At 16.00 Today I Was 22


Organising my air ticket back to London, via Turkey. Although I live in the UK, it is much cheaper to buy tickets as returns from the Ghanaian end. But because of the prevalence of fraud, you can’t buy a ticket over the internet starting from West Africa. So my long suffering Ghanaian PA has had a complex task working out from the airlines the best way to fly Accra/Izmir/London/Accra.

The answer turns out to be Lufthansa, and Accra/Frankfurt/Munich/Izmir/Munich/London/Accra, all of which in business class comes to a surprisingly cheap US $3,560. I know this arouses sceptical smiles, but I have to fly business class because of my episode of pulmonary emboli. The doctors say that I should in fact fly business class and with an oxygen mask, but it’s not a good look.

My itinerary in Turkey is being organised by IHH, the Turkish charity that sent the Mavi Marmara. I am donatiing all my royalties from the Turkish language edition of Murder in Samarkand to IHH. I am not receiving any payment at all for this lecture tour to Turkey and am paying my own travel expenses, staying with kind Turkish friends. I give this detail because, if I am going to do this 16.00 posting, I think you need to know how my life works to put it in context.


22 thoughts on “At 16.00 Today I Was

  • Paul Johnston

    Curious and will understand if you don't wish to comment but how likely is a recurrence.
    Paul

    • Suhaylsaadi

      Some people who have had a PTE/DVT take subcutaneous heparin (another anticoagulant) before all flights as a prophylactic measure; this can be self-administered, as well as wearing TED stockings or similar. Yeah, I agree with Catherine, if they say you'd be safer using O2, use O2. You can always irritate your fellow-passengers by jogging up and down the aisle singing Elton John songs all the way! Or better still, Erkin Koray songs! Just say it's on medical advice. Drink extra WATER, avoid alcohol (it dehydrates one, esp. on planes), walk, walk, walk… stay well, man.

  • Suhaylsaadi

    I am in awe, Craig, at your incredibly generosity with your time, talents, spirit and resources. Please take care of yourself on these journeys – and have a fruitful time, as I'm sure you do/will!!

  • Catherine

    To hell with the look. If it keeps you safer, wear the damned mask! Decorate it with scarves or icons, or whatever.

    Good event in Turkey. Will you meet the families of the Mavi Marmara sailors and martyrs?

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Crongatulations Craig – and I sincerely hope that you win.

    Here is some food for thought if you have not watched it before. I think that it has great relevance to Libya – the media – and accurate information for the public.

  • subrosa

    Craig, it never crossed my mind you were a vain person. Wear an oxygen mask if that's what your specialists advise.

    I'm commenting from ignoring similar advice.

    • Craig_Murray

      Thanks. It's a special kind of vanity – not showing weakness. Between you and a comment on the last thread by someone called Derek, it got me thinking. There are several, quite true, episodes in my books where I act with reckless "courage" in very dangerous situations. Now I am older, I feel that so much of what I have done consists of trying to live up to the expectations of a working class Scottish father born in 1930. If you cried or ran away, you were in for it. He taught me, quite literally, that John Wayne should be my role mode, and seemed throughout my childhood very disappointed in a weak, bookish son. So I ended up on this lifelong quest to show I am not a wimp.

      • Suhaylsaadi

        Yes, Scottish Presbyterianism has much to answer for – both good and bad! Robert Burns and Lord Byron were both brought up in that way – and look what happened to them! So, Craig, ask Johns Calvin and Knox to take a little tranquilliser for the duration of the flight… and quietly, as though it were an exotic flower, slip on your oxygen mask. Think, perhaps, of Dennis Hopper in 'Blue Velvet' and instead of the cabin crew, you will find that you are being served by

        MISSES DOYLE FROM FATHER TED: "CUPPA TEA, FATHER? GO ON, FATHER, HAVE A NICE, WARM, MILKY CUP OF TEA, THERE YE GO…"

  • Suhaylsaadi

    The risk is greater than in someone who'd never had PTE (pulmonary thromboembolus) but difficult to quantify. If someone's a smoker, overweight, etc. and has had a PTE, the risk of recurrence rises even more. After one episode, unless there is a blood coagulation disorder, people are on anticoagulants for 6 months. If someone gets a second one, they would need to be on lifelong anticoagulation (the 'rat poison', warfarin, or else the newer ones). I'm not an expert in that field, though. In your book, Craig, one sensed that there might have been a hint – or at least the matter was left open to speculation – of malevolent causation in relation to the PTE you had. Do you think someone got Vitamin K (normally widely used as antidote to bleeding disorders because it's a clotting agent) into your body somehow, through oral ingestion (i.e. poisoning), perhaps? Of course, in cases of many PTEs and DVTs no underlying internal cause is discovered, so it doesn't necessarily mean that it was an assassination attempt – it might simply have been bad luck.

    • Craig_Murray

      St Thomas' Hospital definitely suspected foul play – not on anything I said, I was in a coma – but every toxicology test came up negative. I don't think we will ever know.

  • Hatari

    Good on you Craig, your generosity and compassion for IHH and the victims of Israeli Massacre on the Mavi Marmara shames the EEC and Nato none of them could even murmur a whimper of disapproval to Israel. Why is the Turkey so schizophrenic as to be in Nato? It hasn’t bought them zilch especially when their ship was attacked by Israel. They can not get in to their heads that they are a second class member and Israel is a first class privileged member of EEC and Nato in everything but name.

  • Hatari

    Good on you Craig, your generosity and compassion for IHH and the victims of Israeli Massacre on the Mavi Marmara shames the EEC and Nato none of them could even murmur a whimper of disapproval to Israel. Why is the Turkey so schizophrenic as to be in Nato? It hasn’t bought them zilch especially when their ship was attacked by Israel. They can not get in to their heads that they are a second class member and Israel is a first class privileged member of EEC and Nato in everything but name. ____

  • ingo

    Godd on you for waving the fees, I very much hope that you enjoyed Lufthansa's service and stewardesses.

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