Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Morganos

I've had a week's holiday. Well annual leave during which time I've moved twice (Once in London and once to Yorkshire). So it doesn't feel like a holiday. But I feel less stressed than I imagine Tony Soprano feeling, so it's all ok. I'm all cosy in my lovely new accommodation in Stoke Newington. The good thing about having live-in landladys is that they pamper you. Well the one I've got does so it feels like home from home. Even the broadband works. The only problem is being apart from the husband and all the other responsibilities that come with being of a certain age. Anyway we had a Soprano fest me and the other half and it was great.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Moving house has never been one of those tips mentioned in a 'How to Relax' book of the 1990s. Or 80s. Or Now. Or probably ever.

But we've done it. And unpacking one box takes approximately one hour. So by 2008 we might have unpacked, except we've got to move again in probably December. So I'm coping by sleeping. The bedroom in 'Courtyard Cottage' is deceptively free of boxes. It's a box free haven, overlooking a beautiful crab apple tree in its prime.

My ambition this week was to unpack the kitchen. However this was overambitious. So instead we've been dining out (how unlike us). But being up North the prices are literally four times cheaper so this suits us fine. My new ambition is to meditate thrice daily, cloaking myself in a relaxed ambience and to stop having over-ambitious plans.

The cats are fine. Because they've been imprisoned the moment they got here
they don't mind too much about being inside. Except if I go in the garden. Which I'm very much enjoying - it's south facing.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A social history of Love

With a bit of luck Blaglady is going to call her latest poetry book 'Anna Tatton's Social History of Love' Immortalising me before I have to do any work to do the same. [there you go anonymity busted. Didn't take long. But I've got a different name now anyway Ha ha].

She had an excellent idea of making what she's written already Volume One, then having the appendix as a list of chapters for the second volume. Anyway I didn't quite understand it but it sounded brilliant.

I've been wanting to write a social history of love ever since I read 'History of God' and 'History of the Orgasm', both of which are excellent books. But no one appears to have done 'History of Love' so after I've done my History of dementia I'm going to have a crack at it. You can look up my early thoughts on this (Sept 3rd 2006).

I think my chapters will be thus:
1) What is Love?
1.5) Love and biology
2) Love and Evolution
3) The Greeks and Love
4) The Romans and Love
4.5) St Paul's letter to the Corinthians and religion etc
5) Medieval Love
6) Early Modern Love
7) Shakespeare and that era
8) Victorians including Freud & Marx
9) One Love
10) The Twentieth Century and Love including homosexuality
11) What's the difference between Care and Love?
12) The Beatles
13) What's the difference between 'being in love' and loving someone/thing?
14) Measuring love
14.5) Tragedy, wars and Love - eg Iraq, Cassablanca [watched this yesterday for the first time]
15) Love : A Manifesto - the Secular Ideal for the twenty-first century

I reckon this one's an even bigger project than dementia. Hopefully finished by 2023.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

'I do not want any friends on facebook'

Not a quote from me, but my mother. I've tried talking her through it on the phone and it hasn't worked. So she only has one friend at the moment - who has apparently said it's ok to disown her.

Re: dementia. Nothing to moan about really. In my day job (the one I get paid for so I have to be careful what I say here) we had a presentation on these sort of issues and I was impressed. They turned it into a plea for help which was quite cunning. Of course, with me they were pushing at an open door. Not sure about x and y though.

On things which I presumably can drone on about till the cows come home (an apt phrase from my childhood - they destroyed the potatoes and lettuce I was growing in our vegetable patch 21 years ago). Namely the docu-soap on telly last night about entrepreneurs in a Ugandan village. Needless to say, I had tears in my eyes. One minute a child dying of malnutrition. Next minute, an awe inspiring demonstration of human spirit through dance and song. The human spirit is so bright when you expect it to be deadened.

Why isn't NICE monitoring the £20bn wasted on Sure Start?

I bought a brilliant book a while ago to help me with the MA - Roweena Murray's How to Write a Thesis. Anyway point one of her five points to prevent yourself from getting writers block is to become addicted to writing. Not sure I'm there yet. Then point two is to 'finish today's writing session by defining tomorrow's 3) Do writing before everything else 4) don't worry about done or undone writing 5) gather together all the writing you've done and notice how much there is '.

Good tips.

Anyway I'm going to try and make the blog as dementia orientated as possible so I can see all my writing mount up.

