Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Hearts and Minds
El Parque del Amor
The park stands high on the coast of Peru, looking down at the Pacific Ocean below. Lima is a poor city and very crowded, so there isn’t much privacy for a young couple in love. So the municipality – or the church? - has solved the problem in a unique way – by providing a ‘love park’ for them. And to help them to get into the mood, the whole park is overlooked by a statue of a well-built, reinforced concrete pair in an advanced state of snog. Hold on, you say, ‘those two don’t look like a young couple’. Well, you do get the occasional voyeurs.
There’s a garden in Lima, Peru
Where young couples wander, and woo
They gaze at the shore
And swear love evermore
- that is, till they meet someone new.
I’ve had some very complimentary things to say about our NHS in recent weeks, and I don’t retract a word of them, so exclude the wonderful women of Newbury from anything I may say next. But, as Hitler used to say, no more Mr Nice Guy.
On August 14, my GP referred me to our local hospital for a stress test, in which they attach wires to you, put you on a treadmill, and keep racking up the angle of elevation and the speed until you either explode or take off into orbit. A bit like going back to work, in fact.
I got my appointment last week – a couple of months after the referral – and went along, equipped with shorts and trainers as suggested – and they said I should take an ECG first. While I was having the ECG the guy said, ‘did they tell you the treadmill wasn’t working?’
My next appointment is in December. I’ll try to stay alive as I don’t want to miss it again.