Post 80 Beware the Hospital Ghost

  At the start of my career when I was relatively new to pathology, the department  had two trainees, both studying for their higher national certificates.     The more senior was John Adams, the more junior Steve Wilcox.   Both were pleasant young men who later qualified to become pathology laboratory technicians. Their training included being on duty both overnight and at weekends.    The 'on call' bedroom for the trainees was situated above the mortuary and those on call often h eard footsteps or doors rattling in the middle of the night,  thanks to Steve who had a wicked and rather dark sense of humour.     Joe Cracknall. the mortuary technician was a rather dour, grumpy 60 year old who  wasn't popular with the trainees.   Always fond of a drink, he had a habit of  visiting  the off licence each Friday lunchtime  to obtain the supply of ale that would last him through the weekend.  One day, after Joe had carped and criticised us more than usual, Steve and I sought to ga

Post 79 The hospital Christmas show in days gone by

A much anticipated event in the hospital calendar in days gone by was the Christmas show.    It was a once a year opportunity for the junior doctors and nurses to poke fun at the matron and, of course, the senior doctors.      Mostly, the consultants took it in good heart and were disappointed if they did not feature in at least one sketch or song. Even though these events happened over 50 years ago, I can still recall the words of some of the songs.     To the tune of ‘My Bonny lies over the Ocean’ we sang a song about a surgeon whose operations took twice as long as anyone else’s.       Being 20 years older than any of us, I doubt he is still around, but to save his blushes should he still be alive, I have changed his name. The lyrics went like this. ‘Bill Bailey’s a mighty fine surgeon,         He tackles his patients with zeal, His tremor makes speed none too easy,       As fast as he cuts them; they heal.’ The words conjure up a wonderful image of an incision in the ski

Post 78 Advice from a medical father

  It was Nat’s 16 th birthday. He had received presents and good wishes from his parents, told that ‘ No he wasn’t going to be allowed to buy a motor bike’ and was receiving advice from his medical father about the dangers of drugs. ‘Listen, Son,’ said his Dad, ‘if you can come to me on your 18th birthday, look me in the eye and swear to me that you haven’t taken drugs, I'll give you £500.’ ‘You mean, from now, Dad?’ For details of Peter’s novels and collections of short stories, search ‘Peter Sykes’ on Amazon Books