May 4, 2007
From John le Carré‘s novel, Smiley’s People:
… somehow, by sheer willpower […] Ostrakova became just another pale ex-patient, stepping cautiously and extremely painfully down the ramp of the great black hospital to rejoin the very world which that same day had done its best to be rid of her […] ‘You’re on your own, you old fool,’ she told herself aloud. ‘You’ve nobody to rely on but yourself, so get on with it.’
That wasn’t exactly me emerging from the Montfort hospital yesterday, where, thanks to the help of my friends Elizabeth and David who drove me to and fro, I spent a fairly undemanding couple of hours in the Emergency Department (though it wasn’t much of an emergency) waiting to be x-rayed and diagnosed with a chipped distal fibula and base of 5th metatarsal and given an air cast or bottine moulée de marche—a protective boot for my left foot. With luck and caution I should have stopped hobbling about with the aid of this boot and my mother’s walking stick within a week or three, in time to board our container ship from Montreal to Liverpool without difficulty, I hope. The M.V. Flottbek, 16000 deadweight tons, accommodating 8 passengers, is due to sail on or around May 25th, so we heard this morning; Chris and I have booked ourselves into one of the two double cabins, the one on the port side. More on this later.