It’s fair to say I’ve had an eventful few months.
- Egypt – mostly wonderful, with elements of extreme difficulty, but I must never forget that with the way things are going in the region, that may well be the last ‘safe’ time to visit. With what Daesh has done in Syria, I believe there’s a real chance that if they gain control of Egypt, they’ll destroy the Pyramids, the Sphinx, the temples, the artifacts. So I’m thrilled to have seen them while they still exist and to have got out of there alive, unlike those poor people on the Russian flight. They flew out of the same resort, the same airport, that we flew out of just a couple of weeks before. That brings home a whole lot of introspection. Whoever did it may have been contemplating it at the time we were there, planning, waiting for an opportunity that they could have decided to take with our flight.
- Surgery – one of the scariest times of my life, documented in this post – Female reproductive health. By the way, in an update on that, I got the all clear from my second biopsy – hooray!
- Illness (a cold) into injury (deadlift-related back strain) into illness (a hacking cough that wouldn’t go away) into the most painful experience of my life to date – on Friday morning, following said week-long cough that was increasingly tightening up the muscles in my lower back, I couldn’t get out of bed without screaming. I couldn’t sit without uttering little bursts of agony, and I couldn’t walk more than three steps without crying. I thought I’d slipped a disc. In a wailing, breathless phone call to my Dad, I asked him to come and collect me and take me to hospital. Many drugs and a moment of torture dressed up in the unconvincing costume of ‘an examination’ and it was revealed I had coughed hard enough, while lying awkwardly, to put my back muscles into spasm; they’d locked solid around my sciatic nerve, which explained the agony in my leg and the numbness of my foot. They gave me a prescription for some really strong meds, a set of crutches, and sent me on my way. This was fortunate, because we were going to London for the weekend.
- Husband was … worried and exasperated – it’s been a rollercoaster of a few months for my health, after all, and he was really looking forward to the weekend. So I knuckled down, gritted my teeth, learned quite rapidly how to crutch, and we went to London. Despite the intimidating Polish man on our train who, variously, stole a fire extinguisher, smoked in his seat, got undressed in his seat, put his face in the face of a Muslim woman and interrogated her while pulling at her headscarf, we made it to Euston. Husband had had enough by the this point, and when Polish man – who’d explained to the entire train carriage by this point that he’d had his passport ‘stolen’ by British authorities when he was released from a British prison and was going to London for a replacement – got off the train and pissed off the edge of the platform onto the rails, Husband took it upon himself to complain to the British Transport Police. The last we saw as I crutched rapidly through the ticket barrier was Polish man being taken gently to one side and questioned.
- Like I said – eventful. BUT. London was fantastic – not as good as Husband had been hoping; we didn’t get to some of the places he’d wanted to visit, but the main purpose of our trip was to see Bill Bailey’s new show, Limboland. We did also find a Shepherd Neame pub, serving Husband’s most favourite beers, Masterbrew and Spitfire. I think that cheered him up considerably.
- Limboland was HILARIOUS. Bill’s unique mix of stand-up and musical comedy – he’s a very talented musician – guitars, keyboards, percussion, flute/recorder, sitar, an acoustic guitar shaped like a bible – and we laughed our asses off for over two hours. I think the endorphins from laughing did much to help heal me and I’m feeling more mobile by the day. The Vaudeville Theatre is also beautiful, and as a huge fan of Buster Keaton, who started out in Vaudeville before starring in silent movies, just the name of the theatre added a little frisson.
- Then yesterday – Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What a film! A seamless melding of the old with the new, favourite characters with secondary roles to not detract from the new guard, the New Hope, if you will. Rey and Finn produced powerhouse performances, BB8 was cute the way R2D2 is cute, Kylo Ren’s identity was shocking and tragic, Ren’s interaction with Han was NOT EXPECTED AND CAN’T REALLY HAVE HAPPENED, NO, NO, I DON’T BELIEVE IT FOR A SECOND, and it’s all brilliantly set up for episode VIII, the Force Stretches and Gets out of Bed. (Note that may not be the actual title.) My only gripe – and I think it’s a totally justified gripe – is that Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill got first and second billing. Mark Hamill? He was in it for thirty seconds at the extreme end of the film, didn’t say a line, and just turned around on a mountain top and looked at Rey. Doesn’t really deserve second billing, in my opinion. Should have been an “And Mark Hamill” at the end. Daisy Ridley and Joyn Boyega deserved top billing, but appeared about fifth or sixth. I find that surprising and saddening. I can’t imagine Harrison Ford is the type to demand top billing. Time to give the young guns the credit they deserve – they drove the story. They were the story.
So that’s my story of the last few months! Christmas is coming, I’m getting fat – well, I can’t exercise, can I? New Year’s resolutions – lots and lots of back strengthening exercises, more writing, more fun, less illness and injury.
Currently watching: Arrow, Flash, Supergirl
Currently reading: So, Anyway, by John Cleese and Monstress, by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
Currently listening: All sorts