Retiring friends

Another day in Oxford Circus and another afternoon to spent at leisure. This time I am meeting up with a friend and going out for a late lunch. Indira lives in Chigwell close to me and the choice was a restaurant in Soho or one in Chigwell.

Central London won and as I walk towards Leicester Square from Oxford Circus, the pretty dresses in the shop windows were too irresistible to ignore. Next thing I know, I am walking around the shop gathering everything that caught my fancy. For a change everything fitted me perfectly, but not my age and so some had to go. I must say for the price I would normally pay for one dress, I bought a bag full of goodies. Perfect, and I can’t wait for my summer holidays to begin.

Soon I was running out of time to meet my friend and had to get going. The streets were busy, and then I remembered that it was the half term school holidays as well. With children on their scooters, not looking where they were going and almost running you over, women with buggies trying to slip in front of you into the space that you had created as you walked along briskly, people turning quickly in front of you as they decided on the spur of the moment to enter a shop. The traffic on the roads seemed easier to negotiate compared to the movement on the pavement.

It was the sight of the two policemen walking past and a police car patrolling the streets that suddenly reminded me of the dangers facing us as we go through our busy daily routines. Anyway the thought is not a deterrent and life will go on as normal, regardless.

I reached the station entrance with time to spare. My friend joined me and we made our way to Chinatown and had a lovely meal and caught up with what’s going on in each other’s lives.

I have known Indira for over twenty years. The first time I met her was when she joined Kings College Hospital during our Senior registrar days for her neuroanaesthetic module. We then became Consultants at the same hospital a few months later. She has decided to retire early. The thought of retirement seems to have had a soothing effect on her and she seemed much calmer than she has been over the past few months. One of the best anaesthetists in our department. Someone who gets on with her work without getting embroiled in the workplace politics. Always giving 100% to everything she puts her mind to and that includes the care with which she looks after her patients. Surely a big loss for the department and to her patients. I will miss her on Tuesday afternoons, when I usually bump into her. But we will keep in touch and even if she tries she is not going to disappear from our lives that easily.

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