When I lived in Glasgow, many years ago, my two elder sons
aged 5 and 7 learned a song at school:
Jesus bids us shine with a pure, clear light,
Like a little candle burning in the night,
In this world of darkness, Jesus bids us shine,
You in your small corner and me in mine.
Maybe you’ll think I’m stupid, but it always moved me. Why? Because
it’s about the purity of a child, about kindness and above all the right of a
child to believe.
Believe in what? I hear you say.
It doesn’t matter whether you substitute Mohammed, Buddha or
Jupiter Optimus Maximus for Jesus, it’s what we should bring our children up to
believe in – about a culture of kindness.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
20 6 16
5 am. Dog wakes me –
need to go out. Oooooh groan. Dressing gown, slippers stumble down stairs –
fresh air on my face.
Damned funny time to get
up. Start to think… Could I be more productive? Apportion my time…
Bed beckons. But… and there’s
always a ‘but’. Can I?
prolific medico-legal expert, published author, house person to my daughter or
was that slave? More productive?
But work never seemed to
be ‘work’. I always enjoyed it. Never felt that even at 3 am. opening someone’s
head that it was hard work.
told that the three most stressful things you can do in life are: moving house,
losing someone close to you (grief) and getting divorced. The one I’d place
last is maybe moving house. Grief is grief – hard work that never ends but just
becomes less frequent.
is it Leonard Cohen says in that song? ‘Everybody’s broken, like their father
or the dog just died’. I’ve been an orphan for many years now, but I still miss
my folks. They are part of me and remain integral in my personality and my
Well looks like a
bleak culinary Christmas for many with the current economic climate.
It’s going to be cold and a lot of people will be tightening their
belts. Maybe that’s what makes the press so hungry. They’re after
copy and if they can pull someone down they will – like hungry
dogs. They like nothing better than to vilify a celebrity or two
especially at this time of the year. But you know, it’s true –
the higher the monkey climbs the tree the more of his genitals you
Poor old Nigella –
there she is allegedly sniffing snow in the loo and emerging before
the cameras with pupils constricted and a handful of lettuce.
Every now and again I come across a web advertisement stating something like the above title. If you're reading this for a quick fix for your great gut I'm afraid you may be disappointed. The advertisements I'm referring to direct you to a site where you can buy some sort of 'berry' and other 'medications' and as far as I can see there is neither truth nor sense in any of that stuff. It's a scam.
Why do I say that? Well it's because when it comes down to it you get what you work for in this life.
With all the interest in my new book‘THE FAT CHEF’I figured I’d show a little food enthusiasm myself. We eat out fairly regularlyand so I know a few restaurants in my area of Middlesbrough and North Yorkshire and will recommend a couple you may or may not know about. If you ever visit up here, then they will be worth a visit. I would put them in three ranges, Cheap and Cheerful, moderately expensive and pricey. Click on the links to view their menus but not on an empty stomach!
First off there is ‘