Jaqui's Daily Blog

The Flu Queue and a Footie Afternoon

There was a long, long queue snaking out of the GP surgery and along the road. You wouldn’t think, would you, that so many people would be so excited at the thought of claiming their annual flu jab?


In previous years, there has been no such problem. On arrival, you took your place at the end of a small queue and in no time at all a nurse was asking you if you were feeling well today before plunging a needle into your bare arm without waiting for an answer. Done and dusted in minutes.


Yesterday something had clearly gone amiss. The staff on duty, trying to appease an imcreasingly restless crowd, said it was all the fault of the very many people, who had turned up before their appointment time. I had a quick look round to see if I could spot the naughty ones who were trying to jump the queue but most people appeared unmoved. I, for my part, felt quite virtuous having turned up at 10.35 - the time of my appointment - on the dot. Indeed, I had actually wasted a few minutes beforehand in the Guild Care charity shop where I picked up a 63 piece dinosaur puzzle for the Rascally Trio (£1.50 - I am, as regular readers well know, the Last of the Big Spenders.) Which meant it wasn't wasted time at all.


“Did you see me come in?” a gent standing by the counter (“We are not open for prescription requests,” a notice on top of the desk proclaimed, unhelpfully) asked of the queue in general. Everyone looked away but I decided to let him into the queue in front of me as I was pretty sure he had been standing there as long as I had but had somehow lost his place. In any case it could count as my Act of Random Kindness just in case I couldn’t find a more worthy opportunity over the course of the day...


At this point the queue started moving slowly forward and some time later I emerged from the surgery with a sore arm and a printed sheet informing me that I now had a 60% chance of not falling victim to the flu this winter. I decided not to think too much about the 40% chance I now had of actually succumbing to some unknown virus. Life is too short to worry unduly, I always think.


Outside the doctor’s surgery, a parking inspector was having a field day pinning penalty notices into the windscreens of cars parked outside, their owners, almost certainly, having been caught in the Flu Queue for more than the sixty minutes of free parking allowed. Passions will run high, I reflected as I made my way back to my own car, safely parked outside the fish and chip shop.


My sunny disposition was in no small part due to the fact that I was looking forward to a Footie Afternoon with our Next Door Neighbours. Brighton versus Tottenham Hotspur - it promised much. I prepared a vegetarian buffet for when the half time whistle blew - a small thank you to our lovely neighbours for the many rubbish and recycling bins they have wheeled out for us every Bin Collection Day, the verges they have mown for us, the jokes and the laughter they have shared with us over the garden fence. 


Mr B had his Spurs flag draped over one side of the mantelpiece but, in the interests of impartiality, I hung a mask of former Brighton player, Bruno, over the other side. I know, don’t ask.. 


Mr B was amazingly sanguine about the result (Brighton won 3-0, in case you need to / don’t know) and there was no crowing from the opposition. It was all very civilised, considering.


Not at all like the Flu Queue at the doctor’s surgery...


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Latest comments

23.04 | 20:15

lovely and heartwarming - an inspiration to us all x

09.03 | 12:07

Love this story told as ever beautifully.x

10.11 | 21:31

What a super account of a special event. I loved meeting you last night and seeing your creation come together. I’m so pleased you got so much from the activity

07.09 | 13:17

I have broad shoulders x

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