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All grist to the mill – ?

December 15, 2008

Finally emerged from Fluland, a parallel universe in which one wanders through the motions of everyday life without much grasp of anything beyond the next five minutes.

A comment from Mark after my recent grumbling about the absence of flu from fiction suggests that writers squirrel away experiences that emerge later – and of course he’s right.

There’s an incident in the first book where Ruso decides to treat an injury to his own toe. I’ve never tried this myself and certainly don’t recommend it, but many years ago I found myself in a hospital casualty department with two nurses, a bunsen burner and a thin metal probe.

As the junior nurse approached my very sore toe with the red-hot probe her senior colleague asked, ‘Have you ever done this before?’

‘No,’ said the junior nurse.

‘Really?’ said the senior one. ‘Actually, neither have I.’

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2 comments

  1. I need to know what happened!


  2. The probe burned through the blackened toenail (caused by a chair falling onto my foot), blood gushed out through burned hole, and the pressure causing the pain was released. It was, just as they promised, an instant cure, and we all tried to look as though we’d been sure it would work all along.

    Incidentally, the nurse also said, ‘You can do this with a paperclip.’ (If you do, Northampton General Hospital are the people to sue – not me.)



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