Sick in England – the benefits of social healthcare

I was in Europe most of last week – visiting customers and having meetings in Bracknell, Duesseldorf, Zuerich and Stuttgart.

On Wednesday morning I woke up with a fever and felt really achy – I put this down to jetlag. I noticed that breathing was difficult and my side hurt like hell.

On Friday I flew back to the UK after meetings with a partner in Stuttgart; I was in pain before the flight; during the flight I slept, in pain and in a daze; when I got off the plane I felt like I was drowning and about to die. I got my rental car and drove to Nottingham where I went to the NHS walk-in clinic.

I was immediately seen and referred as an emergency to Queens Medical Center; I went to casualty (ER) and was admitted.

Turns out I had fluid and blood on my lungs; a partial collapsed lung; bacteria in my blood and atypical pneumonia. I was on intravenous antibiotics and was kept in for treatment.

I’m out now – but on a vast amount of antibiotics and painkillers.

The best part – it didn’t cost a penny. When the National Health Service works – it works very well.

London – early morning

I went out late with Alan and got the night bus back.

It’s amazing how alive London feels at 4am – the sun is starting to rise; the sky is lightening; people are still on the streets – either returning home or heading to work.

The one thing that struck me that was different from home in Utah was the ‘dawn chorus’ – just so many birds singing and contending for their own piece of space. There are certainly many birds at home; but they just don’t seem to sing their hearts out when the sun comes up.

That’s enough from early-morning London..


I was in Ottawa the last couple of days.

Another interesting city – all the benefits of a capital (museums, parks, generally good looking and well kept) but in a handy size 😉

New Order – Live in Chicago

New Order – live at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

Here’s the set list. New Order played for almost 2 hours.

Love Vigilantes
Hey Now What You Doing
True Faith
Run Wild
Waiting For The Sirens Call
Bizarre Love Triangle
Love Will Tear Us Apart

Your Silent Face
Blue Monday

Photos are blurred and small – squint and it’s like being there.

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More pictures are posted at

Travelling via Chicago

I’ve learned from experience to avoid Chicago during the Winter months. Rain, snow, storms, ice.. they all add up to delays and misery. I’ve tried to route via Denver to make life easier.

Yesterday I had no option but to fly via Chicago to make a connection to Manchester, NH. What should have been a five hour trip turned into a fourteen hour ordeal.

Thunderstorms in the Chicago area closed the airport for about three hours – incoming flights were diverted; outgoing flights grounded. I ended up being diverted to Moline, IL for an hour or so of unwanted stopover.