Today I'm fuming because there was a report out a few weeks ago saying there was no evidence that the government's half baked £20billion 'Sure Start' programme has any impact. Of course, now I've actually been elected with a brief to improve older people's services there are a multitude of things that that £20bn could have been spent on which actually have EVIDENCE to support their case for improvements. Including implementing their own guidelines, perhaps having some of their beloved 'targets' on dementia like they do for cancer for example.

The fact is age discrimination is endemic, it's not just institutionalised it's blatant. My thesis, which is supposed to be a history of dementia could be a history of age discrimination. Lives at a certain age are just less valuable to our society. And doctors have told me that.

TO answer my last question I had votes in the hundreds (700people voted) and I was fourth out of five. So my husband has to slap himself on the face say a hundred times.

Monday, September 17, 2007

The three crowns should get one star

I hate to be middle class. But on the other hand there's no getting away from it, once you are middle class (and many of us are there from birth of course) you can't really complain. For fifteen quid, for which you can also buy 3 useless handbags, a printer cartridge and a second hand mobile phone, you can also buy a delicious meal in Stoke Newington with not bad service, which seems to be on the up. And let me emphasise the word delicious. One of the most underestimated words in the british language if you ask me. Anyway that's fifteen quid very well spent. You're full, you've had adequate, in fact more than adequate, artistic inspiration for the day, and you feel satiated.

I'm delighted to report that the governors are all lovely and I've managed to slip a few faux pas in all over the place, with the discreet coded etc to benefit the hospital. Our Chair is Uberkid - Chair of the London Museum (my favourite museum) amongst other achievements which are too lengthy for this short blog. I enjoyed it much more than the so-called training the other day. Much more informative and enjoyable. Long live democracy. As you can guess I'm a new convert. Get my 'results' tomorrow (how many people voted for me!). I'll be living off this election business for years. Well at least one.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A good day and a bad day - Will Big Governor evict herself? You decide (NOT!)

Anyway. Can't decide how much I can legitimately get away with. Not much is probably the correct answer, so being so risk averse I will go with that. Had some horrific training yesterday. I don't believe it will be bringing any of the organisations I'm connected with into disrepute to say that. However if there are any of my lawyer friends reading this who are still speaking to me, if you do suspect me of breaking any laws, especially ones which may affect my income, can you please let me know. You see, I can just delete the words. And, no-one, bar the police, MI5 and the FBI, plus computer geeks will ever know.

Perhaps I'm on safer ground moaning about Tamoxifen. To be honest, now I've got used to it it's fine.

So back to moaning about the training yesterday. I attended training on dementia. It was absolutely rubbish. It was like (and forgive me for being pompous and arrogant, but now I'm elected I'm entitled) Einstein attending A Level Physics classes. Or Shakespeare an oral english examination. Or Tony Blair BTEC in diplomacy. There was this bloke, I could call him a _____, but now I'm elected I don't think my language will plunge to those depths. Let me put it like this: I disagreed with him.
He said potato. I said tomato. It was like that. I don't want to be libellous you see so without going into any detail whatsoever I'll just leave it at that. But I'm right and he is wrong. And he is a ______.

So to cheer myself up I rang up homerton hospital and found out I'm the guv'nor. [should read 'a']

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

She's the guv'nor!

It should read 'She's a governor'. Anyway I'm now a bona-fide elected governor of Homerton Hospital. No doubt this means that this blog will be shut down, so whatever you are reading is a piece of history.

I've been celebrating with blaglady - she's entered the world of paid employment at the tender age of 97 so we cracked open the prosecco. If there's spelling and pc mistakes in this I apologise. Jim Davidson would know better. To cut a short story pissed, there was a lot of meat on at the hope and anchor so in my new responsible state I ate it all. Long live Megadeth.

On a more serious note I hope to champion the causes of whoever pays me the most (joke) and marries me the most times (not so funny).

Nepotism is a funny old game. Fortunately it doesn't existin the NHS.

I'm not as happy as Larry - Blaglady will contest he was an ex's ex' ex of mine. Power breeds responsibility which breeds stress= money which breeds living in London. Me in Leeds is out of the equation. AT =PM SQUARED minus facebook. Somehow it doesn't add up and I've got to do a lot of reading.
And tell me again - who was the youngest prime minister ever elected who was a woman? And what happened to her burning ambitions to see improvements in the number of dementia cases diagnosed?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Three amazing things

1) Even in the depths of despair writing a list of ten annoying things, one instantly thinks of so many lovely things. Like Hoxton Hall where we had our event on Saturday. It was an original cockney music hall and you can imagine Marie Lloyd flouncing around with everyone drinking too much, people rammed in to the balconies. It only lasted six years and lost its license because it was too rowdy and you can imagine the racket everyone made at the peak of the industrial revolution forgetting their worries walking through the narrow streets on their way home.
2) Delicious chicken salad in a cafe, with roasted peppers, avocado, goats cheese and balsamic vinegar
3) Brian from Big Brother defending himself so well against the homophobic bullying of Jim Davidson. If only one of the women could have done such a good job against his misogynist tirades.

