Views & Reviews From the frontline

Call of the curlew

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39182.418785.59 (Published 12 April 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:802
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

    My face clung to the seats as I crossed the Pentland Firth for the first time. As the boat lurched and rolled again, the sound of cattle, terrified in the hold, resonated throughout the ship. I was unable to raise my head for fear of heaving. The Orcadians, welly booted and boiler suited, laughed and joked through cigarette smoke as they chewed on bacon rolls. I wanted to bawl.

    Ten years later I stood on the deck, drenched in sea spay. I chewed a …

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