Wednesday, 20 February 2019

~* eRoTiCoN 2019: MeeT & GReeT *~

I've been looking forward to doing this! Yes, for those of you who don't know, I'm attending Eroticon once again this year. That shouldn't be a surprise, really, since I go every year... but, unlike last year, I'll be there for the whole thing this time! A genuine shock, I know.

I was very sick last year, and as it turns out, I was sicker than I thought, since I thought I had a cold and it turned out to be bronchitis... this year, I'll load up on Vitamin C well in advance, to prevent that happening again. Yes, I'm aware that's not the most effective of methods.

In any case, there's a Meet & Greet to get cracking with, so what's the story, morning glory?


Innocent Loverboy - still abbreviated to "ILB" if you're only capable of remembering three letters. That's "I'll be", by the way, not "illb". Sorry to spoil any fantasies, or anything.

You can find me on most social media using @innocentlb - confusingly not my blog URL. Isn't the internet fun?

Tell us 3 things you are most looking forward to at Eroticon 2019.

(i) Seeing my long-distance friends and spending time with them in person. Yes, I stole that verbatim from Molly, but I agree with her. There are multitudes of people I haven't seen at all since last year's 'con (in fact, I don't think I've seen any of them!), and this appears to be my annual opportunity to do so!
(ii) Hugs!
(iii) I don't know if this makes me sound self-centred, but it's my birthday (again!) on Sunday 17th. I'm looking forward to spending it at Eroticon!

We are creating a playlist of songs for the Friday Night Meet and Greet. Nominate one song that you would like us to add to the playlist and tell us why you picked that song.

Kremlin Dusk by Utada Hikaru. It isn't at all relevant to Eroticon, but it's one song to which I'm guaranteed to sing along!

Other than that, anything by Barenaked Ladies, Smash Mouth or Roxy Music will probably get me singing. And I'm seeing James the weekend beforehand, so anything at all from their 41-year back catalogue would do - might I suggest Curse Curse, since it's about listening to people having sex in a hotel room? (Or is that more relevant to Woodhull?)

What is your favourite item or book you’ve purchased so far this year?

I actually bought nine DVDs of soft porn earlier this year, so...

Okay, this probably needs a bit of context. None of the most recent Emmanuelle films are available commercially. Since Alain Siritzky's passing a few years back, his back catalogue is entirely in jeopardy, but the Emmanuelle Through Time series never got aired in its entirety, so there aren't even dodgy rips available to download.

In order to get legitimate, high-quality copies, I used my Christmas money to buy the whole series from the director Rolfe - who, kindly, sent me two bonus DVDs. Not bad for a little over a hundred quid!

You can have an unlimited supply of one thing for the rest of your life; what is it? Sushi? Scotch Tape?

I had to think about this. I've hit upon 'drinks' as an answer, and I think that makes sense - statistically, I think the most money I spend in my life goes on buying drinks. Cut out the need to stock up on bottles of Diet Pepsi and I'd probably be loaded!

What is your favourite quote from a movie?

"So you're telling me we're filming a music video for a rock star who's here but you can't find."
"Have you checked his trailer?"
"The dressing room?"
"Well, how many people have you got looking for him?"
"Well, just me. Aha! People!"
[Turns on megaphone.]
"People! I need a 20 on Alvin! Whoever isn't doing anything, stop what you're doing, and go find him!"

- or alternatively:

"Ever since I was born... I was dope."

What is your word suggestion for next year's Eroticon anthology?

Wow, next year's. You're keen. In order to come up with something suitably pretentious, I'm going to go with "Light". I'm surrounded by light during sex, so it seems appropriate.

Complete the sentence: I feel...

...uncomfortable about my body.

Yes, that's a bit of a downer to end on, isn't it? There's a long story behind it this year, rather than just generic moaning, but I genuinely don't have the spoons to go through it all right now. Maybe being at Eroticon in less than a month will make me feel better about it all.

Here's hoping.

Saturday, 16 February 2019

Innocent Walkerboy

For the last few days, I've been experiencing a gradual return to work, which is the best they could give me following a relatively uncertain interview on Tuesday morning wherein my boss wasn't sure if she was comfortable with me doing any work at all (except washing up, which is something I have ended up doing anyway). As I reminded her, I have annual leave coming up next month (around the Eroticon weekend, naturally), and I really ought to get back to work before that.

Lies, of course; I just really need the money.

