I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

The post I won't write

I have a horrible photograph of myself. I am squatting, a huge sandwich in my right hand, smiling paternally at my fragile, beautiful elder daughter who's probably a year old. My cheeks are shiny and rounded like those deep red apples which taste of nothing. The fabric of my trousers is stretched to bursting over my thighs and buttocks. The year is 1964 and I weigh 18½ stones. For Americans that's 259 lb.

I like to pretend I'm not physically vain (intellectual vanity is another matter) and I pondered accompanying this piece with that photo. But my resolve wilted. Not for your sake but for mine; I find it hard to look at that strangeness.

That photo provoked good news and bad news. A year's dieting, plus cycling to and from the office, removed 4½ stones (63 lb). But at the end of that year I crossed the Atlantic west.

To blog about dieting is to commit an offence against common decency. And there's a quick explanation. Serious dieting demands an obsessional outlook; the dieter becomes his or her diet, bereft of interest to others, a creature with shrunken horizons. Don't kid yourself. People may ostensibly applaud your mad-eyed tales about lost ounces but behind that facade they're yawning, hoping you'll explode. Slightly outside their working radius.

All addictions are boring. Reading about a Glaswegian main-lining heroin, it's obvious the writer's become a professional drug addict. Researching drugs. Over-doing food's similar if more complicated. We need food to live. The most successful diet is starvation and death proves it. OK punk, says your trapped reader, why don't you make my day.

Ulysses is on my Kindle and I'll be re-reading that soon. Playing the Takacs doing the late quartets. Starting a new novel. My new diet? There'll be none of that.


  1. Bonnes Vacances. Don't forget to come back.

  2. I wonder how many of your readers will recognise the Department of France known as "Ta ta for Now". Try to relax and to read a novel even if it is Ulysses as a well-earned rest from writing one.

  3. Is there an aeroplane involved in all this? Bon Voyage!

  4. Joe: I thought it would have to do with age. The origins of TTFN go back a long way. Tommy Handley and ITMA?

    RW (zS): Not a plane - something far more useful. A train that goes under the sea. Drive your car on, enjoy plenty of time to set your watch forward, and emerge in another country in 40 min. The shore-to-shore distance is 21 miles but the tunnel is quite a bit longer since it starts several miles inland in both countries.

    The whole journey (Hereford to Aniane, the latter being about 30 min. drive from the Mediterranean) is about 900 miles. Peanuts for a Canadian but we take two days. Zach entertains himself electronically throughout. Thank God for allowing Man to discover the electron. By whom I mean a furry-faced individual who has more than a passing resemblance to Michael Faraday.