Sunday, 7 October 2012

No giggling at the back

I briefly noted in my earlier piece that I was unable to do more than do a cursory vacuuming at my friend's . Yes fine, you may scoff that is more than I usually manage but this was serious; I couldn't have done it if I'd tried.

The tweaky back had been coming on for a while and I'd ignored it, hoping that the odd bit of running and stretching would knock it on the head. A few months of really bad posture plus a 39 year old spine equals silent-screamingly bad back pain which was only relieved by lying on my side. An unorthodox position for a Contrary Towers inmate...I like to sup my martinis vaguely upright, not prone. Not the first one anyway.

This obviously had implications on my trip to Italy and I can now confirm that marble slabs, wooden benches, stone, airport seats are all extremely uncomfortable to lie on and should be avoided at all costs. And as for the actual flight that was the most comfortable part of the journey. The new slogan should be 'Ryannair: Better Than Backache'. So unless I was reclining like a Senator at a Roman orgy, then it was pretty sore.

A week before my trip, as I lay on the floor on my back like a wounded beetle, I realised something would have to be done to put my mind at rest. I suspected it wasn't anything more than a nerve being pressed upon somewhere but agony like this wasn't to be ignored. The following day I saw an osteopath. He got quite close for a chap who was meeting me for the first time. And to be fair, anyone who asks me to press my knees into their groin without having had a couple of bottles of something beforehand is going to raise eyebrows. It might have in a previous no-pain life but what he was doing was causing my eyes to water. Anyway armed with a brief of exercises and strict instructions to travel light and stop running, I hobbled off.

Ceasing the running was a mere inconvenience. Travel light to the style centre of the world?  My life was over.

As it happened the trip wasn't a disaster and I think I was only mildly drama queeny about it. I managed on 2 changes of clothes and the emptyish bag was an excellent excuse to pick up some gorgeous dresses. Being quite short woollen ones, they were light so no trouble to carry home. The trip to Kidderminster and the two bottles of champagne, that was slightly more problematic but I made it without resorting to drinking them.

Not what it looks like...
As the nice man promised, I've had a week of pain, a week of irritability (set to continue for a bit longer) and I think it is finally subsiding into a dose of sciatica. I'm following his instructions to the a little more. My bedroom floor now resembles a rubber torture chamber of toys, with prickle balls, overly firm gym ball, rubber stretch ribbons (no idea what the technical term is) and a cylindrical foam thing to roll up and down on. I've also started yoga at work and there will be gentle jogging as of today. The feeling of being utterly helpless when you drop your body scrub in the shower isn't great and I don't want it again. And also there have been moments in the past couple of weeks when the flatmate and I have been in giggling hysterics leading me to gasp out, begging for mercy.

So for all you bad postured people. Sit up now. You have been warned!

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Just your average teen

Friends. It’s been a great time for seeing some rather lovely people. After meeting with a friend in Bergamo during the previous week, early on Saturday I was en route to Kidderminster to see more people. It was my old school chum’s hubby’s birthday and there was a party involved so when she asked me up there I leapt at the chance to eat, drink and be merry. As I was there early we rushed round being domestic which is a hysterical thought given that:

1. Gill is perfect CT material in knowing nothing about the alchemy of the cleaning cupboard
2. We are highly educated and sophisticated ladies and are happier dawdling around Morrison’s baconz department
3. My back was too sore to do anything other than direct others and do some light vacuuming
4. We couldn’t stop laughing at the disgraceful gossip we were exchanging
5. I was utterly distracted by the cheap VC in the trade supermarket and an executive CT decision was made… 

Anyway once we stopped fannying around in the supermarket we made ourselves look gorgeous and headed downstairs. Now I haven’t been to a good old fashioned Worcestershire bash since I was 19 – I recall there was an incident involving cider, a young farmer, a haystack and … So there I was again but 20 years later, mature and adult conversing sensibly with Gill’s friends. 

This is why I was drinking purple alcoholic pop in a room full of late-teens. They covered a mind boggling spread of interesting topics and it was thoroughly entertaining; we covered the universe, existence of God, girlfriends, cigars, time travel, computer games and how many beers we’d drunk. The other party I believe got out of hand and very smutty.

The following morning we all took a medicinal baconandegg butty (patent pending) and vats of coffee and shuffled around finding a place to sit in her huge convivial kitchen. When I got downstairs photos of puppies were being passed around and it was decided that we should go see them. As you do. So a trip to Malvern Wells, a batch of cute dogs, and we had a thoroughly lovely day getting lost in the dramatic shadows of the Malvern Hills. On returning to the house I experienced something called ‘Skyrim’ and a quiet family afternoon. I am destined to be everyone’s favourite Aunt!

Earlier on one of the young chaps had nearly left without his phone and there had been some shaking of heads. So what did this idiot do? I got as far as the car without my charger, phone, book…I remembered the VC though. Priorities! So we legged it to the station and I got to Brum rather breathlessly. A rather marvellous weekend even if it did confirm that I’m no better than your average teen.