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Monday, February 02, 2009

Amelie's four months old today!

Happy Family
She's a little distracted because she's never seen snow before. Well, not all over the living room. I knew I should have taken my coat off at the door.

Anyhoo, there are definite drawbacks to working for the NHS. If I was in any other industry (except perhaps the gritting business), I could have phoned up this morning, told them we're iced in, and spent the day building snowmen. But it's hard to enjoy yourself when you know patients are dying due to your unwillingness to wear earmuffs.

So instead of turning up the central heating and settling down to watch Jeremy Kyle with Lisa, I did the decent thing and headed out into the blizzard to start sweeping ten inches of snow off my car. I considered walking the mile uphill to work, but it's a major bus route, so I knew the road would be reasonably clear.

Or it would have been if the buses were running. By the time I found out they weren't, I was already at the foot of a snowy peak, with my wheels spinning twice as fast as I was travelling, and no way to turn around. How I made it to the top of the Race Hill, I have no idea. But having got there, I promptly stopped before I slid down the other side, and trudged the rest of the way through the snow.

To my surprise, all bar one of my colleagues had made it in too, a couple of them walking all the way from Woodingdean, which is a bit like doing a Nordic Skiing event without the skis. So after all that effort, it was slightly annoying when we arrived to find we had no power and all the lights were out. Fortunately that was fixed within twenty minutes. Unlike the computer system, which took half the morning to get up and running. But on the bright side, we had very little work to do because the pharmacy department at the Royal Sussex were thirty staff down, so there was no one to order any drugs.

Fortunately they did start to ask for stuff eventually. Which was a problem, as the transport department had sent their only available four-wheel drive vehicle to the Princess Royal in Hayward's Heath, and we had no way to get the drugs down the hill to the hospital, more than a mile away. Which is where I stepped in. With the weather closing in, and my colleagues heading back to Woodingdean while the route was still walkable, I ate an emergency baguette from the NHS canteen, and agreed to deliver the most urgent supplies on foot.

A decision I regretted by the time I'd gone a hundred yards. Twenty bottles of human albumin weighs more than you think. My job application said I'd go the extra mile, but not through thick snow with a heavy box. So I made it as far as my car and decided to chance it. The good news is that having skied down the hill on four wheels with my foot on the brake and my heart in my mouth, the hospital got their drugs, and I avoided becoming a patient. Tomorrow I'm taking the huskies.