Mutilation

Sitting in the hospital, drugged into a  pleasantly dopey MJ-on-propofol daze, I quite enjoyed the attention. The sympathy; the proffered sweetmeats; the stroked forrids and squeezed knees; the accolades for bravery, low blood pressure and lovely soft skin: this, I remember thinking, is exactly what it must feel like to be the Dauphin. At home, the spittle-spraying, self-pitying Sisyphean frustration kicked in.

handIn general, I have the good-toothed, strong-boned, athletic-framed (not to mention smelly, hairy and dribbly) constitution of a horse. In the past month, I have had shin splints, swine flu (an as yet unconfirmed but deeply held belief) and food poisoning - add to which Sunday's major laceration to left hand, severing the extensor tendon on the little finger and requiring an hour of plastic surgery, a cast, a (distressingly cruise-ship-blue) sling and 3 months of physio, and the fine-fettled filly is more ragged, ravaged, growling cur.

Two things have helped soothe the chafing. One is Daniel Kitson, who has been refining his latest storytelling show, The Interminable Suicide of Gregory Church, at the BAC. Kitson, who first seduced me with his his love of unctious, evocative, English words in Edinburgh last year, weaves deceptively rambling tales of bathos, melancholy, and sly, understated, choking hilarity that are in fact as complex, cyclical and satisfyingly patterned as any Dickens novel. He is a great, scruffy, unreformed humanist; a hoarder of heroic banalities and squireller of self-revealing asides; a monumentalist; a mentalist; and a bloody funny bloke.

The other is this.