Toothless around North East Fife.

Today was a good day. Out on the road at 8am and not back until 1 O’clock. The clouds were high and the air cold but I enjoyed riding on this cold clear morning. Clothing is always a problem cycling, when on a 200k Audax ride you can expect to be out for around 12 hours, and the weather can change dramatically over that time especially riding in the winter months. The discipline of endurance riding such as Audax, you have to expect a bit of discomfort, it comes with the territory, since you are carrying the minimum of equipment you can get away with, especially in the wardrobe department. These days I ride in everyday clothing a warm pair of jogging pants with elasticised bottoms so they do not foul on the gears, an under layer, a woolly-pully (if required) and a lightweight outer garment, the jumper can always be removed and tied around my waist if I start to overheat. The only concession to cycling is my shoes.

Today I was riding less one of my teeth, having been over to the dental university in Dundee yesterday, where a final year student, skilfully and painlessly, removed a tooth that had been proving problematic. It is one of those months when I have a full calendar of appointments with dentists, hospital vaccination centres for flu and Covid-19 booster, and back once more to Dundee for a hearing test. My hearing is really bad now, to the point that it is cutting me off from socialising. I did go up to the doctor’s surgery to ask for them to make an appointment for me to go to the NHS hearing aid clinic in Kirkcaldy,

“The NHS does not do hearing aids now” I was told.

I was given a telephone number at a private hearing aid centre that I could call for an appointment. When I returned home I went onto the internet and looked up NHS hearing aid centres and all I found from their web site were the types of hearing aids you can get and what ones suit different degrees of deafness. So it seems as if the girl was correct: no free hearing aids from the NHS anymore.

A further search on the internet for hearing aid centres and there is an abundance of them all plying for my custom. Most do not give prices, but Boots (the chemist) has now opened a shop in St Andrews for spectacles and hearing aids (jumping on the lucrative new bandwagon), they did show average prices and they were not cheap £2,000 – £2,500,

“You can’t be serious?”

But hey you do get to pay them up – well that’s all right then, I have made an appointment for the free hearing test, find out just how bad things are, and take it from there. Privatisation creeping into the NHS by stealth, starting with the elderly, they won’t complain, they have been conditioned all their lives to accept whatever the governments tell them, and if they waver, well we will roll out the Queen to remind them about the war and the Dunkirk spirit.  

If you are in your fifties and still employed I would start Medicare insurance, for old age does not come alone – make sure it covers any eventuality for loss of hearing, spectacles, hip/knee replacement…………. They too will not be on the NHS by the time you retire the way things are going.

I always like to end on a cheery note of optimism, emmmmmm nope, can’t think of anything cheerful to say about Scotland today, unless you ride a bike.

Well, time to put the dinner on.

Keep safe 

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