in the hospital
my mortality waved and
said ‘yes! here i am!’
Sunday has become my cooking day. I had already prepared some pattie pastry yesterday and, before we set off to see Robert – since his mother had come down from Sheffield to spend the afternoon with him. – I prepared my spiced chicken filling which needed to cool before it got rammed in the pastry.
Typically, Robert had given us the wrong name of the ward, and after wandering through several deserted corridors and reception areas we found him. He was on the phone. The NHS provide bedside phones. They are incoming only, no doubt to stop convalescing patients with too much time on their hands from ringing Poland, or those numbers where you can meets lots of gorgeous people within your postcode area. You’ve seen the sort of thing. Ring this number, or text H-O-O-R to get a list of girls/guys/olds/desperates/plain wierdos online NOW!
There was an old Rastafarian sitting at the next bed along, visiting his son.
‘He runs this ward!’ he shouted to us, pointing at Robert. ‘We call him El Presidente! He’s always on his satellite phone.’
I can’t help but feel a little disturbed by the running of the hospital. One obviously can’t blame this on the staff, since they seemed both quite efficient while being understandably overworked, but there was an air of resources being overstretched, and, from what we were told, the usual NHS bureaucracy and overuse of managers.
If I’m run down by a bus I’ll ask the ambulance to take me to St Marys.
Robert’s mother, it appears, arrived at Victoria on the coach and, having been told to take the number 11, jumped on the first one she saw, only becoming concerned when the bus passed through Trafalgar Square and headed off toward the east. She got off at the next stop and flagged down a car, who said he was a cab, and paid twenty-four pounds to get to the hospital.
She seemed, apparently, remarkably unconcerned by her adventure.
After a couple of hours we left and I returned to roll out my pastry and do the patties. I put six of them in the oven and watched some of Big Brother’s Little Brother. Thankfully, Zezi Ifore, the Gormless Shoe Tree was not immediately apparent, and George, the lesser of two evils, was doing the sofa interview, with a comedian whose name for the moment escapes me, despite the fact he’s very funny. What a difference! George was articulate, allowed the guest the chance to speak and was altogether half-decent and decidedly non-neanderthal. I prayed to Argos, the omnipotent, albeit mythical God of Catalogue Shopping, that Zezi had gone the way of all BB rejects, but alas, there she was at the Forum screen with Timmy Mallet, and even he fairly glowed with wit and talent in her presence. Zezi bombarded him with questions, didn’t listen to anything he said and finally (thank you, Argos) Timmy shouted ‘Can I finish speaking??!!!’
This of course translates to those perceptive folk among us as ‘Just Shut The Fup, You Ghastly Woman!’ which is what 90% of the audience have been shouting at their TV screens for the last two and a half weeks.
I ate three of the patties out of sheer exasperation at such a waste of Channel 4 wages.
Later, returning to the kitchen I discovered that only one pattie remained, and that the Ugly One was looking far too contented and smug as he watched Sylvia being a right cow on Big Brother and brushed crumbs off his vest.