Sunday, 5 February 2012

[M]ice at the V+A, 30 something’s for the over 50s, Me and My Mate Billy, and Wit[tering] on about Sircumcision

Last week not only were the NMC back, but I was back in the V+A. The NMC were back to assess the quality of our mentorship programmes (Nurse and Midwives). The review team approved the programmes and commended the team on their relationship with practice colleagues evidenced by the high quality of the mentorship provided to students, and the shared understanding of the learning outcomes and NMC standards by colleagues in practice and the School.

I was at the V+A for a College Planning Meeting. Now as regular readers will know, the V+A is not my favourite place in the world to stay. And whilst I do have some good memories of past stays there, it would not be my first choice of an overnight venue. I was there with my colleagues to develop the College response to the changing HEI environment and in particular to consider the fitness for purpose of our strategic plans in meeting the new economic realities facing all Universities.

After a long days work it was good for the team to enjoy a meal together, and catch up on non-work issues. The chef had been told I was dining (the food is one of the reasons I don’t like staying there) and he came out and I was able to negotiate an off menu meal that was surprisingly good. So in mellow mood I even considered whether I might have been a little harsh in my criticism of the place when much to the surprise of our table, we were joined in the dining room by a tiny little mouse.

The mouse ran around for a bit and perhaps like me had issues with the menu, turned and dissappeared. Now where there is one mouse there are likely to be many others. Mice become sexually mature in 8 to 10 weeks and a pair can produce 8 litters each of 16 young, in a year, so you are never likely to be far from a mouse or two!

The following morning I took a short walk around a cold and crisp white early morning Manchester. The canal that runs into the River Irwell was completely frozen over and yet the river just the other side of the lock gates ran freely. And it seems my gentle walk around the grounds of the V+A was typical of people my age. A recent GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) study revealed that people over the age of 55 do 30 minutes more exercise per week than people aged 18-25.

GSK in association with NHS London and supported by the Royal College of General Practitioners, the Royal College of Nursing, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and 7 patient groups across the UK launched the Your Personal Best initiative last week. This initiative aims to promote lifestyle changes among the 7.8 million Britons in the 50+ age group who have long-term health problems. Inspired by the London 2012 Olympics, it encourages people to undertake regular light physical activity, such as gardening or walking the dog. The scheme highlights the role played by nurses, GPs, physiotherapists and other health workers in promoting a healthy lifestyle among patients.

Being a keen gardener, a daily walker of Cello my Australian Labradoodle, and a Nurse, I thought the YPB initiative ticked a lot of boxes for me. This week however, I won’t be out walking with Cello every day. Cello is currently on holiday in Scotland and there is just Billy the Parrot and me rattling around in Château Warne. Which is a bit of a shame as the snow came yesterday and the ground is covered in about 4 inches of the stuff and despite trading the Tractor for other more manual and eco friendly snow clearing equipment, Billy is not that handy with a shovel.

And my thanks go to Sarah and James who with great cutting wit made me smile in what I thought was the defining comment following the news regarding Fred Goodwin last week:

@sarahtaylor: @mrjamesob - Sircumcision = having your knighthood removed.

And yes, I survived my alcohol free week, and that glass of heart protecting red wine tasted so good on Friday!