“MINOR emergencies?” my mother said, after I asked a nurse where we should be rushing too. “Minor? I feel quite insulted,” she joked. This was a few weeks ago and we were rushing her through the hospital with an open leg wound. She had managed to remove all the skin and flesh down to her tender 87 year-old bone.
Several days later in an attempt to cheer her up I took her for tea at The Berkeley. Not just a cup of tea but their Prêt-À-Portea. It took a bit of explaining that we were to eat bite sized edible accessories, inspired by an array of distinguished fashion designers.
I had our new IH design director with us who had flown over from the LA office to dig through some archives. Olivia is French and terribly chic so it all felt very fitting to be enjoying Prêt-À-Portea’s, until my mother began telling some family stories, which ended with one about an Uncle on my father’s side who died at only a few months old, when a wasp flew into his throat and he never recovered. Poor Olivia, I could see her eyes widening in horror. I tried to divert the story-telling by offering her a praline croquant.
A few days later we were back in the hospital, to see if a skin graft was needed. Our local NHS hospital had either hidden or run out of wheel chairs. My mother and I looked at the long dark corridor. She was expected to walk down, to reach the elevator, to go up two floors, to walk down another corridor into the Plastics department. I found her a seat, sat her down, and began to hunt around. I returned armed with a slightly dodgy desk chair, on wheels. “Rightio,” I said “on you get,” and we swiveled our way through the hospital.