Saturday, September 10, 2016


The local library has three book exchange sites set up around the Claremont Shopping Precinct and I am picking up and depositing some interesting books.

One which I picked up a few days ago is called "Everything you Always Wanted to Know about Sorcery but were Afraid to Ask".  It was published in 1977 and is a paperback with pages which have become brown over time  -  and the cover was about to come away from the spine.  From my genealogical equipment from the days before I moved here to Claremont I knew that there was a roll of Document Repair Tape if only I could find it. 

I eventually unearthed it in a bottom drawer containing acid-free document covers, certificates and other paraphernalia.  And in there with it all was a folder presented to me when I retired with photos of staff, the hospital a lot of messages from people with whom I had worked and a picture of one patient (obviously with his permission since it is not allowed in the general run of things) who had become a friend and almost a father figure  -  he was everything my father was not. He was a retired Canon of the Church of England, a lovely man, and on the back he had written "Fare Thee Well and Thank You".  Reading it again today it brought tears to my eyes.  I intend to take it to the next meeting of the Lotto Lunch Group  -  they are all there in the photos.

While I was still working there was a group of Allied Health Professionals who used to put in money every week and one of us would use it to buy a Lotto ticket.  When it first started up we won enough money to treat ourselves to a Christmas Breakfast after which, having consumed a certain quantity of champagne, we would do a tour of the Lodge singing Christmas Carols.  Later on the Lotteries Commission changed the rules and it became harder to win anything so we had to contribute towards breakfast ourselves.  We realised that it would have been cheaper to just buy ourselves a Christmas breakfast but that would have taken all the fun out of our wild weekly gamble.

When we started retiring we decided to meet every two months for lunch on which ever day most suited those still working and, nineteen years later we still meet for lunch six times every year.  The group has changed over time but is essentially the same and it is a great time to catch up and keep in touch.  The podiatrist in the group only retired last year after years of being the itch which made Management annoyed and he used to give us news of what was going on within the service but he still keeps in touch with some of the workers so we are kept up to date about the bureaucracy and all its works which go from bad to worse as the Health Department is taken over by administrators rather than by medical professionals.

I got out just in time.

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