Agnes knows Dr. Sam Guglani who is on her creative writing course: a man of many parts, Sam is the brains behind the two-day part conference, part entertainment on at our local Parabola Arts Centre this weekend, Medicine Unboxed. Though it has been running for more than a decade, this is the first time I've been brave enough to book for it, and so far without regret.
As I suspected it would be, the 325-seat theatre (sold out) was mainly full of medics of one variety or another, but the balance of contributors ensured that the content was largely intelligible to a general audience. Unusually for an event in a Cheltenham auditorium, I felt well above the average age.
This year's theme was "voice", echoed by contributions from the Birmingham Medical School Choir and the "remarkable" duo, Melanie Pappenheim and Rebecca Askew. (I had first heard them five years ago at the Riverside Studios.)
One of today's highlights was Fi Glover's talk about Radio 4's Listening Project. She described it as consenting eavesdropping, vitamin supplements for the soul. A move to call it "The Talking Project" had been resisted. "The best doctors are the ones who really listen," concluded someone.