The good, the bad and the downright strange.


It’s over. Today was my first ever visit to the inside of a courtroom and it’s an amazingly tedious place. Not like the ones in films at all. The rules of jury selection mean they have to have at least 30 from which to select a jury and I wasn’t picked. Phew. I was home by lunchtime.

The relief is wonderful. Not least because they call out the names of those picked out of a hat (actually, a goldfish bowl) while the accused is in the dock! What? He was a strapping bloke accused of violence. I wouldn’t want him to know my name if he was found guilty.

Anyway, he doesn’t. I am free of the spectre of jury service for another five years. Unfortunately I have to work tomorrow so can’t celebrate tonight. A glass or two of wine, one nip of the remaining Ledaig and then some much-needed sleep.

Then there was a phone call this afternoon. Well, two. Boss wants me to do a few extra days because the morning temp has quit and left without working her notice. This seems to happen a lot and it shows an appalling lack of foresight. You need job references for your next job. Well I don’t but the younger ones do. Also, if she had completed the temp contract she’d have had a week’s holiday pay at the end of it. Effectively a week’s pay for free while you hunt down a new job. Still, people are, on the whole, pretty stupid. I’ll get some overtime next week.

The other call was about some possible microbiology work. Perfect timing. If they had called last week I’d have had to say ‘Stuck with jury service, sorry’ but they called mere hours after that particular chore had expired. As my contracted hours at Local Shop are all on Saturday and Sunday, I now have Monday-Friday free for either extra hours at Local Shop or proper work if it should really appear this time.



Last night, the one night I had to be up proper-horribly early, my ribs decided to play ‘no, you can’t lie that way – nor that way’. Swines. They let me drop off to sleep knowing I was certain to move and then they would wake me up with what felt like a hefty kick. Good thing I wasn’t on the jury. It’s illegal to fall asleep on duty. Now the ribs have gone quiet again, or maybe I’m just too tired to feel any pain. Tomorrow I don’t have to be up until 8 am – and I never thought I’d ever use a phrase like that!

I’m also far too knackered to bother shredding leaves for tomorrow’s smokes tonight. The only recourse is to bite the bullet and buy a pack of ten on the way to work tomorrow. Four quid won’t break the bank but it’s soul-destroying to know that nearly all of it goes in tax. As soon as I’m home tomorrow night, the shredder comes out.


Downright strange

I have a letter from the hospital. Okay, I was peeing blood for a couple of days but that had stopped by the time I visited the GP and was quite clearly very strongly linked to the agonising pain in my kidney. I think one of the broken ribs might have poked it. That’s all healed up now as are the scuff-marks on my face and the other various cuts and bruises. Only the damaged ribs remain.

The letter wants me to attend for a bladder examination. Understandable, probably triggered by the red tide flowing into the sewage works for a couple of days, but the reason for that was pretty clear and has now grown back. There’s no need for – I can barely bring myself to say it – a camera insertion the wrong way up a one-way pipe. And, at the risk of sounding overly self-effacing, it’s not a very wide pipe.

There is a form to fill in. One of the questions was ‘Would you like to be visited by a priest?’ Huh? What the Hell are they planning to do to me? Are there some risks they aren’t mentioning? I can’t be visited by a priest. My head might spin around and they’d want to experiment on that next.

Nobody mentioned this willy-camera thing at the hospital. No mention of it when they let me go. Just ‘take some painkillers, you don’t need prescription ones, and leave those ribs alone to heal’. No mention of further torment. Well, they wouldn’t, I suppose. I’d have moved and changed my name by now if they had told me what they had in mind.

They won’t need a very long camera. One sight of the machinery and the old chap’s going to do a quite remarkable impression of a walnut whip. If they can even find the end of it they should be awarded an ‘A’ in anatomy. They could have Kate Bush in a skimpy nurse’s uniform with no underwear bending over at every opportunity and it wouldn’t straighten a single crease.

There is a line at the end of the form which translates to ‘Get stuffed and leave me alone’ but I have to wonder if the scan and X-ray showed up something of concern. I am at the age where things do start to break down, you know. It could not be more painful than the rib/kidney combination that made a huge bruise entirely painless and some quite nasty face-cuts not even noticeable. And they claim to splatter the area with an anaesthetic gel… but then they gave me three shot-glasses of liquid morphine when I was in there and it made no difference to the pain at all. Over-the-counter stuff has always been useless. Maybe the anaesthetic won’t work. I’d better take some whisky along. It doesn’t actually kill the pain, you just stop caring about it. The risk there is that the docs might say ‘Your bladder is fine but your urine smells like peat smoke, so we need to do more tests’.

They also say that afterwards, there’s no issue with just going home. It will be about an hour on the bus. With a numb knob and a bladder full of saline. This does not sound good.

No reason has been given, no contact other than the out-of-the-blue and into-the-bladder letter. I might phone them and ask for a reason, but I doubt I’ll get more than ‘just in case’. In case of what? In case I’m not in enough pain any more?

I could write a horror story about this but nobody would believe it.


On balance though, it was a good day. The bad parts weren’t all that bad and the weird stuff doesn’t happen until next month. I no longer have to worry about jury service.

Now I have to worry about the Attenborough documentary that goes where nobody has gone before – and where nobody in their right mind wants to go. Up the plumbing. The future of passport photos… you can change your face but how will you change your bladder?

Oh well. Time for the last dram of the Ledaig and then sleep (ribs permitting). I’ll visit Aldi tomorrow after work to see if they have Glenfarclas back in stock yet. Yes, I am working Sunday but that doesn’t start until 12 so it’s an easy one.



