Nidus revisited

I have written before about the judgment of Justice Owen in the case brought by the liquidator of The Bell Group Limited and numerous subsidiaries against two syndicates of about 20 banks in total who in 1989-1990 took security over practically the entirety of those companies’ assets. The trial ran for 404 days. The judge, Justice Owen, was confronted with a massive task in writing his judgment. It was a task which threatened to overwhelm him. It took him 2 years.

One strategy he adopted as a means of coping was to sprinkle his (very lengthy) judgment with obscure words. It was more a matter of judicial whimsy as a survival strategy than judicial humour as it is usually exhibited (with compulsory deferential chuckles by all counsel present).

“Nidus” was one such word, as in the following paragraph:

708 A nidus in the plaintiffs’ case is the allegation that at the commencement of, and during, the Scheme Period the main companies in the Bell group were insolvent. Lack of solvency is an element of almost all of the causes of action contended for by the plaintiffs.

All of which is by way of a shout out to my fellow blogger and Shanghai-Wagnerite, Wanderer, who has had excruciating cause to contemplate the nidus of his recently diagnosed kidney stones. He suspects dehydration during his time in Shanghai (which is not a city where anybody drinks the water straight from the tap). It would be fitting if the first stone formed at the moment that Alberich cursed love at the beginning of Das Rheingold.

Helpfully, perhaps as a result of diversionary therapy embarked upon by sufferers from the condition, Wikipedia provides a lengthy (but, given the percentages, only scratching the surface) list of famous kidney stone sufferers. This includes the following:

Opera singer Birgit Nilsson painfully passed a kidney stone following a concert in Göteborg, Sweden.

I haven’t chased up the reference there to see if the program for the concert can be identified, but it does raise the possibility that it was Wagner rather than Shanghai that is to blame for Wanderer’s plight. Who can embark upon Das Rheingold (which has no interval) or the longer acts of Siegfried or Götterdämmerung in a fully hydrated state?

If, in addition to the relief that any helpful substances may provide, Ms Nilsson’s example can serve as any consolation to him, I hope it does.

2 Responses to “Nidus revisited”

  1. Victor Says:

    Of course I had to the Google ‘thing’ on ‘nidus’ to get some inlking of it’s meaning.

    Without seeing the context of the learned Judge’s paragraph 708 it seems to me that he has stretched the medical nature of the definitions I read a fair way. But then I am neither a Judge nor a Doctor so what would I know?

  2. wanderer Says:

    A trouble shared is a trouble halved my mother would always say, so thanks M, and I enjoyed that list of others, quite the spectrum, including the first Roman emperor!

    Ms Nilsson’s biography refers to the ‘passage’ without specifics. While most of my utterances were with the middle voice, there were times when a laser like C above the staff was quite possible, though even it would likely have been sharp. I’ll never wince at performers with water bottles again.

    That I was totally empathised with Alberich is the strange truth. Let’s not get into the victim thing. I will call the larger, when hopefully they are finally retrieved after more intervention, Hagen. You may be the godparent yet. And water, or rather lack of it, was arguably the central tenet of that Rhinegold, if not the whole Ring, what!

    Even more strange is that Erda had been telling me for quite some months that I was at increasing risk. Moral – drink more water, particularly you pedal pushers, and don’t ignore the voices.

    Victor, the clue may have been in ‘pilonidal sinus’ (jeep-riders bottom, among other nicknames).

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