Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wednesday Waffle


Just coming to the end of ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan and my goodness he does go on. I’m glad I saw the film first or I may not have stayed the course. The book clarifies. For example in the film, Robbie’s death comes as something of a shock whereas the book makes it clear that he is gravely wounded. James McAvoy’s vivid portrayal of Robbie is with me as I read.

Full marks for McEwan’s hospital research and the following passage really hits home. I started training in 1947 having done pre – nursing in 19 46 and that’s how we did it then. When did it stop? When did it all go wrong? I’m talking about cleanliness and hygiene.

‘The wards emptied but the work intensified. Every morning the beds were pushed into the centre so that the probationers could polish the floor with a heavy bumper that a girl on her own could barely swing from side to side. The floors were to be swept three times a day. Vacated lockers were scrubbed, mattresses fumigated, brass coat hooks, door knobs and keyholes were buffed. The woodwork – doors as well as skirting – was washed down with carbolic solution and so were the beds themselves, the iron frames as well as springs. The students scoured, wiped and dried bedpans and bottles until they shone like dinner plates.’

‘The war against germs never stopped. The probationers were initiated into the cult of hygiene. They learned that there was nothing so loathsome as a wisp of blanket fluff hiding under a bed, concealing within its form a battalion, a whole division of bacteria. The everyday practice of boiling, scrubbing, buffing and wiping became the badge of the student’s professional pride, to which all personal comfort must be sacrificed.’

Right on!

Correction on the number of posts.

Although Dash board informs me that I have done 831 posts I have since realised that this high figure is because I can only publish four photos at one time with Picasa so they are counted as separate posts. Forgive me if I don’t work out the maths or math if you are across the pond.

On Thursday I am visiting a Children’s Hospice. Sadly the children won’t be there but it will be very interesting to see one of these wonderful places in person.


Sam, Problemchildbride said...

I'm looking forward to that film. I'm an Ian McEwan fan and thought it was his best novel - better even than the last two, "Saturday" and "On Chesil Beach". Keira Knightly is simply gorgeous.

PI said...

Sam: what a treat to come. Having just finished the book I want to see the film again. Do let me know what you think of it and I'll try to read more of him. We used to take the boys on Chesil beach when their uncle was Harbour Master.

Dandelion said...

When indeed. Someone has a lot to answer for.

Btw, I think with blogger you can do as many pics as you like in one post.

Z said...

I'm afraid McEwan doesn't do his own research and pinched the information from Lucilla Andrews.,,1962419,00.html

How could anyone enjoy 'Saturday'? That ghastly complacent family, that awful interminable ball-by-ball commentary on a squash game and McEwan's usual feeble plotting. He's a good writer, but he's been living off his reputation for several years.

R. Sherman said...

My daughter read the book and loved it. I think we'll try to see the movie this weekend.


PI said...

z: I think it's fair to say he isn't everybody's cup of tea.
However he does acknowledge staff of the Department of Documents in the Imperial War Museum and amongst the authors and books he thanks he includes Lucilla Andrews and 'The Miracle of Dunkirk'.
I can't comment on 'Saturday' as I haven't read it, and you don't make it sound attractive. And of course he pinched 'Atonement' from my own 'Saran's Secret'.(I'm joking:)

Dandelion: I can't face the idea of learning a new system as Picasa makes it so easy.

PI said...

Randall: I've just re-read the crit I wrote on September 11th. I must try to see it again. MTL thought it was not all it was cracked up to be and thought the 'bonking in the library a bit distasteful' You have been warned:)

sablonneuse said...

In view of your quote about hospital hygiene it was interesting to note how they kept the room clean when Bear was in hospital here.
The floor was washed every day and when his 'roommate' (it was a double room) left, two young girls came in and washed the bed all over, then did the cupboard inside and out and the table.
Hopefully, things are better in England now but I have seen beds changed without being disinfected first.

PI said...

Sablonneuse: there's a lot of talk and money being thrown at the problem but IMO they have lost the plot rather. I suspect things are much better over there.

PI said...

Ann: I seem to have lost your comment. I don't want to spoil the DVD for you but be sure to watch right to the end. It isn't what it at first seems.

kenju said...

I haven't read the book or seen the film, but I hope to do both.

Why won't the children be there when you go?

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I haven't read the book Pat...but I did see the film....I liked it very much, though that bit if information about the grave wound, would have been helpful. This may sound odd, but what made the film for me was Vanessa Redgraves three minutes, or whatever it was. A BRILLIANT stroke to cast her...For me, that was an awarding winning three minutes.....!

I was just talking to someone today about the rampant Staph infections in Hospitals now, (Among other thihgs). He said that 17.000 people die each year in this country of Staph Infections from being in the Hospital! When and where did it all go wrong, indeed! This is an appalling number of people! I know with own my situation with my lungs, the WORST place in the world for me would be THE Most dangerous place in the world.(Doctors have actually said that to me!!!) And that is just unacceptable, you know? And frankly, I don't know how this is ever going to change..It seems almost beyond change! So depressing, isn't it?


Got fed up with cleaning so now I have conversations with the resident bacteria. The day they answer back I'm in real trouble ;-)

PI said...

Judy: it's the one week in the year when they close for maintenance and allow parties to visit - as a fund raising exercise.

Naomi: I agree about Vanessa and see that I said in my original crit - it was the best thing she's done.
I'm sorry you have the same faulty hygiene problems over there.

4D: death to bacteria. You have to kill them before they kill you!