Category Archives: CFS


My local hairdresser
My local hairdresser

Why is it that your hair is fine for weeks then suddenly one day it’s a real bad hair day and you have to rush to make an appointment with your stylist?

At school my straight black hair hung half-way down my back, to be replaced by a neat French pleat when I qualified as a doctor. Now, practically all grey, it’s really short.

No chance of my getting lice now but when I was 13 the health visitor found I had lice.  At that time it was a real disgrace.  My mother was furious.  It would be years before it was widely known that any child could catch lice – whether coming from a clean or dirty home. Continue reading BAD HAIR DAY – THANK HEAVEN FOR TONY AND GUY

CFS – My old grammar school

Our lovely old hall -derelict
Our lovely old hall – derelict when I went there in 2011
Now a post restaurant
By 2014 it had been converted into a post restaurant

Founded as a Charity School for boys in 1697, by 1715 the school also accepted girls – 6 girls to 30 boys. In 1892 the Central Foundation School for Girls girls’ school was opened in Spital Square just by Spitalfields Market. When I went back in 2011. the main school building had been demolished and the beautiful old hall was derelict. When I returned in 2014, like much of the district, it had been gentrified and the hall was now the Galvin la Chapelle restaurant.

I was delighted to find that my neighbour in my Art History class had not only been a CFS pupil about 10 years after me but like me had learned to play the cello. She’s had similar experiences carrying her cello through what was then an active Fruit and Vegetable market.

From my memoir Woman in a White Coat

The school allowed me take the cello home to practise. My walk through Spitalfields Market, lugging the heavy black case, brought roars of laughter from the market porters.

It was ‘Give us a tune then.’ ‘Can you put it under your chin?’ ‘I’ll carry it for you if you give me a kiss, Miss.’ and ‘Can you put that big thing between your legs?’

Their catcalls followed me all the way to school.