Life often seems like a series of rites of passage. Who can forget the first time they realised that Haribos all actually taste the same, whatever their shape?
Last month I had my first ofsted. I had no idea what one was before. I thought it was either a freshwater fish or some country term for a styal with a seat attached. I imagined Lady Chatterly and Emily Bronte riding side-saddle over Fletcher Moss before dismounting to picnic by an Ofsted, Jane Austen would bring the sandwiches. But no. It turns out an Ofsted is when schools get an MOT and teachers have to fill in their homework mark books and move their fags and booze out of the common room. The stress can be awful; for friends and family mainly. This outrageous government decision to check schools aren’t crap is an affront to teachers everywhere. Making fun of this is an even quicker way to wind up a teacher than asking them if it’s technically a part-time job. This facetiousness comes from a recent school nursery visit. The nursery was lovely and the school children seemed as happy as any children forced to be there could be. But this brought the whole primary school experience rushing back to me. Those endless hours of forced bonhomie, knee breaking chairs and abysmal musical showcases. The first time your little blob is given a hard time and, even as an empathetic and liberal-minded Guardian reader you wish vengeance beyond all reason on the little podge who is best friends again within 12 hours. It makes the teenage genius and patronising knowing-it-allness seem positively joyful.
When I was younger if something was wrong you had an operation. With it came a scar, dressings and you couldn’t laugh for a bit, easy. Our generation don’t need sleeve tattoos or body art as we are a patchwork of appendicectomies, occasional wounds and sports related scars that make knees look like they have the Adidas stripes. No more. I recently had a couple of “procedures’ to right an old wrong. I was told the least invasive way in was an -oscopy. Anything that ends in -oscopy is really medical terminology for … We got bored and thought “what shall we do next?’ Someone dared someone else to use the belly button as an entry point and the idea mushroomed – guess how we check your kidneys? No, really. It’s similar to men’s current gender identity crisis. We used to know our place (the shed), but no more. I used to be clear which body points were for in, for out and for fluff. Now, oscopy culture means it’s all up for grabs. My only tip (because like death and taxes an oscopy is universal. From an arthroscopy to a cystoscopy to an endoscopy, an oscopy will be yours one day) is never under any circumstances agree to have it without a general anaesthetic. There are certain experiences best left to others. No camera is that small it fits easily inside the human body unless you are watching Honey I Shrunk The Kid.
Modern medicine has perfected the use of cameras for remote viewing. This passes instant images from inside you.
This is my favourite use of a camera in hospital.
The Potty Training has been eventlesly fine. Didsbury Wife has coordinated it so flawlessly that The Mighty Headed Boy has embraced this great new game and is the king of control. Our next big test is Didsbury Festival on Saturday. So if you see a man with a toddler on each shoulder and a potty in his hand looking for a quiet spot, get out of the way.