When you have 300 days of sunshine a year you tend to forget how lucky you are. For us we have the equal number of rainy, dull and dreary days, so when the sun is out we tend to make the most of it. It’s a crime to stay indoors in such good weather. So today after my clinic I put my phone away and met up with my friend, who is from Manipur in India. An AIIMS graduate. We’ve known each other for over 20 years, ever since we were registrars together at King’s Hospital. These days we meet up every few weeks with a couple of other King’s colleagues and go out for a meal.
My friend knows all the nooks and crannies in London like the back of her hand. If it’s a French patisserie, American brasserie, Japanese, Korean or any type of restaurant you fancy she will find the most opulent fancy affordable place in London for you. Most of the places she chooses have either a breathtaking architecture inside or are the most lovely quaint little places. She makes me wonder how I have lived here all these years and have never known that such places existed. Today it was just the two of us and so we met up in Chinatown and had dim sums and caught up with all the news since we last met. From Leicester Square we walked to Piccadilly Circus. It is a route I’ve taken hundreds of times, but she took me another way. On the way she showed me where ‘John Snow’s cholera pump’ was located.
John Snow was not only a pioneer in Anaesthesia, who developed safe ways to administer ether and chloroform, but he also was able to map the spread of a cholera epidemic which resulted in him identifying the source of the outbreak in 1854. He then persuaded the local council to remove the handle of this water pump. This water pump was located in Broad street now known as Broadwick street. This is a story I am quite familiar with, but never knew that the location was within walking distance of Chinatown. It was also the history of anaesthesia which got me interested in my speciality. More of that another time.