28 May, 2008

The Tufty Club

Here's a top tip. If you are out and about listening to tunes via a personal music delivery system (ie. iPod, MP3 player, fancy mobile 'phone) and you're about to cross a road, take a moment to stop, look both ways then cross. Why? Because if you don't you'll end up like the young girl who got hit by my bus this morning.

It's alright, she's okay. She's bloody lucky, though.

It's early Wednesday morning and I'm on my way to work. I'm sitting on the front seat near the driver. I like to sit at the front when I can, it's the only time of day that I don't feel duty bound to move closer to the back. It's a safe bet that no grannies will be getting on at 7am. It's a reasonable journey, the bus is pulling into a stop to let someone off and allow more lemmings on. The bus driver isn't speeding, he's slowing right down. All of a sudden there's a loud, sickening THUD. The brakes are slammed on and the driver shouts, "Oh she didn't, she didn't just do that. Oh my God."

I'm first off the bus, dreading what I might see. A young girl is sprawled on the road, screaming. I get up close. She's breathing, there's not too much blood. A few scrapes, skin breaks, she's going to be sore but no bones are poking through. I bend down, reaching into my bag for my mobile 'phone to call the emergency services.

"Can you hear me? I need you to stay still." She's thrashing around. "I can't stay still, I've just been hit by a bus!" This is a good sign. "I know," I tell her. "I was on it. I really need you to stay still. You're going to be okay, the ambulance is coming." There's a young man next to me who is already on the 'phone, he's talking to the operator, asking me the occasional question, how's her breathing, any apparent injuries. He's taken off his jacket and placed it over her. Another jacket appears, I later find out it belongs to his girlfriend who is on the bus with him. Our girl is wearing a running vest and shorts, the earphones from her MP3 player are dangling round her neck. I'm joined by a woman who turns out to be a nurse at my hospital. I leave the girl with my colleague and go to see the driver. He's slumped across the steering wheel. He's pale and clearly in shock. He couldn't help it, he says, she just ran out. I believe him. I didn't even see her and I was sitting at the front of the bus. Another bus driver has appeared from somewhere, I don't know where. She stays with the driver. He asks after the girl, I say she's going to be okay. He didn't see her, he says. She just ran out. He shakes his head in disbelief.

I go back outside, our girl is awake and talking, distressed and in shock. She knows where she is, she doesn't remember anything. She's crying and shaking. She wants her mum. She wants her sister. The young man gets her mobile 'phone and calls for her. He speaks to the sister, hands the 'phone to the girl, takes the 'phone back and talks to the sister again. I talk to the girl and tell her she'll be okay. She's calming down.

As I said, it's looking good and stays that way. The ambulance crew shows up, followed by another one. They talk to the girl, check her pulse and oxygen levels, put a neck brace on her and cover her with a blanket. She wants her sister, she doesn't remember calling her and talking to her. I'm not surprised, she's just smacked her head against a road. I ask the second crew to see the driver. The police arrive. The girl is lifted onto a trolley and taken off to the nearest hospital, just over 500 metres away. My nurse colleague has called the girls sister, she's already at A & E.

The policewoman is young. She asks if anyone saw the accident. We tell her we didn't. I told her I was at the front of the bus. I say that the driver wasn't speeding, he was pulling into the stop. "Well, she was on the crossing." I look down at the blood on the road and yes, the girl had been a foot away from the crossing. That doesn't mean she was on the crossing when she was hit, though, she might have landed there. And even so, you don't just step out onto a crossing and expect a Sydney bus to stop. I feel sick for the driver. It's not his fault and yet she seems to have been on the crossing. I'm not so sure now.

It's all over within about 20 minutes and we disperse. Another bus comes, I get on with my new nurse friend. We talk on the way to work. We're each others alibi for being late, we say. She's quite shaken. I'm not. I wonder why.

I get to work, tell my story to a few people. We talk about how easy it is to lose yourself when you're listening to music. I wonder if she actually did have her earphones in. Did she stop, look, listen then cross? Did she run straight across the road without looking, without thinking? I'll never know. She probably won't ever remember, and I'm pleased about that. No one really wants to remember being hit by a bus.

I saw my cousin being hit by a car when we were both thirteen. It was a random, bizarre event. I watched her get off a bus from the other side of the road, She ran across the road, a car was going far too fast. I'll remember that sound till the day I die. She was fine, some massive bruising but no bones broken, no lasting damage. We met up a few months ago and the subject came up. I told her how I remembered crossing the road and talking to her. The conversation went something like this -

"Hello, G, are you alright?"

