Omar’s Diary 8th July 16 – ear wax, Rolls-Royce, Afghanistan, MSF

Bank holiday Sunday


Man Servant has been a bit ‘scratchy’ lately and I must emphasise that his scratchiness is not in the same sense caused by an infestation of fleas as other felines of a lower order suffer from. His scratchiness stems from an altogether different source and is purely temperamental reaction to something else.

The root cause of his scratchiness is that his ears have been blocked by a build-up of wax and believe me the way he has been moaning and groaning about it one would think there was enough wax in them to light a thousand candles at the midnight service in Salisbury Cathedral on Christmas Eve. I do understand it is not very pleasant as it has made him a bit deaf and prone to hearing noises in his head other than vocalisations emitted by Lady Servant.

Man Servant did ask the local NHS surgery for an appointment to carry out a very quick procedure to clear the wax other than resorting to semtex or a very strong curry but they cannot carry out the procedure. I have very good hearing, better than Man Servant’s, and below is a transcript of the conversation he had with the surgery earlier this week:

Man Servant: Could I arrange an appointment with the nurse to have my ears syringed please?

Surgery: Are they blocked?

Man Servant: Yes.

Surgery: And can you hear any high pitched noises in them?

Man Servant: Yes.

Surgery: In that case as it sounds like you have tinnitus we cannot syringe them.

Man Servant: But I only hear the high pitched noise when they are blocked like they are now.

Surgery: No we cannot perform the syringe as you have tinnitus.

Man Servant: But I only get the noise…..

Surgery: I am afraid we cannot help you.

This seemed to be a Kafkaesque situation and Man Servant retreated by putting his phone down.

So, Man Servant had to go private this morning.

On his way to the private surgery in the family saloon he was rather pleased with himself as to his ears it sounded like a Rolls-Royce purring along the A338 into Salisbury. Once his ear had been cleared that very same saloon on the return journey rattled and vibrated along the road like an ancient Dakota with over 100,000 hours flying. Personally I think the Dakota probably would have sounded a bit quieter.

Lady Servant has not had much luck with her health either but she has not been ‘scratchy’ at all in the same way as Man Servant. Three to four months ago Lady Servant fell from her horse. ‘A fall is an awful thing’. Since then she has been suffering from recurring stiffness in her left shoulder and finally gave in to go and see the medics yesterday. There she was diagnosed as having a broken clavicle. I thought a clavicle was a type of keyboard instrument played in saloons and drawing rooms of the middle and upper classes. Anyway, the doctors manipulated the shoulder which has made it worse but a step backwards like that is often the first step on the road to recovery.


Cover picture of the latest brochure from MSF


In Man Servant’s post today was a circular from Medicins Sans Frontieres, or MSF to those of us well read in the world of NGO’s (non-governmental organisations). I may be a feline but I do know my mnemonics when it comes to international organisations.

The strap line, that is journalist speak for what is the story’s theme, is about Afghanistan and more specifically the region of Kunduz in the north near the borders with Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. There, in October 2015, the MSF hospital was destroyed in an airstrike killing at least 42 people both patients and medical volunteers in the one place they hoped to be safe. With the destruction of that facility over a million people, yes, one million people with access to only one hospital, no longer have access to high quality surgical care.

Man and Lady Servant often say that the NHS is not perfect especially when it comes to matters such as syringing ears but it is still a national health service available to all and free at the point of delivery and with nearly three doctors per thousand people here in the UK it is still a fabulous service despite all of its faults. Unlike in Afghanistan where there are only 0.2 doctors per thousand and where patients have to walk through conflict zones, minefields and militia controlled checkpoints just to receive treatment that is an ingrained part of Britain’s social fabric.

I am lucky as all my healthcare needs are met privately just like the Servants’ equines and I know that all of us will always be looked after to the highest standards available even if that is the result of lifestyle choices like jumping out of windows.


About alangrenville

I live in southern Britain near the fabulous New Forest. While studying for a BSc in International Studies I have developed a strong belief in 'NIBAW' or 'nothing is black and white'. Hence my favourite saying "Too often we...enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought" (John F Kennedy).
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