Saturday, April 9, 2011

Gremlins of the blood

My father suffered a massive stroke, but made a remarkable recovery. Almost as remarkable was his dramatic dietary reformation, a sudden switch to a radically healthy diet: great bags of apples, raw carrots, yogurt ...

Over a period of time he regained his ability to speak and write, but his speech was slurred and error-prone in the early stages of recovery. Once, he referred to the oxygen-carrying blood protein as "hemagoblin". This term was subsequently pluralized by his children into a facetious explanation for any mysterious illness.

On another occasion, we were discussing a politician who, he said, "had a ball in both courts."


  1. Robert Drewe has a story in my local paper about the novelist Morris West performing at a writers' festival back in 1976.

    "That evening he would loudly proclaim his Christian humility in a long, mellifluous sermon at the town hall that deferred to God eventually, but only just. At the end, a man stood up, shaking his head in wonderment, and said, 'I just want to thank you for existing! I could listen to your vinaigrettes all night'."

  2. I wonder how Mr West responded to the "thank you for existing". "Don't mention it," perhaps!
    (When I first read your comment, Alan, I couldn't figure out the word the man was aiming at, but it popped into my head a couple of hours later as I was sipping a coffee and thinking of other things.)