Monday, 16 July 2012

The cawing of a seagull or the cackling of a crone

I had an appointment this morning at the Royal Free hospital. It appears I have a cyst of some description, but from the time I was due to see the doctor, to the moment I was finally given a little box of antibiotics to get rid of it, I endured a 3 1/2 hour odyssey. The biggest joke of all was waiting 55 minutes for my medication to appear at the  "in-patients pharmacy.". When I handed the prescription in, they seemed pretty sure that it would take 30 minutes to process, which seemed long enough, but 30 became 40, and then 50.  Meanwhile, Nathan was driving in little circles around North London in a pathetic attempt to avoid the extortionate cost of parking in Hampstead. 

In my view, it's about managing expectations. It wasn't that my antibiotics were a complicated order, it's just that the hospital was running a queue system, which means it would have been very easy to estimate an exact waiting time. If they'd been honest and initially told me it would take an hour to process my prescription, I'd've taken myself off for dinner whilst I waited. If they've now invented a brand new "NHS minute", which lasts twice as long as a normal one, then this is something we should all be made aware of on the patients' charter.

I'm told the antibiotics I'm on are best taken on an empty stomach; 2 hours after food, or an hour before. With four of the blighters to take in a day, and my hypoglycaemia rumbling away in the background. I'm not sure this is going to be possible!

I'm on a train, yet again, to the South East. I'm traveling down on this occasion to do another two days with producer Paul on the requiem recording. Over the weekend I heard a mix of all the different instruments on the Introit playing at once and realised more work needed to be done on thinning out the textures. Obviously I can't expect Piquet to make judgement calls about the quality of my orchestrations, or indeed, the quality of certain players performances, so I need to be there in person to go in with the scissors. I don't think I've ever needed to work so hard on a project. I sincerely hope it's worth all this effort. 

16th July, 1662, and London was buzzing with the news that Lady Castlemayne, favourite of the King, had split up with her long-suffering husband, and moved to Richmond to set up a little nest in which to entertain the King. Pepys always championed Castlemayne's cause, but was honest about his motives for so doing; "strange it is how for her beauty I am willing to construe all this  to the best and to pity her wherein it is to her hurt, though I know well enough she is a whore." Easy there! 

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