Friday, 22 April 2016

Hospitals and coaches

I did a morning's work in Highgate Village before being forced to cut my lovely peaceful writing session short when it became clear that I was going to have to do some serious phoning around to find a bus to take the cast of Brass down to France. Apparently the weekend we want to travel is famous in coaching circles as the busiest weekend ever. To make matters worse, one coach company in London suddenly raised their quote for the job by a whopping and extortionate £1000. It's really stressful and time-consuming. I'm going to dedicate Monday to the task, but if nothing emerges I'll have to throw in the towel. It simply shouldn't be this difficult to do something so nice. I just want a coach for Christ's sake!

In the late afternoon I drove up to Stanmore to the famous orthopaedic hospital there, where my cousin's wife, Sarah, is currently having a little stay. It's the strangest hospital, quite unlike any hospital I've ever visited. The buildings all feel a little pre-fabricated, like a 1950s holiday camp.

There's no obvious reception. You enter via a corridor, which has a little paper sign on it saying "to the wards." Anyone could walk in and there's no one anywhere to check that you're okay. Right in the middle of the hospital is an incredibly long corridor which is built on an enormously steep slope. My ankles started hurting after walking half of it. There's a single public unisex loo cubical half way along the corridor, with another paper-written sign attached to the window which says "you might want to flush the chain twice..." Apparently the water stopped working for a whole day earlier in the week.

It astonishes me that this is THE leading UK hospital in its field!

What was far more heartening was seeing how well Sarah looked. She was positively glowing. She's had the first of two operations on her back, but says the pain has already gone away. She was there with her two children,0 Harry and Erin, and we had a good laugh, kicked off in part by UKIP's latest party political broadcast, which is ludicrous.

I found out today that only four celebrities have come out in favour of Britain exiting Europe. I can't even remember one of them, but the other three are Ian Botham, Eddie The Eagle and Joan Collins (who, when I last checked, was living in America.) What a fabulous endorsement. Wouldn't you feel proud to be invited to a dinner party with those prannies? Talk about lowest common denominator. But then again, those who vote to exit Europe ARE lowest common denominator.

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