The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache

Sunday, 29 May 2011

NHS Wars!



What's the big deal?!

It's the HEALTH and WELL BEING of the nation for Pete's sake! @@

Before plan 2000, our National Health Service worked fine and everybody was happy and proud of it. Came plan 2000 and it's first aim was that it recognised the need for more doctors and nurses, fair enough! ... and so we have more doctors and nurses, great! But then the plan went berserk and stuffed the NHS up to it's ears with layers and layers of bureaucracy too, and in doing so, the establishment that used to spend 48 billion and keep people happy at the same time is now spending 110 billion and is causing unhappiness!

Why?

Because the administration now crammed with unnecessary people all talking at the same time and interfering with every big and small, it has ended up hindering those who actually provide the 'caring' from doing their job!

Solution? ... weed the NHS of those who are stopping it doing a proper job!

And because of plan 2000, the NHS has become a notorious monopoly employer that nests gang cultures full of all sorts of prejudice, which in turn breaks people and hinders innovation rather than nourish and encourage talent thus it also costs a huge sum with astronomical waste in the process too?

Solution: Foundation trusts, smaller hence, more manageable entities where every group of providers are stand alone transparent businesses responsible and accountable for their own doings. If they do well, they survive. They don't, bye bye! ... only, make sure that while those are allowed to take on unlimited private patients, that users or patients in need will not lose out simply because they are poor/er. How? Make sure they do not make more money from private patients! ... and make sure the NHS stays 'OUR NHS' too! ... in public hands!

And do I want to be in a nice hospital when I need and be treated with dignity and respect as well as cared for properly? Youuu bet! ... I do not like dilapidation either ... but I'd still find someone playing the piano or serenading me with a violin 'in the lounge' a bit OTT and a ridiculous waste of money! I want to be a responsible user of 'Our' NHS too, so I'll provide my own MP3 player, thank you ... and yes it's a good idea the staff can own part of the hospital to encourage ownership, but make sure those who own the rest are not sharks who can use it, abuse it, then let it go bust and run away with pockets full of gold too!

As for my doctors, I want them to know what they are doing! Hence, provide them with the best training in the whole wide world! How? Keep doctor training under a national umbrella ... and we do need more doctors too to make the service safe as well as allow young docs can train comfortably and without the stress of having to care for 400 patients at night on their own when they are so young they shouldn't! ... and we have more doctors, so make sure you value and use their talent properly, provide them with enough senior supervision and plenty of opportunity to prosper and do well for their patients, for themselves and for this country ... and hold Britain's name high on a global scale too! Best training for all aspiring young doctors! ... and double their pay too, at the very least because, not only do they deserve it, it's their right too! ... and we need more seniors if the NHS is to be safe ... and make sure you reward them well, and be fair, to keep them all happy :-)

Cos happy staff make happy patients ... and happy staff and patients make happy business!

Get it?! .... eeeeasy ....

Now, stop fighting, simplify ... and go get on with it! @@

Or simply go back to the system we had pre the disastrous Plan 2000, eh? Common sense ...


All the testosterone flying about! ... boys will be boys after all ....


Andrew Lansley will not quit over health reforms, says Downing Street [click] and [google]
Hospitals could be bailed out over costly PFI deals [click] and [google]



Wednesday, 25 May 2011

The Mubarak trial

We are all full of weakness and errors; let us mutually pardon each other our follies it is the first law of nature.

Ex-president Hossni Mubarak of Egypt is now to stand trial:

"
The three Mubaraks are faced with different sets of charges. The former president is facing charges with ordering the killing of peaceful demonstrators during the January 25 Revolution, in association with his former minister of interior Habib El-Adly. The younger Mubaraks are facing a range of charges involving financial corruption."

Reports say that around 850 people were killed during the uprising, but while I understand that the law should apply fairly to all regardless of their position or otherwise, in the absence of 'solid' evidence, I wonder what good will the trial of Mubarak do for the families of those or for Egypt? A fair trial is also likely to take a long time and will be a hinder and a distraction that will occupy the minds of the people at a time when the country needs to pull herself together and move on.

