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Saturday, June 20, 2009

I spent all day yesterday at the East Grinstead Health Centre...

Smoking GunNow, I hate to harp on about this - it's already attracted the attention of the local press - but someone needs to track down the architects who are designing the medical centres of Sussex to look like guns. I'd fire the lot of them. And then sack the architects.

But if you're going to take shots of people's retinas all day, I suppose it makes sense to do it in a building shaped like a revolver. The main entrance is through the trigger, although if, like me, you know the code to the staff entrance, you can have the pleasure of walking down the barrel of the gun. I was based in the butt, which is also where they do rectal examinations. Probably. They certainly do sexually transmitted disease clinics there anyway. Every time I opened the door to call another patient, I came face to face with a poster about genital warts.

Anyhoo, I'm sure it shouldn't really take an hour and a quarter to drive thirty miles on a Friday morning, but that's commuting for you. Obviously it would have helped if I hadn't taken two wrong turns on the East Grinstead one-way system (the one way being the wrong way), but I still got there five minutes before the first patient, and having spent the day shooting people between the eyes (I really should learn how to point that camera in the right direction), I emptied the chamber, left the gun behind, and returned to Brighton via a different route. Which is what happens when you don't read the road signs.

But if East Grinstead seems a long way to go as part of my job, I ain't seen nothing yet. I'm off to Newcastle in a few months time. The big boss is keen for us all to attend the annual conference of the British Association of Retinal Screeners, which this year is being held in Geordieland. I've said I'll go, but it was a tough decision. I'm keen to further my career by fraternising with fellow eye people for two days, but BARS have scheduled the conference for the one date in autumn when I'd rather be at home. Amelie's going to have to celebrate her first birthday without her Daddy.

Fortunately she has no idea what day of the week it is (much like her mother), so I plan to lie to her for the next eighteen years and claim I was there. And if that doesn't work, I'll pay her off with all the extra money I've earned as a result of my two days of networking.

In the meantime, here's Lisa testing Amelie for signs of hayfever by taunting her with a curly flower...

My role was to titillate foot fetishists by getting my toe in the bottom of the frame.


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