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Having now suffered three episodes of severe back pain, I thought I had better follow the doctor’s advice and consult the physiotherapists. I was not (and am still not) all that sure what, if anything, they can do for me. Moreover, I suspected that I would be in for a grilling on my lifestyle, followed by some poking and prodding, neither of which I would particularly enjoy.
Nonetheless, I filled in and submitted the form and a while later received a letter inviting me to make an appointment. The letter admonished me that if I did not contact them them by July 8th, they would lose interest in me. I kept putting off calling, marshalling an array of excuses, but finally gave in on Monday, two days short of the deadline. I assumed any appointment would be weeks in the future so imagine my surprise to be invited in on the following Thursday, that is, today.
As expected, I was asked a series of questions on my health and on the incidents of back pain, and then the poking and prodding took place (though very gently, I have to say). I had to perform some movements during which I felt a bit like a nag at a horse auction, I must admit.
The upshot was that I was given a set of exercises to do and asked to make a second appointment in 10 days’ time. They will want to know whether I notice any improvement (improvement in what?) from the exercises. The problem with this is that we are going away for a week and with the sort of schedule we set for ourselves, there’s no hope of me doing exercises three times a day.
I was early for my appointment and took a few photos before going in. The physiotherapists hang out at the Northern Health Centre in Upper Holloway. As you see, it’s a beautiful old building, proudly bearing the date 1892. I don’t know its history but it seems admirably suited to its current role.
I mean no disrespect to the physios, but I was relieved to get out of there and to run for the number 43 bus.
A little way along from the NHC is this now miserable-looking building with “Empire Square” written above the coach gate. Empire Square appears as such on the map and lies behind the building which, I imagine, was originally, a business premises or perhaps a works or warehouse. It has obviously fallen on hard times which is sad to see.
The “square” must still be in use to judge from the secure gate closing off the entrance.
Care was obviously lavished on its design and building and I like the fact that each window is of a different style. Perhaps the room with the scallop-shell window arch was the main office, the proud den of the director or owner but he is long gone, taking with him the building’s pride and dignity.
Across the road from the Health Centre is a pub, now called “The Quays”. I don’t know why, as there is no waterway around here that could ever carry shipping. I would guess the building is Victorian or Edwardian and I was attracted by its pretty shade of blue.
If you look carefully at the larger version of the picture, you might be able to see that when the pub was built, it was called “The Half Moon”, an altogether more suitable name for a town pub. It beats me why people have to make these pointless changes.
I went to meet Tigger from work as usual, and as we walked along the road to the bus stop, Tigger pointed out this workman, leaning out of an improvised “window” in the covers shrouding the bridge that is being repaired. I managed to catch him before he noticed our cameras.