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It was Machine Morning this morning.  A couple of times a week, Grenouille’s overnight machines need periodic system checks on top of the daily ones.  The machines are supplied by our local NHS Trust, which also provided the protocols that keep them operating optimally.  Some of the checks have to be done while G is hooked up to them, and are best done in the mornings because reasons.  Besides, doing them in the evening prolongs the already lengthy bedtime routine excruciatingly.  I prefer to get up 15 minutes early the next morning.

This morning, though, I was a little late, so was trying to hurry through everything.  The machine checks, unfortunately, are unhurryable.  The machine takes the time it takes, and I can like it or lump it.  On mornings like this morning, I don’t like it – and my lumping capacity is reduced in proportion to my perceived lack of time.

I turned the dials and the machine began to tick through its checklist.  I sat on the edge of G’s bed, humphing impatiently, finger poised to stab buttons in sequence.  G eyed me and the display window on the front of the machine.

“Mum?”

 “Yes?”

“It says, Please Wait.”

“I know it does.”

“Take your finger away!”

I huffed again.  “I just want to be ready so I can do the next bit as soon as this bit’s finished.”

“Mum!  It’s asking nicely!”

I couldn’t help laughing.  “Fair enough.”

G grinned a look-on-the-bright-side grin.  “The other machine doesn’t say please.  At least this one’s polite.”

You’re right, I thought.  At least this part of the NHS system is minding its manners.  I hope the bit of the NHS system that’s currently operating in the Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court will do the same.

I won’t be holding my breath, though.  That would probably mean me ending up on a ventilator as well.

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