News from the Outer Hebrides!

Mary Greenacre is a freelance medical writer.

Here is the third dog and second Cocker Spaniel photo of the day (joined by the neighbour’s Springer), obviously it’s our dogs who keep us freelancers going! This was taken in the Outer Hebrides where I’m spending the summer instead of my more usual Cheshire base. We’ve had wonderful weather here for the past month, although it’s cloudier today with a brisk Northerly breeze.

I got up a bit later than normal today because I have a streaming cold, although the joys of a commuting-free life mean that I was still at my desk by 9 am. The first task was to look at the morning’s emails, which were a couple of project-related things, but mainly contents lists from journals. The BMJ has some interesting articles on the role and ethics of post-marketing studies – worth a look. Then I was straight into a 2-hour teleconference going through comments on a manuscript outline and agreeing the next steps with the authors and client. That’ll be set aside for a week or so now while I wait for new data and get on with other projects.

Next was a quick break to hang out the washing, interrupted by having to stop the dog eating the very pungent wool that the local sheep have scratched off against our fence! Hopefully they’ll be sheared soon. Then more emails while eating lunch, then out for a short walk and photo opportunity with the dogs.

This afternoon, I took some time out from MedComms to speak with someone from a Housing Association – I’m working on an affordable housing project through the Parish Council of the Cheshire village where I normally stay. It’s hard to think about Cheshire when here in the Hebrides, but things need to keep moving. Although not all on the Parish Council would agree with me there… Then back to work – I needed to complete a restyle of a manuscript for resubmission that I started yesterday – didn’t take too long. After that was a task I’ve been putting off – going through my annual accounts. I had a slightly cross-sounding email from my accountant last week telling me I need to finalise them before her kids are off school for the summer. Then I made a start on a brand new manuscript that I got the brief for on Monday. That’ll be my main focus for the rest of the week, unless anything unexpected turns up.

I don’t know what I’ll do this evening, but it’ll probably involve a hot toddy (honey, lemon, hot water and whisky), purely for medicinal purposes of course.