The Unfamiliar Familiar

Today was my first day back on the hospital site for 3 weeks. I was a little apprehensive about it I’ll be honest. Not particularly about being back at work after a week’s annual leave, but being on site, where there are people, lots of people and patients, lots of patients. I think I was more apprehensive about that than the fact that I actually had to go and sit in my old office to cover for my number two whilst she’s on annual leave, which meant being back with the team that I moved on from just over a month ago.

I went straight to my old office, and set up my laptop and settled back into the smells and sounds that are along that corridor. Then I went in to the main office where everyone else is and said hello. There were a few comments like “where have you been?” but some nice enquiries about how I was getting on in my secondment role. I asked after each of them and how they were getting on generally, and explained that I’d been sitting in my old office for a couple of days whilst V was on annual leave, so if there was anything they needed, to just shout. To be honest, they know what they are doing and are quite capable of getting on with it but every now and then someone throws a curve ball that puts things out of kilter so I was just here to make sure that they were ok. They don’t need me, and that’s fine.

I had occasion to walk through the hospital site where nothing much seemed to have changed since I was last here. Although there was the vaccine hub outside and new tented waiting area. There were fewer people wandering around, only people that absolutely should be here are being allowed in the front door.

At lunchtime I went for what used to be my usual walk around the perimetre of the hospital site. Sometimes that walk became a bit of a chore, doing it because I felt I ought to do some exercise, but also rather boring as you can’t go very far in half an hour. Today, it almost seemed like a brand new walk. The season has been marching on and buds are starting to sprout as the first throws of spring are imminent.

The sights and sounds of a busy hospital go on, with or without you. It was quite reassuring that there was some familiarity about it, even if it did feel a bit odd being here.


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