Dr Brown is Getting Better At…

Remember, Remember the 31st of October: Halloween and Bonfire Night

Ok, kids…you won’t believe this, but once there was a time when Halloween wasn’t a big deal. And nor was Bonfire Night. And to be honest, I don’t really care for either of them. Which is why I’ve come up with a solution. Yes: I propose we combine the two. “Remember, Remember, The Thirty-First ofContinue reading “Remember, Remember the 31st of October: Halloween and Bonfire Night”

… Soggy Bottoms and Star Bakes: Behind the scenes at The Great British Bake Off

I Signature Bake The Great British Bake Off is back! I love the Bake Off.  I always have. Actually, that’s not quite true. In the first series I thought they were just taking a really long time to establish the suspects in a Miss Marple murder set in a village fête before I realised itContinue reading “… Soggy Bottoms and Star Bakes: Behind the scenes at The Great British Bake Off”

… the Royal College of GPs (and how not to get out of meetings on time)

For over a decade, I’ve been on the board of the North West faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP). It was even my turn to be chair a few years ago, and I’m genuinely proud to have been elected a fellowship. These faculties round the country discuss issues affecting general practice andContinue reading “… the Royal College of GPs (and how not to get out of meetings on time)”

… A Nice, Sensible Blog, without rude bits.

“We like your blogs, but we don’t think it needs the naughty talk.” Warns my father. My father doesn’t like “naughty talk”. We’ll be watching TV and he’ll tut to himself. “It’s not big and it’s not clever.” “Father, that’s Stephen Fry.  He’s both exceptionally big and enormously clever!” But, OK then. A wholesome, harmlessContinue reading “… A Nice, Sensible Blog, without rude bits.”

… Losing Weight

“Can I help you at all, sir?” “No thanks.  Just browsing.” “But Sir, this is a Greggs.” Much as I’m ashamed to admit it, the time has come for me to lose some weight. Mrs Dr Brown pointed this out a little while ago. “That’s a bit harsh.” I countered. “I weigh the same asContinue reading “… Losing Weight”

… Surviving Air Disasters (and why never to fall asleep during the safety briefing)

“Thank you for flying BudgetAir. Please pay close attention to the following safety briefing.” Unfortunately the 3 am start for the seven am flight was starting to catch up with me. I’d taken advantage of the double gift from BudgetAir of not having paid extra to select my seat, which meant I didn’t have toContinue reading “… Surviving Air Disasters (and why never to fall asleep during the safety briefing)”

… World Book Day and Dressing Up for School: or “What’ve we got that would do?”

“Night night, darling.” I whisper to my sleeping son on my way up to bed. He stirs. “Night, Dad” Awwww! “Dad?  I need to go to school dressed as a Roman tomorrow.”  He rolls over and with a snuggle into his quilt, he’s asleep again. I press the button which sets off the flashing redContinue reading “… World Book Day and Dressing Up for School: or “What’ve we got that would do?””

… Visiting the dentist: Fillings, Killings and the Drool Event Horizon

Dentist: Oh, how are your wisdom teeth by the way? Me:        Guk g’huk guck,  guckoo Nurse:   Much better, thank you. Me (five minutes later, making things worse) : You see, I couldn’t speak with my mouth wide open, but I thought you were asking me about my wisdom teeth, in which case the answer wouldContinue reading “… Visiting the dentist: Fillings, Killings and the Drool Event Horizon”

… Christmas Markets

I’m a sucker for Christmas.  Always have been. I like the lights.  I like the music.  I like the seasonal cheer and the peace on earth and goodwill to all men. I’m the sort of person who cries at the Muppets Christmas Carol and the Yogi Bear Christmas Special.   Or when the Snowman melts orContinue reading “… Christmas Markets”

… Birthday Presents

Let me first say that Mrs. Brown is magnificent.  I am very lucky.  Dolphins have swimming with her on their bucket list. It is no surprise to the casual observer that she agreed to marry me prior to her laser eye surgery.  And when we announced our engagement, my brother said he was “not soContinue reading “… Birthday Presents”

… Passwords (or “Chris Tarrant and the curse of NHS I.T.”)

This month I have mainly been getting annoyed by computer passwords. It’s like “Who Want’s to Be a Millionaire?” but with more questions and less prize money.

