No, not your blog of course. I concede that your posts are succinct, insightful, humorous and well worth reading. That is why I would appreciate it if you could spare a moment to cast your eye over my efforts and let me know how I can encourage people to read it. On the other hand it may be the most boring blog, someone's has to be.

Newark market place

Newark market place
Newark market place dull Saturday morning

Newark Church

Newark Church
Two residents at the weir

Snowy Dry Doddington

Snowy Dry Doddington
Snow on the road to not very Dry Doddington

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished

Raleigh Runabout RM6 Refurbished
Look for the "before" in the blog post

Saturday, 20 January 2007

This week


To work at my part time job with a national children's charity. The project I work for is funded by the local county council and finance is only guaranteed until September 2007. There is a real possibility that they may pull the plug on us then and our short break care service to disabled children and their families will be gone. This current uncertainty instills an air of pessimism which makes the work experience less fulfilling than it was. I am sixty years old in five or six weeks time. Do I want this, should I retire?


Off to the hospital to see consultant about cataract operation. My logic is whilst I am fit and active maximise sight potential. So should I retire whilst having some beans if not being full of them?


Work. Team meeting with colleague and boss. Discuss the need for numerous measures which will allegedly make us more likely to get the county council contract in September. I am not sure I believe this.


Day off. Morning spent replacing the bushes on the front forks of Honda C90. Half the work done by dinnertime (lunch to the middle classes). Then off to solicitors to register as founder director of Sleaford and District Citizens Advice Bureau. One of my current voluntary activities as a trustee of the bureau is processing their application to become Incorporated. Back home and finish the bushing job. Much better than work.

Find out that my Puch MS50 D moped has sold on Ebay for £102 to a man in Wales. He seems a decent bloke and pays immediately.


Refit forks and put the bike back together. Go out for a ride in the Vale of Belvoir. All much better than work.

Man from Wales confirms he will collect the Puch on Sunday.


Stand on a corner in Newark Market Place rattling a collection tin for the Framework Housing Association. They are an extremely good concern which provides housing and support to vulnerable individuals who may in some cases be rough sleepers. Freezing cold but I met about fifteen people who I have not seen for ages and was able to engage in one of my favourite pastimes, gossip.

Went home and told the wife I will retire this year.

Immediate panic attack. Can we afford it? Social isolation beckons? My world may crumble without the structure of work. I'll be a nobody without a job. Maybe I am now!

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Hope to see clearly

I discovered about a year ago that I had cataracts. One in each eye, the right being worse than the left. At the time the opthalmologist offered to list me for an operation but being terrified I refused and said I would wait. So the right eye has deteriorated and I have been pondering increasingly on why I would choose to go through younger old age with a sight problem that can be improved considerably by surgery (though obviously there are risks). Today therefore I went back to outpatients at Newark Hospital and have been listed for the operation on my right eye in April.

I have always had a passionate belief that free and comprehensive healthcare is an essential in any decent and civilised society. We do not need Blair's Foundation Hospitals and supposed "choice".

The existence of Foundation Hospitals in some areas implies there will be less competent facilities in other parts of the country. What justification can there be for giving some members of the population an inferior service in this way?

Choice? You can only make genuine choices when you have a full knowledge of the product you are purchasing, the alternatives that are available, and the power or resource to ensure you get it. Selecting a treatment for a possibly life threatening illness is rather more complex than buying a pound of apples off the market. With illness there are not the opportunities to learn by mistakes "the surgeon made a balls up so I'll try another the next time I need a hysterectomy".

What sick people need is a decent facility not too far from where they live adequately resourced and staffed with competent and motivated people. I have faith in the UK NHS and I have always had a good service, as I did today. This despite the fact that staff have been demoralised by years of change which has not always had an obvious benefit for patients, so called modernisation and other triumphs of form over function.

I will keep you posted on developments as my treatment progresses.

Sunday, 14 January 2007

Admission to addiction

I think I have a craving I need to confess to. My name is David and I am addicted to putting adverts in the paper to see if anyone has an old moped for sale.
The excitement and adrenalin rush of it all. Cold sweats and bitten finger nails waiting for the advert to appear. The phone call from the hopeful seller. The 40 mile trip to view. Peering into the broken down shed to view the rusty heap. Paying £40 for something worth £25. Spending £60 on it. Selling it for £80. On Ebay.
I did it again last week, furtive advert in the Lincolnshire Echo not disclosed to wife "anyone got a Honda C90 for sale"? One reply which seemed hopeful and I arranged to view today. As my garage is full I decided to get rid of the Puch which you see here so onto Ebay it goes. It came from Epworth the birthplace of John Wesley. Space needed for my "new" Honda.
Unfortunately the guy selling the Honda has now rung to say he can now not go ahead. Gone into cold turkey. When the Puch has gone I will have a tiny space in the garage that must be filled. Must get in touch with the Lincolnshire Echo classifieds again tomorrow.