Dr James Barry

28 08 07

I read a fascinating bit of trivia on the back of my Pronutro box while eating breakfast this morning. The little tidbit spoke about a medical doctor called James Barry, who performed the first successful caesarian in South Africa in the early 1800s. In fact, he asked that this first caesar baby be named after him in lieu of payment – James Barry Munnik became the godfather to James Barry Munnik Hertzog, erstwhile prime minister of South Africa.

Barry served in the British army for much of his life. He died in 1865, and that when the amazing secret of Barry’s life was discovered.

Barry was a woman.

It seems the charwomen who took care of the body was the first to discover she was a woman. There were also claims that there were pregnancy scars in her body, but these were later refuted. And it’s thought that her manservant, John, may have been Barry’s close confidante, as every day he brought her towels which she used to disguise her shape.

Dr Barry was buried with ‘his’ name and rank on the gravestone.

This story amazed me. How come I’ve never heard of Dr Barry?
How come I’ve never known that the first successful caesarian operation in South Africa (something I’m seriously considering should I ever give birth) was undertaken by a woman masquerading as a man?
How come I’ve never known this captivating story about a woman who wanted so badly to be a doctor that she chose to be a man for her entire life? Granted she very definitely wanted to be a man, regardless of her profession.

What an astounding life Dr Barry must have led.
Thanks Pronutro!


Who Stole My Cheese?

26 08 07

This morning I knew I would be eating a dull, unsatisfactory lunch. This is because I didn’t bother to give it any thought last night, and thus decided that I’d eat what I’ve left at work. This amounts to:

1 x rapidly decaying Pink Lady apple
1/2 box of Provita
1 x small brick Tussers cheese
1/4 bottle of mayonnaise
1/2 x lemon

Could this be more appetising?

Imagine my horror to find that my block of cheese has disappeared. Chicsa Fashionista asked me if I’m sure it wasn’t just moved…ha ha, grrr. It was in the fridge designated for personal use – the other fridge is allegedly for ‘everyone’ and contains two six-packs of beer, one six-pack of water, and a loaf of brown bread….don’t tell me my company ain’t generous.

So, it’s not as if the cheese was in the wrong fridge (Christ, this couldn’t possibly sound more infantile than if this was a post about how Romy stole the doll whose legs and arms were still attached, during playtime and wouldn’t give it back.) But anyway, it just made me wonder if I’m being driven to the point where I have to clearly label what’s my food. Hell, I think I’d rather put up with the pilfering than write my name on my food. But really!

This reminds me of an incident where a former friend of mine accidentally ate the strawberry yoghurt in her boyfriend’s parents’ fridge, without knowing that this was a cardinal sin and that the boyfriends mentally-unbalanced mother would freak out so much that she was forced to replace it…..one strawberry yoghurt. Totally would have loved to have seen the look on that woman’s face when, three years later, that same son told her he was gay…ha ha ha hah aha!!!

Off to buy food now.

Mary the Cleaner’s Black Monday

21 08 07

Seven weeks into our relationship, and Mary the Cleaner and I have hit a bit of snag. Nothing too serious, mind you. And nothing that will make me reconsider hiring her to make my flat the splendid bit of cleanliness it is on a Monday evening. But yesterday was the first indication of a touch of misunderstanding between the Mare-ster and me.

Problem 1:

I asked Mary to change the duvet cover, pillow cases and undersheet. However, I made the mistake of mentioning how I hate the duvet cover that was currently on the bed because it was too big for the duvet, and that I would look for a new one soon. Unfortunately it seems Mary thought I was referring to the nice, clean cover that I wanted her to put on. So on my return to my flat yesterday, I found my bed stripped bare with all the duvet et al neatly piled up on my bed. Considering that I would hire Mary specifically, if necessary, to change my bedding, and nothing else, because I hate doing it myself so much, I was not a bundle of joy when I walked into my room and found that I would be struggling with it later in the evening.

Problem 2:

I left a vase of deadish flowers in the kitchen next to the sink, thinking that Mary would spot the now-dry arrangement and dispose of it. On the other side of the kitchen I left two beautiful bunches of roses belonging to my sister, in a jug of water. The plan was to return these roses when I see her tonight, as she was given them at her birthday bash on Saturday night, and they ended up at me that night. So I’ve discovered that Mary clearly cannot tell the difference between dead flowers, and flora which are still very much alive and kicking. I noticed this only this morning when I got an sms from the sibling enquiring as to whether or not I was looking after her flowers. Guess who’ll be buying some roses at Dunkeld florist this afternoon?

