The bandages are off and what you can see if you look at the photo is the inch-long wound that's been left behind following my ganglion and metacarpal boss extraction/planing just under a fortnight ago. It is minging enough, but when you add in the fact that 1) the gash itself is slightly blackened with the remnants of the indelible marker line, drawn on by the surgeon to show him where to make the incision; 2) either side of the cut, there are weird, corpse-like, wrinkled splits of skin caused by the adhesive sutures that I've been wearing for two weeks, and 3) the clear lesson I think we've all learned about not sunbathing while wearing a rectangular bandage... well, I am sure you can agree that it is not a pretty sight. Still, it's done now and is unarguably a MASSIVE improvement on a bean-sized, mostly-painless lump that no one but my dad ever noticed. Definitely worth it.
During my recuperation, several things have happened to me, the most life-altering of which is that I have accepted a place on an MA course in Creative Nonfiction (think true stuff written in a narrative, story-like way: Bill Bryson, Jon Ronson, Lost Looking For Fish), starting in September. This will involve lectures on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 6-9pm, plus reading approx. one book a week, plus writing a full, long-form work of non-fiction, at least 60,000 words long, to be submitted in two years - or else I fail. I was offered the place a while ago and went through a fairly gut-wrenching process as I decided whether or not I could or should do it, the world doesn't need any more books, what right do I have to write etc. etc., but in the end, lack of a better idea pushed me over the edge and I paid my deposit on Monday. I'm now skint as all my savings are locked into a special account until next February, so I am getting a lodger. The one I want is a 44 year old man who lives in Yorkshire with his wife and three daughters, and only needs the room on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It's all go.
In the meantime, I have been wincing over the government's climbdown over the NHS (although OBVIOUSLY I'm glad that they've realised what a lot of mistakes they were making, the whole process has still been a sad waste of everyone's time and money); crying at Terry Pratchett's assisted dying documentary (Monday night - watch it on iPlayer if you missed it - I wasn't crying because I didn't think they should die with assistance, I was just crying because nice people dying before they want to is sad); eating doughnuts but not gaining weight (I appear to be in that cruel, all-too-brief, magic metabolism zone); spending many pounds having my hair cut and dyed to the point where absolutely no one has noticed; going to my favourite London night out of the year, the UK Beatboxing Championships finals, where the crowd is more genuinely diverse than at anything else I attend, a broad sweep of audience by gender, race, age and social group. Plus it's purely about talent - no interviews with the finalists, no sob stories, no Dead Wife Daniels, just young lads - still no girls on stage :( - who practice hard and are very very good at what they do. Tickets £11. Amazing. Oh, and I saw the ridiculously sad Senna, and was a bit ashamed when I admitted to myself that I wouldn't have been quite as sad if he hadn't have been pretty much one of the most attractive men I have ever stared at. Because apparently, in the appalling world of my head, ugly people dying in Formula One accidents isn't as tragic. Seriously, I don't deserve to say things out loud.