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.
You certainly feel your own age when your children are old enough to be grandparents themselves. Bernard is completing an M.A. in Philosophy, so we have two children in the Sciences and two in the Arts.
We women are lucky for lots of reasons, only one of which is that we tend not to go bald as both sons have done.
Yet another grandchild off to Uni. He’s got more teeth now and he’s no longer into dusting.
Unlike my Basque grand-daughter he’s going to take a gap year – work for a while to earn some money and probably trek around India. His mother did the same when she was his age. The Basques tend to go straight on to Uni from school – as we did in the old days.
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→