Running late

Thursday didn’t go as planned. I arrived at the hospital for my appointment with the Orthopaedic consultant and waited. After about half an hour one of the nurses wrote on a whiteboard that there was a waiting time of 60 minutes after appointment time. That was at 9.30am so goodness knows how behind they’s be for those with later appointments!   Given that there were at least twenty people before me, and only one person had been called since I got there, I thought this was probably a conservative estimate and the receptionist agreed. As I had a train to catch later in the morning, I rebooked he appointment for the following week.

Picking up my suitcase from home, I had time for a quick cup of coffee before husband gave me a lift to  the station. I went inside to buy my ticket only to be told that the train had been cancelled. With no alternative but to wait for the next one, I sent a text to Daughter to let her know that I’d be late meeting her in Birmingham. Had I been catching the train from Birmingham to Milton Keynes as originally planned I’d have missed my connection. A brief aside – cost of ticket for 40 minute journey from local station to Birmingham £5.90. Total cost if I had gone from local station to Birmingham and then changed to the train to Milton Keynes (over 2 hours) £6.00 !


Arriving in Birmingham  I received a text from Daughter and guess what…her meeting was running late! After a lengthy (and chilly) wait at the station, we finally got together. Deciding that rather than have lunch we’d go straight to Bedfordshire, so we walked to the car park, passing the city library – not every ones cup of tea architecturally but certainly a noticeable landmark, and rather stunning inside.There is a lovely roof garden where they grow vegetables, and it has panoramic views of the city.  In front of it is a huge water feature. You can see how the library is reflected in the water.


In common with most major cities, there is constant building work going on but it is making it a more attractive place. Another feature which raises some eyebrows is the piece of artwork The River by Dhruva Mistry which won an international design competition. Referred to by the locals as ‘The floozie in the jacuzzi’  it’s one of those love it or hate it pieces. A few years after it was positioned, it began to leak and instead of being repaired was filled with plants. Nevertheless the name remains but it was announced last month that after six years there is now funding available to get the fountain working again.

After a lovely couple of days with Daughter, her partner and little girl, I caught the train from Milton Keynes (about 25 minutes from Daughter’s home) to Birmingham. The journey was uneventful, and on time, but it might not have been since I had received an email early that morning to say that there were train delays of up to two hours! It even mentioned that National Express coaches may be substituted.  Maybe I’ll review my decision not to drive to Bedfordshire in future.







  1. Re the clinics, a lot of the appointments are double, triple or even more appointments operating on the premise that not everyone will turn up. I used to have to do patient interviews (for clinical trial uptakes) and you’d be surprised, or maybe not, at the high percentage of ‘did not attend’ appointments. Early morning appointments were usually the worst. Recommendation from the clinic nurses was always to go for early afternoon or very late in the day but if the latter, you sometimes need to be strong willed to get all your questions in as the medics can be desperate to get home!

    Re Brum to Milton Keynes, after one memorable trip when I got on my local (International) and then the train got stuck at Berkswell because someone had struck the railway bridge (again) so we had to wait for the bridge to be repaired, then the engineering train doing the repair broke down, then the shunting train that was sent to move that broke down ………. I was going to London (via Coventry and MK) for a mid morning meeting, I’d spent 8 minutes on the train before the fiasco, then two and a half hours sitting there, so when we finally started moving, I got off at Coventry, crossed over to the other side and caught a train straightaway back to International lol. Actually had quite a happy ending though as was supposed to be colleague and myself travelling but she’d called a sickie, work never asked for the tickets back so we used the claims procedure and got full price of our tickets plus compensation back – paid to us direct! Never managed to fiddle my expenses so that was a happy day 🙂


    • What a nightmare trip. We had a couple of those – one having booked first class seats to Leeds and finding drunk rugby fans had plastered them with burgers and sauce, and another when we were stuck outside Coventry for two hours. We got compensation. Yes, they book several people at the same time for hospital appointments. I was booked at 9am today ….supposedly the first appointment but still wasn’t called until 9.20


  2. Oh, what a hectic and tiring day, Eloise. And what a long wait in the hospital, even before you decided to re-book your appointment. “The flooszie in the jacuzzi” reminds me of the statue of Molly Malone in Dublin, or as the coach tour guide called her, “The tart with the cart”!
    But even though it was a long, tiring and stressful day for you, lovely to see your daughter. Yes, you might decide to drive next time!
    Margaret P


    • Yes, Molly Malone is known as The tart with the cart’. I wonder who thinks up these names. It was good to see Daughter as its been a few weeks


    • It must be very frustrating for the receptionists. Some people take it out on them even though it’s not their fault


  3. I’m glad that you were able to meet up with your daughter even with all the delays! It’s good that you were able to reschedule your doctor’s appointment, as well. Even with driving, there can be delays due to traffic, accidents, etc. But, for the most part, one can leave on time!


    • It seems to be that there are delays everywhere and with everything. But it was all worth it to get some time with my daughter


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