Summer in the Suburbs

My oh my, it’s highly cliche and pathetic of me to state but it is ridiculously hot while I am writing this. In fact it has been so hot the last couple of days that I was told one point a part on the roof of the hospital reached 40 degrees centigrade. Britain is not built for these kind of temperatures and as you can imagine there is a lot of complaining and things just plain not working.

This aside, it’s been a strange and oddly unsettling week. A real feeling of what I can only describe as ‘ugh’ crept it’s way through the team who all just felt a little off at various points. I have been sleeping okay, but when I do I have very vivid and strange dreams that make me feel like I’ve been active even while resting. They are not unpleasant dreams however, just strange things like meeting up with friends I’ve not seen in a long term in real life and then buying dream chips together.

This has really led to a sense of exhaustion in all of us that cumulated in three of the team having a little lunchtime nap in our tea room on Friday afternoon. I did a bad thing and moved after the motion sensitive light had gone off making it come back on and upset the others. I’m not a peaceful sleeper at the best of times, I probably shouldn’t try and nap in a room where the lights come on if you move.

WARNING- the next two paragraphs talk about spiders, flies and maggots. If you don’t really want to know that kind of thing please skip them!

Warm temperatures mean that in the mortuary we see an increase in fly eggs and larvae which is not exactly my favourite thing to happen. Maggots are probably my least favourite wee beastie, actually second only to spiders. Very occasionally we have spiders in our basement, one the other week saw me full on sprint across the room in the opposite direction. I do not tolerate spiders well and I never have done.

Luckily for us we have a chemical we can use that has no ill effects on the deceased but kills all creepy crawlies and stops any fly eggs from hatching. People are always amazed at how quickly flies can lay eggs but it can be minutes after death. If you’ve ever left food out around flies you will have seen this, they almost immediately start hovering and seeking for a place to lay. Flies tend to lay eggs in the same areas, around the soft tissues of the face. We can normally remove these really easily if we catch them at this stage with no problems but it’s important we look for them on people who die outside of the hospital. Particularly at times when most people have their doors and windows open.

As we slowly roll into August there’s many more hot days ahead I am sure. Tours and museums are slowly opening their doors but I’m still a little apprehensive and wary of going to any. I also feel like I don’t wish to contribute to any second wave or lockdown should that be possible or inevitable. In all honesty I’m more and more convinced it will happen at some point each day but I still couldn’t say for certain or when.

That’s all for this week. I’ve written this early because my grand plans for the weekend include being on call and making my way through Season 2 of The Umbrella Academy while trying to squeeze in seeing a couple of friends. Keep safe everyone.

MG x

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