"S, hello. I've been hit by a car!"

"I know, I saw it!"

The ambulance turned up, they wouldn't let me go with her and thus cheated out of a school free morning, I went off on my way. My dad called her dad that night and all was well.

I remembered that sound today. I remembered seeing my cousin on the road, crying and scared. It was surreal then and it was surreal today. I'm sitting here 15 hours later and I'm having trouble believing that the bus I was travelling on hit someone this morning. I bet our girl is feeling much the same.

I wonder how that bus driver is right now. I wonder if he'll sleep tonight. I wonder if he sees her face every time he closes his eyes. I hope he's okay.

* This is what the Tufty Club is all about. This link is for the youngsters and the non British!*

*Updated to add - the girl is okay. She was admitted to the local hospital for observation but is well.*

25 May, 2008

Pass the bucket

SSS has returned from sunny Queensland, and it was very sunny indeed. I even have a little bit of a tan line. I returned laden with pens, sweets and two teddy bears dressed as surgeons, courtesy of the medical reps. I also returned a kilo or so lighter after a rather nasty bout of gastroenteritis. Yes, readers, only I could attend a nursing conference and end up as a patient.

It started out well enough, I was met by my friends at the airport and taken to our lovely 15th floor serviced apartment (with views of river, Broadbeach, convention centre and construction site) for cheese and wine then off to the conference centre for more wine, canapes and obligatory trade fair. Nurses tend to get crap freebies. I'm not quite sure what other professions get but if it's pens, sweets, lanyards and carrier bags sporting the name of a drug company then you have my deepest sympathies. There's nothing more embarrassing than the sight of hundreds of women rushing from stall to stall in search of anything that's not nailed down. Free, my arse.

Speaking of my arse, back to the life and death experience that was my stomach 'flu. Anyway, I'll spare you the more gruesome details but suffice it to say that my first night in Queensland was not a roaring success. After a very bad night, I was finally taken to the local A & E department (first tip of travel - go away with other nurses) for medical assistance. After 3 hours, one litre of intravenous fluid (they wanted to give me another one but I'd had it by then) and iv drugs to stop the nausea and cramps I was off on my merry way.

I don't like being sick. I'm sure most people don't but I absolutely hate it. I didn't like finding myself on a hospital trolley wearing a white cotton gown that someone may have died in. I didn't like having a drip in my arm that stopped every time I changed position. I didn't like being at the mercy of others. I have no complaints at all about the care I received but what it boils down to is that I just don't like being out of control. I'll be going back to work with renewed energy and even more committed to making sure that my patients go home feeling they've been treated as individuals, not procedures.

When did this turn into a nursing blog? I'll have to put a stop to that.

Ooh, incidentally, if any single women want to know where all the men are, I can tell you. They're all in Queensland. Men, real men. Not a metrosexual in sight. I'd like to be able to tell you more but unfortunately my 'medical condition' turned me into a bit of an antisocial party pooper.

**No, I wasn't sick from drink! I had 3 glasses of wine in 4 hours. Yes, really.**

19 May, 2008

Short and sweet

Just a few lines to say that I won't be about much this week. I'm crossing the border on Wednesday for a work conference/booze up in the sunshine in hotel with spa and won't be online for a couple of days.

Not that I have much to say in these few lines. The moon is full tonight so take a moment to look up at the sky. Just think, people have been up there.

I'm looking forward to getting out of Toytown for a few days, every now and then life in Sydney makes you want to scream. As regular readers will be aware, I have a big problem with public transport, mostly because, oooh, I don't know, it's a BIT CRAP. One of these days you'll turn on the news and hear how a short Englishwoman of undisclosed age was arrested and charged with affray for going postal on a bus and throwing iPods out of the emergency exit.

There was something else I wanted to say but I'm buggered if I can remember what it was. Age, I'm telling you. I must remember to pack my tartan travel blanket.

Meanwhile, why is Stephen K Amos not more well known? He's one of the funniest comedians on the circuit. Watch this and see for yourself. And yes, we did indeed have a banana crisis. Sad but true.

15 May, 2008

Here's to happy endings


I don't blog much about my work. I read lots of nursing & medical blogs, it's just that I never set out to write about my experiences. I think they would have been much more interesting 20 years ago when I was a young, energetic thing. These days, however, it's more about how life in general fucks me off. Every now and then, though, something happens that can't go unmentioned.

