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24 Dec 2011

Post 322: The bad dream before Christmas

When adults are happy for the same reason Children get happy, that's when Alarm bells start ringing and I think there need to be more men in white coats around not because I like the idea of living in some Orwellian nightmare but I have laboured the point enough that living in reality, as grim as it sometimes is, is where we have to be. We take every opportunity we can to escape reality, some take holidays, some drink, some people become smackheads. Now I can't go on holidays, being a smackhead requires two hands, my drinking is luckily confined to the occasional sociable glass of red wine, – which leaves me stuck in reality which is why I am at best, lukewarm on Christmas. Perhaps lukewarm is a bit disingenuous, perhaps saying I f*cking hate it is closer. I hate saying I hate things, I'm not one of 'those' people,
although believe it or not I have sometimes been accused of being a 'bit negative' (perish the thought) since it happened (my stroke or my f*cking stroke to give it it's full title) reasons to be cheerful haven't exactly been in abundance but have nonetheless existed in the last week although I am slightly concerned that the last post was a bit depressing, or as I like to say, realistic. Having a plan has always been quite vital to feeling like I'm getting somewhere. Trouble is having a plan necessitates being able to pay for it. I talked in the last post about an electrical stimulation thingamy
to help exercise my left arm as I am getting fed up with my left arm not pulling it's weight (so to speak). I went to lunch on Sunday with my new friend Isa
and her mischief of a 12 year old son Kevin. We went to the Nando's in Walton. What a treat for me. I love Nando's.
For Isa and Kevin it's a bit like having an interactive two year old along for the meal, I hope more of a 15st wheelchair bound Stewie Griffin
(less evil,obviously) rather than a 34 year old who behaves like a boring two year old and good old Isa has said that me talking about that machine in the last post has given her something to aim for when she runs her triathlon for the trust later this year. Pardon Me but how f*cking brilliant of her! She doesn't think I'm a lost cause! Please Sponser her. The other strand of my plan go's something like this -after 3 odd years of killing myself doing assisted walking practice I never felt like I was getting any better at it -I certainly never felt like I was getting any more independent or feeling any better (in fact it made me feel worse, much worse) so I'm not doing walking practice like that anymore, but in a similar way as with my arm, I can't face never walking again so my idea is to install some parallel bars
in the newly vacant garage
at the end of my garden. It's at the idea stage now but it's the best one I have! I figure the alternative (of never walking again) is just too terrifying to contemplate at my age, as for the fatigue, I just am going to continue feeling like sh*t everyday and hope gradually feeling better beats me working out how to get to Switzerland. I apologize that this isn't the most upbeat thing to say but the reality of my situation sometimes spills over into this. Since my stroke I have always had a special place in my heart for the friends and family who have stuck with me, seeing this happen to me must have been awful, but I have an even more special place in my heart for the new friends I have made, people who have got to know me through the hearsay of others or through photos and stuff I have written on here or other websites. I really feel that these people are angels and have given me a chance, people like Isabel (who I talked about earlier) –Sacha,
who granted me an audience last week for tea ( put like that because she is understandably the busiest person in the world) (hilarious people like her often are) - Jo and Suzanne
(who had a horrible long journey from and to deepest Essex) to take me to see the Manic Street Preachers at the Dome last week. They both must have battled extreme tiredness to make that Journey, but it was so worth it when I got this message from Jo 'Thanks again for last night, it was the best gig I've been to for a very long time.' and to see how talented James Dean Bradfield actually is: He is a funny little Welshman who looks more like a supply teacher than a genius.
He plays lead guitar unbelievably
(while singing as well as Lang Lang
plays Piano, speaking of which don't you think LL sounds like he should be a Panda!) It's comments like Jo's that make expending the time and effort (oh yeah, and the money) for everything (not just sorting out these events) worth it. I'm sure there are those reading this who think that just giving up going to gigs would solve any money worries I have and may help my tiredness a bit, trust me, it's a calculation I have done in my head and despite often dreading how tired it'll make me it give's me some sort of life – but more importantly a connection to what must be my life-force (which I reckon is everybodys life-force) – spending time with people who you care about (and vice versa). Why do you think facebook has got so massive? It is also People like Graham, who took me to the Hammersmith Apollo on Tuesday
for a charity gig for homelessness Charity Crisis that make life ok. When you book to go to a gig like this you book it because of the artists and the message of the charity often hits home at or after the event, ok it didn't for the Friends of the Earth thing a few weeks ago because I'm not much of an Environmentalist (i.e the planet is beyond repair and every vain effort we make is dwarfed by China's productivity 'miracle'- the planet is trying to kick us off anyway – it's like whispering in a hurricane, but being homeless, hungry and cold are among my biggest fears so what Crisis stands for and does does move me a bit, well quite a lot actually and saying this from my warm house makes me feel pretty fortunate. Charity aside I think it worked out rather well. Ross Noble
as compere showed he's a funny guy when he doesn't have the opportunity to be so weird that he ends up being sh*te, Jo Brand
was funny, Graham Coxon was sh*te, Tim Minchin was genius
as always and Paul Weller absolutely smashed it,. I saw him in Hyde Park back in June http://survivingastroke.blogspot.com/2011/06/sorry-itll-be-up-monday-afternoon.html and he was nothing like as good then (I suppose it's the difference between warming up and headlining) but the key thing was Graham saying (who I think grew up with Weller and 'the Jam' and the 70s mods) 'It was worth it for just that one song', F*ck knows which song but the Apollo was really humming by the end. Anyway, here's the point – Graham is a new friend, someone who enjoys our evenings out and can be relied upon – a diamond geezer if you're a cockney and realizing I'm not thinking he's a good egg is more appropriate, the real find of the last few years has been the amazing Mel
though, owner of one of the loveliest smiles I've ever seen,
a top bird who drives, lives nearby, loves gigs and even though I am absurdly down on myself at times she has the rare ability to look past it and see the good in me which is a great gift. She even took me to Nando's after we watched the new Sherlock Holmes movie on Wedensday. Nandos is difficult to fault despite it being a bit hard to eat comfortably in the Epsom branch and Holmes has morphed into an action Hero, I always saw him as more Poirot than Arnie. You win some, you lose some with Movies. Getting out of the house with Mel was the winner. Her sense of humour is well explained by the fact she gave me this,
to remind me that whingeing will quite rightly be met by people playing small violins as a response to 'woe is me' nonsense. She gave me another present, appealing to my love of T-Shirts with slogans.
I think she's found my level. Speaking of which, I got an amazing on spec visit from the entire Denning family (PJ and Gemima,
Vicky and Milly)
yesterday – Vicky is one of my best mates from college, sort of like the sister my age I never had, despite thinking 'she looks tidy' on day one at college there has never been even so much as a 'frisson' between us, probably why we're such good mates now – when we were housemates in London we used to drink cans of Stella and smoke fags with our feet on the coffee table like something out of 'Men behaving badly', the bizarre story about how I knew her husband, PJ, before her is here Even though I try not to do this here's a rather cute picture of my favourite (of my 3 cats) Ham,
taken yesterday. Now to survive Christmas! I'll doubtless have something to say about it but have a good Christmas everyone!

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