Although so much has changed in my life over the last decade or so, one of the things that has remained constant (and I just cracked open Google Maps to research for a comment on GOTN's blog, so excuse the massive nostalgia hit) is my appreciation of time to walk on my own. It's relatively limited now - it's not pleasant to walk around suburban North London in the winter anyway, and I often find time slipping away in lieu of domestic duties, pre-arranged attendances and general laziness - and it was, I tended to find, much easier when I was living in my parents' old house.

Before we moved, I was living with my family in a nice, large 1930s building with four bedrooms, adequate living space and a Jigglypuff painted on the wall of the converted loft. I was also single for quite a lot of that time (pretend girlfriends notwithstanding), and even for the bits where I wasn't, I didn't have someone living with me (Willow doesn't count; she's a cat). I was lonely, but adjusting to life after three relatively unpleasant university years; also, after having done so every single day for the final term of my final year, I had taken to having long walks in the surrounding area - often just me, my iPod and 'phone; no wallet, so I wouldn't spend any money and had to walk home if and when I got lost.

In the summer, this was a wonderful thing to do. It was exercise, of a sort, so I didn't feel guilty about it; there was a canal (and still is) nearby, so it was easy to find a waterside path to follow; I knew all the hidden entrances to the park which was officially closed after dusk (but was full of drunken teenagers having clandestine sex in the shadows, so much so that I started a tally); Tim Booth had just released a new album, so I had something fresh to listen to; most importantly, it was free. As night fell, I would find my way back to a main road, walk back to my house, let myself in using the keysafe, and then probably have a wank, since I... well... since I'm human, I guess.

These days - except for the wanking - I don't have that time, so I basically do all of that on my way to work (or, at least, on the way to the bus stop). I walk down the road, monologuing to myself - I do that a lot: usually stand-up to an imagined audience, answering questions that haven't been asked, or discoursing loudly about porn to a fictional cinema full of people having attended the film club I'm never going to start - before plugging my iPod in when I get to the bus stop and mainlining the odd mix of indie rock, musical theatre soundtracks and classical symphonies for the 20-minute ride to work.

It's not enough time, I know. It seems long in the morning - since my bed complains loudly when I get out of it - and even longer when I'm going home, the cool night air soothing but less and less welcome as you wait for a useful way to get back to your damn ass flat in order to access such luxuries as "food" and "shelter". I don't even really mind it, since I like travelling in many ways. It just doesn't have the same gravitas as purposefully getting lost in your leafy suburb, or walking down the riverside path in Oxford that the Seamstress showed me, or clambering up peaks with Woodcraft.

What I need, my subconscious tells me, is a nice, long and pointless route to walk down - one that involves trees, fields and water, none of which are immediately accessible from my flat (although there's a park fifteen minutes away; it's just not quite the same). I don't have any wish to run, nor do I have any money to spend so going to the local town is not really a useful option, but if I could just find the time to do so, maybe a stretch of my legs and a breath of clear air would do me at least some good.

Anyone fancy a stroll?

Sunday, 10 February 2019

Soft Porn Sunday: Judy Moulton & Jarod Carey

Among the things I like when it comes to sex, somewhere near the top of the list would have to be the concept of desperacy - when one is part of a couple so intent on having sex with immediate effect that everything else goes out the window, including basic hygiene, so one is basically making a mess in order to do it. How one does that without being slightly preoccupied with the cleaning rota afterwards is a mystery, I will admit, but it's still a trope I like.

It happens quite a lot in soft porn - the "one-armed sweep of the table" is a classic, for sure - and, whenever I think of that, this scene pops into my head. It starts with a fair amount of food play, which I genuinely don't like - food play squicks me out - but I adore the way it ends. And it made me come the other day, so let's do it, shall we?

Appearance: Passion Cove, Series 2: "The Bet" (2001)
Characters: Mona & Paolo

I've featured Passion Cove before, and I've even featured this episode before. It's memorable to the point of having a conversation with myself ("Oh, cool!" / "How cool?" / "Very cool.") when 18-year-old me saw a repeat and realised which episode it was, and although the aforementioned scene with Tina New is a lot hotter than I remember it being, it's this scene which is what I remember. I'm not really familiar with Judy Moulton from anything else, either, which is always a plus, as I'll immediately identify her with this character, and furthermore, this scene!

(Sorry, Judy.)

