Wednesday April 23, 2008
Yesterday to the little old Bridgwater General Hospital for a full chest x-ray. Like a blast from the past, this, with the x-ray department in a small side-building to the original small infirmary, almost buried under similar small side-buildings. There had been a brave attempt to brighten the interior with a coat of pastel lilac wall paint and colourful posters on the wall warning of the dangers of x-rays while pregnant. I wasn’t kept waiting too long before being ushered into the inner sanctum stuffed with radiological gear. It’s a long, long time since I had an x-ray and I’d forgotten just how unnaturally cold the plate is when you have to stand resting your naked torso on it.
“Eeek!” I said.
“I know,” the nice young radiologist said. “I’m sorry, but I did warn you. You’d be surprised how often I’ve heard similar complaints. Not always so polite, though.”
“Not your fault,” I said. “I should have been ready.”
The shot was over in a second and I had to wait only a short time in my little cubicle to be smiled at and told that all was well. “The Consultant will read your plate and report to your G.P. in about ten days.”
She’s not allowed to comment on the results, of course, but I reckon from her smile and body language and the length of time it’ll take before I get the results that there’s nothing wrong of an immediately apparent nature. It is only a safety check to be sure that my obesity isn’t related to some internal failure.
And then, off into the sunshine to call Graham back from his Costa Coffee and to return home.
Graham in Bridgwater
Then, this morning, I woke singing Land of Hope and Glory, and There’ll Always be an England, merry as the day is long. It’s St George’s Day, you see. I even dug around in my memory and found some fractured lyrical memories of Rose of England. It’s not been fashionable to note that one is English, nor to celebrate our national saint’s day. All of a sudden it is, and there were St George’s flags everywhere.
St George’s flags everywhere
It was an odd day altogether, really, with trips to the Tanton garden centre and to the Bridgwater Royal Mail depot. And sunshine. Sunshine all day once the early morning cloud had cleared. Even now, and 18:15, its still sunny, and there’s some real heat in that sun.
“Hot,” said Graham, fresh from cutting the grass.
“Yes. I have a feeling it’ll be a while now before we’re complaining of the cold.”
“Still hot. You got any squash in the fridge?”
“I got apple juice, and apple squash.”
And here I am, at the end of the day, still singing my Isn’t it good to be English songs. Wanna join in?
First, Land of Hope and Glory, sung by Kathleen Ferrier:
Second, There’ll Always be an England, sung by Vera Lynn:
And last, Rose of England. I can’t find a video file for it, nor even an audio one. It was a popular song from ‘Crest of a Wave’, by Ivor Novello. Everyone knew the words of the refrain when I was a kid:
Rose of England, thou shalt fade not here,
Proud and bright from rolling year to year.
Red shall thy petals be as rich wine untold
Shed by thy warriors who served thee of old.
Rose of England, breathing England’s air,
Flower of Chivalry beyond compare;
While hand and heart endure to cherish thy prime,
Thou shalt blossom to the end of Time.
Ah well. Here’s to freedom, to pride of place, and to the songs that say it for us.