Thursday, 4 December 2014

Ring-a-ring o' roses ...

Ring-a-ring o' roses,
A pocket full of posies,
A-tishoo! A-tishoo!
We all fall down ...

'The rhyme has often been associated with the Great Plague which happened in England in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of the Black Death in England. Interpreters of the rhyme before the Second World War make no mention of this; by 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in the United Kingdom. Peter and Iona Opie, the leading authorities on nursery rhymes, remarked:

The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague. A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, and posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease. Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and "all fall down" was exactly what happened' (Wikpedia)

The Greek (Skiathos) version goes like this, and involves a telephone ...

You have to call Athens, to get some results for SWMBO. A friend offers to assist, and as they are Greek, they also have a much better knowledge of how the system works than you. So you accept gracefully.

Only - The other end of the phone line, they do not answer, Keep trying over a few days ...

Despite calling the number you have been given, It transpires that its the wrong one. Six different numbers later you get through to the right department, and the right floor of the hospital and have also by passed Tameio.

(Skiathos) Can I have the results of the tests, for SWMBO?
(Athens) OXI! - No! we do not give them out over the phone. You have to collect them here between 10am & Noon.

OK but we are in Skiathos.
We are 10 minutes from the metro.

Do you know where Skiathos is ? It takes a day to get there, and another to get back.
Skiathos ???

Can you fax them to me?
OXI! - No! we cannot fax results

Can you E Mail them to me?
OXI! - No! we cannot E Mail results

Can you Courier them to me?
OXI! - No! we do not use a Courier to send results.

Learned friend is getting more and more exasperated, and probably regrets offering assistance.

It turns out that (Athens) is not empowered to do anything other than answer the telephone, 'Call back in one hour and maybe someone in authority, can make a decision' other than 'You have to collect them here between 10am & Noon'

I suggested that we offer the use of a carrier pigeon, apparently that worked in WW1. One friend in PapaD remarked that is too modern a resource for some here (They were Greek) ...

So we go to the coffee shop and 'fall down' into the outside seat. Its cold and damp here, despite sunshine breaking through after last nights heavy rain. The clouds are down on the hills, and a nippy breeze blowing down PapaD.

The benefit of being there, we see lots of people all asking after SWMBO's health, and remarking how 'well she looks' which has lifted morale considerably with the patient ...

In addition I had an 'excellent cappuccino' whilst my own internal thermometer cooled rapidly ...

One hour later, and we return again only to be told by (Athens) 'You still have to collect them here between 10am & Noon' 

Learned & exasperated friend is going red in the face, and blowing a gasket down the telephone. It soon transpires no-one in authority has returned, to make a decision.
Call back again in 10 minutes ...

We go for another walk, I notice some people are now starting to avoid us. Perhaps they think you can catch cancer by airborne infection, from an affected party. I admit I now have a sniffle, and SWMBO is shivering - Very soon we will both fall down ...

So 15 minutes later, and as many after the time that the hospital office closes (Midday) for results, we call back again. I decided to stay out in the street, there was an area just out of the breeze - That was in full sunshine and radiated warmth, to my face but not my cold damp feet.

SWMBO emerges in a state of high anxiety - Like the man from Del Monte, they have said yes ...

I nearly fell over with the shock ...

Someone was going to switch on the fax machine, they will send the results to us today! I went inside trailing dirty wet footprints across the newly cleaned tiles. Our friends were putting up christmas decorations. To our left the fax machine burst into life. We looked at it in shock rather than expectation.

It cannot be ...

Out popped two sheets of paper, a header and the test results - The correct name too. We thanked our friends graciously and departed across my slippery footprints back into the street outside. We headed up the hill to see the guys at the medical centre.

The result of the free test, which has taken two weeks, and numerous phone calls, decisions required by higher authority, and use of a fax was just three words.

'Take another test' ...

Meanwhile ...

'Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat' But whats happened to the Blue Daleks ??

A real tree at Tries Hieraches ...
A real tree at the Bourtzi ...
Fairy lights on the street lights ...

In addition the Golden galleon at the top of PapaD has appeared, The illuminated Xronia Polla is hanging over the Bourtzi.

'Christmas is coming to Skiathos' ...

4 comments:

  1. In the words of Victor Meldrew..'I Don't BELIVE IT'.. what a rigmarole. ..and to think we call the NHS fit to burn sometimes....Hope you get sorted soon. x

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    1. Customer service is not a first here, which is a shame. Many blame the reduction in salaries. I come from a background where people on poor salaries do a great job. It's just that here, if it's not your job you do not do it. However everyone has two or three bosses who need to be asked ...

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  2. OMG I am fizzing for you! Thank heavens you have your Greek friend to help with the calls. So frustrating! Kamilla must be at her wits end throughout it all, having waited so long only to be told to take another test. My heart goes out to you all. Thank heavens you have Christmas to concentrate on preparing for to distract you whilst all of this happens around you. Sending good thoughts you way. x

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    Replies
    1. Christmas is the quietest time of the year. To be honest, I no longer look forward to it. Junior does for obvious reasons. Our minds though are not really on Christmas festivities ...

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