After a short pause

So I’m in this room, which has a prefabricated wall and door. It used to be a cubicle I suppose. I’ve had a number of injections, they’ve taken blood I think, and I’m on oxygen. People come and go. I tell a nurse in an elaborate breathing device which covers her head that it looks like she’s wearing a vintage hair drier – the ones that had a plastic hood which inflated. (I don”t know if I was right. Iwas still a bit spaced out.)She was amused but said that she thought she looked like a nun. I said well that too. I was glad she could get something interesting out of the protective headgear.

I saw a lot of odd looking PPE during my stay. A nurse wearing a kind of weird gas mask helped me with washing a day or so later (they really don’t pay them enough).

There was a long picture above the door showing a panorama of a forest floor with tree trunks and bluebells. I had the idea that the image was moving slightly as some screen savers do but at the same time I thought the movement was in my head. I hadn’t been thinking very coherently for several days.

Now I was pretty sure of where I was, lying in this room in A&E. My son was nearby in a similar room. My wife was somewhere else in the building. She wasn’t intubated but a machine was helping her breathe. It was a couple of days before we saw each other.

As you’ve probably worked out, all three of us had new variant Covid-19 and were now in hospital. But don’t be too concerned. I had a bit of pneumonia, but I never had trouble breathing as far as I can recall. There were fleeting visits from doctors, plenty of drugs and oxygen, plus the usual issues of getting the TV to work (bit of a first world problem I know).

Relief at being snatched from the jaws of death (maybe) turned to plotting escape, and a few days later I walked out of the hospital in a borrowed pair of pyjamas and my own dressing gown (we don’t live too far from the hospital). Back in my own home I spent an almost coherent evening on my own reunited with my own machines. My son and wife followed over the next couple of days. We survived.

Thank you to the staff of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital and special thanks to my friend and colleague Isabel who kept me sane over a series of phone calls. Thanks to all the friends and medical professionals who have helped me while I’m recovering. Thanks above all to my wife and son.

This post is not to make you feel sorry for me, but to explain my absence from the blog. So there you are. I’m still here and regular posting will be resumed as soon as possible. Apologies to everyone who left comments and had to wait for me to approve them. The truth is that the blog got on pretty well without me. Page views were good. The annual total last year was more than the previous year. January’s monthly total was the second highest ever total for that month. I know. The lockdown. Many people with more time to spare. I’d like to think it has a little to do with the quality of the back catalogue, which is pretty extensive.

I have a bit more time off now, and there were a few draft posts waiting to be complete. So you can expecta return to actual blogging quite soon I hope. Pictures next time, too.

Oh yes, one last thing. In case you were wondering, I saw and experienced nothing which would lead me to think Covid 19 is a hoax. Anyone who thinks that should probably take another look at the evidence.

28 responses to “After a short pause

  • Susanna Twomey

    I’m glad you and your family are on the mend

  • Marcia

    From a fan in the US, I’m glad you and your family are on the mend. I wish you a 100% recovery. I’ve missed your posts.

  • Ruth Beaty

    Truly sorry to hear this, and the new variant! Just Yay. Hope things are back to normal soon and you guys are much better.

  • Michelle Erica Green

    Glad to hear that you are recovering!

  • James

    Glad you and yours are all OK.

  • Rebekah Bristow

    Wow! Sounds like a nightmare. I’m so pleased to hear you were all so well looked after and you’re all on the road to recovery. Take it easy though. I enjoy your fascinating blogs but would rather you got well without any pressure. Take care.

  • John Brooks

    That you for sharing your story which was so real and very meaningful. Welcome back!!

  • Basia Korzeniowska

    I am so glad you and your family are better

  • Liz Altieri

    Dave I’m so glad you’ve had excellent care at the Chelsea and Westminster and are on the mend with family. You’ve probably seen the pathetic tragedy that some nurses in the US are reporting of patients dying from Covid who still don’t believe they have it. Misinformation has so much to answer for. Thank you for your careful independent research and history. Take it easy. I’m getting Moderna vax #2 tomorrow. We’ll get through this.

  • John Stacey

    Get better soon Dave and take your time getting over this bloody virus.

  • Gijs Leffelaar

    Dave, glad to hear you are recovering from the Covid. Missing your posts on London in the bygone years. A fan from The Netherlands

  • peterharrisclocks

    Hello Dave

    Welcome back. I very happy you all survived this terrible virus. It might be a very useful thing if you shared with us all how you contracted Covid-19, as it may alert just one of us to be cafeful and save a life.

