Thursday, 14 April 2011
Taking a book
with me when I go to the local health clinic is almost second nature. I am fortunate that I do not need to go too often (touch wood!) but, when I do go, I know I may well have to wait. I need to be there on time but the doctor may not be on time. There is always reading matter there. There is the state newspaper and a range of magazines. It is all most people want. I prefer to take a book. It is usually something I must read rather than something for pleasure. I have also been known to take a calculator to collate some statistics and a manuscript that needs proof reading. As I have sometimes had to wait as much as half an hour I can get quite a bit done in that time. If I had a laptop I would probably take that. Only once have I seen someone else doing what might be termed "work" while waiting. There was a student frowning earnestly over a fat volume of chemistry. He scribbled notes as he worked. I also saw an elderly woman knitting once. She was making a sock. A small child was watching her with absolute fascination. Other people just sit and flip through the pages of magazines. A man will occasionally read the paper. There is now a television set, sound turned low, always on a commercial station. Some people appear to stare at it but not really see it. I wonder about all this. Are all these people so ill that they are unable to do anything else? Are they too anxious about the forthcoming appointment to concentrate on anything else? Or are they content to just sit and wait? Admittedly parents with small children will sometimes try to occupy or distract their children with the box of blocks and books for children but so many other people just seem to sit. I do not have time for that. Even if I did it is better to try and do something. All I wanted yesterday was my annual influenza vaccination but it was better to be doing something. When my turn came and the doctor came out and asked me in (my GP is a very polite man) he said, "I am sorry I kept you waiting but I see you came well prepared again." Yes, I like to be well prepared. I like to think that if I were to be captured I would have something to read.