Monday, 23 July 2018

On the mend

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Anthony Peters responds to many acts of kindness after his accident.

Friends and readers, as some of you might be aware, the reason for my absence over the past week has been the result of a chance encounter between myself and about two and a half litres of super-heated and burning olive oil. I won’t go into the gory details but whatever recipe I might have had in mind for flash-frying myself, I shall be neither passing it on or attempting to repeat it.

I was, at the time of the accident, at home alone but fortunately had the presence of mind to call the emergency services. I was carted off with blue flashing lights and ended up in the intensive care ward of the NHS hospital at Stoke Mandeville which is reputed to have one this country’s finest specialist burns units.

Thanks to the extreme kindness of strangers, I now find myself released from the confines of Stoke Mandeville and recuperating at the house of my sister, a one-woman army, where I shall stay until enough of the fire-damage to my own home has been repaired for me to return.

While lying in intensive care with more pipes running in and out of me than an oil refinery, I wondered whether all this might not one day be seen by my readers as a rather extreme measure by which to escape having to write yet another column on the shenanigans surrounding you know what. I was in fact rather ticked when I subsequently espied the Alex cartoon which had appeared in the Telegraph on July 9th. In it, Alex is having tincture with a blogger called Richard. They are talking about the correction in Chinese equities – it is even now still only a rout for those who bought either close to or at the top – when Alex suggests “Any excuse not to have to churn out another piece entitled “48 hours to save the Euro”..?” to which Richard replies “Quite. There are only so many times one can pontificate on Greece until something actually happens”

Any similarity to conversations which might have taken place at the “Teenage Scribblers’ Lunch” which I had attended with a few select columnists such as myself and with Russell Taylor, MBE, the writing genius behind Alex on the Friday before my mishap was surely entirely coincidental.

It will be some time until I am “whole” again and markets will have to take a back-seat to my recovery. Nevertheless, beware, I’ll be watching you.

To those amongst you who know what has befallen me, I would like to offer thanks for expressions of concern, sympathy and support.

I have been humbled by the seamless care in the NHS from the senior consultant and lead surgeon down to the lowest dog’s body. I have been staggered by the texts and emails which I have from people whom I have never met but who knew something was wrong when my daily musings went absent without leave. I am faced with a mountain of cards of well-wishing. My finger are working but my hands are not so opening them should, this morning, be tantamount to a two-hour work-out and fun to watch.

I was especially happy to find that the highest ethics of journalism are still intact as I have, from my editor at the IFR, received the get-well gift of a bottle of whisky. It takes one to know one.

I should like to thank Bill Blain of Mint Partners who sits on the same wee mound as myself from where we look, askance, at the events in markets and the actions and omissions of those who believe themselves to be in control for using his own blog to let markets know of my predicament and thanks to all those who picked it up and who sent me greetings through him.

Finally, my thanks to Harry Wilson of The Times for calling me while flat on my back in hospital doing my best Nikki Lauda impression, picking my brain on Brevan Howard’s apparent collapsing of tents in Geneva and condensing my drugged-up ramblings to “Geneva always has been boring”.

Very, very finally and most of all, thanks to the partnership at SwissInvest for not having offered my desk out to anybody else yet.

So there we are. I have been unfathomably lucky that things have not been worse. They really could have been a mess. In the words of one dear friend:

“You’re lucky that you have come out of this with the full use your eyes, ears and nose and we’ll just have to live with you still having your mouth….”


Alas, it is that time of the week and all that remains is for me to wish you and yours a very happy and peaceful week-end. This weekend brings the Aussies in the 2nd Test at Lord’s, Britain playing France in the quarters of the Davis Cup at Queens and The Open at St Andrews…..and while you’re doing the garden I have all the excuses to sit indoors and watch it on the TV.

I vill be beck…..

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