In any case, this is sex scene number three of three. Hunky handyman Hitmonchan Hitmonlee Hitmontop Paolo has already had sex with wealthy, successful, unreasonably attractive singleton Cassidy (Gabriella Hall) and wealthy, successful, unreasonably attractive singleton Dusty (Tina New). He's busily making dinner for the house (because handymen... do... salads?) when wealthy, successful, unreasonably attractive Mona (Moulton) decides to "have a go". Needless to say, the salad ends up on the floor and Mona ends up on the table; Paolo, presumably, is going to need some ice, if he's had that much sex in the space of a day.

Paolo clearly doesn't need much persuasion, since he's worked out quite early on that if you act
Is he using this or advertising it?
clueless and wear quite revealing clothes, then you get to have sex with beautiful women because this is Passion Cove and that's what happens. There isn't even much build-up, either, because... as I may have mentioned... they are desperate. That, and there are only five minutes of the episode left, so they probably needed to wrap this up quickly.

My brain divides this scene into two parts: the "food fight" bit that lasts for the first one minute and forty-seven seconds, and the SEX!!!, which lasts all of about forty. There's even a noticeable break - a cut to the other two characters engaging in casual voyeurism and Tina New doing her best Atlas impression - between the two. Because of that, here's a lazy way to divide up the review...

1. Food Fight!

As I said six paragraphs ago (Jesus, I do go on a bit), I'm not into food play, and to me this just seems like a horrible waste of the salad bowl, miscellaneous vegetables, bowl of flour and "here's one I made earlier"-style cake that already adorn the table. Nevertheless, there isn't a lot of food that gets manhandled - just some whipped cream to the face and some unspecified vegetable oil (yes, I know - must be a bugger to shower off). This is mostly preparation- disrobing (involving flour), touching (involving oil), and wanton salad destruction, although for those of you who have your priorities in order, you'll be happy to know that

To be fair, though, I do think this is quite fun. Paolo deliberately sweeping everything off the table (except the cake) is done in an efficient manner - the desperacy I was talking about - and they even film the salad bowl smashing on the floor, just so you know.

Critical hit!
Paolo lifting Mona onto the table is... well, it's shot well, it just looks like he doesn't need to, it's hardly a huge leap...  before he drizzles her with what may be oil or honey, although whatever it is, he waves it around like a plonker first, so maybe it's product placement. There follows a certain amount of naked touching (accompanied by annoying wheezy giggling from Mona, which is either excitement or an asthma attack - possibly both), although no actual penetration has taken place at this point.

Because the show wants you to know that. Cassidy and Dusty are
Atlas Shrugged
hiding around the corner, and it cuts to them expressing their shocked disbelief that the hot single man who's had sex with both of them is now having sex with somebody else. That's the break. It's okay, though, because they both wander off and then

2. SEX!!!

And this is the bit that makes me orgasm. There follows some sex, Mona on her back and Paolo still standing where he was a few moments ago, but clearly inside her by this point... and it increases in intensity, from a simple bump'n'grind to hand holding, intent thrusting, bending over forwards and putting more effort into it... despite the cheesiness, it genuinely does convey that they are getting lost in the moment, Mona's excited moans and even the occasional vocalisation from the otherwise-silent Paolo accompanied by an odd Muzak-like poppy soundtrack.

They even cuddle at the end. Hoorah for that and... oh, it fades out swiftly. As you were, then.


The question here is: do I sit through the whole scene when I'm in the mood to have an orgasm? Frankly, I don't. The scene gives you the mid-point cut and that's the point I tend to start from. Much as I like the preparation and the vegetable homicide, more often than not this is my "finisher" scene. I do occasionally watch it in its entirety (along with the other two sex scenes - they get better as the episode goes along, so it's a nice build-up), but mostly it's the last few seconds that really get me hard, if they don't in fact get me off.

But that's the wonder of soft porn. It's incredibly versatile, just like BirdsEye potato waffles. Which I like with cheese. And salad.

Damn it, Paolo.

Thursday, 7 February 2019


Louise and I have a thing (well, maybe it isn't a thing; maybe it's just coincidence, but I'm going to assume it's a thing). Maybe it's ESP, maybe it's familiarity, or maybe it's just dumb luck, but whatever the reason, the thing is that, whenever I think of Louise, I tend to hit upon exactly what she's doing at that precise moment in time. Or thereabouts.

