meeting new people, my cats, books, reading and the Open Minds discussion group. Most of all I loved my family. But I didn't want to think of them right now.
Marilyn eased her navy Volvo into a tight space at the Theatre Royal end of Upper Borough Walls. Was this auspicious? Parking was not usually this easy.
'You go ahead,' Marilyn said, fumbling in her purse for pound coins to feed the ticket machine as I struggled to get out without scratching the paintwork of the car alongside. 'I'll meet you in Maddison's in an hour or so.'
With rain spots the size of half crowns starting to fall, I hugged the hospital side of the pavement as I made my way towards the entrance. It was ludicrous how many parking slots they fitted into such a small area. I'd write a letter to the council headed 'Revenue over Comfort'. Although I knew I wouldn't. Not now.
Once inside the spacious Georgian building, I handed the receptionist my appointment letter. 'Doctor Bhalla at 11.30.'
Hearing the doctor was running slightly late, I bought a coffee from the vending machine and gazed at the portraits around the walls. A pastel of Mrs Morris, wife of the first apothecary, dated 1742; an oil painting of her husband, John, together with an oil of Ralph Allen, born 1694, died 1764 who was both president and benefactor. Eventually I sat down near the consulting room on a high backed chair beneath a watercolour of the hospital under which a brass placque explained it was presented by Doctor George D Kersley in 1993. From the pile of magazines on the table, I picked up an old Country Life, turning its pages at regular intervals as I sipped my hot, bitter coffee. I didn't want to make conversation. Not today.
'Mrs Fellowes.'
The consultant's voice cut through my thoughts. I glanced up

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