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Showing posts from September, 2011

Clinical Detachment

It surprises me when people admire the way I can 'detach' myself when patients die.

It surprises me because it's not really an effort and it's not really a skill. I think it just comes from the experience of seeing several people die. These days death is so separated from the public sphere that so-called 'lay people'- those who don't work in healthcare- only ever see their own relatives die. And their relatives usually die in a hospital bed.

It's not that it's not sad, or that I don't see them as a person, or that I don't feel sympathy for their loved ones. Of course I do. But people die. Some of those people will be very dear to me and others I hardly know. Truth be told, a number of them I never knew because they were dead on arrival.

Of course some deaths upset me. If the person is similar age to me, or perhaps they are suffering the same disease as a relative. It always poignant if they have a book in their posssesion because I imme…

My weekend in celebrities

1. Alan Ball.
The screenwriter (Six feet under, American Beauty, True Blood and Towelhead) spoke at the Wheeler Centre on Saturday night. He wrote the screen play for American Beauty whilst he was working on the sitcom Sybil. Apparently the key to creating something good is to hate your main job so much that it gives you a furious energy. He also spoke of his admiration for Frances Conroy, the actress who played Ruth in Six Feet Under. He said he could give her a script which read, 'Ruth eats a puppy.' And she would be completely unruffled, "Okay. Well I haven't eaten a puppy before."

2. Patti Smith.
I read her autobiography, 'Just Kids'. By page 7 I had that warm, secure feeling of starting a great book. She is candid, self-critical and name-drops impressively without ever really name-dropping. Cue happy Sunday afternoon listening to the Velvet Underground, drinking gin and reading.

3. Sofia Coppola
Well, not really. but I'm certainly taking her…