – then we are going to have to take much more seriously the question of wasting water from ancient pipes and the like -something in the order of 1,000,000,000 L a day is lost that way – and concentrate more of our decreasing rainfall in reservoirs. I have  prophesied for years that it is not the fact that we have a finite amount of oil which should concern us – we are ingenious enough to develop a substitute for power production – but lack of potable water. It seems crazy that a little island like ours, completely surrounded by water, may one day face a lack of drinking water. (JG Ballard wrote an excellent book on the effect on the world of a total drought . The result was that whoever controlled the desalination plants, was King) Again, I have sufficient confidence in the ingenuity of mankind, to find substitutes for some of the processes which require vast quantities of water and then, I suppose, there will always be the possibility of desalination plants, an expensive option at this stage, but needs must. Interestingly, I heard only yesterday that somebody is developing plants that can be grown using seawater.

Speaking of the ingenuity of man, click here to see an excellent example, be sure to watch this on a full screen .

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