An Accident Waiting to Happen

September 12, 2022
JD Kirk

Now that we’ve passed the annual three days of sunshine that constitutes the Fort William summer, I’ve been thinking about how I can continue to keep active when it’s inevitably pishing down with rain outside. I mean, sure, I could just walk outside but, on the other hand, I don’t want to catch hypothermia and die.

Decisions, decisions.

The walking desk / death trap

So, after a bit of thought, I spent an afternoon last week bodging together this walking desk. My theory was that I could write and walk at the same time, knocking out words and steps at the same time.

My first attempt didn’t go well. I got in place, had the laptop all ready to go, and then accidentally hit the wrong button on the treadmill, so it went from zero to ten miles per hour in the space of about five seconds.

Because I wasn’t even remotely prepared for this, I ended up frantically sort of skating backwards, arms flailing wildly, before being shot off the back of the treadmill and into the bookcase behind me.

The sensible choice at that point would probably have been to pack the whole thing away, but I persevered, and tried again, this time being careful not to fire myself at the wall at tremendous speed.

I don’t want to jinx it, but now, a few days later, I’m starting to get the hang of it. Today, I managed 3000 words and 8000-odd steps, and only had one near-death experience. That counts as a win in my book.

Maybe tomorrow, I might even think about taking off my crash helmet…



  1. Fiona

    Impressive perseverance, but still sounds quite dangerous! On a purely selfish level, we don’t want to lose you :). Have you thought about dictating while you’re on the treadmill? (Various dictation apps/software – but you can just use your phone)…. Take Care!

    • Sharon

      I’m with Fiona! We need you to stick around churning out great books for us to read. Stay well.

    • Ray

      Fiona, you stole my thoughts. Should I ask DCI Logan to investigate?

  2. Lyn.

    Now that’s something I could imagine Hoon doing…..

    • Susan


      • Ellen Kornetsky

        I’m writing to thank you for the immense reading pleasure that binging your 15-book DCI Jack Logan series has given me this past month! Granted, my binge was facilitated by a week’s vacation, a hacking cold that kept me housebound for a week, and my part-time work schedule, but I would have compulsively finished the series anyway. I’m in love with your characters, and the wry humor, the twisty plots that keep me guessing, and the uber-flawed but endearing hero himself have made this my new favorite series. Many of your Highland locations are familiar from my 2019 trip across the pond, and I was tickled by your nod to another author’s character (DCI Harry Grimm) in book 13! In the absence of a Book 16, I’m trying to find ways to work some of your more colorful curses into “normal Maine conversation”–an oxymoron if there ever was one! PLEASE keep this series going , I beg you!

        • JD Kirk

          Thank you! Have you tried the Hoon series yet? Plenty of Jack and Co. in those, too.

    • Fiona

      Your walking/working antics made me smile and reminded me of that wonderful ‘OK go’ – Here It Goes Again video.
      I watched it as a mood lifter for a long time.
      It does sound as if you could use the graceful movements demonstrated by the band as a tutorial?
      I’m sure Tyler would make some cool moves on a treadmill …. but there again he’d probably suffer from motion sickness. 🤮

  3. Kath

    Perhaps you could lash yourself to the front of the treadmill? But then I suppose you’d knock yourself out as your head crashed against the front of the desk! I don’t think your crash helmet would save you there. Mmm, perhaps crashing into the bookcase might be a slightly safer option. Good luck!

    • Natalie

      Thanks for this!! Made me laugh at a time I needed it.

      • Frances

        Please take care no risks, we need you! To write lots more brilliant stories

  4. Carolyn Harris

    I wouldn’t remove the crash helmet yet Barry, remember your brain holds all the characters in your books, you don’t (WE) don’t want you to have a crash and lose them all. 🙁

    • Shelagh

      I think you are taking multi – tasking a bit too far. Why not just think through your ideas whilst on the treadmill, then write them all down afterwards? Though I can’t watch until one of your characters goes to the gym and does the same. They could fire themselves across the room and take out some big tattooed guys with hilarious consequences? Sounds like something Tyler would do maybe when trying to be a CHIS!!!

      • Shelagh

        Take out ‘watch’ it should say ‘wait’

        • Colin Bewley

          When is the next Jack Logan book being released. Have read them all

  5. Julie

    I shouldn’t laugh but, hahahaha. I think we need to wrap you up in bubble wrap.

