school photos







           All original writing



2014, 2015, 2016,

2017, 2018, 2019,


Dr Ian McLauchlin



It was a normal day . . . to start with.

Had a shower. Didn’t fall over. Looked forward to doing all those things you do after coming out of the shower – switching it off, pushing hair out of eyes in order to see, making sure every little bit of me was dry and, of course cutting my nails.

I have an industrial strength set of nail clippers. With suitable adjustment it could clip the nails off a donkey. But I set it for human, big toe.

Let’s start with the big toe, left hand, no foot.

This shouldn’t take long, particularly as my nails were now soft from showering. Opened the menacing jaws of the nail clippers, not made by JCB but could have been. Foot on toilet seat so I could reach it but, more importantly, see it and focus. Positioned clippers on big toe nail. There. No a bit further, there. That’s about it. Shouldn’t need to clip that one again for quite some weeks. Slight sting as the clippers closed their jaws and did their job. The nail duly fell into toilet bowl. Along with something else.

Strange colour that nail. A sort of reddish red. More drops of red. I haven’t have I? It was only a light nip. But I am taking blood thinning medication. And it clearly works.  A sheet of toilet paper was needed, Red toilet paper? Quick get another sheet. Squeeze hard. Another sheet. And another. No good, this looks like a job for Captain Kleenex. Fold it in four and wrap it round the toe. Make sure the free end’s trapped by the adjacent toe. Now I know why there’s a smaller toe right next to the big one.

Right, that seems to have done it. But I was looking at the top. The tissue was filling up at the bottom. I know, an adhesive plaster will provide the right pressure. Tried one. Nope, need another one. Then I applied a new tissue, again taking account of the anchoring properties of the small yet valuable next toe.

Sorted. Right, time to put a few clothes on. Put left foot gingerly through left hand/foot shorts hole. Then the other one through the other one. Brilliant. Success. Not so quickly. What was brilliant was the red patch on the shorts.  And on the carpet.

Hurriedly re-tissued my toe, soaked my shorts and carpet. Dabbed them dry and . . . relax. Finally, managed to complete the nail clipping, first the rest of the foot, then the other foot then both hands. No more clipper accidents, and free to complete the next post-shower task.  Hurray. Moisturising cream on legs and arms. At my perfect age, skin needs a bit of help even if toe nails now don’t.

Left leg, taking care to avoid delicate big toe, right leg. And the rest.

Finally all done and post shower routine, plus unexpected extras, now complete.

What could possibly go wrong now? Nothing, unless you’re a passing clothes moth looking for a bit of moisturising. What’s that on my ankle I thought. It was said moth, having taken a chance with my ankle cream, flailed around a bit and lost. Made me regret having dry skin, a bit. Made the moth regret it a lot.

Well that’s the shower over for . . . who knows how long?

17 august 2021