Before you criticise a colleague, step back and think again, as Dr Hill recalls.
What precious days they were – those salad days we spent, newly qualified, in hospital. Time lends them a special distinction, an old-fashioned quaintness that grows with the years (until you get to my age when they sound totally archaic).
I was doing a short stint in an English industrial town famous for its carpets. David was my opposite number on the surgical side. It was Sister Whittaker, always taut and sharp, who labelled him for us. David had an unusually positive view of the world: it was etched starkly in black and white. One day Sister Whittaker was trying to tell him so. In the slight audacity of the moment her tongue stumbled over the words.