Thursday, 14 November 2019

Hospital chit chat

Attending West Suffolk Hospital for yet another appointment (this time for respiratory medicine), I went into the consultant's room and took a seat. Ann followed, shut the door, and sat demurely in the corner. "Who's that come in with you?" asked the consultant. "She's my wife," I explained, "did you think she was another patient who'd followed me in?" The consultant smiled, "no," she said, "I know we have a waiting list, but we haven't started holding group consultations yet!"

Later, going in for the blood test she'd ordered, I noticed a bottle of water hanging from a high window by a long string round its neck. Naturally curious, I asked why she hung the water up like that. "The window catch is broken," she explained, "so it's to keep the window closed". "That's a clever idea," I complemented. "Yes," she added, "naturally a woman thought of it." From me, that would have been a sexist comment, but she said it sweetly with a smile. I just said, "Yes. I thought it must be something to keep the water cool, I'd never have thought it was for the window."  I added that I thought the sexual equality war had been won, but why didn't there seem to be any male phlebotomists? She agreed it was a shame, but she didn't know why. "We did have a man once for a few weeks, but he was a doctor in training." We then got onto a discussion about the difficulty of drawing blood from a vein one could not see, but the satisfaction when you succeeded by feel alone, so it was a long and interesting chat while she kept poking me for my own hidden veins.

I believe God has a sense of humour, but sometimes it seems directed squarely between my eyes. Yesterday, I was marveling how long it has been since I got a speeding ticket or a parking fine. Today, an evelope came marked "Important. Not a circular" with a notice inside saying I must pay £100 parking fine, or £60 if I payed within 10 days. It seems that I had triggered a hidden parking camera when I picked Ann up on the train from London. She came into a tiny village station with a pub next to it, and my mistake was to use their carpark which I've used many times before, but not to see the notices now saying there was zero waiting time, and pub users should pay at the bar with their car registration. I was there for barely 10 minutes to attract such a fine, but there is no appeal and no escape. Well thank you, God. I guess you haven't got much else to laugh at in the world at the moment.


  1. You neglected to say how you were so annoyed you raised your sweet voice and said 'it would have been cheaper if you took a bloody taxi'. Temper temper.

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