Saturday, July 14, 2007

Returning to reality (whatever that is)

I'm finally back to work on a sort of occasional, restricted hours basis. I dare not travel in the rush hours because it is essential that I have a seat, and avoid all risks of anyone standing on or kicking my injured foot, on the 50 minute journey 'twixt beautiful Ruislip and Waterloo. And the effort of getting to work, as well as being there, is very tiring. So I'm doing a few hours, every three days or so, and working as much as possible at home the rest of the time.

It is quite pleasant to travel down mid morning in trains barely half full. Coming home they seem to be crowded no matter what time I choose to depart. But actually the idea of the "rush hour" is very out of date. Huge numbers travel at all times, apart from very early and very late. I can recall when the evening trains would be full of suited men with briefcases rushing home to their dinners in the suburbs (Thank you Mr Betjeman, we'll let you know: Ed). There are a few left, of course, but the travelling public is now representative of the general public, and in world that increasingly works all hours and all days, the transport system is going to do the same.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Lines from a sofa - 2

I've been out of hospital for a week now and all being well will not need to go back (unlike the previous two occasions within the last month). I'm not even confined to the sofa anymore. Both foot and lungs are healing and mobility, in a limited way, has returned. Arm-chairs, dining chairs, even garden chairs, there is no restriction on the form of seating that is now available.

The commuting experience remains the short and tedious journey 'twixt home and Hillingdon Hospital. On Saturday I was called in by letter for a blood test, only to discover once there that the clinic is shut at weekends. Terrific stuff, very good for the blood pressure. The NHS equivalent of being told that all train services are running normally only to find, a few stops down the line, that your destination is unreachable by the normal route and a huge detour beckons. It's just like being on the Piccadilly again.