Nicholas Quirke was not expecting, on his first day in Melbourne on 29th December to experience first hand Medical Care in Australia. After 13 uncomfortable hours of not sleeping, not eating, unable to concentrate and feeling sick the plane touched down as expected at 10 am and it should have been an easy progress for him through Passport Control. Typically the scanners wouldn’t read Nicholas’s passport so he then had to join a long queue which took over 30 minutes to get through. He anticipated that his luggage would not have made it to Melbourne, but he was delighted to find his suitcase looking lonely on the flight carousel. He collected his case quickly and got out to meet Kim who had been waiting nearly an hour for him. It was wonderful to see her but she could immediately see that a Nicholas was not a well man. All plans cancelled she insisted he go to the Dr as the first thing they do. The Dr confirmed a high temperature and wanted to do a chest X-ray. He prescribed antibiotics and they finally got the day underway and went for some lunch at Brunetis, a stylish restaurant which he was delighted to see had birds flying through it. Nicholas mentioned actress Helen Morse and Kim said, “I know her” and immediately called and left a message. Helen called back and left a message to say yes she did remember Nicholas and would love to meet. They did a bit of shopping and Nicholas discovered that he had lost his prescription and X-ray appointment, he also discovered that he had left his Amex card at the clinic which meant going back to get a reprint which meant more waiting as the Dr was at lunch. Nicholas was starting to feel delirious and distressed that he was putting Kim through such an ordeal. They finally got to Kim’s beautiful apartment and she put him to bed for a couple of hours. How good it was to have a sleep in a proper bed. He woke to Kim cooking supper and they sat out on her balcony to eat and talk. It was disappointing that his arrival was marred by the pain and sickness but they still had an in depth enlightening talk about everything and everyone. They sorted out the sofa bed and were just about to retire for the night when Nicholas noticed that his left foot was red and swollen.It didn’t take long before they were off to Emergency at St Vincent’s hospital. After he was signed in and it was ascertained it could take a couple of hours before he was seen, Kim, wondering what chaos had arrived in her life, went home leaving him with her phone, her address and her Uber account as well as instructions to talk with a patient Jean who was suffering with an eating disorder. The waiting room filled with the impatient, the tearful, the angry and in pain, he felt particularly entertained by the fury of the woman who could not believe that they did not supply free WiFi but the sight of a teenage girl in agony and her Mother’s distress at being unable to help her  as they waited and waited too was heartbreaking. By 2 am the swelling had stared to decrease and as he still hadn’t been seen he consulted with a Nurse who had look and thought it was a good idea for him to go home. He got back to Kim’s and rang the doorbell, repeatedly, for 15 minutes. He threw sticks at her window; was he seriously going to have to sleep on the doorstep? Kim finally heard the doorbell and let him. At last he could get a proper rest


  1. OMG you poor thing, I hope you are starting to feel better. What a dramatic start to your Australian adventure. Sending lots of love…..and would it be wrong of me to say that I did have a little giggle at your expense?? 🙈 xxx

  2. Oh Nicholas! Very tricky being sick so far from home. Glad you are with someone caring and sensible who knows when to put you to sleep. Rest up, remember this is supposed to be a holiday

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