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23 Jun 2009

Post 135: My PC has a stroke




I hope this post isn't too long for people to bother reading but without being able to use my computer I've rather a lot of verbal diarrhea to get off my chest (surely not off my chest,yuck). It has been another one of those weeks where sadly not much happened until later on in the week, so the early part of the week was the usual torporous (I think that's a word, well, it is now) torture, fighting fatigue and doing my physio, punctuated by a visit from old DJ mate Jim on Monday, a man who by some miracle had run the Marathon last year with the facebook group 'run fatboy run'. When I first met Jim, probably some 6 years ago he was probably carrying a 'few extra' pounds and him running to the end of my road wouldn't have been something we'd have even joked about, instead he would have sparked up my fag and we would have lumbered off to the nearest (and I do mean nearest) pub, the same goes for friends Simon and Shaun who are running a sponsored 10k for the trust in July, so miracles are possible!
Since, I wrote this a whole two days have passed because my computer froze, refused to shut down, after I'd pressed the 'reset' button, it refused to start up again, despite a couple of well placed emergency calls to friends who happen to be IT gurus resulting in a surprise sunday morning visit from old friends the Betts family. My old Mucka Ian tried to work his magic and dolefully shook his head. 'I don't want to be technical here, but I think it's f*cked', he asked me to describe what had happened when it crashed, I said, I was just downloading a picture of Jim for my blog'. Ian, who knows Jim said without missing a beat, 'that'll be it then'. Joking aside, it has been like being transported back to the dark ages. Everything about this stroke is about starting again, EVERYTHING. I'm sure there are some people who would give their eye teeth to start again. Not me, the rut I was in was fine, thankyou.
Anyway, my brother, by some miracle has got my computer working again after we managed to find one of those nebulous 'restore' CDs that come with your computer and you think/hope you'll never need, instead they get 'filed' somewhere you'll never find them, certainly Ian and I couldn't find them!
So, my computer may be running again but nothing is where it should be. Even finding and getting to work on this document has taken me the best part of Tuesday, it is rather like my computer has had a stroke, let's hope its rehabilitation is faster and more successful than that of its owner! But one thing is certain, I'd be lost without my friends and my brother.
So, without further ado and drama after all the drama, I somehow have to re-find where I was, not the easiest of tasks when you're as much of a scatterbrain as yours truly, that's right I was in the middle of downloading pictures for this, let's hope it doesn't cause a similar disaster!
I don't think it has (thankfully).
So, I think that I was writing about as long ago as last monday!
Skip forward a couple of days to last Thursday when I took my heroic brother and two of the prettiest, loveliest girls in the world out for dinner at 'the Bear', my first proper girlfriend from years ago Lucy (meaning, I believe we actually cared about each other). When I had just moved out of hospital she came to see me and during the course of our chat she mentioned to me that her housemate was a Psychologist and suggested she might be a good person to talk to, and so the amazing Vicki
came into my life – she has helped me so much – chats with her every week are one of the few parts of my therapy I look forward to. Not only is she beautiful (always a bonus) but she has made my outlook on life so much better, and as many of you know, since my stroke this has been my biggest problem. While still on the subject of Lucy and Vicki, it's good to see Lucy is back to being Blonde, Vicki and I both agree, as much as she may have looked good as a brunette a year ago, she is happier being a blonde and even as a brunette man, I have to say I prefer it now. Such deep Philosophical discussion brings me to friday last week where I took Tony, Kate and my Bro to the Dome to see 80s electropop legends thePet Shop Boys (sadly any pictures I took were not easy to (re)locate
It was a bit strange being part of one ofthe only exclusively straight groups there. It reminded me of the days of going to gay clubs just for the atmosphere and music. Make no mistake gay people know how to party and the atmosphere even in a huge venue like the Dome amazing with the Pet Shop Boys reminding us just how many great songs they actually had done and it was with some of the people who have helped me the most since my stroke, Tony, Kate who I haven't known that long but she makes Tony happy which is good enough for me and my brother, we may have not always seen eye to eye but it's as simple as this, our whole family couldn't survive without him. His practical skills and his underlying caring nature. He has been a revelation, I think he genuinely enjoyed the Pet Shop Boys gig as it was the music we grew up with in the charts. The image of Chris Lowe on top of the pops standing expressionless and motionless behind a computer monitor wearing impenetrable aviator shades while Neil Tennant mimed one of their many hits is etched on my memory. When they played 'it's a sin', one of my favourite songs of all time I found myself singing along despite my f*cked voice and poor breath support because I knew all the words.
