Monday, 7 September 2009


Thank Christ that bit's over. I won't trouble you with the details, mostly because I don't want to trouble myself by recounting them. But here are a few observations:

- Is there a more disconcerting word combination in the English language than 'wound infection'? Other candidates might include 'rat bite', 'brain injury' and 'away day'.

- I remember a character on some Western or war film reckoning that the most painful way to die from a gun-shot wound is to take one in the guts. I can confirm that this is probably true.

- Hospital morphine, if taken in sufficient quantity, can help you partake in the sort of phantasmagorical visions experienced by Coleridge, De Quincey and other opium-eaters and laudanum drinkers.

I had a number of visions, which, thankfully, didn't spill over into the nightmarish. One had me at the bottom of a sea-cave looking up through a hole in the roof to see silhouetted shoals of whales, sharks and divers swimming amongst each other, sinuously and peacefully. Another had me peering through charcoal clouds at a patch of blue sky on which was projected portraits of people wearing dashing beards and headwear of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century provenance. Delicately pale faces and red cockades and lips.

Now, though, we move on. Except to thank those who left kind comments wishing me well. Blogging seems full of surprises, one of which is the peculiar sort of intimacy established with people you've mostly never met. I suppose this is because when you share personal thoughts and views - which you might not have shared before with anyone else - and invite people to comment on them, you implicitly rely on there being a degree of mutual interest, good faith and trust between you and your interlocutors. When this is justified, it's hardly surprising that some sort of connection is made. Anyway, thank you.


Kevin Musgrove said...

Welcome back.

The delicately pale faces and cockaded hats are, of course, your commentators.

Brit said...

Back in the saddle - excellent, excellent. Those opium-induced reveries sound rather fun, but it's good to have you back in (virtual) reality.

Bunny Smedley said...

Where Coleridge & Co may had the edge on you, Gareth, was in their realisation that it's possible to have all the undeniable if slightly queasy fun of high-quality painkillers without actually being in pain first. Live and learn, eh?

In any event, it's marvellous to have you back. We missed you.

Gadjo Dilo said...

Well done for coming through the experience manfully and even having had some opium dreams to blog about! Good to have you back.

Gaw said...

Thanks all.