Objects and Subjects

Diamond wedding

Pat and I celebrated our diamond wedding anniversary on May 22nd. There are some pictures of the event in the photo album. Click on the link and then on the top left hand picture.  You will see a right-pointing arrow which will guide you through the rest of them.

UK General Election

Theresa May, UK prime minister called for a snap election, which took place on June 8th. At first, it seemed she would turn a small working majority of fifteen into a landslide. As things turned out, she is covered with facial egg,  has lost her majority and needs to rely on a handful of troglodytes from Ulster in order to remain in power. Her erstwhile colleagues are very cross and her demise is nigh.

"…….Wilkommen, bienvenue, welcome"

So sings the machiavellian Emcee in Cabaret, the splendid musical theatre piece based on Christopher Isherwood’s novel 'Goodbye to Berlin'. This will be the last regular posting of this blog, which has been running since the middle of 2006. I have been finding it increasingly difficult to find fresh topics and my enthusiasm for keeping it going has waned steadily over the past few months. 

I am not sure why I began it unless it was to satisfy my frustrated urge to have been a journalist  When asked by my father what I intended to do with myself when I grew up, I replied that a history or English degree at Cambridge leading to a career in journalism would suit me well, but he poured scorn on the idea.  Remember that I was about fifteen at the time of this interrogation. Boys of that age hardly know whether they prefer coffee to tea let alone have any idea of how they intend to spend their lives. By the way, I had no intention of remaining a cub reporter for the Coffs Harbour Advocate or the Lethbridge Herald. My eyes were set upon being the chief political reporter for the Times or the BBC! Notwithstanding these lofty aims, I found myself in medical school three years later and so the die was cast.

I have never had the slightest talent for painting, drawing, singing, playing a musical instrument and above all, acting. I have always been able to string words together coherently. I liked writing essays. Consequently, my artistic leanings had to reveal themselves through writing and perhaps that is why I decided to become a blogger. After all, amateur painters shyly ask friends and family to admire their daubs so why should I not inflict my scrawls upon friends, colleagues and relatives?

One of the first articles I posted concerned a very premature baby born in the Royal Darwin Hospital, where I ran the eye department. Such infants are prone to retinopathy of prematurity and I was called upon to exclude this blinding condition or treat it if present. Such incidents occurred very often and I set about discovering the financial implications of rearing an infant, born at twenty-two weeks gestation, nurturing it to a normal weight, and then supervising its path to adulthood. I was not surprised to discover that the entire enterprise cost several million dollars. Sadly, more than seventy-five percent of such children are left with major mental and physical handicaps. At the same time, elsewhere in the World, other children were dying like flies from diarrhoeal diseases for want of fortified fluids, costing a mere few cents. Like any good journalist, I asked myself how many such kids could be saved to lead useful, independent lives for the amount of money used to promote one doomed, twenty-two week premie. Questions of that sort are never popular and, as far as I know, have still not been satisfactorily answered. 

I have written a great deal about religion during the past eleven years and still find myself puzzled why so many apparently, perfectly sane people exhibit faith in stories that do not stand up to analysis about historical figures, who were not what they were reputed to be or, perhaps, never even existed. What person, with his or her wits fully engaged, could possibly make sense of the virgin birth, the resurrection, the Trinity, the Prophet’s many encounters with the Angel Gabriel in a cave in Arabia during a twenty-year period, the parting of the Red Sea, Moses’ covenant with Yahweh or even the very notion of an all-seeing, all-powerful god, reputed to love us: bone cancer in children? And yet there are many prepared to die for these tales or to kill those they deem to asperse them!  I began by being mystified by the power of religious faith and remain just as baffled after more than a decade’s reading and writing about it.

So, I shall empty my fountain pen, wipe its nib and put it back in its box. The webpage will remain available should anyone wish to visit it but it will not be updated regularly. I might post a Christmas message  or reflect on the apocalypse should it happen while I am still around. Thanks to those who have read my stuff and greater thanks to those who have commented on it.  

…. Emcee ends Cabaret with "….. Auf wiedersehen, À bientôt, Goodnight" and so do I!

Last piece: Time, Gentlemen, please!

David Amies,


June 14 2017