Saturday, April 28, 2012

in battersea, where prurience and modesty are almost siamese twins, you can't have too many net curtains ...

she isn't eccentric, she's just a mountain person ...

...who calls herself my friend,

and begins a letter but can't be hurried to finish it,

or even post it ...

and then she starts another !

and eventually, after months of vexatious anticipation ...

the two arrive in the same post.

Friday, April 27, 2012

in the online version of the spanish newspaper El Pais, we see that spanish doctors who treat illegal immigrants are facing awful ethical dilemmas

"First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me."

i'm sorry what follows is so badly translated but I'm sure you'll get the general outline of the picture ....

"I treat people who are uninsured"
The clinics appeal to their code of ethics to defend illegal immigrant care

The industry complains that it can not be vigilant system

IIl treat people who are uninsured." Josep Basra, president of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine (Semfyc), it is clear.  Always from a personal point of view, the decree that prevents serve illegal immigrants is not in our ethics.  "If I have a person before me, I do not care whether foreign or not, I have to meet them." he says.  A vision shared by the president of theMedical Association (WTO), Juan Jose Rodriguez Sendin:  "Just as I can not be compelled to perform euthanasia, so they can not force us to not to treat a patient."

The approach of Rodriguez Sendin and Basra is the same for most concerned health professionals that appeal to their code of ethics to defend treatment of illegal immigrants from Sept. 1 who are not entitled to a health insurance card, as the Royal Decree of settings published this week by the Government. 

"A patient is a patient black, white or mediopensionista, and we can not abandon them deontologically. It's crazy. We are not policemen or inspectors, if they ask me to support them as a doctor then I have to, another thing is you can not use the best technologies that I prefer - and then we'll see the administrative side, "says the president of the Spanish doctors. And this idea that they are going to have to act as policemen of the system to avoid suspected fraud or simply enforcing a rule bother them greatly. Some say they do not agree. Go for it, say, the insubordinates through some kind of conscientious objection, but in reverse.
The Coordinadora Anti-Privatisation of Public Health in Madrid has been the one that has lit the fuse. "We call on the ethics of any and all public health professionals for full attention to this population [over 150,000], belonging largely to disadvantaged groups. At the same time, we claim the right to conscientious objection on the part of all professionals to the effective implementation of Royal Decree, an immoral law, unjust, and dangerous in terms of public health, "say.
Semfyc, society presiding Basra, more than 20,000 professionals,"expresses its opposition to the ministerial decision to limit access to health care to immigrants "without papers". Also, like "warn of health risks" of leaving "without access to a continuum of care, and to restrict their attention through emergencies can generate higher spending and hamper disease control."
·        "People will die for this"
Maximo Gonzalez Jurado, President of the General Nursing Council, believes that professional ethical principles collide with the action taken by the ministry of Ana Mato. "The legal parentage of the patient is not our problem when it is a person who has a health problem. It is clear that we can not deny these children. Especially if we have no guarantee that those people who have been our patients can receive the care they need by other means", he says. "We do not begin to analyze the problem of illegal immigration, and who also is a medical tourist," he says. "But if these people are in Spain and need health care, as professionals we must give it. It is another thing is to have filters before reaching us," he says.
Jury Gonzalez does not dispute that the health system need measures to ensure sustainability, but criticizes the Government's health reform has been produced without the opinion of the professionals who have to implement it.  Although he believes that on that point they will not. "No doctor or nurse will stop giving a person the assistance they need. We have no obligation to ask the person the insurance card, "he says.
"Patients are not just a history. There is a person.  As professionals, they know we've had a relationship with them, "criticizes Pilar Navarro, secretary of the Health Sector Public Services Federation of UGT, which also argues that "professionally" they can not leave their patients unattended."This situation must be resolved because it is unfair humanely, if people can not reach us first, denying them assistance".
A similar idea is repeated from the College of Physicians of Madrid."From the ethical point of view no physician can fail to respond to any patient in need," said a spokesman.
A  health  coordinator  called  for  disobedience  to  the  dictate

