I park the van at the Thackray Medical Museum. It is too big to fit in the multi-storey carpark next to St James's Department of Oncology, Bexley Wing. We used to park here before appointments, and walk our way down. When Jenn was too ill, we found somewhere a little closer, and I'd jog back to the van and drive it round to the exit, where she'd be waiting for me. She hated that bit.
Today, as the rain beats down on my hood, I enter the hospital via the nearest door, and follow the maze of corridors, linking wing to wing. I haven't walked them for a few months, but the directions are burnt into my memory. First left after the lifts. Follow the signs for A+E for a bit. Much like riding through the local trails. Second left at the tree. I almost go via the Marks and Spencer's concession out of habit. I don't need to buy a ward picnic today.
Into the open space of the atrium at Bexley. Bright, and lively and welcoming. Art on the walls, a piano being played. It feels so familiar, yet so alien, already. I'm meeting Kevin and Lucy - Jenn's, no, our, oncologist and nurse. We have coffee and catch up. Tell stories, bring each other up to speed on the last few months of our lives. Good people are good people, whatever the circumstance in which you meet. Kevin and Lucy are good people, who cared for us, became our friends and helped us through each frightening step. I have as many happy memories from St James's as I do bad ones. We definitely laughed more than we cried. I have a lasting sense of care and being looked after - sometimes of relief, that someone much more qualified than I would be making Jenn feel better, albeit temporarily.
After coffee, I retrace my steps, running a finger down the wall. Porters move past me, patients walk by. A city in microcosm goes about its daily business.
Life goes on, except when it doesn't.