Tuesday 20 June 2023

Tuesday 20th June - average speed, around 17 or 20 mph

We went to London yesterday. We left at 6.15am, to be sure of getting to the hospital in time for my first appointment which was an echocardiogram (routine checkup), bearing in mind the journey time to the hospital can be anything up to 3 hours, and then one has to allow for parking, and the time it takes me to get from the entrance to the cardiology department towards the back.

This time we managed both the Hanger Lane roundabout AND the Hendon Flyover without any undue excitement. 

We finished the scan, appointment with the consultant, 6 min walk test (258m this time; not my best but not my worst) and emerged into the fresh air at about noon reassured that there's no change to how I am getting on.

Beautiful wildflower planting outside the hospital entrance

There's an M&S next to the hospital where we bought a picnic lunch and walked back towards where the car was stashed, in one of those 'rent-my-drive' spaces. 

We ate our lunch at the edge of Hampstead Heath, sitting on a large log in the shade of some trees, watching the people enjoying the space.

Then home... a couple of tricky moments at the Hendon Flyover, and even an more tense time at Hanger Lane, but all's well that ends well and we made it into the correct lane without being hooted at!

Comparing travelling to London by train and car; car is exhausting, and no quicker than train. Both ways involve an early start and a long day. 

However, car is considerably cheaper even taking petrol and parking into account. We usually have to buy full price day return train tickets because of the early start. This time there was a sting in the tail, however; the parking space was deceptively small

That's the back of our car, millimetres from the gatepost

 and as you can see, there's a hidden drop at one side. Errrk! In positioning the car so that one doesn't step out of the door and instantly fall down some steep steps, we ended up clipping the wing mirror. So this time round, the repair will more than cancel the saving!

Average miles per hour; 17 on the way up, and 20 on the way home. Journey times; about 2hrs 45 mins outward and approximately 2 hrs 15 mins home. Roughly what it takes by train and bus and tube.

So, why do we drive up now? Ah well. We are still taking every precaution to avoid catching covid, due to the state of my lungs and also the immunosuppressants I take. If we were travelling by public transport I'd need to wear a 'proper' FFP2 mask. Unfortunately wearing any mask makes it harder for me to walk, and as for bustling or running for a train.... no, not going to happen!

I'm pleased that most people feel happy to throw off the restrictions of previous years, but people like me (around 500,000 or so) are still, well, stuck in a kind of groundhog day existence. 

The driving is incredibly tiring at the moment, but all that, hopefully will be changing when we finally take delivery of our next car, ordered last September and due end of July or early August. It has a hybrid petrol/electric, and is an AUTOMATIC!!! 


  1. So glad your test results were encouraging. What a complex journey for - at least it was sunny. Looking forward to hearing more about new car!