What does the Doctor think February
As I write this in the middle of January, everything is a bit dark and gloomy, with long nights, short days and intractable dampness. We usually try to have a couple of weeks in the sun during January but that has not happened this year because we were supposed to be doing a cruise as ship's doctor, being away for the whole of January and going from Southampton to Dubai via the Mediterranean, Suez Canal and the Red Sea, etc. That was cancelled three weeks before departure so we are at a bit of a loose end, feeding George the adopted cockerel who survived Christmas with all the grandchildren, and moaning about the weather. However, I always try to turn a negative into a positive so I gave Management her boxes of jigsaw puzzles and set about processing my mini DVDs into large amalgamated versions which will be copied for all the family.
Forty years ago, I used cine film to record the family activities. This progressed to a camera which used the enormous VHS video tapes, then came the mini tapes and finally, about 2005, I bought a camera which uses 4 inch mini discs.
As a result, I have boxes full of cine reels, VHS tapes, minitapes and minidiscs, all full of family history of the children and grandchildren. My grip on my twig could be getting a bit weak so, before I fall off it, I decided to sort out the boxes, starting with the most recent – the minidiscs – and working backwards through the tapes to the cine reels. Each minidisc has to be uploaded into the computer, stored as an “event” and then put together with other events to make large DVDs which can be distributed to the children and played in televisions or on their computers. Sounds easy, doesn't it. With the help of a good friend, Simon known as Colin, who knows about these things and puts me straight from time to time, I am over 100 hours into the project and I have uploaded nearly all of the discs. I am quietly confident that I shall then be able to amalgamate these uploads into big Movies to burn to DVDs but I know there shall be unforeseen problems along the way! We shall see.
Having lived in our current house for nearly 40 years, the attic bedrooms are doubling as our children's warehouse (The parent's moan “We are but the custodians of our children's warehouse” holds true – reminds me of the joke about the dyslexic business man who needed more space and couldn't understand why his wife was upset when he went out and bought a whorehouse). The kids always “forget” to take their boxes, which I have sorted out for them, when they go home so Management and I have taken to putting them in the car when we visit and leaving the boxes somewhere unobtrusive for them to find later! The decision to throw stuff away must be theirs, not ours.
Happily, my friends continue to send the jokes so I hope you will enjoy the following:
The following joke concerns an old person’s concern at being patronised by those looking after him. I have a great sympathy with this as I am old fashioned enough to call all my patients and others with whom I come into contact by their title and surname. I get really annoyed when a cold caller from, say, a double glazing company rings and says “Hello, Ian, how are you today?” My friend Paolo, the hotel manager, told me a wonderful trick – You reply immediately “Have I slept with you?” “What?!” they say and you reply “Well, I was just wondering why you were using my Christian name”. It works equally well for females and males, one of whom retorted that I should be “locked up”. On with the joke – A friend of mine, in hospital, was fed up with “Hello Fred, how are we doing this morning, are we ready for a bath?” and so on. He was given a sample urine bottle and filled it with some of his breakfast orange juice. The nurse picked up the sample - “My, Fred, it seems we are a little cloudy today”. Fred snatched the bottle back, unscrewed the top and gulped it down, saying “Well, I’ll just run it through again – maybe I can filter it better this time”. The nurse looked horrified and he just smiled.
Paddy McCoy, and elderly Irish farmer, received a letter from the Dept for Work and Pensions telling him that they suspected he was not paying his workers enough and that he was to be interviewed by an inspector, who duly turned up and asked Paddy to tell him about his staff. “Well” said Paddy “I pay my farmhand £240 a week and he has a free cottage. My housekeeper gets £190 a week and she lives in. Also, there’s the half-wit who works 16 hours a day, does 90% of the work, earns about £25 a week, occasionally gets a bottle of whiskey as a treat and, occasionally, gets to sleep with my wife”. “That’s disgraceful” said the inspector “I need to interview the half wit” “That’ll be me then” replied Paddy.
As we get older, life becomes more random and the following conversations between elderly people are typical;
Wife My God, Have we been burgled? Husband, collapsed in armchair, “No, the Grandchildren have been round”
Husband to wife “Sure, I’d love another honeymoon – who with?”
For Heaven’s sake, Harold, you’re trying to change TV channels with a bar of chocolate” In my case, the telephone.
My wife’s female intuition is so highly developed, she sometimes knows I’m wrong even before I open my mouth”
Husband “I’ve joined the ramblers” Wife “Would that be walking or talking?”
Wife refilling sozzled husband’s wine glass “Am I sexy yet?”
Wife, looking in mirror “These aren’t wrinkles, they are laughter lines” Husband “Well, something must have been absolutely hilarious!”
Wife “Don’t tell me you haven’t been drinking out of the milk carton – your false teeth are in it”
Husband at bottom of stairs “Now, am I going upstairs for something or have I just come down?”
Head Office joins me in sending best wishes to you all for 2015. Ian Nisbet