We'll go back about 6 months. It was a busy Friday and I was working as an anaesthetic nurse on a torturous urology list. I love the anaesthetist, hate the surgeon. Anyway, back in the pre op area I introduced myself to my next patient and his wife. We'll call them David and Sarah Levy. David was a Jewish gentleman in his early 70s, he'd had a heart attack 10 years previously but declared himself to be fit and well.

Everything went well, David went to sleep without a problem, the op was done and he went into Recovery. I carried on with the list but one of the Recovery nurses came to get the anaesthetist. I followed her in. It was David. Three of the Recovery nurses were in attendence, the curtains were round the bedspace and the Rescus trolley was pulled in close. David looked .......well, like shit, really. An ECG was being done, bloods were being taken. The cardiologist was being called. To cut a long story short, David was having a heart attack.

Seeing that the other nurses had the situation under control I immediately went to the head of the bed, bent down and spoke to him gently. He told me that his chest was hurting. I reassured him and told him we'd take care of him. Fortunately for David our department is handily situated close to a Cardiac Cath lab and within 15 minutes he was moved straight in for an angioplasty.

Remember Sarah? She's sitting in the waiting room. I went out to get her and bring her into the sisters office. As I walked towards her she half rose and looked panicked. "Sarah, could you come with me for a minute, please?"

"What's wrong? What's wrong? Why won't you tell me what's wrong?" she whispered. I told her that there was a bit of a problem but the doctor was coming to talk to her. I sat with her as a doctor she'd never met before explained that her husband was having a heart attack and was about to have a procedure to see what could be done to help. The cardiologist explained the procedure to Sarah and asked her to sign the consent form. She did so but I'm she hadn't taken it all in. I was left with her in the sisters office and saw a woman fall apart. She sobbed. She pleaded. She bargained. She did it all. "He can't go yet, he can't go, we have so much to do, so much to do. He can't go yet."

I helped her to ring one of her sons, I stayed with her till he came. I held her hand and listened as she talked about her life with David. They had a good marriage, a comfortable home. They'd raised two sons and were grandparents. They were celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary soon and were planning a cruise.

Sarah's son arrived. The situation was explained, he looked shellshocked and called his brother. I went out to find out what was happening so that I could give them a progress report. I walked into the cath lab to find a full blown cardiac arrest in progress. David was the patient. Cutting through the jargon, David's heart had stopped during the procedure and he was defibrillated 5 times before it started again. I couldn't believe that this man, who had come in for a simple procedure, was now on the brink of death. I went back into the room and lied to Sarah, I wasn't quite sure what was happening but that someone would come and talk to us soon. Not long after, the door opened. The cardiologist sat down. He explained that David was very sick indeed and his only option was emergency bypass surgery.

A man comes into hospital for a relatively straightforward procedure and within hours his wife is being told that he's fighting for his life.

She signs the form with a shaking hand, he's taken immediately to the operating theatre and the procedure goes ahead. At the end of the shift I went up to the waiting room of intensive care to see her. She's surrounded by family. She's pale and she's been crying but she takes my hand and thanks me. I tell her I'll see her soon.

On my way home I pass a synagogue. Now, I'm not religious. Or so I thought. I've walked past this synagogue every day for years and I've never seen a rabbi. Walking along the road I look up and see a man standing in front of me. He's holding what looks like a religious book. He has a kind face.

"Excuse me, are you a rabbi?"
"Yes, I am. Can I help?"
"Well, it's not for me but can you pray for someone for me?"
"Of course. What's the persons name?"
"His name is David Levy. He's having a heart operation right now."
"I'll do that for you. I'm on my way to the synagogue right now. Are you a friend?"
"No, not really. Thank you."

On Saturday the unit manager called me at home. The operation had been a great success. I went to see David and Sarah on the Monday. He looked wonderful. I told them the rabbi story and they roared laughing. David had no memory of the event whatsoever. A week later a very nice bottle of Chandon arrived for me with a thank you note. And that was that.

Moving forward to today and David and Sarah are back. He looked amazing. I wasn't his nurse today but spent time with both of them. Later, I was walking through Recovery when one of the nurses called me over. She had David and he was asking for me. He pulled up his oxygen mask.

"Tell Sarah I'm alive." He winked and closed his eyes.

