Trial by Hiccups
Finally, it's over! 

I can't tell you how depressing it is to have almost non-stop hiccups for a such a long period. Because just saying that I am ecstatic now that they've gone doesn't say it all. What I will tell you is that if you have enemies and want to cripple them mentally and physically, hiccups is the way to go. And they can't be traced back to you either. The perfect weapon in fact.

There's also a lot of cures on the web, of course, including this little cracker which worked well for the milder attacks I had.

After 48 hours worth of chest-busting, rib-cracking hilarity/misery I finally went to the hospital where I was given muscle relaxing pills. So far they seem to be working; I haven't hiccuped now for nearly 24 hours, so fingers crossed that it's all over.

Hiccups are mysterious beings, they come from out of nowhere outstay their welcome, then disappear into the night without so much as a handshake or a peck on the cheek. To have them stay for so long is even more mysterious and needs to be checked out by a doctor. Which is where I'll be spending some of tomorrow.

Death by Books
Yet another book has fallen victim of my 'If you can't be bothered to write, I'm not bothering to read' intolerance/law. Sadly, and I have to say that it is, another book slipped into my life purporting to have been a) well written and b) edited when in fact neither are true. I won't name names, but if the people who say it is 'a real page-turner' actually believe that, then they have obviously never read 'a real page-turner' or have never actually read a good book.

I'm not going into the details but the main character is an idiot who couldn't think his way into a public toilet let alone run an international research organisation. He annoys and is suspect almost from the beginning and gets worse the further you drag yourself through the pages. Also, character and location background material should be quietly and carefully slipped into the story, not parachuted in with all guns blazing. If you don't know what I mean try reading The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Echo. Finally, short sentences can either speed up the action or, as in this example, sound like a very dull shopping list. 

And don't tell me that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and this is a matter of taste: that's bollocks. Poor writing is poor writing and the same goes for poor editing - and there is no excuse for either.

I've ditched the second-rate for something entirely first rate and, so far, faultless on all fronts, namely Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. This is not only well researched it is really well written and a joy to read. It manages to combine the modern with the old, the foreign with the local and all told with a real ear and flair for language. This is a book that you need on your bookshelf.