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10 Jun 2012

Post 345: Stomaching this

A reccuring theme of this blog is how much I despise being a sub-standard human. Nothing in this world is meant for me anymore. Coping with anything seems to be a trial. Right now, I have a stomach bug – the type that requires frequent rapid access to a loo. I won’t elaborate further but not being able to walk/run to the loo is just awful. I am acutely aware that this is not how 35 year olds live and new people, who are hard enough to meet, seem to steer clear of someone with issues. Here I am, moaning again, and I have been told enough times that ‘I’m just seeking sympathy’ and that isn’t acceptable – well f*ck the people that say that, they are people who can get on with their lives and feel normal. I try and get on with my life without most of the trappings of feeling normal and it seems that a big part of feeling normal was spontaneity. It’s a bit of a cliché, in fact I find it f*cking annoying when people go on about how spontaneous they are. It implies to me that these are people who like being out of control, so that makes me a control freak, another thing that’s supposed to be bad. You can’t win – although despite my disabilities I am convinced I am normal, I’m really not some kind of freakshow although people don’t really make the time that they used to, partly I think because their lives are busy but mostly because spending time with me is less fun than it used to be. Knowing that you’re less of a fun person than you used to be and not being able to make instant improvements is the hardest thing. Maybe I used to be the kind of guy who spent his life organising stuff to do, meetups etc... now it seems to be all I do minus the job of course. I suppose it is now my job, it seems to be the only way to stave off the tedious inevitability of being alive tomorrow. People who talk about ‘how much they are enjoying their life’ – I think ‘good for them’ but then I think ‘really?’ ‘are you sure you’re not just saying that to sound falsely happy and positive?’. I used to be pretty happy and positive but I wouldn’t dream of saying it for fear of sounding like a smug wanker. Maybe I am being too cynical but this idea that the world is coated with candy floss is just crap. I am a bottom up guy, I like a person for all the things that make up a person, people (a person plural) are b*stards –is that harsh? I f*cking hope so.
Because of this damn stomach upset my plans this week have been a bit out of kilter, I was supposed to be going to Brixton Academy to see Keane, a group who’s wholesomeness and adherence to melody probably draws all manner of criticism about being ‘middle of the road tosh’ but I really rather like them because Tom Chaplin has got a rather incredible voice and their first album ‘Hopes and Fears’ is genuinely an album you can put on and every song is a belter, for pragmatism’s sake I can see the other side of the coin but for common sense’s sake I choose to ignore it – I’ll also declare an interest, that I was at school with the vocalist and keyboard player, and despite Tom having a bit of a loud high voice and an answer to everything, him and Tim were both nice lads. Anyway, my stomach intervened and I didn’t go to that in the end. A wise move because it’s brilliance as a music venue belies the fact that in a wheelchair it is tough. I was also gutted to miss my mate Owen who I was due to meet there. Instead the wonderful lady who was supposed to be taking me came round here to watch a couple of comedy DVDs. It is an honour and a privilege to be friends with Chey.

She put up with a fairly fed up me for the evening.
I’m conscious I’m going on again but it’s important to me that people know how genuinely grateful I am. On Tuesday, I went to a rather bizarre concert at the Albert Hall called ‘East meets West’ showcasing the best of China. Now call me racist, but it’s hard not to think that China is a country up to something. In the 17th and 18th centuries America achieved great power through the Slave Trade. Ie Extremely low unit costs for labour helped them cement 200 years of hegemony. China seems to be doing the same today. (this is just my opinion) – I can’t help thinking that Piano Protégée Lang Lang and Soprano Song Zuying are only as good as they are because they had a gun to their head when they were growing up. Particularly Song , who does that weird thing of singing with a permanent smile.

I must confess, I’m not a fan of Chinese music, it’s far too squawky and as for Mandarin as a language – it’s horrible, it just seems to be a collection of unrelated sounds, maybe that’s what English sounds like to them. If I were Chinese I’d be embarrassed to speak it. Lang Lang is undoubtedly exceptional. His hands looking like two hyperactive spiders,

it’s hard not to imagine he’s thinking ‘God I’m good' when he sways back from the piano.

Song the soprano is undoubtedly talented but I can’t put into words what her interpretations of Chinese folk songs sounded like. The majority Chinese audience of course loved it. Luckily, representing the west was the awesome tenor Andrea Bocelli. When he reaches for those high notes and somehow hits them, then manages to crescendo, it’s like the Earth Stands Still. He is more a sort of distinguished Jose Marino

than the beached Whale that was Pavarotti making you wonder where all that vocal power is coming from. It is just awesome though, and he is clearly popular – two dates in November at the Dome are already sold out of wheelchair tickets. Clearly, I’m not the only wheelchair user whose life is live concerts. Still, it stings, and makes me feel in competition with a group of people I’d rather not feel in competition with. My thanks go to Gwen and Gary

for taking me. God, it was good to have them back from their trip to Paris. Coping without them is tricky. I really have become the world’s most pathetic 35 year old!
On Wednesday, I think for about the fourth time I went to go and see Dave Gorman

– now he’s never been one of my favourite comedians because I’ve always felt he’s a bit sure of himself, ie he’s too confident of how funny he is. I was pleasantly surprised, I wouldn’t be surprised if his show ranks highly at the Edinburgh Festival – he shines a light at some of the absurdity of conventional wisdom, like it is shopkeeping and advertising 101 that you get a better response to clock purchasing if you set clocks to a ‘happytime’ e.g 10:08,

however it is stark raving bonkers that in all their adverts, all of the DIGITAL clocks on HTC mobile phones are set at 10:08.

He also observes how funny a lot of the online responses to news stories by John Q Public are and he has invented a feature called ‘found poetry’
which I rather like. This trip was the original brainchild of the lovely Mel

who had been to the Beck Theatre in Hayes before. She also handles my van rather fearlessly which sets me at ease. Thankyou Mel.
With my dicky tummy, it was touch and go whether I’d make it last night but I’d already given in on Friday, I was damned if I was doing it for the Grand Organ Gala

at the Albert Hall with my long suffering rentals.

My reward was Mum saying afterwards – ‘that was one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to. I’ve taken this with the requisite pinch of salt because hyperbole runs in the family. Apparently, the Garden is looking ‘better than ever’


Finally but so critically, thanks to three of my clubbing mates, Carine, Adam and Sketch for offering to do a 100k sponsored walk for the trust in July
Please sponsor them!
Words fail me, although your continued support is wonderful and gives me a bit of hope for the future. A bit.

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