As far as feats of bravery go, walking onto a stage in front of a lot of people, shaking hands with Sanjeev Bhaskar and the Vice Chancellor and walking off again cannot really compete with other amputees’ conquering of wild places, alien environments and inner demons. I had spent the weeks preceding the ceremony feeling sick with dread every time I imagined myself catching my stick in the sleeve of my gown or stumbling over my foot and having to be hauled up from the floor by a flustered academic. So as I made my way back to my seat having avoided trip hazards and public humiliation, this felt as significant an achievement as the actual doctorate I had been awarded. So now for the foothills of the Himalayas then Britain’s Got Talent. Not.

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