Friday, September 18, 2009

7 Quick Takes

1. Poor Cherub apparently has flu. We thought it was the sore throaty thing she had last week (and shared with everyone else in the family except Tevye) making a reappearance, but after two days of being feverish and unwell and spiking a high temperature last night it looked decidedly flu-ish, though whether swine flu or the common or garden variety who knows. Whatever, the NHS swine flu website automatically generated a prescription for tamiflu. I tried to disguise the contents of the first capsule in fromage frais. She was not fooled. 

2. After dithering over whether or not Cherub needed the tamiflu, I looked at the wilted, rather pathetic little person slumped on the sofa and decided on balance she did. She is now sitting on the floor hammering balls into a box and looking remarkably perky. Bad call?

3. Rosh Hashanah - Jewish New Year - begins this evening. That means three high holy days in the next eight days for Tevye. Rosh Hashanah tonight and tomorrow, followed by 24 hours of fasting and services for Yom Kippur a week on Monday.

4. First Communion classes start tomorrow morning. Last year we floundered through as novice catechists using a book intended for Catholic schools that we adapted as best we could. This year we are using Jesus Comes To Me by Dora Nash from Family Publications and feeling much more confident that we can do a good job. The book is clear, simple and covers all the basics, but is short enough that we can get through it in the twenty-five 45 minute sessions we have available. Optimism abounds!

5. Note the conjunction of takes one, three and four. Small child with flu; Tevye at synagogue; First Communion class to teach. Add in two other daughters at gym and then needing lifts to different places and tomorrow morning becomes a logistical nightmare. Thank goodness for K-next-door who will look after Cherub while I whizz round trying to get everyone to the right places at the right times.

6. Tevye and I had some interesting conversations following on from my attitudes to healthcare post. As a result I have a question for any UK based readers old enough to remember the old days of British Rail ... in your experience, has the rail system got better or worse since it was taken over by private companies?

7. Blogger is not behaving well. For some reason it refuses to acknowledge that I am signed in unless I go through the dashboard. This means all the quick-edit buttons have disappeared. It also means I can't comment on some blogs. (Clare at Battlements of Rubies, I have tried to comment on yours at least three times, and the darned thing won't let me!) Is anyone else having problems, or is it just me? 

You can find more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary


Shari said...

I've been trying to comment for awhile with no luck. It seems better now. (Or different computer?) Anyway, hi! Hope Cherub continues on the mend and no one else succumbs.

Jennifer said...

Please explain - website generated prescriptions. We cannot get a prescription without first seeing a dr. Does this work for antibiotics for ear infections and strep? Because I would be officially jealous. I always know before the lab tests when my children have strep and the dr. never believes me until he sees the lab results. This ends up with repeated appts. and labs until I can get a positive result and meds.

Dorothy said...

British Rail v Privatised rail companies?

Mmmm, we have an excellent service here called Chiltern Railways. Really very good. ALWAYS on time. How does it do that? It has won awards. Clean, comfortable etc.


But 1. On a national level, trying to plan a journey involving more than one company, or get the right price, is a nightmare now.

But 2. Safety record seems much worse since privatisation (nationally).

But 3. National level planning seems to be finished. Private companies only interested in short term profits because their contracts are for such short periods.

So, privatisation COULD have been a good thing, but I think, for most people, it wasn't.

Not short of opinions, am I?LOL!

Praying that Cherubs gets Better before giving you her illness!

Clare said...

Oh dear, I'm sorry to have missed your comments.

I've also been following the US healthcare debate with interest. I'm trying to understand the passionate opposition to 'socialised healthcare'.
For me, the most compelling argument against is the issue of taxpayer funding of abortion.It disappoints me that here in the UK we are so lame on this issue. Americans are much more vocal and seem to have a better grasp of the abortion argument. Brits seem to be a bit woolly in this respect.

However, one thing that keeps cropping up in the healthcare debate, is this idea that the UK is a great example of the "horrors" of universal healthcare.
It's not. The NHS, for all it's flaws, works very well. Preferable in a number of ways, from my perspective, to the American system.
It's funny how here, any move to threaten, or undermine the NHS, is tantamount to political suicide.
In America, any move to establish universal healthcare is tantamount to political suicide.
They use the UK system as a dire warning of 'socialised' healthcare.
WE use the American system as a dire warning of privatised healthcare.
Go figure.
And it's not as if we HAVE to rely on the NHS alone. Many people have private plans too, which can be useful if they want to get varicose veins done next week insead of waiting 6 months.
But for emergency care, or long term chronic care, the NHS is wonderful. And no one needs to fear financial ruin as a consequence of medical bills.

And re your question about British Rail, I do think it worked much better when it was one coherent organisation. Privatisation has created a choppy, disconnected, confusing mish mash.

The Bookworm said...

Clare, thanks for your comments. It is kind of surreal the way Americans and British demonise each others healthcare systems. Like you, I wouldn't want to swap. I would find the financial risks of a private system too stressful. I don't know what's up with your blog, but every time I try to comment using my Google account it vanishes into the ether - disappears from the comment box, but never reappears anywhere else. It won't even let me comment anonymously.

Dorothy and Clare, we came to the conclusion that if you extrapolated British Rail forwards, assuming a modicum of capital investment in infrastructure and trains, it would be better than the mish-mash we have now. Envy your Chiltern Trains, Dorothy. We have London Midland, of recent "no trains on Sunday" fame. They took over from Silverlink, who were significantly better. So much for the franchise system. For all British Rail was a national joke in it's time ("We're getting there ...") it had it's plus points.