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18 May 2013
Post 397: I'm sorry I write so much
Last time I posed the question ‘does anyone bother reading this?’ I got that grotty email basically telling me what a miserable selfish complaining piece of sh*t I was. Well, I’m not a selfish piece of sh*t, that I’d contest - I’m just saying that given how much elbow grease I put into this, a little evidence that it gets read wider than a few key people would help although I might be willing to entertain the notion I’m a dullard. I dunno, as cathartic as shouting in a hurricane might be, it’s not really THAT useful.
OK, so what has been a massive relief is having Gwen and Gary back. I think the only thing that might be happier than me is Cheese, my greedy, vociferous, opinionated cat. Listening to Gary and him bicker is hilarious:
Gary: you’ve eaten
Gary: You’ve Eaten
Gary: YOU’VE EATEN
Gary: YOU’VE EATEN, YOU BUGGER
Cats are just rude. His miaowing is often comical. Buying a water pistol to shoot him in the face when he miaows unnecessarily has really worked. I’m hardly ‘the Cat whisperer’ am I? I think Cheese might be slightly retarded. Gary will give him his food, he’ll wolf it down, then sometimes turn round and start miaowing again. Feckless Feline! Despite all this we love him dearly, with visitors he is gold and frankly a bit of a tart! Snuggling up to them and dare I say it managing to be gorgeous and even polite! Cheese’s sister Ham continues to be adorable
The Palmers being away really has shown me how reliant I am on them. It’s really driven it home to me how no matter how hard I try to cope on my own, I can’t do it. A 36 year old that can’t cope on his own, doesn’t that sound like an appealing prospect? Who cares what he used to be like? I’m sure there are people with the use of one arm who cope better but this damn fatigue (yawn, heard it) kills most effort I make in its crib. It’s probably almost certainly as savagely tedious to me as it is telling you about it for the umpteenth time, I’m sorry!
It did get me thinking though. I am not by a long stretch someone with unlimited resources but what would that man do?
I’m sure like me they’d say:
‘This isn’t bloody good enough!’
It’s not worth living feeling like this. Would they pay someone to ship them off to the Dignitas clinic or would they tell their neurologist to try harder? I’m reminded of a couple of stories from Keith Richards autobiography (not a man traditionally associated with health advice) about how he’d seen a French doctor who’d given him a vitamin injection that had really seen him through some of the darker days of his heroin addiction, or Keef’s mate that had been diagnosed with MS and packed himself off to some weird therapy centre that would treat patients with Snake venom. Obviously clinically untested but I’m desperate enough to try ANYTHING. I’m definitely not in the assisted suicide camp (YET!) although my biggest fear is becoming more disabled than I am (ie Needing more help)(as being prescribed Ritalin in Summer 2010 did effectively paralyze further my useless left side) My other big fear is a painful lonely undignified slow death (what is probably happening at the moment).
I have mentioned a few times on this blog about my intentions to get out of this country for the winter. Everything was pointing to impossible but a few facebook discussions this week have made things look a bit less impossible. I can’t even remember as far back as May 2011 when I got visited by an old DJ mate, Dan, and his mum Trixie –now Trixie is a carer by profession, but is the housekeeper for a glorious looking guesthouse out near Valencia called the Casa de la Finestra. To cut a long story short, they don’t have guests in the winter and there is a place I could stay, and another old mate of mine lives in Valencia – he’s a pilot with Ryanair and Valencia is their hub and he made all the right noises about the climate and living in that part of Spain in the winter. Basically, I’m sold. The planets feel like they’re aligning. I’ve set aside time to go out there in early November to check it out. Travel at this moment looks like overnight car ferry from Portsmouth to Santander followed by ~a 6 hour drive. I can’t cope with the cold during the winter here, and I need some sort of big project to occupy myself otherwise it would be all too easy to let depression set in even more. I’m fed up with saying ‘this isn’t bloody good enough’. I need to make something f*cking happen. Sure, it is bloody terrifying, and Mum and Dad have (bless them) told me several times ‘it’s impossible.’ Who am I going to call if something goes wrong?’ Well, someone, I suppose, and seeing as it’s a place where people already speak English and live, I have good grounds to feel quite confident.
