The following things have occured since I last wrote:
The wanker from across the road moved out (huzzah) after having his house on the market secretly, lest we should find out and commit any acts of sabotage. Unfortunately his covert operations were given away somewhat by the fact the people clutching estate agents details kept cruising past and so it didn't take much to look on rightmove and confirm that yes, the house was for sale. Some tense moments followed this discovery as we waited for him to go; Kev felt it appropriate to park the van a little further back from his kitchen window just in case we put off any buyers (yes, that's how much he wanted him to move). Anyway - he went, which we were quite pleased about.
Kevin has grown a beard, started recycling things of his own accord (and wearing sandals) and has taken up horse riding. Not sure what I have done to him. Oh yes, he also proposed, so I guess I must have finally worn him down. Actually it was quite romantic, on a little bridge next to Brecon cathedral. I was just about to say "Shall we play poo sticks?", as one does, when I turned around and there he was, on one knee, clutching a little box and looking wildly panic stricken.
So September 1st 2007 is the date we have chosen, so that I will have finished my training. This brings me neatly one to my next topic: my impending unemployment.
In this area the community hospitals are going to be closed (two have already gone), there has been a freeze on recruitment of community staff for at least 24 months, the local district (acute) hospital is going to lose it's A&E, maternity services and paediatric services and in fact plans are being discussed to close it altogether sometime in the not too distant future. (One general hospital has already gone). The argument is that more people can be treated in the community; presumably the people in charge of decimating the community services aren't currently in touch with the people planning to close acute hospitals so that patients can be treated in the community. Or maybe they are, because what a wonderful opening, what a coincidental gap in the market they will create in the process of all this madness. The fact the current 'care in the community' agencies cannot find staff also seems to have passed them by.
Funnily enough these things are happening in areas where a Labour government has a snowflake's chance in hell of actually getting in. Funny that.
What I feel most strongly about is that I trained to work in the NHS because I believe in it and this government is taking it apart piece by piece. Can you imagine what will happen to standards once private companies start competing for tenders? I think what happened to school meals is probably a bit of a clue, as costs are driven down to make way for maximum profit margins.
Anyway - this has turned into something of a rant, but I suppose this is what I have been thinking about recently, as having 11 months of my training to go and no discernable job prospects is somewhat worrying, but perhaps not as worrying as the thought of having to work for a private company whose main priority is not the well being of the patients in its care but the shareholders profits.