Only if I have to . . .

I had to go to Leeds today. Mrs H was having some treatment for her bad foot. She would have normally gone on her own, but she wasn’t allowed to drive for four hours after the treatment, so I was the chauffeur. Since taking early retirement (or voluntary redundancy to give its proper title) in 2016, I have only been to the City centre once. We went to see a film and a meal and I hated it. There were people of all ages sitting in doorways of shops that had closed. Sat in sleeping bags with bottles of cheap wine at their side. All seemed to have some kind of dog with them, which I assume was for security, but it may have been to expose the compassionate nature of the gullible passer-by. I said then that I would only go back to Leeds if I had no choice.

When you work in a place, you do not tend to see the actual area. You move from place to place to fulfil your tasks, without stopping to ‘take in the view’ so to speak. On this occasion and the previous visit, I was able to take in what was happening in the City. It was not pleasant. Today we parked up near the Leeds General Infirmary. Mrs H was having some treatment at the Nu****ld hospital on Leighton Street.

Next to where I was parked, is a homeless shelter, which has been there for over 50 years. It has always been the same. Frequented by alcohol and drug dependents, it is not a particularly salubrious area, but it serves a purpose. When I worked at the hospital, the place catered for around 7 or 8 people. Now, as I understand it there are in excess of 30 people that use the shelter, and a lot of them spill out onto the streets outside. I saw at least 4 young people today, at 09:30 drinking beer. Not cheap supermarket beer, but quality stuff. Although I don’t know or appreciate their circumstances, it does make one feel more than a little uneasy.

3 thoughts on “Only if I have to . . .

  1. I’ve parked outside St George’s Crypt on many many occasions and have always felt nervous and uncomfortable, especially in the evening when visiting the LGI.

    Were you not allowed to use the free underground car park when you have a patient using the hospital over the road.

    I hate going into Leeds, the nearest I get these days is when I go to Dunelm or to access the M62 for IKEA and the other stores over there.

    I prefer to shop in Harrogate, it’s a straightforward quicker, and more pleasant journey from here, as you know.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Gosh, that’s changed I’ve always parked there. All you needed was to show your letter or proof of appointment.

        Maybe it’s because these days the NHS is buying theatre time from the private sector and this might be filling up the carpark.

        Make a sense I suppose to save the spaces for staff and disabled, it’s not a very big carpark.

        Liked by 1 person

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