Obviously I will miss people and things in this country but having a stroke makes you feel separate from the real world. All attempts to be part of what was once considered ‘normality’ require stupid amounts of effort, not only by me, but by anyone I interact with. My view will never change. Life is hard enough for people – why make it harder by spending time with someone who’s hard work? I’ve always hoped that people feel tremendously rewarded for making this extra effort. Maybe this was true for the first five years but I’m not sure it’s the same now. Maybe this is a bit un-optimistic to have this attitude? I’m afraid this is realism, honesty and logic although somewhat uncharacteristic it may sound, I was reflecting on the fact that I used to have a knack for drawing out the positive in almost any statement and not in an annoying church-like sermon where the vicar might say, ‘in many ways that’s just like Jesus’ NO IT’S NOT. You may not think it but it’s one of the things managing people does teach you. Not talking about Jesus, but finding ANYTHING positive. Yet another pat on the back for John Lewis. Between trying to sort out going to Spain I’ve been slightly less engaged in going to events largely because when I was booking stuff 6 months ago there wasn’t a plethora of good things.
After taking my friend Isabel and her mate Jolanta to see Symphonic rock last week and they had loved it, it was one of my own favourites Filmharmonic, on Wednesday evening, where the royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays film scores. I have been to this every year since 2008 and I can’t attach enough superlatives to how absurdly brilliant it is. Everyone knows the music to certain films, usually ones by George Lucas (Star Wars, Indiana Jones) or Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park,ET, Jaws) because the music was written by John Williams, a man I would argue has created more memory in the Human Race than any other man. Weirdly, I think the brain remembers music better than anything else... annoying jingles are a case in point! I’ll bet I remember Go Compare and bloody Danone Yoghurt for much longer! Obviously I have no evidence! I am merely an above averagely verbose observer. Back to Filmharmonic, it just serves as a reminder to a packed Albert Hall how brilliant some of this stuff is. This time it was how triumphant the music to Jurassic Park is, and secondly how gutted Hans Zimmer (I thought this) (the guy who did the epic score to Gladiator) must feel about being around at the same time as John Williams (he probably says he admires and greatly respects him but I’ll bet he’s cursing his luck and seething, probably the feeling that Tim Henman gets about any other tennis player and while we’re on Henmanalikes, David Miliband must get that deep seething feeling about his brother Grommit. One man who must love this event more than any other is the RPO Kettle drummer who literally gets the chance to smack the crap out of the kettle drums in practically every piece. Taking Isabel and Jolanta to this was a lucky privilege, as getting to take people to things they love is the purpose in my life at the moment. It might not have been though as by a bit too perfect a piece of symmetry my friends Stevie and Naomi are over from their home in Melbourne and I might have originally asked them and they couldn’t as they have the most packed itinerary ever and were up in Lincolnshire visiting his parents cave. I say that as you’ll see from the next photo that Steve is in fact a caveman, but they slung by to visit me by surprise the other afternoon which was an unreal surprise. They are having a party on Friday with a similar format to the one last week which I described as ‘the best thing I’ve been to in 10 years’ I know what I’ve said in the past about setting expectations high. Well, I’m a pragmatist. Given what a hero my friend Isabel is and has been, I just got back from her 2nd Triathlon where the Dom Pardey Trust has been one of the beneficiaries. My dad and I were so glad we went. She really is a trooper.
And finally, my friend Simon and I dusted down some 20 year old memories last night by going to see our teenage music heroes ‘The Levellers’. A few weeks ago, I hadn’t been sure who to ask and then for some reason Simon had uploaded the Levellers album artwork as his facebook background. You know how I go on about finding the right person for the gig and it being one of the most important parts of my life. Well I got it right. Look at the concentration! This is what I wrote on youtube:
The levellers (remember) playing live in Guildford in May 2013. I loved the fact that they didn't faff around and they knocked out all their greatest hits (so most of 'levelling the land') . What stuff I didn't recognise sounded ok. Not a massive fan of the 'folk' genre but how much better are these guys than f*cking Mumford and sons?! The 'Dreads' and 'dogs on string' count was mercifully low. They've got so many catchy tunes.
Home tomorrow for another round of my LSP’s Golden wedding anniversary (50 flippin’ years!)
I’m sorry I write so much! There are almost certainly other people to thank!