1.        John Parker's Trip to Nepal - John Parker
2.       Today we honour Doctor Bob - MJR
3.        A Week Chez Ingrid & Peter Batty - Dick Herbert
4.        Saving Pennies - Barrie Davies
5.        Summer Treasure Hunt - Fiona Simpson

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John Parker's Trip to Nepal

One of Nepal ’s many problems apart from political instability is that the majority of the people are too poor and live too far away from any source of medical care;  the solution is to take the care to the more remote areas in the form of camps.  Thus two land rovers and a five ton truck carrying twelve people set out from Pokhara, the second city in the country on a 12 hour journey.  Four New Zealanders, a Scot and I plus six Nepali folk. The Scottish lady who ran the camp started life as a Nurse and  is quite a character which is sometimes necessary with Nepali bureaucracy, - I’m told she once held up a scheduled flight and told the pilot to wait while she went to fetch a colleague who had got stuck in customs!  She started the camps concept which has proved highly successful and she recently got an MBE for it.  The Kiwis consisted of two surgeons, one of whom had spent 12 years in the country and  his wife, -  a nurse, and an anaesthetist who was based there. My job was in theory to do the minor surgery, hydrocoeles and hernias and so on, - both very common problems while the others did the more major stuff.- gallstones, kidney stones etc.

Things rarely turn out as planned, especially in third world countries and although the theory was that people with surgical problems would come, and the local radio usually does a grand job in this respect,  what actually happened was that anybody who wanted to see a western doctor turned up and the Scottish nurse and I sorted them all out, sending anything surgical off in the right direction and dealing with the rest.  On the busiest day we saw 260 patients between us and as I was working in a language I hadn’t spoken to any degree for 30+ years, it was interesting to say the least.  Lab facilities were available of a sort but after the first half dozen or so stool specimens had all shown Giardia I just gave up and dished out Tinidazole in copious quantities to anybody with abdominal pain.  We had brought everything to set up an operating theatre with us and the two surgeons did nearly 70 procedures with no major problems.  I did some hernias on the last afternoon.

The rest of my time in the region was spent seeing TB and Leprosy, attending a conference and doing a ‘general’ camp for two days in another town.  All very good for the little grey cells.  I shall look forward to doing it again as long as I can get myself reaccredited.

Oh, and yes, Tinidazole does work for Giardia!

John Parker


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Today we honour Doctor Bob,

A man who really loved his job.
So now, before we all disperse,
Please listen to this little verse.
Now Doctor Bob, a Stockport lad,
Lived quietly with his Mum and Dad.
A clever lad, and not a fool,
He did extremely well at school.
Then off he went to Doctors' college
To get some bits of medical knowledge
In Birmingham he studied hard
And he was held in high regard.
He slaved away for many a year
And never once went on the beer,
Until in 1968
He thought he'd better graduate.
And so he did, but then began
A course with scalpel and trepan.
He mastered medicine at the Queen,
Obstetrics next at Marston Green,
A hospital that is no more­
It's under Runway Number 4.
Then paediatrics he did do
And found that that was childs play too,
And when he got a wee bit bored,
He chased the nurses round the ward.
By now he had discovered girls -­
The ones with frocks and pretty curls,
And soon he met, on Bedpan Row,
The one that set his heart aglow,
So innocent, so chaste and pristine,
His bride-to-be, his darling Christine.
But now, he had to earn a crust,
To get a job became a must.
With all that knowledge in his mind,
Thought Bob "A GP's slot I"II find.
I'll go to Bewdley, I declare,
And practise on the people there!"
At first, he was so young and shy,
He'd blush,; and then avert his eye
Each time his stethoscope he pressed
Beneath a lady's woolly vest.
But soon, his confidence was high,
And as the years went rolling by,
Our hero, Doctor Bob, matured,
And what a lot of things he cured:
Laryngitis, hepatitis,
Tennis elbow, housemaid's knee,
Diarrhoea, gonorrhea, ­
The pain you get when it's hard to pee.
Constipation, infestation, 
Diabetes, runny nose,
Flu from China , acute angina,
Athletes' Foot between the toes.
Chicken pox and smelly socks
And fevers caught in foreign lands,
Double vision, malnutrition,
Halitosis, swollen glands
There came one morning in the post
The news that doctors welcome most:
Yes, Doctor Bob was now a Fellow
So had a drink, and feeling mellow,
Said “Well, what an accolade!
This honour has to be repaid.
How can I help the NHS?
It's really in a frightful mess.”
But then, what do you all suppose?
An opportunity arose:
One day Bob was sending E-Mails
To a few adoring females,
He found a use for his computer-
Chronic illness trouble-shooter!
By putting nurses in his place
To manage every chronic case,
The doctor then, without dispute,
Could concentrate on things acute.
And Doctor Bob, the pioneer,
Became the Doctor of the Year!
He said "I think I'll soon retire
And be a sort of country squire."
And so we're here to make a fuss,
For Doctor Bob is leaving us.
With stethoscope up on the shelf
It's time he thought about himself.
It's time for things that he enjoys
Like playing golf with all the boys
And; walking, jogging, playing Bridge,
And sipping lagers from the fridge
And watching vegetables grow high
Avoiding doing D.I.Y.
And dining out, without a worry,
Eating heaps and heaps of curry,
And now and then, if he feels able,
Chasing Christine round the table.
The job is ended, work is done.
Now, riding off into the sun
There goes that lovely, golden chariot
Bearing Doctor Robert Marriott.
And, as he rides off to the West,
We wish good luck and all the best
To Doctor Bob, the Stockport lad.
Forgive us if we look so sad,
Forgive us if we sigh and sob,
But - boy, we'll miss you, Doctor Bob!!!!


