Sarah's Birthday

Submitted by D W on Mon, 2015-11-23 16:59

It is Sarah’s birthday.

She was born in November darkness at five o’clock in the morning in the Bristol Maternity Hospital, at the top of Black Boy Hill, where, coincidentally, I learned midwifery some years later. Five o’clock. The most awkward time of night. She was awkward in her origins. She is awkward now. I think I love her because she’s not compliant.

Anyway, for her birthday we ordered a CD of Conan the Barbarian. Though violent, it has a very fine music score, and the villain (Thulsa Doom) reminds both of us of her Neurologist.

I cooked the birthday-girl lamb’s liver and onions and roast tomatoes. She enjoyed it. Now she sits back with a glass of dry white wine.



Submitted by D W on Sun, 2014-03-30 20:25

Doctor Manford Returned to his Chair.


‘I’m sorry: your wife is finished.’

‘Oh. What do you mean?’


‘She’s finished.’ He paused. ‘Get her

To a Nursing Home. I can recommend one.’


‘Thank you. She’s an artist.’

‘That’s all over,’ he said.


‘And now you have a fee to pay,’ he said.

Sarah drew out her cheque-book.


‘How much?’ ‘Sixty Pounds.’

Sarah wrote out the cheque


Somewhat laboriously.

‘You see,’ said the neurologist,


In the past I’ve had to make

Recourse to a debt-collecting agency.




Submitted by D W on Wed, 2012-11-21 15:59

We take our work habitus for granted and assume that others must understand it. I’ve come believe that this is not the case; in my own situation I find that people wonder whether I’m a real medical practitioner. Part of the problem is that the American MD degree is equivalent to a MB ChB in the UK. British MDs are rare. So I thought I would try to clarify matters on my web-page by adding a short resume of how I came to be a medical microbiologist and what the daily work of such a person entails. Please let me know if it can be improved.


Nine Eventful Years

Submitted by D W on Tue, 2012-06-19 09:40

I've just put an update on my website. If I may I'll copy it here

Nine years ago this month the Consultant Neurologist to whom Sarah was referred, after a history and a thorough examination, took me to one side and told me to prepare for the worst. The disease, multiple sclerosis, was in a progressive mode and behaving very aggressively. He advised me to look round for a nursing home. Her career as a fine artist was over. He was very frank, and I respect this.

A Poem

Submitted by D W on Wed, 2011-11-23 21:34

I've been writing a series of poems, which I hope have the mordancy of the artist Francisco José de Goya. Here is one of them:


Goyaesque: a cruel-faced neurologist


told me that my wife was dying, and
told me that I’d have to make arrangements:
he mentioned a nursing-home. He showed us

a stock scan which was not hers, and which
he carried with him. Well; events
turned otherwise. But he never liked her

getting better. She recovered. But he
he never liked her getting better. And when
she sent him images of her later work

he never responded. Ah, well.