Life in Brexitstan

“We are a little constrained at present. You could meander your way through the system of course. It may take some time. Or you could, (an embarrassed cough) go (whispers) private.”

So there we have it. An NHS GP’s advice is to forget it and go elsewhere. If, that is, I would like my knee fixed before the universe ends. Ah the joys of being back in Brexitstan. This morning it came to me in a flash. I know the answer to the question vexing so many of us: what does “Brexit means Brexit” mean?

Well Brexit is essentially the same as Remain but with a slap of lippy on it. Years of poorly synchronized treacle wading will see us emerge with a victory trumpeted, a triumph to rival Agincourt, Waterloo, Trafalgar and El Alamein all rolled into one. Except that nothing will change.

On that bright and uplifting note I need to update you on the artwork saga. The solution was to buy two paintings. We dribbled carelessly over budget but ended up with a rather large pair of canvases, one 60”x36” and the other a tad smaller. If you glance at that quickly it fine. If you translate it into feet it is 5’x3’ and it is slightly more challenging. We have wall spaces that will take them but not where the light is optimal. We shall be housing works by Henderson Cisz and Maya Eventov. HC is Brazilian and ME is a Russian living in Canada. We seem to be building an emerging markets collection. And if the worst comes to the worst I can resell one to pay for my knee operation if the NHS does not come up trumps.

Today I received a call from Vodafone. A jolly nice girl, who is genuinely trying to help. She has taken it as a personal challenge to solve the mystery of the missing direct debits. Since March Vodafone has debited my account with varying but always alarmingly high amounts. I sent them my bank statement to prove it. Sadly Vodafone seems not to be receiving these payments, as my Vodafone statement shows nothing since March. No calls. No data used. No payments made. And they don’t seem to know why. They agree it is wrong and a ‘system error’. But after nearly six months they have not cracked the mystery. I have suggested closing everything down and going elsewhere. But “No!” they cry, “Don’t do that. We will fix it”. The tearful caller today pleaded for more time. She labours on my account daily and does not want to be beaten. I wrote to Vodafone’s UK CEO and he didn’t reply. So as you were all so full of good suggestions for solving the artwork challenge I am sure you will be brimming with ideas for sorting out Vodafone. I have a theory that the same people running the NHS are running Vodafone and some may even be negotiating Brexit behind the scenes. Progress is similarly glacial on each front. One solution might be for Vodafone to fix my knee, for the Brexit team to sort out my billing problems and for the NHS to surgically remove us from the gralloch of the EU. I think it may work.



26 thoughts on “Life in Brexitstan

  1. Good solution and it looks as though your home will be full of stunning colour. I like your NHS/Vodaphone/Brexit solution, it has as much chance of working as the present set of systems. Having said that the NHS has been brilliant for us twice this year when urgent diagnosis was necessary. It’s the elective surgery that loses out when everything is squeezed – and their definition of elective differs from mine.

    • Agreed Hilary. The NHS has it’s uses but the core routine stuff is overwhelming it. I get my prescriptions free for reasons I don’t understand. If we were designing a healthcare system for 2020 it wouldn’t look like the NHS. Anyway, I put my prescription money into art instead. I’ll post images when they are hanging b

  2. Just make sure the knee job doesn’t get done by Vodafone. You could try and get Maya Eventov to do it and bill the NHS afterwards for both the operation and the paintings with a short note claiming that a special and exclusive Brexit procedure has been followed. Confusion has often worked wonders in Britain.

  3. I can’t seem to solve my own problems so I doubt that I can help with yours. My two cents worth is to remove yourself from Volvo Phone or what’s its name. 🙂 And think seriously about moving to another country. Why not get it fixed in Hong Kong? Is that feasible?

  4. I fondly remember phones that worked, bills that made sense, and doctor offices one could cope with. Don’t bother moving to the US…which by the way, we used to be allowed to call America….it isn’t any better here. But you have lots of new art on your walls! That is always a good thing.

