Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Today I realise something new

I realised today why I am happy being an accountant.  Some people might think a person who loves reading should be doing something more bookish - the books one does are not literary.  I'm happy because I NEVER have to pretend to be more stupid than I am.  Not for 40 hours of the week, anyway.

This revelation hit me after a visit to the breast cancer screening service.  Being over 50, I am invited every three years to be screened.  I missed my last visit, feeling that I was probably fine, the process was uncomfortable, and anyway, I'd read somewhere that the squashing might do more harm than good.

After a friend a year younger than me was diagnosed and operated on, my resolve was shaken.  Then I read a marvellous book about the Victorians by Judith Flanders.  The descriptions of the course things took when there was no treatment (other than the mastectomy without anaesthetic endured by Fanny Burney around the turn of the nineteenth century - she survived another 28 years) horrified me.  The pain, the long, slow, debilitating death.  Jane Austen's cousin, the delightful and fey Eliza de Feuillide, suffered the same fate.

I told the radiographer about the effect of the Victorian book. She looked at me as though I were mad.  I immediately dumbed down, and made some self-derogatory remark. 

It was later that I realised I never have to do this at work.  The cleverer the better, in accountancy.


  1. Ouch! Ouch! Oh dear, poor dears. Makes me think that my 1950's nursing years were not so terrible after all.

    And anyone who works with numbers is a genius as far as I am concerned:

  2. You would have some interesting stories to tell about nursing in the 1950's. The NHS is so high-tech now.