11 June 2014

Just Wait Five Minutes

Yesterday morning Bill went to a doctor for his routine blood test. The office is right around the corner from where we live, and we got there a few minutes early. The doctor had told Bill on the phone to come in at 10:15 so he could draw blood before surgery (office) hours commence at 10:30. In spite of the fact that we were there before the doctor, there was already someone waiting outside when we arrived. The doctor has no nurses or receptionists--it's just himself doing everything, apparently. More people started arriving just after the doctor unlocked the door at a couple of minutes past 10. The waiting room is tiny--there is literally hardly any room to move around. There's an L-shaped bench along a couple of the walls and the door opens against the other. There is room for 6 people to sit if they are all smooshed together. Rather than taking up space that was needed for waiting patients, I opted to wait outside. I stood against the side of the building for a while, but the sun was out and I soon decided that I did not need to stand there with the heat radiating from the white walls of the building onto me, so I crossed the road and hung out on the little square. This part of town is called, "Cornmarket," because--you guessed it--people used to bring corn to market here and it would get weighed and stuff. Now the square contains a small building housing a barber shop, some planters with nice flowers, a few small trees, an information board, a couple of benches, a statue of some guy from the US Navy, a sculpture of a sheaf of wheat (why not an ear of corn, I do not know!), and a canoe that has been planted with flowers.

"Slainte" is a toast used when having some drinks--it means "health." The flowers were planted just a few weeks ago.

The little square sits at the corner of our street and the road that leads into town from the south. One one side are eateries and homes. Rosie's Takeaway, where we got our fish and chips a few weeks ago, is over there, and it seems that there are apartments above the places of business on the ground floor and what are called terraced houses interspersed with the businesses.

 There's also a short little one-way section of road on the other side, where there are shops, possibly homes, and the doctor's office. As I waited for Bill, I examined the flowers in the planter--I know nothing about flowers and what they're called, but I enjoy looking at the shapes and colors--there are some of both in the flowers here that I do not remember seeing in the past. When I looked up from the flowers, my eye was caught by the green cross that marks a pharmacy here. It would tell me the time and then the temperature. I was surprised when, at 10:20, it said it was 24C out. "Surely it's not that hot," I thought from my cool spot under a little tree (this would be about 75F and to me, yes, that is too hot). Then it dawned on me that the sun was right on it, so that's why it was reading so high. The dark clouds began to move in, and the sun was gone. By 10:23, it was 17 degrees. The clouds moved on by and the sun came out again. At 10:29, it was 22 and by 10:30, the temperature read 23. Bill emerged from the office across the street and I asked him to take a picture. You can see it in the top right hand corner.

In many of the places I have lived, people have jokingly said, "Don't like the weather? Wait 5 minutes and it'll change!" This puzzled me in every place except Maine, because that was the only place where it was kind of true, though on a longer timescale. Here it is true. We can be walking along comfortably and then the sun will come out and we will be roasting (me) or warm (Bill). Then it cools off again. It can be raining in front of the flat and not raining in back--or the other way around. It will bucket down and in a couple of minutes the sun will be out. This is good for both of us--when the sun is out, which is not my favorite thing, I know that at least clouds and possibly rain are not far off and when I'm happy that it's raining, Bill can remind himself that if he waits 5 minutes, it'll change!

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