Monday, March 31, 2008


Morag is the most Scottish friend I have; she’s spent years on the high roads and knows, intimately, every hill north of Glasgow – not that she’s climbed them, no, she just likes her haggis spiced with local gin...and there’s been a terrible dearth of those items in the recent past. She’s been in hospital for almost five months now, with not a drop of anything but water over her lips the whole time.

I couldn’t begin to tell the long story but the short of it is that her guts are in an awful state. They have to keep chopping bits off, which doesn’t heal well and leaks into a bag. You’d think that in this age of plastic there would be some kind of instant plumbing you could buy in Aldi, now wouldn’t you?

In the last five years her husband, Hamish, has had the talk four times; been dragged off for a quiet chat with surgeons and given percentages and death-rates. She almost died twice in the last month alone. When I go visiting I never know where she’ll be at any given moment; intensive care, high dependency or her own little room on the ward (her home from home) – because she’s got MRSA too, of course...luckily not in the wound.

So why is she still here? What keeps her alive and why didn’t she die from all the operations, the coma, the traumas and infections? Because she’s a writer and hasn’t finished her book, or the play; I told her that I wouldn’t be able to finish it for her (can’t finish my own) because we are completely different writers.

She’s back in her room today and looking a lot better; there’s been a power of sleeping going on these last couple of weeks, and things are looking good. She and Hamish will have been married thirty-seven years next week - he’s one of the good ones. Amazing. (Mustn’t forget to make the anniversary card for her)

Crohn’s Disease is a bugger and Morag is filled with guilt because she’s passed it on to her son. I hope he doesn’t imagine himself in her position in thirty years; how could you live with that? Maybe there will be something by then.


I've been very ill with a serious case of Lazyitus - well, where writing is concerned. My day-job keeps me on my posterior, so no exercise there either; actually the only action in my life at the moment is walking up the subway stairs on the way to said work. The really awful truth is that I live only one subway station away; yes, I could easily walk, and have done sometimes, but only when I needed to take a library book back - it's on the way.

A recent splurge in Flash Fiction has got me going again. I've gone back to the first novel to expand a very bad character, and that's been fantastic but quite troubling to find such madness inside my head. I've also fallen into another new book but managed to put it away after spending two weeks on the first chapter and socialising with a lot of the research - paganism is a great conversation piece. After I put it down something else came at me; I seem to be pretty fertile at the moment, so should probably prepare a good storage unit for future famine.

So, I'm away to warm up for blogging.