The excursions don't end there, on Saturday evening, my friend Eleanor took me to a comedy evening which I had spotted and bought tickets too some time ago. Through the wonder of the internet, there is an amazing website I check for news of the latest gigs and events, it's called ents24 and they seem to have details of even the most insignificant things(but equally as enjoyable as the big events) It was through this that I'd found out about the charity comedy gig 'more bums on seats' for homeless charity 'Cardboard Citizens' feauturing a couple of my favourite comedians, Simon Amstell, Richard Herring, Stewart Lee, Brendan Burns and Josie Long were performing.
Most charity events are obviously not as good as going to see the comedian on his own for obvious reasons, they have a shorter set, save their best material for their own shows, there are inevitably one or two unfunny acts but you still get to see some comedy gold, indeed, I'll be able to put some of my theory to the test when I go and see Simon Amstell on tour this Saturday. Amstell was pretty funny and up first talking about his insecurities about pulling a suitable man and how it's made that much harder if the quarry he seeks ends up being heterosexual. I can imagine that ending in tears! His entree, about the Cardboard Citizens had me in hysterics. Cardboard Citizens is a charity that runs theatre workshops helping homeless people put on plays so what did Amstell say? When he sees a homeless person begging he thinks 'f*ck 'em', why aren't they doing Hamlet?'
I had seen Richard Herring do his charity gig set before, it was more or less verbatim, perhaps a little bit filthier coloured by his hilarious opening explanation of why he had grown an actual Hitler 'tache, 'I should explain' he started.
I hadn't seen any of the others live before. Honours go to Brendon Burns for his foulmouthed Un-PC Aussie attack on Englands Chavs, and hand wringing liberal PC thugs who take everything to seriously and spoil the fact that most people are having a laugh and not taking life that seriously.'London needs a wash' he said, having been to the Dome, I couldn't agree more. Indeed despite his aggressive, sweary, shouty comedy stylings this made me think of a serious point. The most dangerous people are those who genuinely believe their bigoted views, more dangerous still are those who are in a position to wield political power, Hitler, George W Bush, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, (I better go on google and check the spelling of that!) and even that awful man Nick Griffin. The other people to worry about, as my good friend Paul Reeves pointed out are the type of people who go to an Al Murray gig and don't realise he's taking the piss. to my mate Eleanor, we were both graduate trainees at middle of the Road British Stockbroker HSBC Securities – we had a laugh about one or two of the people we used to work with and for, the type of people who used to believe their own bullsh*t and love the sound of their own voices, many were scum, speaking of which, I was unable to save Elle from the 'conversation from hell' with the nutter in a wheelchair sitting near us. Having established that he was able to drive a converted car which he had driven to the theatre. Him Having sunk another pint, Elle had pointed out that he had better be careful that he didn't get caught drink-driving. Helpful advice you would think, Mr Nicholas Utter said that he had used to be in the marines and then he was a cab-driver. You know you're not dealing with a nice person when they say ' I used to drive my cab pissed all the time', I tried to chip in and save Elle but he had started explaining his tatoos in an unintelligible voice. He was not interested in anything other than talking to the beautiful lady.
Finally, and my life is probably going to sound like one big holiday, which I can assure you it isn't, my mum took me to the first day of the Wimbledon Tennis yesterday. My mum loved it and that's what counts but it did serve to highlight how tough life is now.
When we were lucky enough (mum and I) to get Wimbledon tickets in the ballot when I was a kid going to Wimbledon was a treat. Seeing the best players in the world slog it out in frankly amazing surroundings was awe-inspiring. Sadly, now I am wheelchair bound and am unlikely to regain any of the co-ordination that made me an above-average protagonist in most things I turned my hand to, I have fallen out of love with most Athletic pursuits, Tennis, as a spectator sport because I haven't a hope of following the ball, this is sadly true of most ball sports, either on TV or live. Sadly my stroke has taken away almost all sport from me either because I no longer have the agility, skill or athleticism to play it ever again or the stamina or sight to watch it (live or on TV).
Sport is now an ordeal, and besides not being able to see anything, Wimbledon is a long day with nowhere quiet to rest, you know you're not into something when you're waiting for it to end. Dare I say that that has become the story of my life. Apologies for ending this 'magnum opus' on such a low.

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