With timing that I found infelicitous, my birthday post included an invitation from the hospital to attend the Older Persons’ Unit to check out the state of my bones.
According to the government, I am a mere sprig of a thing, with plenty of years left on the clock before I can even think about drawing my pension. Yet in health terms, I am obviously considered to be heading for my final furlongs.
The double think required to keep both those ideas compatible seems to demand the mixed metaphors. I loved Alice in Wonderland as a child, but never expected to be living in a world where the Duchess and the Queen of Hearts seemed relatively sensible.
Anyway, this afternoon I had my appointment. I finished work at lunchtime, but it wasn’t worth going home, so having eaten, I had a mooch about the City, and did some window shopping for a new iron as I think mine is not going to last much longer. I don’t know if there’s an Older Irons’ Unit, but mine would definitely qualify. It was given to me by a neighbour who sold up to travel the wotld. That was around seventeen years ago.
It was one of those days when you are aware of power tussles among the weather gods; first one then the other seizing the controls, and leaving us mere mortals taking sunglasses on and off, being buffeted by winds, drenched by sudden heavy showers, and warmed by the sun.
I was dawdling along near the Monument when I realised the clouds were stacking up. I decided to head across the bridge to the safety of Guy’s Hospital.
The light was impressive.
The heavens opened as I slipped into the shelter of Guy’s entrance.
It was a couple of hours before I left. I had been scanned, interviewed, bloods had been taken. My bones are ok, but given my family history – Mother had osteoporosis and bones like lace – I shall be called back earlier than the usual four years. The nurse did keep telling me I was young though.
Then made my way to the bus stop via one of the less attractive routes past the mortuary. There’s a new building to the north; medical student accommodation I’d guess. This caught my eye and made me smile:
The bus arrived at the stop at the same time as I did and I headed home. But at the Elephant we were told there was a diversion. I got out, or alighted, to use the quaintly archaic language of public transport. The road was closed to traffic. There were several police cars, and blue and white tape was tied to convenient structures.
“Not another accident?” said someone nearby. Only last week a cyclist was killed at the Elephant, and a pedestrian seriously injured in a RTA on one of the approach roads.
“It was the police car,” said someone else. “It was answering a call, but hit another car and ripped its door off. No one was hurt though.”
I hope he was right, but a few moments later I heard someone say an elderly woman had had to be cut out of the car. I haven’t looked on twitter yet. One onlooker was taking the opportunity to complain to a policeman about a cyclist’s reckless behaviour that he had witnessed.
I walked on and cast my vote in the European elections.