Blood, Sweat and Tea

This is a review of the book that inspired me to start blogging.

“Blood, Sweat + Tea” by Tom Reynolds.

Blood, Sweat and Tea

Blood, Sweat and Tea

This book is awash with blood, sweat, tea and many other bodily fluids. Tom Reynolds (pseudonym) writes about his experience as a London Ambulance driver and it is a riveting read. The book is taken from his blog, the first I have read like this but in this century, I suspect many similar books of this ilk. The tales are a mix of the tragic, comic and frustrating.

At night the Ambulance crews and the A & E department seem to take most of the slack for failings in the rest of the care system: GPs, Social Workers, midwives, carers etc… there is much ranting about other health care professionals not doing their jobs effectively. Government targets don’t help; the ambulance should reach a patient in a maximum of 8 minutes, if it does and the patient dies it counts as a success, if they reach the patient in 9 minutes and save him or her it is a failure… I think all government ministers should read this and other health professionals, too…it might help inform a better health and social care system.

There are plenty of little rants in here about the problems of alcoholism and the waste of young lives afflicted, the author has a strange failing in that he can’t smell alcohol, so has to rely on his crewmate to smell alcohol on the breath of a patient. He is also clearly upset about parents who smoke in the presence of their children, as one child dies of asthma and the distraught parents ironically go and light up.

Tom worries about not being PC at times but covers it with the caveat that he hates everyone. This is clearly not the case as he is deeply affected by some of his cases and working in Newham he will see a large cross section of the community. He is even incensed that some sufferers of Sickle Cell Anemia (mostly a disease of West Indians) are barred from certain hospitals, making his and their lives more complicated.

I would thoroughly recommend this book.

The book even inspired me to start my own blog, the direction of which is as yet unclear…waiting for clearer instructions from control.

Starting a blog.

Reading  “Blood, Sweat and tea” is what inspired me to start a blog. Not quite sure the theme, I guess it depends if anyone follows or if I get suitably inspired.
“Blood, Sweat and Tea” is the blog of a London Ambulance Driver turned into a book. This blog is not likely to have as much by way of bodily fluids….


Maybe I should introduce myself. My name is Jim Holroyd (real name…should I blog anonymously?)

I’m an Englishman living in Tbilisi, capital of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

I have been here 4 years, I only came originally as a tourist for three days, but I was invited to a wedding, where I met my future wife.

I visited Georgia because at the time I had an idea I wanted to visit all the countries of Europe by the time I’m 50. Next year, I hit fifty and my goal won’t have been achieved, I ve visted over half the countries of Europe but since moving to Georgia, I’ve only added one new country to that list: Azerbaijan…I haven’t even ventured as far as neighbouring Armenia.

In the Summer I hope to make the pilgrimage to Santiago del Compostela, the Hindus have the idea that when you reach fifty, you should have your material life sorted and should focus on the spiritual by making a pilgrimage. I visited Santiago del Compostela by train in 1990 with Chrissie.

I plan to start the trek from Porto in Portugal, a less used route than the classic one from the Pyrenees. Not sure if I’ll be up to walking for two weeks…I regularly walk an hour a day in the city but walking 20 to 30km a day will be challenging:

1 Porto – Vilarinho (or Vila do Conde) 27 kms
2 Vilarinho – Barcelos 27 kms
3 Barcelos – Ponte de Lima 33.5 kms
4 Ponte de Lima – Rubiães 20.5 kms
5 Rubiães – Valença or Tui 20 kms
6 Valença or Tui – Redondela 30 kms
7 Redondela – Pontevedra 20.5 kms
8 Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis 21.1 kms
9 Caldas de Reis – Padrón 17 kms
10 Padrón – Santiago 23.9 kms

Any comments about the blog will be appreciated.