    And yes, it’s the quality of your blog that has kept it alive and will do so for many years to come.

    I’ve attach a photo you probable have, of a occasion I actually witnessed in 1955 of a hardware shop burning to the ground. The photo which appeared in Life magazine at the time is of a fireman rescuing a baby from the top floor of the shop. I was in a crowd opposite, at that moment and saw it. The baby would have died without the fireman’s bravery. The shop was around the corner to me in the Old Brompton Road, opposite the Brompton Cemetery. We all used to buy paraffin from the shop and it had a large supply in its basement. This would account for the explosive fire which raged the entire day. These days it would be more of a sensation but it wasn’t long since WW2, so people took it more in their stride. Anyway good you are all much recovered.

    Kind regards,


    Peter Harris Kempsford Gardens Residents Association And Chelsea Galleries, 69 Portobello Road. London. Website:- Tel 07930 536 818

    On Fri, 12 Feb 2021, 12:47 am The Library Time Machine, wrote:

    > Dave Walker posted: ” So I’m in this room, which has a prefabricated wall > and door. It used to be a cubicle I suppose. I’ve had a number of > injections, they’ve taken blood I think, and I’m on oxygen. People come and > go. I tell a nurse in an elaborate breathing device whi” >

  • peterharrisclocks

    Sorry here’s the photo 📸

    Kind regards,


    Peter Harris Tel 07930 536 818

    On Fri, 12 Feb 2021, 12:47 am The Library Time Machine, wrote:

    > Dave Walker posted: ” So I’m in this room, which has a prefabricated wall > and door. It used to be a cubicle I suppose. I’ve had a number of > injections, they’ve taken blood I think, and I’m on oxygen. People come and > go. I tell a nurse in an elaborate breathing device whi” >

  • Linda James

    Thank goodness you pulled through

  • csbcohen

    I’m still breathless from reading your post. From safety and comfort in the Midlands it all seems so remote

  • Mike Green

    So glad you are all on the mend! And great to see you back on the LTM. All best wishes, Mike.

  • Lucy Gilbert

    So sorry to hear you and your family have been through this awful ordeal but glad you’re coming out the other side. Rest up, get well and take it easy all of you

    Get Outlook for Android


  • Charlotte Frost (@CharlotteFrost1)

    We’ve missed you, Dave. Thank you for posting.

  • nigeldviv

    Dave, we are all so sorry to hear that you have had this dreadful virus along with so many thousands of others. We hope you and your family all make a complete recovery.
    Your LTM back catalogue is indeed extensive, and a fascinating resource for all of us interested in Kensington local history. We look forward to many more of your excellent posts, but please get yourself fully well first!
    Best wishes and take care, Nigel

  • Marcia Howard

    I’m so sad to know you’d all been struck down with the dreaded virus, but excellent news that you are now back home and wishing a speedy recovery to all three of you. I was called for my covid jab this morning, which I confess I got quite excited about it. No reaction so far, so trust it will stay that way. Keep well, and welcome back!

  • Christina Boertje

    What a blessing that you and your family weren’t more seriously stricken. Welcome back and stay well.
    Chriss in Minnesota, USA

  • Kathleen Fisher

    Hello Dave, I had noticed you were “missing” but thought maybe you were just having a break. I’m very glad you and your family are on the road to recovery and hope that you are all back to full health soon. My grandparents lived on Cheyne Walk in the early 1900s and I have been researching some of their artistic neighbours (and lodgers) recently. Fascinating to discover how many artists there were in that area. Look forward to more posts from you when you are ready.

  • Elmparkgardens

    Dave Hi ,I had no idea this has happened to you all , really pleased you all back and recovering.   Very best wishes June  Ps have more pictures if you’d like them 

    Sent from the all new Aol app for iOS

  • lucyclemson

    Hello Dave, I’m so pleased to know you and your family are recovering, and I wish you all the very best.

  • ken peers

    Get well soon Dave and I wish you and your family a speedy recovery,Ididn’t realise you were poorly and it will be great to have you back when you are fit enough.Stay safe.

  • Jonathan Gibbs

    So sorry to hear the soup plague lurgie struck Dave , but very happy to hear that all of you are on the mend. Stay well x

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