Back to globe-trotting

By Roger Watson | 05/05/2017

But first, a virtual tour of where I live.

Photo of bridge with Connecting continents text

Roger WatsonHULL, United Kingdom—I am in the final week of seven weeks at home, and it has been a good opportunity to catch up with the kind of work that can be hard to accomplish when you are on the move. Six manuscripts have been written, five submitted, and one already rejected (an occupational hazard). The latter will be revised and resubmitted. I can write easily when travelling, but data analysis is harder—impossible on a tablet and difficult on a laptop. For that, I need my own desktop computer with all the correct software installed.

In the meantime, I was very happy to have an article accepted in Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, co-authored with my doctoral student Alvisa Palese, RN, from the University of Udine, Italy; other Italian contributors; and Hull colleague Mark Hayter, PhD, RN, FAAN. Palese is possibly unique. She is a full professor in Italy—no mean achievement—with an unmatched publication record in nursing, but only recently has she found time to pursue her PhD.

Alvisa Palese I met Alvisa years ago when she attended a conference workshop on questionnaire design I organised. She invited me to visit Trieste, Italy, and teach her graduate students. That was my first visit to Venice—the location of the nearest airport—and my first brief visit to Slovenia, which borders with Italy and is very close to Trieste. We have maintained contact, and it is my privilege to work with her. Already, an article from her doctoral work has been published in JAMDA, and others have been submitted. Words like dynamo and whirlwind always come into conversations about Alvisa. She never walks—always runs—and I have never known her to waste a minute of her academic career.

#Hull2017

The above subhead is the hashtag for Hull’s year as UK City of Culture, and I was very pleased to organise an event to celebrate the life of Hull native Kay Mander (1915-2013). We showed the film “One Continuous Take” and were very lucky to have the film’s editor, Adele Carroll, who is also an award-winning producer and director, address us. Mander was a cinematographer of considerable repute. A woman in the man’s world of cinema in the 1940s, she was born in Hull less than a half mile from my house. We hope to celebrate this in due course by erecting a commemorative “green plaque” at the site. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Mander, but you will have heard of her lover Kirk Douglas, who recently celebrated 100 years.

Green plaques are unique to our conservation area of Hull, which is looked after by The Avenues and Pearson Park Association (APPRA). An alternative to the more official blue plaques, common in London and other cities of the UK, our green plaques require a great deal less bureaucracy to erect. We have already celebrated other famous residents, including actor Ian Carmichael; aviator Amy Johnson, another pioneering woman in a man’s world; and crime writer Dorothy L. Sayers, who developed the character Lord Peter Wimsey. I can see her plaque from my office window as I write.

Other famous Hull residents include another cinema link—director Anthony Minghella (“The English Patient” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley”)—and one survivor of the Titanic disaster, Fourth Officer Thomas Boxall, allegedly disowned by his family for surviving. If we succeed in having a green plaque erected for Kay Mander, it will be the first one honouring someone born—as opposed to only residing—in the area.

After giving you a virtual tour of the area where I live in this very special city of Hull, I now face a period of intense travel, starting at the end of this week. My number of visits to mainland China this year has increased to four. I have added another visit to Hong Kong, making that three this year. And I recently agreed to a visit to Taiwan, thus maintaining an unbroken record of at least one visit annually since 2003. I have a multi-entry visa to Saudi Arabia in my passport, arranged for by the Saudi Ministry of Health, and expect to be making a few visits to the kingdom soon. If the airline industry is struggling to make profits, it is certainly not my fault.

Roger Watson, PhD, RN, FRCP Edin, FRCN, FAAN, professor of nursing at the University of Hull in the United Kingdom and a frequent visitor to Australia and China, where he has visiting positions, is editor-in-chief of Journal of Advanced Nursing and editor of Nursing Open. Click here to access Blogger-resident entries posted before 2017 in Watson’s blog “Hanging smart.” 


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