For example, I got a message from her last week to ask me how I was doing since I was still in bandages and showing no visible signs of recovery. I reassured her, and asked how she was... and how she was managing to wield a tablet while in a swimming pool. I still don't know why I asked that, but as it turns out, she was indeed sending me messages from her tablet while treading water in her pool (I'm assuming it was on a towel on the side or something; I didn't go that far!). She did, I'll admit, then check to see if she was visible on Google Street View... but that could have been taken at any time.

[NB. I'm on Google Street View. There's a snap of me eating a pastry while on my way to work. My face is blurred out, of course... but my questionable fashion choices are there for all to see.]

Probably a coincidence, right? But then, just a week earlier, I'd sent her an e-mail to ask for clarification on something... and got a reply almost instantly. I'd speculated, in the body of the e-mail itself, that she was probably at work, but if she wasn't, I was okay to wait until she was in order to get one back. Louise hardly ever goes to work these days, and as it turns out, I'd hit upon the one day that week she was sitting in the office with little to do.

That, and I called her to make contact once because I knew she'd be on a train with time to talk.
That, and I sent her an e-fax once on the assumption that she'd just be setting up a fax machine at work.
That, and I once almost sent her a text, but guessed (quite correctly, as it turns out) that she'd be having sex, and it would be polite not to interrupt her.

The thing is - if it is a thing - both amusing and humorously not at all useful. We are close, and have been for a while - friends, and former lovers - and there are things she knows that I've never told anyone else. I'd like to think it's the same the other way around. But it doesn't help, when she is two continents away, to know what she's doing at any given time. She doesn't like to talk on the 'phone, and since MSN isn't a thing any more, our long evening conversations are no longer a luxury. I don't often have a reason to contact her at all, really.

But it's not just me who has the thing.

Because, just as I opened this window and began to type, a text message pinged from 6,100 miles away.

My cooch is burning! Are you writing about me? :)

It's nice to know that her way with words hasn't changed, either.

Monday, 4 February 2019


"What can I do for you?" asked the cute GP.
"Well, I've been off work with a broken face," I said slowly but clearly, "and I've just had my cast taken off by the maxillofacial team. I wanted to know if I needed a letter to confirm I'm fit to get back to work. You're very cute," I added, only I didn't add that. The fact that she was cute didn't necessarily make her a good doctor. Her response is what made her a good doctor.
"It's your choice, actually," she smiled. "Your sick leave is valid until..." She checked. "...Tuesday."
"Do you need to write me a note, or...?"
"Nope! You just discuss with your employer when it's all right for you to go back! You've got over a week! When do you think you're OK to go back?"

I reached, almost unconsciously, for my nose, and immediately wished I hadn't, as it's very tender there, having had plaster ripped off this morning in an East London hospital. Barring the occasional pain (which is being regulated well by serious "fuck you" NSAIDs), I'm able to walk and talk and use my hands, so hypothetically I could go back to work now.

So I smile back, and am about to say this to the cute GP.

But then I'm reminded of the other things. I'm reminded of the serious lack of sleep I'm having, probably as a result of the general anaesthetic I had last week. I'm reminded of the creative project I've startes working on, and how I need to get on with that. I'm reminded of the occasional pains in my chest, legs, hands, and back. I'm reminded of all the housework I said I'd do, but haven't had the energy for; I also owe my girlfriend a meal at Nando's tomorrow as a celebratory "hooray, nose isn't totally fucked!" event. I need to regulate my sleep pattern. I need to tidy my house. I need to update my blog.

And, judging by the fact that I had an orgasm immediately before I left the house and was already wanting more, I needed to do something about my sexual arousal, which has been all over the place.

"Next Tuesday, you say?"
"Yes. You're going to talk to your employer?"
"Yes, I am. Thank you very much."
"You're quite welcome. Nice to meet you."
"Yes, you too. Thank you for your help."

And I walked from the clinic, the better path clearly illuminated in front of me.

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Altered states of consciousness

Tim Booth will tell anyone prepared to listen about his belief that, through the normal day, one goes through different states of consciousness, and this informs the state he's in while performing. I don't entirely disagree with him - it's just that in my life the different states of consciousness are based on how little sleep I've had and how ambient the music I'm listening to is. At the moment, for example, I've just come off a night of zero sleep and have on some very trippy music by my friend Murphy, so I may as well not be here. For all I know, this isn't happening.

Which is a rather roundabout way of putting things.

