Category: Musings

Lest we forget

My family – in recent memory, anyway – is untouched by war.
Except in the most important way, which is in the way we are all touched by it.
Here’s a poem you might know – but hearing it out loud is different, I think, to reading it.


Almost nothing in the body works in the way we perceive that it works. What we experience as a simple reaction – smell, touch, warmth – is a complex set of sensory, muscular and neural activity, so efficient and smooth that we can walk into a room and say, “Those lilies smell fantastic,” without it [...]

In which I work out how to say what I mean

People often ask me about ‘being positive’. They often ask me about it in a way that suggests it’s some sort of miracle, or at least deeply unreasonable expectation, for someone who is dancing with cancer. Questions are framed along the lines of ‘Surely you can’t feel good all the time’, or ‘How is it [...]