With much trepidation I walked the mile from the rugby club where I park the car for free towards the hospital.  It was time to return to the workplace after a Covid-19 absence of almost 5 months.

The first thing I noticed was that there were hardly any NHS cars in the rugby club spaces.  Were they all working from home?  Usually there are hundreds, but today there were just 15.  Perhaps some of them were on holiday?

Then it was time to don my mask, enter the hospital and wait for my manager to show me to the office where I’ll be working this week.  I dislike starting in a new department and on a computer where I haven’t sat at before, as I knew it would take some time for the IT Department to set me up and for me to be able to log in.  My password had expired, and it was a case of joining the IT telephone queue (I was number 10 in line, and 2 hours eventually passed before I typed one word!).

As usual I had started work early and there was nobody else about.   The office was hot, and I opened the fire door to get some air.  With a cool breeze blowing I set about trying to understand the unfamiliar dictation of a new consultant with an accent speaking unfamiliar words and strange names of respiratory tests.  Thank goodness for Google!

Then two other secretaries arrived.  They remarked how cold it was in the office and closed the door.  Then they put the lights on and turned on the radio. Deep joy.  I couldn’t say much as it wasn’t my office, but theirs.  I turned up the volume on my headphones to get over the cacophony of Radio 1.

When I get used to departmental letters, then I can type about 50 in one day.  Today I managed about 6, although they were rather long and contained many words I’d had to look up.  Still, at the age of 62 I am lucky to have any work at all.  My manager is happy for me to go back on Wednesday, and so I will have to bite the bullet and endure Radio 1 and no fresh air again.

Maybe I can cut the plug off the radio and hope it doesn’t contain any batteries?