For decades I have only ever taken fleeting notice of the name in obituaries, which would feature Malta’s “cancer hospital” as the place where someone had passed away. Thus, for me the name Boffa – not one of those common Maltese surnames that you hear all the time – has always had a sinister ring to it, although it should be stressed that Sir Paul Boffa was anything but a sinister man but Malta’s Prime Minister between 1947 and 1950.
Since the end of November, Sir Paul Boffa Hospital has become the destination of my chemotherapy pilgrimage, approximately three times a month. The hospital was built just before World War II – and indeed, on the inside it does carry that typical dated government department aura. The first thing that usually greets us upon arrival at ca. 8.30 in the morning: brutal traffic and parking chaos, which however is handled very sensibly and in a surprisingly friendly manner by the security and reception staff. Here, all the staff at Boffa deserve to be mentioned and commended, really. All of them are doing sterling work, but what I admire most is how cheerful they remain throughout the morning, no matter the stress level, which is usually on the high side! I guess it takes a very particular dedication to your profession that lets you choose that kind of career and be able to carry a genuine smile for each and every patient – even grumpy ones!
Well, it’s time to come to the actual purpose of this post, which has been a long time coming. On my second trip to Boffa, having conquered parking chaos and about half the length of the long, long corridor leading to the Day Ward, we encountered a “traffic diversion” through the hospital garden as the corridor was being renovated. And discovered what a little gem of a garden that is! It took me several attempts to bring my camera, fully functional (yep, on Christmas Eve I even did that idiotic booboo of bringing it without a CF card!!), be fit enough to use it – and last but not least, find time for it!
My Boffa trip this last Friday (a wonderful spring-like day, too!) was finally the day it came all together. Well, almost, anyway; unfortunately I hadn’t reckoned with facing the morning sun straight-on and I was also missing my wide-angle lens…That I can (and will) bring another time, but I don’t see myself taking photos later in the day. After chemo, as soon as the drip is out it’s always a race back to the ferry. Until now we’ve never managed to leave the hospital with time to spare!
I couldn’t resist to catch a little of the early morning atmosphere on the ferry, I just love the light!
And here’s finally the garden – and its view – at the hospital. There will be a few more photos in the hopefully not too distant future!