December - Christmas Countdown

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Tagged in james' blog
December - Christmas Countdown

What on earth is going on? We are running out of 2015 faster than you can say knife and it seems as if somebody stole about half of it. Time management is all the rage these days but it is not entirely clear to me what it means. The evils of November seem to have passed to be replaced by the cascade of “stuff” that has to be dealt with before Christmas. Christmas shopping is always one of those things loved by some and, in this case, thought of as rather a chore. However it does give us the chance to say thank you to all those who have helped us and looked after us and yesterday we had our Christmas lunch for about twenty five people including those who work on the farm, those who work with the horses in the stables and of course my team of Angels from Pulse Community Healthcare who are always there for me. Once the meal is finished the host gives a short speech thanking those who have helped us in the past and present, welcoming newcomers, saying good-bye to those who have left us, wishing any of the team who may be poorly best wishes and the high point of the occasion follows with the annual joke!

The annual joke is the subject of considerable speculation and the teller has to tread very carefully in order that no embarrassment is caused – the ice can be dangerously thin when it comes to all the “’isms” that have to be allowed for these days. This year the story concerned a lawyer and an old farmer in New Zealand, which seemed to fulfil the requirements without any poo traps causing offence. It could conceivably be called “ageist” but then the joke teller had a head start on most of the guests by about ten years.

The last week or two have been somewhat unusual from the caring point of view when a combination of annual leave, mandatory training and sickness within my band of Angels caused some difficulties. You will not be surprised to hear that the Pulse team rose to the occasion magnificently. Two of my normal team clocked up over sixty hours each and on one day at different times I was supported by my Case Manager, both community nurses and others. It was a huge effort by all concerned and done with the greatest good humour and care – I am very grateful.

Speaking of good humour a couple of my Angels have decided that it is time that this old boy should be taught to speak “Suffolk” despite having lived or been based here for the last fifty years. So far two words have been mastered. In alphabetical order they are as follows: firstly “init” and secondly “mearse”. My instructors explained the use of “init” in great detail; the derivation of the word coming from the words “isn’t it” as used in the interrogative. Apparently it can be used something like this if you happen to be looking for a bus stop in either Beccles or Lowestoft. First find yourself a knowledgeable looking person. You approach them with the following question “Please will you direct me to the nearest bus stop init?” Apparently this is all that is needed to be pointed in the right direction. The derivation of “Mearse” is slightly less straightforward as it actually stems from the word “yes” when used in what you might describe as the Downton Abbey vernacular. However we have found it useful for describing the part of my anatomy which has developed a skin problem over the last few weeks. My life has been greatly enriched by learning these rare and wonderful words – what fun!

Please have a wonderful Christmas and an equally wonderful 2016 whatever it may bring.

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