A local miracle

While the news keeps coming in from India of the dire situation there, with new virus diagnoses running at well over 300,000 a day and where deaths have passed 200,000, I got up this morning and walked to our local version of a miracle, just to get things in perspective. Out to a large hall …

Gratitude: A letter from Sarah

A rare, in this year of years, letter from Sarah. About her life and the things she loves. “Herring gulls eating starfish” are involved. Elemental, like hope. * All the normal things I usually do in my life have, this year, been harder. The pandemic arrived like a whirlwind in my life, like all of …

If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy? An NHS Story

If you’ve ever had a colonoscopy then you might know that the surgical procedure itself is nowhere near as painful as maybe you’d first feared. I’ve had two colonoscopies in the last month and can now describe them from experience as no more than ‘uncomfortable.’ I’ll get to the precise whys and wherefores of my …

Gardens in the City

A meditation on hospitals, allotments and the National Health Service. While I’m writing this I’m listening to the ‘NHS Symphony’. A new choral work commissioned by BBC Radio 3 to celebrate the 70th anniversary of our health service. It contains a collage of sounds from two Birmingham NHS hospitals, routine sounds and major life event …

Deborah Morgan “The Punter”

As regular readers will know I don’t really do reviews. But I saw a play last night, written by a friend, and I want to tell you about it, because I think she’s really good at what she does. So fair enough? “The Punter” then is Deb’s first full play, following her brilliant novel “Disappearing …

Ten years

Ten years ago today Sarah and I got up worried and early to begin one of the longest days of our lives. We travelled to the Royal Hospital here in Liverpool, to the Rapid Diagnosis Clinic, to find out what we found out. And ten years later part of me finds it hard to travel …