Disconnected Conversations

There’s something strange about the way that sitting in the artificially subdued quiet of a hospital ward lends itself to hearing so many snatches of conversation from around you. People choose some very strange things to whisper about – perhaps without realising that others can hear clearly in the clinical reflectivity of the lino and unadorned walls. It can be frightening to learn that a person’s voting decisions are driven by a version of history that bears no relation to any reality, either one conjured up by the victors of the last war or one carefully researched afterwards. Such is the nature of democracy in a world of half-truths and carefully concocted stories. Now you’re probably wondering – what am I doing in a hospital ward? This is a story that is not manufactured although, even as one of it’s participants, I still suspect that I don’t have all of the facts!

Friday was a day of pre-Christmas meet-ups with old work colleagues. Normally I would attend both the Lords Telephone Exchange event in Holborn and the Rasor Team gathering in Spitalfields. With my current health issues I decided that I would be best sticking to just one of these gatherings and I opted to go to the Rasor meet. We were due to meet up at 17:00 so I left home at 15:45. My journey to the Pride of Spitalfields public house was uneventful and a pleasant evening with old friends got underway.

On Friday afternoon after leaving work my Wife, Epi, was doing some ‘Retail Therapy’. At around 14:30 (the actual time is a little unclear) while crossing Tottenham Court Road, she was knocked down by a moped. A big ‘thank you’ at this point to some passersby who stopped to render assistance and called the Ambulance and Police. London Ambulance took her to University College Hospital where she was treated by the A&E staff – once again, my thanks to these dedicated professionals.

At this point, things become a little fuzzy. Epi called our Son, Alasdair, to tell him where she was – he was still in College at the time, so that was before 17:00. She then called her brother to tell him too. But, for some reason, she didn’t call me!!! So there I am enjoying an evening out, totally unaware that my Wife is lying in a hospital bed. Finally, around 21:00, Epi sent me a text message asking me to bring in some clean items in the morning. Because of the noise in the restaurant / pub I didn’t hear that text pop into my inbox. I said goodnight to the guys and headed down the underground to go home at around 22:00. I finally pulled out my phone at East Finchley circa 22:50 to call Epi and let her know I’m almost home. That’s the point at which I finally became aware of the drama that had been unfolding over in Fitzrovia. The good thing is that Epi’s Brother was able to get to the hospital and spend the evening with her – thanks mate!

Communication restored I was able to confirm with Epi what she needed and arrange to bring things in on the Saturday morning. Even so, one of her text messages was so ‘slurred’, for want of a better word, that I spent a very restless night worrying – nothing I could do at that point as visiting time was long since over. So I went down to the hospital on Saturday morning with the change of clothes and spent the whole day with her as we waited for final assessment and discharge. We finally got home around 19:45 in a minicab.

Epi is lucky not to have had a bleed on the brain after banging her head against the kerb – she has an excellent roadrash just below her eye and a deep cut from her glasses frame just above it. Equally fortunately, nothing was broken but she has extensive bruising to her hip and chest. It’ll be a while before she can walk properly – currently she needs assistance from me, and has to use a stick. The stairs are a problem but will become less so over the coming week.

It’s amazing that in our modern world we can still find ourselves out of communication with our loved ones for all sorts of reasons. Epi thought I had already left home when I hadn’t, and thinks that was why she didn’t call me. I wonder if she subconsciously didn’t want to disturb my day out. I guess we’ll never know the answer to that one!


  1. My goodness, Martin. What a frightening ordeal for you all. It’s truly remarkable that Epi wasn’t more seriously injured, but her recovery will still take time, I’m sure. You didn’t mention whether the moped driver was of any assistance to her? I am glad to know that others did indeed come to her assistance. Even with our modern technology we still can’t be on alert 24/7. What a story!

    And I had to smile at your opening remarks about things overheard in a hospital. All too often I cringe at what I overhear in political opinion. When people don’t know history, refuse to read, and generally “shoot from the hip” with little care of facts, I often have to walk away for fear I’m going to become combative. 😦

    1. Hi Debra – Thanks for popping by πŸ™‚ The moped driver did stay and the Police were checking his insurance and the insurance of the delivery company’s vehicle – Epi doesn’t know the outcome of that. As for the conversations… 😦

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