I walked out into Reception and saw Sarah. We locked eyes and she half rose, tears in her eyes. For a split second I remembered the last time we'd done this and I know she was thinking the same.

"I've got a message for you. He said to tell you he's alive." She laughed and we had a little hug. I left her smiling and taking her mobile phone out of her handbag.

Today was a bloody great day.

*I've just remembered something. I was talking to Sarah as we waited for her son to arrive. She told me that she hadn't been able to sleep the night before David's operation. She couldn't put her finger on it but she had an uneasy feeling that something terrible was going to happen. How's that for instinct?*

14 May, 2008

Days end

I had a lovely moment on the bus tonight. It's such an ususual event that I thought I'd write it down for posterity. I had my eyes closed and was having a demi doze, thinking about food. I'm meeting a good friend on Fitzroy St on Friday morning and am looking forward to eggs. Big, freerange poached eggs on smoked salmon with Hollandaise sauce, either on a muffin or some sourdough toast. Possibly some roasted tomato involvement. Now that's what I call a breakfast, I can taste it now. I was thinking about this divine plateful when I opened my eyes and found that I was much closer to home than I'd initially thought. No closer to the breakfast but closer to home. Iknow, it's a small thing but it made me happy, which is more than can be said for the wait I had for the bus.

An average homeward bound journey after a busy day. I waited at the bus stop for 20 minutes before admitting defeat and walking back along the route for about 7 stops. Even then I had to stand for just over half the journey. It's ridiculous that I have to do that after a 10 and a half hour day but I wanted to get home and I didn't have money for a taxi. I emailed Morris Iemma last week but he hasn't answered. He's a very busy man. Fuck knows what he's busy doing but it's not sorting out the public transport system, I know that much. Every night the denizens of Sydney cram themselves onto buses like human sardines and it's not good enough. It's enough to make me want to learn to drive and then everyone had better look out. Yes, yes, I can't drive. Yes, really. Yes, I tried. And failed. Three times. So that was that. Yes, it was twenty years ago but trust me, you don't want Boudicca out there on the road. It's better this way.

The Fuckwit of the Day prize goes to the head of the estates department of my hospital. I was in charge of the department today (I spent a great deal of time walking about telling people that I was very busy and very important - tongue firmly in cheek). I'd checked one of the fire exits on Monday and found that the door didn't open. I told the boss (obviously I wasn't very busy and very important that day), reported it on the repairs thingy on the computer and rang the hospital fire officer. I left work on Monday safe in the knowledge that it would be fixed. Silly me. After having yesterday off it occurred to me to check the fire exit. Which didn't open. Apparently I was heard to say, "For fucks sake!" in a frightening manner before ringing the head of the estates dept. He listened to my problem then said, "Can it wait till tomorrow? I can't guarantee I can get someone there today."

"Sure, it can wait. Just as long as you know that if there's a fire here before tomorrow I won't be able to evacuate the department and we'll all burn. But if you think that's okay then it can wait."

Within ten minutes a handyman appeared. Funny how the thought of toasted human beings gets results.

12 May, 2008

Happy Birthday, dear Florence

Today is International Nurses Day. Time to tell a nurse how great s/he is and suspend the urge to tell them all about the terrible experience you/your mum/nan/neighbour/uncles drinking mate had at [insert name of district general hospital here] health facility.

What's it all about? Well, it's the anniversary of the birth of the worlds most famous nurse, Florence Nightingale. But I don't want to talk about her. Here's two more less famous but equally wonderful women.

Mary Seacole worked as a nurse during the Crimean War. She applied to help Florence Nightingale and was rejected several times. Undeterred, she made her own way to Turkey and set up a British hospital with her own (borrowed) money, no mean feat for a black Jamaican woman in the mid 1800s. Mary often risked her own life by going directly onto the battlefields to help the injured. Mary was as well known by the soldiers as Ms Nightingale was at the time, and yet it is the image of the Lady with the Lamp that endures. Mary Seacole came first in a 2004 poll and was voted the greatest Black Briton.

Edith Cavell was a British nurse during World War One. She was executed in 1915 for helping Allied soldiers to escape from German occupied Belgium. Her body was exhumed in 1919 and George V led the mourners at a memorial service at Westminster Abbey before her body was taken for burial at Norwich Cathedral.

