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A World War 2 Trilogy - By FRED NATH (Novelist and Neurosurgeon)
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Stress Interviews
Zero Tolerance
Brexit
Pain. Empathy and Doctors
Swedish Christmas Ham

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Fred's Blog

Stress Interviews

There is much talk on MSN about stress interviews in industry. Young people with appropriate skills and CV’s are bullied and demeaned to see how resilient they are under stressful conditions. Personal remarks about their appearance, posture, tastes and previous performance are made to make the candidate as uncomfortable as possible, hoping to elicit a reaction. The ‘successful’ candidate would be unruffled throughout.
As a Royal College representative on interview committees for about 20 years and having a lot of practical experience as an examiner, I think I may be allowed a comment.

Zero Tolerance

Deeply saddened by the death of a young man in Yarm on Sunday early morning. My sincere sympathies go out to his grieving family and friends. Attacked and chased by a gang of 6 or more louts, his body was found in the river 2 days later. Despicable.
I live in an area where Cleveland Police have zero tolerance for exceeding the speed limit (you can get 3 points on your license for doing 33 mph), but they seem to have enormous tolerance for violence and drugs. About time they cleaned up Yarm which used to be a lovely, North Yorkshire town where one could go out in the evening without a likelihood of assault, or seeing druggies and fights on the High Street.

Brexit

I think sometimes that our problem in Britain is that the voting population is not so bright. Any nation who could vote in three successive Socialist governments in the face of a predictable economic decline cannot be MENSA material. We now seem to lurch from political crisis to political crisis and although we have plenty of politicians (who look forward 5 or less years) we have no statesmen who look ahead generations. There is an Aesop fable which seems to me to demonstrate where we are with our democratically voted Brexit.

Pain. Empathy and Doctors


I once recall a conversation (a little heated) with one of my nieces when I said I understood how bad a labour pain was. She had started by saying that female obstetricians must be better than male obstetricians. My claim to understand labour pains provoked a rather more volatile response than I think it merited along the lines of, ‘You’re a man. You can’t understand.’

I felt at the time that although I don’t have a uterus, I have delivered 22 babies and witnessed many more deliveries when I trained and since then seen pain in many forms.

Swedish Christmas Ham

My sons asked me for this recipe so I thought I'd put it here for ease of reference and to share with anyone who wishes to try something new.

Swedish Christmas Ham

The main problem when you buy a smoked or ‘green’ ham is that when you roast it, commonly, it is very salty. This ‘recipe’ if that’s what you’d call it, allows you to get the salt out of the ham and roast it in what in my family, has always been the traditional manner.

Start by removing the rind or skin so you have a layer of fat remaining.

Superheroes - Who Needs Them?

I was born in 1950. It was a time when Spencer Tracy, Kirk Douglas, Bert Lancaster were on the rise in their careers. Human icons most young fellas looked up to. Cinema was the great cultural phenomenon at that time and the actors became huge.

At that time too, Marvel’s comic book superheroes were very popular in the pictorial cartoon books and magazines. Like any media one read them and loved them through the suspension of belief. It was escapism at its best – a kind of momentary flight, giving a short-term emotional gratification.

The Promise


Note de l'auteur


Je dois expliquer pourquoi je l'ai utilisé des morceaux de texte du livre d'Albert Camus l’étranger tout au long comme têtes de chapitre.


Il a écrit de son livre "Il y a longtemps je résume l'étranger dans une phrase que je réalise est extrêmement paradoxale. «Dans notre société, tout homme qui ne pleure pas à l'enterrement de sa mère est susceptible d'être condamné à mort».

Windrush, Politics and Prejudice

The plight of the Windrush families and their British naturalisation is a topic quite close to my heart.
My father was born in India, you see. When WW2 broke out, he came to Britain, joined the RNR and as a ship’s doctor had quite a bad war in the Pacific, North Atlantic and Mediterranean. He held a British passport and settled as a GP in Bermondsey once the war ended in 1947. He obtained British naturalisation without difficulty, because he was a British subject and that did not change until the immigration act of 1948.

Dr Bawa-Garba and Manslaughter

Many will have heard of this terrible, tragic case. The doctor involved was tried for manslaughter and convicted despite serious Trust flaws which led to the tragedy.
My feeling here is rather different to the majority. I do agree that a junior doctor, left unsupervised with two juniors below her, each of whom had only a months’ experience of paediatrics, and had herself just returned from 13 months maternity leave was particularly vulnerable to a mistake being made. Where I depart from many people’s stated views is that I do not think the registrar is culpable.

A Swedish Christmas Recipe

This is a typical Swedish recipe passed to me through my mum, who baked loads of stuff at Christmas. It makes really nice sweet bread that goes a treat with coffee especially on Christmas morning. The cardamom adds a hint of lemony fragrance.

Vätebröd- Swedish Buns - makes 24 buns or 2 loaves.
 
Ingredients:
25 g Fresh yeast or 15 g of dried

70 g butter

2 1/2 dl of milk

1/4 tsp of salt

1 dl of sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

425 g flour (Strong white)
 

(if using dried yeast use tepid water as on packet)