Problem 3:

1 x broken sheep mug. The first item of broken property since a picture frame on Mary’s first day. I’m not particularly concerned about this – at least she left it out for me to see and didn’t hide it.

Problem 4:

Thinking I might nip out to gym yesterday evening after a quote by the double glazing glass guy (who never showed up, by the way….I will have to judge him a little later!), I opened my cupboard to look for my sneakers. Because my flat is about the size of the common sense area of Robert Mugabe’s brain, I didn’t think it would be a problem finding them. And find them I did….on my balcony…..wet….and clean. Dear Mary decided they were looking dirty, so she washed them, which I think is just too sweet for words. However that effectively ended all hopes for running around the track, or even on the treadmill at gym. So instead I ate five Romany Creams and three teaspoons of Nutella. I blame Mary for this mini-binge.

So that’s where I am. It could be worse. She could morph into Lisa the Destructor, Golden Beagle’s creative maid. I need a tranquiliser!

Mmmmm, Corgi!!

07 08 07

In my radio journalism days, I would often visit the Ananova website and check the Quirkies section for ‘funnies’ to close the bulletin. I was never, ever disappointed by Ananova – some of those stories would have me giggling so much during the reading of them that I would literally not be able to finish the bulletin (you wonder why I was fired – just kidding! 😉

So, because I’ve been very bored at work recently, I have spent much time perusing the net and revisiting old sites I’ve haven’t checked in a while. And Ananova it seems is just as crazy and demented as before.

This is what I found today:

Artist: ‘Corgi tastes disgusting’

A performance artist has eaten a corgi live on radio in protest at Prince Philip’s alleged torture of a fox.

Mark McGowan, 37, said the cooked dog – the Queen’s favourite breed – tasted “really, really, really disgusting.”

The corgi, which died at a breeding farm, was minced with apple and onion, reports Sky News.

The artist ate it on the Bob and Roberta Smith radio programme, broadcast on London-based station 104.4 Resonance FM.

Before the show, the vegetarian and animal rights activist explained his motives for the protest.

He said: “I know some people will find this offensive and tasteless.

“But I am doing this to raise awareness about the RSPCA’s inability to prosecute Prince Philip and his friends shooting a fox earlier this year, letting it struggle for life for five minutes and then beating it to death with a stick.”

The radio show’s presenter, Bob Smith, said: “I’m not convinced it’s corgi.” But Mr McGowan insisted he trusted the two ladies who cooked the dog.

He said: “It’s stinky, it’s white-looking – it’s not like any meat I’ve ever seen.”

The RSPCA said it had investigated the alleged incident involving Philip at the Queen’s Sandringham estate in January and “found no evidence that an offence of causing unnecessary suffering had taken place”.

Now I always believe that if meat is off-colour, stinks like a hobo’s underwear and is pretty much unidentifiable, it’s best to keep away from it. But NO!!! Marc McGowan has a point to make, dagnabbit!

Man, I’d have loved to have presented this story in a bulletin. Nothing like something completely bizarre which involves animals to get people het up, apart from incorrect weather information! I’ll be I would have heard from more listeners after this story than when I once mentioned that it was sunny in some parts of the city but not in others.

An Economic Recovery Plan for Zimbabwe

02 08 07

This article appeared on Moneyweb yesterday, about a proposed new economic recovery plan for Zimbabwe.

The problem is, this is assuming a degree of rationality in Bob Mugabe, which he’s proven over the past eight years does not exist. Yes, there’s a possibility that he may give it a glance, perhaps even express some positivity towards the plan, owing to the upcoming elections in that ravaged country, but really, he doesn’t give a stuff about his country!!!

What a f*&king arsehole Mugabe is! He still asks business not to “reap exorbitant profits” from their businesses. Damn, they can barely make a living! He, alone, has been responsible for millions of people fleeing their country just so that they can eat. He has made sure that retail business barely exists with his absurd unilateral proclamation that business slashes its prices within a day, and in so doing puts much of the industry out of action.

And if what remains of big business in Zimbabwe really think that simply by showing Mugabe what may be a viable way out of this economic meltdown (I don’t know nearly enough about economics to make this judgement, and currently the document is still confidential) will convince him to let it be attempted, they’re deluded.

Mugabe has proven that he does nothing for the good of his own country, but only for what takes his fancy in his withered little mind.