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Thursday, March 06, 2003
Crisp and white


Sister theatre came back into the theatre proper just after seven that evening. I was sitting on a high stool drying and polishing the great stack of instruments spread on the top shelf of the glass trolley in front of me.

"My poor Nurse Lindsay! Still at it?"

"And one more lot still to come out of the sterilizer, Sister." I eased my turban a little farther back on my head. "Those men must have used every single instrutment in the General Surgical Unit Theatre to-day."


Thus begins The New Sister Theatre, a thrilling tale of love, fever and forceps, but sadly not one of the tomes shown in this obsessive collection of medical romances. You can get Sister Theatre on audiobook if you want to know how it all ends.

There's a small piece by 'Piloti' in this week's Private Eye about senseless demolition in the name of lengthening runways - something always has to give (with regard to a St Laurence's in Eastwood, a Grade I listed church that currently stands in the way of the extension to Southend airport). Piloti cheekily cited the case of the Bristol Brabazon, the British equivalent of the Spruce Goose, i.e. a colossal white elephant. The Brabazon (named after John Moore-Brabazon, Lord Brabazon of Tara, one of Britain's first pilots. More info here) was first flown in 1949, lumbering into the sky from an especially lengthened runway at Filton, just outside Bristol.

In order to make room for the Brabazon, the largest aeroplane ever built in Britain, a seven-acre assembly building was constructed, and the runway was extended, completely obliterating the nearby village of Charleton; a modern update on the lord of the manor moving the unsightly village from his grounds. (Related: working Brabazon model. How runways are designated. Info available at the Public Record Office. A wonderful picture of the Brabazon at the 1951 Farnborough Air Show - a good gallery. The wrecks of long-grounded planes on the airfield at Filton (scroll down)).

Elsewhere. A friend of things draws our attention to this delicacy, 'a cheesy glob of friend cornmeal the size of a small lemon.' No thanks.
The astro stamp society (a broken scanner precludes us from sharing some glorious Soviet-era space stamps we picked up in Moscow) and more to the point, Soviet Dogs in Space.

As you might have noticed, we've done a bit more tweaking. Hopefully the sidebar should be slightly more pleasingly proportioned and less cluttered. We've also given individual pages a more streamlined look - check these pages: the Tale of TWA800, 'The Dinosaur', 'Things': a short story, and Making the World Safe for Tourism.