350 million squirrels


If you’re unfortunate enough to follow me on twitter, you’ve probably noticed that I’m currently just a bit grumpy about the UK’s crazy course towards the worst possible exit from the EU.

To be clear, unless someone can convince me otherwise (I’m still waiting for a reply from my pro-brexit MP), I will be voting to remain in or rejoin the EU at every available opportunity. I’ll also be at the Unite for Europe march on the 25th March.

But the thing that really makes me grumpy is the lack of any kind of sensible opposition. What usually gets me yelling at clouds is when someone pops up moaning about the pledge to spend more money on the NHS. (Apparently some people don’t think the bus was really misleading but the billboard seems less ambiguous.) The whole thing reminds me of a larger scale version of distracting a toddler. Oooooo, look, squirrel…

Photo © Patrick Wagstrom

Even if, and this is clearly never going to happen, the current government suddenly do decide that they’ll give any of the supposed £350 million to the NHS, it kind of misses the bigger picture. That £350 million is already worth less than when it was plastered on the side of a bus and we haven’t even started to leave yet. Pointing out that the Conservative manifesto included a commitment to the single market would probably do more to help the NHS than complaining about a bus. Actually ensuring MPs get a meaningful role in shaping the UK’s future relationship with the EU might also be a good idea. There are plenty of issues that will impact the NHS at least as much as extra funding, all of which deserve more scrutiny than they are going to get as things stand. For example, the European Medicines Agency or staffing from the EU. I’ll stop before this turns into even more of a rant but the point is that Brexit could mean anything and it’s about time we started taking it seriously.
It’s not that I don’t have a problem with misleading busses. For some reason you can get away with saying whatever you like in a referendum, which needs to change if we’re going to persist in having them. I’d personally prefer never to have another referendum again but if we must have one, perhaps it could be on the NHS? Unless the government know the will of the people on that as well.

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World Blood Donor Day


Since it’s World Blood Donation Day/National Blood Week, and I missed the blood mobiles last time they were in work, I’ve been trying to find somewhere to drop off my 38th armful. Unfortunately I can’t make it to any of the other local sessions, and so far I haven’t been able to find out when I can next have a nice cup of tea and a sit down at work. I’ve been to the Southampton Blood Centre in the past but I need to find out if you can still donate there.

Anyway, to keep them stocked up until I can next make it, it would be amazing if someone reading this donated blood for the first time. If anyone is crazy enough willing to volunteer and wants to leave a comment, I have a cunning plan for a suitable prize. (Based on previous competitions here, I wouldn’t get too excited about the prize!)

Photo © Leo Reynolds (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Armful of biscuits


The blood to biscuit exchange rate is looking increasingly rosy. There was a huge selection today, including flapjacks, although I must admit my eyes may have been slightly too big for my stomach there.

biscuits

I also picked up the slate coaster to go along with a very nice thank you card I received for donating three times in a year. (Over 500 million years old apparently- hope the flapjack wasn’t quite so old.)

slate

All that and a nice post lunch rest. Bonus.