It’s a cliché for people to say their grans are strong. And maybe most of them really are. But my gran could beat up your gran. No question. Under the skin of those scrawny arms were iron pipes. Her legs were twin pistons. She could walk for days, and her will was made of steel. After getting the biopsy which eventually diagnosed her lung cancer, she walked a mile to the shops… Read More »For Gran
I recently had the tremendous honour of attending the Conference on World Affairs in Boulder, Colorado, as a panellist and solo presenter. The experience was incredible, and I’m working on a blog post all about my week there which I’ll post here very soon. In the meantime, audio recordings from my panels were made available online, so I thought I’d share them up here for posterity. The Panels The format for all… Read More »My ‘Conference on World Affairs’ Appearances
At some point in the last 10 years, I’ve managed to convince myself that I knew a quote from Hamlet that wasn’t in fact from Hamlet. The quote is: “to bed, but not to sleep” My (false) memory tells me this was part of some Hamlet soliloquy referring to insomnia caused by concerns of dead dads and murderous uncles. For close to a decade it’s been in my brain’s bank of… Read More »To bed, but not to sleep
Day six and Lady Luck finally flashed me her brassiere. Met a mope named Gilles said he had a lead. An artist surprise surprise. Unshaven, unintelligible, and stinking of wine, I went to meet him. Told him I had more leads than a dog-walker – and more balls. When he finished talking my jaw was on the floor. So was the rest of my face; I passed out. This thing… Read More »Paris Update in Film Noir #3
The plane landed like a legless cat on a sidewalk. My ears rang worse than Notre Dame. I shoulda told the broad in 4B to pipe down, but along with locks I’ve learned to pick my battles. First day back in Paris and it’s like I never left. Cigarette smoke burning the inside of my nose, money burning the inside of my pocket. Last night I scoped a place called… Read More »Paris Update in Film Noir #2
I recently went on a trip to Paris to visit family, and decided to post status updates in a Film Noir detective style. I woke up feeling like I’d been eating gravel. But those days are behind me so it had to be the bourbon. The plane shook like a dame trembling in the rain and my nerves rattled more than the windows, but I could fix that with a… Read More »Paris Update in Film Noir #1
Biomechanically, I am not the man I was when last I typed at this laptop. I sit before you now with only one pleura. Technically, half of me is breathing like an elephant.
To drop the epic wordage for a moment, I’ve just come back from a stay in hospital after receiving a pleurectomy, an operation which basically consists of removing the lung’s protective outer-layer and gluing your lung to your chest wall. This was sadly a necessary step after falling prey to a second collapsed lung.
So how to summarise the whole experience? I’m now short a pleura, I have 5 new scars and I partially breathe like an elephant.
So, my lung collapsed on Tuesday 22nd of June. I woke up at my usual time, stood up, sat down. Stood up, tried to stretch, sat down again. It felt like a lead ball was sitting in my chest – every time I tried to take a breath, it would send a wave of – not pain – discomfort across my upper body. I shuffled around for a while, giving… Read More »Lead Balloon
Was pulling faces at a wee girl in a restaurant today. Suddenly she ducked, and I ended up blowing a raspberry across the table at her gran. Stone cold disdain on her wrinkled face.