Friends, Romans & Yorkshiremen….
I count myself lucky that during my half century or so on this planet (and the others I sometimes wander off to) I’ve had the opportunity to visit many awe inspiring, historical and iconic buildings.
Included amongst these majestic structures are the Cathedral at Notre Dame in Paris, St Peter’s Basilica in Rome, Burj al Arab in Dubai, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, New York’s Grand Central Station and The Duomo in Florence.
Yours truly outside of the Colosseum in Rome, January 2012
Timeless constructions that stir the soul, compel us to marvel at the design and engineering skills of their creators and, in the case of Pisa’s famous tilting campanile, wonder how the hell it doesn’t topple over.
This morning as Karen and I sat patiently, prior to her undergoing a cardiac procedure, thoughts of these wonderful buildings reverberated around my neurological corridors. They aren’t as easy to navigate as the LGI hospital corridors but they reached there destination eventually.
The catalyst of these nostalgic ramblings wasn’t the fact that my escort on all of the above trips was about to undergo an angioplasty. No, it was moreover the fact that I spent two and half hours at her bedside looking out on the Generator Building of Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). A structural polar opposite of the outstanding structures I mention above.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t expect to have Byzantine, Renaissance or Baroque period architecture pleasing my eyes while my wife awaits treatment at Leeds Teaching Hospitals.
I’m merely sharing my thought processes as I sat this morning staring at the grotesque building opposite……. Apparently, this building is so unappealing even Daleks hide behind the sofa if its on TV.
I couldn’t help feel that, although unavoidable, the quality of my architectural bed fellows has certainly diminished these days. If there is such a thing as beer goggles to improve the aesthetics of buildings I needed them on this morning.
Of course the majority of local government and National Health Service structures are not overly pleasing on the eye. Budgets for architects, interior designers and materials to build a Taj Mahal in the grounds of the LGI would be unfeasible for a start.
Incidentally, when I say building a Taj Mahal I refer to a replica of the 17th century white marble mausoleum in Agra, not constructing a curry restaurant.
I write this section of my monologue from the back garden of my home; sheltering under a parasol from intense midday solar rays. Distracted and anxious about the success of my wee spouse’s cardiac procedure, I count down the minutes to the time she should be out of theatre and that I can ring for an update.
Writing normally re-focusses my mind but today is different. There is currently a paucity of creativity in the cranial chambers of G Strachan esq.
Thoughts of Karen’s plight renders me unreceptive to and unable to build on the ideas that normally spark my narratives into life.
The sound of car tyres on the distant ring road and the tweeting of a solitary bird are the predominant sounds in my head, along with a medley of Gregorian chants.
I generally have a propensity to shut out background noise when penning my blogs, however todays more pressing matters have reeked havoc with my concentration. Even the Gregorian chants cannot help create an atmosphere of calm or serenity.
I’ll bring this blog to a close now as I need to run a few errands before I go collect my other half from the LGI. Thanks for reading……… Oh you didn’t, you gave up after paragraph two!
As a footnote, I have just spoken to Karen on the phone who returned back to her ward from theatre about ten minutes ago. She was tired but not in too much discomfort and in reasonable spirits.
Thankfully, it looks as though she won’t be staying as a guest of the NHS overnight, as I’ve been told I can pick her up after a few hours post-op rest.