It's a routine. You do the forms and do the interview, and they prick you with the iron measuring thing, and they take your blood pressure. The questions are always the same and I always know the answers. Still no shingles! Still no chicken pox! Still no needles! It's comforting. I feel like some weird part of me (us? just me?) always kind of yearns to be in hospital, especially when life is stressful and scary. When you're in hospital the world can't expect anything of you. Its real time off. I feel like giving blood is a mini version of that, where the world disappears for a while. I've never seen anyone on a work call in there. No one can tell you that you have better things to do. There are no better things to do.
I get my coffee and my biscuit selection (they have an arrangement with Griffin's and think how much sugar is in that plasma) and get into a book. Plasma takes about an hour so its quite peaceful. I think I got into giving blood because historically I've been wealthier in time than in money. It's something you give willingly. When you're all hooked up they offer you a coffee, and I always accept what the nurses have collectively decided they will call a 'flat white'. It comes in one of those tinted brown glasses. There is no espresso machine, and it is most definitely not a flat white. I'm not about to point it out (though it would be really fun to make a big scene sometime- 'excuse me, but what the fuck is this?'). I bet, though, that if they had a proper barista on site they'd be swimming in blood.