I know corruption became rife during the last decade of his rule, but I always doubted whether Mubarak was personally involved or not. That said, in the absence of a system or any form of control, would anybody else have done a better job? Would I have done a better job under similar circumstances and with being left totally unchcked for 30 years? I put that question to myself, and I can't find an answer ...

I am neither pro or anti Mubarak as I have never lived under his rule apart from when on holiday in Egypt and never had any trouble. But for the sake of fairness, will this deficiency in the Egyptian system be taken into consideration during his trial? And with the Egyptian media's continuous 24/7 broadcast of news programmes and hosted talk shows as well as the hoards of newspaper articles, etc ... in which, journalists, presenters and guests alike always blast about the Mubaraks alleged theft of hundreds of billions of dollars as if it were a confirmed thing. Thus igniting the people's emotions without presenting any evidence to support those claims. Guilty till proven innocent, and off with his head?


The sums found so far are less than 1% of what was being claimed! Although more may be found or may have already been identified by the authorities now or in the future. However, so far and as far as I am aware, no official proof was declared by the Egyptian authorities to confirm wrong doing. Then again, and in the absence of a system of control and even if a small in comparison to the original sums were found to have been acquired through profiteering, would that warrant the heartache that will be caused by a lengthy trial, either for the elderly and sick ex-president or for the people of Egypt who should now be concentrating on the positive side to rebuild the country back rather than wasting time and energy on all those negatives that may lead them to nowhere?

... and given all of the above, will this trial be fair?

Some Arab Gulf countries offered huge financial sums for investment in Egypt n exchange for bailing Mubarak and his family out. But some Egyptians are adamant that he should be tried like any ordinary citizen. In the current economic situation, I feel that Egypt should accept the Arab Gulf offer and allow Mubarak and family to leave the country. Arab princes have also recently offered to pay the ex-president's hospital bills for the duration of his stay in the expensive Sharm El-Sheikh hospital. I am sure that if they were asked they would, according to Islamic teachings, agree to pay decent sums to compensate [fedya] those families who lost loved ones during the uprising too, providing those families accept the compensation monies in exchange for forgiving the ex-president. Since there are so many of them, each family should be asked individually then the majority's opinion applies. The protesters and those wanting the Mubarak trial would have no right to object to this part of the trial then. Egypt can still retain her right to any corruption monies [ the sum of which was blown out of all proportions] whether found either internally or abroad.

Hossni Mubarak is 83 years old and is unwell, some reports say he is terminal too. He ruled Egypt for 30 years. The Sharm residents want him out of the usually busy tourist resort because they believe his presence is discouraging tourism to their city thus negatively affecting their livelihoods.

Pardon Mubarak and move on ... for the sake of Egypt


Murder trial for Mubarak [click] and [google]
Interior Ministry cannot secure Mubarak’s trial in Cairo, says source [click]
Mubarak may face death sentence, says lawyer [click] and [google]

1981 files: Hosni Mubarak was 'free of corruption' but 'don't mention the Welsh in-laws' memo warned] [click]



Where there is injury let me sow pardon.





Monday, 16 May 2011

R U still listening?

It is better to listen in order to understand than to listen in order to reply



"We must be silent before we can listen.

We must listen before we can learn.

We must learn before we can prepare.

We must prepare before we can serve.

We must serve before we can lead."


William Arthur Ward



Poor far away cat!

... what can we learn from this in England?


A final thought on Mr 'Shabba' Cameron loving the NHS [click]
Mark Britnell: Following the trail [click] and [part 2] and [3]
NHS reforms live blog - featuring David Cameron and Steve Field [click]
Campaigners to march on Whitehall against NHS reforms [click] and [google]
The Plot Against the NHS [click]
Spain: Protesters defy ban with anti-government rallies [click]
Protesters target banks in NHS demos [click] and [google]
Larry the Downing Street cat feels the long boot of the law [click] and [google]



Let your heart guide you. It whispers softly, so listen closely.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The confused post ...



