So, er, this is awkward…

Yesterday was a real rollercoaster of a day.

Having psyched myself up for surgery, following all the advice on what I could and couldn’t eat and drink at the relevant times, I kissed my family goodbye and caught the bus to the hospital… where I sat around for several hours, fully gowned-up in finest hospital-style, before being told that an earlier emergency surgery had over-run, and that my operation would have to be re-scheduled.


It’s one of those annoying annoyances that you can’t even really be annoyed about. As babbitman put it, it’s “someone having a slightly worse time of things that slightly inconveniences you”.

I now await the call – hopefully on Monday – to reschedule. Obviously I’m hoping that it’s not too long a wait. Thank you to everyone for your lovely messages. I will re-read them once the op has actually taken place ❤

As a little postscript, I had gone into the hospital without wallet, keys or phone, anticipating being collected by my wife post-surgery, and not wanting to risk losing my valuables. She was spending the afternoon taking our eldest to a climbing centre with his Beavers group…

The hospital let me call my wife on her mobile after giving me the news, but the only information I managed to get from that short, crackly call was the name of the venue, and that it was “somewhere near the Victoria Centre” (a large shopping centre).

I had a bus-pass, £2 in change, and no real clue where to go…

I set off, determined to be as resourceful as Jack Bauer, and find this venue within the hour (before they finished and moved on – no phone, remember). I even had the “24 beeps” in my head. I used my bus pass to get me near the Vic Centre, and hotfooted it across town (for two reasons – 1 – the clock was ticking, and 2- I was wearing “loose fitting hospital wear”, and looked like a hobo. I didn’t want to bump into anyone I knew!)

So anyway, I thought I’d be clever and ask at the information desk at the Vic Centre… they’d never heard of it. Nor had the cleaner. Nor had some random guy walking by with his kid. Dammit! So I turned to a basic GCSE-level knowledge of Central Business Districts, and thought about the areas of the city centre most likely to house a climbing centre… then basically wandered around a bit until I found it!

How on earth did we survive before we had mobile phones, complete with maps of everything and everywhere in the world? Did we just wander around like this all the time, muttering dammit under our breaths??



This was just like me, apart from the gun. Guns kill people

Powering down…

As well as it being my weekly “offline Saturday”, this week I will be shutting down in a more literal, medical sense. As this is posted, I will be under general anaesthetic for an operation to hopefully cure the issues that have kept me off work for three of the past six months. Post-op recovery is likely to be painful, for at least a few days, possibly weeks.

As a consequence, I may be around less in the coming week… it is also possible that I’ll go the opposite way, and plug myself into the matrix completely, as other options will be limited.

On the bright side, there’s only a one-in-50,000 chance that I’ll actually die, as my doctor cheerfully informed me.

Never tell me the odds!

I’m sure, with trademark Lane optimism, that it’ll all be alright.

I’ll just park this here in the meantime…


Unplugged Saturday

I mentioned in my Friday list post that one of my New Year’s Absolutely-Not-A-Resolution (But-Kinda-Is) was to spend one day a week completely offline. Well, I tried it yesterday for the first time…

In a normal day, I spend hours checking and replying to emails, checking Facebook, scrolling through Twitter, refreshing news pages, looking at rugby scores… Even if I’m watching a film or a TV show with my boys, chances are I’m on my smartphone at the same time, giving each half of my attention. Sound familiar to anyone else?

Well, not yesterday.

I went completely cold turkey.


Now, as a smartphone user, this meant pretty much hiding my phone away all day. I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist the little counter at the bottom of the screen telling me there were 15 or whatever new messages to check. I turned off automatic syncing, so the numbers stayed silent, and temptation wouldn’t flash before me.

Then, just to make sure, I turned the ringer volume up and left the phone in a different room.

(I contemplated hiding it under a cushion, but thought that might be going overboard.)

We had no big family things on yesterday – the youngest went a birthday party, the oldest to play with his friends down the road for a couple of hours, the usual weekend parental taxi-ing – but unusually I did get an hour at home to myself. Prime Facebook time…

But I decided to read instead.

Crazy, right?

I’m always complaining that I don’t have time to read, so I thought this was a golden opportunity to put my money where my mouth was.

I’d started Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover the night before… I finished it yesterday afternoon. I can’t remember the last time I got through a book so quickly. The book’s amazing, and a quick read… so there I was, on a Saturday afternoon, in an empty house, crying at the end of a book for the first time in … a very long time.

After tidying myself up, I picked Louis Sachar’s Holes from my reading pile, and started on that… another great choice. I’m halfway through it already, completely hooked.

Better than Facebook anyday.

The flip side of this day offline is (a) not having any phone to distract me while we watched an awful film for Film Night (The Little Vampire)… and (b) having 205 new emails to catch up with on Sunday morning… but an hour on the laptop to focus on those saw to that (and write this post into the bargain).

Batched living. It’s the way forward!

So, it may take me longer to reply to emails and messages, but you know what… it can wait…

Enjoy your Sunday. And whatever your doing, give it your full attention 🙂




An Ode to Pluto (poem)

There’s been some talk in the last 24 hours about a “Planet 9″… it’s worth sparing a thought for poor old Pluto, loved and discarded twice over now!

A Certain Point of View

A teeny-tiny ball of rock
Three billion miles away
Sorry that it took so long
For us to come and play

Our feelings have been somewhat mixed
We felt so far apart.
But now we’ve finally stopped by,
You’ve shown us all your heart


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