October 2022 : Remembering……

Sep 30, 2022 | Stuart's Patient Newsletter

I sat last Monday with Maria and watched the Queens funeral. I have never really thought that much about the Monarchy so I suppose I would describe myself as a passive supporter in that I feel some members of the Royal family work incredibly hard for the country and others perhaps not quite so. However, I did find the whole day quite an emotional affair.

Perhaps it is because I don’t deal well with funerals, or perhaps it’s because the Queen has always been in the background during my life. I think she was an incredible person whose work ethos and sense of duty puts most of us to shame. She was also quite astute when it came to wearing spectacles.

For many, many years the Queen favoured Silhouette frames. Silhouette frames are outstanding quality and they range from understated rimless to modern plastic styles, they work for a cross section of ages and both men and women.

Maria says it’s typical of me to notice the type of frames people are wearing and not always listening to what they are saying! One thing she did agree with me about, is that King Charles needs to wear his spectacles when reading!! The number of times I have seen him recently on television reading something and obviously having difficulty, when all he has to do, is put his specs on. I wish King Charles every success as our new King. I have no doubt he will continue to work incredibly hard and continue in the great example set by the late Queen but he would really help himself if he wore his specs!

It is obvious that Charles will not reign for 70 years like the Queen, but one thing that might last for 70 years is the redevelopment of Saville Row! They have now been refurbishing Saville Row for over 6 months, I would like to say it is nearing completion but alas….not. We were told it would be completed in the Autumn! Unfortunately, Newcastle City Council didn’t say in which year.

The good news is we still have full access to the practice even for wheelchairs and the council have reassured us that we will always have access, while the work is being completed. I am very much looking forward to seeing, when all the work is eventually finished, if it looks as good as the architect’s proposed images.

We live in hope!

One event which was obviously overshadowed by the Queens funeral, was National Eye Health Week which ran from the 19th to 25th September this year.This is usually well publicised and deals with many important topics. The areas covered this year were; Your Vision and Driving, Children’s Eye Health, Minor Eye Conditions and Eye Health and the Menopause.  As this week has now passed, if you would like any information, on any of these topics, please call the practice and either Jenny or myself, will be only too happy to advise and help.

Sunny Scotland!

Maria and I were on holiday in Scotland last week with the dogs. We tend to book cottages to stay in, as it means we are free to do what we want and it’s a lot less hassle with the dogs. Last week’s cottage was one of the best we have booked; lovely and spacious, well equipped, very clean and even the bed was comfortable – this unfortunately is not always the case! – so a great week all round.

However, the only problem with this type of holiday is the amount of ‘stuff’ we take with us!

Ironically most of it is for the dogs. Maria and I had one bag each, but the car was full. We had; dog beds for them to sleep in, towels by the bag load in case it rained and we had to dry them off, enough food for them to last a month, along with an assortment of leads, collars, chews, toys, dog biscuits and even dog antiseptic cream for tick bites – yes, I did say only away for a week!

The good thing about our week this year, was that we got away on time from home, with little fuss. Previously we have had several ‘incidents’ – all just before we were due to set off – which sometimes makes you wonder if it’s a good idea to go at all!

Last year Leo suddenly started limping and then refusing to weight-bear, on his front right paw. You guessed it ……. just before we put him in the car. Panic stations! We couldn’t go for a walking holiday, with a three-legged dog!  Thank goodness the Vets had a free appointment and an hour later Maria arrived home with a much happier dog; paw checked, treated and one anti-histamine injection later. Apparently, Leo had stood on a wasp and been stung   – what are the odds of that happening!

However, the incident that really delayed our departure on holiday a few years ago, was when I said I would take Leo and his late brother Raffy for a short, quick walk in our local woods, just so they could stretch their legs before the car journey.

Our woods are like most in Northumberland, full of deer, rabbits and squirrels, all of which Spinoni, will quite happily chase.

We were coming towards the end of our short, quick walk and as there was nobody else around for them to cause mischief with, they were both off their leads. Leo got the scent of a rabbit and they started hunting. Unfortunately, the scent ended at the side of a very boggy, muddy puddle, about 20 feet wide and there sitting on the other side of the puddle, looking very surprised was the rabbit!

Now keep in mind this was a short, quick walk before a long car journey to start our holiday….

Well, instead of running round the boggy area to chase the rabbit – yes, you guessed it – the boys ploughed straight through it!  I have to say the rabbit was never in any danger of being caught, for as soon as they hit the ‘puddle’ it was like quick sand and slowed them right down. Maria’s beautifully groomed dogs, who were supposedly about to leave for their holidays, were suddenly just a ‘little bit’ muckier than when we’d left home.

Several bathes later and conservatively about 3 hours behind schedule, we finally left for the holiday!

I am not sure if Maria was more upset with the boys for chasing the rabbit – they were so proud of themselves –  or with me for not stopping them!

One nice thing about our week off was that the weather was really kind to us with no rain at all. That’s quite unusual for our holidays as normally when I am off, it pours to such an extent that in past years we have had members of staff change their holiday dates, just so they don’t coincide with mine.

I must admit that it’s not just holidays where I am jinxed with the weather, but also cricket matches. I have been to many Test matches over the last 30 years and have only once, seen a full day’s play.

This year Matt, for my birthday, had got tickets for the first day of the Lords Test match. After the red hot summer we have had, I thought we would be onto a winner, but it was not to be. Maria had been watching the weather forecast all week – first half of the week glorious, all change on Wednesday. The night before, packing my bag ready for the 7.00am train to London the next morning, Maria said “I don’t know why you are bothering, as it’s going to rain – you won’t see any cricket, you never see any cricket!”. I smiled nervously and said “I am sure we will be fine!”

I was heartened the next morning when I woke up to find it was dry, if slightly overcast.

The train journey down was going well….no rain!

Matt sent me a text, when we were round-about Newark, to say have you brought a hat and sunscreen!

Brilliant I though….no rain!

In fact, we were fine (no pun intended) for the first 2 hours; bright sunshine initially, then slightly overcast and then just after lunch….the heavens opened and a deluge of rain, thunder and lightning ensued!

No play for the rest of the day!

We got completely soaked to the skin, trying to get back to Matts flat, wet trousers, wet shoes, everything sodden. Sitting on the train with wet feet on the way home, I wondered if I saved up and went to watch cricket in Perth, Australia – where since 1877 they have never lost a days play to rain, whether I would see some cricket – I will forewarn you if I ever get to go!

Well, I am off to bed in the hope that when I get in to work tomorrow, it will be dry and the work on Saville Row will be nearing completion. Perhaps I am hoping for miracles!

Don’t forget if you want a dry week’s holiday next year to check with our reception staff, that I am not going to be off!

Take care and hope to see you soon.

Kind regards,