Wednesday 29 February 2012

The Tutor

Not so deep
inside his psyche
exists the  
frightened little man;
defences up
he walls him in;
ego inflated.

Square, angular
'Chiselled from some
metamorphic rock'
(he muses)
jaw juts forward;
he gives emphasis
to every uttered word,
each morsel offered
as a tasty crumb
of wisdom
to be shared

His students wait,
as he pauses yet again,
adopts his Rodin pose,
his thinking stance,
at his salt and pepper head,
dandruff flakes extracted,
he rolls twixt thumb and finger,
creates tiny oily balls,
flicks into waiting pocket
lest they contain
some random thought,
some stroke of genius
leached out,
secreted accidentally.

Class done,
'Young minds broadened'
(he muses)
he wanders
head bowed, shoulders slouched
as if carrying the burden
of his intellect
hands firmly clasped
behind waiting back,
through corridor and cloister.

The young ones,
see through his affect,
his pseudo-intellect
and titter ignominiously. 
He flinches,
and not so deep inside
his psyche
exists the
frightened little man,
defences down,
wall tumbled,
ego deflated.

Anna :o]

(Please note that the above is not an attack on the teaching profession only memories of one particular tutor!)

Thanks to the good folk at Open Link Night ~ Week 33 (hosted and posted by Hedgewitch) at dVerse Poets Pub.

Sunday 26 February 2012


Detail of the Schreyer-Landauer epitaph

Feathers, wedges, pitches,
rough shape stone.
beauty to define;
percussion lifts the veil,
reveals his vision;
the masons’ stroke
with every
successive sweep
projects relief,
elevates his dream
to final glory.

Victoria C. Slottos’ challenge at dVerse poets is to write an ekphrastic poem using a sculpture for inspiration.  Although I paint and draw I have never sculpted, so research was needed and my hope is that sculpting tools and methods of sculpting used in my little effort were actually used during the lifetime of Adam Kraft (born c. 1455-6, Nuremberg,  Bavaria [Germany] – died 1508/9), a sculptor of the Nuremberg school. 

Below is a self portrait (1490s) of Adam which is sited at St. Lorenz Church, Nuremberg.  How gifted he was!

Attributions: Adams self portrait courtesy of Wikipedia

Detail of the Schreyer-Landauer epitaph at St. Sebaldus Church, Nuremburg courtesy of  Allie Caulfields' photostream at flickr.

Anna :o]

Monday 20 February 2012

An Ordinary Man

image: epic mahoney

Life complicates
with every twist and turn,
with every secret
held close
to anxious chest.

He dismounts,
parks up,
enters the box,
wishes the light
more dimmed,
lest he be observed
by prying eyes.

No indiscretions he,
an ordinary man he
remains amazed
at her choice
of him. 
No wealth,
no great intellect,
the only thing
he has to offer
is himself.

He thinks of his wife,
the ready scowl,
the nagging tongue. 
God, once he did love her so,
yet familiarity
bred contempt
and rent apart
the very fabric
that made them one.

He picks up the phone,
heart flutters
lest she not respond,
she does, whispers
“I love you!”

He straddles the bike;
fades to heaviness. 
She will be waiting,
her diatribe of bitter words
will spill like shards of glass,
will cut him deep.   

She sees him,
no lover her,
no “I love you!”
her bitter words
stab at his heart. 
He picks up the knife;
blind with rage
penetrates her flesh,
“Well my love,
till death us do part!”

With thanks to Tess at The Mag for the inspiration.

Anna :o]

Saturday 18 February 2012

The Sham Of e-petitions

Oh I have lost count of how many times I have clicked on to Dr Kailash Chands e-petition and marvelled at the daily increase (in thousands) of those who have signed.  Initially I truly believed that the general public genuinely had a voice and could elicit change, that when the magic total of 100,000 was reached, the subject of the petition would be debated in Parliament.

Then I read the ‘small print’ and realised I was a trusting fool.

The website states “e-petitions is an easy way for you to influence government policy in the UK.”  However this is strictly not true as plainly stated in ‘How e-petitions work’ - “If you collect 100,000 signatures, your e-petition COULD be debated in the House of Commons.”  Just could be, that’s all.

