Drive to work and Christmas number one

A foggy day greets me as I start my drive to work. The ice on the windscreen does not take long to clear, but the roads are covered in a white icy sheen. I drive carefully up the road. Today the roads seem less busy than usual. The school holidays must have started.

Once again the news channel did not appeal to me and I tune into the music channel. I am starting to enjoy the upbeat songs. The more I hear them, the more they are growing on me. I tap my feet in rhythm with the music and follow the traffic as my road snakes up the hill. The mist peaks through the bare branches of the tightly packed trees as I pass the Hainault forest section.

Once the road reaches the top, the fields come into view. The mistiness covers the field giving it a greyish white tint. The hazy blue sky has streaks of white fluffy clouds which look like rivers flowing in unison running across it this morning. Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé’s new duet comes on the radio. A schmaltzy romantic song which could be the new Christmas-number one. It is a play on the senses and the mind. I feel as if I am in some winter wonderland dream sequence. It doesn’t last long. I am back in the real world. I reach the Hospital car park, wave to the security guards and park my car.

My theatre list this morning is not too bad. I see the two patients and get ready in theatre. The first patient arrives. The theatre table refuses to budge. The battery has gone flat, plugging it in doesn’t solve the problem. We need to find a free table. Time ticks on and the table arrives. We start the case and now we are late. It goes well and we finish the two cases on time despite the late start. It’s lunchtime and also time to catch up with my colleagues. Three of my Tuesday colleagues will soon be gone and the place will not be the same again. New faces arrive as the old ones leave. We adapt. We start new friendships. Life goes on.

My afternoon list is cancelled and I am not needed in any other theatre. I go to the preassessment outpatient clinic and look at the high risk patient notes which the nurses have kept aside for us. The afternoon passes and it is time to go home.

Unlike the morning, the roads in the evening at this time of the year is pretty bad. I sit in traffic which is hardly moving and once again listen to the songs. It is dark now and there isn’t much to see as I drive. As I reach the open fields, once again Ed Sheeran comes on the radio. The same song but the solo version. There is no magic this time and my senses are numb as I sit in the slow moving traffic. Then ABBA comes on singing ‘thank you for the music’. I breathe a sigh of relief, sing along and thank the music for keeping me sane on these gridlock days.

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