I went for my six monthly "high risk drug user" blood test yesterday. Nothing serious - just making sure that the beta-interferon I take hasn't stopped my liver from working properly yet. My appointment was at 0745 in the morning, but early though it was, I had to wait a little while as an elderly gentleman was seen by the nurse before me.
"Sorry about that," said the nurse, when she ushered me into her treatment room, "We have those early morning appointments for people who need to get to work. They're not really for people who can come any time...." I smiled. I wasn't really bothered.
Apparently the old boy was more concerned about my wait than I was. "That gentleman had a fifteen minute appointment for his flu jab, but he said that we should get a move on because he said that the young man outside looked like you needed to get to work." I was actually sitting in the waiting room wearing my biking gear and with my pannier bag at my feet. Perhaps he thought I was a courier? Well, he also thought I was a young man, so perhaps he's easily confused.
After complimenting my veins (I have excellent veins for pushing needles into, apparently), the nurse asked me if I wanted a flu jab too whilst I was here. As someone in a "sensitive group", in my case on a drug that affects my immune system, I'm entitled to one of these every year on the NHS. I actually already had an appointment booked for just this purpose in a couple of weeks, but this was much more convenient. Usually I have to attend a flu clinic on a Saturday morning where I'm usually the youngest person in the waiting room by about forty years and get stared at as some kind of an imposter.
Perhaps if the old fella who was so considerate not to hold me up yesterday morning wouldn't have been so obliging if he knew that I was going to be receiving a flu jab: for me to get one of those, an old person has to miss out and will certainly die if we have a harsh winter....
Just in case I was in any danger of getting carried away that someone had mistaken me for a young man, that same evening, someone at running club asked me if I dyed my hair.
"Why on earth would you think that?" I replied, gesturing to my actually-quite-grey and clearly un-dyed hair.
"It just looks different to normal"
"Well, it actually takes me hours to get this mottled badger look, you know...."
Grizzled, grey and bearded is in, right?
Pandemic Legacy Season 2: April
5 days ago