I’m sitting at one of the tables in the WRVS cafe, just outside the Physiotherapy Department in Worthing Hospital. Mr B has gone in for the first of his physio treatments on his poor old back but I can’t hear
any loud groans or cries for mercy emanating from the room along the corridor, so I am trusting that his new physiotherapist is the gentle kind.
was at 11.45 a.m. but we nearly didn’t arrive on time as the Pulse bus (i) was late in arriving and (ii) had to stop at every single bus stop, to let hordes of passengers on who, like us, had been waiting ages. At the bus stop we started talking to a
sweet woman who was off to Rustington to visit her mother. We advised her (we are very knowledgeable about All Things Bus Related these days) that she would have to change buses at Goring Road and catch the Coastliner from there. She seemed to get the message
so it was most perturbing to see her dismount from the bus and cross the road (as so directed) only to catch the Pulse bus going back in the exact direction from whence she had come. We were literally howling at her through the windows of the bus but she couldn’t
see or hear us. I hope she did make it to Rustington, that she isn’t still travelling back and forwards, that her poor mother isn’t getting anxious waiting for her.
Anyway we arrived with a minute to spare and that’s how I come to be here, in the WRVS cafe. The volunteer behind the counter is absolutely determined that I shall have my coffee just the way I like it. She shows me a spoonful of decaffeinated
coffee and asks me if it is the right amount of coffee. Then she fills the cardboard cup almost to the brim with water and asks me if it’s full enough. Then she adds milk, all the while checking that she isn’t over-milking my coffee. Never has
a cup of decaffeinated coffee been more lovingly prepared. It only cost £1.05 too.
I take my coffee and find a vacant table. I have brought my latest
reading matter with me, Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up the Bodies.” It seems a particularly appropriate choice of book, I think, when I see that the stairs to my right lead down to the Mortuary. I keep a close eye out, while I am sipping my coffee
in case someone does. Bring up the bodies, that is.
I take a look around at the other people occupying the tables in the cafe area. This is either pure nosiness
or (as I prefer to call it) research for the Daily Blog. Several of my companions are clearly members of staff. I know because they are wearing identity badges strung round their necks on colourful ribbon. I, too, used to wear something similar when I was
a Corporate Person, in another age, long, long ago. Other members of staff, too busy to sit down with a cuppa, bustle about with arms full of files. One of them pushes what looks like an empty shopping trolley. Somehow she manages to make this rather menial
action look meaningful and important.
The remaining tables are taken by patients, several of whom are sporting crutches or walking aids of one kind or another.
But then, what do I expect, in a Physiotherapy Department? I play one of my favourite waiting games which is trying to decide the relationship between the various people. Mother and daughter, almost certainly. Sisters? Or just good friends? Husband and wife,
for sure. Whenever a person seems to sense that I am looking them over, I slide my eyes down to the page I am reading, for all the world as if I am totally engrossed.
Here’s Mr B, full of the joys of spring. He likes his new physiotherapist who has advised him to spend five minutes every morning on his exercise bike, on low intensity, along with lots of stretching exercises. We repair to the Continental Cafe
for a cheese omelette (Mr B) and a mushroom omelette (me). Yes, indeed, as Mr B will surely tell you, I am Always Thinking About My Stomach.
In the window
of the Wool Bar, a few shops along, I see a trio of knitted sea-gulls, one large, two small. I enquire within about the pattern and am directed to a website. I need that pattern! If I can’t find it, the ever-helpful owner reassures me, I must come
back and she will ask the person who knitted them to help me out.
We go home on the bus to watch Murray beat Verdasco (who sounds like a bottle of particularly
fruity sauce.) This year’s Wimbledon is awash with fabulously over-the-top names, none more so than the wonderful Miss Flipkens, who has, without a doubt, stepped straight out of the pages of the Rupert Annual.
Not exactly an eventful day, I hear you saying. But just fine and dandy, all the same.