I’d love a pint. I really would. I am, as they say, gumming for one.
It’s always the same when I’m somewhere they don’t have pints.
And they don’t have pints in hospital. Not pints of Guinness, I mean. They do have pints. Of blood.
But it’s not quite the same thing, drinking through your arm.
So I’d love a creamy. A roaster. A pint of plain.
Not right now, not this second.
But I’d love to have one this evening. Or maybe two. Might even stretch to three.
Being ill, or a little bit ill, or not at all ill but with an annoying infection, I firmly believe in the restorative powers of pints. Specifically, pints of Guinness.
For years, you were handed a bottle of Guinness after donating blood in this country.
Women who gave birth were immediately given Guinness every day to build up their strength. Their children were, however, forced to wait years for the same, er, beneficial medicine.
I have no idea why such practices ended.
Economic reasons, no doubt. Some accountant figured out that by stopping the Guinness, they could buy more ledgers or pencil sharpeners or something.
Or maybe, Carlsberg or Heineken got the hump and demanded equal treatment. Silly, that. Lager, though, hasn’t got the same powers as Guinness.
I’m pretty sure that if the lady with the trolley came around today and asked us all if we wanted tea, coffee or Guinness, she would be returning to her kitchen with pots of cold tea and coffee.
I am also pretty sure that, after a couple of trips to the trolley, we patients would all be feeling a great deal better.
And even if hospital food is, well, hospital food, boy, wouldn’t we look forward to it if it was to be accompanied by a nice Merlot or a nice, round Cote de Rhone.
You may very well think I am obsessed with alcohol.
I am not.
I merely miss it.
I don’t miss it as much as I miss my partner or my child or my dog or my house or my bed at home or a decent cup of tea.
But it’s not here. They don’t encourage it in hospitals.
And I miss it.
It’s not that I think about it all the time.
This morning, for example, I was thinking again about what a good my idea to put each sick person into their own sterile pod.
I thought about that again when the lady who brought me my breakfast informed me that she felt ‘absolutely dreadful.’
Brilliant, I thought. She feels sick and she’s walking around a hospital handing out food to people who are trying to get better. Put her in a pod, I thought, and stop her from spreading her sickness.
And today I also thought about England reaching the final of the Rugby World Cup.
I thought, there’s a mediocre, ageing, average team in the world cup final.
Because they have passion and heart and determination. And they have been well prepared.
And our younger, more skilled and more fancied team dumped out in the qualifying round.
If we’d been properly prepared, we could have won the damned thing.
And then I was looking at the hung-over England fans and the hung-over former England player Matt Dawson on television talking about the joy of the England fans.
The best of luck to them.
There is a perfectly logical reason as to why there should be bars in hospitals.
I’m not talking here about The Dog and Duck or the King’s Arms.
Maybe The Doctor and Nurse or The Cut and Stitch or something.
But it would be strictly for patients only.
And admission would be by coloured wrist band so that certain patients, for whom a drink might be harmful, would be wearing a red wrist band and would not be admitted.
There might be, say, a green wrist band for someone allowed four pints and a blue one for someone allowed three, a yellow one for someone allowed two and a pink, yes, I think pink, for someone allowed one.
And it would only be Guinness.
And maybe some decent red wines.
I mean, the thing is supposed to be medicinal.
Of course, a mini bar in the room would solve the problem too...