Welcome to the NHS and banking in Britain

A strange thing happened to me this morning: very suddenly a grey cloud descended halfway into my vision on one eye. I could still see below this grey cloud but from about halfway across my vision and up, I couldn’t see anything. After about a minute, it vanished as quickly as it appeared. There was a very slight and completely painless burning sensation behind this eye for a little while afterwards. I consulted Dr Google and it appears I have either had a stroke, or I’ve got a brain tumour 😉

Ok, so I’m a bit of a hypochondriac and decided to consult a real doctor instead. But this has proved difficult. I phoned the nearest medical centre and they said I’d need to come in and register with them first and then I’d be able to make an appointment in about three days (make an appointment in three days rather than actually see someone in three days; evidently it takes about two weeks to see someone!). We decided we should all register so we wandered in with our passports and proof of address. However they want a letter from Ben’s employer as well just to say that he is employed here. Ben offered to email one to them then and there. The response was, “We don’t have email”. How can a medical centre possibly survive without email in 2014? I asked the lady what would happen if it was an emergency and explained my vision impairment. She said I should see an optometrist. There’s nothing wrong with my vision. I don’t need glasses and I have 20/20 vision. Ok, receptionist lady, if I have a stroke and die overnight it’s on your head. So we’re no closer to registering with a medical centre and therefore no closer to having the privilege of being able to make an appointment to see someone in two weeks.

I also don’t have a bank account here. So after this disappointing episode I went into NatWest – Ben’s bank – to add my name to his account. Ben had signed all the forms for me to do this and all I had to do was go in and present some identification. Or so we thought. They also want a bill with my address on it and although I have a letter from BT with my account details and home address, it’s not officially a bill and is insufficient. I’m not trying to create a new bank account for goodness’ sake, it’s Ben’s account which is already open and all we want to do is add my name to it!

We are about to transfer a large sum of money to the UK from New Zealand from the sale of our house there and it’ll be over my dead body if it ends up at NatWest. NatWest can take their bank account and insert it into Tony Abbott’s bottom then secure it with a butt plug. So there. Although with my impending stroke I may very well be just a dead body before too long.

After this second disappointing episode I wandered into the Bank of Scotland where they not only opened up a bank account for me right away with just my passport and letter from BT, they also gave me a 100 pound overdraft. Thank you, Bank of Scotland. You forever have my loyalty.

**NB- My vision impairment was probably just a migraine. I’m not being serious about the stroke and brain tumour.**

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