My eye problem has returned. A few days after the last course of treatment ended, the symptoms returned and I was left with a sore eye and a profound sense of feeling sorry for myself. I see the specialist again tomorrow and I suspect I will be back on the familiar cocktail of eyedrops. Being able to get free access to such treatment is just another bonus of the wonderful National Health Service.
By coincidence a letter dropped through my letter-box this morning: part of a new Government initiative to let us know what is happening to the tax we are paying. It informs me of the total direct taxes I paid in 2013-14 and the proportion of my taxes which have gone to various headings. For example, I paid £139 towards reducing the national debt last year and a further £105 (a couple of bolts from the back of a tank) towards the defence of the realm. And towards the budget of the National Health Service I contributed £374 from direct taxation. Given that direct tax constitutes about 45% of the total government budget, it is fair to assume that I probably stumped up a further £410 in indirect tax. So for a few pence over £15 a week I have got access to a service that, in the last twelve months, has treated my fingers and my eyes, continued to provide me with relief from my deafness, and saved the life of my wife.
Even in the context of Black Friday and Cyber Monday - that is some bargain.