Cell Count

Today I had my annual trip to Hammersmith Hospital to check my health as a former in-patient at the Catherine Lewis Centre. The appointment was made after the last one last year, and should have happened on November 1st but I had a message putting me back 2 weeks, presumably due to the shortages in equipment that have been reported. I am not a priority for testing and I have wondered if they might simply discontinue testing me now I’ve been 13 years in remission.

As usual, I saw an array of different messages in the Wood Lane/White City area. The redevelopment of land next to the Westfield Centre has advanced further, and the expansion of the Imperial College campus – which I used to walk past to my blood tests when it was breaking ground about a decade ago – continues ever more. The building that was housing ATOS when that was a controversial agency has been taken over.

ATOS is now “The Invention Rooms”. I am not sure if this occurred a few years earlier and the signage is simply new:

Underneath the roadway:

Not visible in that picture, but the top of the remnant of Grenfell Tower is along that sight-line.

And so we finally reach the hospital.

Take a look at the Chapel, still there.

I see that the art work “On Route” by Georgia Wild is still a labelled vacancy:

Down the Subway:

Old friends still around:

The Catherine Lewis Centre is much the same as last year with only a few new art works. The Patient Check In machines seem to be inactive.

I removed the QR codes from the image.

I gave my blood sample… and then I could go, as my consultant will be giving me the feedback in a call in the next day or so. In the old days I would wait around to discuss the result, which was never surprising. Only two samples were taken this time; I’m sure it used to be 3 and it was certainly 3 when I had a Hickman Line fitted as a patient and they were tapping me for samples several times a day, one from each connector hanging out of my chest.

I went in the canteen and was surprised to find that they no longer serve on plates, it seems everyone has to get the plastic cartons that were for takeaways. I suppose it saves time and money on washing but must also mean more waste that has to be incinerated. There was a notice of a study in to the usage of lateral flow tests. The decoration of the canteen is the same as last year, including this work which has been in place for at least 14 years:

The old internet cafe terminals are still recessed away in the corner. I notice this sign, which must be the pandemic equivalent of “Thankyou For Not Smoking”:

The Friends Of Hammersmith Hospital Shop was not open today so I couldn’t give them a donation, so I went to the newsagents and bought a copy of Heat magazine, as I used to enjoy going for when that was the longest journey I could take from the ward.

Outside the welcoming sculpture was still in place and for the first time I noticed a flagpole with a new-looking Union Flag at the top. The base did not look like a recent addition so I must have simply never registered this detail before, unless it is only used at Remembrance Day and this was the first time I was visiting on the day after.

I walked away and went in to the Westfield Centre, where I could see Grenfell Tower more clearly beyond the new White City Living developments.

In the shops I saw someone had created this:

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