Sunday, 8 March 2009

A wintery day..

Oh, it's cold outside! And perhaps a little cold inside too! No matter, the good weather is on the way - I'm sure!
Well, it's my birthday tomorrow, so, there's still time to rush out and get me a card!

So, another week's gone. Busy and tiring, but that's ok. Wednesday in dental practice pretty well tired me out and the rest of the week was a bit of a blur! However, the weekend came around on cue and it's been good to rest. I seem to do a lot of that these days.

I finish in practice at about one o'clock on a Friday, and since I hadn't brought a sandwich with me for lunch I stopped along the road at an art gallery near Stirling Castle (I can't remember its name) which advertises a 'Bistro' on a board outside. I found a parking place and went inside to the very attractive aforementioned bistro, which had lovely tables and chairs, decor, etc. However, the staff were less than helpful and treated you as if you were getting in the way of their work! No one smiled, no one explained whether it was table service or order at the counter (which it was), when I eventually ordered (soup and a sandwich), I was handed a plastic number and told to find a seat, which I did. After five minutes or so, one of the staff duly arrived with a very attractive platter of soup and nice sandwiches, she then walked away taking the plastic number with her. Only then, I realised that I didn't have any cuttlery. It would have been nice if she'd noticed! I then discovered that the customers are supposed to get their own knives, forks and spoons, serviette, etc. Wouldn't it have been nice if someone had said?! I don't think I'll go back.
Anyway, as I was waiting for my order I gave Susie a quick call on my mobile. She was too busy to speak much, but said that an old friend of mine was in the surgery and, unfortunately, she was talking to someone and wasn't free to speak to me. We said our goodbyes and ended the call. A moment later, my mobile rang again and the caller ID said 'Susie' - so, I answered and said 'Hi Susie!', then I heard a voice laugh at the other end (not Susie), however, I recognised the laugh right away as that of a former dental nurse,called Lynda, from my days in Oral Surgery at the Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow who now works for a dental company and was at Susie's work on business. I haven't seen nor spoken to her in almost 23 years! It was a delight to talk to her and we have arranged to meet for a chat in a couple of weeks. Isn't it strange how the years just vanish in a moment?

I had a walk around the museum after lunch - and for the historians among you- it's worth a visit. A lot of Scottish antiquities relating to the Scottish wars and particularly relating to Bannockburn and the Scottish Kings. There are Roman remains and even more ancient finds, as well as 17th century furniture and paintings. It's smallish, but I must go back and take some time to go around it properly. It was a worthwhile visit, and free too!

Twenty-nine miles later, I arrived home. I was just in the door when, at my back, came a van and car bearing three men. One I've met already, he's responsible for dealing with applications for grants in Stirlingshire where we live. Last year, I called Stirling Council enquiring about grants available for modifications to homes on grounds of disability. Susie and I realised that we'd have to modify a downstairs room and convert it into a shower room and duly applied for the available grant. Well, the occupational therapist came out a few weeks ago (an 8 month waiting list), a very nice lady who took her time to discuss how I was managing at home and at work, etc. She then got her measuring tape out and advised me that doors might have to be widened and a ramp installed 'for when I was in a wheelchair'!! I don't think I heard another word after that! Anyway, a grant toward the shower room wouldn't be a problem. So, things have happened quite quickly after that, and these men were here to begin the process of pricing the work that needs done, which includes a new front door and ramped access in case I require it in the future. Hopefully, not! It turns out that the grant is only offered once and that if a need is identified (by the OT), then the council will act to make adjustments to the property. If I, for example, decided not to let them fit the ramp, then the opportunity has passed and I wouldn't get the grant in the future. I'm happy(ish!) to let them do it. I was quite impressed, actually.

Actually, over the last few months, we've had a few improvements done to the house, basically because they're required, but also because, if I have to give up work one day in the reasonably near future, I'll probably not be able to afford to get some of the things done then. So, it might be now or never!

The one alteration I am looking forward to, and it should happen quite soon, is to get a proper loft hatch and folding retractable stairway fitted so we can get easier access to the loft space and make better use of it. It's a man's thing - ladies, please just move on the the next paragraph!

So, I got to the Saturday night meeting in Church, which was great. Grace Gault was preaching from two verses: 'Cast all your cares upon Him, for he cares for you.' - a message simply of God's love for us all. The second verse was 'resist the devil and he will flee'- she spoke of how we can get comfortable in our sin because it's all we're familiar with, and to break the chains and get free through the cross of Jesus! It was great.

Last paragraph! It's my birthday tomorrow! I've already received some e-greetings and some cards, which I thank you for. Susie has organised for a few friends to pop in tomorrow evening just to make an occasion out of it. I hope I'm not upstairs asleep in bed when they come! Au revoir!


  1. Happy Birthday to you! Is that you 40 already? We'll need to have a Scrabble party soon to celebrate. :-)

  2. That last comment was actually from me, and not Andy!! Didn't realise I was signed in as Andy until it was too late. JUst as well I said something nice!

  3. Happy Birthday Paul! Will need to arrange a time for the visit to Greenock we keep talking about. Love the blog and have a lovely day tomorrow.

  4. Happy belated birthday Paul, I'm a bit disappointed you only get the grant once in Stirling, I'd hate to have to explain that to someone. Some of my clients aren't as reasonable as you and I know what they would say about it and just couldn't print it here.

    Just discovered your blog after looking at the notice-board in church!

  6. This comes over a week late so, Happy Belated Birthday! Or is it belated Happy Birthday? Or Happy Birthday Belated? Either way, I hope it was a happy one.

    Oh, and I can understand the loft hatch thing. Ladies miss out on these fun and required items.