Monday, 20 December 2010

NHS Hip Replacement. Stitches Out

The District Nurse managed to brave the sub zero temperatures and ice rink of a road to arrive on time this morning and remove my stitches. There's something quite cathartic about this. It gives me a feeling of completion and, although my pain has been minimal for the last few days, my wound suddenly feels even less tight and more relaxed. The DN tells me that it should leave very little by way of a scar despite my thigh looking at the moment like a joint on a butcher's slab. All I need to do now is carry on with the exercises and getting as much practice at walking as possible.

Unfortunately that walking is going to be restricted to indoors. This is the heaviest snowfall we have seen since we moved here in 1989 and, as beautiful as it looks, it is creating a lot of headaches. There's so much snow on the roof that the gutters have pulled away and a few roof tiles seem to have dislodged. Poor Marion has dug the car out of the snow and taken it for a hair raising drive to the petrol station but the biggest worry is the Christmas plans. Our son Paul and his wife Josephine are due to drive up on Boxing day and we are booked into a very nice hotel in St Andrews on 29th to see daughter Sarah. Unless things improve rapidly both these rare chances to see the kids may be lost - very sad.

My reading blitz continues unabated. I've been getting through almost a novel a day since the operation but this latest offering Parrot and Olivier in America presented the biggest challenge so far and there was no way that I was going to get through this epic in 24 hours. Shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker prize, Peter Carey's picaresque tale of an English servant and his French aristocratic master is a masterpiece of literary descriptions and I know that I should gush about it if I have a scrap of intellect within me but, whilst I can appreciate Carey's silver (nay golden) tongue, I can't say that I enjoyed the book like I did Like Bees To Honey and Started Early Took My Dog. I finished it in a little over two days and am pleased that I have read it but I can't say that it is particularly entertaining reading - more an opportunity to worship at the feet of a master wordsmith in the sure knowledge that I will never come close to writing anything of this magnitude.

If you know me or you've read my blogs before you'll know that I am fascinated by the latest technology. I stumbled across this the other day. It's a Thing O Matic by Maker Bot and is described as a 3D printer. You program the machine with a 3d CAD image and it will "print" the image in plastic. Although the resultant plastic figures are fairly small, with some imagination I can see endless possibilities for this equipment. For example when I was working we often had to have expensive models of small plastic components made to see if the ideas would work. With one of these we could have saved a small fortune. I'm not buying one at the moment but this is an area of technology to watch.

Now that I have retired I wonder if anyone out there would be interested in some business advice. If you want to be another Peter Jones or Alan Sugar then stop reading now but, having run a British manufacturing company and managed to sell it as a going concern and retire at a respectable fifty seven, some of my ideas may (just may) be of use to others starting out in their own business or maybe finding things hard in the current climate. I'm going to start a series of nuggets of advice tomorrow. I'm starting with one that's closest to my heart - getting the right work/life balance.

Until then I'll leave you with a lesson on how not to get your automatic car back on the road in these conditions.