August 13th, 2008

At Barley Clough

 The waiting room at the the Barley Clough medical centre is neo-neo-classical- about forty foot high and a bit like a mausoleum or temple. It has a high pitched roof with glass in it and as there are no tall buildings or trees nearby, all you can see if you look up is sky.  Today the vapour trails- very high up- were going in one direction and the common or garden clouds- much lower down- in the other. It's a very calming space. I don't know who designed it, but he or she has my gratitutude. 

They had the radio on. I could wish they hadn't. Piped music imposes a mood. And if I'm sitting waiting to see my doctor I don't really want the melancholy, end-of- civilisation-as-we-know-it rock 'n' roll of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers shaping how I feel.  Mozart would be better or Andean flute song or tinkling cow bells- something high and thin and mountainous. And I don't need the DJs talking at me through their toothy smiles between tracks.

(I don't own an ipod. I rarely listen to music round the house. If I do it's because I've made a conscious choice. Music is tricky stuff. It comes in when I invite it in, not otherwise.)

There was a poster on the pin board pointing out that the Koran allows sick persons to take their medicines during the Ramadan fast. Instead they can gain merit by feeding the poor. How sensible. And don't binge when you break your fast.  Islam frowns on over-eating. 

Ailz got into a conversation with the woman sitting opposite about paint and wallpaper and water bills. The woman had once been very beautiful- and was still very beautiful if you think heavy wear and tear deepens beauty- which I do.  A small child- belonging to someone else- came and tried to lift the wallpaper rolls- heavy to her as ingots- out of the woman's bag.  How amazing to have only just started walking! Of course you have to go everywhere. Of course you have to examine and handle everything.