Any person in the UK can petition the government electronically and any petition that reaches 100,000 is referred to the House of Commons Backbench Business Committee (BBC), who reviews the petition and decides whether it merits debate in Parliament.  (However a petition does not necessarily have to reach the 100,000 total if the Committee feels its subject merits debate.)

If a petition reaches 100,000 it does not automatically follow that it will be debated as it may be felt the subject does not merit debate, there is not time available to schedule the debate or no MP wishes to debate it.

With regards to Dr Chands e-petition Labour MP Natascha Engel (chairwoman of the BBC) states in this article in The Huffington Post “the amount of time allocated by the government meant it was increasingly difficult to schedule debates on contentious issues such as NHS reform.”

She also states that she can only schedule debates with cross-party support necessitating Liberal Democrats and/or Tory MPs to back the Drop the Health Bill petition.

So regrettably it would appear that the petition will/might not be debated and that the electorates’ voices will be ignored.

Is this surprising from a government that does not invite critics of its reforms to its meeting?

Anna :o[

Thursday 16 February 2012

Rome Is Burning

There has been a wonderful surge of signatures to Dr Kailash Chands’ e-petition “Drop the Health Bill” and indeed it has more than surpassed the 100,000 mark (130,789 at the time of writing) required to allow debate in the House of Commons.

But will it be debated?

Click on FAQs and read that “If the subject of the e-petition is currently going through legal proceedings, it may be inappropriate for a debate to be held."

As Cameron and Lansley are determined to ignore the concerns of the BMA, 19 Royal Medical Colleges, Institute of Healthcare Management, Royal Colleges of Nurses and Midwifes, NHS Consultants’ Association, GMB, Unite and Unison unions, Faculty of Public Health, Patients Association, Institute of Healthcare Management, Medical, Management and Nursing Journals, Chartered Society of Physiotherapists, etc. and push ahead with this much hated bill – why would they take notice of an e-petition?

If our wonderful government are intent in ignoring the very people who work within the NHS what more can we do?

If you have not signed the e-petition please do so and Facebook and tweet it!  Email your ‘contacts’ and ask them to do the same.  (The greater the number - the less likely the e-petition will be ignored.)

Email your MP – ask him/her what they intend to do (remember they were elected by you to represent you) on 22nd February when a debate is to be held to vote on the release of the risk register.   (Unison have made it easy - just follow instructions on page.  You don't have to be a member of Unison to do so - I'm not)

Details on the risk register from Unisons' pages:

“The government has so far refused to release the so-called “risk register" behind its controversial Health Bill, despite the independent Information Commissioner telling them to do so.

Speculation suggests that the register contains damning information about the risks of the government's NHS overhaul, particularly around the cost of its plans and the ability of GPs to take on massive new responsibilities.

It takes just two minutes to make a difference

The debate on 22 February is a chance for MPs to vote for the government to release the risk register now, so that the public will have a better idea of what is in store for the NHS and our politicians will be better informed when considering the Health Bill in Parliament.

Ask your MP to support the motion that the risk register should be published.”

If you care about your NHS, please ask your MP to support the motion and again email your ‘contacts’ and ask them if they will do the same.

Email  No 10 direct  and inform Dave of your concerns. It of course is highly probable that he will not read it – but if enough of us write he will certainly be aware of the volume of mail received and the general publics’ unrest, fear, hatred of the HSCB. (Again ask your contacts to do so too.)

Dave’s pride has become more important to him than the wishes of US, the GENERAL PUBLIC, THE ELECTORATE. We live in a DEMOCRACY; we have a RIGHT to VOICE our OPINIONS.

Please don’t just sit there while Rome burns, do something now before it is too late!


Anna :o]

Tuesday 14 February 2012

Update on the e-petition!

I checked the number of signatures on the e-petition this morning and the total was 69,000+.

Went to bed, got up and read this article in Pulse, checked the petition to find 92,300 signatures.

What does that say to you Lansley?   To me it says an awful lot of docs have signed today!

I am indeed a happy bunny!

Keep signing folks!  (Just checked when creating this link - now 94,142!  Yippee!)

