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The Human League (of friends)

And welcome to Leatherhead Hospital. Part of the East Elmbridge and Mid Surrey Primary Care Trust, because today boys & girls, Geoff is visiting the Dermotologist.

But this does mean that I’m stuck in a waiting room for a while as I get waited to be seen, and if there’s one place more than my leaky shower, or my (now sold) car that gets my though processes running – then it’s a waiting room.

They always get me thinking – as there is a fine line between hope and desperation in these places.

The League of Friends shop screams of trying to be friendly and helpful, but at the same time, it also makes you slightly depressed.

People never come to hospitals because they are 100% healthy – no, they come here because they are sick, ill, unhappy.

“Please switch off all mobile phones” says a friendly sign. No problem with mine – the battery is dead and my Nokia lies dormant in my pocket anyway.

But there’s something about this waiting room and that LOF shop that is depressing me. It sells packs of Werthers Originals, Hob Nob biscuits, and a stand of crap greetings cards that you would be embarassed to receive – even off of your mum.

Mr. BumpTake a break‘, ‘Hello‘, and ‘Saga Magazine‘ is the available reading material in the pile next to me. All of them are over 6 months old and tatty at the corners. Oh hang on, I’m saved! Right at the bottom of the magzine pile are a couple of Roger HargreavesMr. Bump and Mr. Messy no less. Time to relive some childhood memories.

If I want an X-Ray, then it’s off to my left apparantly. Hysteroscopy and Colposcopy are straight ahead. I have no idea what Colposcopy is until I looked it up here just now.

There is a sign on the wall advertising ‘Steady’ – A support group for amputees.

OvaltineThe blackboard outside the cafe advertises the price of drinks – Tea costs 30p. Coffee 40p, and the best one – Ovaltine for 45p. Yes, Ovaltine! The only person I knew who ever drank that was my grandmother when she was in her 70’s and it was her bedtime drink.

Harmless Housewife FM is playing in the background. Well Magic or Heart – something bland like that anyway. Ooh! Except now they’ve started playing the Human League classic – “Don’t you want me”. I start humming along and tapping my fingers.

I suddenly realise that I am the only patient I have seen in the last 20 minutes I’ve spent in the waiting room that hasn’t got white hair.

There is a library style trolly with second hand books on it. “Book Sale” says the sign done in Word with the piece of book clipart that everyone uses. “Hardbacks – �1, Paperbacks – 50p, Mills & Boon – 25p”. Entertaining romantic stories obviously not as big a hit as they used to be then.

I eventually get called in and get checked out. Nothing needs doing, and so I leave unscathed. I go to call for a taxi home, but phone battery is of course dead. I go into the League of Friends shop to get some change from a pound coin to use the pay phone.

Now I feel bad for putting the whole place down. People who work at hospitals are wonderful people, from the doctors and nurses right down to the receptionist and even the part time volunteer who works in the LOF shop. I feel slightly sheepish, and slink off home.

22 responses to “The Human League (of friends)”

  1. Paul Webb says:

    By (un)happy co-incidence I went to a Doctors today to have something prodded. The only entertainmewnt I had was Lorraine Kelly with the sound off. Think yourself lucky.

  2. James (510) says:

    Did you ever have one of those Mr Bump gel packs? They worked wonders for headaches.

  3. Fimb says:

    Good news nothing more was needed.

    And just be very very grateful you know nothing of colposcopies!

  4. Mikey says:

    Did Geoff has his camera, or is he just good at memorising things like the prices of different drinks in hospital waiting rooms?

  5. geofftech says:

    Er.. I sat there with my laptop writing this blog entry off-line taking note of my surrounding and typing it up! I then posted it when I got back home later.

    Hope your prod was harmless, Paul!

  6. Ross says:

    You mean you did not manage to hack their wireless connection?

  7. geofftech says:

    I did of course scan for wireless activity! But all it could find was a “computer to computer” wireless thing, and not a proper access point. And it wouldn’t let me connect anyway…

  8. If you feel the need to read Mr Men stories, I think I have a job for you. Part time basis; 10 minutes a night.

  9. Tower Block Tina says:

    You’ll be grateful for the old NHS when you are in the pay upfront expensive USA health system. I am having foot surgery in 3 weeks time, and am wondering if things have changed in 22 years since I was last an inpatient.

    I went for a pre-op-assessment and they told me my rights etc and that ‘I could expect pain’ Do they think I will sue them if they hadn’t warned me about the pain? Apparently Morphine is readily available, I only have to ask.

    Whoaaa, can’t wait.

  10. geofftech says:


    New guy has been and gone this morning. Someone much better. He found another leak! Definetely fixed this time, and it only cost me a third of what the other guy cost me the other day…

  11. Paul says:

    A Colposcopy is something my father in law had recently! I’d go into details, but its lunchtime!

  12. Moley says:

    So the question is – were you ripped off the other day?

    Do you feel ripped off?

  13. geofftech says:

    I don’t think i was ripped off. i chose an expensive plumber because i was it was urgent and i was in a hurry. but there were two problems – he solved one, and he missed the other.

    new guy this morning spotted the other one straight away. just one of those things. trying not to think about the money. life could be worse .. i could be having to go for a colposcopy… (Not sure we need the details Paul, but thanks for other offer!)

    be thankful if you have your health people – money isn’t everything. ooh… look at me, i’m getting all philisophical and emotional in my last few days…

  14. Julia says:

    I’m still getting over the shock news that Leatherhead has a hospital!

  15. The Divine Mrs M says:

    Um – Colposcopy is something for the ladies.. :-/

    #11 – If your father in law had one recently I’d be a touch concerned…!

    FYI – you get to see a part of your body that is not normally visible to anyone on a large TV screen in living colour. Sorry – was that TMI??!! Interesting and not altogether comfortable experience nontheless.

  16. Paul says:

    Maybe I am thinking of his colonoscopy then? … the one when they shove a camera between your cheeks and see up your “a hole”. Well, thas what he had! Eugh!

  17. Bob Hannent says:

    Someone I know had a colonoscopy recently, and it was conducted at the “Rapid Access Clinic” and they give you “Post Discarge Information” leaflets.

  18. Ben says:

    You’re leaving? And why was I not informed?

  19. The Divine Mrs M says:

    #16 – cheeks, camera, different hole. Followed by laser treatment. Fun way to spend an afternoon. Not.

    # 18 – Oh Do Keep Up..!

  20. geofftech says:

    #19 – Thank you Mrs M! Where have you been for the last six months Ben?

    So : My Thursday. Was a busy one. My flat is umm… practically empty, it looks quite scary. I’ll take some ’empty room’ photos in a sec and post them up.

    If anyone isn’t aware of my drinks today/this afternoon/this evening, then email me and i’ll tell you where it’s happening…

  21. Tower Block Tina says:

    To put the record straight, a Colposcopy is a follow-up examination given to women following an abnormal smear test according to, whereas a Colonoscopy is a camera inserted into the Colon via the Rectum.

    I know I’ve had one, great T.V. watching your own insides, bit like that 60’s film ‘Fantastic Voyage’ where a team of Scientists were shrunk and went round someone’s body fixing some illness on a little boat.

    They did their job and floated out of a tear-duct before regaining their correct size.

  22. Adham says:

    A massive delayed reaction on this, I know, but the Human League rule. Geoff, there’s a song called ‘The Things That Dreams Are Made Of’ on the ‘Dare’ album, containing lots of things that you should probably do in your life. One of them is to “take a drive across the Golden Gate”. How far is that away from you?

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