Call Me Ishmael

On board the Pequod, the great Nantucket whaling ship captained by a “grand, ungodly, god-like man”, were thirty crewmembers. A pastime among them was attempting to understand their leader and his tyrannical descent into madness. For us to read Moby-Dick, the main cause is obvious; the mighty plot that drives the narrative. Captain Ahab, whose…


Fake News

One of the more dangerous catchphrases of the last four years has been the outcry of ‘fake news’. By sowing seeds of doubt into the recesses of readers’ psyches whenever a public statement is at odds with a powerful figure’s own determined narrative, trust in those charged with bringing truth to the populace is undermined….


Changing Places

Recently I had occasion to explore the patient’s perspective a little more intimately than usual. Like so often, it is the experiences we do not want that offer us the greatest education. I fell sick not long ago. Quite sick. The sort of sick that won me lines and drugs and wristbands and blood pressures…



As children, growing up in the colonial shadow of The British Empire, we Australians all learnt about life through the wisdom and words of Enid Blyton. The Famous Five, The Wishing Chair, that sort of thing. We all aspired to go on adventures and solve mysteries whilst drinking lashings of ginger beer and be back…


The Fortune Teller

Three years ago, I found myself in Osaka. I was winding through Japan and stumbled on this pulsating city, whereby I sought out its castle (being a person rather attracted to castles), discovering a time capsule had been buried in its manicured grounds. The details are beyond this column, but essentially, in celebration of the…


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About the author

Dr Michelle Johnston is a consultant Emergency Physician who works at an inner city hospital. Mostly her days consist of trauma and mess. Also, she writes.

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