I was born in 1931. Had I been born 30 years earlier, would I have survived breast cancer, a fractured hip, wrist and ankle and, in 2016, a near-fatal heart attack, when my notes were labelled ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ if the second attempt to wean me off a ventilator failed?
I remember in 1999 thinking ‘Well I’m 69, very nearly three score and ten, will I make it to the Millennium – and all the predicted computer crashes that never happened?’
And now here we are in 2020 and I’m still hanging on age 88 thanks to the amazing advances in medicine. We take x-rays, radiotherapy and antibiotics for granted as well as the even more amazing robotics. My heart has two metal stents keeping my blocked coronary arteries open and powerful drugs are helping my heart to remodel itself. All unimaginable in my parents’ youth.
I’m afraid I’m very superstitious, although 13 is my lucky number. I never walk under ladders and there was no way I would even think about what I was going to post about the New Year before the very last stroke of midnight – just in case I didn’t make it!!
Lovely watching the fireworks on the London Eye with our daughter and son-in-law. Shame this year, the grandchildren couldn’t make it.
I thank all those lovely people who contacted me to say they enjoyed my memoir ‘Woman in a White Coat’
‘Woman in White Coat – the memoir of girl growing up the East End making good.
Buy it on Kindle at £2.99 or as a paperback on Amazon at £9.99
I was introduced by the Hellenic bookshop in London to ‘Streamlined Greek‘ by Bob Bass – an excellent workbook for beginners at Classical Greek from age 11 (children at school) to 87 – a retired pathologist like me. Unfortunately the shop didn’t have the essential Answer Book but I found both online and I am enjoying revision while on the Christmas break from my classical Greek class at CityLit.
I’d found our set books – the Oxford ‘Reading Greek’ series – very comprehensive but quite hard going, so Bob Bass’s book is a pleasant relief.
The flap of our letter box rattles. The post has arrived and with it the latest prospectus for Adult Education. I will definitely take Art History and Literature. Perhaps I will enrol for Classical Greek as well, and read the classics in the original.
I already have a small Greek vocabulary from when I was a dental student at St Margaret’s. I learned to say kallimera (good morning) and anoíxte to stóma sas (open your mouth) to patients from the local Greek Cypriot community. I have a larger Greek vocabulary derived from the many medical terms we had to learn. Maybe learning Greek will exercise my mind and grow some new brain cells to replace those I’ve lost over the years.
Our elder son, Simon, and his wife came to tea on their way to a party and I’m always glad of an excuse to bake a cake.
This fruit cake is one of my favourites. I always toss the fruit in a little of the flour so it doesn’t all sink to the bottom but is evenly distributed through the cake.
We’d been having a bit of a smashing time lately – sorting out the mugs chipped in the dishwasher and we’re always looking out for new designs. I found this one in the V&A gift shop when I last visited . The design is adapted from one of William de Morgan’s.
We have a full Thomas white china tea service but we’ve stopped getting it out even for our poshest visitors!!
I emailed all my friends with the good news that my memoir Woman in a White Coat was finally on Kindle and the response has been amazing. Thank you all. I was expecting you to just use the ‘Look Inside’ feature or get a free sample, but you’ve been buying it. I might yet get to be a millionaire!!
Thank you all especially the first and the last of my Writing Circles, all the Creative Writing tutors at the Mary Ward Centre, Morley College and CityLit, the literary agents who wrote encouragingly but didn’t take me on because I’m not a celebrity, my various mentors except the one that discouraged me so much I stopped writing for a year and everyone else who ploughed their way through my many drafts.
My memoir Woman in a White Coat starts 85 years ago in October 1931, two years before this studio portrait was taken.
Who would have thought this serious little girl would qualify in dentistry and medicine, become an entrepreneur and end up as a consultant pathologist in a major London teaching hospital.
I was born at a time when a girl’s only future was marriage and children – though I managed those too – married to the same loving husband for 60 years with four wonderful children and four equally wonderful grandchildren.
There are 30 days in April and my memoir presently has 29 chapters so if I edit one chapter a day my memoir will be ready to be uploaded as an e-book by the end of the month. That is my April Fool’s Day resolution.
If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will send you the first chapter and if you comment I will send you another. Hope to hear from you.
I met Jody Medland of Penworksmedia at Indie Insights, a meeting on self-publishing, . He self-published his scary thriller The Moors, a gothic tale of murder and child abuse set in present day Cornwall, and his company is about to publish a variety of books by other authors.
Jody liked the first three chapters of my memoir – Woman in a White Coat – so I am busy giving the manuscript a final edit before sending it to him.
I had originally written my memoir starting with my medical career, each chapter having flashbacks to my childhood. However, I decided it would work better if I split my memoir into two. Now, Volume 1 will cover my childhood until I start at medical school, 1931-1953. Volume 2 will take it from there.
My latest resolution – after a bit of a struggle migrating from WordPress.com to WordPress.org and a lot of help from TSOHOST – is to write posts more regularly and to include more excerpts from my memoir Woman in a White Coat
Extract from my memoir Woman in a White Coat
Thursday October 8th 1931 was not an auspicious day to be born. The mild sunny weather of September and early October had turned cold and wet. The Great Depression was at its worst, and my father had been laid off from his work as a journeyman printer. He tried to get temporary work in the docks, but he was turned away. He had to take work where he could, some of the time as a road sweeper.
My mother told me she wept for days after I was born. I wasn’t a boy who would carry on the family name and say Kadesh, the prayer for the dead, over their coffins. Who needed a third daughter?
My sisters, Hannah and Rebecca, cried when my mother brought me home from the Jewish Maternity Hospital in Whitechapel. I wasn’t the brother they had been looking forward to and I had a nasty rash on my face.