During my wanderings in Horbury I sometimes drop in to Rickaro Books, a sort-of Siamese triplet comprising antique books, new mainstream stuff, and local publications. A few weeks ago while browsing I happened upon a copy of Once A Doctor by now-retired Chapelthorpe GP Ron Mulroy, and curiosity got the better of me – I lived in Crigglestone (covered by the Chapelthorpe surgery) for some years, but never saw the chap (it would probably spoil the book for me too, although apparently he treated my Great-Grandmother Atkinson according to my Grandmother).

It’s a good, gentle tome, chock full of anecdotes and tales regarding (among others) mayonnaise, an itinerant ECG machine, delivering a baby in a caravan, a dead stranger on a sofa, patient responses, collapsing beds, hypochondria and whatever-the-opposite-of-hypochondria-is. It’s not really a complete novel but more a series of essays, but it’s good bedtime or bathtime reading and well worth the 10 quid. That said, you might not ‘get it’ if you’re not from Oop North.

Come to think of it, the only complaint I have is that it seems to have been proofread by monkeys, with missing full-stops at the ends of paragraphs and in one case almost a third of a page missing (the tale merrily continues half-way through on the following page). However, I suspect these will be corrected in a reprint.

(Incidentally, I found an article on retirement by him – click here if you want to read it and discover his writing style).

Edit: Physician, heal thyself. I should have proofread my own article for the typos. Sorry.