The freezing weather is playing havoc with my budget - normally we never have the heating on before January except as a treat on Christmas day - now as I write I hear the massive boiler pumping hot water round the system as it is based next door to my office - this is not just to heat the house - that is a minor consideration - it is to ensure that the pipes don't freeze and that we don't have a water disaster when the thaw sets in. we have already had two burst pipes with consequent damage and I don't want a third.
I have survived and am back home from hospital. My experience of the NHS is that it is rather akin to driving up to London from Exeter on the A303. There are times when you simply zip along on an empty road and then - for no apparent reason that you can see- the whole experiance changes to a nightmare and you sit in a traffic jam or crawl for ten miles for the best part of an hour or so till -suddenly -the road clears again and once more you travel at speed. Like the A303 you know that the NHS will get you to your destination but- just as in driving up the A303 - in peculiar 'bunny hops'
So living in the country is safe - well I wish it was. Every time I end up with a graze I seem to end up in Emergency Ward Ten. Two weeks ago I slipped and fell and grazed my knee - no big deal. Then - two days ago - the wife - ever vigilant for the slightest sign of illness in anyone of her flock - spotted an inflamation of the knee - for two days I managed to bluff my way but today she 'lost it' and I was hauled up before the doctor who has duly sentaeced me to at least a night in hospital being fed antibiotics on an intraveneous drip. This is the second time in three years this has happened - the last time I was in hospital for a week. Apparently the 'air (in Devon) is not alive with the sound of music' but alive with bugs and those bugs are all lying in wait for Fulford to develop a graze when they home in on it and try to kill him. Frankly it is all very puzzling - how on earth did our ancestors ever survive to adulthood is a mystery -still for the second time in three years I put my faith and life in the hands of the NHS and - oddly - when you do that they perform rather well.
As temperatures are still sub zero we try to keep all doors and windows firmly shut. So imagine my surprise to find, as I walked through the Great Parlour on my way to my office a sodding great buzzard flapping round the room -finally coming to rest on the frame of my mother's portrait. So how has it got in? I supose it could have come down the chimney, in fact that is the only explanation which I can think of. Meanwhile I have a problem - what to do about said buzzard? As ever - with problems - I thnink I will leave it till tommorow - who knows it might find it's way back up the chimmney but I am not optimistic - alternatively of course it could the spirit of some ancestor returning to see what we have been up too recently if so I hope it will buzz off by tomorrow morning.