Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Cough, Splutter, Sniff

Well it is Tuesday not Thursday but there is a good reason for the early post.

I have a stinking cold. At first I thought I was going down with yet another chest infection because  my ribs ached so much but a trip to the GP confirmed it is just a cold. It began on Sunday. I felt fine through the morning and on the way to Laurence's for tea. On the way home though I was unusually tired and found breathing a bit more difficult. I put it down to the long day and possible dust, as Peter had been helping Laurence put shelves up, so went to bed a bit earlier and thought nothing off it. Yesterday morning I didn't feel too bad, tired but otherwise OK so I went to work and everything was fine again until around two when I suddenly began to have trouble breathing and the pain in my ribs came back. I made it to the end of the day and went home feeling exhausted. By ten I knew I was in trouble and so rang work to leave a message that I wouldn't be in today before collapsing into bed.

This morning I dragged myself off to the GP who confirmed that there was no infection and it was probably just a cold. I've been told to rest and drink plenty. If I haven't improved or have got worse by Thursday I'm to go back for another check up. So it's out with the Olbas oil and honey and lemon and back on the settee in front of the TV. Sometimes I wish I was well enough to throw a sicky so I could actually enjoy this illicit TV watching instead of fretting about letting everyone down.

Sunday tea with Laurence was a joy. I love these catch up sessions and particularly enjoyed being shown all the little tweaks and improvements he's made since my last visit. He had been contacted by the Cats Protection League and has a house visit today. He is so very excited about getting his own kittens, I get the impression that sometimes he feels lonely going back to an empty house. I must say it is hard to believe he has been gone for almost a year, it still feels like yesterday to me. I've coped well with him leaving though, better than I thought I would to be honest. Now, in just under three weeks I'm going to have to do it all again with Andrew as he heads off to university. What on earth am I going to do with myself?

I was so sorry to pop into the PH forum today and discover that yet another PH sufferer has passed away. Eight year old Keir MacGruer had battled PH for three years, my thoughts are with the parents of this brave little boy.

Paralympics Watch

The big news is the row created by Oliver Pistorius over the length of rival runner Alan Fonteles Oliveira's blades. The row started after Oliveira's surprise win in the 200m final which Pistorius was predicted to win hands down. Pistorius has since apologised over his remarks but it does raise a couple of interesting questions. 

Should blade length be standardised? And if blade length has to be within certain parameters what then happens to able bodied athletes? Should only those of the same leg length race each other? And if that is the case Pistorius would not have been allowed to race in the Olympics against able bodied athletes as he was able to do this summer. His argument could open up a whole can of worms that ultimately could be detrimental to his own career and all because someone dared to be faster than him.

Sometimes it really is best to keep your mouth shut.

In the news the new university term has resulted in yet another row, this time over non EU students.

This row is because the London Metropolitian University has been barred from taking on foreign students from outside the EU because a check of their systems by the Border Agency has revealed that a vast majority of these students can barely speak English and never attend lectures. So if they are not here to learn, what are they doing? Well the suspicion is working illegally of course though some just disappear altogether and are no doubt milking the benefits system under false names.

Apparently a new rule has come in that bars anyone unable to pass the basic English test of coming over here to study. What I'd like to know is why this test only seems to apply to those students from outside the EU when there are plenty of people from within the EU who are here but cannot speak a word of English? I speak to people from within the EU who need interpretors on a daily basis. I would have though the ability to speak English would be one of the essentials to studying in the UK no matter where you come from. I mean am I the only person who thinks this makes sense?

What really made me gasp though was someone being interviewed, from the LMU, this morning having the cheek to complain that, because of this new rule, they would have to check all applications by hand to see if the prospective students meet the language criteria. Shouldn't they have been doing those checks anyway? Of course the real reason for his outrage is that instead of just pocketing the huge fees they charge, they are now going to have to spend some of this money to pay people to make sure their students are legal, shame.

Well it is time for another steaming and then an afternoon doing absolutely nothing. You'll know if I'm feeling better tomorrow because if I am there won't be a blog.