Tag Archives: Chernobyl

I dreamt last night of a green gash…

My mouth with a cough sweet in it.

I am still coughing in the night and I must have woken myself up again, because I remember I dreamt last night about being in a car in a city. I had just arrived by plane. The car was driving through the streets and there was a strange horizontal glowing gash in the sky, like a horizontal slash with an intense dark green inside it.

A vertical column of various cloudy greys – whooshed up from among the buildings to join the green gash.

And then, looking over, I saw between high buildings, the top of another tall building falling at 45 degrees; it was toppling over. It had a pyramidal top, like the Canary Wharf tower in London, but I was not in London; I was abroad somewhere.

It was not a nightmare, just a dream.

“Oh, that’s interesting,” I thought.

In a couple of weeks, I am probably going to Kiev for the weekend, to attend a Burns Supper on 31st March, despite the fact Burns Night is 25th January.

Kiev is 62 miles south of Chernobyl.

I drove to Greenwich last night and passed through the Blackwall Tunnel with the Canary Wharf tower’s pyramidal top flashing its white light in the night.

I don’t know which is stranger – the way the mind twists reality into surreality or the fact that a Burns Night is being held in Kiev on 31st March.

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The fickle finger of fate, fame and mortality, featuring comedy, cancer, Libyans and a nuclear explosion

Yesterday I had tea in London with David Kirk Traylor. widely known for his character Mr Zed

Born in the US, he has lived in Rome for many years. He has starred in eight television series, seen in 35 countries worldwide. He has done command performances for the Pope and the President of the United States and had a top 40 hit record in Europe. He has dubbed and voiced literally hundreds of films, cartoons, CD ROMs and computer & arcade games including an Indiana Jones game for Lucas Arts. His success became such an international phenomenon that he was the subject of a special report on CNN. I booked him on Jack Dee’s Saturday Night on peaktime ITV in 1996, yet he remains ‘unknown’ in the UK.

So it goes.

He told me two of his friends died of cancer around 25 years ago. Their cancer was caused by the radiation cloud from the 1986 nuclear explosion at Chernobyl. The radiation cloud was blown over Rome and they died about a year later. The Italian government lied about the cloud and no-one knew the danger. Several hundred people are thought to have died.

So it goes.

I remember reading about a man who was mending his bicycle in his living room just before Christmas 1988. He lived in a small, quiet Scottish town I knew slightly when I was growing up because, when I was a child, my parents had friends who lived there. The man who was mending his bike died in his living room and neither he nor his house were seen again. Nor the bicycle. They disintegrated. Nothing was left of them. A jumbo jet fell on them. They lived in Lockerbie.

So it goes.

The then-apartheid South African foreign minister Pik Botha was supposed to be on the jumbo jet, but got an earlier flight.

The Four Tops singing group had been due to fly on the jumbo jet, but had been late getting out of a recording session and overslept.

Johnny Rotten, formerly of the Sex Pistols, had been due to fly on the jumbo jet, but missed the flight.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, convicted in 2001 of bombing the jumbo jet in 1988, was released from his Scots prison in 2009 because he had terminal cancer and had about three months to live. He returned to Libya to die. He is still alive now, in 2011.

BBC TV News has just reported that Human Rights Watch claim, in the last week in Libya, at least 233 people have died in the ongoing demonstrations.

So it goes.

A friend of mine, whom I have known for 36 years, now has cancer.

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Filed under Comedy, Health, History, Television