According to the dictionary, 'Quality' is:

1. n. The condition of being of such and such a sort as distinguished from others; nature or character relatively considered, as of goods; character; sort; rank.
2. n. Special or temporary character; profession; occupation; assumed or asserted rank, part, or position.
3. n. That which makes, or helps to make, anything such as it is; anything belonging to a subject, or predicable of it; distinguishing property, characteristic, or attribute; peculiar power, capacity, or virtue; distinctive trait; as, the tones of a flute differ from those of a violin in quality; the great quality of a statesman.
4. n. An acquired trait; accomplishment; acquisition.
5. n. Superior birth or station; high rank; elevated character.


Can someone then explain this below please, in terms of 'Quality'?

A friend has been referred to a specialist by her GP. A few weeks later she received a letter from the local hospital with an appointment, but that this appointment was subject to 'acceptance by the hospital' ... the letter was sent by 'the clinical assessment service' of ... who knows where!

What was the point of that letter then?! And, what's the point of that 'Clinical Assessment Service' or why have it at all if the patient was referred to a specialist, ie, a doctor by a 'GP', ie, another doctor?! Which is the one not qualified enough to take on the responsibility then?! ... are those 'others' qualified?

Then again, if the dictionary is confused on the definition of 'Quality', which I think it is, it would be unfair to expect anyone else, let alone those in charge of health to get it's meaning right either! So, what is it this 'quality' thing then?

'Quality' to me meanz 'simple' as in 'straight' ... lugic!

... and that talking dictionary teaches you how to say them proper too! Just press on that little icon with your mouse to 'listen' ... or, how else can you 'understand' that elusive 'Quality' and 'save' at the same time too?! Sooo ...

We listen , so that we may 'learn' ...

A dictionary that talks so that you can listen and learn! Isn't modern technology 'Clever':-)


Anyway, it's Sunday, ... so here is a bit of funny 100 year old Egyptian medical folklore for you, with translation ... in case you want to learn some Arabic ...

Sooo, sing along ... go on, all together now ...


I did say it was a confused post, didn't I?! ....


Related: Persuasion [click]




Ya kharga men bab elhamam,
You out of the bathroom door,

W kol khad aleeh khookha.
With a peach on each cheek [as in rosy for being scrubbed clean :]

Mesheety hafya w khaty zokam,
You walked bare foot and caught a cold,

W rabta rasek medokha.
You wrapped your head because you became so dizzy.

[Reapeat the above again]

Neseeti takhdy ezay,
How come you forgot ,

Ya helwa ob'abek?
Oh pretty one, to wear your clogs? [No slippers then, only wooden clogs]

Wel romatism yabay,
Now the awful rheumatism,

Ha yedoq fek'abek.
Will settle in your ankles.

w yetala'ek ... elho'aa
When you go up ... pain!

W yenazelek ... elho'aa
And when you go down ... pain!


Quality, eh? ;-)

[Only elho'aa doesn't mean pain, but is a 100 years old exclamation of same. It is no longer in use]

Friday, 13 May 2011

Along The Nile ...


We journey up the storied Nile;
The timeless water seems to smile;
The slow and swarthy boatman sings;
The dahabëah spreads her wings;
We catch the breeze and sail away,
Along the dawning of the day,
Along the East, wherein the morn
Of life and truth was gladly born.

We sail along the past, and see
Great Thebes with Karnak at her knee.
To Isis and Osiris rise
The prayers and smoke of sacrifice.
'Mid rites of priests and pomp of kings
Again the seated Memnon sings.
We watch the palms along the shore,
And dream of what is here no more.

The gliding Cleopatran Nile,
With glossy windings, mile on mile,
Suggests the asp: in coils compact
It hisses--at the cataract.
Thence on again we sail, and strand
Upon the yellow Nubian sand,
Near Aboo Simbel's rock-hewn fane,
Which smiles at time with calm disdain.

