My neighbour Margaret is always awake at a time best known as Sparrow's Fart. Around 4am, she's awake and out of bed. The inner city nature of our properties means I can often hear her pottering around her kitchen making breakfast as I am finishing off a bundle of marking before going to sleep. At first light she's at the window ready to feed the birds. I know the birds miss her presence because I hear them circling hoping that window will open. I know Margaret is wishing the same thing. Like the birds, she is a creature of habit. When I visited her in hospital today she was annoyed. Very annoyed. When the overnight nurse checked her blood pressure around 4am she said she'd like to get up by 6am. Not possible, she was told. You have to wait for the day shift at 7am. That didn't go down well. Lying in bed, she says, gives her a headache. Not lying in bed gives me one, but still. You have to wonder, however, how a hospital system would fall apart if someone was assisted from a bed to a chair. All the parents without mobility issues could and probably would do it. And here I was thinking that the system was becoming far more patient-focused. Gone are the compulsory meal times at stupid hours replaced with room service that will be delivered within 45 minutes of your call. How civilized and sensible. It just shows that we are all creatures of habits and systems are slow to change. Some times there's comfort in that. Some times it's just bird brained. oh well.