Monday, February 21, 2011

Medicine, mustaches and mayhem....must be Murtas

Regular lurkers will know of the trips we make in seek of medication for No 1 Son due to his diabetes, not always running smoothly. With the introduction of the new chip card system in place in Andalucia, even up here, I found over Christmas we were no longer covered under my old Social Security card, and were unhelpfully redirected to the main health centre at a nearby town. It's expensive here, when I owned the shop I paid nearly 360€ a month, and Spain with it's 17 or so autonomous regions, each one controlled separately, makes for a confusingly bizarre system of health. But we are in Europe, and minors are minors, so off we plodded.

Met by a paramedic casually dressed as a bin-man, we were assured this was merely temporary, and a new card was imminent, but call back in an hour and chat with the secretary. This proved more complicated as she insisted we would not be covered in future, and explaining to her if Josh didn't receive his insulin he would actually die, she twiddled her mustache and in Pontius Pilate-like fashion said it wasn't her problem.

Forget Hippocratic oath, obviously the new chip card system reached the Alpujarras before it did.

Now, I'm not easily swayed, and strangely enough will go to any length to protect my kids, short of breaking into the Farmacia and actually seizing the medicine, (still actually a viable option) we decided to employ a local 'fixer' and he arranged an appointment in the not so nearby town of Orgiva....

Monday morning we set off, and were seen as promised by a health officer there, where José wheedled all of the correct information and paperwork, and insisted she call the aforementioned centre and basically instruct them to do their job. Back we traveled to there, where mustachioed Herr Secretary complied, printed forms, and almost smiled....well, perhaps it was wind.

Stan and Josh have now traipsed up to the Medico of Murtas this morning, I sit here with crossed fingers and the last of my Bronchial bout and await the verdict....


UPDATE: The Argentinian dictator who poses as our latest Medico, clearly still smarting from the Falklands war, finally relented - if not quite abdicated - and begrudgingly added Josh back on the system, and the Insulin was granted, hallelujiah.

His second in command, the new pharmacist, dispensed same and all is now peaceful.

Now, have I mentioned the debacle with non communicative communications giant Telefonica??!!

Another time....

Green and grubby fingers and groaning backache

That time of year again, last February I thought about setting up Further South of Granada, a year on and as this blog chalks up more hits than I could have imagined, we are thinking of planting this Springs' vegetables, let's hope they germinate just as quickly...

Having allowed a couple of lettuce last year to go to seed, I was stopped in my soil turning the other day by the sight of a dozen or so little lettuce plants, clearly the ground is warmer than it should be for February, they're now put to bed in a seed tray ready to be replanted when the Huerta is ready.

While Stan was working away I passed the time forking over the ground, each dig in seemed to hit a stone the size of a new planet, but I managed about three quarters of the area in three hours solid digging so not too bad – think of the kilos dropping off Carol!! The next stage is to rework it, getting the soil prepared is lengthy but the preparation is vital. I will root out the packets of seeds later today and see what is salvageable from last year, we had some great Heritage seeds from the States, and get them started along here on the terrace, see what will establish best.

I'll go a diggin' again tomorrow and enjoy the work, mostly due to the sight of the almond in blossom, little pink and white cotton wool balls covering the mountain, and the sea below so still and blue, the whole picture is framed by the Sierra Nevada behind me, with their white bobble hat of snow. Larks and kestrels swoop and call to make mine the best office ever.

For today though, pretty normal, dentist appointments to make, cleaning and errands to run before teaching our little English class....and the sun is shining away as though Winter has been swapped for I had better get on, you have a great day, wherever you are.............