Dying is easy, it’s living that scares me to death“, says Annie Lennox , who isn’t currently dying quickly or elegantly compared to anyone else as far as I know anyway. “Dying is easy, it’s paying for it that’s scary for your family“, says the insurance salesman that everyone avoids. “Dying is easy, it’s the termination of the individual unity of consciousness that represents the ‘soul’ and signifies you as an individual that is difficult” says Schopenhauer because someone always has to come along and put a heavy on it. But he believed that each day is a life and that falling asleep is the equivalent of dying. Life in a day.

It was the last day of radiotherapy today (Fri Jun 30) and I’d already asked if it would be OK if I took the head mask thingy home with me. “Of course“, they replied. They’ve been asked this one before. “A ritual burning ceremony in the garden maybe? Or, perhaps just a simple wall mounting?” I muttered something about consulting the artist daughter before action any action. You can only stand and admire the built-in natural Art sensibility of the NHS. The Irish healthcare equivalent is just bland Americana by comparison – a derivative driven by corporate insurance policies. No life, no soul, no party. One NHS WBRT happy meal please. No problem, do you want Feng Shui with that or are you OK with just Hygge?

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But come here to me now, isn’t it a great likeness of me don’t you think? You can see the Mother’s side of the family and especially them first cousins in Boston who worked as cops and who never did make it back to Connemara not even for a short stay even though they swore they would at least a hundred times when there was a drop of drink in them and sure anyway isn’t it only a small world and a short hop these days?

Back in the day I promised I’d try to give you a glimpse or two into Death and Dying on these pages. This is my death mask. Slip into one of these and you’re not coming back. A one-way ticket. Just make sure you drag out the journey. Take the stopping train and the tourist route. Admire the scenery.

So red rover, red rover you can call cancer over but all it has to do is bide time. Your body will get weaker. This is why there is no “it” to it to fight. John McCain is advised to fight his brain cancer “Cancer doesn‘t know what it’s up against” – just wrong. I don’t want to be alarmist now but it is beginning to look grim.

It is time for calm. Focus on stuff that’s harder to get is better. When you need to make an effort to get it. You have to be there for it, not the other way round. A Yorkshire curd tart is improved by the realisation that York and Micklegate in particular are perfect and that the Holy Trinity church offers the best Gothic image you could possibly need or find on a bright chilly October afternoon just before twilight. Collect enough and you have life points.

It is best to avoid false hope. Is it a theft to harbour false hope? What about taking money for private treatment in those clinics which offer immunotherapy with a 100% success rate? And crowd funding? Even miracles have a ‘best before’ date. Use by, before you die.

Maybe you need lots of Friluftsliv from Daggfrisk to ensure Lagom. Maybe you need Ikigai. The Irish only have Cluthar which is the word for cosy.

That will be enough.

For me the important thing is to extract all the pleasure that is going. One of my favourite quotes comes from Sir David Scott via the gardening writer Christopher Lloyd: “The best time to drink champagne is at 11 o’clock on a Sunday morning when everybody else is in Church.