It’s already been a hectic year writes Roy Edmonds

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‘How’s 2022 treating you so far?” asked a friend, messaging my mobile phone.

Whitegate Health Centre

Whitegate Health Centre

Well, I told him, first off we enjoyed Christmas – even got to a couple of ‘do’s (after finally sorting out Covid passes).

One evening, with Fairhaven Tennis Club at the lovely Bedford Hotel in St. Annes, brought lots of fun and great food. We even won a good bottle of French champagne! The other was an enjoyable dance at the wonderful Tower, the ‘Twixt Ball’ between Christmas and New Year – and another success.

Then 2022 came, bringing a telephone fault silencing our landline for days, plus a flooding drain in our garden. I also discovered the car wasn’t serviced or properly taxed through last year’s Covid-lockdown chaos. Then I cut my hand badly, on the gate’s hanging-basket hook and, lastly, got a troubling gum infection.

2022 looked like another challenging year then! But engineers clearing our drain were great, with miniature cameras, blockage locators and root-cutting devices; helpful Sky technicians – and Brian from Openreach – sorted our phone line; Ivory dentist’s soothed my mouth, while supreme mechanic Mark, of Howarth’s Motors, Marton, rescued us with the car.

As for NHS staff at Whitegate Drive’s busy walk-in, or ‘urgent-treatment’ centre (pictured), they were terrific and the experience humbling. I made three visits in all, every one shorter and more pleasant. They were understaffed but had relief medics travelling from Liverpool and Cheshire.

Each treatment experience I was touched and impressed by their exhaustingly long, dedicated work but cheerful spirit; while the endurance of many patients, suffering but coping with fortitude and selfless patience, was truly inspiring.

It made me proud to live among such diverse but pleasant, decent people. What’s more, coping with those day-to-day challenges restored my confidence – in us all.

Let’s make it a great New Year, together!

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