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Monday, 27 April 2020

APROPOS OF NOTHING #10 - 27 APRIL 2000 - ALAN LOTHIAN IN BAIKONUR HAVING FORGOTTEN TO PACK SOME THINGS

Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. 

joecushnan@aol.com & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 


This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.


Apropos of Nothing #10 – 27 April 2000


Alan Lothian, a Scottish writer working for the European Space Agency gave an unofficial glimpse into his mission to Baikonur, Kazakhstan, site of Russia’s space launch facility.  When packing luggage, he forgot some essentials.

Land at Baikonur, which turns out to be about 5,000 sq km of industrial wasteland set like a jewel amidst about five billion sq km of ballsachingly flat, boring and frequently radioactive Kazakh steppe.  Stagger out of plane into icy wind and whimper with regret for forgotten coat.

Wind penetrates ribs as climb stairway to stars on nearby launch gantry, reached by way of rickety steel plates over weeping stained puddles. Regret absence of sturdy boots.

So, retire as potential hypothermia case to bus and bottle of whisky self has wisely secreted in baggage.  At least did not forget the whisky.”



Sources: Private Correspondence; 
The Traveller’s Handbook/Fergus Fleming/Atlantic Books/2012

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