Twelve Suppurating Scabs Do Not a Leper Make

Monday 17th June, 13:02
I haven’t quite figured out how, but I seem to have contracted leprosy. Consequently, I’m in quite a lot of pain. Mmmmm, pain.

We started digging around the olives today in heat that was anything between 80 and 150 degrees Celsius. I had to wear long trousers because in the past couple of days, as I say, my legs have come up like the acne-scarred face of a teenage leper.

There is a lady here who does reiki and massage and knows a thing or two about healing. Let’s call her Beryl. A nice Italian name. Beryl reckons I am allergic to something in the olive groves, and exposure to the sun has turned an ordinary allergic rash into a foul congregation of blisters. She gave me some aloe vera gel and I have promised to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day. I am very happy to stay out of the sun for the rest of the day, as I have some computer work to do, which I am about to start. The difficulty – although this, I hope, will be no reflection on the work – will be staying awake for the rest of the afternoon.


I managed about three hours of work, and two of sleep. Or vice versa.

Now to return to my legs, which I fear I must. If you would like to see pictorial evidence of my wholly unexaggerated claims, you are in luck. For I have a camera. And I’m not afraid to use it. In fact, I took it out onto the olive groves on the first morning and do you know what I did? … I lost it.

An hour or two later … I found it. It was in the olive groves.

Then I lost my Opinel knife with the curved blade. Which – sadly – is still in the olive groves. That knife was essential for cutting away the old wool-ties. Fortunately, Cyrus gave me another knife for my birthday just before I came away. It isn’t curved like the one I lost, and it isn’t very sharp, or new, or particularly pretty. But it was a gift, goddammit, and gifts are, by their very nature, beautiful things.

Speaking of beautiful things, let us put off the inevitable no longer…



It actually looks pretty tame, I know. I missed the worst of it I’m afraid. On the pus-side – I mean the plus-side, there are only seven or eight of these patches of intense irritation spread across both of my legs, and since I started wearing long pants in the fields, there is no evidence of new incidence.

Also, I just did a Google image search for leprosy. And now I am counting my blessings.


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I am Karl Webster. I wrote these words. If you liked them, you'll be overjoyed to know that there are plenty more where they came from. So you should definitely sign up to my newsletter if you haven't already.

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