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This is fun we’re having, right?

We most certainly do celebrate Thanksgiving in this household (a gluttony holiday wasn’t exactly a hard sell). Turkey Day is my favorite and, not entirely by chance, the anniversary of the day I arrived in England for good. Well, the date shifts a little, obviously, but I count it from Thanksgiving to Thanksgiving. Five years now, if you can believe it.

Our neighbors — among them the incorrigible old coots who got us drunk last night — have been good and welcoming. The problem is, they’re all ten or twenty years older than we are. We just have time to get attached, and they go falling off the branch already. One died suddenly last year, another has had a completely incapacitating stroke.

Here’s a nasty shock: the NHS doesn’t pay for nursing home care. When our friend with the stroke has a medical issue — breaks a bone or gets pneumonia — he goes in the hospital and socialized medicine pays for the lot. When he’s stable enough to go back to the care home, his wife pays, to the tune of about $1,200 a week. Until they’ve bled her savings white, and then the state picks up the tab.

Part of me thinks “fair enough” — round the clock care is terribly expensive and it has to paid for somehow. But geez, this guy worked all his life to build up his little stash, and there it goes — whoosh, down the crapper. He doesn’t even get anything nicer than the man who pissed it all away at the pub. Not that he’d know the difference now, poor bastiche.

Anyway, I promise to be cheerier tomorrow. Because — turkey!

November 27, 2013 — 11:54 pm
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