Over the weekend I broke the little finger on my left hand. Apart from the agonising pain which subsequently ensued, this event brought with it a rather tantalising treat; a trip to A&E. Oh, I know what you’re thinking – that doesn’t sound like much of an outing. I’ll admit it’s not quite a night in the West End, or a day at The Sanctuary, but it’s a solo trip out and beggars with three children can’t be choosers.
The last time I picked up the Daily Mail, average waiting times in A&E were three to four hours. Three to four hours! That’s three to four hours of reading magazines, snacking on vending machine Snickers and doing edits without infant interruptus. The prospect was positively mouth-watering.
Armed with a takeaway Starbucks, four back issues of Grazia, a wedge of manuscript and a French manicure kit, I settled myself into a moulded plastic seat between a knee injury and a miscellaneous stomach cramp. Coffee still too hot to drink, I opened the first magazine with a contented sigh.
“Emily Carlisle? The doctor will see you now.”
Now? Barely ten minutes since I parked the car? Don’t these people read the Daily Mail?
“Really?” I said. “Right now? Wouldn’t you like to see some of these people first? I don’t mind, really…”
Two fingers of my left hand strapped together in a Spock-style salute, I drove gingerly home, still sipping my latte. I passed a rather nice pub in Woodstock, and contemplated stopping off to while away a child-free afternoon in its garden with Grazia and a glass of Pimms.
How was A&E, darling? Oh it was simply ghastly, I was there for hours…”
But of course I wouldn’t do a thing like that. Would I?