The ten most annoying things in the world

1) Mondays
2) Computers
3) Telephones/their operating companies/fax machines
4) Printers
5) pestilence/poverty/death/global warming/disasters
6) Shops which don't sell organic malted whole grain flour
7) Jim Davidson
8) The media
9) zealots
10) dementia

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Perfect Diagnosis

They give you an appointment to give you the results. Then they rang to check I was attending and bringing someone with me.

Then we had the appointment. With the same doctor who I'd had all along. And he was there with two other people. One sitting down and one standing. There was a little bit of small talk. And then the nice doctor said 'I'm sorry to say but the lump is malignant.' And they let us ask a load of questions. The doors were locked to stop us being interrupted. And he said I probably wouldn't remember much of the conversation as it's shocking news so we could just go home now, tell the family, and come back next week to discuss the treatment plan. And then the person sitting down introduced herself as the breast cancer nurse who would be the main point of contact, she gave me her pager details and a load of leaflets - about breast cancer, its treatment and alternative treatment at the breast cancer centre. And that was that. As perfect a textbook diagnosis you could ask for.

But God help you if you get dementia. Chances are (50%) you or your relatives will never get a diagnosis. And the diagnosis is never perfect. The so-called 'Nice' guidelines recommend not to tell you if they think you don't want to know. There is nobody applying the sorts of standards of Cancer Care to dementia. Nobody will ever discuss a treatment plan with you, mainly because there isn't one, because the care slips through the gaps between personal care (social services) and health care. It's a long, difficult death, lasting 20 years but you won't die at home or in a hospice. They're all for cancer patients (95%).

I won't be cycling round the world I'm afraid. Or doing a triathlon, or in fact anything where some poor souls have to sponsor me. Cancer patients are well served. And they have plenty of people, dead and alive fighting for their corner. I don't know whether to crack open the champagne or cry for 2 years over the death of this Cancer Superwoman. I prefer Cherie Booth to be honest.

But if I help a quicker and better diagnosis for even one dementia patient I'll be a little happier. If I stop one doctor writing 'Old Age' as the primary cause on one death certificate I'll be a little happier. And I will be very sanctimonious about it indeed. As sanctimonious and victorious as the next cancer superwoman. And if anyone writes poison pen letters telling me to vote Tory, euthanasia works, have chemo once a week, stop reading, stop studying, worship Madonna, stop eating out, sell my engagement ring or some other thing that I don't want to do in a million years I won't be dignified. I will tell them to piss off.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Is 'All you need is Love' the best song ever composed?

There's nothing that you can write that isn't written.

But that wasn't a line from the song.

Anyway we've had a lovely weekend, despite my husband not forgiving me for booking us into the worst hotel in the world. He recorded me a video of it for posterity to make us laugh if ever we get depressed. We had an overlap with Yorkshire rental arrangements where it meant he didn't have anywhere to live for 2 nights and this 'Lodge' was my answer.

And then we moved him into this cottage near York - friends renting it to us. And I got thinking about friendship again. Would I be friends with my relatives if I wasn't related to them? And some friends are like relatives anyway. You've grown up with some of them. And like relatives, because you're friends with them say for example because they're friends with your mum, you don't really have that much choice. And neither do they. You have all this small talk business. Are you enjoying work? Did you watch Supernanny? But I still love em. All of em.

I'm just about to celebrate 20 years of friendship with one of my friends. It was actually last year (the 20 year anniversary date) but we both had too much on. We've been through everything together, sort of. And a lot not together. And we're probably quite different now. We went to Donnington 88 together and nearly got crushed in the Guns N Roses push. She introduced me to good music and nice people. I made friends with her friends, she made friends with mine. I became part of the family for a while. She was always beautifully dressed. She had a few boyfriends and so did I. She got engaged. I moved to London. She got married. I moved jobs. She became a teacher. I became a preacher (not). And she came to my wedding and stayed right to the end. When I treasured my 'Shortcuts to Bounching back from heartbreak' after splitting up from Silly-boy, I wrote inside 'What is a friend?'. That's one.

Anyway the answer to the question is possibly.