DEMOCRACY, DIVERSITY, NEIGHBOURS
I learnt about communism from my parents. Empty shops and neighborhoods with a single phone line, eavesdropping on all calls; a risk of prison for a letter from abroad; plays banned from theatres; militia beating young people to the pulp in daylight in the street.
Few people see working abroad as a dream, or even a choice. Many would much rather be at home but don't think there was anything waiting for them there and whenever someone braves a return, they meet with raised eyebrows at farewell and welcome parties.
Conversation around Brexit has been so focused on the economy that, when disaster didn’t strike despite prediction, we quickly forgot the real meaning of Britain’s departure from the EU. The tragedy of making any one country 'great' isn’t about money. It’s about the loss of a distinct identity that collaborative Europe gave my generation.
Nuala Smith was born in Drogheda in 1946, worked as airhostess, ran a vegetarian restaurant and a garden center before moving to San Francisco in 1980s. Returning to Ireland shortly thereafter, she taught office skills iand wrote for the Irish Radio (RTE). Her prose appeared in newspapers and magazines.
WRITING MUSIC AND ART
Mygrandfather had an old violin he kept wrapped in a plastic bag on the top shelf of a very tall cupboard. “This is not a toy,” he said, refusing to let me have it. Once, when he wasn’t home, I was restless after building a carpet tipi in my grandparents’ living room. I wanted something to do, so I went to the kitchen and pulled on my grandmother’s skirt while she grated potatoes for placki.
MEDICAL AND ACADEMIC
Regular contributor "translations" of top international research from specialist to plain English with focus on medical and life sciences as well as psychology and affiliated disciplines.
Part of a publications team driving transition to Digital First. Instrumental to development of 120 web-based and 13 print titles and complementary resources aimed at diverse audiences winning the British Medical Association’s Patient Information Award for two books; three other resources received Highly Commended.
Thoroughly researched, engaging and insightful stories on drug development, clinical trials and patient issues. Highlights included controversy around Essure ahead of the BBC; need for study designs better than randomised clinical trials; hearing from Michael Seres about quality of life when living with chronic illness.
My undergraduate thesis, Endophenotypes in psychiatric nosology, analysed cognitive and morphometric data from a longitudinal study on genetic risks and outcomes in psychosis using statistical methods for multivariate analysis of covariance. Written in collaboration with UMC Utrecht, it achieved Thesis of Highest Distinction.
FORENSIC PSYCHIATRIC EPIDEMIOLOGY
I have an abandoned PhD (aka Masters of Science by Research) in Forensic Psychiatric Epidemiology from University of Oxford. My thesis include two papers - a systematic review and a meta-analysisas well as a primary study - both of which were published: in BJPsych and PLoS ONE.
This story is wonderful. I'm going to reread it several times. I just love Zuzanna's writing style. I chuckled at the remark about having a smooth bow and luscious vibrato – but not necessarily at the same time! heh heh!