Yes, yes, I know the colloquial phrase

But this still isn’t quite right:

One of the UK’s last remaining hermits has vowed to die as a recluse after rejecting doctors’ orders to return to “civilisation”.

In a free society these are suggestions. Even, insistences that they’ll not be responsible for the outcome if the suggestion is not followed. But they are not orders.

11 thoughts on “Yes, yes, I know the colloquial phrase”

  1. “Doctor’s (or even doctors’) orders” is not strictly accurate, perhaps, but then neither is “civilisation”, is it?

  2. I think that the phrase ‘Doctor’s orders’ is a figure of speech. You have some kind of malady and you generally have to obey the orders if you want to get better.

  3. Sorry to be unkind but the gentleman despite having “opted-out” has already benefitted from the considerable cost to the public purse of being airlifted to hospital by helicopter twice in recent years.

    In a similar vein a great many years ago I once met a senior partner in a well known legal practice who, against all advice in view of his age, chose to regularly hike across Dartmoor and consequently invoked the search and rescue emergency services on more than one occasion. In his defence he contributed generously to associated charities but did not change his ways until advanced age made further such adventures impossible.

  4. “An independent life, which he sought after an incident in 1974 when he was seriously injured after being beaten up on a night out … He was left with a brain hemorrhage following the attack”

    One could be unkind, if I do rather admire his stubbornness. I just wish he was genuinely independent, rather than relying on government services that he doesn’t contribute to.

  5. “relying on government services that he doesn’t contribute to.”

    To give him his due, he is trying not to rely on government services. There are many who demand all the government services they can get, also without having contributed to them. He’s certainly saved the state on housing costs, having built his own log cabin.

  6. No running water? We used to visit a friend’s cottage in Lochaber. A journalist might say it had no running water but it had a burn; the water was delicious. Well, except for the occasional drought. When the Easterlies blow in May and early June, the rain shadow and the Chinook effect => the low-lying parts of the West Highlands are wonderfully sunny and warm, but burns do dry up.

    He may have built his hovel by a burn though maybe not since he’s by a loch anyway. When you want to emphasise the desolation you say “The Great Moor of Rannoch”. Children shiver at the words.

    P.S. also known as the föhn effect and presumably other names around the world.

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