I didn’t really know what I was doing Climbing Over a wall beneath The Acropolis.   Greek police were Shouting at me As I hid The pomegranate In my rucksack. xxx Granatas Aš tikrai nežinojo, ką darau Laipiojimas Virš siena po žeme Akropolis.   Graikijos policija buvo Šaukė prieš mane Aš paslėpiau Granatas Mano kuprinėje. (Lithuania)Continue reading “Pomegranate/Granatas/Granātābols/Granaatõun/Garnet”

Vos Machst du?

We had a patient in the ward recently. I won’t say exactly where she came from, but suffice it to say, she originated in one of the Baltic states – that is, a country neighbouring the Baltic Sea. I have always found the Baltic the funniest sea, mainly because of its use in Glasgow slang…Continue reading “Vos Machst du?”

Person-centred mainstream?

I gave my annual lecture to the Sheffield University Medical Students on Thursday. It was the hottest day of the year. I have been standing in front of the students for something like 15 years – since I was training to become what I am today, a doctor obsessed with person-centred care, helping older people,Continue reading “Person-centred mainstream?”

Tell me what has been happening.

This is how I often start, begin the conversation, listen to the story from the perspective of the husband or wife, son or daughter.   They tell me about my patient, the deterioration, the frequent acknowledgment that things are getting worse, that they see the future.   And, the system, the trying to do itsContinue reading “Tell me what has been happening.”

Do I look Yemenite in this?

This evening I had one of those encounters; We were out for a meal at the local Indian restaurant. Head Waiter: You from Yemen? RK: Glasgow. HW: Glasgow? RK: Glasgow. WH: Oh. I get this in various iterations, usually when I meet someone from a different culture, often an immigrant to the UK – folkContinue reading “Do I look Yemenite in this?”

Death plans…

Do you have a death plan? What should happen if you die? I ask these questions as I facilitated a table at the Yorkshire and Humber Dementia Network event on Thursday about ‘Dying Well with Dementia’ The table could just have been ‘dying well’ as what kills you doesn’t really matter – when you’re deadContinue reading “Death plans…”


I have just watched Marian Marzynski’s Shtetl on Vimeo; here is the link. He documents his journey to the village of Brańsk in Poland in 1996, with Nathan Kaplan – a 70-year-old American who is researching his family’s history – aided by an anomalous moustachioed Polish man called Zbigniew Romaniuk. I found it fascinating andContinue reading “Shtetl”

Say what you see.

Say what you see, not what you think, and definitely not what you think others see or perceive; translate the reality before you into clear, words, sentences and paragraphs. Take your time. There is no rush; if you wait a moment or two before expressing your conception, nothing will be lost. How often is itContinue reading “Say what you see.”


The Lamassu Winged god Protector of the city of Nineveh; Destroyed/looted/defaced In Iraq as consequence of the chaos following the fall of SH; I met him/her yesterday. (not SH, rather, the god)   Installation On the 4th plinth at Trafalgar Square In all his/her/its glory made from Flattened cans of date syrup.   Earlier, weContinue reading “Lamassu”

Being Jeremy Hunt

In the past when I have written about Mr Hunt I have struggled to use his name, generally preferring the abbreviation ‘JH’ or just that man. As if, by not naming him he is less real, more likely to be the product of a too-vivid nightmare. But, alas, he is real. This leads me toContinue reading “Being Jeremy Hunt”

Dying man

I thought I had aleady blogged about my patient and his dog.   I hadn’t.   He was breathless And now, I realise At the time, things were too raw too proximate to translate into 500-odd words of text.   The man was dying.   Heart failure, COPD, Frailty – The mechanism is not whatContinue reading “Dying man”

What do people think?

I have been blogging now for almost three years – thanks to those of you who have stuck with me throughout. For the odd person who has read every blog – hats off to you and cheers. I originally started writing back in 2015, following a period where I felt a little lost, with theContinue reading “What do people think?”