Category Archives: Dental School

Fantastic! ‘Woman in a White Coat’ in Paperback as well as on Amazon Kindle

So pleased that after a fairly horrendous experience with a company putting my memoir Woman in a White Coat on Amazon, my memoir is available for pre-order at £9.99 from Amazon or from your local bookstore. Had a wonderful trio of professionals – Nathan Burton Cover designer, M Rules Typesetters and Clays the Printers.

Another colourway

The cover designer, Nathan Burton, produced lots of possible designs for the cover. I could have chosen any one – they were so great. I chose the blue and turquoise version of this design but nearly picked this one instead.


Cover used for publication




it’s bright and cheerful but I felt the colourway I chose had more gravitas!!



Abby as a young dental stud


This was the most striking design but I didn’t want to use a picture of me. I chose to write my memoir under the pseudonym of Dr Abby J Waterman and so I didn’t pick this one.

The original photograph is of me with a ‘phantom head’ – a metal skull into which plaster casts are fixed bearing real teeth that have ben extracted for reasons such as periodontal disease.

We practiced cutting cavities and inserting fillings and crowns on them. We gave them names and got quite fond of them!!

Physiotherapy and my sore hip

The WPPC in Lower Grosvenor Place
The WPPC in Lower Grosvenor Place

Now that one of my grand-daughters is taking a degree in physiotherapy in 3 years I will have a personal physiotherapist but meanwhile my favourite physio works at the WPPC in Lower Grosvenor Place, Victoria.

After I broke my hip in San Sebastian and had an immediate full hip replacement, all was fine for 2 years and then something went wrong. Loads of treatment later including having it re-opened, injections in to the joint space and into the enthesis, acupuncture, massage, the lot – nothing helped and it still aches when I walk any distance and often when I get up or I am cooking. Luckily it does mean that I qualify for a Blue Disabled badge.  A session with my physiotherapist helps and occasionally, though not very often, I am pain free. She’s given me a programme of exercises and this time I am determined to do some every day. Might even lose some weight too.

I was surprised to discover that my grand-daughter was following the same anatomy course as the medical students and carrying out dissection. It makes sense,  since physiotherapists are very much concerned with the interplay between the muscles, nerves, blood vessels and bones and there’s nothing like dissecting them to understand their relationship.

Memoir extract from ‘Woman in a White Coat’
I was just 18 when I first dissected a human body. We’d had our first lecture on the anatomy of the thorax and now we were to start on its dissection. Continue reading Physiotherapy and my sore hip

Simon doesn’t look the same either

Simon with some of the gorgeous toys we sold in our John Dobbie toyshop
Simon with some of the gorgeous toys we sold in our John Dobbie toyshop

Our elder son, Simon, is now in his fifties and like Joshua, my husband, he is now bald, tho’ he still has deep blue eyes and long dark lashes to die for .

When I had him in July 1960 I was completely sloshed.



Extract from my memoir Woman in a White Coat
I was bored out of my mind. Joshua and I had moved from our basement flat in Central London to a small terraced house in Wimbledon and I still didn’t know my neighbours. With only the two of us living there, the house took less than an hour to clean. Now I couldn’t even do that. My blood pressure was up, my legs were swollen and I was told I must rest until my baby was born.

I was delighted when David and Lilian, Josh’s cousin and his wife, invited us to dinner. It was great getting of the house. We were greeted with a glass of dry sherry – no nonsense about alcohol being bad for my unborn child. Dinner was delicious – a rich goulash with dumplings and Lilian’s luscious strawberry cheesecake. We shared a couple of bottles of Hungarian wine with our meal and, while the smell of our filter coffee still lingered, we sipped the cognac we’d brought them from Paris.
As I leaned back to pull my enormous belly away from the table, a trickle of warm liquid ran down the inside of my leg.
‘I think my waters have broken,’ I said, ‘but I’m not due for two weeks.’
Lilian put her arm around my shoulders.
‘Better early than late, Abby. Come on. I’ll fetch you a towel. It will soak up most of it.’
I eased myself into our old Morris car, making sure the towel was securely stuffed between my legs. I shifted uncomfortably, sticking to the shiny black seats. The car had very little in the way of suspension, so there was a spirt of liquid every time we went over a bump or dipped into a pothole. Continue reading Simon doesn’t look the same either

Gray’s Anatomy revisited

Gray's Anatomy for Students 3rd edition
Gray’s Anatomy for Students 3rd edition

Hard to believe my grand-daughter is old enough to go to Uni. She is going to study physiotherapy and will be taking Anatomy with the medical students.

I started Anatomy when I was not quite 18 in 1949. We used a version of the original Gray’s Anatomy written by Henry Gray and illustrated by Henry Vandyke Carter. First published in 1859,  it was extremely heavy – even heavier that this students’ edition – with beautiful hand-coloured drawings. This version is bang up-to-date with illustrations of the value of knowing your anatomy with X-rays and MRI scans. You can see by the turned-up bottom right corner of the cover that I’ve been looking things up for my memoir.

Extract from my memoir Woman in a White Coat

I was not quite 18 when term began at St Margaret’s Dental School in October 1949. We’d had our first lecture on the anatomy of the thorax and we were about to start on the dissection of the human body.
Wearing our new white coats and clutching our rolls of dissecting instruments, we waited in the subdued light of the basement corridor, nervous and excited. The portholes of the locked double doors of the dissecting room were filled with opaque wired glass. As we tried to peep through the gap between them, a cadaverous man in a brown laboratory coat came out of an adjoining room.
‘I’m George, the technician in charge,’ he said. ‘If you want anything, you have to go through me. Remember: no smoking, no fooling around and show respect.’ Continue reading Gray’s Anatomy revisited