Saturday. I’m in a ward in the Charing Cross Hospital with Bertha, another woman with breast cancer. All the lymph glands under my right arm have been removed. Bertha, who’s 60 and lives near Heathrow Airport, is talking to a woman with hennaed hair who was bitten by her own corgi, or her daughter’s corgi, I’m not sure which. The corgis are father and son. The son attacked the father and they fought viciously till the corgi’s father’s owner, the woman talking to Bertha, managed to force a hoover down one dog’s throat. She then shut one dog in the garage but the other one bit her in the wrist. Her wrist is poisoned and she has to stay in hospital Several extra days.
Vol. 15 No. 16 · 19 August 1993
I was amused to find myself appearing in Elisa Segrave’s Diary (LRB, 22 July) but wish to make three points:1. It was not I who took a copy of Viz to her in hospital. She is probably confusing me with her priest. 2. Her misspelling of the Aztec word chocolatl is ascribed to me. This correction is made also on behalf of the Aztecs themselves who aren’t around to do it. 3. She misleadingly glosses my remarks on transsexual research at Johns Hopkins University. In fact the reason fewer sex-change operations are performed now than in the Sixties and Seventies is because it has been observed that there is little change in the incidence of suicide which (along with that of self-mutilation) the operation was designed to allay.