I’m working on a review of Breath by Tim Winton but today I’m in the mood for something light. So here a few pics and an extract from an excellent piece by Hilary Mantel writing in the LRB about her experience at a British hospital (reminds me of Litlove’s excellent blog the other day):
I have to hurry to keep pace with the nurse. Can I befriend her? Will she tell me what comes next? Can I even make her look at me? She is young, dumpy and pallid, and recalcitrance runs from her pores. I have already learned this: if you are assertive the staff bristle, if you are gentle and friendly they blank you. I used to work in a hospital myself, so I know about the necessary cushioning of professionalism. But this is not professionalism; it is hostility, and resentement at having to walk the Green Mile late at night, with a woman breathless beside you twisting the wedding ring on her finger. I don’t want much, I don’t want to put her on oath; I want to protect my husband, to know where he’s going so I can find him again and I want to be acknowledged with a human word. Finally, crushingly, she says: “This is what we call diverticulitis.” It is almost irresistible to say, this is what we call a punch in the head.
Very evocative writing (and moving too). I want to read more by her.
Here are the photos – I love the one of my dog looking expectantly (and quite happy with herself for having found a shaft of sunlight to sit in, with a lovely mat underneath as well):