    • But you and I would be regarded as Luddites Melissa. How dare we want things that work rather than progress? Just don’t start me on Apple’s new headphones. I don’t need anything else to lose or charge.

      • Chuckle chuckle. The fact is, when I needed to replace my old Mac, the guy at the Apple store wanted to offer me some sort of discount and what he came up with was a free set of the headphones. He told me to just sell them if I don’t want them…turns out, nobody else does, either.
        I guess there are worse things than being Luddites. Now~where is the alternate universe where Luddites live in peace?

  5. Tread with caution as far as your knee goes. A neighbour needed similar but it’s taken two attempts and six months on crutches before he’s feeling anywhere near fixed.
    I’ve had my ups and downs with Yodafone as I like to call them but have found that in the end they come good which is why I’ve stuck them out.
    Glad to hear there’s a compromise reached re the paintings – usually the safest option😉

    • I had both knees done about 15 year ago Jenny. It was a relatively quick recovery but certainly inconvenient. I will hang on until I go back to HK I think. One knee is fine so I can limp along a while longer. I do hope Yodafone sorts things out 😡

  6. Here is what I did re knees in your part of the world…
    Go to gp. Get referral for scan or MRI. You could have that done at Winchester. They send the images anywhere. OOnce you have the appt, phone the imaging or appts direct. Tell them you are not skipping the queue, but as you are local, you will come in at v short notice for a cancellation. Mine took a week. Then you have to have the consultation. Go to Basingstoke. They are knee experts and you can park. Do same again and I had mine done in the new centre which looks like a private wing. All was great. 6 weeks later, a follow-up and I only waited 10 mins to see the same consultant and had an apology for being kept waiting. Sorted!
    You could initiate the process at The Candover Clinic to get ahead and then opt for Mr Riesley’s clinic at B’ stoke (NHS)
    Work the system!
    I think you need to show us photos of these paintings as we have lived the process. Art Work Matters!

    • Excellent advice. I may simply go to HK to have it done. I’m insured so no queue. The GP simply offered to refer me to s.o. else but didn’t mention MRI. He said I could pay £150 to get a consultation immediately. He recommended the Wessex Nuffield. I must investigate.

      • MRI diagnosed my torn meniscus, but X-rays were necessary to see the whole picture.
        All the best. Sorry we didn’t meet in Hampshire, but if you are in W. in October, I am giving a poetry reading in Littleton Church on 24th at 7.30pm. Apparently the tickets are nearly all sold. Crikey!
        Other than that, if you are coming through The Cotswolds, give us a shout!

  7. Why is it that your medical experience sounds so familiar? It isn’t just Brexistan that has all these problems; we call it Obamastan.
    Art is much brighter, smarter, more enduring and endearing than medicine. 😉

    • I have a lot of time for the Obamas. I think his Affordable Care Act is already beginning to creak and groan as insurers withdraw. But if drugs were reasonably priced and healthcare was not inflated to reflect that for many they don’t foot the bill, the insurer does, then it would not have been necessary. Insurance premia are high because of the rip off charges so it’s a vicious circle. Obama tried to break that. I am worried at the defence policy and the creeping aggression of China but if you put boots on the ground in S E Asia or Syria it will be a disaster. There are no easy answers. As with all presidencies only time will judge him. Carter is now almost a saint but at the time America despised him and threw him out. Reagan was regarded as a clown at one point – a B movie actor – but is now widely revered alongside Thatcher. History will write the script in years to come.

  8. We have been in England for two weeks now on holiday and we are fascinated by everyone’s opinion of Brexit. Some are in total agreement while others are disgusted. And the reasons why are so varied. As outsiders, it’s been interesting.

  9. Sorry I missed this – absent from the inter web for my 60th.

    Re: Hanging – perhaps you could get the artist to fly in and paint a mural on the wall directly. As for the knee – well good luck.

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