Sunday 6 January 2013

One Year On

It is one year ago to the day that I was discharged from the Hospital Portering Service.

I wondered back then what would become of me. Would I survive? Would I lose my home and end up living on the streets? Would I be able to carry on with HPANWO? The answers are no, no and yes respectively. I have a new job, I am still living at the same place as I was and can afford all I need to eat. I can also afford regularly to visit my lovely Ustane in Nottingham. It's true that I have a much smaller income than I did as a Hospital Porter; I couldn't do my usual tour of the conference circuit this year, but I still went to the two Exopolitics conferences, see: . Also this wonderful caring universe provided several conferences that were cheap and easy to get to, like BUFORA: . Last years BUFORA event was in Northumberland; if it had been there again there would have been no way I could have got to it. Since then I have started HPANWO Radio, which would have been very difficult if I were still a Porter because of doing shift work. I have made many new friends and have done my first live conference lectures. I've been in a very similar situation to Tony Farrell and Kevin Annett, but compare my experience to theirs. Both those men lost their homes, Kevin lost his family... I have no right to complain! I've come through this experience very easily. What will the second year of my post-Portering life bring? Who knows!

It's true that I miss the hospital; I miss the camaraderie of Portering. Whatever happens in the future, my life as a Hospital Porter will always be one of the foundation stones of my experience of this world. But I don't miss Portering or the hospital as much as I feared I would. Just a few short months after my dismissal the hospital's social club closed, which is extremely significant and symbolic of the malaise that currently affects the NHS; see: The word I hear from my Brother and Sister Porters and the civilian staff I've kept in touch with is that this malaise is getting worse. The end result will be the destruction of the NHS entirely, which was always the Government's plan from day one; day one in this case being in the late 1970's. It's taken almost 40 years to demolish one of the country's best-loved institutions, but with gradualism, problem-reaction-solution, along with apathy and demoralization on our parts, anything can be pruned. No, I've got few regrets. Despite the difficulties I face, I'm better off out of it.

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