A couple of days ago I had surgery to reconstruct my shattered face. It wasn't too difficult - a simple operation, although the amount of bandages I now have on makes me look like The Joker before his unmasking in Batman. However, I did need to go under general anaesthetic before going under the knife. I've only ever had general anaesthesia once before - when I had my tonsils out at the age of five. I was sedated a couple of years ago during an endoscopy, but I was told this would be a different experience.

They weren't kidding.

Since the anaesthesia, I have been experiencing various altered states of consciousness with alarming rapidity. I had an incredibly extreme sexual fantasy while under anaesthetic - I don't recall all the specifics, but cock and breasts and many wet vulvae were involved - which vanished as soon as I woke up in the resus ward. I slipped back into sleep almost immediately afterwards, and found myself in a different ward entirely (I'd been moved while sleeping), having lost time. For the rest of the day, I reclined at a 45-degree angle, with periods of napping and some periods of feeling incedibly wasteful. One of the staff nurses told me that I needed to sit up more, but my nose started bleeding like mad every time I tried.

So I languished. Sleep. Rest. Wake. Rest. Wake. Sleep. Wake. Pain. Pain. Pain. Pain...

...arousal. Deep,deep, yearning arousal.

Sleep go to sleep go to sleep go to...

I was wide awake by the time I got back to my parents' house, and for the iirst time, ravenously hungry. I ate a meal and went almost straight back to sleep, albeit in my sister's bed this time, and wasn't entirely sure where I was when I woke up. I was fully awake, though, padding around the house to get my bearings, and suddenly feeling like I was meant to be doing something that I'd forgotten to do (which isn't true: I'm under doctor's orders to rest). I had brunch, but felt nauseous, and slightly upset myself with the idea of seeing food and not wanting to eat it.

Truly, I am a mass of contradictions.

Yesterday afternoon I worked for an hour or so and then had the sudden and completely immediate, unpredictable need to lie down. I stumbled to the bedroom and passed out, then awoke and had two dinners, went back to bed and completely failed to sleep.

I should be lying down now, or at least tired. Slumped somewhere in a chair or on the sofa or back in bed. I'm growing more and more aroused, steadily, by the second, so maybe I should be doing something about that. Maybe, if I went to bed now, I'd actually go to sleep and catch up on what I've missed. Maybe I wouldn't. Either way, I'd be obeying doctor's orders. Getting up at 6am to watch The Martian while drinking Sprite Zero and then listening to ambient music while writing a blog post from scratch wasn't something they told me to do.

But it wasn't something they told me not to do.

You see, it's easier for me to work this all out if I write it down. My blog was the perfect place to do that. In the past 48 hours, I've been awake, unconscious, asleep, happy, sad, pensive, busy, lethargic, stricken with malaise, possessed of a manic energy, and with intermittent, brief but incredibly powerful moments of extreme horn.

At the moment, I am tired. Tired of it all. I just want to turn off the world and slip off for a while. Come back when I've recharged and let it start turning again from the moment I left it. But the planet doesn't work like that. It keeps spinning, and like it or not, it's taking me with it.

Heaven knows how I'll feel by the time the afternoon rolls around. But maybe, if I rest now, I can have a few moments of blissful unconsciousness before I have to shift again.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Solidarity ILB

I say, quite early on, that I've already voted. We're making our selections for people to represent us... and I've already voted. I'm quite keen, and anyway, I had a few spare minutes, so I thought I'd better do it before the deadline comes. I wasn't entirely confident that I'd make it to the hustings, and listen to people speak. As it happens, I'm there early, and only one candidate turns up. I politely sit and listen to her speech.

It's all very impressive. She reels off a list of things she's done, but nothing stands out. Everyone says they've done the same things. I'm waiting for the unique bit.

And then she mentions sexual health. My ears prick up a little when she says she volunteers for a charity teaching sex ed in schools across the country; I'm more impressed by all the professional activities she does around promoting good sexual health. Consent is mentioned; body autonomy gets a nod as well. She mentions condoms and dental dams and gets a laugh. And, finally, she mentions that she writes a blog about sex.

The person chairing the meeting asks if there are any questions and my hand is already in the air.

I fanboy a bit about good sexual health; I ask her more about her work with the charity. At some point during my gush, I mention that I, too, am a blogger. I make a mental note to ask her where her blog is (and, for the record, it's a good one). By the very end of everything I've said, and everything she's responded, I am feeling very sorry that I've already voted. Had I known this, I'd definitely have voted for her.

