I Was Watching Broadchurch

It’s Tuesday 28th March and I’m currently sitting with my missus at a Leeds oncology unit, awaiting her four weekly treatment.

As I perch uncomfortable on a blue fake leather sofa, my eyes are drawn to three doors opposite. Adjacent to the matt grey doorways, signage kindly informs anyone who’s interested that this trio of portals lead to rooms for ‘NHSBT Clean Utility’, ‘Kitchen Staff Only’ along with a ‘NHSBT Store’ room.

Also decorated with a matt finish, the light plum coloured walls skirting the periphery of each doorway gawp back at me. As I inexplicably try to stare out this plum painted plasterwork. It probably thinks “Chuffing hell, Gary!…. You must be bereft of inspiration today. You’ve stooped to the level of talking about hospital portals and their signage.”

The walls are right to some extent, but I’d counter this by telling them it’s more challenging to paint a scene descriptive of my current bland view, than the scenic views bestowed where I ordinarily write. I’m taking myself out of my comfort zone to a certain extent.

A stethoscope clad doctor with a look of late actor Anthony Perkins, who played psychotic murderer Norman Bates in Hitchcock’s movie Psycho, has just wandered menacingly through our waiting area.

Perkins isn’t the only one who’s late as my wife should have gone in for her treatment ten minutes ago….. Oh, hold on, they’ve just shouted her now.

Call me neurotic but I’m relieved that I’m not seeing this doctor. I’d be uneasy about trusting the diagnosis of a man who looks like a character who sporadically takes on the character of his dead mother…… For instance, how would I know he isn’t giving his prognosis while taking on his deceased mater’s persona?

She won’t have been to medical school for 5-6 years, making the accuracy of her thoughts on the root cause of a patients symptoms highly questionable.

I’d not just be concerned about the diagnosis’ accuracy. I’d also have fears if the characteristics of his mother manifested themselves I could be bludgeoned to death with a reflex hammer, strangled by stethoscope or smothered with a prescription pad.

I’m not sure why I’m rambling on about my concerns of being the victim of medical malpractice, after all I’m not even a patient. Yours truly is merely here to accompany my missus while she receives treatment aimed at controlling her tumours.

Thankfully, so far this medication has mitigated against the further disease growth of the stoic  wee lady’s liver, breast and bones.

When I commenced penning this narrative, my wife was sitting next to me on the blue fake leather settee. She’d been given a short questionnaire by the receptionist on our arrival, which she swiftly completed prior to moving onto reading a new book .

Although I couldn’t quite catch the questions requiring answers, I’d like to think they went something like this:-



 Question                                                                        Yes  –  No  –  I was watching


Is your name Karen?

If yes, are you sure?

What were you doing 9pm yest?

Was it good drama?

Should Hayley have stayed in Corrie?

Do you think Lenny Henry did it?

Does your Dr have a look of Norman Bates?

If yes, does it unnerve you?

Do you own a Segway?

Why didn’t you watch C4 at 9pm yest?


Right, I need to make tracks as I’ve some gardening chores and Karen wants me to take her to price Segways.

1 Comment

  1. Well, I don’t know quite what to say. As I am also a cancer survivor, including 6 months of chemotheraphy, I am certainly symphathetic with both your and your Karen’s plight. This morning, as I listen to the sound of my sprinkler system watering whatever there is to water, I am preparing to leave on a thousand mile plus road trip with my daughter in order to attend my grandson’s graduation from Police Academy in Tampa, Florida. As a retired and trained police officer myself, I certainly have a better understanding of just what he has been through than most, and I did promise months ago that I would attend his graduation if possible. So, it’s off to Tampa to fulfill a grandfather’s promise and the simple pleasure of watching the road disappear under the hood of our vehicle for the next 10 plus hours or so. In my past younger years I have been an over the road professional truck driver, so this is very familiar to me. Sometime back in time I thought of the many, many miles that I have driven in my lifetime and I compute this number roughly at some 3 million miles or so. Additionally, I owned and flew airplanes for over 30 years and during that period I accumulated some 2700 hours of pilot in command time in my flight logbook, which is considerably more that a full years working time that I have spent above the surface of this planet! I was fortunate in not having any damage during this time, although there were a few events that kind of caused me to bite holes in the seat that I normally set in! So, I am not any stranger to extensive travel, and America is a reasonably large country. China is much bigger, for instance, but I doubt the movement by the average public there reaches the proportions that occur here on a daily basis. As I write this, I am waiting for sunup and the possible arrival of a storm which the forecasters have cautioned may contain a great deal of possible mayhem, including large amounts of rain, wind, tornadoes, flooding, hailstones, pestilence, and unknown whatever else. I just looked at the national radar summary on my cell phone. The storm was just west of San Antonio when last I looked an hour ago, and it is indeed a big one with red, some purple, and yellow squall line imbedded in a storm that looks like it is as big as most of west Texas. This has developed overnight as the merging of 2 low pressure areas coming together, and points out a peculiar condition somewhat confined to the central United States. The heat necessary to drive this monster storm is not derived from the sun in the usual fashion, but is gathered from the compression of the 2 systems coming together! Most storms are in the afternoon, this one has came at night! One thing flying so many hours for someone who had to pay all the costs himself has taught me is a deeper understanding of what causes weather to happen as well as the conditions that it will create! This is brought about because of the necessity of the most basic tenet of flying, that is the need to always make an equal number of takeoffs and successful landings! Well, I have rambled on long enough to bore a lot of folks, so I will wind this up. I have been a very active adult all my many years, and this has not stopped. If anything, the amount of things to do that are either nice or necessary steadily seem to increase, as there seems to be a natural law that says you will have more coming in to do each day than what you can do each day! Oh, well, we all do what we can, and somehow seem to get through all the rest. Speaking of things to do, I will probably not be a regular contributor here because of these time constraints, but I felt this was appropriate today! I wish all who read this have a great and safe day!

Leave a Reply