Bad News Update 3

I won’t be posting any more updates about the prostate cancer on my blog. I’ve realised, from talking to others, that many people feel embarrassed to talk about their problems in public. I have no such feelings: I didn’t want or ask for cancer and I see no shame in the problems I am having during my – admittedly very simple – treatment for the condition. Had I opted for radiation therapy or chemotherapy I would doubtless feel a lot worse and have far more ‘interesting’ stories to tell. However, even something as simple as a Radical Prostatectomy has its drawbacks and I decided that I would document my experiences and feelings so that others in the same position would have some sort of reference if they felt that they needed it.

Consequently, I have written a long and fairly detailed account of my operation and its aftermath, which can be found on the menu to the left on the main page entitled ‘Me and My Radical Prostatectomy’. If you know anybody who is having or has had the same procedure and is wondering if their recovery is standard or odd, I would be grateful if you could point them in the direction of the page, and if they want to contact me privately to compare experiences tell them to use my email address. However, remind them that experiences vary from person to person and I am not a medical practitioner, just a poor sucker that’s been through it!

Bad News Update 2

First of all, let me say a quick thank you to all of the people who have sent messages of support regarding my illness. It has been very, very much appreciated. I didn’t know so many people read my blog!

My most recent news is that I went into Sheffield Hallamshire Hospital on Friday 7 March for a “Robotic Radical Prostatectomy”. Although I was due out on Saturday, typically there were complications and I was kept in until Monday. However, I am now back home and slowly recovering from my ‘ordeal’. The incisions appear to be healing nicely and hopefully on Monday (17 March) the staples will be removed – which will be a relief: the whole area itches like crazy.

At present I have only two reasons for complaining. One is that I tire very easily, which is why at the moment I am only allowed on the computer for short periods, usually no longer than four minutes (though typing this has taken much longer – I’m going to be in trouble with Jo!)

The second is easy to understand for all men. Tubes should not go there. They simply shouldn’t! When I am walking I look like a 90-year-old man with bladder problems! And it has to be left in for a fortnight. Two weeks! Fourteen days!! Will this torment never end?

Yes, alright, “it will end after fourteen days”. I know that. It’s just that as far as I am concerned that’s a very, very long time in the future …

Website Warning 2

Hello all,

I have just had it brought to my attention that there is a page entitled: “Tubidy harika müzik dinleme ve indirme sitesi” on the site.

I would like to point out that it has nothing to do with me and that so far I have been unable to delete it. Hopefully, this will be fixed soon. In the meantime, I would advise readers NOT to look at this page or click any links displayed: I have no idea about the purpose of this post.

Website Warning: Beware of Spambots

Hi all. After posting the last page I’ve noticed that I still have a small problem with the site. Recently it was invaded by what I think is a spambot – though with my limited knowledge I could be wrong. Until it is completely fixed please be aware that any link called

canli radyo dinle

or similar was not put on the site with my consent and I will NOT be held responsible for anything that happens should you click on the link and be taken to a “bad” website.

Especially if it leads to ‘adult only’ content!

(I don’t know where the link leads, as I refuse to click it myself! Yes, I am a coward … ;) )

Bad News Update ….

Just to let everybody who’s interested know, I now have the date for my operation: 7 March 2014. This means that in less than two weeks I’ll probably be out of circulation for a while, except for sporadic visits, as I don’t know what effect the op will have: will I be fighting fit after it, or will I be bedridden? I simply don’t know, but I’m hoping for the former.

In the meantime, I’ve now started on the ‘rule’ of Odovacar and have decided to finish with his death, so the book will include the end of the ‘Kingdom of Soissons’ as well as the ‘Fall of the West’. The book was originally due in to the publishers at the end of March, so I have some time left before even the original due date. Having said that, I’m hoping that it will be finished before the start of the school summer holidays in mid-July. Otherwise, the holidays might not be good!

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their positive comments and best wishes. I have been overwhelmed by the number of people who have taken time out to either post messages or send me personal emails. Thank you all very much.

Bad News

Firstly, let me apologize for the length of time between the last post and this one.  I was hoping to maintain a higher profile than has been accomplished.  On the other hand, I believe that I have a good reason for my recent laxity – and for keeping this post short.

Sadly, shortly before Christmas I was diagnosed with Prostrate Cancer, after which I was sent for tests to determine what action to take next.

Click here to read more »

Illness and Guesswork

Sorry about the delay in posting any new blog entries, but I’ve been ill.  (It’s alright:  nothing major!)  That, plus the fact that I’m still desperately trying to catch up with writing after the need to take on ‘external’ work to pay the bills, hopefully explains why I haven’t been here for a short while.

(In case you’re interested, the attempt to re-take Africa in 468 has just failed and I’m about to start on the ensuing Civil War!) Click here to read more »

Tempus Fugit

Anniversaries, birthdays and other such occasions are usually seen as celebrations of milestones successfully reached.  People are allowed to reminisce about the past year, smiling at the things that went well and feeling sad at the things that went badly, but always with an eye to the year ahead and how their life WILL improve.

I have reached such a milestone, although it isn’t a birthday – far too many of them have passed for me to feel nostalgia about birthdays any more! Click here to read more »

Desperta Ferro

Hi all

First let me apologize for my absence recently: this has been simply due to the high work load.  First, I was copyediting and drawing maps – after all, a man’s got to live! – and I have only recently begun work on ‘Patricians’. Sadly, this too has now been delayed, although this time there is a good reason for the said interruption:  I am proofreading ‘Valentinian and Valens’.  The book is advertised as appearing “in all good bookshops” from 30 August, so I suppose I must get on with the job … Click here to read more »

Obvious, Isn’t It?

In an earlier entry I put down my thoughts on one of the major problems faced by historians: whether to use a chronological or thematic approach (

There are others. For example, when at university we were taught that there was a division between historians based upon their political belief or, obviously, upon their personal interests. As a result, we have ‘Marxist’ history, ‘Psychohistory’, ‘Economic’ history, ‘Gender’ history, ‘Military’ history, and even attempts at ‘Postmodernism’.

Click here to read more »