• My new novel, Lazarus is Dead, is due out on August 18. That's seven years since Dry Bones. What have I been doing? The non-fiction, the stories, the living. But it's not living that eats up the time, it's writing novels. In 2004, when Dry Bones came out, Harvill Secker was Secker and Warburg, and I didn't have a website. This time round there are suddenly things to do. I should add something about Lazarus to the books pages here, and I will. I should keep track of what Harvill Secker are doing over at Vauxhall Bridge Road. This is what they're doing first. The publication of Lazarus is seven weeks away, and once a week until then the Vintage

    Jul 14,
  • I was asked to write something for the Radley College 2011 rugby tour brochure to Australia. My envy of a trip like that just about allowed me to say yes. Maybe there's a spot for a physio's assistant? I have experience in this field. Radley College RUFC in Australia 2011 There’s an old joke in Ireland about a tourist asking for directions to a well-known local attraction.  ‘Aye,’ says the local sage. ‘I know where it is. Only I wouldn’t start from here.’ The same might be said of a rugby tour to Australia. A visiting side from England can expect the sporting welcome to be more traditionally Australian than for anyone else. Australians hate to lose. They hate

    Jul 12,
  • There aren't many upsides to being a regular visitor to hospital, especially if you work there. This is the message I sometimes received from the nurses last year when I was in the Oxford JR to have my knee sewn back together. This year, I ensured my regular summer bed on Ward 2A by breaking apart the other knee. I thought after a year of economic stagnation the situation might have deteriorated. Maybe the curtains hadn't been washed since last July (my enduring memory of a year 2000 birth at RUH Bath was of bloodstains on the curtain. Not the one round the bed. The one at the window). In fact the John Radcliffe Trauma Ward had been restaffing

    Jul 10,
  • Eleven months ago, I jumped high into the air to catch a cricket ball. When I landed, without the ball in my hand, I ruptured the patella tendon in my right knee. This meant that the top half of my leg was no longer connected, in any active sense of the word, to the bottom half. I had an operation, and wore a leg brace for twelve weeks, but as a keen sportsman I know the strength to be gained from cliché. It’s how you bounce back. I could return stronger than I ever was. Yes and no. After Christmas I got myself fit – a bit of running, a spot of cycling. I started the cricket season at

    Jul 03,