32 thoughts on “The good, the bad and the downright strange.

  1. “The rules of jury selection mean they have to have at least 30 from which to select a jury and I wasn’t picked.”

    Awww … 😦 Better luck next time. It really is worth doing, honest!


    • It would have been but as I am now only contracted to work weekends, if I’m on a jury there’d be no pay-compensation. I’d just lose out on the overtime.

      When my pension kicks in I’d be happy to give it a go.


  2. Four quid won’t break the bank but it’s soul-destroying to know that nearly all of it goes in tax. As soon as I’m home tomorrow night, the shredder comes out.

    I was in Istanbul a couple of weeks ago, and as I was wandering down a back street, I came across a chap selling loose tobacco from a small stand on the pavement. Just for interests sake, I bought one of the packs he’d made up, which I weighed when I got home and found was 120g. For this, I paid the princely sum of 20 Turkish Lira, or about five quid. He told me it was from Anatolia. To my great surprise, when I smoked it I found it to be really good – not unlike my usual brand of Golden Virginia. Damn! I should have bought ten packs! I really thought it was going to be virtually unsmokeable. Ah well, next time…


  3. Oh dear: ‘I can’t be visited by a priest. My head might spin around,,,‘ has condemned me to a morning scrubbing porridge off the wall.

    Best of luck with the drain inspection; it doesn’t have to be a horror story, though – Tom Sharpe put a similar procedure into one of the ‘Wilt’ novels and allowed his protagonist to voice all the colourful objections no sane real-life patient would dare to utter to the nurse in charge of the process with, as they say, hilarious (and perhaps cathartic) consequences.


  4. I’ve had a raised white cell blood count for the past few months and my local hospital has been throwing all sorts of tests at me to find out why. I assumed it was something to do with my liver and expected a liver biopsy, but they invited me to a bone marrow biopsy instead which completely freaked me out. I’m now waiting for the results and I’m a nervous wreck. I’ve had so many blood tests, I’ve hardly got any blood left. Oh well, the one thing I cannot accuse them of, is complacency. Their attitude seems to be ‘If you can catch it, we’ll test for it’.


    • Years back, a GP blood test showed I had a raised white cell count. He wondered why. I just looked at him and said ‘Oh, I’m probably ill. No problem, it’ll fix itself.’

      It did.

      Despite being honest about my smoking and drinking (perhaps even exaggerating a little – you don’t want a medic thinking you’re a wimp) the NHS at that time found nothing wrong with me.

      They hate me.


  5. Pop a Cialis before you go in – they’ll have to bash the bugger in with a mallet.

    ‘Would you like to be visited by a priest?’ – well, seeing what you’re going in for, the priest may well have seen more cocks that the urologist.

    I’d certainly neck a combination of OTC analgesics plus any Tramadol I could scrounge – just to take the edge off. They might object if you show up with a whipped cream dispenser and 40 bulbs of N2O 🙂


  6. I’ve had the willy-camera trick done on me – it was nowhere near as bad as anticipated; the nurse was a sweetie (not Kate Bush, though) and the quack very professional – for a duck. It was over quickly and with little discomfort afterwards. They wouldn’t give me a DVD or a screenshot, however… Sods.


  7. Big LOL at Doctor Who tonight, Legs:

    ‘What are you a doctor of?’
    ‘Now there’s a question that’s never asked often enough. Let’s say, intestinal parasites …’

    Do you reckon the writers are fans of this blog?


  8. Hmm….Ref the camera up the pee pee pipe.

    I may have missed summat with some of your postings Leggy (don’t catch everything you write sorry to say) but I’m wondering what’s triggered the request to have a little shufty up there?

    Did you tell them you had a bit of haematuria (big word for blood in pee) in the hospital? or did they happen to perform an ultrasound scan when you went it for the cracked ribs and something’s come up on that when it was reviewed by the X-ray doctor?

    I know this doesn’t help at all but blood in the wee is on a spectrum of concern from “forget about it” to “write out your Will……and don’t waste time boiling an egg”….

    My guess is you’ve had a bit of bleeding in your kidneys from the fall and assuming it’s stopped you can get on with your life…!

    P.S. Can you still piss like a horse?…..if that isn’t a personal question??

    I’ll have to read back through your recent posts and orientate to what conbobulations you’ve been subject to…..


    • There was quite a bit of blood at first but that had slowed to barely detectable by the time I visited the doc. It was pretty clear where it came from due to the point of pain and the pipework is all functioning correctly again now.

      I’ve no idea what they are looking for. The letter was completely out of the blue.


        • I’ll report on the event – probably not as it happens though. A string of expletives won’t tell anyone much.

          Hell, I’ve paid enough tax over the years. Might as well try out some of the machines I’ve paid for. I’m expecting them to find something smoking related even though I’ve never thought to poke a cigarette in there.


  9. My wife went to get new specs one day last year. The optometerist (spec person) found something on the inside of her eyeball when the photo they took was checked. The first my wife knew of this was a letter from the hospital asking her to make an appointment with an eye specialist asap. Cue much worries. Anyhoo, went to see the specialist, much more taking pics of the inside of the eye, then another appointment with another specialist. The spot was a couple of capilliaries crossing with a slight kink, fairly common. The specialist said that was obvious in the photo taken by the optometerist. So, why was this referred to a hospital, with time of specialist taken up with something that was not a problem ? Maybe your pissing blood is a knee-jerk reaction. Hell, after riding a very hard bike race I pissed blood. But I didn’t tell a doctor.


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