​This was to be an early start and I am, now, listening to the 4 o’clock news on the radio!  Why?  The sad thing is, I have no idea.  I suppose this is the peril faced by those working from home who, undisciplined, are easy prey to incoming calls or Loose Women!  It is amazing, however, the controversial subject matter which may be gleaned from daytime television – and the exercise involved in getting up from one’s chair, repeatedly, in search of pen and paper or another cup of coffee.
For those who may question what I do on a daily basis, I have just been subjected to a further lengthy interruption on account of an incoming email from my tax consultant detailing the additional complications and escalating costs incurred in trying to decipher the ‘intelligent’ accounts of a financial adviser.  Sadly, jointly liable on paper, I can only liken my naivety to that of ‘Swellin’ in Dallas!  Ironically, as I signed my name, unquestioningly, to each pile of documents produced over the years, I used to laugh and liken myself to her – her naivety, that is, not her drinking habits!  Such is life.
As I have said before, much of my writing comes to me in the middle of the night – and departs the next morning!  I had a brilliant train of thought and first paragraph for today, convinced I would remember every word; that is until I started dreaming, for some peculiar reason, that Barry Manilow had died and my words of wisdom went out the window!  Suffice to say, I was a little nervous turning on the radio in case I truly had acquired the gift of second sight and Barry was no longer with us.  Thankfully, predicting the future is not, yet, one of my many talents and I can continue to smile content in the knowledge that the world is not without him … I wonder whether anyone will get that?
I seemed to be making notes all over the place, last week, but Becca’s appointment at the Dermatology Clinic on Wednesday provided a wealth of material – for a sitcom!  John Cleese would have been in his element.  Never an outing to buoy one’s mood, things were going relatively smoothly in that Becca had managed to vacate the house in sufficient time to enable a journey within the speed limit and we had found a parking space.  Fast forward to our arrival on the First Floor of the Lauriston Building and …  Well, firstly, I happened to notice the name of a doctor on one of the doors as we proceeded along the corridor.  I could not pronounce, let alone spell it and it made me smile, bringing to mind my visit to the ENT clinic at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy when I was nine years old.  Struggling to hear, I was referred to the Victoria for an assessment during which I was asked to repeat the words spoken by the young doctor – obviously very quietly.  Anyway, the upshot was I was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf!  Not really but I was able to repeat very little if anything at all.  The young doctor did not have a British accent and, as a little girl, I couldn’t understand a word he said!  All rather futile but something I have never forgotten.  Times have moved on.
So far, so good, we arrived at Reception to be greeted politely and enthusiastically?  Don’t be ridiculous.  The two behind the desk behaved as though they would rather have been staked to an anthill naked and issued Becca with the news that her appointment had been moved to the previous week and she had missed it!  I surprised myself with my reaction in that I managed to maintain silence while Becca protested that she had received no notification of any such change.  Mouths open.  No reaction?  No, movement after a few minutes and a slope from behind the desk to some cupboard of a room only to slope back and tell us – with no visible use of facial muscles – that the doctor had agreed to see Becca!  Were we missing something or was that just code for an apology?  Perhaps there was a language barrier?!  No.  Merely a complete lack of manners, people skills, organisation and intelligence for that matter.  Throw in no propensity for the job but, rather, an appreciation of the little bit of power afforded by said position.  Voila!
Told to sit down and wait, I was aware that the ticket on the car was going to expire.  No matter, another enthusiastic nurse saw fit to come over and enlighten Becca as to the altruistic nature of the doctor she had, actually, had an appointment to see 45 minutes ago – he had kindly agreed to see her!  I would save my wrath for intelligent life – the humanitarian doctor being portrayed as the Second Coming – but, in doing so, I missed my opportunity.  Turns out he was so impressed with himself that we were privileged, after all, to have a few minutes of his time, particularly in light of the fact that Becca had failed to second guess that her appointment had been changed to the week before!  Our fault, obviously.  No wonder no apology was forthcoming.  Glad we sorted that out …
I have another scribble on the page pertaining to this memorable visit; an aside I made to Becca whilst awaiting our audience with.  One should be aware that she shares her mother’s humour and it was meant for her ears only but …  One cannot help but agree that the waiting areas for such clinics are nothing short of depressing.  Of course, one is there to see a doctor and there is the added fact that the surroundings are often pretty grim; however, on this occasion, it was the demeanour of the reception staff and nurses, to boot, which beggared belief.  Ever the observer, I was led to comment that there was no opportunity for modelling scouts on said floor.  Harsh?  No matter, they are all in Tiger Lily – obviously – with the little green men!  
So, my observations on the NHS remain for another day.  Meanwhile, this degenerated into something more along the lines of a comedy sketch!  It has been suggested that I consider a one woman show at the Fringe.  Yes, it may have been after a couple of single units but …  perhaps I should give it some thought!
Once again, it is late and I have no deep and meaningful quote to hand.  However, the following is rather prophetic:
‘Time is a great teacher but, unfortunately, it kills all its pupils!’     Hector Berlioz
This is Trish, signing off.