Quite simply, demand outstrips supply not just in hospitals, but also in general practice. And with A&E and hospitals full, patients are increasingly returned to general practices that are handling more and more complex consultations with fewer resources.
Well, a few weeks later we packed our bags, jumped on a plane to LA and checked into our first hotel to begin our great Californian honeymoon adventure; I wearily opened my luggage, and who should I find? Mabel, of course.
As can be expected in the City, dining at Eastway is a very different experience depending on when it is visited. Go in during the week and there will be the usual mix of busy City workers, lawyers and bankers but brunch at the weekend is a slightly subdued affair with a far more laid-back atmosphere.
Would I move out to the leafy suburbs of Surrey and commute into London in a bid to 'have it all'? Or would I head back to the North East where a cheaper, calmer life surrounded by my family awaited?
Thirty-five years ago this month, Charles Handy envisioned the rise of the portfolio worker. This increasingly popular lifestyle choice favored by many, including myself, has given rise to a thriving creative class.
It's entirely possible to love and hate London with ferocious, equal intensity. On good days, you're invincible. Because you're there, and you're living your dream. On bad days, you want to tumble over the edge of the world: frustrated, perplexed and fiercely clutching your Vegemite jar. Tomorrow, you'll rise, determined to endure.
My latest experience of one concluded in me quaffing several tequila shots too many and projecting them at great volume into the nearest toilet bowl. Why did I do such a thing to myself, you ask? Well it wasn't because the booze was cheap - is it ever? - and it certainly wasn't due to any sort of fondness for tequila.
Of the 29 million trips made to England by overseas visitors, just 12 percent are to the north. Not only are these tourists missing out on some of most stunning landscapes and hippest cites in the world, but our regional economies are also suffering with England's £106bn tourism industry dominated by London.
TfL already does something similar to a reserve, staffing its tube stations using 'ambassadors' when strikes are on. But why not go one step further and use ordinary Londoners to help TFL run its services during disputes?
Like lots of people I had a dream to travel the world. Not in bite size two week trips. I wanted to really travel and have the luxury of getting to know a country inside and out, to do yoga in India, stay with tribes in Vietnam and generally be a bit of a hippy with an income that required little work.
Both men and women will stay loyal and supportive to their partners for many years because of the deep rooted love they have for them, however, this doesn't mean that other elements of the relationship should be taken for granted.
The clubs' owners are clearly hoping that if they just get enough women to passively wander in, the men will follow, pay their over-priced entrance fee and then proudly make the most of their gender pay gap to buy an abundance of drinks at the bar.
There's a 35 year-old PR girl who's never orgasmed with a man; an 18 year-old from Greece who wanted to "be like James Bond"; a woman in her 60s who wanted to explore a side of herself that she'd neglected since motherhood.
It is one thing for some of the world's leaders to march for freedom of expression. Well done that they did so, even if some of them were being more than a little hypocritical. But freedom of expression should be used to help build a more just and fair world. Let millions march for that too.
The obscenity of it all is brought home by this: a short walk in one direction from me are some of Britain's most deprived people, and in the other direction are the champagne bars and investment banks of Canary Wharf.
When you think of visiting London you might imagine high-rise buildings like The Shard and The Gherkin, shopping areas like Oxford Street and Westfield or busy tourist attractions like The Tower of London or Buckingham Palace.