The Full Package

Just returned from my follow-up orthotics appointment. I found out 5 months ago that my calf muscles were too tight for my legs. This is the first time ever I have been told I have tight muscles and I always had the lofty idea that when that would happen it would be said by a sexy lady in a sexy lady way. Sadly it was by a doctor and he meant it as a bad thing. Bruce Lee’s tight muscles never caused him a problem although he did die under ‘mysterious circumstances’ if the film ‘Dragon…’ is to be believed. Maybe all his muscles got too tight then snapped and twanged his heart and brain killing him. I’d like to believe that Bruce Lee was so hardcore his own body beat him up. So I had to get insoles to make my muscles all shit and flabby again and today I got told that that had sort of worked and my legs were nearly as good as they could be. Which again, when said by a doctor, is not a great compliment. I still wanted to say ‘oh you’ and wink a bit, but I felt it was inappropriate. I got given new, more hardcore insoles and now feel like walking is exciting again. Having done it for many years, walking was never going to get too exciting, but these insoles have resurrected the childish belief that when you get new trainers you can run faster. Only I don’t have new trainers I have insoles because I am old and broken. And I can’t run, let alone run faster because it hurts and I get out of breath. So brisk walking with insoles is now my new running.

It was my second hospital like visit in the last day or so. Yesterday after general mother’s day lunch at my parents house, we went to visit Layla’s dad who sadly had to spend the weekend in hospital due to a nasty infection. I don’t usually write about family matters here as I don’t want to embarrass anyone or invade their privacy but yesterday’s incident was both embarrassing and an invasion of privacy so it seems ok. I know and get on with L’s parents very well and I’m very fond of them both. Her dad in particular is a brilliant man, who while very tall, slow speaking and not the sharpest on technology is still very much one of the most highly respected members of his field. He is a man that has written many a revered study on his practice and as such he was in a very nice private hospital in Central London. I’ve never been in a private hospital before being a scabby poor oik, and I have to say I understand why them rich folks do it. The entrance was like a hotel with a swanky lobby, and all the rooms were en-suite with a flt screen tv and lots of comforts such as a menu for room service. I’m sure all these things are only good depending on what you are admitted for. For example I doubt the menu would be great for someone with gastroenteritus. You would just be throwing up even more expensive food. At least normal NHS fare seems like it was made to be brought back up.

Sadly Layla’s dad’s nasty infection was bladder based and therefore involved amongst doses of anti-biotics a catheter, one of the medical world’s least fun devices. Despite this, and considering the surroundings and my relationship towards my one day father-in-law, I really did not expect that within minutes of sitting down, he would be throwing back his duvet and showing us how the catheter worked. He did this so he could explain his discomfort, which was the understandable bit, but in doing so completely exposed all the parts I really hoped that I would never be witness to. He loves to complain and it seems that this need to do so massively overrides exposing his genitals to extended members of the family. Layla’s mum noticed this and quickly put the duvet back on but everytime it came to explaining how he was feeling he would just whip them out again. This stopped becoming disconcerting and eventually just very funny. In between laughing a lot I managed to work out places to stare at so I wouldnt get a long lasting image of the collective package. If I had done it would have meant that events with Layla’s family would be slightly more awkward for ever more and I don’t want that as her mum makes amazing food. It would be terrible if all I could think about while eating it was that.

The amazing thing is, how little of a shit Layla’s dad gave about it and I’m not sure if this is an age thing. He is now 71 and I wonder if you hit a certain age and just think bollocks to it all. Pun intended. I remember when I used to go to the gym and while most members made an effort in the changing rooms to have a carefully placed towel there were two old men that never gave a shit and would happily swing their pieces around the room without a care. I’m not sure if I ever want to be that not bothered.

Got stuff to do today, like write Edinburgh blurb. I have already started and have for some reason put a pun about weaving in despite it not having anything to do with my show. You might say it was carefully woven in there. Or you might say, cut it out, its shit. Will get on with that now having fully removed all mental images of yesterdays surprise appearance and Saturday’s gig too. Incidentally, here’s Terry Saunders account of hell in Epsom:

and here’s the official and very carefully written review. Still not sure if ‘bulletproof confidence’ is a good quote or not: