30 April 1923 diary of Dr John Stewart Muir (1845-1938) of Selkirk

Heard Willow Wren1 2nd at Upper Haining Loch : Saw Swallows Whitmuirhall 2nd

A showery day but rather milder S.W. pretty wet in evening. Intended motoring to Craighill2 but Mrs Emond seemed worse so Dav.3 did it as he was going to Mirelees4 : but Mrs E never came off.5 Saw a few town cases in Clifton Road (Mrs Macdonald) with floating kidney6, Forest Terrace, Cannon Street + Yarrow Terrace. Wrote Dora7. Paid Stark + Murray for Singer Bicycle.8 Wrote Nurse Jones who nursed Small pox here nearly 20 years ago + recently wrote asking about work + a house here.9

1 Willow Wren or Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus.

2 Dr Muir’s plan to go to Craighill, Ettrick, grid reference NGR NT259,145, had been foiled by rain on the two previous days.

3 David Charteris ‘Dav.’ Graham (1889-1963), M.B., Ch.B., medical practitioner and Dr Muir’s business partner.

4 Meerlees, Ettrick, grid reference NGR NT281,118, on the Eskdalemuir road.

5 It is not clear (yet?) what was supposed to be happening with Mrs Wm Emond, South Port whom Dr Muir described as “on the straw but still in fine shape at 7 p.m.” in his diary entry of 27 April 1923 and whose son William Angus Emond was born the same day at South Port, Selkirk. Dr Muir might reasonably have generalised concerns about Mrs Emond but here (as on 29 April) he is explicitly suggesting that the baby has not yet arrived.

6 Nephroptosis or floating kidney is “a condition in which the kidney descends more than two vertebral bodies or >5 cm during a position change from supine to upright [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5905778/]. There are plentiful references to the condition in the British Medical Journal throughout the first quarter or so of the 20th Century, including ‘Practical Pyelography’, a review of Alex. E Roche ‘Pyelography, Its History, Technique, Uses, And Dangers’ [“Practical Pyelography.” The British Medical Journal, vol. 2, no. 3489, 1927, pp. 940–940. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/25326979. Accessed 30 Apr. 2023].

7 Andrina Dorothy ‘Dora’ Muir (1882-1978), nurse and Dr Muir’s youngest daughter, was living and working in Egypt.

8 The Singer was Dr Muir’s new bicycle which had been sold to him by Stark & Murray in Selkirk.

9 Nurse Jones is (as yet) unidentified.

[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/26, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1923]

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Archivist, interests include Dr John Stewart Muir 1845-1938) of Selkirk, general practitioner, and Seton Paul Gordon (1886–1977), naturalist, author and photographer

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