The elephant didn't get me, but I'm worried: Now Peter Rosengard is not paranoid, but he's left-handed, he's the same age as Bill Clinton, and he keeps having these narrow escapes

MY WEEKEND cottage is in deepest Sussex, just up the road from the sleepy village of Wadhurst, where this month a couple were shot to death in their home. ('It looks like the work of a professional hitman,' the local police chief commented.) The other night I was just turning into my drive when I heard Alistair Cooke on the radio saying: 'Sleeping causes heart attacks, according to a new American survey. So rest but don't sleep. Good night'. I woke up at 2.17am, 3.23am, 4.47am and 6.18am.

I went downstairs and picked up the Independent by the door with my left hand as usual. The headline said: 'Left-handers die earlier than right handers'. I think they're out to get me.

I have just returned from India after a six-week trip to the subcontinent, and I read in the newspaper that a man in Nepal has been electrocuted while answering his phone. I must have made dozens of phone calls all over the place. I could have been killed] The telecommunications manager was quoted as saying: 'We know a lot of people have been getting electric shocks from their phones for a long time, but this is the first death that has been reported to us.' That's OK then.

While we were there we were charged by an elephant. I didn't see it coming because I was in the back of the Suzuki jeep bent over my tiny Sony nine-band radio trying to find the BBC World Service news. The lodge director, Col John Wakefield, ex-Indian army, ex-white hunter, told it to stop where it was, and it did. Another close escape, I thought. Just my luck to be killed by an elephant while listening to the six o'clock news on the BBC in the middle of an Indian jungle. I was only listening to it because we'd been driving round the jungle for two hours and the only wild animal I'd seen was a kingfisher.

We ended the trip in Goa. The first day there I walked along the beach for a cold drink at the 21 Coconuts beach bar. I was just in time to see Dietmar, the bar owner, being cremated next to the bar. Now, over the years I've spent lots of of time thinking about whether I'd rather be buried or cremated, but I've never been able to make up my mind until now. I definitely want to be cremated, Hindu-style on the beach in Goa.

Palm trees, the sound of the surf hitting the sand, rose petals, sitar music, blonde mourners in bikinis, a bag of logs, a couple of cans of ghee oil, a box of matches and you're away. That's the death for me. Who needs Golders Green Crematorium?

Dietmar was a 49-year-old German who'd come out to Goa in the Seventies with the hippies and never gone back. He loved two things, the beach and bikes. Unfortunately he'd fallen off the latter (an Enfield Bullet 500) which is why he was being cremated on the former.

Back in Sussex, I was just finishing my cornflakes when I noticed a news piece about a 46-year-old chief executive who was on an adventure training/male bonding course in the Brecon Beacons and dropped dead of a heart attack.

Bill Clinton is also 46 and last week I read that he took his cabinet to Camp David for male bonding purposes, and that's in the mountains as well, isn't it?

I was 46 in December.

I'm not sure what this all means, but I don't mind telling you, it's got me worried.

News
Young Winstone: His ‘tough-guy’ image is a misconception
people
Sport
Adnan Januzaj and Gareth Bale
footballManchester United set to loan out Januzaj to make room for Bale - if a move for the Welshman firms up
Arts and Entertainment
Ellie Levenson’s The Election book demystifies politics for children
bookNew children's book primes the next generation for politics
News
Outspoken: Alexander Fury, John Rentoul, Ellen E Jones and Katy Guest
newsFrom the Scottish referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Arts and Entertainment
L to R: Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), Captain America (Chris Evans) & Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) in Avengers Assemble
film
News
Nigel Farage celebrates with a pint after early local election results in the Hoy and Helmet pub in South Benfleet in Essex
peopleHe has shaped British politics 'for good or ill'
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams' “Happy” was the most searched-for song lyric of 2014
musicThe power of song never greater, according to our internet searches
Sport
Tim Sherwood raises his hand after the 1-0 victory over Stoke
footballFormer Tottenham boss leads list of candidates to replace Neil Warnock
Voices
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers
voicesIt has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Roffey says: 'All of us carry shame and taboo around about our sexuality. But I was determined not to let shame stop me writing my memoir.'
books
News
Danielle George is both science professor and presenter
people
News
i100
News
Caplan says of Jacobs: 'She is a very collaborative director, and gives actors a lot of freedom. She makes things happen.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant- NY- Investment Bank

    Not specified: Selby Jennings: VP/SVP Credit Quant Top tier investment bank i...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

    £40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Day In a Page

    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
    Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

    Finally, a diet that works

    Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
    Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

    Say it with... lyrics

    The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
    Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

    The joys of 'thinkering'

    Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
    Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

    Monique Roffey interview

    The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

    Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
    DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

    It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
    Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

    How we met

    Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

    Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

    Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
    Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

    Who does your club need in the transfer window?

    Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
    The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015