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2007 - August 1st - Wednesday


JH was really organised: she packed a few things in her wheelie for an overnight stay, and watered her garden pots, before departing to the Railway Station to catch the 1041 train to Paddington.  JH had given Mary her tickets, and a copy of the print-out with seat reservations thereon; JH had got standard class tickets, which included the Underground trip, as first class accommodation – in which JH had travelled postoperatively on her journey home on 25th June – would have proved to be an expensive extravagance, now that she was in her seventh postoperative week.  Mary was already at the station when JH arrived promptly [off the bus], ie, in time for us to buy refreshments from the useful kiosk now on platform 7.  The train departed promptly and the journey was uneventful, although JH had to ask Mary to hike rather a long way to the buffet to get something for JH’s lunch; Mary had brought sandwiches, herself, but not enough to share!  Mary and JH went to the Hammersmith & City Line ‘suburban station’ at Paddington, to save having to change at Edgware Road.  Before this, JH went into the Passenger Services Office to enquire if she could, at least, be taken round to the slope up to the over bridge rather than walking all the way round Paddington Station, but JH was pointed in the direction of the lift, at the end of platform 1, up to the over-bridge – the existence of which JH had failed to notice; JH, yet again, stated that she doubted there would be a lift installed to access the Hammersmith & City Line - whilst she was still alive to use it.


On arriving at Whitechapel Station, JH needed to go to a ‘Hole in the Wall’ to get more cash; the lady at the station barrier said their were two cash machines, one to the right and one to the left; JH turned right – this being in the direction of the pedestrian-controlled crossing outside the Hospital – but that branch, of whatever bank, had obviously been closed and/or vandalised – and the cash machine was decidedly unusable; so JH then went to the machine in the opposite direction, where there was of course a long queue – but the machine at this Barclay’s Bank was working.  As JH walked back to the pedestrian crossing, where Mary had been waiting with our luggage, the heat radiating from the pavements, now bathed in seasonal sunshine, made her feel very hot – but still not as bothered as during 2006’s heatwave.

We arrived at JHH at 3.10pm; Ruth was the Manager On Duty and was quite happy for JH to make Mary a cup of tea, using the supplies in JHH’s kitchen; JH enjoyed a Rich Tea biscuit or two out of a packet labelled ‘Maureen, please help yourself’.  We had a chat with Ruth: JH had quite forgotten that the reason Ruth had ‘ended up’ getting employment as a Manager in JHH was because she stayed there after her husband was admitted to the RLH following an accident in which he received brachial neurological injuries {amongst many other injuries} and from which he had a permanent deficit.  About 4.00pm, Mary left to travel to Mary Haddock’s house in Stanmore. 

JH spent the remainder of the afternoon and evening reading Scattered Homes, Broken Hearts, the poignant story written by Vicky Norman, a Plymouth lady who had been orphaned, and so put into the care of the Local Authority during the War.  When JH went to the hospital restaurant for some supper, she discovered that the lift – which Kathy had wanted to use on previous visits, but which she had constantly found to be out of order - was actually working!  It was extremely hot in the restaurant – as had been observed before – but the building of the new Hospital will not be completed until 2010, when hopefully the restaurant will be rehoused.  JH, who had a room at the back of JHH - the window of which overlooked the back of a row of terraced houses with a strip of lawn as a communal garden – slept well, in between visiting the {en suite} toilet rather more frequently than before being put on Zanidip!