We just drove my father-in-law to Accident and Emergency. He stood the pain from last Thursday's fall for as long as he could and has finally decided to have himself looked at. He wouldn't call an ambulance. People- neighbours- would see it on the street- and what on earth would they think?
He's stoical too. And he hates being an old man.
Who can blame him?
I have previous with hospitals. As a young man I did a couple of stints as a nursing auxiliary- in Sheffield and at South London's pioneering St Christopher's Hospice. At this distance in time I'm not sure why- because I hated it.
Stoical I suppose.
And when I was a vicar the part of the job I hated most- apart from the ever so jolly social events- was the hospital visiting.
The A&E staff sit behind glass- bulletproof I shouldn't wonder. The clerk's voice reaches us over a speaker system. My father-in-law gives out his details crisply, smartly- like a wonded soldier. He wasn't a soldier, he was in the RAF police. Same thing, I suppose.
And after that he was a railwayman.
Waiting times this morning are calculated at about an hour. I'll guess there are some thirty people in the room. They're sitting on two banks of seats, facing each other- with nothing in the middle.
I get my in-laws seated and leave them. They'll ring when they need us.
We're back home- waiting. Ailz has just popped next door. We've been hearing high pitched noises and we think Sameena must have had her baby.