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Tuesday, September 01, 2009

I went back to work today after eleven days of fun in the (occasional) sun. I timed it to coincide with the schools going back, so that I could get up this morning safe in the knowledge that there were ten million people out there less happy to be doing the same. And as it turns out, I've probably had a better day than all of them.

One of the things I love about my job is that every time I think I have a dull day ahead of me in the office, fate steps in and sends me out across the Sussex countryside. I barely manage to keep a chair warm in that place. And sure enough, within five minutes of walking through the door this morning, I received the news that my eight hours of admin had been cancelled, and they wanted me to run a clinic in Uckfield. I said for Uck's sake, I'd do it.

So I've spent most of the day here...

At least the car park's free.
That's the Uckfield Community Hospital. The white line represents the route I took trying to find a parking space. My giant book of directions is in the top left hand corner.

Anyhoo, I was based in the Outpatients Department (because I rarely keep my patients waiting all night), but directly across the corridor from me was (fanfare please)... the Bird in Eye Surgery! Yes, just five weeks after first hearing of the place, I've spent the day bird-watching with my very own eyes. I could almost sense the recuperative powers of Dr Heal. Or Captain Bird-in-Eye, as I like to call her. I expect her equipment's battered.

As it turned out, however, a full clinic of patients wasn't my biggest challenge today. That came in the form of a moral dilemma at lunchtime. Whilst in the St Peter and St James Hospice charity shop (which is big news in Uckfield), I discovered a pair of immaculate men's shoes in my size, made in Paris by Kenzo Homme. Which I think is that Chinese chef with the wok. Bizarrely, they were priced at just £2.50, which for a pair of French designer footwear is a bit of a steal.

But that's not the dilemma. Frankly if the old dears on the till don't want to follow London Fashion Week, that's up to them. I'm happy to keep my mouth shut and donate £2.50 to charity for something worth much more. I call it bargain hunting. No, the real dilemma came as the lady keyed 'two-five-zero' into the cash register, and I noticed a sign on the counter which read "Today Only: All Shoes 75% Off Marked Price".

I could have had them for 63p. And frankly I was tempted. But in the end I said nothing. That extra £1.87 is my ticket into heaven.