It was an ordinary tie, a perfectly smart one in fact - but, oh, how it disappointed me!
I'd been telling the Eldest of the Darling Daughters for ages about the consultant
we would be seeing at the hospital this morning. Ever since Mr B and I first made his acquaintance some four years ago, we have referred to him as "Mr Bow Tie", this being his customary apparel. It suited his character somehow.
Let me say, straightaway, that I have nothing against bow ties - in fact my dear Dad often wore one, particularly on special evenings out. When I picture him in my mind (which I do quite often, like most days) he is always wearing his bow tie. Though
I would never, ever call him Mr Bow Tie, that somewhat cheeky monicker being more about the man than his neck-wear.
There was not a single free car parking space when we arrived at the hospital this morning;
in fact the whole area resembled a building site. Correction: it was a building site, with a hospital building nestling uncomfortably somewhere in the middle of all the chaos. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters pulled up outside the main entrance so that
I could scoot inside and secure a wheelchair. I needed to hurry, before some cross Site Foreman turned up and asked my daughter to move her car (though where?)
Inside a number of industrial looking wheelchairs
were all locked together like supermarket trolleys. I had to find someone willing to help me by exchanging my five twenty pences for a pound coin before I could release one from its stranglehold. Then I struggled for a few moments trying to release the brake
before a passing nurse pointed out the message, written in large letters on the handle, to press down on a black bar to release the brake. In my defence, I was feeling a trifle stressed..
Returning to the
car park, pushing the empty wheelchair triumphantly before me, I found we were in luck, a place in the disabled bay had become free. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters backed in expertly. What a good thing, she remarked, that I - the World's Worst Reverser
- wasn't driving...
At Reception, which we reached after traversing a long, long corridor, we were directed back along the self-same long corridor to Bay 4. We couldn't help but notice that Bays 1, 2 and 3
were all much emptier of patients than Bay 4. We also couldn't help but notice a message written on a white board informing us that Mr Bow Tie was running 35 minutes late. The Eldest of the Darling Daughters trotted off to the Friends of the Hospital Tea Bar
to buy us all a cup of coffee and a chocolate chip cookie. She returned to find that Mr Bow Tie was now running sixty minutes late. There is a good reason, I told her, why a patient is called, well, patient...
minutes after our appointment time we were summoned into the surgery, to find that Mr Bow Tie had abandoned his customary neck-wear. After all I'd told my daughter, too. You'd think he'd have dressed up for her, wouldn't you, after she'd taken a day off work
and come all this way to help us out?
Back home we sat out in the back garden and enjoyed a somewhat delayed lunch as we caught up on all the family news and made plans for the oldest granddaughter's forthcoming
birthday. Sweet and Twenty she will be - where did all those years go, special as they were.
I'm so glad to have home to come back to. So pleased and grateful to have a darling daughter's help, support
and company for the day.
In every garden bed, as we chatted, daffodils danced in the sunshine. The trials and tribulations of the morning - even my disappointment over Mr Bow Tie not being, well, quite himself
today, sartorially speaking - seemed a long, long time ago.