Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Marley's Ghost?

By way of a change here follows a story about the surgery, rather than the docs or the patients. When I joined the partnership many moons ago we were one of four practices working out of a 1960's vintage Health Centre. The building was on it's last legs, and, being part of the local NHS estate, maintenance was beyond our purview and seldom happened. Within four years the changing nature of Primary Care led us to need more space, but there was none to be had, leaving us with no option but to move out. It was than that we relocated to the present tastefully renovated and extended older property in Ambridge*.

We know it dates from at least the 1920's. We have a bit of wood from one of the replaced sash windows dated 1926 by the then chippy. (We're now almost all UPVC for good or ill). The car park replaces what may have been an even older srtucture which had become very shabby before we had it pulled down.

It's a lovely place, with big consulting rooms and a massive reception / waiting area. We've even got a great big Library and Conference Room upstairs. And we've got a ghost. No really we do. Honest.

How do we know... allow me to ellucidate.

Shortly after we moved in, with all our hi tech computers, cupboards full of mind altering drugs and the like, our burglar alarm started going off. Nothing too sinister in that you might think, but every second or third day, always between 01.00 and 03.00 and requiring the duty partner to be called out to search the premises for miscreants, it began to wear a bit thin. Very quickly. And nothing was ever taken-- ecept for the time some scallywag wandered upstairs and made off with our VCR in broad daylight while the surgery was full of people and the alarms no on, but that's another story.

The alarm company tried to suggest it was down to spiders wandering across the i.r. sensors. But then one of the girls, coming in to unlock early one morning, caught sight of a grey man in the corridor, only for him to vanish when the lights went on. From that point on we knew our practice was haunted. The girls now have a name for the poor soul. Gareth. Apparently it goes with Ghost. He's now a permanent feature of practice life and folklore. I wouldn't be surprised if we start inviting him along to our christmas outing.

He goes through phases. Some years he hardly puts in an appearance. Others, like now, he seems ever present. And this week our practice manager has made a discovery. It seems dear old Gareth is a reggae fan, as is she. He has been spotted skanking to the beat among the chairs in the waiting room of a morning, but only to the steel pulse that is reggae.

So not only do we have a Ghost, but a well cool Ghost at that.


*I'm sensing a future in Estate Agency if the Day Job ever falls through.

13 comments:

Geena said...

I hate uPVC windows..soulless things...so minging*...my flat is being renovated - well the house is....and they are taking out my beautiful wooden window frames and replacing them with the skanky plastic stuff. Poo.

Re the ghost - how utterly fab...I lived in an old old house in Argentina and we had a FEW ghosties but they were terribly unfriendly...bad house that was. They are gray though...translucent..scary in the middle of the night actually.

*shivers*

Keep them scalpels locked away.

* new word picked up at Greavsie

Z said...

You play reggae music to the patiently waiting patients? Ooh, that's much cooler than our local surgery, no wonder Gareth chose you.

stitchwort said...

In view of the probable date of the ghost, and his musical preferences, perhaps a more suitable name would be Reggie?

greavsie said...

It's probably the caretaker, it's always the caretaker in Scooby Doo.

Doctor Jest said...

Geena-- I would agree, but at least the plastic ones won't rot. An important consideration in our rain lashed, gale prone location atop a cliff... well ok, small hill, but you get the picture. Plus they can be factory built instead of hand crafted. Cheap of us I know, but there you go.

Happily in the sixteen years of our acquaintance to date Gareth appears to be entirely benign, unless he's just toying with us.

z-- yes, we've found it helps the demeanour of the waiting room. Also it's much better that the "Music to open veins to" selections "enjoyed" by our previous senior receptionist. Bobby Goldsboro' singing "Honey" and the like, oh and cheery old laugh a minute Leonard Cohen....

(No I'm really not kidding)

Doctor Jest said...

As if further proof were needed of my newfound supernatural powers, can it be any coincidence that two days ago Siobhan re-appeared as a storyline in the Archers again, and that on last night's Front Row Ziggy Marley was interviewed about his music and his Dad...

I think no more need be said on the subject.

Except that if any of you are feeling a bit peaky today *not looking at any contributors in particular of course* just touch the screen now and ye shall be healed my children. Yea, verily.

Doctor Jest said...

stitchwort-- You could be right, but to us I fear he will always be Gareth.

Greavsie-- but our "caretakers" have been outsourced to Poland... oh, hold on, I see what you're saying.

Now where can I find some meddling kids?

Geena said...

Touching screen.

*waits for miracle*

Doctor Jest said...

Geena-- To borrow the old saying, "The impossible we can do at once, Miracles may take a little longer" but good thoughts on their way.

Mr Angry said...

Ghosts are like the female orgasm. Until I see one with my own eyes I won't believe they exist.

The Boy said...

A polish caretaker ghost who likes Reggae? Is there any doubt why the NHS is in crisis? I presume he's actually in charge of the trust then?

Geena said...

Mr A....mwah ha ha ha ha...

Doctor Jest said...

Angry-- the problem might have something to do with your aparently hazy grasp of the female anatomy ;-)

Boy-- no no no no.... our old caretaker the mild mannered Mr X was replaced by two lovely Polish ladies recently. (By our subcontracted cleaning firm I hasten to point out.) But perhaps he holds a grudge. Worse yet, since he seems to have a taste for the Carribean, maybe he's also a Pirate. Think I'm going to hide now.....

Geena-- was that ghostly laughter drowning out your post.

*Zoiks*

(Witness the sound of Dr J showing Blackbeard's Ghost a clean pain of heels)