The LTLP has had a small operation.

Only a minor thing. But thanks for your concern – there is no need to send flowers, release charity records etc.

I arrive at the hospital to pick her up.

I have actually been quite worried about her, but at times like these it is always important not to let that show, just in case you relay concern to the patient. So I had been making jokes about death, her not waking up etc. Now it was done, I didn’t have to maintain this difficult façade, and I bounded into the ward just grateful to see her, despite not having had time for any lunch.

“Hellooooo!!!!” I cried, plonking myself down in the chair beside her.

She was still very groggy after the general anaesthetic.

“Urghhh,” she replied.

I glanced over her. She was still wearing a hospital-issue gown and some surgical stockings. I didn’t want to feel put out, but I hadn’t seen her for a couple of days and was just a little let down that she hadn’t made more of an effort.

“So – how did it go?” I asked.

“Urghhh,” she explained.

We conversed like this for a while, whilst I twirled my car keys around my finger. Although she was clearly in a state of recovery, she didn’t seem to appreciate the cost of using an NCP car park. I glanced at my watch.

A nurse approached the bed. I was a bit disappointed – they don’t dress anything like they do in the videos. She seemed very nice, however, and had a thermometer and everything.

“You should start to feel much better very soon,” she explained. “Would you like a glass of water, or some toast?”

“Oooh, toast please!” I replied. “That’s very kind of you.”

She ignored me and took the LTLP’s temperature, before disappearing through the curtain to the next bed..

“We’ll have you out of there and home in no time,” I said. “You’ve not eaten for over twelve hours now – no wonder you feel weak.”

Fortunately, the best curry house in town was just down the road.

“Urghhh,” she said.

“Urghhh,” came the noise from the next bed. At least I think it was “Urghhh.” It could have been “Ohhhh!!!!” or “Eeeaaaahhh!!!!”

“You take your time,” I offered, kindly. “I’ve got the new Nick Cave album and some Leonard Cohen for the drive home.”

“Urghhh.”

I sat and wished I’d brought a newspaper and some sandwiches.

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