Author interview: Charlotte, the Veterinary Ophthalmologist

This post features a chat with Charlotte Dawson, who has been my go-to person for certain scientific aspects of my A Quiet Rebellion books. Charlotte is a Veterinary Ophthalmologist at the Royal Veterinary College in London, UK.

MH Thaung (Caroline): Charlotte, thanks for chatting with us today. Perhaps we can start off with you telling us a bit about yourself.

Charlotte: Hello. I graduated from the RVC in 2009. After a short period in private small animal practice I undertook two rotating internships (one in private practice and one at the RVC). I then continued with a residency and am now a lecturer at the RVC. I enjoy all aspects of life working at a university including the clinical activities, teaching and research. In my spare time I like spending time with my family, friends and traveling with my dog Frank.

Caroline: How did you become a Veterinary Ophthalmologist?

Charlotte: Well… that is a good question! As an undergraduate we had very little teaching about eye and so I started to read more about it (mainly because I was worried about not passing final exams!) Then when I was in my first job I started to realise that a lot of cases I saw as a GP were eyes. I started to do lots of CPD [Note from MH: Continuing Professional Development – activities to improve expertise after formal examinations are finished] and the interest sparked from there. I then wanted to just do eyes…. And chased the dream of becoming a specialist.

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Intrepid Correspondent interview — Mayor Henry Sutcliff

Today is the day our regular readers have been looking forward to: a chance to meet one of the inhabitants of Numoeath. Our interviewee will be Henry Sutcliff, Mayor of Maldon.

I’ll set the scene before we meet the man himself. The mayor’s residence is situated just behind Maldon’s town hall, only a couple of minutes’ walk from the town square. Like the town hall, it is built from stone: this is in contrast to other buildings in the town, which are wooden. It’s one of the larger buildings, and I suppose it’s the largest residential building. In addition to housing the town’s leader, it has offices, meeting spaces and storage of files. It’s the only building I’ve noticed to have decorative carvings — you can see them round the front doorway — which make a change from the functional but sturdy construction of the other buildings.

Decorative carvings at the Maldon mayor's residence
These carvings may not be high art, but they do seem a rare indulgence in this town. I’m told the current mayor had them added to the building after he took up office.

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Regulations – official information

I know we said in our last article that we’d feature an interview with one of the locals for this post, but unfortunately our selected interviewee was unavailable. He was apparently called away to an important meeting. However, I have obtained some information that you should be aware of before visiting Numoeath, and this seems as good a time as any to share it.
Because of ingrained superstition about the “curse”, the government produce protocols for citizens to follow should they encounter any “beasts” or, Settlers forbid (a local phrase), actually be injured by one. I found two leaflets giving advice to civilians posted on the town notice board for anyone to read. Here are the contents.

Procedure for civilians in the event of a suspected beast incursion (v4. Hastings, J.)
1. Do not panic

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Guide to Maldon

After our coverage of countryside travel last week, it’s time to share the Intrepid Explorers™ experience of one of the outlying settlements. Maldon is one of the “larger” towns with a population of around 2500 (don’t laugh, please). Surrounded by woodlands, if you don’t have a guide you could easily miss it and think that you’re travelling in completely untouched wilderness. Cultivated fields and orchards surround the town, but as previously stated there is no road leading to it. Your best landmark is Maldon River, which leads you to the watermill and fishing areas, and then you can follow a dirt path to the town square.

Watermill
Maldon’s watermill – they do make the most of the technology they have

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