I can’t leave the hospital without mentioning Douglas’s claim to fame. In order to help pass the time sitting on a hard plastic chair he decided to knit himself another sweater. This created quite a stir, firstly among the nurses and then any number of Cretan ladies from other wards who all came to inspect, nod their approval and go away to tut-tut and nod among themselves; never before had the Cretans seen a man who knitted. Males just do not do that sort of thing. One lady did criticise his technique saying one needle should be held under his armpit but he pointed out that with the length of his arms he would require needles a yard long. He learnt to knit from his father who passed his time at sea with it and he has any number of sweaters that attract approving noises when worn. It’s a pity so many man hours are involved with each hand knitted garment and he has used the knitting machine I inherited from Rex Rainer a couple of times. I don’t think he actually approves of it though.
Doctor Kostas passing by expressed a wish for Douglas to knit him a sweater so Douglas said. ‘Make Glyn well and I’ll knit you one,’ to which Kostas replied ‘Knit me a sweater and I’ll make Glyn well.’
Kostas’ constant answer to any question he couldn’t immediately answer was ‘Be patient.’ I forbore to say I was already a patient, that would have been too obvious. Later, when impatient to leave, the ‘be patient’ turned to ‘be happy.’
With about 3000 people passing in and out of the hospital daily one would imagine more thought would have been given to catering. There is a dining room with a notice on the door reading it is for the sole use of doctors. There is a tiny snack bar and even tinier shop in the basement and a couple of kantinas outside the gates, a bakery further down the road and that is it. If someone could open a proper eatery close by they’d make a fortune. The food served to patients is simply awful (I lost half a stone, about 7 pounds from simply throwing most of it away), the same complaint, my one and only complaint really, that I had when I was hospitalised in Xania. I hope it isn’t the same food that’s served up in the doctors' dining room. The only hot drink of the day was a plastic cup of boiling hot milk with the two tiny slices of commercially packed breakfast toast and jam and that milk really tasted so good. Fortunately I had Douglas to bring me of an evening the occasional hot tea from either the snack bar or from outside – that being the tastiest and never was tea more appreciated.
I did enjoy the four o’clock custard every day though, and I do think that must surely be enough about the hospital.
The stitches (staples rather) came out at the Vamos Health Centre four days ago and they certainly seem an improvement on old-fashioned sutures. Just a “click” as they were snipped and I didn’t feel a thing. The good lady doctor assured me, “You will feel no pain and I have very sensitive hands.” I can vouch for both.
Marie Smith informs me that her husband, Brian went to Heraklion last week to have his pacemaker checked and the surgeon asked if he knew a writer in Vamos, Glyn Idris Jones and when Brian said he did, the surgeon said, ‘I’ve just done his pacemaker,’ and added ‘a wonderful man.’ What I did to warrant such an encomium I will never know. This Glyn Idris bit is fairly recent and is only because there are so many who go by the name of Glyn Jones we needed something to differentiate me from the rest (including the dry cleaners) and there is no other Glyn Idris. On book covers it will still be just plain ordinary old Glyn Jones to keep it the same as has been but inside now it will be my full name, as it is on Amazon etc