I'm careful not to tell her where my blog is, but I assure her I will read through hers. In the break, I get out my (new) 'phone (my old one smashed when I had my accident), and open it up. I'm just getting started on her Twitter feed when I notice there's an e-mail notification, which I tap on. It's nothing important, but while my e-mail program is running, I figure that I may as well check the voting record to see if there's any way I can change what I originally said.

Tap. Swipe. Tap. Swipe. Yes, please, a cup of tea would be nice. Tap. Swipe. Lemon cake would be lovely, thank you. Tap. Tap. Tap.

An announcement is made and I sit back down. I've done a fair amount of digging, and as it turns out, I can't change my vote.

But, as it also turns out, I voted for her in the first place, so that's just fine.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

The Scriptory

[SCENE: A train. ILB, sore, is sitting nursing his nose, which is raw and hurting since the sutures were removed thirty minutes prior. DAD is keeping him entertained by talking about the play he's in.]

ILB: I remember auditioning for the last play I was in myself. I didn't get through the audition process...
DAD: But you were in the play after all, weren't you?
ILB: Yes. It's funny how that worked out.
DAD: In retrospect, the director could have picked a better play. It wasn't really all that good.
ILB: No, it wasn't.

[They reflect.]

ILB: I think he picked it because it had the smallest cast. We didn't have a lot of people turning up to auditions. A lot of the younger actors he got from Casting Call Pro...
DAD: Really?
ILB: Yeah. I was part of the company, of course, but I was one of only three or four that I recognised. I auditioned with Berrie...
DAD: Oh, I remember Berrie.
ILB: Indeed you should. We had good chemistry; we worked well together. We auditioned together to play the young couple. Maybe we were too old for the part, but I knew how to kiss...
DAD: I think a lot of people know how to kiss.
ILB: I knew how to kiss Berrie.

[MOTHER chooses this point to interject.]

MOTHER: Whoah, whoah, whoah! That's too much information!
ILB: You saw me kiss her... on stage... several times!
MOTHER: That's not what I...
DAD: There's a kiss in the play I'm doing!

[EVERYONE looks at DAD.]

DAD: Just thought I'd mention it.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Save ILB

Since I had my accident just under a week ago, I have been off work. I may be, still, for a while yet, pending any future treatment, but that's up to the doctors to decide. Realistically, I won't be going in for at least another week, as the bones in my face need to heal before I can do much of any particular strain. I use my hands a lot at work, too, and my injured left hand is a bit of a problem. This is all subject to change.

After recovering from the initial shock on Monday, I was left wondering what, exactly, I would do to fill my time when there is quite a lot I'm not supposed to be doing. I decided, quite early on (realistically, in the taxi on the way home), that I would spend a lot of time doing ILB stuff. I'd write a blog post every day. I'd wait for the porn I ordered (which has since arrived), and do something clever with it. Maybe I'd restart Project Emmanuelle, which I used to write alongside JB. I'd make a plan for my second book.

I also planned to get a Chaturbate account. No particular reason - you just get yelled at if you're watching Chaturbate videos while unregistered.

None of this has happened, of course. With all the time in the world, it still feels as if I don't have any time; with incredibly vague plans come incredibly vague actions. Going to work at the volume I did has clearly exhausted me to a larger degree than I assumed at first, as I'm sleeping a lot more, itching with tiredness in the middle of the day, and feeling incredibly lethargic on the occasions wherein I do do something physical, even if it's just going to town on a bus. And sometimes, of course, the pain is disabling.

But here's the thing. I want to do the ILB stuff. It's not something I've had the time to do over the past year, and yet here I am being handed time (for possibly the worst reason imaginable, but still...), and I'm hardly doing anything with it. It's looking more and more like I shall have to force myself to write - as I am doing now - even if there is nothing tempting to do as an alternative. Yes, I can watch DVDs and catch up with Doctor Who since I missed the entire series, but once those are all ticked off, what do I do then? I'm even close to finishing Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, but what do I do once I've finished that game?

I probably even have the time to travel to places, or visit people... but, alas, I don't have the money.

Which is what brings me here. I am about to start possibly my second seven-day period (last Sunday doesn't count as not being a day. Yes, I was at work, but only for half the day; I spent most of my time in hospital.) of not doing much, since for once I'm actually meant to not do much.

