Clicking balls in Monaco

Twenty years ago I was a student nurse doing an early shift on Lindley Villa at Gorse Hill Hospital. I finished the shift at 1pm, went into town and played snooker until very very late – if you never been into a snooker hall you really should. They are devoid of time. In a good hall it really is just the click of the balls and low talking – and then some time after that I got back to the flat we then lived in. It was then that J told me the shuttle accident had happened. Today – or parts of it – have been filled with names, faces, events and so much more all brought back by that moment in history – just like the “Where I was when Diana died” (I was heading in to do an early!) or for really old people, where they were when Kennedy was shot by whoever it was (that event was too early for me). I just realised – Lindley was the first hospital ‘ward’ I worked on as a student – and it was the ward I worked on when my NHS career finished too.

(Unrelated apart from snooker – at about that time I played snooker another day/evening/night. Somehow I got to the bus, somehow I got of at the right place and force of habit must have got me to the door. J says that when she opened the door, I fell in, crawled to the bathroom and told her to make sure I went to sleep in the recovery position.)

(Ikea today, waiting in the queue for something I came eye-to-eye with a bottle of Absolut Vanilla. I swear it was winking at me. I’m sure the days of me looking at alcohol and finding it more attractive are on the rise, but it’s cigarettes I want more and more often. Not that I will succumb to either weakness.)

Normally the events today (more has happened that the above) – just normal events in themselves (though quite how Ikea can be defined as normal is beyond me) – would have stressed me somewhat. Not to the point of burying myself in a cupboard (none big enough) or suchlike, but certainly I would have got impatient, glared at people, sworn many times, cursed, wondered about the educational and social skills of those around me and I might even have stamped my feet and gestured too. But not today. Today I think only one word can describe me: Serene


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