That's just an overview of two women who were nurses. They did extraordinary things in extraordinary times. I don't know if I could ever do the things they did but I like to think that if I was tested I'd give it a damn good try.

I've been a nurse for more years than I care to remember. I trained in a large, underfunded general hospital in the 8os. It was hard. Really hard. I cried more times than I care to remember. I wrote my resignation letter 3 times in the second year but I stuck it out and I got through. I laughed a lot. I had no money and survived on curry sauce & chips and food parcels from my nan.

I have delivered babies who came into the world before they were due and I have held their mothers and wiped away their tears. I have seen live babies come into the world screaming their lungs out and I have wept happy tears. I have been privileged enough to care for the dying. I have seen human beings at their worst and at their best. I have been verbally abused by 6 foot tall men - and I've given it right back at them - and I've been given more chocolates than I should have eaten. I have met some amazing people. I've been at the centre of medical emergencies, seen some people come back from the brink of death and some pass on, despite our efforts to save them. I've slogged my guts out and got nowhere. I've made old ladies cups of tea at 3am and been overwhelmed at their gratefulness for such a small act. I've pulled other nurses into linen cupboards when I've heard them speaking to patients with disrespect. I've had stand up rows with relatives who've intimidated nurses.

I've watched young women die and leave children without mothers. I've seen families fall to pieces in A & E waiting rooms.

I've watched a young girl lose nine pregnancies in a row and I finally got to hold her beautiful, healthy baby daughter. I'll never forget her as long as I live.

Sometimes I say that if I could go back and do it again I wouldn't but that's a lie. I would. I'd do it a hundred times. Yes, the money isn't that great and the only way I'll ever be able to buy property in Sydney is to sell a kidney but money isn't my driving force. I'm no saint but I'll be able to say at the end of it all that I did good stuff and I enjoyed doing it.

There's no excuse for bad nursing. Not getting things done because you're supposed to be in three places at once isn't what I'd call bad nursing because the nurse can't help it. Poor care, laziness, not making sure your patients are clean, warm, well fed and treated with dignity, that's bad nursing. Being rude to patients, that's bad nursing. Sitting on your arse at the nurses station talking loudly and talking over patients heads, that's bad nursing. If you see it, if you're on the receiving end of it, report it. Similarly, if you see good nursing, let us know about that too.

One last thing, though. If you meet a complete stranger and find out that they're a nurse, for Christs sake don't spend the next hour telling them all about your mum/hairdresser/mechanics dad and the shit time they had in hospital. We didn't do it, okay? It bores us to tears. Talk to us about something completely different. We'll appreciate it more than you can know.

06 May, 2008

Old Mother Hubbard

Is this the saddest fridge in the Southern Hemisphere? I think so. The contents of the door aren't much better. Milk, more wine, a jar of garlic, a jar of chilli and that's about it. The freezer is housing a packet of smoked salmon and a strip of ice cubes. As for the food cupboard, absolutely nothing of interest. I've never been particularly interested in food. Obviously I like eating it but sadly it's more about making myself feel full as opposed to going for the whole culinary experience. There are lots of good things about living alone but on the negative side cooking isn't high up there on the priority list.

I'm reading a fantastic book. The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett is an addictive little thing. I do love Alan Bennett. I can always hear his voice as I read. I feel the same way about Spike Milligan. Many moons ago my brother drove me to Gatwick airport for a flight to Australia. We passed the time by listening to Spikes taped recording of Adolf Hitler, My Part in His Downfall. We were laughing so much we forgot to pay attention and got lost. At least that's what my brother said.

The inner eight year old is going to be up way past her bedtime on Friday. Work drinks then off to Newtown to see Mark Watson with a couple of friends. Other than that it's another uneventful and increasingly more chilly week in Toytown.
Finally, on the subject of comedy, I never thought that Johnny Vegas was funny but after reading this I think he should be fucking well shot.

03 May, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

Here we are on my favourite day of the week, Saturday. What a great day Saturday is. Not Sunday; which isn't without its own special charms, but loses house points for being the day before Monday, but Saturday. Hip hip, hooray for Saturday. No alarm clock, no bus timetable, no patients, no annoying nurses/doctors.

Moving on.......what have I been up to this week? Not much. Work, work, work, two Pilates classes and nothing for the inner eight year old. I'm going to have to do something for her soon. I watched The History Boys and was bitterly disappointed. I saw the stage production a couple of years ago and it was simply outstanding. Some plays work well as movies and some plays should be left well alone.

