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Liz
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 01:25 am:   

Went up to town early-ish yesterday and had a very pleasant lunch with the Pan Mac team. Very pleased to note that the Macmillan foyer is exhibiting the Disease Guide this week.

Then immediately afterwards caught up with Drs Roberts and Caselberg for a stock signing of the DG at Blackwells. This is generally considered to be a good thing, as Blackwells is the more literary of the Charing Cross bookshops, and has recently acquired an events manager who is into SF.

Then Dr C and I went and did the same thing at Forbidden Planet - *lots* of Disease Guides and quite a few of my own, as well. And then Soho was ransacked for pipe tobacco and we went down to the reading.

Dr C has adopted a new Harley Street persona which is quite disquietingly convincing, and on the crowded train kept telling me in a rather carrying voice how the legislation regarding the prescription of laudanum has sadly affected the lucrativeness of his dispensing practice. We got off the train at London Bridge, leaving a troubled hush behind us and doubtless many people resolving never to seek medical help ever again.

Eventually found the venue, which was the old operating theatre at Guy's Hospital (or St Thomas', I forget which). This is a fascinating building: a tower attached to the hospital with an old spiral stone staircase up, upon which you find yourself in an echoing garret. It was only rediscovered in the 1950s, though how they managed to mislay an entire tower, I have no idea.

The attics themselves housed the herb supply, which interested me as I'm doing a course in herbalism at present. Lots of things on display, including a pickled brain. We pickled our own brains via rather more conventional means. Dr C impressed everyone by identifying valerian by its smell at (no kidding) 20 paces. If he hadn't decided to take up smoking, Paris would have one of its great noses, IMO.

The readings themselves were held in the actual amphitheatre: a small pit containing the operating table. Much fun was had with this, though no thanks to Dr Aylett for pointing to my entire face and saying "Well, I'm afraid this will have to come off."

Dr C kicked off and read very well, in what is now becoming a piece of performance art. Kudos, too, to Drs Aylett, Couzens, Stableford, Newell and Wilson. I got to wear a blood-spattered apron and thus was my day made complete.

Everyone got a goodie bag with a plushy microbe in it: I wanted Black Death, which was sweet, but (for once) am happy with a yeast microbe, which is also very cute. Dr C got something that closely resembles South Park's Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo. I'm sure he's thrilled.

And if I had a quid for every post which ends "And then we went to the pub" I'd be a rich woman today.
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JV
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 09:29 am:   

LOL! What a great account, Liz!
JeffV
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Liz
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 10:12 am:   

Apparently it is not Mr Hanky but a plushy Ebola virus. Bleaarrgggh! Still, should get him plenty of room on airlines.
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Liz
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 10:13 am:   

PS: or whatever Ebola is. What do you think I am -a doctor??
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rwexler
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 12:28 pm:   

Why wasn't the New York reading this much fun?
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Liz
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 12:32 pm:   

I dunno. No Ebola??
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Dr Yellin
Posted on Friday, December 03, 2004 - 01:34 pm:   

Dear Dr Williams - I am so sorry I was unable to attend the reading of your paper and those of your distinguished colleagues. I was unavoidably detained in Yorkshire due to an outbreak of green sheep disorder (a mental affliction most prevalent in the hills up here: the counter of sheep is unable to see the sheep in question, which are therefore nicknamed "green sheep," leading to severe insomnia. I spent most of Thursday night jumping gates in an effort to get one particularly stubborn case to drop off.) I would have given anything to be there and to carry away my very own microbe. Deepest regrets, Dr Yellin.
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Dr Williams
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 02:13 am:   

Dear Dr Yellin,

I came across a case of 'green sheep' disorder whilst visiting the local doctor in Whitby recently. Very sad, very sad....My sympathies.

I was greatly looking forward to discussing Bloodflower's Melancholia with you, as I also recently encountered an instance of what I believe to be this, and would have loved to have shared notes, skin samples and all the DNA that I could wring out of the patient at a moment's notice. However, it must wait for another time. It'll probably be too late for the patient but hey, there'll be other occasions.

I shall consult our learned assistant Dr Claire Weaver about the possibility of microbial transactions.

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JV
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 04:55 am:   

I think green sheep is a lot like alligator log disease here in FL, although alligator log disease is much more serious, usually leading to immediate death.

JeffV
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Liz
Posted on Saturday, December 04, 2004 - 09:49 am:   

Oddly enough, there were some alligators in the museum, although Dr Caselberg's learned Antipodean opinion was that they were caymen and I think he was right. A narrow escape, there.

I either saw a film of alligators recently or dreamed it. I'm honestly not sure which. Is this bad?

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