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  1. Dr C O'Mahony
  1. Countess of Chester Hospital NHS Trust, Chester CH2 1UL.

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    I remember the good old days when a gilt edged knife was required to open the post. A glance at the address—that is, whether it was typed or hand written could generate a frisson of interest, intrigue, or even fear. The contents could be filed carefully in the “I'll think about it” tray for days, if not weeks, generating nothing more than the odd pang of guilt from the occasional ill advised rummage. If tempted to reply, all that was required was a few minutes into the dictaphone and the job was done. No need to worry about spelling, grammar, or punctuation. Mysteriously, the occasional expletive and inappropriate sarcasm rarely found their way on to the final masterpiece presented for signing.

    Now, however, in their wisdom the Trust has bought me a laptop which sits incongruously on the leather topped mahogany desk, blinking expectantly at me every moment of the day. In an effort to ward off dinosaur status, I forced myself to confront the wretched thing. Inexplicably, however, this labour saving device means that correspondence now takes up two to three hours a day, as opposed to the previous half an hour. Typing my own correspondence also removes the previously built-in reliable safety check of my secretary Sonja's intuition. As a result, I am now in more trouble than ever.

    I also think the button “reply to all” should be taken out, as this electronic device can seriously damage your health. I now get copied in on emails from and to, Tom, Dick, and Harry, which of course, I do nothing about, apart from adding another layer to the guilt mountain.

    I have also been confronted with the fact that I can't spell, and like any normal man, resent this being pointed out to me at every stroke. Imagine my joy then when I came across this wonderfully clever ode, which magnificently insults the spell checker, with its incorrect use of correctly spelt words.

    “Ode to the Spell Checker”
 Eye halve a spelling chequer
 It came with my pea sea
 It plainly marquis four my revue
 Miss steaks eye ken knot sea.
 Eye strike a quay and type award
 And weight four it two say
 Weather eye am wrong oar write
 It shows me strait a weigh.
 As soon as a mist ache is maid
 It nose bee fore two long
 And eye can put the error rite
 Its rare lea ever wrong.
 The sex wards are a probe elm.
 Eye found that ought four shore
 It dozen no watt gauze wear
 Or watts a test of core.
 Eye have run this poem threw it
 I am shore yore pleased two no
 Its letter perfect awl the weigh
 My chequer tolled me sew.


    • PS: I've added some bits, but I can't acknowledge the author of most of the above, as it came to me anonymously.