It's the Flu Jab Clinic at our GP surgery this morning! Never let it be said that Mr B and I don't lead interesting lives...
We are in "Pink Clinic", an
allocation to which Mr B has taken instant objection on the grounds that pink is "girly". I advise him that flu does not recognise gender differences and suggest he just puts up with it but he still makes sure to ask the receptionist whose idea it was to put
him in Pink Clinic. The receptionist, sensibly, smiles but doesn't venture an answer. To be honest, I don't think he was expecting one; it wasn't exactly a rhetorical question but it was very nearly so.
couple of years ago, when we first decided to make an excursion of our annual flu jabs, the GP surgery was decked out in colourful bunting, decorated with pictures of nasty flu bug characters with manic grins on their faces as they surveyed the prospects of
getting stuck in to all those forgetful people unprotected by The Jab. Today the surgery is bunting-less and nowhere near as jolly. I can only imagine that the member of staff responsible for decorations has moved on, possibly to another doctor's surgery which
is benefiting from her / his innate sense of interior design.
This is what happens when people move on from jobs where they have Made Their Mark. Inevitably they take something with them - knowledge, experience,
skill. Or in my friend Ian's case a large crest which at one time graced the Civic Centre where we both worked for more than 25 years. He didn't, I hasten to add, steal it at dead of night as a memento of his years of service. It was actually presented to
him at his leaving "do" having been removed during refurbishment of the building and being surplus to requirements.
This week I finally discovered what Ian had done with this unusual gift. It now adorns the
front of a quite remarkable tree house which his son Christopher has built in the back garden, a uniquely exciting playhouse for the enjoyment of Ian and wife Sallie's grandchildren.
We have now decided that
the Tree House needs to be incorporated into the Council's Emergency Plan (every Council must have one. An Emergency Plan, that is, not a Tree House. Not every local authority is as lucky as that.) Should disaster engulf the Civic Centre in the shape of flood,
fire or lightning strike, then the whole staff cohort would have to be rehoused to the Tree House in Ian's back garden. It already sports the Council coat of arms, what more could anyone want?
Back at the
GP surgery, flights of fancy are few and far between. Mr B and I join a short queue to see one of the two nurses administering The Jab. I am shown into one treatment room, Mr B into the room next door. My nurse is not messing about: "Are you well today? Are
you allergic to anything? Have you ever had an adverse reaction to a flu jab before?" No sooner have I shaken my head for the third time than the needle is plunged into my arm. Job - and jab - done.
hear Mr B being asked the same questions next door. Was he allergic to anything? "Only my wife!" jokes the gallant Mr B. He never misses a chance to raise a laugh, usually at my expense. I hear the nurse tell him that he had better hope she won't tell me what
he had said. Mr B was unconcerned; meeting me in the corridor outside, he recounts the whole episode while the nurse looks on, presumably interested to see my reaction.
I remind my fella that I am cooking
his dinner tonight so he should be very, very careful. I can see the Nurse storing this information away - if Mr B reports in on Monday with signs of poisoning, she will be able to bear witness to One Who May Have Had A Just Cause.
Of course, in the event of an emergency (in the form of an Avenging Angel in an Apron), Mr B can always take refuge in the Tree House...