Wednesday, 14 November 2012

What price a flu jab?

ATISHOO! Atishoo! Agoosha! Sorry about that, but I seem to be going down with the flu.

Of course, if I’d been able to have a free flu jab as I’ve done for many years now I might have been spared soggy tissues and sleepless nights, but that is an option which was taken away from me this year by the Government under their latest round of cutbacks.

Only people over 65 years or those who have a serious medical condition can get a free jab now, my doctors’ surgery told me, while the rest of us have to shell out cash and pay to get a jab.

The small amount of money involved is not the issue with me. It is concern at yet another erosion of the struggling free NHS which seems increasingly difficult for ordinary people to benefit from.

Taking millions out of the flu jab equation seems to be yet another nail in the coffin for those who believe that the NHS is safe and well in the hands of politicians.

The joys of cross-channel cycling

HE has sneering superciliousness down almost to an art form yet an aloof cafe waiter could be among the first Frenchmen you meet if you become a European cyclist.

We are all being encouraged to sample three new cycleways - including the cross-Channel Petit Tour de Manche cycle route - Weymouth being at the centre of two of them.

So what might the budding bicyclette rider expect in La Belle France?

Well they do a nice line in garlic over there and a good bottle of plonk is an obvious attraction, but I’ve always felt claims that Frenchmen are the world’s greatest lovers to be a little too formidable.

Still, British men would clearly be at a disadvantage over there if their better half coyly suggested they go upstairs for a little canoodling after they’ve just pedalled 100km... and him with that dodgy saddle which had rubbed him raw as well. 

No wonder the first entry in the new French phrasebook for cyclists being drawn up by Weymouth tourist chiefs is: “Pas se soir Josephine!”

Still, look on the bright side. After Bradley Wiggins’ win in the Tour de France, any cyclist with sideburns has got to be good for a sloppy French kiss.

Locked on to my luggage

STANDING forlornly at a baggage claim in a foreign airport and slowly realising your suitcase has been lost in transit must be a nightmare for any traveller, but not any more.

New technology means holidaymakers can now receive a card to attach to their suitcase which enables luggage to be identified wherever it is without your name and address being displayed.

The traveller is also issued with a mastercard and all this enables authorities finding unclaimed baggage to contact the worried traveller, explain where their luggage is, identify where the traveller is and reunite them with their luggage in barely 12 hours at a time and place of their convenience.

I had all this technology put at my disposal during a recent holiday.

It was very reassuring to know that my underwear and special ale trail T-shirt were in safe hands should some baggage handler have had a funny five minutes and sent my suitcase soaring off to Ibiza while I was boarding a plane to Bangkok.

If a job’s worth doing . . .

IT was nearly lunchtime and a woman working in a Weymouth dry cleaners saw that one item waiting to be spruced up was a little boy’s suit.

She was already busy and no one else could help so, when she reached her lunchtime, she decided to work through so the tiny suit could be cleaned in time for collection.

The material was quite dirty and she realised she would have to process it several times to ensure it was properly cleaned, but she didn’t mind losing her entire lunch hour because she reasoned that the suit had clearly been put in ahead of an important occasion and she didn’t want to let the little boy down.

Eventually the suit was beautifully cleaned but she then discovered a tear in the back seam of the suit. She asked colleagues’ advice about stitching it up, but it turned out to be beyond the outlet’s capacity to repair.

She was still quite proud of her efforts with the suit and she raised a smile when a man came to collect it, saying it was now completely clean, apologising for being unable to mend the tear.

The man replied: “It doesn’t matter. It’s only for my ventriloquist’s dummy.”

The woman’s partner told me later she was left speechless!

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