Who cut the stone joy none can tell;
He did his work, like Nature, well.
At one with Nature, godlike, these
Bland faces of great Rameses.
'T is seemly that the noble mind
Somewhat of permanence may find,
Whereon with patience, may be wrought
A clear expression of its thought.

The artist labors while he may,
But finds at best too brief the day;
And, tho' his works outlast the time
And nation that they make sublime,
He feels and sees that Nature knows
Nothing of time in what she does,
But has a leisure infinite
Wherein to do her work aright.

The Nile of virtue overflows
The fruitful lands through which it goes.
It little cares for smile or slight,
But in its deeds takes sole delight,
And in them puts its highest sense,
Unmindful of the recompense;
Contented calmly to pursue
Whatever work it finds to do.

Howadji, with sweet dreams full fraught,
We trace this Nile through human thought.
Remains of ancient grandeur stand
Along the shores on either hand.
Like pyramids, against the skies
Loom up the old philosophies,
And the Greek king, who wandered long,
Smiles from uncrumbling rock of song.

Henry Abbey




Sunday, 8 May 2011

Imbaba



The Arabic word on that dark figure in the caricature above reads;

"Terrorism"




I believe it is just that. Because all these late happenings are just so unfamiliar and very uncharacteristic.

This is not the Egypt I know :-(



Peace

It doesn't mean to be in

a place where there is no noise,

trouble or hard work.

It means to be in the midst

of those things and still

be calm in your heart



Peace for Egypt


US urges fair investigation into Saturday's sectarian clashes [click]
Calls for urgent measures to halt extremism as Interior Minister visits Imbaba [click]
Salafist groups find footing in Egypt after revolution [click]
Egyptian TV: Muslim and Copt suspects arrested over sectarian incitement [click]
Wafd Party: Mubarak regime members behind Imbaba violence [click]

Activists call for a march for Egyptian unity [click] and [google]

Racial and Religious Hatred Act 2006 [click]


Saturday, 7 May 2011

Basboussa ... :-)


It's a friend of mine's birthday today. In Egypt, the custom is that although you do buy a suitable present as usual, for family or a close friend, you also hand make them something to say 'you're special' too.

Well, this is a very special friend who always prepares really impressive hand made gems whenver one of us friends has any occasion, and we'll always make up an occasion if there isn't one, that's how good she is. Last month and on the 7th day too, it was my birthday, and she made me an amazing purse with beads, satin and lace, beautiful! ... it must've taken aaaages to do too! ... so beautiful, my daughter nicked it soooo ... but is she talented or wot!

Leaving jealousy aside, since much as I would love to, I have no patience for such slow delicate endeavours. So I decided to just bake a quick a cake ... not the same, but this is not just any cake either, this is a deeelicious Egyptian cake made with 'semolina' flour ... very special! In Egypt, we call it Basboussa ... Yummmmmmm!

The secret is in that coarse texture of the semolina unlike ordinary flour and gives it that very distinctive oriental texture and feel. Another special feature is that you make this cake with little suger, bake it, then soak it in home made thin syrup a few minutes after it comes out of the oven for that melt in your mouth taste ... and it is deeelicious! Try it! Here it is ...

First, make the syrup, eeeeasy!
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • juice from 1 lemon
Just dissolve sugar in water in a saucepan. Add lemon juice and boil [and a drop of rose water for that bit of extra special taste and smell]. soon as it begins to boil, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Done!

Now, the cake ...
  • 2 cups semolina [Buy at Middle Eastern or Greek shop, or just ask around :]
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 table spoons unsalted butter, softened [be generous here]
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • blanched split almonds or walnuts, pine kernels ... etc [if you want]
Now, while you preheat the oven to 220c. Lightly grease and flour a medium baking dish, then in a bowl, mix butter and sugar, add eggs and vanilla and mix again for a minute or two till smooth. In another bowl, combine semolina, baking powder and baking soda well. Slowly add to butter and egg mixture. Stir in milk and mix thoroughly. Then pour mixture into baking dish and smooth with spoon.

