For some months now I’ve had a patch of sore skin on my left elbow. It’s sort of rough and tender and gets a bit scaly from time to time. My wife suggested that maybe it was a part of me that got extra dry and that I should start moisturising it. Of course, I never did. Not through any particular reluctance to use moisturiser. Rather through pure male laziness, where thoughts of moisturiser just don’t enter my head, even during my time in the bathroom.

But this morning I had a revelation. A moment of realisation. “Eureka!” I cried. Actually, I didn’t cry eureka at all. I kinda went, “Oooooh, that’s what it is.”

I realised today that I always sit a certain way. I have this cool office chair – it’s leather and it swivels and leans back and all that stuff. It makes me feel very important. It also has these hard plastic arms with a rough, stippled finish. And I always sit back with my right hand on the mouse while leaning heavily on my left elbow when I’m reading online. And I read a lot online. That heavy leaning has been slowly but surely rubbing against my elbow and eventually led to that ongoing rough and sore patch of skin.

So now I have to decide whether or not to wear elbow patches while I’m working. Or perhaps I could cover the arms of the chair in something soft and caring, perhaps the smooth hide of a young deer stretched over lamb’s wool. I know better than to think I can stop the leaning habit.

I regularly stretch and move around, often get up and do some exercise in between long writing and reading sessions, yet every time I sit back down I unwittingly abuse my left elbow.

There’s nothing else for it. I’m off to hunt down and skin a fawn.


This is the chair in question. Notice Penry lying outside the door. That face says, “Dude, why are you photographing your chair? Take me to the beach already.”

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