Con­tac­tus

Harefield Gazette - - OPINION -

THE NEW buzz­word for achiev­ing a well-rounded life is ‘mind­ful­ness’. It es­pouses living in the mo­ment – not dwelling on past re­grets or wor­ry­ing about the fu­ture.

What a shame then, that we seem to be sur­rounded by mind­less­ness.

Ef­fi­ciency, hon­esty, con­sid­er­a­tion, com­mon sense – all the rules for suc­cess­ful communal living are be­ing ig­nored.

I am nor­mally a glass half-full sort of per­son but I’m hon­estly be­gin­ning to think that so­ci­ety, like the po­lar ice caps, is in melt­down.

For in­stance, we con­tacted a man to do var­i­ous things around the house. He ar­ranged a time to call but never turned up. Mr F phoned him, but was given no ex­pla­na­tion. The odd job man was clearly a no-job man.

Then there is tele­phone cold call­ing. We screen all our calls, but af­ter ig­nor­ing dozens of mes­sages about ‘the ac­ci­dent that you had, for which you are en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion’, I fi­nally snapped and de­cided to an­swer the next call.

First I asked where they had got my de­tails. I was told the ‘ac­ci­dent data­base’.

OK. I was in an ac­ci­dent about a year ago. The other driver ac­cepted re­spon­si­bil­ity, her in­sur­ance paid up promptly and I was pro­vided with a cour­tesy car while mine was re­paired. “No one was in­jured,” I said. “But there are dif­fer­ent lev­els of com­pen­sa­tion,” she in­sisted – 1 is se­ri­ous; 2 is when you have vis­ited the doc­tor within 14 days (that’s whiplash she told me help­fully). The third level pays out for ‘mi­nor dis­com­fort’.”

“I didn’t have any sort of prob­lem. Not one, two or three,” I said.

“Didn’t you feel stiff or un­com­fort­able af­ter­wards?” “No, NO, I told you …” “… but you can claim on level 3. You’re en­ti­tled to a pay­ment of be­tween £1,000 and £3,500…”

“NO I’M NOT,” I replied (hold­ing the moral high ground, but think­ing the money would be nice) and put the phone down.

No won­der our in­sur­ance pre­mi­ums keep in­creas­ing when peo­ple are en­cour­aged – al­most bul­lied – into mak­ing false claims.

Then there was the news last week that mem­ory clin­ics are be­ing flooded out by the mid­dle-aged well, who think they might have de­men­tia be­cause they keep los­ing their keys. It’s called grow­ing old. What Terry Wo­gan used to call ‘se­nior mo­ments’. Don’t we all need to get a grip, start tak­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity and be­have like grown-ups again?

Email me at bmail­bar­bara@gmail. com and catch up at www. getwestlon­don.co.uk/bmail. HILLING­DON Hos­pi­tal – what a hos­pi­tal!

I was rushed into ‘re­sus’ in Novem­ber and spent six hours in there with sev­eral staff work­ing on me – even hav­ing an x-ray at 2am.

They were all bril­liant in that depart­ment. I was put on to a ward in a room with en suite where I needed a few treat­ments dur­ing the rest of the night.

I spent the next five nights in an­other en suite room but the staff were so help­ful, ded­i­cated and pleas­ant.

They do not get enough praise, but they need it.

Ev­ery­one who I was con­cerned with was great, even though over­worked.

It is the sev­enth time I have been in that hos­pi­tal and each time it has been ex­cel­lent care. AC­CORD­ING to Boris John­son there will be no ad­verse con­se­quences from ticket of­fice clo­sures on the Lon­don Un­der­ground.

But the chaotic scenes at Uxbridge sta­tion on Sun­day will leave all those who wit­nessed it in lit­tle doubt that this pol­icy could have se­ri­ous con­se­quences.

Bris­tol City fans on their way to Wem­b­ley joined with the gen­eral public and packed the en­trance and with two ticket win­dows open the queues were get­ting worse as the af­ter­noon wore on. I spoke to a mem­ber of the public who told me she had been wait­ing in the queue for 30 min­utes.

As a train driver on the Un­der­ground and an RMT (The

Let­ters to the Edi­tor, Uxbridge Gazette, Trinity Mir­ror South­ern, c/o Trinity MIr­ror Colour Print, St Al­bans Road, Wat­ford, Herts WD24 7RG

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