    • Fiona

      Your walking/working antics made me smile and reminded me of that wonderful ‘OK go’ – Here It Goes Again video.
      I watched it as a mood lifter for a long time.
      It does sound as if you could use the graceful movements demonstrated by the band as a tutorial?
      I’m sure Tyler would make some cool moves on a treadmill …. but there again he’d probably suffer from motion sickness. 🤮

  6. Sally

    I know we shouldn’t get enjoyment from other’s misfortune, but the mental image of you flying backwards off the treadmill had me laughing out loud. 😂 Sorry, but it was just what I needed with all the doom and gloom at the present time. Thank you 😘

    • Sue

      😂😂 sorry hope your OK.
      Our daughter had a similar experience on the tread mill. She was launched off but fell forward face down, split her chin and spend 12 hours, yes 12 hours in A&E waiting to have her chin stitched !!
      So count yourself lucky Barry, take care and wear shin pads 👍😂

  7. Jann

    SMH! What is with guys liking to live so dangerously? Please. Take. Better. Care.
    Of. Yourself. What will we do without your books?

  8. Jenny

    Ironic that a ‘healthy’ gadget (the treadmill) should pose a risk to your health. Initially I had thought ‘what a great idea!’ but thanks to your sharing I’ve decided I want to live a bit longer. Take care x

  9. Barry

    You’re a man. Should you really be trying to multitask?
    Instead of tapping out words on your laptop, get a programme that converts speech to the written word.
    Be interesting to see how it copes with puffing and panting. 😂

  10. Brian irvine

    You should put a doughnut on a piece of string that will make you do your daily 10000 steps

  11. Rick

    What an innovative idea I didn’t think it went very well at the start,but you did practically manage. I am thinking running over black cats. What about the train, episode not to mention someone’s foot, jings.
    Look after yourself Jd me selfish looking for more books Rick.

  12. Jan

    Ok just pictured in my mind, J.D. with a pillow strapped to his front and back with said crash helmet talking Hoon to his laptop, nearly wet myself laughing.

  13. Janet

    I wonder where the idea for Tyler came?

  14. David

    How on earth did you dream up the idea of a walking desk? You’re a very strange man, Barry. That’s why I love reading your books, blogs etc. You’re never dull, that’s for sure.

  15. Nicki

    Yup, good one. How about adding a third benefit – hook up a motor and you can generate enough walking power to run the laptop, hopefully without electrocuting yourself. Win win win!

  16. anne

    You make me laugh love it my daughter wasn’t so lucky she has done similar but should of had shin pads on limped for at least a week x

  17. Jacqueline Creek

    “Flying backwards off the treadmill…”. Stop arsing about and get back to writing my story, you Hoofwanking Bunglecunt. – R.H.

  18. Joe

    Sorry but that is totally mental -:)

  19. Avril Harding

    Sounds like something Tyler would do with his many near death experiences. Please do take care . So looking forward to the new book next week

  20. Jo

    You live in interesting times.
    That might be a curse.

  21. Carol

    If you are alone in the house, a personal safety alarm is a good idea. Treadmills actually can be very dangerous, we wouldn’t want anything to happen to you. We need Logan and Hoon in our lives.

  22. Carol

    Fiona has a good idea about dictating rather than writing. Much safer.

  23. Shona

    I actually laughed out loud at the image this blog gave me! Do NOT remove crash helmet please, we need you to keep us entertained for many years to come!

  24. Julie

    You’re such a loveable goon! Shame you didn’t have a web cam on, you could have earned yourself £250 on “You’ve Been Framed”! Maybe wait until Mrs H is back up to speed again, assuming she is still recovering from her argument with the railway sleeper?

  25. Bob

    I always knew you were a fast writer but come on, writing at ten miles an hour! We can’t read at that speed, pal, give us a chance to catch up 😂

  26. Jean

    OMG. Now I know where your characters come from in your books. You’re such a tonic. Thanks for making laugh out loud yet again while reading your offerings. Can’t wait to read Hoon’s 4th book. Not long now. 😁😊

  27. John Walpole

    I’m with Fiona, JD – dictation sounds like a plan, if you can manage without too much puffing and panting – depending on your fitness levels.
    If you’re too slow, try a thumb of ginger up your behind – I read somewhere (where would that have been, I wonder?) that it can give you a ‘kick’!


