Friday, June 10, 2011

Going postal

Sorry - I'm rubbish.

I have this wonky back. Had it for years. Four years ago it was diagnosed and some treatment sorted me out for a while. Last autumn, it started to be very painful again and by the turn of the year every step was painful. Every night it woke me up and every day I was tired. Too tired to be bothered with much in the way of pleasure, like writing a blog. Sleep, eat, walk Spot and work. Crap, eh?

A couple of months ago, a lady took herself to Dignitas because she could not face the remaining years of pain from arthritis. On the radio, the presenter said "Only arthritis". I would love to be able to clip him round the ear with one of my wonky hands.

Anyway, I've had some more treatment which is a bit of a curate's egg just at the moment. Some days I am full of buzz and energy and others are not so good.

But this isn't about me. Sir Terry Pratchett has made a documentary about assisted dying and it will be shown on television next week. Go and look it up on the BBC website. He doesn't have wonky hands and a wonky back. Makes me ashamed to bleat.

But, I am so proud to have met him and shaken his hand and thanked him. What for?

Well, if you remember, at the end of last year, Junior Mad became Dr Junior Mad. The little boy who was labelled as "nice in his own way". Code for thick. Without the ability to read, his life would be so diminished. And he didn't get that from his first school.

When Junior Mad got to about 10, he COULD read, just DIDN'T. He saw no pleasure in the experience. One day, totally out of the blue, he picked up "Guards, guards". We overheard this wonderful chuckling. He was hooked. He is never without a book to keep him company.

About 11 years ago, I queued for about 2 hours at a book signing. Sir Terry's latest book for my son's Christmas present. I managed to tell him how grateful I was for the door that he had opened to the world of the imagination. He was charming and gracious and told me how pleased he was.

What a smashing man. And the world will be a lesser place without him.

And thanks for asking. Just old, miserable and grumpy. But still glad to be alive.