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21 Oct 2011

Post 313: 'It's not great but it'll have to do' apart from Mel's wedding which was awesome!

'It's not great but it'll have to do' is sadly the mantra I have to live by these days. The lengths I have to go to to do quite routine things is a little scary. The routine thing I did this week which represented getting frighteningly tired was going to my old college friend Mel's wedding near Ledbury in Herefordshire.
Now, in the olden days this would be an adventure involving staying in some quaint old pub, drinking in the beauty and peace that comes from being in the middle of nowhere, and probably making wild kama Sutra-esque love with my other half in the hotel room, very little was better than a dirty weekend combined with a stonking party! However, I don't care what Freud says, my mum was the driver/carer this weekend! She was actually bloody nervous because she'd never driven my van before and was a bit terrified at having to help me do my transfers, because after all I'm a 6'3” heavy b*stard and she's a 72 year old lady. For a start it was the most perfect autumn day, my van is great at eating up motorway miles too, a lesson learned there, although off the motorway at the mercy of bumpy roads it's awful. For my holiday plans for next summer. Jose, my trainer, is up for driving me somewhere (possibly in France) where we could do a combined physio/getaway break, damn I need that holiday! –I have digressed I was glad my mum could make this
because weddings are a bit of a speciality of hers, she just loves being around people and she is great with my friends, in fact one of them said of her recently 'she's so friendly and upbeat', rather a special and unique lady my mum even if she can be a rather easy target to take the p*ss out of, I made her promise before this weekend that she wouldn't get stressed out by irrelevant little things that she could do nothing about and it seemed to help! Even Stopping a couple of times at M4 motorway services (or Cathedrals of despair as Bill Bailey calls them) were relatively stress free which almost never happens! The automatic door mechanism on my van helps a lot (now it's working), there was a very slight chill in the air but in the sun, it was perfect, rather fitting I thought for such a perfectly suited couple. I first met Lucas (Mel's now husband) back in October last year when him and Mel took me to Lunch The writing was on the wall when in our email exchange afterwards Mel sounded like an excited schoolgirl about Lucas. When you find someone special it is difficult to explain that feeling of excitement and nervous anticipation – it's not something I've had for years, but good for Mel and Lucas. Mel looked great in her dress – I don't remember her being as buxom so good work there, and Lucas is a bit of a Greek god! I feel like I've ruined this photo!
But huge thanks for inviting Mum and I, sadly there are no pictures of her highness because she was on photography detail! I have known Mel since we were at Oxford from 95-98 (so a long old time ago). Dear old Mel, she was always the super intelligent girl, always slightly out of breath and always late, running from one thing to another and apparently her driving is Lethal!. She'd always get the best internships and there was an inevitability she'd get a 1st, she's basically the type of person it was an honour and a privilege to be friends with, the same is true of most of them be they from then or since or from whichever walk of life. That is where I note one of the few positive impacts of this stroke, and I know I've said it before, but it really makes you appreciate your mates. I didn't start this blog to be a fawning sycophant but they deserve appreciation for putting up with me before and since my stroke. I stubbornly refuse to forget my mates from all walks of life as long as they haven't forgotten me or turned their backs on me. Luckily, this is mercifully few people especially from the University lot who all seemed to be there
and were glad I'd made it.
it made for quite an occasion! I'm glad I made it. Plus in the last few minutes I've hopefully found an ideal housemate/housekeeper/carer for the weekends and I think she'll be great because of the way she got on with Hassan and Agnesieka (who in my view are worth their weight in gold) – given how quickly I get tired knowing that the atmospere here is going to be relaxed already makes me feel more at ease about next year. Since my weekend jaunt, I had a couple of things in my diary to go to, the first of which was to go and see Aussie comedian Adam Hills at my local theatre in Epsom.
Now I've seen Hills three times before and normally I'd try and rope together a pretty big group but the idea of trying to sort everyone out and coordinate it all scared the sh*t out of me, as trying to just sort out someone who can be bothered to drive me is terrifying enough. Such is life (fear is exhausting) Anyway, Jose took me, and Hills was as usual inspired. Guttsy thing he does. He has decided in his head that Celebrities get far too much attention and that normal people are much more interesting. The show 'Mess Around' is literally just that. He turns up with no prepared material and just talks to people in the audience, and because he's a nice man he doesn't tear a strip off anyone, although my mate Nick is probably still reeling after Adam phoned his wife Sally live on stage after admitting in front of the audience that he was a hedge fund manager and Sally wasn't there because she was at home 'looking after the kids'. Poor Nick was mortified after he was booed. Jose
and I sat deliberately in the back row. Hills was genial and charming (odd for an Aussie) but we certainly laughed. Mission accomplished. On Wednesday I went to something quite different. Being a passionate Atheist I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to see best known atheist in the world, Richard Dawkins, talk about his new book, 'the magic of reality' at the Albert Hall.
I'm glad I did because I have softened my stance on Dawkins, I remain as fervent an Atheist. I've got plenty of respect for the guy but I have often thought he's a bit pompous, prickly and earnest. I think he's a bit more 'human' now, the ' Magic of reality' is Dawkins explaining evolution in a way that can be easily understood, rather than the usual 'rip out the jugular' of religion -big thanks to Olly Tress
for taking me – him taking me see the modern philosopher and atheist intellectual Sam Harris back in April inspired going to this. On another note, Judge for yourself -at Mel's wedding one of my friends took issue at this comment, made in my last post: Approximately 150 years ago musical entertainment was Tchaikovsky writing swan lake, now we have the f*cking x-factor. (my immediate thought after seeing Swan Lake)
Apparently this makes me pretentious. Does it f*ck – In my book I just despise the X-Factor as a pisspoor attempt to make us consume mindless low quality tat in some form or other. A good friend of mine (Steve Williams)
has been putting up a few of his old photos – what a trip down memory lane. I think I was about 27 in this, (not 15)
I couldn't have been happier or healthier! On another note I can offer precious little defence of dying my hair again other than boredom and the fact that I can. I am aware that this is the sh*t stage but it gets less bad. Anyway, having a 'challenging' haircut is the least of my problems.

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