OK breath deeply, contain your gag reflex and I will proceed.
There is a surgical procedure, preferably performed under anaesthetic, for those who suffer from recurrent bouts of sinusitis in which the maxillary sinus is pierced via the nasal cavity, flushed out with saline and hey presto you wake up being able to breath again. When I scrubbed in ENT theatres it used to be called an antrum washout but probably has a completely new and fancy name now, like post-nasal irrigational lavage or something but William Hague was entirely thankful to have his done by this method whilst he was
Leader of the Opposition (thanks Maureen!) and it made national news headlines that day.
I hated working in ENT theatres by the way.
Scrubbed up one morning and doing the slapping of forceps into the hands routine I was a fraction off the pace with an instrument, only the merest milli-second I'm sure, and the surgeon threw the tonsil he had just extracted at me in temper and with instrument attached.
It bounced off me and across the floor, then he shouted at me and of course it was all downhill after that.
Uncalled for I'd say and these days I'd probably throw it right back at him, catch him a glancing blow across his masked mandible and then sue for damages, but thirty years ago the disgrace was all mine and led to my demotion to counting swabs, filling and emptying and filling and emptying the autoclave and damp dusting for a week.
But where was I?
Ah yes, Peter Dorward's fountain pen in Nightingale.
Now I'm not sure what happens when an antrum washout is performed spontaneously, even on the spur of the moment and in anger shall we say, using a left oblique italic nib via a Mont Blanc pen tanked up with a nice permanent black Diamine ink, (my embellishments) but it's probably not pretty; so much so that I can't bear to go back and check the details but I think it was Horst who most definitely didn't see that one coming.
Hope that doesn't spoil anyone's day or anything and don't let it put you off this excellent book, you can skip that bit.