Thursday, May 05, 2011

The Beast With Two Heads and Other Tales of Terror

Back in February, I was having some unusual reactions to the concoction of pills I was taking for my back pain, nerve damage and sciatica. To add insult to the injury, my face erupted in a mass of thundering blind spots - my skull looked like it was trying to get out of my face! It was quite ... almost humiliating; this 48 year old man suffering from spots a teenage oil head would be aghast at.

At the time, the project I was running last year was being showcased in a DVD produced by Northamptonshire Libraries. It was one of the highlights of the School of Life project I was involved in and they wanted me to appear, on camera, talking about it. Not a problem, except for the lumpy face. I turned up for the shoot about a week after the worst, a spot about two inches under my left eye - and at one point so huge that I could just about see it with my left eye - had just started to stop looking like a limpet had attached itself to my face. However, I was still incredibly conscious of its presence and couldn't help but notice people were drawn to it like some religious icon - My God how can something so big not drag his face off? - they probably thought to themselves.

The director suggested we shoot from a specific angle so that it wouldn't really be in shot, especially if I kept my head reasonably still. We did the shoot - I think I talked about it on here - and that was that. I forgot all about it. Then at the end of March I went to a conference in a place called Alderton and it got its world premiere and there it was, my extra head, so huge it was bobbing in and out of shot like a penis in a porn film. It was still so big, the week of the swelling going down had just reduced the impact slightly. I looked in horror as my spot stole my thunder.

I got copies of the DVD today and figured I'd look at it again and see how bad it was. My memory is shot, but not that badly.

People who see it and then meet me are going to wonder where half my head has gone...


The ground is like August, but the grass is greener. The trees are out - bar a few Ash trees - and so has all the blossom. It's been weird, you normally get blossom and then greenery; this year they came together. The days are warm, but the wind is weird. The weather, as usual, is bonkers again. It wouldn't be Britain if the weather wasn't schizophrenic.

You know what's going to happen, don't you? It's going to start raining soon; just a wee bit to start with. May will trundle along with periods of rain and warmth and hot sunny days; then the rain will get heavier and in June and July we will be cursed with more tales of woe as people on Snowdon get flooded out. August will be damp and September will be a repeat of April, but 5 degrees warmer. Autumn will arrive on October 2nd, it'll snow by the 20th and there will be a mini ice age in December before the same weird shit happens again, but differently in 2012.

That'll be £10,000 please.


Someone at work asked me why I do that. Put *** between stories.

The short answer is 'cos', the long one is - it breaks up unrelated stories. I toyed with giving each bit headings - like I used to when I did my comics column, but Jesus Harry Christ, it's hard enough to come up with weird and surreal titles, let alone weird and surreal sub headings.


While I was in Kettering today, I popped into my old office. A lot of my colleagues over there hadn't seen me since January, when I was using a cane and looked pretty emaciated. My office partner Doreen commented at the time that I looked drawn and half the man I was. She's an ebullient West Indian who I've know known for 6 years and I miss sharing an office with her. Today, she was genuinely astounded. "Where the stick? You look normal!" Gee thanks Doreen!

The thing was I saw many of my former workplace pals and they all thought I looked better than I have in years. Probably the three stone I've put on in weight since I packed up smoking, I suggested. But no, they all thought I really looked good.

Now, there is a point to this backslapping and praise and that is I don't think I look good. Yeah, I do look healthy and I actually suit a bit more weight than I had, maybe a stone, but not three! The irritation extra weight carries on the arm pits, thighs and gut is just frightening and the sooner I lose some of this extra padding the better. Plus, there's this fucking massive irony taking place that hasn't escaped me because I'm the one dealing with it. As a smoker, I really started to struggle to walk fast and got out of breath really quickly - one of the reasons for stopping, I hasten to add. Now, with my lungs still playing catch up with the rest of my healthier body, my extra weight has suddenly meant walking long distances and steep hills is just as bad, if not worse with the added aggravations. But, if I've put on three stone, then I've effectively increased my size by just under a quarter again. Imagine carrying a sack of spuds around on your back!

So it's got to go and I see three logical solutions: start smoking again. Go on a diet. Kill myself.

This is not a referendum.

1 comment:

  1. We could make the choice for you using AV if you like...;)