Sunday, 16 August 2009

Meeting Bin Laden, Pigs and Badgers and leaving for China

It has been a while since I last posted a blog. Aplogies - I am determined to become better at posting in a more regular fashion. Part of the problem is the almost unrelenting stream of other distractions that I seem to have to contend with on an almost daily basis. For example the other day, I met a man, he was a defendant in the Magistrates Court I was sitting in as a JP, who insisted on being referred to as Bin Laden. This resulted in an interesting encounter (at least for me) – on one hand I needed him to acknowledge who he was (as per his birth certificate) so that the case could move forward, but challenging his insistence that he was not a world renowned terrorist proved futile and he gradually became more and more angry and excitable – to the point where he was taken back down to the cells and I was able to continue the business without him being there. I wondered why he felt that he wanted to be known by such a despicable name. There did not seem to be any evidence of a mental health problem, but he was clearly very angry at someone, something and perhaps this was his way of letting the world know. He was in court charged with two very serious crimes and as these allegations matched his previous history of offending, he was eventually remanded in custody with the matters all being sent to the Crown Court. His appearance in my court lingered in my thinking for some time afterward.

I could still hear him and see him in my mind for the first few days of holiday in Scotland. I am fortunate to be able to rent a cottage right on the edge of the Solway Firth at Kippford. There is little else to do but watch the tide come in and then go out. However, the badgers in the area had bred since I was last there and in the evening I was able to watch mother and three young cubs come out to feed in the garden. Given the time of the year it was still light at 10pm and out they would come and gobble up all the peanut butter sandwiches I made (and any leftovers from the evening meal). It made for a magical end to the day. I was there for six days and every night they came and ate.

I wondered what it was that concerned badgers.

Having read about B+Q considering selling pigs sty’s to cash in on the ‘lets get back to the good life’ craze currently sweeping recession struck Britain, I had to wonder at the number of pigs who would end up spending many a miserable hour before their owners eventually got rid of them. So far this year I have been asked to re-home three sets of chickens from people who thought it would be good to keep half a dozen hens for the eggs and then realized it was actually a little bit more difficult to do so then simply buying your free range eggs from Sainsbury’s (an interesting aside, Stephen Fry on Radio 4 this week: - the purpose of Sainsbury’s is to keep the riff raff out of Waitrose). Anyway, I asked if we could have a pig at home. I am still awaiting a response, I will keep you posted.

I am writing this in the waiting area of Manchester Airport – off to China to discuss how we might work together in the future to develop nurses in China and opportunities for UK nurses to practice in China. I am sure this will not be the last such meetings, China presents a huge opportunity for the development of new relationships and the extension of our community of practice. I will (hopefully) keep you posted.