I’m not sure how much of this is due to lockdown, or how much is down to some of the lesser-known and definitely rarely-admitted-to problems with Parkinson’s (I don’t really like the word symptom) such as apathy, depression and the relentless fucking grind of simply existing with this disease that seems to delight in pissing you off (and to which I know, eventually, I will succumb). Continue reading
What Parkinson’s has taught me about C-19
Twelve year ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. I was forty years old. It was something of a shock to the system. Over the years I have become increasingly aware of what such a diagnosis does to you. Not what the disease itself does (though I have also become increasingly, and uncomfortably, aware of this. That’s what the words progressive, degenerative and incurable mean), but what the act of diagnosis actually means to the diagnosed. I don’t for a minute think that what I am about to describe is unique to Parkinson’s, though I suspect it may, in many ways, be something that is largely confined to chronic ailments such as Parkinson’s. Continue reading
writing with parkinson’s
This morning I responded to a twweet from a fellow paarky about aainnvolutary amovemnet. I wrote ‘it’s a buggea. Goodaaa job I’m naoat a writaer.oah.’ asa a response. He tweeted eme bacaaaak saaying it’as like ahhaaving aa suattera in tetx. I repalied thata i sometims want to publish aaa fiaart darafat atao gie pewople ann iadaea of whata it’s like.
Soa I have,. 63 words nd a4aaminutea.
Parakinson’a i aaahaarad.
Yet another Covid Chronicle
The grebe paddles serenely, ripples shining in its wake, crest puffed out as if to remind me that my own hair is not only thinner than once it was but currently arranged like a middle-aged, pepper-and-salt Tintin. As I focus, it barks at me. It’s not a warning. It sounds more like it’s calling its mate: ‘Hey, fluff up and get over here, some guy’s taking my picture.’ Continue reading
Who Breathes, Wins
C-19. It sounds like a far-right paramilitary group dedicated to expelling foreigners and purifying the race. The kind of people for whom the leap from deporting illegal aliens to euthanazing the disabled is more of a Sunday afternoon stroll. But Covid-19 is already forcing members of the medical profession in Italy to choose who lives and who dies – or, at least, who is given the greater chance of living. Continue reading
An Apple a Day
Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, and especially since it began to make its mark as the shelves of nation after nation were cleared of toilet paper, there has been one constant: the internet has been a greater spread of dangerous misinformation than any other source. One wonders how the virus managed to achieve such mastery of social media in such a short time. But it doesn’t have to be this way. The internet, or more specifically the global network of gps satellites and mobile phones, can do something extremely positive. Continue reading
Close, but no e-cigar
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
Well, perhaps it’s superfluous to point this out but my novel Killing Beauties is now available to pre-order – published on January 23rd 2020. You’ll love it!
There’s even a press release, should you feel so inclined.
On Ten Thousand Hours
Like the grand old Duke of York, Malcolm Gladwell had ten thousand hours. Gladwell’s hours were the time you needed to devote to an activity to master it. It was originally applied to violin players, and thence to everyone. And now it’s back. Because someone has said it may not be true. No shit. This morning’s Guardian ran a piece on a new study that apparently contradicts it. It doesn’t, of course, because there’s nothing serious to contradict. That and what the real issue is here, that most thorny of questions: how talented are you? Continue reading