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Friday, June 26, 2009

If you've spent the day in mourning, thinking that no good can possibly come from the death of Michael Jackson, then think again. In the twenty-four hours since the King of Pop moonwalked off this mortal coil, hits to my Telly Critic blog have increased tenfold. Frankly I've never been so popular. Four years since I wrote the thing, it seems I'm still the world's leading resource for information on Jacko's love of duck butter, and now the man's dead, everyone wants to know more. With this kind of profile amongst Jackson fans, I could probably claim custody of his kids.

I can't read it without glasses.But wackos aside, it's been a manic few days in the world of retinal screening. Me and my copy of the book on the left have been travelling the length and breadth of the Sussex countryside, bringing joy (and flash photography) to the lives of unsuspecting diabetics.

I spent Wednesday in Haywards Heath, being waited on by the receptionists at a small clinic, who gave me a guided tour of the staff kitchen, brought me a supply of coffee pots for my own personal use, and then came and told me every time one of my patients arrived. All of which I assumed was normal, until I mentioned it to one of the other screeners, and was told that in all the years they've been going there, no one's ever let them near the kitchen. Apparently they've been taking their own kettle since 2005. So there are definite advantages to being the one and only man in a screening team of nine: receptionists obviously think I'm the boss. Next time I'll ask them for cake.

Thursday was spent in Horsham, an upwardly mobile area (and not just because I was based on the first floor of the hospital), where you'd be forgiven for thinking that most of the patients are diabetic because they've got too much money for food and drive everywhere in four-by-fours. As it turned out, they didn't seem that different to anywhere else, which was a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to meet a few millionaires.

I did, however, get to visit Horsham Park in my lunch break, which is famous (in Horsham at least) for being the location of the world's biggest custard pie fight. No wonder their sugar levels are so high.

Today I was back in Brighton, where I had a clinic this morning, followed by a meeting this afternoon with a consultant from the Sussex Eye Hospital. I have to say, it's only when you spend an hour in the company of an experienced ophthalmologist that you realise just how thick you really are. I decided not to mention my GCSE in Biology. I sensed he wouldn't be that impressed.

So to regain my feeling of mental superiority, I returned home to spend a few hours with Amelie while Lisa went out for the evening. It gave me the chance to feed her Daddy's Bumper Organic Macaroni Cheese With Spinach, which I spent hours preparing for her last night. Needless to say, she lapped it up. But frankly she'd eat gruel if you put it in a pink bowl and warmed it in the microwave. Fussy isn't going to be one of her first words.