Bath Christmas Market + The importance of boundaries + RUH visit

by | Nov 23, 2023 | Latest Post | 0 comments

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We as a nation have become addicted to images and brief videos and I am not sure how powerful the written word still is. As I have said before, I write this diary mainly for myself but anyone is entitled to have a peep into my life. All of us are one consciousness having derived from the same origin so we are different in our expressions of our identity but we all have something to give each other because we are unique individuals. I long ago dismissed the idea of ‘privacy’. The government knows everything about us and this is the intention of the new ‘Identities’ where everything about all aspects of your life is on one chip, or more likely on one computer somewhere.

Today started with a panic because I could not get through to my website nor was it visible on the net. I sent a panic letter to my service provider knowing that he could probably sort things out. He told me that I’d had a brute force attack on my site which I suppose is a bit of a compliment but also a nuisance. The safety system of my server clicked in and closed things down temporarily to prevent harm. I can understand why people attack government sites or financial sites or political sites but this one is neither one of them. My web host advises me not to spend any energy on trying to figure out the motives for these people.

On the way to pick up my car I always keep my eyes alert for anything of interest and this was a most extraordinary peace of garden architecture. Someone had laid a lawn obviously with artificial grass but did not do it properly and just left it there without so much as a ‘by your leave sir’. It looks like an unmade bed. How anyone can live with that in their garden I do not know.

I was comforted at the garage. There was a low bill of £60, almost unheard of these days but just the tracking had to be done and a rod needed to be un seized.

The son of my friend Terry did not attend school yesterday. He is a very intelligent young man but just hates school and I said to Terry that it must be a bit like having to go to prison.

My injection is due at the Eye Clinic today so off we both go to Bath. The Christmas market has started so the chances are that the car parks will be full so we go by bus. We noticed in the main car park that you have to pay more if your car is not ULES compliant so when you punch your registration plate in to the payment machine it automatically tells you if you are compliant or not. Technology moves forward again. The uplift for non compliant cars?  £3.50 for two hours compliant vs £4.60 non compliant.

We are taking a brief coach vacation starting on Monday. I wanted to go and see exactly where the coach was leaving from because I like to be clear in my mind about every detail and only then can I relax. We found the spot and estimated it would take 10 minutes with luggage from the bus station. The departure is 12:40 which is a reasonable enough time to arrive. I feel sorry for the people who have to catch the same bus in Penzance at 6:10 in the morning and in the dark. That sounds like too much of a journey for me. I would want a day to recover.

We had to look at Green Park station, Bath,  which is partly a clear indoor area for events  and partly a collection of shops and restaurants. Friday morning there is a food market. I am not sure if this was a genuine train station, it certainly looks like it, but it would be certainly worth visiting on a Friday.

We did quite a rare thing today, and that was to buy a frying pan. I find that in cheap examples. the non-stick coating is very thin and can wear off. I also find the gauge of metal is very thin. We had a look in a specialist shop where we saw copper frying pans available from £85. They weighed a ton but I’m sure they do a good job in keeping the heat constant. So the frying pan was our ‘choice of the day ‘and it came in at about 14 pounds which we thought was good value.

The man in the foreground is selling the Big Issue. His dog is being pampered

Our impression of the Christmas market is that is it is not so extensive and the stalls are not so numerous as in previous years. You can blame covid only to a certain extent but my guess is the council are charging too much for rent and refuse to compromise. When you add the cost of the rental to overnight hotel costs to travel costs and your own sustenance you are probably talking about at least £6,000 without blinking an eyelid and then of course there is the cost of whatever it is you are selling. Oh, and don’t forget the staff that must be paid.

If you want more details, there are various zones. Zone 1 is Kingston Parade, abbey Green, and Bath Street and you will have to pay for a corner chalet £4.800 Other chalets will be £3,900 Near to the Guild Hall you will pay £2,268. That’s from Thursday 23rd November to Sunday 10th December

Funny, I thought that these electric scooters had been banned but this seems to be a new model redesigned to follow some regulation or other.

At the City Art Gallery there is an exhibition of surrealist art which is running until seventh January 2024. I do not think I could concentrate enough on such an exhibition when I have to keep on looking at my watch to make sure I leave for the hospital in time so I declined and Francoise and I went our separate ways.

To the hospital. My appointment was at 3:00 p.m. I went early in order to enjoy the lunch. I had a very nice vegetarian curry with mashed potatoes, and as before a pear and apple crumble with lashings of custard. For some reason the bill was £3.69 which for two full plates of food was a bargain.

Yet another ghastly ‘fake’ photo of someone pretending to be cold. I guess this is done by an underpaid lackey. Please bring in a professional photographer.

As is my won’t I look at the paintings along the corridors and this one very much reminded me of the conditions in the Gaza strip and also of other so-called 1 in 100 year rain events. The text says ‘all the roads were washed away and we wondered where it would all lead’

Hospitals in Bath go way back and these are photographs from the period of the First World War. We see a Plasticine model of patients at the Bath War Hospital in 1917

I noticed that at the far end of the restaurant where I was sitting and eating, there were two or three groups of people meeting, they seemed to discuss administration and policy Someone else was being interviewed for a job. I did wonder why this was necessary in a public place because I could clearly over hear what was being said but maybe I am being too fussy.

