Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Accidents, hospitals and Uri Geller

The last couple of days have been dominated by frequent trips to a pair of hospitals after my wife had a fall while carrying our baby in a sling, injuring her hand to break her fall and protect the little one.

I don’t have a tale of hospital woe to report. Swabs weren’t left in open wounds, the incorrect part of the body wasn’t x-rayed. It’s fair to say all the service we received was good; reception staff courteous and helpful, nurses attentive, radiographers efficient, doctors sympathetic and reassuring.

And, for those that are interested, thankfully, apart from a small bone in my wife’s wrist possibly being broken and our daughter suffering a few bumps and bruises on her head and knee, they both escaped lightly; my wife’s shock and upset being the most serious consequence. And the whole experience did much to remind me of what lovely neighbours we have, with several rushing to our aid and helping throughout the evening.

None of this, however, made the process anything less than tortuously slow forced, as we were, to go from Beckenham Beacon – a small, old cottage hospital, nearby – to the Prince Royal (PRU) in Farnborough – a huge, PFI-funded, monolith, seemingly miles from civilisation, that no doubt played a part in the South London Health Trust going into administration. At the Beacon, the x-ray clinic was closed for the day; at the PRU we waited in the Urgent Care clinic, our baby exhaustingly perky. And why are hospitals always so damn hot?

The most curious aspect of the evening occurred as we were waiting for a taxi to take us home. As we waited in the dark, empty foyer of the Princess Royal’s main reception, I noticed a plaque on the wall:

I apologise for the angle; I was on fixed phone to cab at the time

What on earth was Uri Geller doing planting a time capsule beneath the hospital? Was he paid an appearance fee for his time? Did they have money to burn back in 2001?

Unsurprisingly, the event attracted little press coverage at the time but Mr Geller’s own website is informative as it references a brief write up in The Bromley News.

To celebrate the first stage of the new £155m hospital being built on the Farnbornugh site in Bromley, a time capsule was buried yesterday (Wednesday) created to Inform and intrigue future generations of Bromley residents. The time capsule was Buried by Paranormalist, Uri Geller, in conjunction with Bromley Hospitals Trust. As well as plans for the new hospital and NHS memorabilia, one of Uri Geller's trademark bent spoons was included, together with a DVD record of his life.

It fails to reveal whether Mr Geller was paid or not, but we can be sure when the Princess Royal is razed to the ground, whoever discovers the capsule will no doubt be grateful for a bent spoon and an inevitably modest DVD of his life. I imagine they’ll pop it right back in the ground.

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