Pete McCarthy commented that the most important lesson he had ever learnt in life was to never ask a British Airways flight attendant for another gin and tonic until she was damned well good and ready to serve him. Today I discovered that it doesn't matter how many times you say please, excuse me and I'm sorry, asking a question of a german nurse who is eating toast is not a good thing to do. For anyone.
Frau K, leader of the volunteers, told me that the staff on the ward were really looking forward to meeting me. I'd have hated to have seen the reaction from anyone who might have been a bit lukewarm about the idea.