This is what I wrote for The Independent on 6 May 2020
It might be a cliché that it takes a real jolt to the system to make a person feel their mortality (as opposed to merely “knowing” it), but it’s true. What no one ever says is that this jolt can also make us question something else that we generally take for granted: our normality. Continue reading
No, Not That Bell.
Silence comes in many forms. One of the most delightful is the silence of anticipation. The silence announced by the gentle intoning of the word ‘play’; the silence that builds as the bowler looks at their feet and begins their run-up for the first ball of a match. At the ringing of the pavilion bell, the rattle and hum of the Lord’s crowd falls to a murmur. And then, play. Continue reading
It’s 5.04 am and I’ve been failing to sleep for some time now. I’ve actually been considering how I have managed to reach the grand age of 52 and a half without much in the way of success at all. This is not what has been keeping me awake so much as keeping me company in my insomnia. It seems that if there is one area in my life in which I may legitimately call myself successful it is in failing. I am remarkably consistent in getting so far but no further. There are no laurels of victory for me, no spoils, just the nagging feeling that I have made under-achieving into something of an art form. I write this not out of self-pity or in a plea for sympathy, but more in the sense that perhaps, just perhaps, under-reaching is the default human condition. Continue reading
This is the prose version of a monologue based on a short I wrote a while back. It’s the only thing I’ve written that has ever won anything. Continue reading
I confess I hit play with no little trepidation, and a fair measure of base curiosity. After Irene Ketikidi’s debut Martial Arts and Magic Tricks, all fuss n bluster and in-your-faceness, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. A Sky For All wasn’t it. Continue reading
The swimmer reaches the shore, drags herself from the water and collapses, exhausted onto the beach. A knot of holidaymakers gather round her and gawp at each other while the officious tell the rest to give her space, let her breath. A young girl asks her mother if she can use the first aid she learnt to get her badge at Brownies. Hermother shakes her head and pulls her precious daughter close, remembering the lilo incident and dying inside at what might have happened. She sees her daughter lying there, motionless. Not this woman, muscular and broad-shouldered, wearing an all-in-one, swimming hat and goggles. Continue reading
Here’s my piece on Al di Meola from Guitar and Bass magazine.
Why not read the full transcript?
I won’t trouble anyone with the result, but here are some pictures!
One of my regular contributions is to the e-zine (or whatever this sort of thing is called) On The Move, part of Parkinson’s Movement, a tendril of the Cure Parkinson’s Trust, for whom I also appear as a webinar panellist.
The third edition, available here, contains my piece on diagnosis, which in itself is a wildly truncated version of the chapter on the same subject in my upcoming book, Slender Threads.