Category: Family

A Boxing day story with American sub-titles

Boxing day was cool (10 degrees), so I wore plus twos over my pants, added a jumper and topped it off with my mackintosh, wellies and balaclava. There was not enough snow for sledging, so I left my toboggan behind. The translation. Boxing day. The day after Christmas, when it was traditional in Britain for…
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Have I GOTTEN all American now?

One of my readers (I hope that there may be more than one) chastised me recently for using the American word “gotten” in my latest blog. It is not in common usage in my native England, although some do refer to “ill-gotten gains”. Maybe “forgotten” and even “woe-begotten” are also somehow connected? Who said “two…
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New book about Fred the friendly snake

Delighted to confirm that my 6th book about Fred and friends is now available at booksellers and Amazon in hardback, soft cover and ebook versions Signed and personalized copies are available here on this web site Enjoy their fun adventures, including a scary moment when white water rafting

A medicine called “worse than cats”

Some may remember that I posted a piece called “Thinking about placebos and healing”. I thought it was just a few months ago, but it was actually in November 2018. It was stimulated by my surprise and confusion about the fact that most patients undergoing sham procedures in my EPISOD research study did remarkably well,…
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The Middlesex Hospital – what sort of a name is that?

Some of the adventures I have recounted in recent months happened while I was on the Consultant staff of The Middlesex Hospital in London (1973-86). You may wonder about the name, which could be misunderstood. It was called The Middlesex because it was in the County of Middlesex, now part of the city of London.…
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So many royal connections!

I am running short on anecdotes about royal patients, but do have some other royal connections, about which you are no doubt curious, and maybe envious. Let’s start with Kings. I was born in the little village of Kingstone, near Hereford, in the west of England. Note “Cotton’s Meadow”, which was indeed a meadow across…
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Royal and famous patients 7. A rash dilemma

It is a stretch to call this one a royal patient, but it might amuse. For a while I was a member of the Royal Air Force volunteer reserve. I may have mentioned before that our whole family was into gliding, big time in my youth. When I got to Cambridge University I found, like…
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Royal and famous patients. 6. Bollywood star

A Bollywood mega star was in the news recently, having contracted and happily survived COVID19 Amitabh Bachchan had another close brush with mortality almost 40 years ago, having suffered an injury while filming on location. The severity of his illness led to uncontrolled bleeding, suspected to be coming from an acute stomach “stress ulcer”. I…
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Royal and famous patients 5. A confused politician

I was about to perform an endoscopy procedure on a prominent member of the British cabinet who was known to enjoy a drink or two, who, also like Churchill, had changed political party allegiances several times over his career. When I asked him to turn onto his left side, he turned to the right. He…
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Royal and famous patients 4. Movie stars

Although working in the National Health Service at The Middlesex hospital in London, I (like many) had to run a small private practice on the side to survive. I learned a lesson rather early from one patient who claimed to be a famous film star in his country in (or next to) the Mediterranean. He…
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