Nigel Thornton: A pox on our house

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
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Returning to work after two weeks’ holiday normally brings back unwanted memories of first day at big school.

But on Monday I had a spring in my step as I left home and headed for Telegraph Towers.

The reason being I was escaping the House Of Pox.

Sadly, Toddler T has fallen victim to the curse of chicken pox. The poor little mite has been covered from head to foot in ugly and painful red sores.

We were on holiday at Center Parcs when the pox struck. Toddler T had been on typically exuberant form when Mrs T noticed a solitary spot.

Forty-eight hours later and she was covered in them and clearly feeling very poorly – curled up on the settee with barely the energy to eat one of her favourite grapes let alone crush one.

Some people, I’m told throw ‘pox parties’ when their child gets infected so other parents can expose their children and so “get it over with’’.

It may well be that in the long run it is better for kids to get the pox earlier than later but having seen the misery it caused Toddler T I don’t think I could deliberately infect her.

One of her little friends was anxious to come and see her after being told she had Chicken Pox. He thought, according to his mum, it was a new and improved version of Coco Pops.

Now we face an anxious few weeks to see if Baby T2 succumbs – at the moment he just seems happy not to have his big sister lifting and dragging him across the lounge. Or as she would have it “cuddling’’ him.

Hopefully, she’s over the worst now and there are signs that she is feeling better and is just using the pox as an excuse for bad behaviour.

“I left my manners at Center Parcs,’’ she explained after I inquired where herplease and thank yous were.

I also hadn’t realised some of the side-effects with this disease – such as the only food you can eat is Cadbury’s Chocolate Fingers and ice cream.

Or that an aid to recovery was to watch Frozen (yet again) rather than Arsenal vs Man U on Sky Sports.

I think Toddler T thinks she’s being clever but what she doesn’t realise is that she’ll be on double greens as soon as Mrs T reckons she’s on the mend.

Movie madness

It does make me chuckle (in an unfunny kind of way) that people are appealing to Queensgate bosses to step aside in the cinema wars with the would-be North Westgate developers.

Why would they? For the greater good?Oh please! Like it or not, we live in a capitalist society that means a business like Queensgate is only interested in what’s best for the city if, and only if, it’s best for them and their shareholders.

And that – let’s not kid ourselves – is exactly the same for the firm behind the North Westgate scheme.

A few weeks back I predicted this would all get very messy and it already is.

Mind you, it might make a good film.

Sleep with fishes

I shall be watching with interest how Peterborough man Joseph Valente (pictured) gets on in the latest series of The Apprentice.

Joseph is a plumber, well, he runs his own plumbing company, and is of Italian heritage. If he wins – and he’ll be hoping his chances don’t go down the pan – he could become the second most famous Italian plumber ever... after Super Mario of course.

Contestants are expected to big themselves up and Joseph in the pre-show said: “I am the definition of success, I’m a godfather of business.”

Hmmm... can’t wait to see Lord Sugar’s reaction if Joseph tells him: “I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse.’’

It’s in the bag

Like many people I’m quite irritated that I’m now charged 5p for a plastic bag for my shopping.. although not as much as I am by Peterborough City Council’s brown bin tax.

It won’t save the planet and its the hypocrisy of the government that maddens me.

If they’re that bothered about the planet why didn’t chancellor George Osborne tell the Chinese to clean up their act on his recent visit?

I am, however, indebted to the Daily Mirror for some wonderful advice on how to ‘‘beat’’ the 5p charge.

Its advice included “stockup on reusable bags’’, “look out for free bags’’ and “make your own’’.

I’m surprised they didn’t add “don’t buy anything. Ever.’’.

Just managing

New Posh boss Graham Westley has made a decent start in his new job, but I think owner Darragh MacAnthony missed a trick when he appointed him as Peterborough United manager. He should have given the job to Peterborough City Council chief executive Gillian Beasley. Gillian seems set to take on the same role at Cambridgeshire County Council while keeping her job at the city council.

She’ll still have Saturdays free after all.

Not managing

The NHS is a mismanaged muddle and has been for years but the news that some doctors are being offered thousands of pounds to cut the number of patients referred to hospital is a new low.

If patients need referring, refer them, if they don’t, don’t.

It really is that simple no matter how complex or dire the NHS’s problems are.

And attempting to save money by lining the pockets of already affluent GPs is through the looking glass stuff.

What next? Will the NHS launch a campaign to educate the public about unnecessary use of antibiotics?

What do you mean they already have!

Perhaps they should offer doctors thousands of pounds not to prescribe them.

Please don’t tell me they’ve done that as well.