One of the private dental surgeries has a capacious long reception area, with one high straight backed dining chair, which can be really uncomfortable after five minutes. There is a three piece suite made in those really low deep sitting styles that make it awkward to rise from them, whatever adult age you are. I developed a knack for getting up off this awkwardly designed furniture, not from regular attendance, but from the need to avoid indignity. There is a marble fireplace with mantel at the end of the room near the deep seats. The fireplace is not used. It is well preserved. Near the reception desk at the opposite end are two Edwardian (early twentieth century) children's desks. When a child opens a hinged wooden desk lid, there is a treasure trove of pencils, crayons paper and colouring books.
The surgeries, like the waiting room, are panelled in dark oak. Whereas the dental surgeries are well lit, the waiting room appears dark and oppressive, yet, it can be the most sociable meeting place. When that happens, there is a buzz about the room, with friends greeting one another, people engaging with individuals they haven't seen for a long time. The pall of any nervous tension, any quiet respectful demeanour, disappears.
The modern local medical practice was built to resemble, I think, a Gothic church hall. The architects were very careful to appoint as much light into the patients' waiting space as possible. Interestingly, with the amount of wasted height, there is no echo. That may be due to the quantity of wood used in the finishing. It's a strange space which is difficult to make more intimate. Various large green plants have been tried in different positions to try to break up the expanse. The plants are now sitting like sentinels by various doors. Notwithstanding these odd features, if people see others they know, even across the ocean of width, they will acknowledge them, or they will sit by someone, as I did today, when I spotted a person who I had not seen for years.