Fourth Qualifying Round Report

11 Responses

  1. Bernie Bell says:

    I’m wondering how you’re getting on – as I’m not on Social Media this is the only way I can think of to ask. So…?

  2. Jonathan Gibbons says:

    New reader of the Longest Crawl. Thoroughly enjoying it. Came to see if I could find the list of 13 pubs… ? sorry to read of illness … what fantastic books & your style has helped me I have 40000 words done and was struggling with some aspects but your book has spurred me on.

  3. Paul says:

    A friend from London once commented that [US] Americans will tell you everything the first time you meet. Some will. I may, the second time. Most respond the compulsory way. Person 1: “How ARE you!?” Person 2: “Good! How are YOU?” 1: “Good.” 2: “That’s good.” Half smiles. If I’m not feeling well, I can get away with “Okay” or “Hanging in there.” That usually gets an “I hear that!” More than one close friend and I have a policy: honest answers only. What do I want from the less close people? Something genuine. I try to do that in return when I know which words mean it. But that takes time so compulsory wins! When I’m asked more genuinely, not disclosing my heavier truth is sometimes necessary. I excel at deflecting. But avoiding the matter can also feel like I’m rendering myself painfully invisible.

    As your post describes, it sucks that cancer treatment is too often the part that makes one feel like shit. That’s been true of everyone I’ve known who has gone through it.

    What are the ways people have engaged with you socially that are adequately authentic while not making it all about The Cancer? Are there times (other than when writing this post) when you want to say “Here’s how I’m really doing…”?

    Ian, I am sad you are having to deal with this. I don’t want you to be ill. I want you to be healthy, mentally and physically. I’m hoping that happens. I love you.

  4. Bernie Bell says:

    Some years ago one of my sisters had cancer and was undergoing treatment for it. Mike & I went over to Ireland to see her, arrived at her house, went in, said ”Ey up”, sat down and started to have a chat. She suddenly said “Bernie, it’s great to have someone come in and talk to me, not talk to my disease.” She said that people had a way of meeting her and saying ‘How aaaaare you?” – with the aaaare long drawn out – while looking at her intently. She knew they meant well, but it made her feel that they were talking to the disease, asking how it was, not to her. She felt like answering – “I’m fine thanks – that fecker is in trouble thanks to the chemo.”

    Your blog reminded me of that.

    I was wondering where you’d got to and how you’re getting on – first response though when I saw the pic was ”What the hell is that?” A particularly yukky looking pie. I wouldna’ touch it.


  5. Paul Rothwell says:

    Great writing Ian – even if deep and dark. Real Route 1 prose. Be reassured, you still have your writing mojo. Slammed in like a Haaland penalty (no Panenkas here….)

  6. Em says:

    It’s really strange getting old and watching things fall apart. The illness and suffering part is shit. We just get the hang of life and all of a sudden are expected to go through this process that we don’t like. I keep waiting for the Buddhist thing to kick in – I will accept it all and go with the flow etc. If I meditate regularly I can manage it sometimes, but I fall off the meditation wagon so often and end up having a cake instead. We live in dualism. You are not alone Ian and yet you are. All I can do is send you my love. Funny old world isn’t it.

  7. Martin Laux says:

    Another great post, pithy sonnet.

  8. Luke says:

    A great post and so much I recognise after losing both parents to the big C. No need for cheerfulness when you see me next at Elda’s mate. Hope the match is a good’un.

  9. Julian de la Motte Harrison says:

    Thank you for the update, Ian: much appreciated. Hang on in there, my old mate.

  10. Bob says:

    A very good and sobering post, and an excellent answer to the question ‘how are you?’. We must get lunch again soon x

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