Rod Kersh
Person-centred physician

200 degrees, drizzle, and the school run in the Republic of South Yorkshire

200 degrees, photo by Rod Kersh 2024.
200 degrees, photo by Rod Kersh 2024

Monday morning,

I’m on holiday.

Such fun.

Remember Miranda?

Seems a long time ago.

I guess it was

In relative terms.

Yesterday I heard an American journalist describe Binyamin Netanyahu as not the worst leader Israel has had, instead, the worst leader the Jewish people have had. In their history. That’s a long time.

I don’t want to get into Israeli politics today although the topic is hard for me to avoid.

I know I have lost readers from the old days writing about almonds and emotions – patient safety, and creativity.

Sometimes it feels like a scratched record.

The pain goes round and around with no one shifting the needle.

When you think about it, just as with history which for all intents and purposes is infinite so too are an individual’s areas of focus.

Fractal or cauliflower, Ceaușescu or Romanesco, all are open for business.

And yet, as with the depressives’ mind, the focus is narrow.

Razor-guided onto the negative.

This morning, I explained to my daughter the significance of the Kaffiyeh.

A friend wore one yesterday.

I gave a potted history of Lawrence of Arabia, Yasser Arafat, and the hazards of the Arabian sun.

Symbol of rebellion, solidarity, and ultraviolet protection.

Sometimes it is hard to escape the negative self-talk.

Put up and shut up.

If you are mindful you can focus on the breath, and nothing will disturb you.

Your amygdala will not be activated and all will be good.

Says the Buddha.

Not easy as you negotiate traffic on a rainy Monday morning in Sheffield.

Rain, rain go away.

It’s been the wettest February and likely March on record.

Climate change.

Climate crisis.

The Swedish one and her protest pantomime.

Near my house, a field has been flooded for months, it has become an inland lake. I’m sure the farmer isn’t pleased.

Then again, what do the farmers expect, as they participate in the raising of lamb and beef, fuelling our bellies, provoking our microbiome (dysbiosis they call it), and suffocating the planet (methane – do you get it?) – oh, and deforestation.

Too much time in fight or flight and your cortisol burns-out.

Exceed the recommended daily amount of sugar and you exhaust your pancreas.

It’s them or us.

Partisan or the greater good; rise above the petty.

Will Netanyahu’s nose-thumbing spoil Biden’s chance of a second term and lead to Trump II? Who knows.

As I said, there is a lot going-on.

I worry about my patients.

My family.

My dogs and tortoise.

Will the sun shine?

Last night I booked on the Sheffield Half Marathon. It’s in a fortnight. Not part of my planning, I saw the road closure signs yesterday (after the kaffiyeh) and thought, ‘Why not?’

Sheffield is hilly. Just like Rome, seven hills, they say.

And I wonder whether the race finish-line will be crowded-out by pro-Palestinians. Maybe. Perhaps.

My mind shifts to the guy scaling the town hall just after 10/7 to remove the Israeli flag and instal a Palestinian one. This before the bombing, before the claims of genocide or famine or starvation. Remember?

It’s all there. A potpourri.

I first encountered this in 1989 following my return from Israel. Essie has some in her bathroom. Occasionally scented. Often dry and dusty.

I think back.

Had we not left Israel at that time, my mum would have died when I was 17. As it was the following years were tough.

Think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Tornado. Hurricane.

Happy Days.

I grew-up with the Fonz. Not realising there was a double love in my household. For the character first, Henry Winkler second.


No more.

Franklin Foer wrote an article in The Atlantic this month – THE GOLDEN AGE OF AMERICAN JEWS IS ENDING. Much discussed in the Jewish media it gave us pause. That’s the Jews.


Dylan, Roth, Nimoy. Take your pick. That time has passed.

Days Are Gone, sing the Jewish-American bank Haim.

I complemented my son on his yellow ‘bring them home’ ribbon yesterday. It was the first I had seen in the UK. Maybe I should wear a Palestinian flag too he suggested. That would confuse the issue I replied.

Why not confuse the confusing?

It would be too much.

The engine can’t take it.

Says Scotty.

You wouldn’t get away with such stereotyping nowadays.

An image of the Titanic’s fake funnel comes to mind.

I remember a colleague’s favourite metaphor, like shifting the deckchairs on the Titanic.

A reference to the futility of reorganisation within the NHS, a system that transacts rather than transforms.

Who knows?

Enough is enough.

Maybe all this free association is good.

Kabat-Zinn says that mind-wandering is unhealthy.

I don’t know, sometimes it creates space to breathe.

About the Author
Dr Rod Kersh is a Consultant Physician working in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. He blogs at
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