Dear Helen,

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Took dr. Veltman with me to the famous Bronovo hospital in The Hague, where they treat the Queen. When she is ill, that is – otherwise not.
Aunt Eunice was in there for some vague complaint – one of the countless things she always seems to have wrong with her. If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. I think it’s simply an excuse to make me come visit her. And dr. Veltman jumps at the chance to drive me there, so we can spend some time together. Looks like he’s getting a little tired of the Floozy, already – not that I’m surprised.
I won’t repeat Eunice’s conversation to you as it is so dull, and usually centers on either teapot cleaning or unsavoury physical ailments. What was it this time? Kidneys not functioning or something, I’m sure there’s a technical term for it. She seemed perfectly fine to me. Pale and thin, I suppose, but she always is. Never eats much; not much use worrying about her figure at her age, but some women are irredeemably vain, aren’t they. Wouldn’t be surprised if she goes to these teenage anorexia sites, where they learn how to get through life on three bread crumbs a day.
Enough about Eunice. Dr. Veltman was very trying, the entire afternoon. He gets nervous and hectic, when he can’t smoke, even for 15 minutes. The low point came just after our tedious visit with Eunice, when he insisted on helping a sick gentleman in a wheelchair into the elevator. The elderly gentleman – not much more elderly than dr. Veltman, by the way – protested loudly, but it’s as if he doesn’t hear things, isn’t it. He just pushed the fellow into the elevator, until the poor old thing positively shrieked in dismay. No wonder – his IV on wheels was still outside. The elevator doors closed on the IV line, but before gentleman and IV were separated by gentleman going down and IV staying on the third floor, a helpful passer-by managed to open the doors, and save the situation. The patient was quite upset.
Most exhausting. No attractive physicians around, by the way. Might as well not have spent 1.5 hours doing my make-up. I thought the Bronovo was the best, but by God I’ve seen better looking doctors even in that horrid poor man’s hospital Lucas-Andreas in Amsterdam. So, darling, I suppose I’d say, in summary – there’s little joy in falling ill, these days. Perhaps I should eat healthy food, after all.


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