Monday, September 30, 2019


It so happened that I spent last weekend in Colchester General Hospital being ‘observed’ – a word that in medical terms covers many, many possibilities.  The story is ongoing and will either turn into farce or tragedy (I mean tragedy for me, not for you, obviously).

Weekends in hospital are rather muted experiences, not an awful lot happens medically speaking, but the staff do their best to cheer people along, not least in the food department.  On Sunday they served a roast lunch.  It looked like this:

There’s a thin slice of pork under that gravy, and those roast potatoes are no worse than  you’d find in many a pub lunch.  The veggies were pretty grim, but all in all you have to admire the hospital kitchen for trying.

Other meals served up during my 'stay' included a sausage hotpot which really wasn’t bad at all, and also smoked haddock, which was in a sauce poured over pasta with fried potatoes on the side.  And there were lots of deserts; jelly and cream, sponge pudding, that kind of thing, which on this trip I couldn’t face.  It’s hard to work up much of an appetite when you’re in bed for 20 hours at a stretch.

         Now, fortunately I have been in hospital very few times in my life, with long gaps between each visit, but one thing has remained constant: the food has always been sort of OK, and sometimes quite tasty, but it’s never seemed very healthy

Once a day a trolley came round, pushed by a volunteer, and from it you could buy magazines, newspapers, and some food – mostly snacks, chocolate and biscuits, but one day I did manage to score an apple!!  An actual piece of fresh fruit.  Another day I got a banana.

I had to buy these myself, and they were very reasonably priced, and I seemed to constitute the whole of the market for them, but the notion that a hospital might regard fresh fruit as a luxury extra – well, I’m still scratching my head about that one.

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