Chatting with death

I have had cancer – prostate cancer. Many people have had cancer. Many much worse than mine and countless now in the embrace of the universe as a result of it.

I have found it difficult. Difficult because cancer has a lack of boundaries; you do not know for sure where it has reached. Is it in my bones? Is it in my lungs? Is it in my liver? Every bit of body it attacks, in my mind, adds a factor of increasing impossibility to eradicate it.

So death, the end of life, rears its head. We all know it is inevitable but I have spent a lot of my life in the perpetual youth theme park. I am not 61 and grey haired with slipping muscles. I am still that much more attractive brown haired guy with the imagined remnants of a six pack who my wife found attractive back then. I am in remission but I worry about each test in case the readings shoot back up. My bones ache – is it the therapy or new cancer. I know what death wants.

But in my head is the chatter we all have but mine keeps recklessly inviting death in for a chat. I don’t like it it wrecks my fantasy of near immortality. It exposes my frailty. It comes to me on my autumn dog walks while I squidge through the dead leaves wrapped against the wind and rain. And while the rain on my face invigorates me I feel such pain in my soul and the aching in my muscles and bones. My heart aches from the drugs and the fear.

So much not done yet! But will I……..

Then my dog bounds up with all his innate energy and joy and I snap back into life. I owe him a lot but much more to my wife and my children and my friends. Thank you love and energy to you all.

Death I don’t want to chat to you. You must wait I am going to chat to life for as many years as possible.


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Mini Big Bang from the Large Hadron Collider

One of the lead-ion collisions, LHC

LHC is the Large Hadron Collider beneath the border joining France and Switzerland.

The experiment created temperatures a million times hotter than the centre of the Sun.

The LHC is housed in a 27km-long circular tunnel under the French-Swiss border near Geneva.

Up until now, the world’s highest-energy particle accelerator – which is run by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (Cern) – has been colliding protons, in a bid to uncover mysteries of the Universe’s formation.

Proton collisions could help spot the elusive Higgs boson particle and signs of new physical laws, such as a framework called supersymmetry.

But for the next four weeks, scientists at the LHC will concentrate on analysing the data obtained from the lead ion collisions.

This way, they hope to learn more about the plasma the Universe was made of a millionth of a second after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.

I find this incredibly exciting. One day we will understand the universe. Sadly it won’t happen until I merge back into it!

Not to worry I can watch from a distant star.

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Distant galaxy emerges from ‘cosmic fog’

Galaxy UDFy-38135539

Galaxy UDFy-38135539 is the most distant object ever discovered


Scientists have discovered the most distant galaxy yet observed from Earth.

Dr Mark Swinbank of the Institute for Computational Cosmology has suggested how light from the galaxy is almost as old as the universe itself. Just about 13 billion years old.

So, in a way, the Universe as we currently see it, is a kind of time machine. We can see 13 billion years into the past. It would be interesting to see the same time into the future!


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Granola with a wow!

Borough Market, circa 1860. From the Illustrat...

Image via Wikipedia

Mini Magoo*s is in Borough Market in London. They do breakfast. Their breakfast cereals are magnificent. Last time we got two granolas – ginger (for me) and orange (for my Susie).

They are delightful – we are eating them too fast.

We are in danger of running out!

But honestly try some on top of your porridge and your morning will be wonderful

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Borough Market, London


Organic Juice Bar at the Borough Markets

Image by carmen_seaby via Flickr


The zinger from the “Organic Juice Bar” is awesome!

This is from the Borough Market web site:

Borough Market is London’s most renowned food market; a source of exceptional British and international produce.

Since its renaissance as a retail market just over a decade ago, it has become a haven for anybody who cares about the quality and provenance of the food they eat – chefs, restaurateurs, passionate amateur cooks and people who just happen to love eating and drinking.

But it’s not just the sheer quality of the food on offer that makes Borough Market special – it is also about the people and the place. The market is populated by a community of remarkable individuals from all over the UK, Europe and the rest of the world, all of whom care deeply about the food and drink on offer. Many of our stallholders are themselves producers – people who grow, rear or bake the food that they sell. Others are importers with intimate knowledge of whichever corner of the globe they source their products from.

As a result, the market has become a vast repository of culinary knowledge and understanding. It’s a place to explore, to ask questions, to discover new flavours and to savour a unique atmosphere.”

It is brilliant – the food is diverse and lots of it is very very good. The prices are often premium though some of the old style market traders have some brilliant value products. It is also full of great tastes from titbits to full restaurant meals

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This morning I saw a kingfisher…..

The every morning walk with my companion dog Rio. He fixed on squirrels me on interesting nature and weather. 

I looked over the stone balustrade above the river as I have done for the last 100 mornings and there it was the kingfisher; after 99 when it wasn’t. It was strikingly beautiful – an iridescent glimpse of that shimmering blue. Just its top as it flew from under the bridge in search of its morning tasks – breakfast, escape, a new view, to find a branch to preen. Beyond my knowing.

But my truest thanks for that flash of joy you sent through my eyes as you lifted my morning  –  thank you.

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The best of the (Guardian) books blog poets

The brilliant Guardian Books Blog has attracted so many great poems that the best now appear in a book called “Everyone’s Sense of the World Is Invaluable”. Because I love the Lakes and William Wordsworth this one really attracted me:

Wm Wordsworth Leaves Grasmere to Find a Supermarket

by Freepoland

Feet! That oft o’er Loughrigg Fell have trod

In search of berries, bright against the sod,

And plodged ‘mid Grasmere’s reeds for stewing pike,
Now bear me forth past Thirlmere, irksome hike.

Legs! Now take me further, ‘neath Helvellyn‘s shade,
To Keswick, on, to where a proper pasty’s made.
I must declare that I have had my lot
Of leaden pyes and puddings made by sister Dot.

Boots! As you convey me o’er these paths so rocky,
My heart leaps up at thoughts of handmade gnocchi,
Of parmesan, of Belgian chocs, of tiram’su,
And, sister dear, I’m leaving none for you.

Socks! That now ooze moisture where the toes have gone,
I’ll soon replace you at the Outdoor Zone;
I’ll buy new boots with warming Gore-Tex lined;
And leave that foolish scribbling lark behind.

Grasmere poetry day

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