Clive James says being alive is 'embarrassing' one year after predicting his death from leukaemia

The 76-year-old says he may have painted himself into a corner by predicting when he'd die

Chris Mandle
Saturday 10 October 2015 16:46

Clive James has confessed feeling embarrassment over being alive one year after predicting his imminent death from terminal leukaemia.

In a piece published in The Guardian, James reflects on a poem he wrote for the New Yorker last year titled Japanese Maple, in which he stated, confidently, that he would be dead before the maple tree in his garden lost its leaves in autumn.

But now he says he fears he has “written himself into a corner”.

“Winter arrived, there has been a whole other summer, and now the maple is just starting to do its flaming thing all over again, with me shyly watching,” he writes.

The 76-year-old author is writing a weekly column for the newspaper on living with leukaemia.

“This supposedly fatal thing I’ve got doesn’t hurt, and on the whole I feel more old than sick,” he said.

“Feeling old can have its own style. I shuffle quite dynamically. It can get tough, though, when you see the young fizzing with the same energy that you once wasted.”

James also reveals his fondness for The Great British Bake Off, describing it as "Formula One with cars you can eat".

He also says he is a bit fan of winner Nadiya Hussein, calling her "charming" and "a star of tomorrow."

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