After reading this piece, we've decided that Wandsworth is currently our favourite London borough to be ill in. Although anyone who's ever lived in Wandsworth, especially any of the bits that aren't Wandsworth Village, might claim that it's pretty damn hard to live there and not be ill. But we digress.
Patients of Dr Alex Bobak will find, upon entering his South London surgery, that the waiting room has been transformed into a mini Caribbean beach complete with sand, parasols, sun loungers, palm trees, warm breezes and a boardwalk. But no Bruce Willis under it. Or sea for that matter. There's also no mention of whether the quality of the reading material has improved either. Perhaps you're required to bring your own Jacky Collins. Or buy one from the receptionist.
The Waiting Beach concept, created in association with Virgin Holidays, is an attempt to see whether many of our winter illnesses are just manifestations of the winter blues: no sunlight, no warmth, no more Christmas presents. A big old case of SAD in other words. Dr Bobak (who will be presenting a paper on his findings later this year) 's thoughts are echoed, not only by just about all of us, but also by the folks at the Science Museum who are offering a 20 minute blast of sunshine substitute (not LSD) in one of their cafes until the end of February. You might have to book ahead - which you can consider as an alternative to leaving your towel on the poolside in the early hours.
Dr Bobak's waiting room returns to normal (no doubt suffering it's own post-holiday blues) on the 25th January. If any of you have been to this magical surgery, drop us a comment and let us know if you had a mad holiday romance, stood on something spikey and poisonous or were even cured without ever having had to see the Doctor.