Archive | September 2018

A shower with a will of its own

Hello there blog fans. No I haven’t left the country, although I can understand why some of you thought I had.

I’ve spent the last ten days in a CCU in Worthing Hospital, where I have been treated so amazingly well by the clinical staff that I’m still reeling at the thought of their patience and their skill and their ineffable kindness, which I will tell you about in tomorrow’s blog. But today I thought we should have a bit of cheerful idiocy.


I thought i had met the height of curiosity in the parking ticket dispensing machines that won’t dispense tickets at all, no matter how carefully you might kajol or persuade them. But now I have met the ultimate in superior machinery.

The hospital shower room is so totally and relentlessly mechanised you can barely persuade it to give more than a teacup full of water. Everything about the room is mechanised, nothing will persuade it to flush the toilet, now matter how carefully you look for the handle. You could approach it from any angle, hopefully, but it won’t do anything unless you hold a hand in front of it for 20 seconds and wave it. Then it takes abrupt and rawing action, growls at you tiger fashion and flushes like a wild thing. Thereafter it will repeat the trick whenever you approach it, with total and cheerful abandon.

The hand basin had a similar will of its own. You have to hold your hands under the tap in just the right position to persuade it to part with any water at all, and then if you take your hand away in order to persuade the soap machine to dispense a soupçon of foam, when you return you have to go through the whole rigmarole over again.

But it was the shower that was the pièce de résistance.

It wouldn’t turn itself on unless you held your hand at exactly the right angle and then you had to wave at it for several seconds and in several positions before it would oblige by actually spraying your toes with water. But when you are foolhardy enough to remove your hands from the controls and snatch a palm full of shower gel, you are back in the water-less desert again and have to start the whole coaxing and waving bit all over again, while it sits in front of you, flashing it’s light but resolutely refusing to provide any water for you to actually wash with. On one or two occasions I assumed a stern face and said ‘are you going to allow me to shower or aren’t you?’ at which it switched off all its lights and retreated into the water-less shadows. It wasn’t open to any sort of compromise at all. I did try just enough to slouche off the soap suds but it didn’t even snort at me. I could hear it chuckling to itself tinnily from somewhere inside the apparatus. So I walked away from it back to the hand sink to do battle with that.

At the end of it I was more or less clean, but sticky in parts. It wasn’t so much taking a shower as being engulfed in wonderland.

But I am home now and what a joy it is to stand in my wet room and be thoroughly slouched all over.

This entry was posted on September 27, 2018. 5 Comments

Profits before Pupils


If you care about what is happening to our schools and our children as many of us do, please don’t miss the BBC Panorama programme which – with luck – will be aired on BBC One on Monday the 10th September at 20.30. This is an unashamed flier for the programme, because a) this is a scandal and a lot of us know it and b) it is rare for the BBC to come down so strongly on the side of ordinary people against the power and might and greed of the mega rich.


If when you’ve seen it, there are still questions you would like answered, please get in touch with me via this blog or with Waltham Holy Cross School, for we both know a great deal about it and all of us would be happy to keep you informed.


This entry was posted on September 5, 2018. 2 Comments