Friday, 13 June 2008


So it's a been a while since the last post because Clare and I have been away. We spent a fantastic week emptying our minds in Egypt and it was just what we needed. Holidays are a great time to reflect and for introspection. I only ever really read books on holiday and always find them a good source of inspiration. I usually find myself making plans for when I get back but usually find that the inspiration gets stopped at customs and subjected to a full cavity body search.

I read a weird selection of books. First I red Slash's autobiography, one of my heroes, and it was a great book - he did a LOT of drugs but is clean and sober now. Earlier in the year I read Clapton's autobiography (another of my heroes) and he probably did twice as many drugs but the two books were surprisingly similar in terms of their respective journies. Next was a forgettable book based on an email thread and although it was reasonably amusing it was over before it began and not exactly thought provoking. Then I read Piers Morgan's book, a sort of diary / autobiography. My Dad, along with many others, thinks he's a tosser but I've always liked him and it was a really honest tale of his descent into the wilderness following his sacking from his editor post at the Daily Mirror. Despite having no money worries and lots of work he seemed to be struggling finding his new niche - an editor is an editor, liked and loathed in equal measures, but still respected as an editor. A sacked editor is merely an ex-editor and who wants to be one of them? The diary charts a year or two from sacking to being a major US star on America's Got Talent with Simon Cowell and he ends up having found what he was looking for. The book also serves as a splene vent and he describes Kate Moss as an 'ill tempered, foul mouthed, bad mannered little Cordon girl with a cocaine-desecrated hooter and spots!' which made me laugh out loud.

Lastly I read the Kite Runner. My mum had given it to me a Christmas or two ago and I'd never read it as I like to buy my books at the airport and always forgot to pack it. Anyway I'm glad it did pack it this time as it was excellent. One of the main characters in the book has a 'hairlip', which is the non-PC way of describing a cleft lip so it obviously resounded from page 1. The book is set in Afghanistan where such things are not treated as early, especialy not in the seventies where the story begins. I won't go in to the story other than to explain that the author spends his life in turmoil after having deceived /let down his best mate (with the hairlip) and the story finishes with his atonement, his redemption if you will. A great read and more inspiring than the bios I read.

A friend of a friend emailed me while we were away to explain that his boy is 18 months old and has just been through the cleft operations. It was so much more comforting to read his story than those online of complete strangers. He didn't find out about the clefts until the baby was born which is quite common and obviously a massive shock after the trauma of the birth. So much to take in when you least expect it. He said he felt a bit cheated that the special time was tainted as it was. He also talked about the 'why us?' feeling but actually, I feel that less now because I know him or I know of him via a mutual friend. The odds are around 1 in 600 and whilst our mutual friend is a very popular guy I doubt he's got 1,200 mates! I also think, as I've said before, that if you wallow in 'why us?' you also have to stop taking for granted all the other bad stuff that hasn't happened. We don't wake up everyday and feel glad for what hasn't affected us. Perhaps we should.

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