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Saturday, February 26, 2011

As a newlywed husband, I feel it's important to make my wife feel like a princess. So having returned home from my trip to London yesterday, I ran Lisa a nice hot bath. And sure enough, as she stepped into it, I heard her shout from the bathroom: "I feel like Princess Margaret!". That's what I call a job well done.

But when I wasn't running baths yesterday, I was running up and down these stairs...

Photo by Steve Cadman
Which is what happens when they put the free food on the first floor. Doctors talk about taking steps to a healthier lifestyle. I just went upstairs for the Danish pastries.

Anyhoo, my day at the Royal College of Physicians yesterday was a complete success. From the outside it may look like a petrol station forecourt, but inside it's a lot more GP than BP, and has the feel of a five star hotel or exclusive members club. Personally I'm more used to Travelodges than Masonic lodges, so just being there was a real treat. As were the desserts.

London itself wasn't as anonymous and unfriendly as people make out either. Having wedged myself onto a tube train at Victoria, I looked up and realised that the sardine standing next to me was the husband of our good friend Lorraine. I did well to recognise him, as the last time we met, he was dressed as Dracula and had blood pouring down his face. Fortunately, he hasn't changed a bit.

I chatted to him all the way to Oxford Circus, then made my way to Regents Park, where another familiar face greeted me with the words "Hi Phil, how's the iPad?". It turned out to be this man. He then congratulated me on getting married, before revealing that he's read the departmental newsletter I produce. Which led to a tense thirty seconds while I tried to remember what jokes I'd written about him.

As for the seminar, well the Royal College of Ophthalmologists couldn't have picked a nicer venue. Obviously you'd expect a group of eye doctors to choose a visually stunning location, and the RCP didn't disappoint. It was all marbles, paintings and big busts. So it was a lot like being at home with Lisa and Amelie. This was the entrance to the lecture theatre...

Photo by Steve Cadman
The spiral staircase leads straight down to the toilets, the cloakroom and the private garden. Although I didn't discover that until we'd spent all day walking the long way round. It's no wonder I got so hungry.

But when I wasn't upstairs eating pastries, biscuits, curry, rice, bread, tarts and meringues, I was here, in the Wolfson Theatre, with a couple of hundred ophthalmologists...

Photo by Steve Cadman
You obviously need good eyesight to spot them.

The day's lectures were variable, but for the most part very interesting. The prize for the most poignant PowerPoint slide of the day went to one entitled 'Tell Mummy When the Bus Comes', referring to a twentysomething woman with two toddlers, who has lost her sight due to diabetes. Which is kinda why we do what we do. As another speaker put it, "We don't mind if people die, as long as they die with good vision".

By the end of the day I was tired, pleasantly full, and oddly craving sweets. I had to stop on the way home for a snack break. There's nothing like a seminar on diabetic retinopathy to put you in the mood for some chocolate.


Ibis said...

I never did discover the spiral staircase!! Love the pics and your comments

Phil said...

Thanks Ibis. That's the trouble with eye specialists - we can't see for looking.  :-D

Dave said...

What an exciting life you lead.

Melée said...

Ah! That's the very lecture theatre where we delivered our famous subliminal minge symposium. And the very spiral staircase I leaned over crying with laughter afterwards. X

Phil said...

Ah, your subliminal minge! And I thought it was just history the place reeked of.