The Death of an Unlucky Impala

The idea of death is certainly unsettling, but it is a reality for every being. Great or small, we will all meet that fate one day. There is arrogance in humanity and I regret it. I’m as guilty as anyone else. The old truism in news reporting is that a death in my neighbourhood is […]

The Beauty of Being Wretched

Growing up I had no contact with cancer. My first exposure to its grim realities was a movie in the early 80s. John Hurt played the role of a man who was often reduced to vomiting in his sink. It shook me up and I always felt deep sympathy for anyone diagnosed. Over the decades […]

Lance Armstrong – You Really Let Us Down

I’m not into cycling and I was never too into Lance Armstrong’s book. I read a couple of chapters though and heavily identified with his chemo experiences. It was oddly comforting to read in print what I’d experienced. There is no doubt the book had importance. Two separate concerned friends gave me a copy. Others […]

Artificial Happiness and the Power of No Choice

We have a tendency to overestimate the impact that events will have in our life. Ask anyone whether they would be happier winning millions or losing a leg and you get the expected answer. Yet, Dan Gilbert’s research shows the peaks and troughs of both happiness and sadness flatten out after around three months. If we win millions, a […]

The Loss of Wisdom is Such a Waste

A great conversation starter is: “What three people from history would you most like to have dinner with?” It sets minds racing on who was the most brilliant thinker, explorer, adventurer, leader, artist, singer, ruler or politician.  It is hard to weigh up the respective merits of science, medicine, philosophy, astronomy, art, culture or discovery. I’m fascinated to hear other […]

Fighting Cancer and Talking About It

Putting your feelings about life, cancer treatment and the dreadfully taboo topic of death out on the Web is awkward. Revealing your emotions for all to see feels like being naked in the town square during the mid-day rush. I didn’t ask for cancer and I’d happily have skipped the treatment. In fact, I often joke that cancer has […]

Old Soldiers Just Fade Away – Death of a Friend

A few months ago I was saddened by the death of a friend. I deeply admired him. He was one of the kindest men I’d ever met. We were neighbours for 12 years and grew close over that time. He’d drop over for a beer or a cup of tea or we’d have dinner at each […]

The Right to Die is Our Most Fundamental Right

There is a certain insanity that prevails when it comes to the right to die. Perhaps it is partly religious; it seems deeper though as the denial of this right prevails in countries with varied religious majorities. Maybe we are all just fearful of getting too close to the terribly taboo topic of death. I’m […]

The Lose Lose Proposition – Fighting Cancer and its Reality

I hesitated for ages before I could put anything at all down about my experiences with the Big C. I was diagnosed around two years ago. I have a nasty version – Stage IV tongue cancer. The survival stats are not comforting reading. The tongue and throat are really grim places to have things go […]

Seems Bad News Really May Come in Threes

I’m not a superstitious person. I have never given much credence to the old adage that bad news travels as a trio. However, that is just what happened last week. In the space of four days I heard that three people I know had been diagnosed with cancer. Wow. The first news was sobering. The […]