Last night I went to the pub with my friend Yummy Mummy. For some reason the conversation turned to ex boyfriends. Now, I'm no bunny boiler. I like men, I think everyone should have one. Casting my mind back and thinking about my ex boyfriends there's probably only one of them that makes me think, "yes, I should have set fire to you when I had the chance". We'll disguise his identity and call him Idiot Boy. Idiot Boy was the first boyfriend I had in Australia. He was nice enough at first but it was never going to lead to commitment and I was okay with that. He seemed to think that I would have jumped at the chance of marrying him as a) he thought very highly of himself and b) I was only a temporary resident at that time and marriage would have given me permanent status. Anyway, I'm not going to divulge the finer details of the relationship (all 5 readers let out a huge sigh of relief) but suffice it to say that after several ups and downs and with an underlying suspicion of infidelity on Idiot Boy's part, the relationship ended. Not with a massive fight, not with things being thrown or harsh words being said, more of a general feeling of unease and a cessation of contact. The last time I saw Idiot Boy was about 6 years ago. As is always the case when anyone bumps into an ex, I was wearing my old gym gear, hair scraped back, no make up and looking fairly average. He saw me before I saw him, I noticed him in the distance walking towards me, he raised his hand in greeting but turned his head away and strode purposefully (and very quickly) into a take away shop. I don't know if he actually wanted take away or whether or not he ran in there to avoid me. Either way, I didn't care. I didn't want to see him or stop and chat. That was that.

We now return to the pub. Don't ask me how it came about but Yummy Mummy actually knows Idiot Boy. He used to play football (soccer to the Aussies) with her husband. She described him perfectly. Idiot Boy is now married with two children, has left the forces and is telling people he's a lawyer. I know this isn't true, as even though I haven't seen him for 7 years there's no way it's happened. Apparently everyone thinks he's an idiot, which of course is because he is one. I knew his wife was blonde before Yummy confirmed it as he always had a thing about them. I haven't been blonde since I was about 12 and I'm pretty sure I'm the only brunette he ever went out with. Yummy informed me that Idiot Boy would be playing football for another team (he left her husbands team after a massive fight because he is an....oh, you get the idea) the next day - today - at a reasonably accessible location. I could see for myself. Later, she emailed me a photograph and there he was. A little older looking, a lot less attractive, but for all that, my Idiot Boy.

In my slightly tiddly state I started to think that turning up at the match would be a great thing to do. I'd be casual yet gorgeous; a bit of lippy, a fitted jumper and hair GHDd to within an inch of its life. He would look across the pitch and see me on the touchline, looking stunning and unavailable. Our eyes might meet, I would glance away casually without a hint of recognition. I might have wandered off before his match had finished. There's a few variations on the theme but essentially with the same outcome, he would look across at what he'd missed out on and wondered how he could have let it slip away.

I woke up this morning and rehashed the events of the previous evening. I knew there was no way on earth I was going to cross Sydney to stand by a football pitch in the vague hope that my ex might see me. What had seemed like a great idea last night had evaporated by the time I put the kettle on. There's a reason that we didn't keep in touch. We didn't really like each other. I missed him for a while but as my dear, late Nan would so often say, "you miss a cold when it's gone."* I got over him, he got over me. We moved on. He found a blonde wife, who, Yummy informs me, is a little bit thick and I found that I didn't want a boyfriend who didn't appreciate me, didn't see me as an intellectual equal, care about my opinions or, to be honest, didn't care about me. I'm curious but that's all. I'd be lying if I said I don't wonder about what would happen if we bumped into each other but if we ever do meet it'll be by chance.

What's the point of this post then? I'm not sure. I suppose it's natural to wonder what's happened to ex partners or old friends or people you used to know. Sometimes we should have made more of an effort to hang onto old acquaintances and sometimes the past belongs where it is.

'you miss a cold when it's gone....' I'd be interested as to how different people interpret this phrase. I'll tell you what it means to me when I've had a couple of your opinions.

Afterthought - I wrote that the blonde wife was 'a bit thick'. I know that sounds awful but I'm leaving it in. I suppose the reason I put it in there is that I'm not surprised he's with a woman who isn't considered intelligent by people who meet her. I'm sure she's lovely and I hope they're happy together, I really do. I just don't have much time for men who don't like intelligent women, and those men are out there. Intelligent women - and people in general - aren't that easy to control.