2017 didn’t go your way? Lady Luck pissed on your chips? If the answer is yes, you’re probably desperate enough to try some superstitious claptrap. You’re in the right place.
Christmas in Australia is shit. Perfect, cloudless blue sky, stunning beaches and relaxed bonhomie. It’s intolerable.
South King Street, previously the rough end of Newtown, has taken the well-trodden path to gentrification. But isn’t playing by the usual rules.
In 2015 Prime Minister Tony Abbott was under sustained pressure to legalise same-sex-marriage in Australia. He had no intention of allowing that to happen.
In Varanasi, among the 2000 or so temples, is a charity-run hostel called ‘Salvation House’. The guests come to here die.
In India the perilous roads, the ever-present risk of shitting oneself were both expected. We quickly learned that there are unexpected dangers too.
Budget travel brings an unavoidable level of intimacy. Oversharing in extremis. De-briefings requested and given after each visit to the toilet.
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.
I turned the corner to come nose-to-nose with a decapitated camel, hanging grimly outside a butcher’s shop. A hook through the underside of its jaw.
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…
My tour was interrupted by an old lady who seemed to know everyone. She took my and warmly between hers. Not letting go.
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.
I vomited in the bathroom sink before leaving for school. Nerves. 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.
I’d need an internal examination. I chose not to ask what that involved.
Wearing only a paper gown tied at the back, I climbed onto the cold radiography table. I rolled onto my side into the foetal position as instructed.
‘Must feel good to be going home?’ The ambulance driver chatted cheerfully as he wheeled me out through the sliding doors of the hospital.
A man with the demeanour (and the tape measure) of an undertaker appeared at my bedside. After 3 months I’d finally be getting out of my hospital bed.
While still in the hospital I learned the identity of the driver that had hit me. A 19-year-old former pupil of my school. I didn’t feel anger towards him, but I didn’t forgive him either…