Checking for a bulge

Why is it that a lot of people in Aldershot look cranky all the time? And sound it. The number of people talking aggressively to their kids never ceases to amaze me. Not to mention how they talk to each other. I tend to walk with my eyes down, trying not to make eye contact with anyone just in case they see it as an act of provocation.

I’m not often in Aldershot these days. I mean the main shopping part of Aldershot rather than the football ground. Obviously, I visit the Rec as often as I can.

I was in Aldershot today because I had to go to the Centre for Health.

The centre is high up on the appropriately named Hospital Hill, somewhere I’ve never been. Today I was there to have a scan to make sure my aorta is normal and not about to flood my insides with blood. I was attending my Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm screening, courtesy of the NHS.

The screening involved having an ultrasound scan of my abdomen to check that my aorta was less than 3cm wide. If my aorta had been more than 5.5cm wide, I’d be centre stage of some sort of medical emergency situation because it could be about to burst. And that is quite often pretty fatal.

I suggested to the women scanning me that it sounded akin to someone cutting a hose in half while you’re watering the garden. They both nodded as they went about the business of checking mine out.

The procedure is similar to having a scan during a pregnancy except there’s no heartbeat and I didn’t get a photograph. A shame really because it would have been nice to include in this post.

The whole procedure took about ten minutes and I was told that my aorta is a mere 1.5cm across. Which is excellent, as far as I’m concerned. And, apparently, that’s it for me. No more AAA screenings for me. I guess once you hit 65 the aorta is as good as it’s going to get and mine is bloody brilliant.

So, having discovered that my aorta is good for the rest of my life, I headed back home.

Of course, being in Aldershot, I had to check out the building works going on in Union Street. I’d found out about them via a Rushmoor publication I’d read with Anne for the Talking Newspaper. I also stopped for a coffee given I was heaps early.

Interestingly, as you walk up Union Street, the hoardings to your right hiding the big actively engaged bits of machinery, you are presented with as many fast food chains as are extant in the world. Then, suddenly, up near the end of the pedestrianised section, there’s this pot of gold.

Great coffee and an excellent panini. It beggars belief that people go to places like McDonalds and Kentucky Fried when they have somewhere like this. How they survived the lockdowns is anyone’s guess but I’m glad they did.

The building works are all part of the Union Yard Redevelopment Scheme. According to the Rushmoor website ‘The Union Yard regeneration scheme will see the comprehensive redevelopment of a key area in the town centre and will create a new revitalised and vibrant space.’

A lot of the old buildings have been demolished and a whole new set are going to be built. The whole project looks interesting. Though not dissimilar to what was there before.

I walked through the Wellington Centre to reach Union Street. It hasn’t changed very much from when we lived in Aldershot. A few shops have changed but not many. There were a lot of people with masks on in the centre, though not so many outside in the street.

Speaking of which, I caught a couple of buses today, the first since returning to the UK. The first one there was only me and the driver and he wasn’t wearing a mask so I didn’t bother. Then, coming home, the bus driver and the four other passengers had masks, so I felt I had to join them. How anyone can say wearing a mask is comfortable is very odd.

Interestingly, there was a sign at the bus stop which said ‘A mask must be worn’ and a sign on the bus saying ‘We recommend wearing a mask.’ I feel that sends out mixed messages.

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