‘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


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

Decline and Fall



Ursine physiology – may not be mainstream physiology

Filmed on a family picnic to the ruined castle of Arnhall on Sunday 26th March 2017








Unfinished, Beautiful. Everything.

Recently I visited Carstairs mausoleum. It was erected by Dr William Fullerton in 1784 and placed at the end of a vista from the house. At one time the route to the Mausoleum was lined by mighty Beech trees but these have not survived the centuries and now the mausoleum is isolated and lost in a large field.

In 1782, two of Dr Fullerton’s children died, Betty and Thomas, then two years later his beloved wife Isabel died.

Below the entrance portico an inscribed tablet has fallen:
“SIBI ET SUIS EXTRUI CURAVIT CRUILIELMUS FULLERTON DE CARESTAIRS AD 1784.”

“In AD 1784 William Fullerton of Carstairs arranged for this to be erected for his and his own”

Dr Fullerton lived on for a further twenty years. After he died his son-in-law demolished the family mansion and rebuilt the rather monstrous Gothic pile that survives to this day.

Music credits:
Richard Hawley - "I remember you" and "Half the world" from the 
album Mid-Air

The borrowed words:
come from "Grief is the thing with feathers" by Max Porter and 
"The Black Mirror" by Raymond Tallis