5 Apr 2009

119: A difficult w/e and elaborating on last week

I briefly touched on what I wanted to ramble about in the last post. Namely, going to see Mark Watson on Wednesday and my trip to the Albert hall on Friday. I'll come to them in a minute. As someone with far too much time on his hands and worse still, time that I am unable to use because of what's happened to me, I spend far too much time thinking about the human condition. As a human (allegedly) , I believe there are three main things that make us unhappy/pissed off/angry even, and I suffer from all three in spades, I had issues with all of these before my stroke but being this way has served to sharpen them all, and worse still, let them intermingle and combine, these are of course LONELINESS, FEAR and UNCERTAINTY and they are heightened by a weekend alone. Sure, Ian my physio, was able to come round last night and cook me dinner at the last minute, Megan and Jon are coming to take me out for lunch at 2 today but that doesn't detract from that feeling of emptiness I had last night when I went to bed. It's all down to not being able to do what I want anymore. At weekends in the old days for starters I wouldn't be in constant fear, and what's worse is I'm not even sure what I'm afraid of! I think it's just fear of not being able to do exactly what I want when I think of it. It's rubbish and now I have to plan everything meticulously (never a particular strength), I also have to know where everything is because I can't look for things anymore. I have neither the physical or mental energy or physical ability. This shouldn't be a problem and it never used to be but things couldn't be more different now. I have been told by lots of different people not to dwell on the past but I can't help it, it's the only frame of reference I've got! It's compounded further by me leaving swathes of time free in my calendar on the off-chance that the people I really want to see are around this weekend. As it turns out they're not. Try persuading someone in my mental state that it's because they'd rather watch paint dry than see me, in the old world I was the type of person people wanted to spend time with, since my stroke I'm not anymore. It's as simple as that. Prove me wrong. Sorry about this, I feel particularly sh*t today, it feels a bit pointless trying to talk about those other things now, when I'm in this mood but I've just come back from taking Megan and fiance Jon for a lovely sunday lunch at the bear so I'll give it a go. First, on Wednesday night I took friends Steve and Naomi and Will and Chris (photos in previous post)to go and see one of my favourite comedians and frequent guest on BBC2's Mock the Week, Mark Watson. His style is that of motormouth vocalizer of his internal monologue, using continual reductio ad absurdum logic which makes the most mundane thing funny. His manner and look reminded Steve of our friend Simon W (picture at bottom of post 116 ) except with dark hair, a welsh accent and with a considerably cleaner sense of humour. At only 29, yet another one of these guys younger than me and I think how brave these guys are to make the decision that they can be consistently funny enough that they can stand up night in/night out and make people laugh. Clearly people have said things like this to Watson before because he thinks this kind of bravery is nothing compared to say, a nurse – I would just say it's different types of bravery – whereas the stand up comedian is always putting his self esteem on the line and seeking the satisfaction of making people laugh – a fine feeling indeed, a nurse is always putting their trust in themselves on the line (at least this is what I think). A nurse is selflessly projecting the trust they have in themselves into the implied trust that patients have for them. I wish this was the case having been at the thick end of this for the two years I was in hospital , I have a lot of respect for nurses because of some of the stuff they actually do but (particularly the agency ones) are just doing it to get paid and to get in and out of the hospital as fast as they can without killing anyone. One would expect nurses to be caring, kind people looking to help others. Sure, this was sometimes true, but was the exception .I found a lot of nurses to be cold, detached, self interested people who were keener on insulating themselves from what they had to deal with. Maybe that's just Stroke rehab nurses? Fed up with the daily grind of having to continually deal with disabled people whereas it's more go on a regular hospital ward Saving lives and doing different stuff more regularly.Anyway this shouldn't detract from the people I think are seriously brave. A&E Doctors and Nurses. The sort of Heroes that saved my life. I am in bewildered awe of them. We all should be.
The other thing I was taken too on Friday evening by Jackie & Selwyn, If you don't know they are they feature quite frequently in this blog, they are amazing friends . It's hard to imagine not knowing them, they have made such a difference. When they retire to Portugal soon we'll all be much worse off! Anyway, they took me to the Albert Hall on friday evening to see, 'Symphonic Rock' The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO
playing a selection of recognisable rock songs. I love going to the Royal Albert Hall, particularly to see musical things. It's unique Architecture and unparalleled accoustics truly make it one of the wonders of the world. If I am to have one criticism it is that it sometimes feels a bit twee as if you shouldn't touch anything .More like a library than a concert venue with the Ushers in their smart red coats always telling you what you can't do. All part of it's charm I suppose? The low point of the evening for me was sadly the compere, obviously a recognisable voice from Radio 2 88-91 called Ken Bruce. Seeing as I've never listened to Radio 2 his jokes were lost on me. After telling the audience he had been on R2 from 88-91, he hilariously quipped that this would probably be 'the age when Terry Wogan would retire'. I braced myself for a mother-in-law joke, thankfully, none was forthcoming and for the rest of the show he was more useful than 'humerous' and he clearly shared my opinion that the song of the night was the haunting awe inspiring 'Nights in White Satin' by 'The Moody Blues'. Bohemian Rhapsody', 'Walk like an Egyptian' and 'Bittersweet Symphony' were also worthy of an honourable mention. There's simply the extra sound that an Orchestra brings to these songs, particularly one as good as the RPO in the greatest venue in the world. Not something I'd normally go to but I loved it. Non Visual things are so much my kind of thing. Most things I have to watch (with my eyes) are cripplingly (pathetically) tiring for me.

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