I hope this makes some kind of sense, or maybe it’s just my sense of humour. 

(Dedicated to the memory of Wee Shug, a gentleman with dementia and impaired vision who I helped to look after in the 80s. Hugh taught me the value and importance of holism, which should underpin mental health interventions. All Hugh wanted was his daily dose of ‘fresh air’ so he could ‘hae a fag’ in the leafy hospital grounds and I enjoyed pushing him in his wheelchair, a reprieve from passively smoking the exhalations of 29 other men. One day Hugh displayed his assertive side to the bow-tied psychiatrist when denied his outing:


Hugh: Can I get ma fresh air?


Psychiatrist: Sorry, there isn’t enough staff today.


Hugh: Whit? Ya fuckin’ pantomime o’ a doctor ye.)




‘Let us

help you

to stop


states the NHS Lothian poster.


‘From 1st of April 2015 all NHS

Scotland grounds will be



(Hugh’s voice in my head)


‘Aye – but will we be?

And by we, I mean us,

not them –


I’m naw April fool.’


© kats 2020
Views: 1938
critique and comments welcome.
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

It does make sense, Kim and it’s also clever and amusing. I’d have liked to have met Hugh.


Kim he sounded like quite a character did Wee Shug – I am sure you had plenty of laughs too in your caring roll. It would be nice to think that all in your work were as kind to their patients as you obviously are…
gerry xx


This interesting write reminds me, Kim, of when, in a London hospice, they decided at a point heralding in Cheyne-Stokes breathing, they would wheel out patients from their dark rooms to die with dignity on the lawn in the sun, some even were given a glass of whisky or brandy, and blowed if they didn’t have to wheel them back in again, refusing to “conveniently” die, living on average a few months longer than was normally the case. Rebellious like Hugh, to the bitter end! I don’t imagine you having a Scottish dialect?
Trevor x

Flag Content