Age 22, I wrote a letter to my future self. In a moment of transcendent clarity, I committed my thoughts to paper so I could look back and remember that feeling. It was as if I’d been driving through a dimly lit, noisy tunnel. Coming out of the other side into silence. Sunlight. Sweet relief.
Standing outside the train station on London Road, I looked across at the skyline of Leicester. ‘Whatever happens, I’m not coming to this shit-hole’, I thought.
As I turned the corner I came nose-to-nose with a decapitated camel.
You’re unaware your arm is resting up against a boiling kettle. The skin is burning but you can’t feel it. When and how do you realise? When you smell your skin crisping up like pork crackling?
It’s a Sunday evening in January 2011. I’m sitting with 6 strangers in a house in Paddington. There’s an uneasy silence. We’re waiting to get started.
Knees are important. Yes they spare us the embarrassment of falling over, but ror me, they bring other benefits. Here are 5 reasons why.
My tour of the English Language Teaching Centre was interrupted by an old lady who seemed to know everyone.
We ‘upgraded’ to the suburbs when I was 7 years old. The school I left behind was an austere Victorian building with separate entrances for boys and girls.
When I woke I touched the side of my head gently. Dried blood. The pain was intense. Like a visit by the mother of all hangovers.
It felt like my eyeballs had swollen to the size of cricket balls, being pushed out of their sockets from the inside.
I vomited in the bathroom sink before leaving for school. The accident had forced me to drop back a year. Today I joined the new sixth-formers as they began their A levels.
The impact of the collision with the car may have damaged my kidneys. Doctors were concerned about blood in my urine.
I learned the identity of the driver while still in the hospital. A 19-year-old former pupil of my school.
The femur (thigh bone) is the largest bone in the human body. It takes 3 months for a broken femur shaft to repair itself. So, regardless of my other injuries, I’d spend 3 months in a hospital bed.
After a week in hospital I was moved from a private room to one shared with another patient. A young motorcyclist, recently admitted. He was in pain, groaning constantly.
I received a shot of intravenous pain relief every 30 minutes. This was effective for 20 minutes, leaving a shortfall of 10 minutes. 10 minutes of agony.
On a dark country lane in East Yorkshire in 1983, I discovered what happens to the human body when it is hit by a car travelling at 80 km per hour.
There was a beautiful white Azalea in this garden. Where has it gone? Do you live here?’ An elderly, smartly dressed, woman is talking to me outside my house on Alice Street.