The great unwashed and hospital.

My life is never ‘straight forward’ and a recent trip to Glasgow proved to be the ‘exception-thingy’ that proved the rule.

Some time back, my iMac started throwing tantrums, sitting on my desk screaming blue murder in my general direction by means of jamming all three of its ventilation fans on at full whack.  The ensuing din was utterly outrageous, as too much air sought to roar through the limited ventilation orifices with brain rending consequence.  Try sitting with a hair dryer set to ‘Full Biffters’, pointed at each ear, for eight hours each day and you will begin to appreciate my dilemma.

So, a question navigated its way from the ether and snagged on the query neurones in my brain.  Should I take said iMac back to Apple for repairs?  Or should I alter ‘system preferences’ with a sizeable axe?


I decided that the former of the two options was preferable, despite four previous 200 mile round trips to try and get to the bottom of this persistent problem.  At the very least the cost of a repair would be less than the cost of a new machine but only if travel expenses were ignored.

We made the journey to Glasgow in poor weather.  A gale had come to visit and was having fun blowing the sea up and over the road in places and persuading deluges of rain to flood just about everywhere else, whilst it uprooted trees with gay abandon.  Glasgow seemed as it always does, ‘well hard’ and determined to ignore the weather and get on with being downright dour on this grey winter’s morning!

We strapped my boxed-up iMac onto its trolley and Beloved rolled it along as I hobbled by her side on my walking sticks.  We left the computer with the repair goblins at Apple and then waited nine days, for their four-to five day repair service to inform us that the machine was ready.

On our return a sparkling young Apple babe advised with a glittering smile that the machine was now fixed.  “Show me then,” I trustingly ventured and the Apple lass set the iMac up on the visitors’ table and lo!  It was fixed.  There was no noise emanating from said orifices.  I pressed my advantage further and asked, “So what was wrong with it?”  “Dunno,” came the learned and highly trained answer.  I tried another tack, “What have you replaced?”  “The logic board and…,” she scrutinised a pick list, “and… everything else… Including the glass screen.”  “Why the glass screen?”  “Er… we broke it…”

The days of analysis and repair seem to have died a death in favour of analysis, bin-it and plug in a new one.

The computer was packed up again and re-trolleyed back to the car.  Unfortunately and as fate would have it, I must have brushed against one of the great unwashed, or even worse, a poor person as we exited the Braehead Mall for the next day I felt just awful!

I started to run a temperature that went up and down like the proverbial ‘whore’s drawers’ and the area for some considerable distance around my hip operation scar became hot, inflamed and swollen.  In short, I felt like shit.

A trip to see the quack was called for, carried out in some haste and to cut a long story short, after a catalogue of medical miscommunications, I ended up back in the big hospital near Glasgow.

I was poked, prodded, injected, scanned, scanned again with a different scanner that made far more squeaks than the first – so it had to be good, blood was taken at four hourly intervals, drips were administered and I was just about to go to theatre to have a big needle shoved inside my hip when my consultant decided that it might be better if he didn’t do that as he could well push a surface infection deep inside with ensuing disastrous consequences.  Phew!


While all this was going on, my own body seemed to get pissed off with the whole malarkey and wishing to get back home to a comfortable bed, started to heal itself.  My blood infection markers started to drop, the swelling and redness seemed to be receding and consequently they decided to pack me off home so they could all be skinny-centric and get on with the job of telling patients to lose weight.

I wanted to be a doctor once but they don’t do white coats in my size.  Hurrah for the medics!




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Agent Bertram. Bertram spends most of his time at The Ministry fulfilling his role as an intelligence analyst, looking after the interests of Her Majesty The Queen and finding ever more ingenious ways to ensure that The Duke of Edinburgh stays out of trouble... When the need arises Agent Bertram is seconded to The Netherlands Secret Service to help his chums fight dastardly crime in Amsterdam. This is where he has most of his thrilling adventures.

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