Grow your own…

The other day I was doing a little channel surfing. For those of you who immediately think, Why not read a book instead?, I’ll just say one word: research. (I challenge you to prove otherwise.) I drifted into a science show by mistake and saw something quite remarkable: one of the boffins has managed to grow a new bladder, using cells from the future recipient. He says he’s working on growing a urethra next as these are “simple” organs and therefore easier to cultivate. I gather he’s working his way up to the more complex ones such as livers and kidneys. In the future people won’t need to wait for a transplant; they’ll grow their own replacements. (I had no idea there were people waiting for bladder transplants....

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A funny old week…

It’s been a funny old week. I went to do a little early (or late, if you’re my sister) Christmas shopping. The machine refused my credit card. We tried three times but…na da. I couldn’t understand it. Just two nights previous The Old Boy handed the card to me and told me to cut up the old one; which I did. The card should have had plenty of credit on it. Turns out the new card, which looked exactly like the “old” one – black, Visa – was a different Visa card. It was one I’ve never used. I’d forgotten that I even had it. I don’t know why he persists in giving it to me because, not only do I not use it, I can’t use it as it’s never activated. So, I cut up a perfectly good Visa card and...

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The mighty pen.

Right now a 14 year old girl is fighting for her life in a hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan. She was shot in the head and neck by members of the Taliban, for daring to encourage other young girls to get an education. They ambushed her as she walked home from school. They claim that the girl’s online diary about girls’ education is an “obscenity”. Whereas shooting a defenceless child in the head; or executing someone at half time during a soccer match because they fly kites, or listen to music, or fall in love…isn’t an obscenity. It’s just part of the righteous war against everything and everyone who isn’t as pure as the Taliban. They promise to target the girl again, and this time they’ll make sure she dies...

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Dream a little dream of me.

It’s been a number of years since my parents died: nearly ten for my dad and about three for my mother. I’ve read a plethora of stories about people seeing their loved ones in a dream, shortly after their passing. In the dream the departed person reassures the grieving dreamer that they are now in a ‘better place’, or they express once more their eternal devotion, or they reveal where the family jewels are hidden. I half expected the same would happen for me. It never did. All these years I’ve remained un-visited…until now. For the last two nights I’ve dreamed of my parents. In the first dream, they came to stay with us for a couple of days. We took them on a drive out to my friend’s house, in the mid-north of South...

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