‘Homo Conscius’ by: Timothy Balding 'Laced with acidic wit, delivered in stunningly elegant prose ... a great novel' - newlondonwriters.com - BUY BOOK
The Book
Half-drunk on the operating table as an indifferent surgeon cuts a hole in his wrist, Victor Andrews contemplates his impending death with dread and sorrow.

The Author
I guess that no one writes for a single reason. I had many motives. Above all, perhaps, to try and slow down, or even suspend, the passage of time. Writing a good, honest, true sentence, or paragraph, page, chapter, produces this inexplicable sense that you have somehow gained – even briefly – the upper hand in the struggle against your mortality...
The Forum
I could have called this a ‘blog’, but I loathe the word, which conjures up stinking, mud-filled swamps. And as for ‘blogger’, I need only cite the mischievous definition in the Urban Dictionary: ‘Term used to describe anyone with enough time or narcissism to document every tedious bit of minutia filling their uneventful lives’.
About author
Timothy Balding
Style: Novel

Born in 1954 in London of mixed Scottish and English parentage, I grew up and was educated on a British military base in Germany. I left school and my family at the age of sixteen to return alone to the United Kingdom, where I was hired as a reporter on local newspapers in Reading in the county of Berkshire. For the ensuing decade, I worked on local and regional titles and then at Press Association, the national news agency, covering politics in Westminster, the British Parliament…



The Torture of Words

Life was often torture for those who, like Victor, lived by words. He was addicted to them. There must already be a medical appellation for this condition, he thought, in our age so anxious to establish that everyone is, in one way or another, sick in the head; he’d have to check.
Perhaps the worst aspect of the addiction was a compulsion to read absolutely everything. The back of his breakfast cereal packets, the warning notices in aspirin boxes (which he found quite chilling), the promotional offers in supermarkets, the menu card of every restaurant he encountered on his walks, the words on T-shirts worn by people in the street (he would even turn to check their backs), the stupid ‘ticker’ information on TV news channels which prevented one concentrating on the programmes—virtually any and every word and text that passed in front of his eyes, in fact.


Was the Country A Fuckodrome?

All this talk of bollocks … Victor smiled to himself. It’s
true I have a bit of an itch this morning. Unlike men, who
would obligingly drop their underpants for anyone, anywhere,
anytime, he had learned that the majority of women had to be approached on the matter with a degree of delicacy, particularly in the early days of a relationship. In time this would all pass into social history, he supposed,
but an awful lot of women, particularly in his age group,
still possessed a set of neurons which told them that they
shouldn’t appear ‘easy’ or too ‘willing’ in the matter. If he
believed the women’s magazines, which he liked to read in
doctors waiting rooms, such reflexes and principles were
fast becoming redundant and new generations of lustful
young ladies were emerging who would lunge randily at
anything wearing trousers, without invitation or sentiment.
He hadn’t noticed it personally, but if it was true, he
couldn’t see what could possibly prevent the country from
becoming a giant fuckodrome. If it wasn’t one already, unbeknown to him.

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