Anna :o]

Saturday 11 February 2012

Time Is Running Out!

JD provides a list here of those for and against the Health and Social Care Bill (HSCB) and he notes in his ‘Against’ column that “Most of the population (if they knew it)” would be.

I am certain he is correct.

So why don’t they/we know?  I think Richard Bloggers’ excellent postWhy Patients Are Not Objecting To The Health Bill” is well worth a read.  Please read it all!

He writes:  “NHS patients treat the NHS like mains-supplied water. When you need it, it is there. Turn the tap on, and the water flows. Go to your doctor and get treated. You don't have to think how either is provided. You don't think about how it is funded. (Even people on metered water don't think: flushing this toilet will cost me 1p.) You know it is there and you use it when you need it.

And that is exactly how it should be.

But it will change under the Health and Social Care Bill.”

And indeed it will.

For further information of how the HSCB will affect YOU, please read Frequently asked questions on the Health and Social Care Bill and focus on

Q7:  I had the impression that the reform was all about putting GPs in charge, which sounds like a good idea.  Isn’t this the case?

A:     No. Through their involvement in Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), GPs will be acquiring new financial and legal responsibilities for balancing budgets and deciding whose care can be paid for and whose cannot, but they may well see a reduction in their professional autonomy rather than an increase.  Specialist services will be provided for most patients through the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) process (identical to Any Willing Provider process used for commercial procurement in the EU and the USA).  GPs initially believed that they would be able to help their patients navigate the system and arrange optimal care.  However it turns out that any provision through AQP must be administered under competition laws, it is the rule of the patient alone to choose a provider.  Because the GP is part of the system, it would distort competition between providers if GPs advised patients of which to choose – so they won’t be allowed to.   Thus GPs will only gain workload and risk, and patients will be deprived of GPs know-how on which providers will be the most suitable.

So your care outside your GP practice will be in the hands of ANY Qualified Provider and not that of a specialist your GP knows and trusts.  How will YOU know who to choose?

Would you send your child to ANY school or attempt to secure a place at a school that offered good education?  Would you buy ANY car or one that you knew was roadworthy?    Would you buy ANY house or one that you wanted to live in as it suited your needs?  (Carry on the possibilities here your good self!)

Dr Kailash Chand is behind an e-petition to have the HSCB scrapped.    It has 63,237 signatures at the time of writing and needs 100,000 before 16/05/12 to force a debate in Parliament.   If you care about the NHS, please sign it – there is much to lose if you don’t.

Please email all you know and ask them to sign the petition and also forward “The frequently asked questions on the Health and Social Care Bill” too.


Anna :o]

Addendum:  e-petition signatures at 11H05 today (Sunday) is 64,467!  A thousand plus since yesterday!  Keep signing folks and we will easily make 100,000!  Don't forget to ask all you know to sign it, tweet it, whatever they can!  Yay!

Tuesday 7 February 2012

Aleksandr Nikolayevich Bakulev

A grave, Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
A peasant boy
not content
to bow to circumstance,
no plough guided
by his steady hand
but that of scalpel blade,
Incision made
he opens up his mind
to medicine.

Art and science;
skills honed
on the scars of battlefield,
he becomes the surgeon.

The thoracic cavity,
a privilege to see within
what lies
beneath the human skin,
sternum sawn apart,
a pioneer,
he removes a growth,
repairs a heart.

The surgeon
not content
to bow to circumstance,
in death thrusts
forth his hands
grasps at the heart,
the heart of medicine.

Anna :o]

Tess’s prompt is that of a grave at Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow.  Research led me to the knowledge that Novodevichy is a very prestigious place to be buried in and that the grave is that of Aleksandr Bakulev.

I knew nothing of him so researched and discovered he was an eminent Russian surgeon and that the Bakulev Scientific Centre of Cardiovascular Surgery was founded by him.

Unfortunately it is difficult to find much about Aleksandr as all entries found were either the same or abridged versions of his life history described at the Russia-InfoCentre – that is apart from a brief description given at Wikipedia – you can click on via Novodevichy Cemetery.

Nevertheless – despite the brief history – his genius is obvious.

With thanks to Tess at The Mag for the inspiration.

Anna :o]