Archive for December, 2012

I’m sure everyone you know on Facebook or Twitter is doing something like this, but I thought that I would jump on the bandwagon and have a go.

2012 has been a odd but very good year for me. And there is one reason for this: All of the support that I have got from my friends, both old and new, and those around me. Really, this year could have gone a very different way without you all.

I started the year having just about come back to a normal colour. All my jaundice had left me and I was an amazing 11.5 stone.

I want to put this into context. I haven’t been 11.5 stone since before I was 11.5 years old. I have always been a ‘big lad’, ‘built for rugby’ and ‘a little chubby’.

That’s not to say that I didn’t carry it very well, but for me, being 11.5 stone was shocking.

At the beginning of the year I had just started to return to work. I was planning to work my way up from 1 day per week all the way to full time again. This was the plan.

However, this never quite happened. I got to 3 days a week and found that every time I tried to go up to 4 days per week, I just couldn’t do it. The tiredness would come back and the yellow would start appearing at the edge of my eyes again.

This is a pattern that would follow me through the year. Whereas now I can, maybe, at a push work one full week, I will pay for that the week after.

This is just a lovely reminder that while I am ‘better’ I am not ‘well’. There is damage to my liver and I am not quite a whole person.

But it was while I was panicking about what would happen in my job if I couldn’t make it back full-time, I received a phonecall from someone I knew through the electric car world. Offering me a job! They were happy for me to work 3 days a week and I got to work in the charity sector helping the adoption of something I firmly believe will help us all.


On my two days off per week, I had my side projects. These are the ‘Mark Fun Things’ which I hope that one day will turn into ‘Mark gets paid for’ things.

I showran and produced a second series of Supermarket Matters, my online audio sitcom.

This had it’s ups and downs but as always I loved every minute. I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who helped with this, from the people who supported our funding campaign, to those who we’re involved in some aspect of its creation to those who listen to it.

I owe you all more than I can express here! Thank you so much.

The production company I set up, In Ear Entertainment, that Supermarket Matters is released under, also started work on a couple more projects.

0D Cinema is an evening in a Theatre in Cheltenham where you will be treated to a Science Fiction Double Feature. This will take place in the Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham in March next year and I am writing the two scripts for this.

Also, the Shakespeare’s Sonnets podcast was started. A good friend and I are going through each of the Sonnets and looking at them from an non-academic view point. It is great fun and very funny. We are getting up a fair following, so give it a listen if you haven’t.

There are also three other projects that have been being planned but aren’t quite ready for public release yet. But do stay tuned.

Along side this I was asked to stand in and co-host a weekly video podcast on Electric Cars. Transport Evolved really is the news show for electric car news. I hope that I have been received well as a co-host. I know that I enjoy doing it.

Finally, I have been writing a weekly (ish) column on geeky TV on sidekickcast.com for the past couple of months. This has allowed me to rant about such things as why Amy is a horrible companion in Doctor Who and what geeky TV shows you are missing out on.

And, maybe the scariest thing I have started this year: Stand up. Yes. I get up on stage and I make people laugh. At least, I try to. And from what I can tell, I’m not too bad.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m no TV comic. But I can hold my own, it seems. This has had a huge effect on my writing. If you are a comedy writer, do get up on stage and try it. It will teach you more about joke construction in 10 minutes than scriptwriting does in a year.

I’ve missed things out here: A few articles I’ve had published, a script of two I have written just for fun and most importantly, all of the plans I have for 2013. You’ll just have to wait for them.

As I said, I have all my wonderful friends to thank for the above. Without your understanding and help I would not have been able to achieve any of them.

In terms of my health, my itching has gone – which is nothing short of a blessing. You have not experienced itching until you can’t feel a pen you are holding in your hands because the itching coming from them is blocking out all other input. That is itching.

But it’s gone now! Wooo!

I still get tired, as I mentioned, and every now and then I will lose my appetite for a week or so. This is, I believe, infections in my bile ducts.

I can cope with all of this.

But what I am sure you are all aware of as the worst part of my illness is the pain. This is something that would only happen for a day or two each month at the beginning of this year. Now, and over the past couple of months, it has been constant. I have to take painkillers every night, and while I try to make light of it, it hurts. A lot.

This is where the ‘Ask Mark Anything’ comes from on Twitter and Facebook and why sometimes I will chat rubbish at all of you. I am trying to distract myself. So, thank you for putting up for this.

The worst part of the pain is that I am so worried that I will become addicted to painkillers. That really scares me.

2012 really has been about getting my life back. I am now in a position where I feel I am getting back on track now. And this is due to you. If you are reading this, and have made it this far, you are undoubtable one of the people who I have relied on.

Honestly, I couldn’t have done this without you. You rule.

It may be soppy, and not the done thing, but I love you. Every now and then a friend will talk openly and honestly about what they were thinking when I was ill and I am so glad you were there but I am so sorry I scared you all like that.

I’ll try to avoid doing it again.



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