One of the private dental surgeries has a capacious long reception area, with one high straight backed dining chair, which can be really uncomfortable after five minutes. There is a three piece suite made in those really low deep sitting styles that make it awkward to rise from them, whatever adult age you are. I developed a knack for getting up off this awkwardly designed furniture, not from regular attendance, but from the need to avoid indignity. There is a marble fireplace with mantel at the end of the room near the deep seats. The fireplace is not used. It is well preserved. Near the reception desk at the opposite end are two Edwardian children’s desks. When a child opens a desk lid, there is a treasure trove of pencils, crayons paper and colouring books.

The surgeries, like the waiting room, are panelled in dark oak. Whereas the dental surgeries are well lit, the waiting room appears dark and oppressive, yet, it can be the most sociable meeting place. When that happens, there is a buzz about the room, with friends greeting one another, people engaging with individuals they haven’t seen for a long time. The pall of any nervous tension, any quiet respectful demeanour, disappears. 😀

The modern local medical practice was built to resemble, I think, a Gothic church hall. The architects were very careful to appoint as much light into the patients’ waiting space as possible. Interestingly, with the amount of wasted height, there is no echo. That may be due to the quantity of wood used in the finishing. It’s a strange space which is difficult to make more intimate. Various large green plants have been tried in different positions to try to break up the expanse. The plants are now sitting like sentinels by various doors. Notwithstanding these odd features, if people see others they know, even across the ocean of width, they will acknowledge them, or they will sit by someone, as I did today, when I spotted a person who I had not seen for years. 😮



  1. Yes, this is some good writing here, and leads us into a situation which I would enjoy exploring. If you had a few more chapters, I’m ready to read them… who the friend was… and whether you were able to continue something that had been left behind years ago… I wonder.

  2. Waiting rooms are strange places and can tell us a lot about the people we are waiting to see…. for example, I once went to an osteopath’s practice with a friend, where the waiting room had only very low sofas. Given that many of the people needed treatment for bad backs, this was weird to say the least – and extremely uncomfortable!

  3. Low set sofas and low set seats and osteopathy really do not gel, do they.

    The dentist’s waiting room I mentioned also serves other services available in upstairs rooms that are rented by those businesses, including osteopathy, twice per week. Given that the building is owned by the senior dentist, the osteopaths are using what has been provided. It would not be beyond the wit of anyone to suggest contributing to additional seating, like upright chairs. They would not cost the earth and will also benefit the many ranges of ages of the dentist’s patients. One of these days, a dental nurse, receptionist, or, other patients, will have to help someone off the floor!

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