Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bravo Pope Benedict XVI Right Call!

Pope Benedict XVI2013
Bravo Pope Benedict XVI for knowing when to stop! Not many do. I am not a great fan of this Pope, I am not a great fan of any Pope. My convent school saw to that but at least the 85 year old head of the Roman Catholic Church knows when to call a halt.

His predecessor Pope John Paul II did not. His horrible end must have been an eye opener and a warning to Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger to bow out early. It always amuses me that the Pope as the chosen head of the one and only church that counts is not just allowed to die in the quickest possible way as his welcome into heaven is absolutely assured but Popes do seem to linger. Is it perhaps they are unsure of the possible future? Anyway this Pope has obviously had enough.

Don't think the next Pope is going to be any different. Pope Pius IX saw to that in 1870 at the first Vatican Council when he had all future Popes declared infallible in matters of dogma. The dogma of the time was set in stone and as it is all revealed dogma nothing, not one word of the bible or Acts of Apostles is allowed to be changed. So so women priests, no married priests and no birth control! 

Believe me I am right on this one see Wikipedia. This is the official Vatican version but I see it is being challenged as not subjective. What fun!

So Ratzinger leaves with some dignity as anyone can who covered up the abuse of young boys by his priests and forbade condoms to prevent the spread of HIV Aids. Goodness knows how many he killed doing that. I am not sad to see him go. He believes in invisible magic friends and I don't.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Bring Back Matron! The answer to the NHS

NHS Illustration by Matt Kenyon
Bring back Matron! That is my answer to the problems in the UK and to a certain extent New Zealand's troubled hospitals. The damning Francis Report into the problems of the Mid Staffordshire hospital will be recognized by many a patient who has had the misfortune to enter a hospital over the past few years.

If only it were back to the days of Doctor in the House, a fifties film and sit- com for those of you of younger years, or even Carry on Doctor where Matron ruled the roost. Matron's eagle eye would spot a crumpled pillow at 20 paces and a soiled bed  for more than 30 seconds would mean execution at day break.
Oh to return to the  hospital's where patients came first, Matron saw to that.

My sojourn of three days, aged 23, having my tonsils out was memorable. I was put in the children's ward.  Matron was furious as she said as an ill adult I should feel obliged to look after the child patients, she was right there but I stayed and the three of us two little boys aged 4 and 11 had a wonderful time. We had ice cream and fun and we all cried on leaving each other.

Today nobody seems to be in charge of the wards. To command any organization one does seem to need a single person to be in charge and issue the Follow me Chaps order if any semblance of authority and compliance is to be achieved. A matron can be appealed to on her rounds and a complaint made. Today complaints are seldom made as the patient is sick anyway and has not the strength to put up a fight to find the right person to complain to and in any case what would be the use as nobody will take responsibility and do something.

Hygiene too would be better served with a matron in charge and in general moral. OK the person may be an ogre but that is what is required a the moment. Come back Florence Nightingale! She knew how to run a hospital!

Abandon hope all ye who enter here seems to be the motto of our general hospitals today. Let us pray that the Francis Report does not lie unheeded.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

BBC TV Centre to become a Hotel!

BBC Centre to become a hotel

Licence fee payers will soon be able to watch, listen, and live in BBC Television Centre in west London after plans were unveiled to turn the famous doughnut-shaped inner ring of the complex into executive apartments. The cost of the development is likely to be about £500m and is expected to be worth £1bn when completed. Guardian
I have a love/hate affair with the BBC Television Centre which has/is to be sold off and among other things turned into  hotel.

I love/hate it because I always wanted to work for the BBC. It was my ambition as I had watched and admired the BBC ever since I had seen Muffin the Mule in 1947 and I fell in love with the medium. I so wanted to work for them and I did once or twice but it was never a happy experience. I even had my children's ballet TV series, Dance Tales Story Ballets shown by the BBC and I was initially thrilled as this was an honour only to have it spoiled by the BBC being very petty and exceedingly unfair about payment. I had to resort to the Governor General to sort it out. He did.

I hated going to auditions there. The entrance hall was so huge and intimidating. I was scared stiff before I even started. The BBC producers could be very intimidating too, putting their feet on the desk or worse after I had made the effort and expense to see them they would say the part was already cast. I never got a real part from the BBC but I did very well at Associated Rediffusion so  I must have had something!

The BBC secretaries were scary too. I dreaded ringing them up as they were just so rude even if the director had told you to do so.  Thank goodness I could sing and dance and never had to rely on them for a living. I think they were bitter that they were unable to become producers themselves and took it out on actors trying to get work. I once had to ring and ask for an extra day's pay. The reception I received was ear shattering. I never got paid. The BBC were awfully good at that.

By chance my husband owned a house in Frithville Gardens which is the back door entrance to the BBC  so for three years the BBC Television Centre was my next door neighbor. It was strange to live so near to the place I wanted to work and yet so far. We emigrated to New Zealand and in fact it was from there that I attained my ambition. I was employed at last by the BBC but I had to move 11 thousand miles away to do it. I would never have achieved this if I had stayed in London.

I cannot believe that they have moved BBC production to Manchester. I think it is a shame that multi camera dramas and live entertainment shows are nearly a thing of the past but I shall certainly make sure at least I stay a night there when the BBC hotel is reality although the rooms are very, very small. I was astounded just how small the head of children's programmes office was. It was minute.