My secretary has just survived a major anniversary - five years of working with me. Trust and respect are the bedrock of any relationship, so I trust her judgement when she says my cartoon picture for the blog is rather too reminiscent of that former dictator of Iraq, Saddam Hussein.

I can see the resemblance. Fortunately, there are differences. I definitely have no WMDs. I wash my hands at a frequency that would make an obsessive compulsive proud and a psychiatrist reach for the prescription pad. I lead a team with not even the slightest hint of dictatorial firmness - trust me, I have that on the highest authority. I have nothing to do with human parts unaccounted for in pathology laboratories. I guess the only other similarity is my wish to crawl into a spider hole as more and more DoH consultations, documents, policies and invitations to hold the odd poison chalice rain down on me.

Time to update the cartoon - will glasses and a beard work?

Trouble is, I think I am going to have even more trouble than usual at airport security now. Funny sounding name + skin melanin content + presumed religion + beard + dark glasses = please step this way, sir, and don't worry about my colleague's gloves.

Special acknowledgement to the NHS accountant whose daughter has taught him how to use Microsoft Paint; at least the day job is secure, for the moment.

Blogs homepage