Altisent Roger, a professor of bioethics at the medical school of Zaragoza, explains that from the standpoint ofMedical Ethics Code the situation is not simple. "It's not black and white.We are facing a variety of situations and very hard. We have served all who pass through the door without putting ourselves in the position of demanding proof of status", he says. The expert explained that the Code of Ethics, Article 6, states that "the doctor will never abandon a patient in need of care", and also speaks of the doctor to stop treating a patient, ensure the continuity in attendance. "These are points that are not designed for this, but that could be applied," he says. Doctors who do take the path of disobedience: ask to be excused from a legal obligation and not be punished.
To Altisent, that last track is an interesting path to explore. "This should be done to alleviate dramatic situations," he says. And at this point criticizes the government places health professionals in a very uncomfortable situation. "Perhaps the national health system itself will have to arbitrate for intermediate situations, not their doctors who are in a very delicate situation deontologically" he says. So much so that the Medical College will address the issue in assembly. "They are not scenarios for us, and they must be analyzed," says its president Juan Jose Rodriguez Sendin.
The nurse Angel Navarro, a spokesman for the coordinator to promote insubordination, says that his is a "call to the whole system." "We have only launched the idea. We cannot  develop a legal system", he says. For Navarro, which proposes to deny care to patients they have known and yreated for years is "inhumane, unjust, it is against our conscience and our code of ethics."
The  problem  is  to  ensure  continuity  of  treatment

Miguel, a family doctor in Madrid who gives a false name, is sympathetic to the idea of ​​the objection. "In 25 years I have seen enough immigrant population, and I have had very painful cases. People who have fled armed conflict, their family have been killed." "Many, after all, are  in highly sensitive situations of mental health. How will I treat someone with schizophrenia, depression? If it is difficult for anyone who takes pills for them in this situation will be even more, "he says. So Michael's proposal seems "reasonable." "It's in our code of ethics." "What we are being asked to do is repugnant to morality." "I work for the patient, and I will maximize flexibility in the criteria of what is an emergency. Or are we going to become police for the immigration control system? ".
The doctor suggests difficulty at a practical level. "One thing is early diagnosis and other treatment," he says, with the idea that once served, there are issues, like getting the drug, yes they can get very difficult. But he believes that, ultimately, the Government's proposal will be like "holding back the tide." "The system already has holes. At primary level there are emergencies, and they either put a policeman at the door, or admit anyone who comes saying he has something urgent to be addressed. "The bad thing for him is that in the end, care will be worse. "It will be desperate to know that a person needs treatment and it cannot be provided."

read all about it ! .... professor mary beard ... wise, lively, dry witted, sweet natured


A lady who is very much in the bloom of health whatever her age, and as colourful as the central figure in  Renoir’s Harem, and as dynamic as  one of those giantesses who run ecstatically along the beach in Picasso’s backdrop for Diaghilev's Ballet Russes, stands in the sunlit atrium at our local shopping mall rolling her eyes heavenwards like a Mexican saint whilst absent-mindedly polishing her intelligent mobile phone on her chest, as if she were a sorceress and was expecting to conjure up some happy mischief from it in an imminent twitter from the gods.

The afternoon sunlight warms the soggy bluebells after the recent storms and deluges and they put out clouds of scent, so much perfume that several varieties of happy bumble bees can be seen at a glance, some with pollen sacs already brimming.

After an exhausting day, a generous colleague offers me a chilled fizzy drink in a can and I pop it in to my “man bag” before starting the homeward journey.  After a bus ride & a train ride & a supermarket trudge & and another bus ride, I pause on a comfy wooden bench to drink from it in the sun and I see across the street a ruddy face-drinker who has ventured outside the Green Man for a desperate drag on a cigarette, and so I congratulate myself rarther too smugly because my refreshment is clearly so much cheaper than his.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

prosaic .... illustrating my want of imagination

for many years i was troubled by the following uncertainty ... whenever i heard tom jones singing delilah on the radio i was stuck with this notion ... that no woman from pontypridd would have a name as exotic as delilah, and therefore it seemed more probable that delilah would have been living in newport or cardiff

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

if you love maps ... integrated flight maps ... this week's eye-popping air chart of the USA

an integrated chart overlaid on a high quality topographical map enables you to navigate US air space

you can flip to high level or low level

sometimes a bit clunky but hardly surprising as the data structure must be enormous

yet another symptom of accelerated regression ...

