‘Life as a country GP exposes one to an extraordinary range of people and situations – always fascinating, sometimes absurd, often sad and poignant. I hope this small book catches something of that infinite variety.’
Each Christmas for the past sixteen years Dr Philip Evans has sent his friends and family a small booklet of ‘wonders and absurdities’ gleaned from many different sources over the year. When he sent the booklets to us they made us laugh so much we decided to publish a selection. The result is A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book, a very personal look at the pleasures and eccentricities of English life from a well-read individual with a keen sense of humour and many decades of observing his fellow men and women in his work as a Suffolk GP.
Together with his wife Christine, Dr Evans makes an annual selection according to a set of unwritten and undisclosed criteria which include ‘delight, surprise, wit, beauty, good sense and absurdity’. There’s certainly plenty of the latter, but Dr Evans – now retired – is a man of many interests, and wine, cricket, poetry, his passion for Chekhov and P. G. Wodehouse, the arcane goings-on of the Church of England, and the bizarre oddities of British politics all feature, along with wise and pithy words on marriage, health and family life. His varied sources include anecdotes from friends, overheard country conversations, letters to editors, correspondence with HMRC, and a rich vein of announcements from parish newsletters.
Altogether this is a little book we’d say you can’t do without in these serious and uncertain times. Slip it into a dear one’s Christmas stocking, give it to a friend or even buy it for yourself.
‘Low self-esteem support group will meet Thursday at 7 p.m., please use the back door.’ Lark Valley Benefice Newsletter
‘Researchers found that the least spread of bacteria from surgeons occurred if they were naked and lightly oiled.’ Letter to The Times
‘Dear Sir, The letters on amusing village names remind me of my favourite graffito. In south Lincolnshire, under the signpost “To Mavis Enderby and Old Bolinbroke” someone had added “The gift of a son”.’ From Neil Noble
September News: Wonders & Absurdities
Each Christmas for the past sixteen years Dr Philip Evans has sent his friends and family a small booklet of ‘wonders and absurdities’ gleaned from many different sources over the year. When he...Read more
‘A wonderful addition to my life . . .’
‘Thanks for a fabulous publication. I've only been subscribing for this year, but it’s been a wonderful addition to my life. I’ve since read many of the books that you’ve covered in the last...Read more
‘A joy to hold in your hand . . .’
‘Just a quick note to thank you for the delivery of my recent order of A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book, a great surprise in this morning’s post, just as I hoped it would be, very dry and...Read more
‘The volume was all that I had expected, and more . . . ’
‘As to the production of A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book – I must say many thanks. The red ribbon page marker was an unexpected special touch. Only my leather-bound volumes seem to have...Read more
A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book: PrefaceRead more
‘I wanted cheering up so I opened A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book . . .’
‘I wanted cheering up so I opened A Country Doctor’s Commonplace Book and you could have heard my chuckles from Weybridge to London. I really think it is a book that everyone ought to have with...Read more