20.02.2012 - 20.02.2012 9 °C
Today was going to be an easy day and it turned out to be a very significant an emotional one for me. We caught the 'Green Bus' to the Hospital and the first place on the agenda was back to the hospital to meet the current staff of the Charities. It was really good to see that things are doing well. The current team are doing a great job and it was a pleasure to see them in their own element, We chatted for a while and then Derek and I went for a coffee.
In the main foyer of the new hospital, the Atrium, is a Costa Coffee shop and so we had a coffee and on the way out I saw a woman with a scarf that I recognized. I had to go back and say hello because it was a Port Power football club scarf from Adelaide. What a surprise here in Brum so I had to go and have a chat and so I asked her what was a 'good Adelaide girl' doing in her in the England winter. I think that she was surprised as I and told me that everyone here thinks that the scarf is from Portsmouth, because the word on the scarf is simply 'Port'. So I asked if I could take a picture (see below). She was proud to pose for me as told her my wife's good friend was a great supporter of 'Port'. When I pushed her on why she was here she told me that her son was in hospital here and had been repatriated from a theatre of operations and had lost a leg and was in an induced Coma. I was stunned at this revelation. I gave her my card and asked her to contact me and was again blown away by the affect that war has and how it affects all of us.
We caught the bus back to get the car and had a trip to Touchwood at Solihull and again more memories of our time here in Brum and although there is so much that has changed there is so much that is the same. I did a little shopping to replenish some of the toiletries and it was time to move on.
The last stop for the day is something that we had never seen while we were here and that is a place called 'Akamba'. It is an African themed Garden Centre with a gift shop and a Restaurant. It was really interesting and we had lunch and soaked up the ambiance of an African village albeit a little damp and cold underfoot. Then it was back to the Waller's and tea and packing for tomorrow.
It has been interesting to be back here in Brum and there were a lot of really good memories and I felt that it was one of the highlights of my experience, but it is not home anymore and my life has moved in different directions and there is so much more to experience. the good memories have been tempered by the Trauma of Maxine the Port supporter, and reminded again of the fragility o the lives that we have and the importance of not wasting a moment of any day.
Thanks Derek and Anne for looking after me and giving me a great couple of days in Brum
And so tomorrow; America!