Serco turkey at the CCU

A nurse feeds a patient with a spoonful of Christmas pudding at a naval hospital at Kingseat in Scotland, December 1941. A6486

Since Wednesday, I have been on the shiny, hi-tec Cardiac Care Unit. I got taken down for the angiogram yesterday morning. The process bore more than a passing resemblance in my mind to a scene in a Jason Bourne film. The warehouse-like antechamber was in stark contrast to the futuristic op room with screened control desk, boom arms and an enormous screen showing things going round my blood vessels.

The upshot is that my coronary arteries are like the Dartford crossing on a Friday afternoon and so I will have a heart bypass operation as soon as a bed is available in the hospital where they do those. It will be an inpatient transfer, so in the meantime I wait on the Cardiac Unit.

This makes for an unusual Christmas Day. This morning, for the first time since my ordination, I was able to get the Urbi et Orbi blessing and indulgence. I unplugged the headphones at the end bit for the nurse to hear the papal national anthem - which, to be honest, is my favourite bit.

I have been able to say the breviary with leisurely calm and I have found that the last hour of the night shift is a good quiet time for the daily meditation. Hospital ward routine is quite fixed and predictable, making for a framework around which to build an adapted temporary daily rule of life.

The smell of Serco's Christmas dinner being steamed up is beginning to waft along the ward so perhaps I should stand and sing Benedicite.

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