Reasons to be cheerful

A couple of ‘newsy’ things have escaped comment in this blog over the past few months. Since both news items are reasons to be cheerful they must not go unremarked.

The first (though not necessarily in the order it happened) was the promotion of Joe Collier from BMJ journeyman blogger to Guest Blogger of the Year. The award was granted by the BMJ for Joe’s contribution to its Doc2Doc blog in 2011. Joe cut his teeth as a paid blogger (if  you could call 100 quid a time ‘paid’) producing pithy, serious and relevant essays for the venerable pages of the BMJ blogs. Joe gave up the paid work in favour of the unlimited licence that Greyhares allowed him but continued to submit his pieces to Doc2Doc.  In the Doc2Doc Awards, Joe was up against serious competition from some of the most notable bloggers of the medical world and triumphed – well done Joe, and belated congratulations!!

The second thing to be cheerful about, earlier this year, was Joe’s 70th birthday which was celebrated with friends and family in the elegant surroundings of Pembroke Lodge in Richmond Park.  It was a happy occasion with fine tributes paid to the OB from lifelong friend Neil Taylor and Joe’s wife, Rohan who managed the task twice, first in English and then in French. Greyhares’ Ed managed to get himself invited in his capacity as Joe’s technology therapist in the event, for example, of visual aids suddenly being required. The pleasure of the occasion for Ed  was dimmed  slightly when he heard that, amongst the birthday gifts, Rohan had given Joe an Apple iPad. Now, we must explain that Ed has spent the best part of three years attempting to counsel/coach/coax his ‘patient’ (a contradiction in terms, if ever there were one) in the practical application of WordPress, DropBox and several other overly-complex products with missing spaces in their names. Thus, the introduction of an iPad into the mix was a matter of some concern.

After that, several months of silence followed.  No WordPress, no DropBox, nothing. And for all we knew, no iPad.

Last week, the Greyhares editorial office received a video from a German friend, which might have been purpose made to express Ed’s anxiety. The scene: Daughter and father, Ragnilde and Jürgen, are in the kitchen:

[Google Chrome user? To view video click here]

I speak no German but here is my rough translation –

R:  “Papa, how are you getting on with the iPad I gave you? Did you read the manual?”
J:  “RTFM? Me? I’ve never read a ******* manual in my life, there’s no need to start now..”

We were just trying to think whether this reminded us of anyone we knew, when to our utter astonishment, like a sudden crystal clear voice on a ship’s radio after months of nothingness, up pops in the Greyhares DropBox a document named “Granny C and the thistle” in which Joe Collier partly explains his aversion to reading literature of any sort, together with a report on his progress with the iPad.

Now read on…


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