Leon A Smith



The all time greatest leak

By Leon A Smith, February 14, 2013

It’s always startling to see the extent to which the government find it necessary to leak/trail the announcement of any new policies in an attempt to soften the impact of a stark announcement in parliament. The coalition government’s response to the recommendations of the Dilnot Commission would surely win a prize for the “All time greatest leak”.

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It’s just a bit cold with a little bit of snow

By Leon A Smith, January 25, 2013

Once again the light dusting of snow wreaks havoc in London. Newspapers have been full of despairing comment pieces relating to public transport problems and the closure of schools. Thousands of schools have been closed for reasons which are not always totally comprehensible or transparent. How many times have we heard that schools need to be closed?

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Culture and not religion.....

By Leon A Smith, September 20, 2012

As a long standing employee of Nightingale House (now Nightingale Hammerson) I’ve now chalked up some 39 Jewish (lunar calendar) new years! The new year is of course the time for making positive resolutions.

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Reflecting on the past year

By Leon A Smith, September 14, 2012

As we enter the new year, Rosh Hashana is a time and opportunity to reflect on the past year and to look forward to the next. Life at Nightingale House/Nightingale Hammerson has been to say the least full. This year our two charities merged and formalities were completed on 30th April. We are a significally sized charity providing care in both North and South London to over 250 residents.

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A metaphoric voice

By Leon A Smith, September 6, 2012

To say that the performance of the athletes at the Paralympics was an inspiration would be an understatement. What sheer strength and strength of character is required for athletes living with a significant disability to be able to perform at the highest possible level in a wide variety of sports. Athleticism, bravery, determination, are but a few of the adjectives which must apply

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Volunteers and donors

By Leon A Smith, August 30, 2012

A big “thank you” to Esther Rantzen who kindly visited Nightingale House last week to chat and schmooze with our residents. Her presence brought an enormous amount of pleasure to everybody who came into contact with her and we are indebted to her for sparing the time to be with us.

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A psychological block

By Leon A Smith, August 23, 2012

I mentioned some time ago that I thought myself to be one of a very small and elite group of people who were both Jewish and supporters of Bristol Rovers. A recent visit to Barnet Football Club indicated to me the ratio of Jewish supporters/followers of that club were probably significantly higher. The reason that I concluded this was twofold.

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Jewishly, how were the Games for you?

By Leon A Smith, August 17, 2012

On Wednesday night HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was taken to hospital suffering from a bladder infection. How extremely unfortunate and unpleasant for His Royal Highness particularly following on from a similar infection immediately after “Jubilee duties”.

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A vast untapped pool of knowledge

By Leon A Smith, August 10, 2012

It was sad to read this week of the passing of Sir Bernard Lovell – Sir Bernard was an astronomer who was best known for having created the famous radio telescope at Doggerel Bank in Cheshire.

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The generosity of the community

By Leon A Smith, August 3, 2012

Until this week the subject of fencing (not the garden or criminal type) had been one only vaguely in my consciousness. I’ve never had any interest in fencing. I’ve never seen fencing. And even if I had thought about it for two minutes, I’d probably would have said – what is the point? No pun intended!

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Olympic Lanes

By Leon A Smith, July 26, 2012

It is extremely difficult, verging on the controversial, to write a blog this week without referring in some way, however obliquely, to the Olympics and/or to Olympic lanes. What a strange concept this is. Separate lanes for very important people throughout London whilst the rest of us sit and steam in the heat in the remaining clogged up lanes.

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Dementia needs to be de-stigmatised

By Leon A Smith, July 19, 2012

There is news this week of a “wonder drug” which could lead to 11 years of extra life according to scientists. A study by academics at Queen Mary University who found that people who regularly took a pill made up of 3 blood pressure lowering drugs, had large reductions in blood cholesterol and blood pressure.

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Long term care of older people

By Leon A Smith, July 12, 2012

This week it was reported in the media that a local authority was currently spending £450,000 a year to keep open a care home with just one resident. 13 staff are employed at the home in a small town near Cardiff. The council had tried to close the home in 2009 when it had 12 residents but this had not been possible due to pressure from relatives.

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When I'm 65

By Leon A Smith, July 5, 2012

This week sees the launch of the BBC season of television programmes called “When I’m 65”. It appears that the purpose of the season is to explore the aging process for a number of different people in a number of different settings. A number of celebrities are being used to front this, including Gloria Huniford, Lesley Joseph etc.

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When I'm 65

By Leon A Smith, July 5, 2012

This week sees the launch of the BBC season of television programmes called “When I’m 65”. It appears that the purpose of the season is to explore the aging process for a number of different people in a number of different settings. A number of celebrities are being used to front this, including Gloria Huniford, Lesley Joseph etc.

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While i am talking about things Jewish............

By Leon A Smith, June 28, 2012

A recent trip to Argos established that there has been a considerable run on gazebos this summer! I wonder why this could be? Is it because of the Olympics? Perhaps the Jubilee? Or is it simply because the weather in this country in the supposed “summer months” is just so awful?

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What does ethical mean?

By Leon A Smith, June 21, 2012

It’s a wonderful thing working for a charity – one knows, or at least one hopes that one is doing something positive and meaningful that is going to add value to the quality of life of our clients/beneficiaries.

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An age of information overload

By Leon A Smith, June 15, 2012

One often hears it is suggested that we are living in an age of information overload – newspapers, magazines, radio, television, dare I say blogs, the internet, digital TV, digital radio, etc. Information is relayed instantaneously to our phones, to our laptops, to our iPads and to our living rooms.

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Jubilee

By Leon A Smith, June 8, 2012

Even if I wanted to it would not be possible to write my weekly blog without a reference to the Jubilee. Albeit at the time of writing (Thursday) life is beginning to get back to normal. It really was an exceptional weekend where the whole country seemed to have become caught up in a significant level of hysteria – I mean excitement!

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Flowers and cheesecake

By Leon A Smith, May 31, 2012

How quickly Shavuot comes around – it seems hardly a year since last Shavuot was with us! For many this Festival is a key highlight of the year. For others it will be an irrelevance. Creeping up as it does without any warning in the middle of May – not a time normally associated with Jewish festivals!

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