On Friday, I did something that I hadn't done for nearly three years – In recognition of National Blood Week I gave blood.
Having completed 52 donations, in a largely uninterrupted run over 23 years, I had not given blood since August 2010, after which the new appointments based system (supposedly introduced for donor's convenience…) meant I couldn't just turn up when I was able to.
But I thought I'd give it another go. So shortly after 2:30pm I arrived at a quiet St Peter's Church-hall… "Do you have an appointment?" The next free appointment was 3:10 – OK, I'll wait…
Ten past three arrived. Because it had been over two years since my last donation, I had an extended questionaire (fair enough)… but because I ticked the "wrong" box on three questions (for reasons that had been declared at the previous 52 donations) I had to see the nurse (no longer a doctor)… there was only one nurse, and she was busy.
At 3:45 she became free. And approved my answers with a quick swish of the pen.
One thing had changed over the past three years… the old rickerty beds have been replaced with reclining chairs!
Twenty minutes later I was done… a few minutes rest, a drink and a packet of crisps, and at just before half-past-four I was free to go.
Hopefully, see you in three months…