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A remarkable polymath

Having reached an age when I sometimes think about what, if anything, I shall leave behind me, I was very impressed by an obituary of David Mendel in yesterday's Independent. Mendel was a cardiologist (though he hadn't originally intended to be a doctor because he thought he was too stupid to get a good job).

After a spell in the Army during the war he qualified in medicine and later became a cardiologist. He also did research in audiology as well. After his retirement in 1986 he took a degree in Italian. His other interests included silversmithing, furniture making, sailing and windsurfing, and flute playing, which he took up at the age of 52. He built an extension to a ruined cottage single-handedly and installed central heating and electricity there.

Reading about people like Mendel makes one feel decidedly inadequate.


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