We didn't take the 'Hopper Bus' to St. Peter's Hospital because when I checked up I found that (bizarrely for a hospital shuttle bus) you aren't allowed to bring walking aids on board for 'health and safety reasons'.
No wonder it's always empty.
We did make our banner - as you can see I got Robyn to help out with the lettering. Mines the top row....oops;
And on Tuesday morning we didn't get up as early as we should have - it was freezing cold.
We parked in my secret place where it's free but then we had a long walk to the picket line.
We went to the entrance to the hospital;
Which is the traditional place although we heard that there was another line at the front door - the ancilliary staff weren't allowed on hospital grounds at all back in 2014.
There were quite a few doctors there - the numbers fluctuated through the morning.
I brought my whistle with me which Robyn is using here;
I reflected on all the picket lines I've stood on in my life - this was quite the politest I've been on and the strikers were bombarded with biscuits and cakes from passers by.
In a way it was also very sad - these were the most idealistic young doctors you could meet. They are trying to protect their 'work life balance' but they are also trying to preserve doctors professional standards and the NHS as well.
Ranged against them is most of the press, the private health industry, the whole of the tory party, the remaining bits of 'new labour' which was always hand in glove with private health care and a growing number of people who just don't understand how important the NHS is and how it challenges the way we view our society.
The tories really do want to destroy it in its current form.
As against that, the strikers got a very good response from drivers who were hooting their support all morning;
For me there was a special satisfaction in picketing St. Peter's and I suppose this may also be my last picket line too;
If there is no agreement the strike will be on again next week and we will try to be there, dependant on when chemo starts.
Meanwhile, it was bitterly cold. It took me all day to warm up and as we drove home I saw how high the river was at Staines.
In the evening we got the first flood warning of the year!
(a don't stop till you drop production)
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