I think I can safely say I'm on the road to recovery, back-wise. It's hard, though, for people to understand this is a bit more than 'a bit of a bad back'. We're not talking a bit of an ache while you're sitting at a desk or lifting up the shopping, we're talking something akin to a heated dagger being inserted with brute force into your spinal column. We're talking nasty.

When I say 'on the road to recovery', I mean I got to the pub on Saturday (with typical irony, the same Saturday a lot of people were in Belfast for Mecon, the con I was supposed to be at that weekend), but still spent half the night lying on my back when the pain of sitting up became too much. But I got out. This doesn't mean my social life is going to become once again a dizzy whirl, it means I can start on a very careful once a week trip out of the south side, and very, very slowly build up to normal. At the beginning of June I figured I'd be okay by mid-July: wildly optimistic. I'll now cautiously say I'll be hopefully most of the way back to normal by, oh, the beginning of October.

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