Targets, initiatives, modernisation, taskforces. It's all a bit of a slog, ponders Monitor.

Oh, this NHS business is all very worthwhile: nobody likes being poorly. But there comes a time when one can't help but wonder. Where's the glamour? Where's the sparkle? Where, indeed, is the royalty? Luckily for us, Prince Charles has spotted the gap in the market and written a piece for the Daily Mail about bowel cancer - 'a cancer no one wants to talk about. ' Charlie has a proven track record talking about things noone wants to talk about - think what he has done for the sanitary protection market.

And next month he will do his bit to give cancer the same popular appeal - by encouraging the nation to wear loud ties! Crazy idea, crazy guy, reckons Monitor.

Speaking of rude and embarrassing diseases, fascinating news from a cyber survey by NetDoctor. It found that over half of men 'would have no problem at all with their partner checking their testicles. ' One in five 'wouldn't mind if their partner asked first. '

Indeed. Ever since Mrs Monitor tried to make spontaneous lump checking a part of erotic love play, Monitor has had his pyjama bottoms securely fastened. The survey also asked how men would feel if advised by their doctor to check themselves during an unrelated consultation. The vast majority (72 per cent) would welcome it and 'probably follow the advice in private'. Monitor would hope so: rummaging in public is a high-risk activity, and can be easily misconstrued.

Perhaps Monitor is too coy about such a subject - reading on, this indispensable survey questions how often men adjust the position of their testicles during the day. A third of men said they did it one to five times, while 10 per cent did it between six and ten times.

The survey gives little reason for its line of questioning - but surely forays into the nether regions can't be good thing?

You can't beat a Brit when his back's against the wall. And community health councils have shown that glorious Dunkirk spirit - fighting in the face of a government that, without a qualm, ordered their destruction. So hoorah for Coventry CHC - using its annual general meeting to fly the flag and show they shan't be overcome (see picture).

So good luck Rosemary, Ron, Shirley, Edna and the rest of the crew!

Meanwhile, good to hear that the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene and Society of Public Health is planning a 'participative programme' on sexual health. And Monitor thought his orgy days had been and gone. Not if those Scots can teach us a thing or two. Younger readers used to hearing granny's tales of the good old days may not have realised that your grey haired rellies are still shaking a leg or two. The Family Planning Association in Scotland has recorded sales of£90,000 from its new line: selling sex aids. And who is buying them? Young drug-addled ravers? Newly-weds looking for a bit of spice? No, the principal purchasers have come from Scotland's elderly population.

Sales of vibrators and worse are filling a the tartan shopping bags of a nation. Luckily, pro-life organisation, Precious Life, have stepped in, warning that this is just the sort of thing which leads to unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Next.

A similar firm grasp of reality is displayed by Monitor's pals in private health care-land.

The Heart Hospital's last bulletin was a great read, kicking off as it did with the news that 'time really flies'. Next.

Monitor urges all Welsh readers to write in immediately with information about your national hero, Stan Stennet. Monitor is ashamed to admit that the fame of your flu vaccination campaign star has not spread to these parts. If you have a favourite Stan gag, piccy or even an hilarious anecdote about the man himself, get in touch straight away!

Finally, we all love consultation. It's open, it's frank and it's the basis of democracy, practically. And Monitor would like to spread the good practice being promoted by Buckinghamshire health authority right now. The HA is about to come to the end of a three-month consultation on whether their PCGs should join forces to become a PCT.

Obviously it's a complex issue, and the good people of Bucks will want to get a solid grasp of the facts before they make their choice. Luckily for them, the HA have made it easy. As its press release explains, 'people in towns and villages across mid Buckinghamshire are being asked if they want more powerful, more independent local health services. ' Hmm, whaddya reckon?