Sunday 7 September 2014

Atherstone is Ace, the NHS is Nifty ...

Yesterday we went into Atherstone to do a bit of shopping, and found one of our favourite stores – a DIY shop that sells everything. We managed to buy spanners, a brad, fuses, sandpaper and sandpaper blocks, a re-chargeable torch, screwdrivers, plumbing tape, doorstop. I am sure there were more things that left the shop with us and more that we left wthout by a factor of about 6000 stocklines. Then it was on to the Co-op for a few groceries, and by then I was tired, so back to the boat for a sleep as I was feeling a bit poorly.

While I slept David spent a fair amount of time trying to sort out a leak within the bathroom basin waste piping. He has been 95% successful, and the 5% failure is probably mine – I didn’t put enough plumbing tape around the downpipe thread. On second thoughts and further discussion

, we have come to the conclusion that there was a reason the former owner had put silicone around the waste fitting at the basin … We need to find some to replace it.

Overnight I was still feeling poorly and at about 4am decided that I needed to get some medical attention this morning. The NHS has this amazing service called NHS 111 which is for use if you have an urgent medical issue that is not life threatening (ie doesn’t need the 999 service). I found the service by googling ‘nurse health line’. After an initial triage session with the call centre, I was transferred to a paramedic who did further assessment and made an appointment for me at the George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton with the Out of Hours GP team. The only cost I incurred was the taxi fare there and back – the consultation and prescription were free. So, once again, I am a big fan of the NHS – another thing that impressed me was that even without an address, the call centre could find my NHS number from my name and DOB – how cool is that? I do like joined up systems!

The taxi driver and I had a good chat there and back – he was pretty easily distracted from his complaint about immigration, and we got on famously as he told me about his after school job as a teenager at a boatyard. Hopefully he and his wife will hire a boat to try it out – he loves boats, she hates them without having been on one …

He dropped me at the pharmacist (and had commented that the only one open on Sundays in Atherstone was run by an Indian – the conversation took the line of who was prepared to do the hard yards), and then gave me instructions on how to get back to the canal on foot. A very friendly and helpful man who provided excellent service – so Atherstone and its people are tops with me!

When I got back to the boat I took my first dose of antibiotics, and we got underway - we are meeting Ed at Ansty in the morning and he will sort out our heating by connecting the radiators to the Webasto – I mentioned a few weeks ago that we had decided to get it done, as the diesel stove is a pain (more particularly its water pump is a pain with a noise that is at just the right frequency to drive us nuts … - not a long trip, mind you, but not one we are keen to take just yet!)

Today we have boated in beautiful sunshine and are now moored up close to the junction of the Coventry and Oxford canals. We have really enjoyed being on the Coventry over the last week, apart from the small section down from Fradley which was reedy, narrow and shallow. It is a lovely canal with a mix of beautiful countryside and pleasant towns. And lots of Armco for mooring.
It looks like I am heading for that bank, but fear not ...
I am turning - it takes a bit to get a 62 ft boat around corners as they are not bendy like the London buses
Someone has found a lovely mooring

 David is preparing tuna mousse for dinner and I have just checked to see (both in the paper accompanying the antibiotics and online) if I can/cannot take a dose of chardonnay with my dinner. Alcohol is not mentioned anywhere, so I am assuming that silence gives consent. It does mention birth control being rendered possibly ineffective, so I must take steps to avoid getting pregnant!

I was going to get the table and chairs out so we could sit in the sun but the boat is shading he towpath now. It is lovely at the dinette, so we’ll sit here – I was delighted when the taxi driver told me that the UK has three more months of good weather forecast – excellent news for CCers and the general public! I hope the weather at home in NZ is as good when we arrive next month.

By the way, the snakes on two of the totems in Atherstone are probably meant to be eels – not that I have ever seen eels with zigzag stripes on their bodies, but artistic licence is fine with me in Atherstone – but not anywhere else!

No comments: