Christmas Cards


Funny how we love over the years, sending Christmas cards with snow scenes, children throwing snowballs and sledging, people out walking in deep-rutted snow, people skating on ice-covered ponds, and jolly red-faced men leading hoses through snow-covered valleys, and the hoped-for snow on Christmas Day…….

…yet now that we have the snow so early, we moan about the cold, slipping on ice, the slush, the problems driving, people falling into icy water, the general in-convenience, and the horrific fuel bills we will have in the new year!

………… warned about the consequences of getting what you want!

…………………however you manage….we hope you have a pleasant season.

Water, water, everywhere,….especially above!

I have always hated tunnels, especially those under water. I first came across this fear when I arrived in Glasgow and the Clyde Tunnel had just opened. The thought that, in the middle of the journey, and the lowest point of the tunnel, there was a massive amount of water above me made me hasten along when driving my motorbike.

I also went under the Mersey Tunnel several times, when the driver got lost coming out, and we ended back under a massive amount of water for another two transverses before we got out and onto the correct road.

I recently saw part of a programme about submariners, trapped in a metal tube for 3 months at a time! You wouldn’t even get me inside one in dry-dock!

Lady of the House has always wanted to go to Europe on the Eurostar express, and I have steadfastly refused, because of the above-mentioned phobia.

I think I’m fully-justified, given the news over the last few days!….What about you?

In fact, thinking of the possibility of  strikes on airlines, as well, I’ll maybe just stay at home!

A small advert….


Can I be slightly cheeky………I’m taking the chance to use this facility to tell you (at least those in the UK ) about a small national Charity which might be of interest to you.

As you may know, I have spent over 30 years working in the area of hearing impairment, and must soon be coming to my ‘Best-Before’ date! (I hasten to add, here, that if any of my patients read this…..I have NOT retired!)

Like anyone who has spent many decades within one field of endeavour, it is difficult to imagine the world without being there with at least some  influence, but the folks involved managed long before I was born and will, no doubt continue long after I and all my contemporaries are gone! But I certainly wish to continue to help folk by providing expertise as required….nothing really unusual about that!

One of the less-known, but no-less important, Charities is actually a recently-formed combination of two…Firstly…Hearing Concern, providing support at a local level over the UK to those individuals and family members who have acquired a hearing loss but use speech as their main form of communication, and require some help…… Secondly….The Link Organisation which provided concentrated residential care in Eastbourne, for groups or individuals who require concentrated help or counselling following deafness. They complement each other so well, that it is surprising that no-one thought of a merger, before now.

The new name is not terribly original….Hearing Concern Link…..nor is the webname, but it continues to provide much-needed services throughout the UK with a wonderful bunch of volunteers and a relatively-small staffing..   Give it a thought, or just have a look at the link below to see what a bunch of dedicated people can do to help those less fortunate .

P.S. and what about the picture at the top. Ot was of course Ludvig van Beethoven, who went deaf relatively-young, but still succeeded in producing great music until his death almost 200 years ago.

All change….

This weekend our world changed….

Our son, who has faithfully worked along with us in our business, through good times and bad for many years, has taken another very large step along a new career path, where he will be much cleverer than his Old Mum and Pop. This is not peculiar to us as most parents want to see their children well established in life.

We always hoped it might happen, we always knew it would happen,  and when it did happen we rejoiced with them. Daughter, many years ago, established herself in a profession to make most parents feel proud, and it has proved to be so. Son has taken longer, but no less thoughtfully.

It will be strange not having him to turn to for technical advice, but as our tenure in business is slowly coming to an end, we will just have to manage.

His genetic background is full of those who have taken risks in life with many who were self-employed and entrepreneurial in spirit and action, so he will no doubt have the same worries and disappointments as we have had over the last 26 years. But if he has as much fun and excitement as we have have had, then it will be worthwhile.


Earlier this year I unfortunately had to make use of the Scottish Ambulance Service to take me to Glasgow Royal Infirmary after my little ‘medical event’.

I could not fault the professionalism nor the care I received, and of course I made a full recovery.

That was the end of that, I thought!…but no…… Last night I received a phone call from some survey team (company?) purporting to be speaking on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service. they wanted to question me on how I rated the Service. Besides the fact that I most certainly did not feel in any kind of mood at the time, to assess how they were carrying out their job, I was just not sure how to take this questioning.

I asked a supervisor how they had got my name and phone number and was told that they had been given it by the Ambulance Service. I said that I felt that this was a breach of confidentiality, and refused reluctantly to answer any questions.

Has anyone in scotland or elsewhere had any such experience such as this?  Mine may be an isolated event, but maybe not, so I would like some facts before approaching them about the secrecy which I would have expected from them.

P.S. I still think they did a good job that day!