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A week chez Ingrid and Peter Batty


We decided to take the old Alfa Spider to France and thought it would be a good idea to stay for a week at one of the Batty gites.   The car is 13 yrs old and fairly reliable, having survived a trip to Florence and back in 2002. The boot will take a hard suitcase and there is still room for soft luggage - and car spare parts, of course!.

We crossed over on the Portsmouth to St Malo night ferry (Dick is bad sailor so needs to sleep!) and spent the first few days touring Brittany and staying at Logis which are excellent value at 40-70 euros per night and usually have wonderful restaurants at prices which puts the UK to shame.

Ingrid and Peter live about 5km from the small town of Montcuq which is about half an hours drive from Cahors. If you don’t sound the Q, it means ‘up my backside!!’ Their property stands on a hillside in 5 acres of sloping land looking across the valley at plum and walnut orchards. Beautiful!   Their house is on the higher ground and is a 200 yr old stone building which has been nicely modernised and has a separate access.   There are two gites: the larger one has an upper floor and can sleep up to five people (plus cots) and the one we stayed in sleeps four, having a double bedroom en suite at either end of the building. They are both beautifully equipped.   The weather throughout our stay was superb which allowed us to visit many places of interest and then return for a barbecue in the evening.

Our return journey took us east which enabled us to look at Agnes Nalpass’s new home near Ales. It is also an old stone house in the middle of 35 acres of woodland with a lodge where Tony (alias Theodore Dalrymple) can continue to write his witty penetrating articles for the Sunday broadsheets and other worthy publications. The property is fairly remote and access is not easy but they are both looking forward to moving there next June.

We had a great time at Ingrid and Peter’s gite and if anyone is interested in booking, just email them at pandibatty@caufour.com


Maggie and Dick Herbert

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Saving Pennies

  OK, OK, I know what you are going to say – these retirees spend all their time looking for ways to save money, while we amazingly affluent active GPs and Consultants don’t have to worry about such mundane matters. But, don’t kid yourselves gentlemen, we senior citizens no longer have mega-mortgages, the financially draining children have long left home and our outdated computer systems work very efficiently at the speeds we demand of them !!! Our need for readies is not so great as yours.

But, at the end of the day – well, not quite – saving money, rather than throwing it away unnecessarily, is a commandment passed on to us by our parents, and one which we should pass on ourselves. And so I will come to my tip of the day --- week --- month -

How would you like to call the USA on your phone, anytime, day or night, for just 1 penny (not a p, because a pee is something you pass, and a pea is something you eat!) a minute; and how’s about a USA mobile for 1 penny a minute. A landline call to Cyprus , just 1 penny a minute and 5 pence to a mobile. A long distance landline call in the UK for a half penny a minute and to a UK mobile 10 pence a minute (2 pence a minute at weekends). Australia is a penny a minute land line to land line at any time, and 15 pence a minute to a mobile. And what about China, Brazil, Columbia, Denmark, Hong Kong, New Zealand and Singapore all at a penny a minute at any time !!!! These are genuine prices and there are many, many more.

OK, so I have stimulated your interest. Well, it damned well should because I have cut the call charges on my phone by some £60 a month - £720 a year !! And this is because I have linked to a service which does not ever advertise or promote itself but just relies on word of mouth. And there are no catches, honestly. You just register your phone number with them, give your credit card details and, before every number you dial, just dial a prefix number. If you are then spendthrift enough to spend more than £1.50p a month, they will deduct it from your credit card – meanwhile, you just pay your monthly line rental to BT (Only BT lines apply so, if you are a cable person or are linked to someone else, you need to install a BT line – and within 2 months you will have saved the cost !!!)

OK, the details. All you web active people just contact     www.call18866.co.uk  and you will see all the details and much, much more. Within 1 hour of registering the phone numbers you want to activate you will be on line for mega savings. Those of you who are not computer literate are welcome to contact me on 01562 630544.  I will take your details and register you by proxy.

Any of you who don’t take up this advice will very obviously be one of those amazingly affluent active GPs and Consultants don’t have to worry about such mundane matters as money – and do you know what, no-one pays me a penny out of passing this info on to you – so retirement must be very satisfying !!!!!

Barrie Davies

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  Two small boys lost on a canal bank lent a certain new meaning and urgency to the term treasure hunt. Fortunately   with the aid of bystanders, bicycles and mobile phones the intrepid hunters were found, after many anxious minutes, safe and well (and almost home).             

Several teams of children and grown ups spent a lovely June afternoon in Wolverley.

The event organised by Judith , Robert and family led us along a picturesque route through woods , fields and canal towpaths , wound its way through the village, to begin and end  with refreshments , croquet and socialising  in Judith’s garden. The weather was perfect and a good time was had by all.  The flour trail meant that even the youngest (and those who could not unravel the clues!) could participate.                                                                             

The victors were led by Parveen Mann, closely followed by several others. Congratulations to them and many thanks to Judith and Robert.

Fiona Simpson

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