Gallstones are small concretions of cholesterol which form in the gall bladder and may cause prolonged pain, fever (See Ague), vomiting and tea-coloured urine.
They are named after the French president, Charles de Gall, who had 463 stones removed between 1951 and 1963, when the entire collection was put on display at the Élysée Palace. Unfortunately, they were mistaken for chorizo by a sous chef working on a banquet for world leaders and added to the boeuf bourguignon which Sir Alec Douglas-Home described as having a liverish piquancy before he was violently sick over Nikita Khrushchev.
In a recent survey of UK pensioners, almost 94% were unable to correctly locate the position of the gall bladder or describe its anatomical function – marginally better than GPs, who failed on both counts in 95% of all cases.
Galway stones are a smaller version of the Giant’s Causeway, found on the Irish coast at Betraghboy Bay.