The Other Harry Potter

"Not now, Harry," the nurse says as he fumbles down the front of his pyjamas. "We don't want to see that now."

But it'll only take five minutes, he says.

The nurse is busy. She hasn't got five minutes. She takes him in hand and guides him back to his own ward. For most of the day he's been kept to a chair near the duty nurse. They've tried to keep him amused with a Sainsbury's Christmas catalogue, staring at the page of turkeys. He's got white hair and a handle-bar moustache, and his full name is Mr Harry Potter.

Maybe this is a hospital thing. I was in hgospital in Leeds once when a man called James Bond checked himself in. That was a surprise. Being in hospital was a surprise too. I was meant to be teaching, having found myself a fulltime job to get back on top of my finances. Seven days in, I visit the doctor after school, collapse in his surgery, and sirens wail me back to the city. It's not fatal, as it turns out. Some bowel disease that some test some time in the future will manage to diagnose. But it has put paid to my return to teaching for a while.

So I'm writing again ... trying to get down to it first thing before tiredness makes my brain fuzzy. It's a relief, I must say. Writing is touching a new peak right now.

And money? Well somehow it's going to have to sort itself out. For some days I shared a ward with ancient men whose bodies were crumbling. With my own health buildiong itself back up it's time to count blessings. The ability to write again is surely one of them.