Yesterday, I gave blood for the first time since coming back from India. They were a bit worried about malaria but said they’d take it anyway and if it was infected they’d just chuck it. I’m presuming they’re going to tell me if this happens. Anyway, I went down to Jury’s Inn, where my donation was going to take place. What a hole. Orange carpet and very ugly furniture. Now usually, the people from the Blood Bank are very friendly and very attentive. Not yesterday. They were a bit casual, I thought, apart from the blood-testing man who smiled obsequiously and asked if I was menstruating. After he’d stabbed the end of my finger a few times and we’d watched my sample sink at a snail’s pace  to the bottom of the test tube (a good sign), a mannish looking nurse with greasy hair and Doc Martens took me to my bed. The beds were arranged in a haphazard circle like a Wild West wagon train under attack from the Apaches. To my left, a woman appeared to be doing it herself for want of a nurse and to my right, a man was having a bit of a turn. I dutifully filled my bag to the strains of Madonna’s ‘Papa don’t preach’ and then yet another nurse came to remove my donation and stick a plaster on my arm. ‘Leave it on for six hours’ she snarled and went off to sort out a collapsing privacy screen. I had my tea and Hobnob and left, tutting.