February 21st 2019


Florence Nighting-Owl, that’s what this character is named. She stands outside the Birmingham Childrens Hospital, to inspire children that this isn’t such a bad place to come. Its a place of fun and recovery; i’d say fun is stretching it. But today after nearly 10 1/2 years of coming in with my son for check ups on his legs, he was finally discharged by Dr Prem (I’ll name him because he is a legend).

My son was born with bi-lateral talipes or double club foot if you’d prefer. His little legs were twisted upwards turning his feet towards his face, not right upto his face but pointing in the entirely wrong direction if you get my meaning. In the womb this was picked up and is a warning sign of a particularly nasty affliction in which the child would be still born or wouldn’t survive much beyond birth. In out case he has and will live a long and fruitful life all things considered, he’s as much chance as the next man, as me as you. For that I am eternally thankful.

All he had “wrong” with him was his legs were bent out of normality. For the first years and months we spent many hours sat in the waiting rooms and corridors of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, he spent months in plaster, taking the cast off every week to manipulate the new bones into position and then reset, this went on for months, (the Ponseti treatment) once the plaster cast came off he lived and slept in boots with a bar attached to keep his feet parallel and a distance apart, this went on for years, maybe 4 in total, then he had a little operation to move some tendons. Later still he had a slightly larger operation to do similar, he then went back into plaster. The only time he grumbled was when he wouldn’t be able to play footy with his mates as he was in a cast; it didn’t stop him though and after the 8 weeks he had it on it was a disgusting threadbare stinking mess.

He has gone on to play football successfully for his team, they’re an amazing bunch and my lad is the lightning on the left side, covering the back too. To be discharged today after waiting for an hour in the waiting room is a wonderful feeling for me and my family and I suspect particularly for my boy, my brave, polite, sweet, kind lad and I love him ever so.

We’ve had the support of the hospital when we have needed it and the staff there work selflessly to give us the finest free health system in the world and we’d better not forget this, I know I certainly won’t. This health system has given my son and my daughter the best start in life and the ability to have the same chances as we all have, it’s down to them now, but I know that they are both eternally grateful to our wonderful forward thinking, NHS.

On other issues of the day I’ve got some rather splendid mushrooms for you fungi fans who may have been going a bit cold turkey over the winter season; it appears now that spring is well and truly on the way and so hopefully is the warmer weather.


Incidentally driving into Birmingham to find the Children’s Hospital is an absolute pain, I went a different way because I was sick to death with paying through the nose for car parking, £15 per visit, not unheard of, I used to buy an 1/8th for that for god’s sake, I’d walk to Brum for £15! So with new post code, sat nav took me straight to where I wanted to go, but we couldn’t get there because they seem to be removing the entire road system of the centre of Birmingham, all roads led to the same No entry sign. Let’s face it, this is a real first world problem and we shouldn’t complain but if you only have been driving into the city one way for 15 years, then it can become slightly disorienting. Now I sound like an old man so i’ll stop swiftly.

another one of my work mates has put in for early retirement; so far that’s 1 down for ill health, 1 down for stress, 2 retirements before their official retirement age, one more going on Thursday next and one deciding today that he’s going in June, not to mention another transferring to Scotland in June. All in the last 20 months, and all due, in part I’d say, to our new fuhrer. This is shit, pleas stop it, you are killing the team, plus i’m having less and less time to crack on with my blog; this is not what I suspected would happen when he arrived 20 months ago.


  1. very well done to the lad who can play up front yet save their backs also. also well done to MR & Mrs T for making your son the healthy success he has become. many other parent would have stumbled before experiencing the light


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