I've never been able to keep a diary. My work and personal calendars are always up to date, and organised, but I've never managed to replicate that in a physical form, no matter how hard I try. Therefore, it was a particular challenge to be gifted this beautiful 365 journal by some good friends of mine this Christmas. So what to do? I couldn't leave it languishing in a drawer, it's far too lovely for that. Begin a daily journal, in the vain hope that this year will somehow be different to the 30+ which have gone before? More optimistic that anything else, and if I lasted three months I'd be astonished.
No, something different then.
As it turns out, the journal is numbered, not dated (perfect!), so instead of 365 days of journalling, I've resolved to write 365 poems in it, over the course of one year. The vague rules are as follows:
1. The poem doesn't have to be perfect, or finished, but it has to be a new idea
2. I don't have to write one piece per day, just 365 in total
3. Not everything I write has to pass through the journal first
4. The more experimental or different to the usual, the better
5. The scribblier, the better - this is only for me
I will update here, perhaps with some of what I write over the year, but certainly with a tally of how many pages I've managed to fill.
Out of curiosity, I looked up approximate costs of my last surgery, in countries with different health systems. In several cases the operation was not covered by health insurance, and it was very variable even within the same country.
In Australia, the cost could have been as much as $6000. In the US, people were charged anything from $4000 up to $42000, depending on the type of insurance they had.
The saddest thing was the number of people who were living with this condition, and the associated complications, as their insurance did not cover it at all and they had no means of paying. Other patients spoke of having to borrow on multiple credit cards or from family and friends, going in to huge debt just to be healthy.
Though this was a relatively simple operation, which didn't even require an overnight stay in hospital, if it wasn't for the NHS I would not have been able to afford to have it done. Now imagine this was more complex, or life-threatening?