Road Rage

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Forlorn pasty-faced skies wept for most of the day. After an early lunch Jackie and I drove to Southampton General Hospital to visit Mum. The good news is that she was looking much better and is to move tomorrow to a Rehabilitation Centre at Romsey. We will see what they can do to get her on her feet again. She has already been transferred to a less intense ward ‘for older people’. Joseph and Angela were with our mother when we arrived. They left soon afterwards, but I don’t think it was any thing personal.

Avoiding Millbrook roundabout which we knew to be closed from our direction, Jackie managed to negotiate the terrible Hampshire roads to bring us to the barrier of the one car park in the hospital that had some spaces. Peering through the rainswept windscreen we waited our turn for the barrier to rise for our admittance.

Having driven around for a while inside in search of one of the vacancies, we waded over the uneven paving that is de rigueur for any modern public development. We were directed to Mum’s new ward, which was helpful.

When paying for parking on departure, we considered that one out of three properly working machines was perhaps fortunate.

People, such as taxi drivers, not wishing to park, but delivering patients as near as possible to the front door, do rather tend to cause something of a blockage in visitors’ escape route.

In the direction of our return home, the Millbrook Roundabout was actually open, but we were advised to expect delays. Listening to the thud/squeak rhythm of the windscreen wipers; avoiding being mesmerised by the brake lights we were following; ignoring the temptations of fish and chips; and finding some amusement in ‘Elves Behavin (sic) Badly’ we settled down for the long haul along the A33. In one of those brilliant planning touches we find on Hampshire’s roads more roadworks came into focus further along the way. We were now reduced to one lane, the queue being supplemented by vehicles filtering in from the left.

Jackie took the first opportunity to strike out across the forest by turning into Deerleap Lane. Within very few minutes we were once again breathing fresh air on familiar winding lanes where the only road rage experienced was the alarm sounded by what must surely have been Roman geese guarding a soggy farmyard.

It being our first second wedding anniversary we dined at Fleur de Lys in Pilley. We both enjoyed truffles and celeriac soup with scrumptious fresh crispy bread. Jackie went on to mushroom risotto, while I enjoyed a succulent steak, French fries, and green beans. Mrs Knight drank Blue Moon and I drank an excellent Merlot.

 

I Had Done A Dr. Who

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Mum has been in Southampton General Hospital for the last few days, having rather deteriorated since her birthday. She has responded well to treatment but will need an advanced care plan before she can return home. Jackie drove Elizabeth and me over for a visit. Our mother certainly looked much better for her stay, but remains frail. A very pleasant doctor called Rebecca discussed all this with us, indicating that Mum would not be sent home without proper care being in place. Elizabeth and I will visit again tomorrow to discuss this with the team.

Even gaining access to the hospital was an advanced obstacle course. There are three car parks in the grounds; two were full; allegedly there were spaces in the third, multi-story facility. We joined a queue for this. Having withdrawn a timed ticket from the machine, one vehicle at a time was allowed to pass the barrier. When it became our turn, the machine informed us that this park was now full. We then had to wait until someone somewhere had departed. Thinking that Sod’s law would determine that if I began to change my camera lens we would start moving, I began the process. We started moving.

We found ourselves in a packed ground floor level. Having wriggled past other vehicles we made it into daylight. Then began the trek along streets, across crossings, past numerous buildings and into the building, more like a shopping mall,  where our mother would be found in Ward 5 on the sixth floor. As I stood in the cramped lift, I prayed that the crush of my fellow passengers would manage to keep me upright,

Fortunately Elizabeth knew exactly where to find ward G5, and a chirpy looking parent who already had Rob and Helen in attendance.

Having delightedly devoured a slice of fruit cake Elizabeth had brought, Mum was ready for a rest when we left.

A little confusion arose when we departed the lift. Jackie and Elizabeth disembarked at level C.  I didn’t manage to make my escape and continued on down to B. I left the lift and asked a staff member where the stairs were. She pointed out the lift, which was behind me. Well, it would be. I’d just got out of it. I said “I’m not going in another one of those”. She directed me to the stairs.

Meanwhile, my two ladies waited on level C for the lift to return. They stood with a welcoming smile as the elevator opened. Out stepped a beautiful young woman. They thought I had done a Dr. Who.

Jackie then drove us on to West End to collect clothing and spectacles for Mum for tomorrow.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s sublime sausage casserole, creamy mashed potato, butternut squash, carrot batons, and firm Brussels sprouts. The Culinary Queen drank Hoegaarden while Elizabeth and I finished the Morador.