Here’s the plan…

  When I first heard that the breast cancer I’d had in 1993 was back and chewing on my ribs, I was worried I wouldn’t make it until next Christmas. That’s because, in the last few years, a number of my friends have only lasted one more year after the cancer returned. But, my specialist has convinced me that it is highly likely that I have years yet. Woo hoo!     The thing that annoys me is that, last time, I had such a great peace about it.  I decided I’d take my medicine and then I’d get better; it was just another illness. This time I know that eventually, no matter what we do, I won’t get better. My struggle has been to find the same level of peace as last time. However, rest assured dear reader, I’m...

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The polite assassin.

Two nights ago I had a very vivid – full technicolour – dream. In the true the-next-morning fashion of dreams, some of the details have already left the building. However I can share with you the main gist of the thing. An assassin was stalking my “loved one”. He was dressed in a very smart suit and spoke calmly, politely and seemed a very personable man. He very courteously warned me of his intentions. For some time he simply stood outside the house, across the road, and watched. Me and mine watched him, watching us. Then he moved closer to the house and stood in our garden. We locked the windows and doors, and pulled down the shades so that he couldn’t see into the house. But, we could still hear him speaking to us, calmly,...

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Commas: apply with care

Brace yourselves as we enter the world of the Comma: misunderstood, mistreated and underestimated. The poor sweet baby! (I’m going to stick to the basics here. I suggest that if you don’t know whether to put one in or not, leave it out. Get an editor or G.O.I (Gramma Obsessed Individual) to make the final decision for you.) When I was young, back in the time of the dinosaurs, we were told to insert a comma where one would naturally take a breath. That was in the days when corsets were de rigeur and extraordinarily long sentences were a sign of erudition. These two factors guaranteed a plethora of commas running rampant throughout the text. Ironically, just when we finally eliminate corsets and develop decent in-halers for asthmatics, so that...

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