But I will do stuff. Because I owe it to myself.

Now somebody please come here and be nice to me.

Tuesday, 15 January 2019


But you know that if you cross your fingers
And if you count from one to ten
You can get up off the ground again
It doesn't matter, the whole thing's just a game

Picture the scene, if you will, and it doesn't make you feel too queasy.

It's a place of work, and about five or six staff members are all shouting suggestions as maximum volume. None of the suggestions are the same. The deputy manager, who's the most senior person on shift, is on the 'phone to the ambulance service, having dialled 999 (or 112) a few minutes earlier. In amongst all this throng, the centre of attention initially but more or less forgotten amongst all the conflicting opinions, lies the injured person.

He's on his side, bleeding from the head, legs still in the awkward position they landed in when he collided with the floor. His arm is going numb from being pressed underneath his head. He doesn't know where the blood is coming from, exactly. But he knows the NHS is there for him.

Five minutes earlier.

I'd finished the morning shift, and since it was quiet, I'd decided to take a few minutes off for lunch, so (as is the procedure) I'd extricated my Glee lunchbox from the 'fridge, poured myself a drink, and set up on the kitchen table. I went upstairs to the bathroom beforehand, remembering to wash my hands, so as not to be infectious. I have a cold coming on, and wanted to stop its spread.

At the top of the stairs, I stumbled. I don't know why, or on what. But I fell forwards. Flailed, but failed to catch onto the bannister. I tumbled down the stairs, hitting all fifteen as I went on my way. My face was the first to hit the solid wooden floor of the downstairs lobby. My colleague was the first to see me, and the first to scream.

Thirty minutes later.

ILB is in a neck brace and strapped into a stretcher laden with blankets. The ambulance has blue lights flashing and sirens blaring as it hurtles through London to the nearest hospital with a sizeable enough trauma centre. He is staying conscious by talking to the pretty paramedic with auburn hair and swallow earrings. She reassures him that they will be there soon, and that he will get help fast. He can't feel any pain any more; the nitrous oxide has taken it all away. He is floating.

One hour later.

I'm in a hospital bed in the resuscitation ward. The medical student, who reminds me of somebody but I'm not sure who, comes through to check I'm all right. I assure her that I am, even though I'm not. The results of my full-body CT scan have come through, and as it turns out, although I've broken a few bones in my face and have lacerations here and there, there are no neck or spinal injuries. She removes my neck brace and angles the bed upwards a bit.

My 'phone has been ringing on and off for the last fifty minutes. I have no idea who it is, or how I'm supposed to take a call. I can't move my hands.

Two and a half hours later.

"You have bilateral nasal bone fractures, fractures of the nasal bridge, plus your septum, plate of the ethmoid, and there's possibly a haemorrhage in your sinus, too. There's a laceration on your nose, but that will close up in a few days; the stitches should help..."
"Why can't I see out of my left eye?"
"Oh, yes. Well, there's nothing wrong with that. You've just got blood from your wound clouding your vision. Blink a few times and it should clear, but that side of your face is badly bruised, so it will swell up and go blue by tomorrow. It should have gone down in about a week, though."
"What about the broken bones in my face?"
"Yes, well, the maxillofacial team will talk to you about that. They should heal by themselves, but it's impossible to tell what your nose will look like afterwards. You may want to have an operation, but you'll need to discuss that with the consultant..."

Three hours later.

He's feeling unsteady, but taking careful steps forwards isn't as bad as he'd thought. The T-shirt and shorts the staff nurse gave him aren't quite as good at the Debenhams jumper they cut off him, his only decent pair of trousers or the boxer shorts the medical student removed, but he is lucky he got away with broken bones in his face and lacerations across his nose and hands. It could have been worse. If he'd landed on his chin he might have broken his neck. He still has all his teeth, even.

His mother has called an Über. It's a long way back home. It's a fair bet he won't be going back to work today. Or tomorrow. Or, indeed, for a while yet.

Five hours later.

My whole head is pounding. The scar across the bridge of my nose feels like it's on fire. My eyes, my hands and my legs are sore. My face is very tender. I'm incredibly aware of my nerves jangling.

The following day, I'll be going back to the hospital. The doctor there is going to explain the procedures going forwards. I'll also be needing to call work and discuss things. I'll need to see a GP and get a sick note. I have test results to collect, as well. Maybe I'll even have time to clean the blood off my face.

But for now, it is time to rest.