Monday, 20 September 2010

One long journey!

Being back home isn't! As in it isn't home, it's the place where my friends and family hang out. It's wet and it's cold, and I've a lurgy. I don't know whether it's a tropical one, a true blue Brit variety or a monster mutant that festered in the nether regions of the skyways. it could even be the 20 or so a day cigarettes I smoked whilst in Sri Lanka, price was not the temptation, they were £3 a packet. I can smoke with apparent impunity in the tropics, I'm beginning to see the knock on effect here. When I got back from Cuba I had much the same thing, real bad chest and throat, hacking up obscene substances and feeling really lousy. It doesn't help easing the transition of coming back. But maybe I can keep in the mind the smoking issue, at least cut down what I smoke abroad. Since arriving I felt awful, at the party on Saturday I crawled onto a cushion and crashed out, the whole night. At least I managed to sort a costume out, not that great, but a costume all the same. From what I heard the party went well, it carried on past dawn. (Photo: Termite mound - Polonawura, Sri Lanka)

But what was the biggest and best thing about getting home, riding my bike of course. And what was I greeted by, a damp, dejected bike that barely spluttered into life, popping and farting all the way. I could be all hippyish and claim it was down to negative vibes, as I'd wondered if it would start easy enough. And it did start relitively easy; it just wouldn't run well. So between us, me hacking and coughing, the bike coughing and spluttering we make a sorry picture of ourselves. Not for long though, I don't have such a fierce headache this morning, After cleaning the air filter and resetting the mixture has got the bike settling down too. So now I'm ready to set off for Slovakia and the next round of treatment at my dodgy east european dentist. Luckily no more implants are going in, but still loads of work. For me this is the last chance to try and make sure I have a decent set of teeth to last me my lifetime, the smile if nothing else. I'm too vain to feel comfortable flashing a gummy smile. Some things you just have to accept, having no teeth isn't one of them. Shame on my vanity, not at all, it's mine to use in any way I see fit! (Photo: Elephants on parade - Kuadulla national park - Polonawura, Srei Lanka).

Number one priority now is to find a publisher, has to be done before next spring. Then I can fit in the hundreds of book signing appearances, the interview on national TV, and hopefully squeeze in the Queen's garden party before buggering off next time. Alternatively, I can publish it on the web, have no hassle and no fuss. i'd prefer to see it on display in my local bookshop really, would that be understandable? Obviously I'm not the best judge on this, it could be seen as a heap of festering shite, I like to think it's at least reasonably well written.
Of course, for me, it's never going to be about how well I've expressed myself, it's the story itself, the multifaceted journey; of course for me, it can never be just a story. But now it's completion is in sight, it holds a different meaning for me. It maybe started wanting to honour Cai's name, at last partially, wanting to share my grief and suffering. That's changed, all the earlier reasons still hold true, but I'm doing it mainly for the experience of writing about the most intense event of my life. the insight I've gained through this is valuable, but the joy of writing and the discipline I've found to do it is all the reward I need for now.

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