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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

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  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

Post 77 Innocence lost

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When I was a child, our next door neighbours were Greg and Mary Stratton. They had a daughter called Heidi who was much the same age as I.   Neither of us had brothers or sisters and as a result we spent a lot of time playing together, becoming great friends.    Our parents were friends too and frequently our two families enjoyed days away at the beach or walks in the countryside; we even took occasional holidays together. Heidi and I were inseparable.     I guess she was what you would call a ‘tomboy’; she wasn’t one for dolls or pretty dresses and was always much happier climbing trees or riding a bike.      Even when her school friends started to experiment with lipstick and drool over the latest boy band, she chose to spend her weekends with me, making a go cart, messing about on our bikes or kicking a football.     Looking back, I regard it as one of the happiest times of my life; we were care free kids and I assumed that we would be best pals for the rest of our lives. Thing