This Game of Ghosts...

Its been a bad week in European GUCH circles, in fact its been a bad year... Too many of the people I've come to hold dear have died.

This Game of Ghosts is the sequel to Touching the Void, where Joe Simpson moves on from mountaineering for a while to take up equally dangerous sports - like long distance hang-gliding... I first read it about after another period of time where GUCHs died in a cluster and the thought struck me that in sometimes the thought processes are the same, the need to get away from it all balanced by the need to be close to those we care about and can provide us with the support we need.

The big difference is that I have no choice to do the GUCH thing, I'm not prone to wondering about alternate universes where I'm not one or how I'd be. Being a GUCH is a fact of my life, like having brown hair... Just a tad more annoying, inconvenient and dangerous.

Some people ask why life is unfair, especially at times like this. Life is unfair, its unfair that off the estimated 1,000,000 GUCHs in Europe so few got to meet Charlie or Ad, or Shelagh, or Neil or any of the others we've lost.

To be part of this community means that you are going to make friends, and met people you don't like, who share only 1 thing in common with you - the heart condition. But from 1 thing in common a lot can happen, friendships that last decades, love affairs, marriages, even children... and a shared feeling of loss when one of ours dies.

There's no triumphal or upbeat ending to this blog, apart from this my generation of GUCHs are the product of 30-40 year old technology, approaches and techniques... We're in many ways the 1st generation of us that exists, so I hope that the next generation have less of these weeks, months and years...

Oh, and the Game of Ghosts...

I'll go with you, then,
Since you must play this game of ghosts. At listening posts
We'll peer across dim craters, joke with jaded men
whose names we've long forgotten
- Sassoon "To the one who was in the war with me"




  1. I'm so sorry Paul. Thinking of you, of the families, and, selfishly, of what the future may hold for my own child as she approaches life as a GUCH. I hope she leads as a full a life as Charlie and makes as many good friends.

    Jackie x


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