just after i was changing up in to top gear i realized i was ...

a) sucking my thumb

b) wiggling my toes

Sunday, April 22, 2012

doctor william price ... i was led back to him via lucy's blog, "being of sound mind"

from the doorstep of 4 raymond terrace in treforest, a certain small boy could look across the coal black river taff to the green hills above pontypridd and wonder about the man named doctor price who had once lived behind or within those turreted houses, near the top as it seemed then, though not so very high up i realize now, and probably less conspicuous nowadays since the trees have grown

a digression ... i had learned to whistle very loudly and when there was a moment of quiet and not too much wind, it was possible to hear five echoes on my grandparents' doorstep ... but there were complaints of course

it had been explained to me that doctor price had been an advocate of cremation as an alternative to burial, but no one mentioned druidism to me, or chartism, or the rebecca riots

he was also the surgeon for the chain works lower down the hillside, which was still there during my childhood

i wish i'd known all this then,%20Wales/from/100000/to/300000/low-to-high/All/with/0/bedrooms/list/1410296/

don't try this one at home ...

myself slumped motionless over the computer with headphones whilst following the soccer all afternoon

herself noisily engaging with eternal backlog of necessary domestic chores

now raise your voice, but don't turn your head, and repeat after me ...

"i know you're only making work noises so i'll think you're busy !"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

statement for the defence

Gentlemen of the Jury.  M’Lud.  My client, Miss Crabbe, the former Triumph International model, has instructed me to declare that she strenuously denies the charges of robbery with menaces, and she certainly never would set foot inside that rat-infested flea-bitten manager’s office at her local branch of the Caja de Extramadura. 

Despite her having lived virtually next door to it for the last twenty years, she suggests this was simply a case of mistaken identity because she is rarely drunk before mid-day and she only ever uses that kind of bad language, or wears fishnet stockings, during serious pub crawls on public holidays, unlike some other women she could mention.

The fact is, ladies and gentlemen, that on the day in question she was auditioning for a job with a travelling circus that had camped on the edge the pueblo, and whose colourful poster showing a handsome weight-lifter had intrigued her artistic sensibilities. 

She is indeed a very sensitive and caring person at the best of times but is often tired out and made light-headed by all the scrubbing and starching and ironing that Spanish housewives of her moral stature and giving nature are forced to endure by their cruel and cold-hearted and incredibly narcissistic husbands.

In these days of political and economic and social turmoil, I’m sure all of you will understand that even a girl with an iron will and a heart of gold must sometimes need a little relief and even the most saintly are sometimes susceptible to flattery.

Thus it was that she boldly accepted the angry challenge of the ringmaster’s wife, ( after being found with him in the haystack behind that fully-bearded lady’s side show, when he should have been mucking out the elephants’ cage ), and so Miss Crabbe, or Lulu as she is affectionately known by the local shepherds and goatherds, fearlessly strode forth into the centre of the lion tamer’s cage where she performed her well known party trick ( famous throughout the milking parlours of La Vera and the pig farms of the Dehesa ) and juggled seven flaming tortillas with only two frying pans whilst wearing her old school uniform and smoking a cigar, as she often does when the family gather for recriminations.

( Addendum ... 
a foresworn affidavit from Senor Francisco Xavier Heironymus Bosh, Circus Master, states that he was only helping her find a lost jewel-encrusted Lalique safety pin which she needs to hold up her red flannel petticoats )

And it is there that my client asks me to rest her case, only pausing to add that the photographs which will inevitably prove her cast-iron alibi haven’t been developed yet but here are the frying pans, still scorched from the act.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

swotting up

grand national day

3BT 14th April 2012

Two furiously discordant throstles dispute an invisible territorial boundary in the middle of Clapham Common.  For Heaven’s sake, lads, it’s a COMMON !

Two goldfinches, their bonces allegedly tinged with the blood of Christ, chirrup sweetly together whilst they search for nest-building material, and remind me of this solemn kidnapped prince.

Dev, born in Bengal in 1932 and literate in Bengali, English, and Sanskrit, a keep-fit die-hard on the Common despite having to take eight prescribed medicines each with their own side-effects, and having five grown up children each with their own set of troubling grumbles, reels off the names of half a dozen of his other films without hesitating when I mention Satyajit Ray’s exquisite film Pather Panchali, and then, after a moment of solemn contemplation, he turns to look at me and whispers one word, gasping as if in reverence of the name and of the beauty it evokes ... "Apu !".

