A vigil for Savita: why so much hatred for women?

This week, the news broke about Savita Halappanavar, a 31 year old dentist of Indian origin living in Ireland, who had last month presented herself to a hospital in Galway, Republic of Ireland, in terrible pain. It was found that she was miscarrying her first, unborn child 17 weeks into her pregnancy but medical staff treating Savita refused her pleading to terminate the already unviable foetus as its heartbeat was still detectable. Savita was left in agony, with no hope of giving birth to a live baby for days before the foetal heartbeat could no longer be found. Savita then developed septicaemia … Continue reading A vigil for Savita: why so much hatred for women?

On Memory

My mother has had increasing problems with her short term memory for a while now. It’s the classic thing: she can remember stories and songs from her childhood that have etched themselves on her brain as on a vinyl record, but she can’t remember that the last time she related any particular story was 2 minutes ago and 2 minutes before that, and before that. She is a scratched vinyl EP, a tourist in her own life. It is impossible to rely on her to remember anything at all without writing it down in duplicate and even then she forgets … Continue reading On Memory

On their behalf

          This week I have had to take two of my closest family members to be seen by medical experts. I have faced making difficult decisions on their behalf knowing that my choices for their care would affect me only indirectly but potentially have negative effects on their quality of life. You might, Dear Reader, have been following the story on this blog of my poor Oscar and the idiopathic damage to his nose. In which case you will know that I took him to be seen by experts in animal ENT at the Royal Veterinary … Continue reading On their behalf


My dog Oscar has Idiopathic Destructive Rhinitis. This means that something has eaten away at the structures inside the top of his nose, both soft and bony, and that he has a void where there should be a labyrinth. I did the “My dog’s got no nose,” joke but I didn’t think it was very funny this time. Oscar has had a camera up his nose and a CT scan to try and find the cause of the problem and antibiotics and anti-inflammatories to sort it out. The specialist vet could not determine the cause of the problem, but the antibiotics made … Continue reading Idiopathic

Sometimes, a bit of a fuss is a good thing.

            Today, as every Sunday, I did the ironing in my pyjamas whilst listening to the Archers Omnibus. I only remembered afterwards that today is the sixth anniversary of the day my dad died. My husband was working in Paris at the time, and the children and I were celebrating the final afternoon of the summer holidays with a trip to Parc Asterix when I managed to pick up a voicemail from my cousin’s wife, telling me that I’d better come home that evening. Well, my dad was unconscious in hospital when I arrived in … Continue reading Sometimes, a bit of a fuss is a good thing.

Gloomy Sunday

          No, I’m not feeling sorry for myself. This is how I’m feeling today: 1) Frustrated I am frustrated that the Boywonder’s exam results should have been better. That they could have been a lot worse is testament to our total lockdown regime. I am sad that he wasted nearly five years arsing about at school, squandering all that effort, goodwill and privilege, his undoubted talents, and risking the reputation of his family. Although probably far better than his age group nationally, his results were only average among his peers at his school, and a lot … Continue reading Gloomy Sunday

Half life

It’s my birthday today. It’s also that of the late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and Barack Obama. Happy birthday Mr. President! So all you astrologically-minded people can make of that what you will. I was just thinking the other day that I’m probably more than halfway through my life, although mentally I’m still about 25 years old. So far I’ve been luckier than many but not as successful as others or as I would have liked. I’ve drifted a little this year but sill managed to learn to crochet and pass my Grade 7 in Singing with a Merit … Continue reading Half life

It’s a lottery for a non-believer

I have a rolling ticket for each draw of the National Lottery. I always use the same numbers because, to my mind, this reduces at least one of the variables. I might be barking up the wrong tree here, but it makes me feel slightly more confident of winning someday. Now, we have calculated the probability of guessing all six numbers at any time as 14 million to 1. So that is 0.000007%. It’s not great really is it? There’s not much point buying 2 tickets, 20 tickets or even 200 tickets for each draw, as there would still only … Continue reading It’s a lottery for a non-believer

For my dad

My dad, Keshav, had he lived, would have been 80 years old today. Born into a Brahmin family in rural Vita, India, he left his university course in 1952 to join my uncle who was seconded to the UK with the Indian Navy. In those days, the UK was the mother country of the Empire and the streets were supposedly paved with gold. Large scale recruitment took place from the Indian Sub-Continent and the Caribbean for people – then still British subjects – to work in the newly-formed NHS and on public transport. It was natural that, given such a golden … Continue reading For my dad

That’s MY boy

A warning: I wrote this post a while ago and it expresses some really quite primitive emotions. I prevaricated for a while before publishing it as I wasn’t sure whether this sort of stuff, that is so excruciatingly personal and risks portraying me in a very bad light, should be in the public domain. But my blog is just that and this sort of thing is on here because I believe it reflects a common experience with which others might identify. Maybe if you have felt like this too, you will realise that it’s not just you. I hope you … Continue reading That’s MY boy