  28. Joyce

    Oh no but they do say no pain no gain 😂
    Take care next time you’re on the treadmill

  29. Jan

    Not quite sure about this. As others have commented, we truly don’t want anything to damage that magnificent brain. Perhaps your pets would be better suited using it. Amazon has those little pedal things you could put under your desk. You could be seated, safely pedaling away, thinking creative thoughts while watching your pet panting away on the treadmill.

  30. Vicki

    Ouch! I can imagine that very well. Glad you decided to try again. Myself, pretty sure my head stone will say ‘Well Crap! That didn’t end the way I imagined’.

  31. Ruth Hussong

    Barry, would you please be a bit more careful — don’t want those books to stop coming!! I must tell you that I attend a cardiac rehab class with 85-95 year old’s and have yet to see any of them flying off the end of our treadmills! Take it easy and be careful!

  32. Jessie

    I must admit I had a giggle when I read about the treadmill Barry but next thought was – he might hurt himself – being selfish my next thought was what about the books? Barry I think you should just cut out all things good – cakes, scones, cream things. Less dangerous.

  33. Steve

    Taking multi- tasking to a new level….Probably not a good idea for your health or writing.

  34. Heather

    This is what happens when men try to multi task. Try and keep yourself un-concussed in future!

  35. Agnes

    Instead of trying to commit hare kare! Why not record your story! Dumpling!!! Absolutely adore your books! Jack and Hoon xx

  36. Elizabeth

    Oh, I do apologize, but unfortunately slapstick is my favourite form of humour and the thought of you shooting off the end of that treadmill, well…thanks! 🤣

  37. Jacqueline Goodland

    Omg 😱 what are you doing !! Don’t wish to be cruel but I have to admit to laughing out loud 😂 cannot wait for the book and more Hoon, I need that man in my life right now.

  38. Joanna

    Reading about your life tells me where you get the inspiration for Tyler.

  39. Sherrie

    Did you sound like Noon after your trip backwards?

  40. Sam

    Well, I’m glad that you persevered with the walking writing multitasking New Age-y yoghurt sort of thing. But maybe, just as a safety precaution mind you, you should only stock your bookcase with soft cover books and avoid any serious damage should you impact it again.

  41. Jim

    Have you thought of adding elbow and knee pads, you know, just in case? I am, however glad you survived. You do have some great stories to tell and the world is better place for it.

  42. Ray

    Interesting idea, but I’ve found that jogging on a treadmill gets me nowhere. Didn’t your sentences run together? Thanks for sharing your death-defying novel writing routine.

  43. Lydia Rodenhuis

    Typical male, you probably didn’t read the safety instructions. I mean, what for, you’re probably never going to need them? Next time the treadmill goes out of control, you’re supposed to have a safety device attached to your waist and when you go out of control, it shuts off the treadmill. Or next time it happens, jump with each foot to the non moving part on the side of the moving part. I’m sure the instructions are in the bin. But maybe a good bump on your head might release some new ideas.


    Barry – as always a welcome addition in my mailbox, one I usually savor until I’m alone because I know I’m going to laugh out loud and my coworkers already think I’m odd. I blame my Scottish heritage. Anyway, you didn’t disappoint and the images did indeed make me laugh out loud!

  45. Judy

    In Texas you’d say, “Hold my beer and watch this!”

  46. Wendy

    Are you typing on the keyboard or using voice to text software? I tried voice to text software before but didn’t like it so much.

  47. LaJuana

    HiJinks on a treadmill while writing a novel —- hmmmm.
    Wonder what Agatha Christie would have to say? And WTH with the big-A screen?! Please don’t tell us you’re getting old and can’t see. We’re counting on those eyes to keep producing out books!! Help. Please be more careful.

    • jdkirk

      I’m too tall for the laptop screen when I’m walking, so needed a separate screen. It just happens to be stupidly wide.

  48. Lorraine

    Look, if you are going to multi-task you might as well do it properly. In addition to writing and treadmilling, at the same time you could also light a scented candle and review its fragrance on a dictaphone, eat a couple of cream cakes and dream up some new Hoonisms. Come on JD, you’re just being lazy.

  49. Beth

    I think I am to polite to write something telling you what a Wally you were. Or make fun of your interesting exercise and work device. Just hope you didn’t bruise too much 🤗

  50. Maria

    Ha, ha, ha!
    Beware of the treadmill – maybe it’s safer to walk outside, you could record your book instead of writing it 📖 I willingly offer to type it out (for a fee obviously, a woman needs beer and wine to survive)