29 September 2009

Dina's Laparoscopic Nephrectomy.

On sunday morning, eruv Yom Kippur, straight after kapores, Dina had a laparoscopic nephrectomy. When Dina was born, her left kidney did not develop properly and her consultant decided that it would be best for her in the long term to have it removed whilst she is still young. Due to the relocation and merging of Pendlebury and Booth Hall children's hospitals to become Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, dates for the operation were limited and eruv Yom Kippur was the best date we were given.

In the run up to the operation Ma and I were both very worried and concerned for Dina. So were all of our families and friends. On Shabbos, I was given an aliyah at Mincha and a mi she'berach was said. The Rabbi dedicated his Shabbos Shuvah drosha to the speedy recovery for Dina. At kapores we put a sign out asking everyone to say Tehillim for Dina. Then, during the actual operation, Ma and I said Tehillim and duvened for Dina.

I am reminded of the story of the business man who is on his way to an important meeting in the city centre. Parking is very busy and there are no spaces to be found. He is driving around the block for the 3rd time he prays and pleads with HaShem to make a miracle and help him find a space. As he is finishing his prayer, he looks up and sees that a car is pulling out of a space. "Don't worry HaShem", he says, "I found one."

Why do I tell you this story? We are all faced with challenges in life and when the going gets tough we turn to HaShem. We pray to him and plead with him. The question is ... what happens after he has answered us?

Baruch HaShem, the operation went to plan, and Dina is at home and making a good recovery. In fact, when you she her, you would not even realise that anything had been done. Thank you firstly to HaShem and secondly to all who duvened and said Tehillim for Dina. Clearly our prayers were answered favourably. I hope we all have a happy and a healthy 5770.

23 September 2009

Where is my nearest postbox?

I have recently moved to a new office and needed to post a letter during lunchtime. I have seen postboxes while on the way to the office but I wanted to find the nearest box so that I quickly pop out during the day and catch that days post.

So I turned to Google and found that Matthew Somerville has put together a site that combines Royal Mail's postbox location data, obtained under a freedom of information act request, with an interactive map. Bizarrely, Royal Mail does not actually know exactly where the postboxes are located. Matthew's site therefore relies on crowdsourcing to gain the location of many of the postboxes.

I think this is a useful resource and it only takes a minute to add the location of a box so why not type the post code of areas you know to see if you can help to complete it.