Monday, April 9, 2012

butterflies of the soul

3BT on a dismally wet and windy Easter Monday

In a free exhibition at the National Gallery, a newly restored early work by Titian, The Flight In To Egypt, 

( ,  ), 

... it is a remarkable painting by a teenager beginning a long career in Venice and possibly already nostalgic for the lush meadows around his home town of Pieve di Cadore in the foothills of the Alps, about eighty miles north of Venice.  The accompanying set of naturalistic etchings and drawings by Durer, who visited Venice for the second time just in time to have probably influenced Titian, are lovely, too.

Entering the Ritblat Gallery, a treasure house in the British Library, the narrow doorway is slightly constricted when a young Japanese woman stops in a pool of intense halogen light to check her smart phone and as I pass her I am enveloped in an intoxicating cloud of expensive perfume.

Passing the philatelic section of the British Library I spot a Spanish man and his elderly parents marvelling at the extraordinary collection of stamps and envelopes collected after their Civil War, objects of pilgrimage even ?  Earlier I’d been sitting near them in the cafĂ© when they laughed in disbelief at the awfulness of Peyton and Byrne’s coffee, arguably The Worst Coffee in the Whole History of the Universe, and certainly something that even the most desolate and forgotten and far flung village bar in Spain would be deeply ashamed to serve.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

isn't that what we used to call a fun-fair ?

3BT, 5th April 2012 … no four ! ... no, five !

Just after four in the morning, the bus to work is trundling through the darkness along the edge of Clapham Common.  On the Common side of the road, in a brightly lit bus shelter, sits a fox.

In Horsham, an oncoming vehicle catches my eye.  It is a very old VW Camper, a low-rider, meticulously restored and perfectly re-painted in cream and white.  The driver looks interesting, a slender man, tweed suit, bow tie, old-fashioned bushy moustache and, I think although it was only a glimpse, half-moon spectacles.  From the cab of my little truck I stare down into the pale interior which looks as if it has been re-organised and re-furnished to look a bit like a stretch limo.  On a plush bench seat in the back, with acres of legroom, sits a laughing bride between her two maids.

My least favourite word in the lexicon of management-speak is “just”.  Can you just … ?  Today it is “Can you Just deliver a pallet for Dubai to an air freighter’s warehouse, as close to twelve as possible ?"  This will, of course be in the middle of one of the year’s busiest working days, the last before the Easter holiday, and will involve a diversion that will add an hour to an over-long day.  Miraculously, after all kinds of delays and hardships, smoothing out a few customers because of some typical office blunders, and working flat out from four thirty onwards, I arrive at one minute to twelve, am unloaded, and depart at one minute past.

Down a grimy backstreet in chaotic Brixton, a tall girl with an upturned white face and long dark red hair parted symmetrically, and totally the wrong shade of pale red lipstick on a un-kiss-ably gloomy mouth, is walking with stately grace, arms straight and holding a flower pot at zipper height, from which stands incongruously a single perfect orchid on a very long stalk, its creamy white flower with an erotically hot pink centre facing forward only six inches away from her lips, as if embodying or symbolizing or pre-determining the imminence of that magically transforming kiss.

A big Caribbean mum clambers on to the bus with three carrier bags in each hand.  Four children follow, three girls and a tiny boy.  The girls ( 7?, 9?, 11? ) are also carrying bags.  They have identical spectacular showbiz hairstyles … upwardly mobile dark curls sculpted like flames and culminating in a gold tinted peak well off to the left.  All four children have brand new violin cases slung across their backs.

Monday, April 2, 2012

today would have been george collinson's next birthday, and whilst i mourn him, i know that he would have preferred a smile ...

he was very fond of football, and of original thinking

and he was rarther keen on chess, too, although i can't remember if we ever discussed that game in the context of the life and work of marcel duchamp ... if you can call it all work !

but i digress and so ... to conclude, if there's a collinson-type of heaven, then it should be very easy for us to track him down when we arrive by the sound of his booming laughter