‘It was odd being dead’

This is a fictional film. It is about a teddy bear, Dr Hale Bopp and a day of two halves. In the morning Dr Hale Bopp goes exploring in the Scottish Borders and he comes across the ruin of the Monteath mausoleum on Gersit Law. The oak door of the mausoleum has been breached and one can get inside and be with Monteath and the two angels that guard this forgotten statesman. Above him the dome has beautiful window stars to the universe beyond.

Dr Hale Bopp is a well-travelled bear and is constantly exploring, enjoying and reflecting upon the world in which he lives. The guid doctor has come to the view that life is complex, diverse and sometimes “messy”. He leaves the Monteath mausoleum with paws that were muddy and heads for a different afternoon. An afternoon of Appraisal to ensure that as a fictional bear and doctor that he is providing Good Medical Practice.

So that was the day of two halves. This film is about that.

Dr Hale Bopp is getting on a bit now and is at the end of his fictional medical career. One day soon he will retire from being a doctor but meantime he is of the view that his wanderings, philosophical and creative between the arts and sciences, has been nothing but to the benefit of the patients that he cares for.

Important note:
None of the words used in this film are those of the filmmaker. They are “borrowed” from C.P. Snow’s “Corridors of Power”; Evelyn Waugh’s “Decline and Fall”; and Jessie Burton’s novel “The Muse”.

‘It was odd being dead’ from omphalos on Vimeo.

Source material:
(1) Physicians of the future: Renaissance of Polymaths? By B F Piko and W E Stempsey. Published in The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. December 2002, 122(4), pp. 233-237
(2) Time to rethink on appraisal and revalidation for older doctors. By Dr Jonathan D Sleath. Letter published in the BMJ, 30 December 2016, BMJ2016;355:i6749
(3) Career Focus: Appraising Appraisal. Published in the BMJ 21st November 1988, BMJ1988;317:S2-7170
(4) Revalidation: What you need to know. Summary advice for Regulators. General medical Council.
(5) The Good Medical Practice Framework for Appraisal and Revalidation. General medical Council.
(6) Taking Revalidation Forward: Sir Keith Pearson’s Review of Medical Revalidation. January 2017.
(7) GMC response to Sir Keith Pearson’s report on Taking Revalidation Forward.

Music credits (under common license, thank you Dexter Britain):

(1) Perfect I am not – by Dexter Britain
(2) Telling stories – by Dexter Britain


Well, is there anyone who isn’t tangent?

I made this film after visiting the Temple of the Muses, by Dryburgh, on the last day of March 2017.

Hundy Mundy

call it folly, call it my pursuit
a sense of loss,
the secret of art.

[the body of work reflects the disappearance of the artist himself]

Music credits:
(1) Bluebell, cockleshell 1-2-3 by King Creosote (From Scotland with love)
(2) Leave your body behind you – by Richard Hawley

The stories we hear and the stories we tell

The stories we hear and the stories we tell from omphalos on Vimeo.

Forgive me for worrying about the lack of philosophy and ethics in science and healthcare today.

The funeral took place in radiant sunshine

Auchengray House has been a ruined shell since a catastrophic fire in 1937. At the time all was going horribly wrong for the multi-millionaire owner, J M Colville. Not only did he lose in the fire his collection of fine antiques and paintings, but not long before the fire his mother had died and then his sister jumped in front to a train.

It was this darkness that led to the building of Gribloch, the new hoose, one of light, designed by Basil Spence.

To root in these very specific places

T S Eliot rooted poems about ideas in very specific places. He was very interested in yew trees:


The following film is on the Fortingall Yew.

Time passes. Listen.

The Body Lift

This is a more experimental film and is based on attending a Conference by Aberdeen Council on the 27th October 2016 in the old Anatomy Department of Marischal College.

The Conference was on “customer experience” and was extremely well put together. This meeting truly realised the benefits of shared learning and wider thinking. I felt very lucky to be a part of it.

I gave a brief 5 minute talk on “bedside manner” in the old dissecting room where 28 years ago I had learned anatomy.

One of the talks I most benefited from was by the philosopher Dr Bob Plant. His talk made me think of divides – the dissections of understandings. The film ends with dissections on the body of “Caledonian Antisyzygy”.

This film begins with my friend Dr Flaxman going up in the old lift to the Town House Archives. We had just left another lift behind, the lift in the Anatomy Department where bodies were brought up to the “Drain”. That is why I have called this film “The Body Lift”