Around London in 80 days
In these uncertain times, I need a lifeline and a horizon so I have — somewhat arbitrarily I’ll admit — set a date. April 1st will be my horizon ; my lifeline will be the 80 days separating me from it.
And as I cannot go around the world right now, I give you A Mad Belgian’s “Around London in 80 Days” : eighty impressions of London, eighty stories, places, thoughts from my experience of this wonderfully mad and maddening city.
Day 57: NHS
As I moved to different neighbourhoods in London, I switched surgeries a few times. They were all slightly too efficient, treating patients quickly but not personally. Never got to see the same GP twice. Didn’t know the name of any nurse or doctor.
I don’t blame them, I know things are hard. The NHS is underfunded and often overcrowded. Its doctors and nurses constantly overworked.
Yet when I walked into the Well Street Surgery for the first time, feeling rough and depressed and overwhelmed with London, the nurse on duty took the time to really help. She asked how I was, talked to me for a while, recommended a doctor for me to see (“They’re all nice here, but he’s particularly sweet, I’m sure he will help you get through this rough patch”).
It didn’t feel rushed, didn’t feel anonymous. She took the time to connect, to listen, to establish a rapport.
And just like that, London didn’t seem so scary anymore.