• I was due to go on holiday tomorrow, and the first part of the journey involves a 'no-frills' airline.  'No-frills' means 'no service', so I was concerned that my crocked leg, permanently braced at a constant zero degrees, would count as a frill (i.e it might require some service). I found this on the Easyjet website, under Carrier's Regulations: 'Adult passengers travelling with lower limbs in cast, waist and/or full leg plaster, must purchase three seats in total, per journey, to travel.' British Airways require only one extra seat, presumably because the seats are wider.  Prof Shiro Yamamoto (who once made a 2-day trip from Tokyo to London to buy a violin), tells me one extra seat is also necessary

    Aug 18,
  • This is what they did.  On the day of the operation a nurse arrived wielding a big black felt-tip pen.  She daubed a large arrow directly onto the flesh at the top of my thigh.  The arrow was pointing downwards, towards the knee that required some urgent attention. A little later, a doctor came along with a Permanent Magic Marker (these have a slightly copper tinge to the black ink) and drew over the arrow, several times, reinforcing the original mark.  This meant that the emergency helicopter had not arrived during the afternoon, and the scheduled op (last of the day) could go ahead. An anaesthetist knocks me out in a prep room decorated with drawings of bunnies and puppies.  A surgeon

    Aug 09,
  • The ball is dark and already falling from the blue summer sky.   Like a minor, tragic, ill-fated character in a futuristic totalitarian novel (set in the kind of world where adjectives spread berserkly) I am conditioned to run.  I run.  The ball is a long way to my right.  The boundary rope is inches to the side of the soles of my cricket boots.  If I leap and stretch out my hand the moment of glory will surely be mine.  Though watch the ball.  I have to watch the ball!  First rule of cricket. Which means Im not looking where I leap.  The foot lands and then the knee somehow snaps, with an audible crack.  And my first thought?  I have not caught the ball.  Later, when

    Aug 02,