River Wissey Lovell Fuller

What Does The Doctor Thing this month?

April 2013

Babysitting Opportunities: Management and I are in the happy position of having 16.5 grandchildren (Yes, number 17 is due in October) and this does present wonderful opportunities. Lucy, currently our youngest grandchild, lives in Sutton Coldfield and we spent a few days there in November. Now, Sutton Coldfield is near Tamworth; in Tamworth, there is one of these “out of town retail parks” where all the big-named stores congregate. One of these, whose name includes the letters M and S, is a particular favourite of Lollipop (otherwise known as Deannie, the name Lollipop deriving from her part-time job as a tour guide when we do our Fred Olsen Ship's Doctor sessions – she has to carry a sign with a round plate on a long stick) and we were able to spend three whole days there during the November visit. Now, we all know that one visit to that store is never enough; you buy the goods and then you have to return to the store to change the ones that don't fit, especially if, like Management, you hate trying stuff on in the store and soon become flustered. So, what to do when there are three days available? Easy! Buy stuff on day one, take half of it back on day two, buy some more and take half of that back on day three. I was quite happy with the arrangement as we were able to do nearly all our Christmas shopping, there was little travelling as the park is only four miles from the house, I had nothing else to do and the restaurant serves good coffee! We returned for two separate stints in March and managed to spend most of our daylight hours, while Lucy was at nursery school, gainfully employed in the retail park which, happily, includes that well known bloke store whose name includes the initials B&Q! We came home to Feltwell after the evening meal at the end of our session; at 6.30am next morning, the telephone rang – where had we put the one and only front door key, as it was not on its hook, and our teacher daughter Charlotte had to leave for school? I had a few very anxious moments until I suggested she might look in the outside of the front door lock where, as it turned out, I had left the key the afternoon before! Relief at finding the key was tempered by concern at my forgetfulness. Hey Ho!

Another grandson, Dexter, who lives in Enfield was taking part in a 1pm concert at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank and we were invited. Car to Cockfosters, underground to Waterloo and we were there in plenty of time. This “Swing Inspiration” concert was one of several giving London schoolchildren the opportunity to learn African-type singing with lots of swaying and arm-swinging. They had been taught and directed by several enormous musical directors, each weighing about 25 stones, whose enthusiasm was in direct proportion to their weight. For those of you who know about these things, Jaz Ellington featured prominently. He came to fame on a talent show “The Voice” and you can listen to him on Google.  There were about 1,200 children on the stage and several of the children were paraded as “soloists” with microphones at the front of the stage. Those of us fortunate enough to be in the audience (parents, grandparents, etc) had already been on our feet quite a lot, singing, swaying and waving our arms when an ebullient 7 year old ran onto the stage and shouted into the microphone “You all gonna stand up and, when I tell you, you all gonna jump up and down, innit”. Probably not the best way to motivate Dexter's Grandpa. All the kids had a marvellous time; many had been well trained and wore special music group tea shirts and the event was a great success. Deannie and I were fascinated by all the people using the public areas of the Festival Hall (free WiFi) as their office. All over the place, singles or couples were occupying tables, had set up extension leads and multiplugs and had connected their laptops and telephone chargers before working all day at the “office”. The ushers told us that the same people come every day and set up their office at the same table. Deannie and I sat at a table for 45 minutes and were quite miffed when a family of four joined us uninvited - “Who asked them to come into our office?” was going through my mind.

A friend of mine has been dismissed from his work in an emergency call centre. A man rang in to say that he was depressed and was lying on a railway track waiting for the train to come and end it all for him. He couldn't have been too serious about it because, when my friend gave the perfectly reasonable response, “Remain calm and stay on the line” the man jumped up and submitted the complaint which led to my friend's dismissal.

Some bumper stickers for us senior citizens: Goodbye tension – Hello pension.  I don't exercise – it makes my coffee spill. I'm retired – I was tired yesterday and I'm tired again today.  I am speeding because I have to get there before I forget where I am going.  Live each day as if it is your last – one day, you'll get it right.  The only trouble with retirement is that you never get a day off.

A pretty young speech therapist was running a male stammerers' action group and, in spite of trying every technique in the book, she was getting nowhere. Eventually, she announced that, if any one of the men in the group could tell her, without stammering, where he was born, she would allow him to take liberties with her until his muscles ached and his eyes watered. One by one, they piped up;   “Bbbbbbbbbbirmingham” said Trevor – “GGGGGlasgow” said Hamish – “London” said Paddy. “Brilliant, Paddy” said the speech therapist and fulfilled her promise. After an extremely steamy half hour, they couple paused for breath and Paddy continued    dddddddddderry!

Finally, a few from my favourite, Tommy Cooper. My friend drowned in a bowl of muesli – a strong currant pulled him in.   I went to buy some camouflage trousers yesterday but I couldn't see any.   What do you call a fish with no eyes?  A fsh!  Police arrested two kids yesterday. One was drinking battery acid and the other was eating fireworks. They charged one and let the other off.      Someone complimented my driving today – they left a note on my windscreen saying “Parking fine” so that was nice.

Another of my favourites – sign on the back of a van “Is this van being well driven? If yes, call the police because it must have been stolen”

Best wishes to you all     Ian Nisbet.

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