Take a butter knife and make diagonal lines from left to right and complete to make diamond shapes. Place an almond or a wallnut in the center of each diamond if you wish, or just bake as is for 25 minutes.

Remove cake from oven and, while hot, ladle syrup over until no more can be absorbed. Allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Done! Doesn't it look amaaazing?



You can't turn this cake upside down as because of the coarse texture of the flour and that syrup on top, it would not hold and would disintigrate. That's why we define the portions before it is baked. So, if you intent to use it as a present, simply cut those squares and lay on a flat dish and make a few layers of that then wrap in cellophane and tie it nicely with a a nice wide ribbon.

Done! To professional standards too ...



Personally, I like it simple, but if you prefer to complicate matters to get that extra 'ooooh!' from your friends then you can, for example, insert peach, apple of pear slices, decorate with some almond flakes and glaze with brushing the top with syrup before you bake ... or once baked, cover the top with thick cream and coarse crushed walnuts just before you serve for that 'novoriche' effect. They do it in high places in Egypt now ...

To eat, this sumptuous cake is best served with one little glass of light red tea after another ... add a clove or two if you like them like me and if you don't care anymore if you stay alive or not after the rich experience ... why care anyway when you're in heaven!

... and in heaven, you don't care about that 'Health' business anymore. Sooo have a nice dinner first, and follow with that sweet of sweet ... and how about a huge dollop of the thickest cream on earth with that too ... a few soft fruits, strawberries, grapes, orange wedges, etc, etc ... and a cup, or two of piping hot Egyptian coffee, it's like the Italian espresso but thicker and sometimes seasoned with powdered cardamom seeds too ... and with that you need some mixed roasted crunchy nuts in a side plate to keep that mouth busy in between eating the Basboussa and drinking the coffee ... then another piece of cake maybe ... or two ... and a Shisha? ... just this time ... promise!

And if you are docs or nurses and need to keep alert, the best way to do it is to reeeally enjoy your other times ... this cake is one of my ways of doing just that ... it's what I call a real 'head floating' experience, specially when shared with good friends ... so, occasionally, just really forget about that need to keep alert business and relax till you're sooo limp, you need to call an ambulance! Have a good time and ... Enjoy!

... and put some of that 'relaxing' Egyptian music on ....





Heaven is nice , believe me, well
worth it! :-)


Go away cat! I said, go away! ....


Friday, 6 May 2011

AV meanz ...


Well, as I understood, voting 'yes' to the 'Alternative Vote' system would've meant a possibility of a change of the current government in the near future ... and I do not want that! ... because you don't change the ship's captain to a new one in rough seas ... or you might end up going from this above to this below ....

To avoid that, you need an experienced captain ... and he's the one who is most senior now ...

To me, modern politics is not about loyalty to a certain party anymore, but about choosing the one you think can do the job ...

And, we're awaiting the results ....


Britain votes on proportional voting [click]
No to AV campaign wins David Cameron plaudits from backbench MPs [click] and [
google]


Vote result: Britain says 'No' to AV [
google]
Vote 2011: Tories ruthless and calculating, says Cable [click]



Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Wise decision?


By assassination rather than capture and trial, you've put the whole world on high alert from terrorism Mr Obama!

So, not only do I fully endorse the views expressed in this article, but I also wonder how many more innocent people may die world wide from terrorist attacks as a direct result of this operation?

And if that happens, god forbids, not only will this be a much bigger loss than what was achieved, but why will innocent Muslims living in the west, the US and elsewhere have to suffer the ensuing backlash on them too?!

Two backlashes on peaceful innocence in one!


Was that wise?!


Then again, you don't know what all this is like, do you? ... he didn't either! :-(

When can we all have some peace ... for a change?



Read more from [google]
US: Laden not armed when navy seal commando confronted him [click]
Osama bin Laden [click]
Was Killing of Osama bin Laden Legal Under International Law? [click]
Osama bin Laden mission agreed in secret 10 years ago by US and Pakistan [click]
The unimportance of bin Laden [click]