Curious about Dundee, Discovery and Death.

Due in hospital on Tuesday for major surgery. At 83, not without risk.  And I have a choice.  It is recommended, as necessary and wise, but not at this moment critical.

Choices like that in your 84 th year are interesting. Different.  You know that Terry Pratchett’s marvellous Discworld character DEATH is lurking somewhere.  You probably wouldn’t mind meeting him.  (Indeed I did once after a childbirth haemorrhage. But we agreed then that it was not yet time.)

Maybe now it is?

Life turned out fine in the end and still loving it. Why then risk messing it up? Could have another few years with little problem. Or could have a heart attack anytime.

Should sound medical advice be accepted? Or could I say, “Thank you, but no” and just let fate decide?

With that in mind, we, husband and I, thought we might bring forward the celebration of our first getting together, 19 years ago, on April 10th.

Curiosity decided that it was going to be a special weekend in Dundee.

The exciting new Vand A Museum was calling.


Doesn’t it look wonderful? Launching itself into the River Tay, announcing its pride in Dundee’s history of shipbuilding and design.

And there next to it Captain Scott’s Discovery, with another fascinating exhibition of how to build a boat and make plans for a two year Antarctic exploration. How many tons of flour? Or coal?

Loved the penguins outside! And the chance to sit on an ice cube..



The exterior  of the V and A was certainly dramatic, but hadn’t expected to be so intrigued by the interior.  The ship theme continued. You were in a space, huge though it was, enclosed by oak planks with portholes and beams above. You were in a ship.


And through the portholes were glimpses of water and other ships.  Loved it.

And so apparently did the tourists. There in hordes from everywhere. Dundees is now on the Scottish tourism route.  So pleased for them.  Everyone we met, taxi drivers, hotel staff were glowing! So were we! Found a lovely restaurant over looking the Tay Rail Bridge, perfect for a celebratory dinner. And delighted to see that an older couple at the next table were also holding hands.

And so, what is the decision?

Go in of course! Curiosity demands it. A lifetime in the NHS and I have neve been an in patient in a hospital!  And look at this state of the art new Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Glasgow:


Robots running around doing delivery underground…..

Another new experience! But maybe not to look forward to.

Watch this space.






  1. Laura Pigg
    March 25, 2019 / 9:36 am

    The hospital might be a marvelous adventure! Hope all is well, I go in tomorrow, to see the heart doctor. Found out when I had swine flu you cannot be held down, so I walked out when they got my temperature down to 103 degrees. I felt so much better. Funny with a last name like Pigg! Be well!

  2. Carol Walker-sherriff
    March 25, 2019 / 9:38 am

    Best of luck, with youth attitude you will be fine. You have made me plan to go to Dundee.Thanks, Regards Carol xx

  3. jackie trinder
    March 25, 2019 / 9:43 am

    All the very best wishes to you for your celebration together and for your op. As I type my 93yr old mother in law is sitting I Medway Maritime awaiting a general anaesthetic for a hernia that needs fixing. My husband is with her so she’s got company. She is still in the game as you are, but maybe not as philosophical as you. She’s fit enough to ho ahead despite a spike in blood pressure this morning so they even think it will be a day case. Hope yours goes well. Great photos.

  4. eremophila
    March 25, 2019 / 9:44 am

    Glad you had a great time at Dundee, it looks most interesting. You’d better hang around so I can read about your 20th anniversary. Best wishes xx

  5. jackie trinder
    March 25, 2019 / 9:44 am

    Sorry typos wearing new varifocal contact lenses…. Erm can’t see phone 🙄

  6. Lesley Scholes
    March 25, 2019 / 10:10 am

    I wish you all the very best for your stay in hospital and for a speedy recovery. I love your blogs, you are so positive and inspiring. Just get well soon, and I look forward to hearing about your latest adventure! All the best, Lesley x

  7. Susan Waters
    March 25, 2019 / 12:12 pm

    I hope your operation goes well, Carol. No major operation is without risk, regardless of age, and I’m sure that you have made the right decision. Looking forward to hearing about your recovery – you’ll be bouncing back to full health before you know it! Glad you had a wonderful day at the V and A – it’s now on my ‘places to visit’ list xxxx

  8. Susan Waters
    March 25, 2019 / 12:17 pm

    I don’t know why I called you Carol! Apologies x

  9. Jacqui Gauld
    March 25, 2019 / 12:36 pm

    Glad you enjoyed your time in Dundee. We have so much to offer as a tourist destination, both within the city and for being an ideal base for travelling to other parts of Scotland. I LOVE the V&A, the outside is truly spectacular. I have to admit to being a wee bit disappointed with parts of the inside (why the need for two eating areas and two gift shops?), but can happily accept them as a small price to pay for having such an amazing building in our wee toon. Dundee, at long last, is definitely on the up.
    Wishing you all the very best for your forthcoming surgery and recovery in that fantastic, futuristic looking hospital.

  10. jemima
    March 25, 2019 / 1:22 pm

    lovely post. thank you. inspiring, as ever.
    and may i return a little of your inspiration, strength, determination. for tomorrow and for the gentle-recovery period afterwards.
    thank you for giving us another fun and thought-provoking post to contemplate while you take “time off” in that wonderful-looking hospital (not just state of the art, but artistic statement).
    wishes to you both.

    • Nicky Wheeliker
      March 25, 2019 / 2:10 pm

      Sorry to hear that you need this Joyce, but applaud your decision. With your positive attitude to life I’m sure you’ll come through it all fine, with yet more experiences to write about in your characteristic upbeat way. Good luck!

  11. Iris newton
    March 25, 2019 / 4:38 pm

    May I join the many others who will be thinking of you and wishing you well tomorrow.. I am a relative newcomer to your inspiring posts and enjoy them immensely . Many thanks and very brst wishes.

  12. vieillesagesse
    March 25, 2019 / 4:49 pm

    Lovely pictures of Dundee! I’m going to say better to get it done now while you are clearly fit and well, rather than leave it to a future time when the situation may be different. I am sure you took all that into account. Good luck!

  13. Maureen Helen
    March 25, 2019 / 9:57 pm

    Looking forward to your description of using the health system at last, Joyce. Best wishes for your new adventure and a speedy recovery.

  14. K. Gibson
    March 28, 2019 / 4:13 pm

    As a nosey nurse of a-certain-age, I cannot help wondering what sort of surgery. Shame on me?! My heart is with you whatever your decision and I pray for your good and lasting health. You are an inspiration and I hope to continue to enjoy your honest and comforting dialogue for women of our age. We need you!
    With Love and My Many Thoughts, Kate

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