Me: Password64
Chris: Final answer?
Me: Final answer, Chris.
Chris: OK. You said Password64.
Me: I know.
Chris: Confident?
Me: Hurry up Chris
Chris: You’re absolutely…. wrong!
No way! Piss off, Chris! This was definitely right yesterday.
Or have I changed it?

… My Olympic Diary: Week 2

You have one new message… Message received today at four twenty six am…  Hi Rick.  It’s Clare.  Clare Balding?  I’m in Tokyo.  We’re really stuck for things to say out here.  Me and Gabby were wondering if you couldn’t knock us up another week of your Olympic Diary?  Call me.  Thanks.

…My Olympic Diary: Week 1

I love the Olympics. But because of broadcasting rights this year there has been reduced BBC coverage of the Tokyo games.  Fortunately, as a serious and internationally respected sports pundit, I got a call from Clare Balding asking me if I’d be happy with the BBC using my Olympic Diary as the focus of their broadcast this year.  I’ve got a sneak preview for you now.

… Football: A Guide For Those Who Aren’t Massively Keen On Football

The trick with reality television (and grow up, football fans – watching twenty-two strangers doing something unscripted for TV cameras counts as reality telly) is to actually care who wins.  Unlike Strictly or the X-Factor there’s no public vote to suck you in, but it’s still more fun if you have a favorite to getContinue reading “… Football: A Guide For Those Who Aren’t Massively Keen On Football”

… Licences to Kill

This time of year, GP speciality training applications are opened to junior doctors seeking a career in GP.  On an entirely unconnected note, my sister-in-law works for a recruitment consultant who is trying to recruit Director General Q for MI6, the UK Foreign Intelligence service, promoting the UK’s overseas interest through “human intelligence” and deploying “clandestine operational technology”.  Some years ago these two recruitmentContinue reading “… Licences to Kill”

… Giving Feedback

Ever wondered what connects pizzas, GP surgeries, Olympic champion Jessica Ennis and NHS toast? Find out in the latest installment of Dr Brown is getting better…

… Losing at Games

Is there a technique to rock, paper, scissors? Serious question. If there is a formula please feel free to leave it in the comments section below. It’s just that my daughter has started to beat me.  More than that in fact. I’m getting whooped.  Every…Single…Time. We recently played for about twenty minutes sitting on aContinue reading “… Losing at Games”

…Online Shopping

We’ve all been doing it since Covid-19 kicked in.

It’s a bit of a guilty pleasure.

Traffic on the biggest sites has gone up 300% over lockdown.

I’ve got to the point where I’m having to delete my internet search history several times a week, so Mrs. Brown doesn’t see what I’ve been up to.

Yes, that’s the one.

My name’s Rick and I’ve been buying rubbish online.

…Buying Flowers

This week I have been buying flowers.  Disappointingly, a lot of you will automatically suspect I am in trouble rather than being incurably romantic.  Don’t worry, I’m not.  In this instance it is neither.  I required a big thank-you present for a teacher and so I was sent to the florist.  And as is becomingContinue reading “…Buying Flowers”

…Getting Older

The alarm goes off. “You get up first.” Purrs Mrs. Brown seductively. “No you go first – I’m doing school drop off today.” I whisper. “COO-EEE! I’M HERE! I’LL GET UP FIRST!” Oh, shut up, bladder! And that’s the problem. I am now a gentleman of a certain age and if I ever fancy aContinue reading “…Getting Older”


For the first time in ages, I’ve been going for interviews. But times have changed since the last time when I circled jobs in the wanted ads in the British Medical Journal or GP Magazine, sent off a CV then got called for interviews (or not). The new all-virtual interviews are a totally different experience,Continue reading “…Interviews”


For Christmas this year I got a toothbrush. Big deal! I hear you cry. But this is no ordinary toothbrush. Yes, that’s right. This is the Smart 6 6000N CrossActionwith Smart Ring (and don’t worry – I’ve owned it for a month and still don’t know what any of that means). But that’s not whatContinue reading “…Apps”

…The Nativity

“It’s not fair!” “It’s not fair!” rants the boy. “But it’s the best part!” I try to reassure. “It’s not. It’s boring. I wanted to be the donkey!” “But your part is better.” “The donkey has a song.” Yes, that’s right. This week they have been casting the school nativity and the boy doesn’t feelContinue reading “…The Nativity”

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