Recently, Management had to visit A & E with a suspected broken wrist. Two days later I received a text from the hospital asking how likely I was to recommend the hospital to a family member or a friend: extremely likely; likely; neither.

I just can’t imagine what any response to this questionnaire can realistically achieve – other than it will keep yet another pen pusher in employment collating all the replies. One would assume that anybody who had an accident or was in need of emergency treatment would be more than happy to be delivered by ambulance or their own transport to the nearest hospital, where, when they finally get to see a medic, they would as usual receive excellent treatment.

Incidentally, there were about 30 people in the waiting area of which at least half did not look to be in need of immediate treatment. It is high time, by whatever means are available, that local surgeries offer a seven day cover. It is worth noting that in January, 1.9 million patients competed for emergency at A & E units and of these 212,136 waited more than four hours to be admitted, transferred or discharged – the highest number ever recorded. Given the enormous number of wasters clogging up A & E departments, particularly at the weekend in the small hours, small wonder the NHS is under pressure and the medical staff are disillusioned.

If you are wondering how management hurt her wrist I can report that she insisted the chicken shed be cleaned out immediately, where my plan involved doing it a day or two later. Needless to say my wife slipped on the emission from a hen’s backside and landed hard on a roosting bar.

After showing some sympathy I did ask her to fill in a questionnaire explaining why she had decided to visit the chicken shed and her answers were as follows: 1. clumsy 2. female 3. bull headed. Any offers of a permanent member of staff to collate her response would be appreciated!

It’s been a confusing month for those of us over pension age, with headlines in the press adding to the uncertainty of advanced years – “give up drinking altogether to stave off dementia” – “a glass of red wine a day will prolong your life” – “stay healthy with a low carb diet” – “official, low carb diets are bad for your health” – “the real secret behind human success? Eating meat” – “limit red meat consumption to 200 grams per week” – “rice is full of carbs and bad for you” – “population of China reaches 1.2 billion” and so on. I think I will stick to the red wine and red meat diet – it seems ok so far.

On the topic of red wine, Management and I visited some friends in London the other weekend and part of the entertainment was a trip up a skyscraper to a bar about 32 floors up. Having taken five minutes to persuade the doorman that we were smart enough to join the throng, we finally found a seat in the bar looking across London at the lights and the smog, ordered a bottle of wine and a gin and tonic. The wine was very acceptable but nothing out of the ordinary, and the gin and tonic was generous. The bill – £78, including 12.5% service charge. I’m so glad we live in the sticks, at least our foxes don’t have mange!

The debate over membership of the European Union rumbles on, and if anyone has a clear idea after a month of waffle by both sides of the argument, please send me a precis of your thoughts. As of now, I would probably vote to leave, purely on the notion that those persuading us to leave are slightly less backstabbing than those persuading us to stay. But just to remind everybody as to how overblown and overpaid MEPs are, I herewith reproduce an item from the excellent and informative Farming Update published by Chavereys Chartered Accountants: Pythagoras’ theorem – 24 words; Lord’s Prayer – 66 words; Archimedes’ Principle – 67 words; 10 Commandments – 179 words; Gettysburg address – 286 words; United States Declaration of Independence – 1,300 words; US Constitution with all 27 amendments – 7,818 words; EU regulations on the sale of cabbage – 26,911 words.

Finally, how saddened I was to hear, while writing this article, of the resignation of Ian Duncan Smith, one of the very few parliamentarians who thought more of the good of his country than of himself or his fortune post government. Mr. Cameron, it is time for you to go – you may have laid the foundations to a better Britain, but you are no bricklayer. You have not earned the right to conduct the procedures at the topping out ceremony. In the meantime resist the temptation to promote MPs who are loyal to you, but promote those who are loyal to their country.