I would want to interview someone in private. A further group of people, 6 of them, were without seating and  wanted to sit down at the table of which I was the soul occupant. They very tactfully avoided making eye contact and there was no way I was going to move from my table halfway through the sweet course so they eventually found somewhere else to sit.

I went to my appointment 20 minutes early as I was getting bored wandering up and down the corridors. To my surprise, I was seen immediately and ushered into the room where the eye test was conducted. To my surprise, with my macular eye, I could read almost down to the bottom line of the chart without glasses. I attribute this to the lens that they put in at the cataract operation a few weeks ago.

I then went straight in to theatre for the eye injection itself and met a consultant  there who’s name I still did not remember who has been in the unit for two years and I have never met him professionally. I discussed the probability of that and we talked a little bit about probability theory and also the fact that no two people are identical. If we have 50 variables in our character and they are each developed on a scale of let us say one two three four five, the chances that we would meet someone of identical disposition would be greater than the number of people on the earth.

Our conversation was part of what the English call ‘small talk’  which in my view is essential as a prelude to doing something serious because both parties can get to know each other, relax, and tune in to the object of the day. I think humor is a great help here and my gemini mind likes to flit from one topic to another so I can normally find something to say on most things

The supervisor had a great sense of humour and we got on very well. He was observing a young student? who performed the injection. She was from the Philippines and was called ‘Charm’ so of course I had to ask her if she was charming and the supervisor assured me that she was indeed charming.

You have to be asked as a patient each time how you are getting home. I joked that I was taking a horse and carriage. The consultant said, ‘well all right then, we just want to make sure you’re not going to drive’. He also asked if I was allergic to anything and I said yes, I was allergic to boring people but also to cheap perfume. The latter is quite serious because it seizes up my throat like you wouldn’t believe.

The female stumps off shouting and swearing

Exit the hospital buildings and I became aware of a woman shouting and screaming at her partner who seemed to be unmoved, certainly unresponsive. She was scarcely coherent but was effing and being violent saying that she wanted to go and it was all his fault anyway. Off they went pursuing each other. We got on the bus and a couple of stops later, blow me down, there they were peacefully waiting for the bus and got onto it like lambs. I noticed that he had one foot in a plaster cast and was walking with a stick.

It reminds me of some abusive relationships I have been witnessed where someone turns on the charm, and then attacks for no apparent reason. It reminds me of the phrase, ‘can’t live with them, cant live without them’.

I talked to a lady bystander who had heard the whole thing, the row in the hospital ground I mean, and said that all the world is a stage and we need to see these things like we watch a movie. We don’t have to get involved. We don’t want to allow someone else’s bad day to become our bad day. She seemed to get some solace from this.

I think boundaries are so important and also to keep our mental – emotional – spiritual state in equilibrium. Something can come out of nowhere. It’s a bit like my website malfunction this morning, and you need to be prepared for anything at any time. I admit that I really panicked, because at these times I realize how much I have put into the diary and how horrible it would be to lose it. If I did so, I would just carry on and write another diary.

There was a fair old queue in the bus station for the 173 bus to Wells. Curiously I sat in the front seat downstairs to the left. I have never done that before, but ten minutes later Francoise appeared and we sat together.

Telepathy works fairly well when we are apart. She noticed that her phone was switched off when she was having lunch so she switched it on just a minute before I called.

Doing My duty

At a bible study this evening we looked at the first letter of John, chapter 2. John is saying that ‘we can’t claim to know God if we don’t follow his commandment. Who claims to live in him must live as Jesus did’.

As usual this was a catalyst for discussing many things including how people get on with their partners. Are we the type of person that explodes like a firework and then everything is fine or do we smoulder and let our resentment etch into our personalities and into the relationship. Do we take the truth best from our partners or do we take it from those who are observers?

In this politically correct age we can be chastised by our fellow workers for rightly drawing someone’s attention to a job not done well. I suggested that we use the term ‘ duty of care’ so it’s nothing to do with a personal attack but it’s performing our ‘duty to care’ for others to make sure they do things in the right way.

The word ‘duty’ is a commitment or expectation to perform some action in general or if certain circumstances arise. A duty may arise from a system of ethics or morality especially in a culture where ‘honour’ features. The word comes from the late 14th century ‘duete’ meaning ‘an obligatory service, that which ought to be done’, also ‘the force of that which is morally right’

You say I’m doing my duty for different reasons then when you say I’m just doing my job or I’m just following orders . With the latter we are just associating ourselves from any effect of following orders. Just doing my job indicates a mechanical and robotic attitude to what you do. Doing my duty implies that I take responsibility for what I am doing in so far as it affects the integrity of the whole operation of which I am a part.

John points out that anyone who loves their brother and sister lives in the light but anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness. They do not know where they are going because the darkness has blinded them.

Interesting thought being blinded by the dark. Darkness itself has no information in it. Is darkness just a lack of light.

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