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Weeknotes 2022.22

A few things I’ve been thinking about this week. The twenty-second post of a series.

Occasionally, I take a bus home from work. This is usually if I’m too tired or too late to walk, or if the skies have opened. The bus runs every 15 mins and I can track it from my phone. Recently, it has been re-routed, and stops just metres from my work desk and metres from my front door. If I’m working late, I’m frequently the only person on the bus.

Basically, I have a chauffeur now.

I’m currently reading Tina Brown’s The Palace Papers. She quotes Queen Mary: “You are a member of the British royal family. We are never tired and we all love hospitals.”

I’ve often reflected on the challenge in medicine of the disparity in the sense of occasion between the doctor and the patient. For the doctor, a consultation is one of a long series to get through; for the patient, it may be a significant life event. Meeting that moment is, I think, a key and underestimated skill of being a good doctor.

How much more is that true for the royal family, who must always be bright-eyed and sparkling, even if this is the twentieth worthy community project they’ve visited in a given week.

In a online meeting at work this week, a colleague who I don’t know very well introduced themselves partly through reference to their Twitter account (“Some of you may also know me from Twitter, where I frequently tweet about a topic irrelevant to this meeting…”)

I was caught off-guard by how many immediate, strong, conflicting reactions this provoked in me. It’s been playing on my mind far more than it deserves to, and I still can’t figure out what I thought about it: it was somehow intensely irritating, totally unremarkable, oddly refreshing, and many other things, all at the same time.

Given that I can only remember to use the current name of my employer about 50% of the time, I’m hardly a shining example of how these things ought to be done.

Another Tina Brown quote, this time referring to the Duchess of Cornwall: “There was honesty in her countryside complexion and crinkly, smiling eyes. Her hair never presenting any unsettling surprises.”

I’m honestly not sure whether that’s a complement or an insult. I wonder if my hair has ever ‘presented unsettling surprises’?

This post was filed under: Weeknotes.

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